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Project Topic and Material on Teacher Workload and Teacher Job Performance in Secondary Schools
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This research examined the impact of teacher workload and teacher job performance at selected secondary schools in Education District IV of Lagos State. The objectives of the study were to ascertain what constitutes teacher workload and teacher job performance. In addition, to examine the impact of several variables such as number of teaching subjects, teaching periods, class sizes, teaching and non-teaching activities on effective classroom teaching as well as establish the impact of teacher workload on teacher job performance. Eight research questions and research hypotheses were stated to guide the study. The research design was descriptive survey in nature where questionnaire was developed for data used for the study. A total number of 250 teachers were used for the study. Findings of the research indicated that gender difference did not exist in the views about teacher workload and job performance among the teachers. Results also showed that the number of teaching subjects, subject periods, teaching and non-teaching activities did not impact negatively on the teaching and learning situation. However, large class sizes negatively affected teachers’ effective classroom teaching and learning. On a final note, the finding further showed that teacher workloads have negative impact on teachers’ job performance in school. Recommendations were made following the outcomes of the research findings. They include the need to train more teachers to handle specific tasks in secondary schools, and principals in secondary schools should not overload and on the other hand under load teachers to ensure their optimal use. Management needs to properly motivate teachers in order to make them feel satisfied and perform well in their job. Teachers should only be assigned to teach the subjects they were trained for to avoid sapping their energies.
Background to the Study
The concept of workload has become a subject of renewed interest for researchers and educationists alike both nationally and internationally. Researchers have indicated some definitive concepts with respect to the workload of Nigerian teachers: the workloads of Nigerian teachers are intensifying, their non-teaching roles are becoming significantly more extensive, and teachers are being asked to take on responsibilities for which they are not properly trained (Adu, Titilola and Ifeoma, 2013; Onyene, 2004). Reasons for these are attributed to increase demand for education that has resulted to increase enrolment in schools.
As aptly noted by Akinsolu (2011), overpopulated classrooms are considered to be un-conducive for both teachers and students alike as the burden on teachers with respect to implementing, marking of scripts and other continuous assessments as well as the ability to give individualized attention to students needing extra help may appear to increase teacher workload in schools. On the part of the students, it has resulted into poor learning and high drop out from schools.
Meanwhile, teacher workload is viewed as the totality of academic teaching work and committee workload assigned to a teacher for the attainment of the overall educational objectives in the school (Adu, Oshati and Ifeoma, 2013). The demands of teaching can be overwhelming for teachers. Workload has no well-defined limits; it is essentially open-ended. While contracts with principal or school management appear to define expectations regarding teacher workload, contract terms represent minimum requirements. To respond to the needs of every student, a teacher tends to do far more than is required and some try to do more than they can physically manage. In Nigeria, research has shown that the demand to educate the teeming population has brought too much work on the part of teachers in meeting this education needs. This could be understood from the low supply of teachers relative to the demand of education.
World over, research has provided an insight into the teacher workload. A review of existing literature has shown that many factors have continued to mitigate and conspire against teachers in carrying out their duties of imparting knowledge, skills and attitude to students. Such workload variables include teachers’ preparation time, assessment, reporting, supervision, attending meetings, class size, the implementation of new programmes without adequate resources; and scheduling challenges that result in inappropriate and out-off-field teaching contribute to teacher workload (Dibbon (2004). Also worthy of mention are government expectations, curriculum requirements, and professional development requisites.
In line with the foregoing, it appears that teachers are faced with basically four choices: taking on the additional responsibilities, teaching part-time, choosing to resign from the profession, or retiring early. Although research examining teacher workload in Lagos State and other parts of Nigeria abound, there is a gap in the literature regarding the teacher workload in Education District IV of Lagos State in relation to job performance in secondary schools. This research study will fill the knowledge gap in literature.
Most arguably, the concern about teacher productivity is considered crucial because of its apparent direct relationship with the standard of education and eventual long-term effect on the future labour force. Literature is replete with teacher workload and how it affects job performance in secondary schools, few however, are related with the impact of gender on teacher productivity in public secondary schools. This study therefore, complements earlier research carried out in this field.
Arguably, improvement in the productivity of Nigerian teachers has remained the recurrent themes of many symposia, conferences and workshops. It is a recognized fact that the teacher is a critical factor in the classroom teaching and learning situation. Whatever that will impede on the teacher not to achieve the desired goals should be contended with. There is a need to make teachers to be responsive to the task of delivering education goals without undue stress. It is very disturbing that graduates of the different levels know very little of what they are supposed to have learnt in school. Equally, the poor results of school certificate examinations over the years have provided justification for the expressed concerns. Reports by the Examination Body such as the West African Examination Council reveal that the failure rate for English Language in the past five years surpassed that of the percentage of credits scored in Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by it between 2001 and 2005. While in Mathematics, a fluctuating trend was recorded by the candidates during this period (WAEC, 2007). Besides, Punch Newspaper (2008) reported that out of a total of 1,369,142 candidates that sat for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria in 2008, only 188,442 representing 13.76% obtained five credit passes and above in English Language, Mathematics and three other subjects. While 947,945 candidates representing 83% failed the examination. The analysis suggests that all is not well with students’performance in secondary schools. There is no gainsaying that every poor performance and failure is usually blamed on the workers by the management. Conversely, this is by no means different for teachers in secondary schools for job performance related problems. Given this information above, this research examines the impact of teacher workload on teacher job performance in secondary schools in Lagos Education District IV.
Statement of the Problem
Over the years, there has been an expressed concern on the poor results of school certificate examinations. According to West African Examination Council (WAEC, 2007), the failure rate has been on the increase. This suggests that all is not well with student’s performance in secondary schools. However, every poor performance and failure is usually blamed on the workers by the management. This is not in any way different for teachers in secondary schools for job performance related problems. Research study has shown that a teacher in his or her professional garb is loaded with both survival and self-reliant demands that draw him or her back as member of the wider social economic system (Adekoya, 2000 in Onyene, 2004). Teachers’ lack of time, collaborative activities, professional development, non-teaching duties, and out-of-field teaching assignments have conspired and continue to militate against teachers in achieving the educational goals. Consequently, a teacher is not meeting the academic needs of various students, feels dissatisfied with class size and school composition. Hence, students are not performing well in their school work; a teacher is resistant to curriculum change, over-laboured with class size, turnover and attrition. The negative effects associated with an unrealistic workload are having a considerable impact on teachers and the quality of their work life as well as on students and their academic experience. It is against this background information that this study examines the impact of teacher workload on teacher job performance in secondary school in Lagos Education District IV where research studies seem to be scanty.
Purpose of the Study
The general objective of this research study is to examine the impact of teacher workload on teacher job performance in Secondary Schools in Education District IV, Lagos State. Specifically, it is set out to:
1. Examine teacher’s perception and experience of teacher workloads in secondary schools.
2. Assess teacher’s view and experience on teacher job performance in secondary schools.
3. Determine the impact of class size on teacher’s effective classroom teaching.
4. Assess the impact of teacher workload factors on teacher job performance.
5. Examine the impact of subject teaching allocation on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary schools.
6. Determine the impact of subject teaching periods on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary schools.
7. Examine the impact of teaching activities like writing lesson note, taking class attendance and assessing students on teacher’s effective teaching and learning process.
8. Ascertain the impact of non-teaching activities like attending meeting and responding to parents onteacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary schools.
The following research questions will guide this study.
1. What is the perception and experience of teachers about teacher workloads in secondary school?
2. What differences exist between male and female teachers’ view and experience on teacher job performance in schools?
3. What impact does class size have on teacher’s effective classroom teaching in secondary school?
4. What impact does teacher workload factor have on teacher job performance?
5. What impact do subject teaching allocations have on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary school?
6. How do subject teaching periods impact on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary school?
7. What impact do teaching activities like writing lesson note, taking class attendance and assessing students on teacher’s effective teaching and learning?
8. How do non-teaching activities like attending meeting and responding to parents impact on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in secondary school?
The following null hypotheses will guide this study.
1. Male and female teachers do not differ significantly in their knowledge of teacher workload in school.
2. Male and female teachers do not differ significantly in their knowledge of teacher job performance in school.
3. Subject teaching allocations have no significant impact on teacher’s effective class room teaching and learning in school.
4. Subject teaching periods have no significant impact on teacher’s effective classroom teaching and learning in school.
5. Class sizes have no significant impact on teacher’s effective classroom teaching in school.
6. Teaching activities in secondary school have no significant impact on teacher’s effective teaching and learning.
7. Non-teaching activities have no significant impact on teacher’s effective teaching and learning in secondary school.
8. Teacher workload factors have no significant impact on student’s academic performance.
Significance of the Study
This research has implication for providing a clear picture of how workload intensification is affecting performance and personal well-being of the secondary school teachers in Education District IV, Lagos State and what school leaders can do to balance the workload. The research study focuses upon exploring the diverse roles (teaching and non-teaching) that these teachers must assume each day, what their experiences of workload intensification have been, and what actions, if any, must be taken to improve the working lives of teachers in this Education District IV. It is interesting to note that teaching quality is the most important school factor in improving students’ achievements. The results of this study are important for all the stakeholders in public secondary school education: the educational districts, commissioners and ministers of education, Nigerian Teachers’ Union, school supervisors, school administrators, classroom teachers, and the general public. The results of the research are important to the education district teachers’ association as it will add to their knowledge of the perceived workload issues in this Lagos Mainland secondary schools among which are professional development concerns. Positive educational change in teachers’ work lives was the ultimate goal of this study. The results of the study will be shared with the stakeholders in education in an effort to encourage the policy makers to effect positive changes that will improve not only secondary school teachers’ work lives but ultimately students’ achievements in this study area. To improve students’ achievement, it is vital that the Education District Department of Education recognizes and comprehends the direct relationship between the quality of teacher performance and student achievement.
Scope of the Study
The study assesses the impact of teacher workload on teacher job performance in secondary schools. It concentrates upon secondary school teachers of Education District IV in Lagos State. The study looks at workload from the point of view of intensification. Looking at performance, this study examines five attributes: preparation time, collaborative activities, professional development, nonteaching duties, and out-of-field teaching assignments. It covers 250 teachers randomly selected from 10 selected secondary schools in Education District IV, Lagos State. Also obtaining information from the respondents may pose some constraints.
Operational Definition of Terms
These following terms are operationally defined.
Workload: Is the amount of work assigned to or expected from a worker in a specified time.
It is also the amount of work to be done especially in a specific time by a person or a machine. Excessive workload may lead to stress or burn-out of a teacher in a work situation, it will also reduce productivity.
Teacher: A trained person in the field of education who helps pupil, students or learners to learn.
Performance: This is the extent to which an individual execute his or her role with reference to certain specified standard set by the organization. High performance leads to high level of effective production.
Teacher Performance: refers to how a teacher carries out his/her daily diverse tasks, (including teaching and nonteaching responsibilities), whether they be assigned or self-imposed, to do the job well. These performance standards include “data-driven planning, instructional delivery, assessment, learning environment, communication, professionalism, and student achievement,
Constructivism: involves the learners’ forming knowledge and beliefs; they ascribe meaning to experiences; involves shared inquiry, reflection, and met cognition.
Constructivist Paradigm: a research paradigm wherein the researcher “look(s) for the complexity of views rather than narrowing meanings into a few categories or ideas; the goal of research is to rely as much as possible on the participants’ views of the situation being studied”.
This research is only carried out in selected secondary schools in Mainland Education District IV of Lagos State.