This study will analyze students’ attitude towards the study of economics in Nigerian secondary schools. Despite the greater number of Economics graduates produced by our tertiary institutions; every year there are numbers of secondary schools where Economics teachers are not competent in the teaching of the subject. This makes the teaching of Economics ineffective and inefficient even where there are competent teachers to teach. It is on this premise, that this study is designed to investigate the attitudes of students in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State toward studying of Economics as a subject. Another objective of this paper is to make various recommendations for teachers and other stakeholders on how to arouse or improve students’ attitudes in the subject.
Concerning methodology, both secondary and primary sources of data was used for the study. A survey research design was used with a sample size of 100. Data was collected and analyzed using simple percentages. Key findings from the study showed that negative attitudes of the students are the functions of lack of interest erroneous believed that economics is volatile and poor motivation by teachers. Some science teachers especially economics, physics and mathematics is an offspring of negative attitude in the subject itself. Negative attitude towards the subject is influenced by the parents’ attitudes.
Recommendations for the study include; certain measures must be taken to improve the quality of economics teachers, this include better recruitment, better substantive education of economics teachers in training institutions, retraining programme for young teachers with shallow experience, in-services and long vacation courses, improvement in teachers’ salaries with special allowances for economics teachers and upgrading of the teaching profession. This could be ways by which economics teaching can be made more interesting to the teachers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page – – – – – – – – – i
Approval Page – – – – – – – – ii
Declaration – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – v
Abstract – – – – – – – – – vi
Table of Contents – – – – – – – vii
CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY – – – – – –
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY – – – – – – –
1.3STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS – – – – –
1.4RESEARCH QUESTIONS – – – – – – –
1.5SCOPE OF THE STUDY – – – – – – –
1.6SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY – – – – – –
1.8DEFINITION OF TERMS – – – – – – –
CHAPTER TWO – REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1STUDENTS ATTITUDES AND SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT –
2.2GENDER DIFFERENCES IN STUDENT ATTITUDES TOWARD ECONOMICS LESSONS – – – – – – – –
2.3CHANGES IN STUDENT ATTITUDE TOWARD ECONOMICS LESSONS ACROSS GRADE LEVELS. – – – – –
CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1INTRODUCTION – – – – – – – – –
3.2INTRODUCTION – – – – – – – – –
3.3RESEARCH DESIGN – – – – – – – –
3.4STUDY POPULATION – – – – – – – –
3.6RESEARCH INSTRUMENT – – – – – – –
3.7ADMINISTRATION OF INSTRUMENT – – – – –
3.8VALIDATION OF INSTRUMENT – – – – – –
3.9PROCEDURE FOR DATA COLLECTION – – – –
3.10DATA ANALYSIS PROCEDURE – – –
CHAPTER FOUR – DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – –
4.1 PRESENTATION OF TABLES – – – – – –
4.2 Discussion of Findings – – – – – – –
CHAPTER FIVE – SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS – – – – – – –
5.2 CONCLUSION – – – – – – — –5.3 RECOMMENDATIONS – – – – – – —
References – – – – – – – – – –
Appendix – – – – – – – – – –
1.1BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greekword (oikonomia, “management of a household, administration”) hence “rules of the house(hold)”. Political economy was the earlier name for the subject, but economists in the late 19th century suggested “economics” as a shorter term for “economic science” that also avoided a narrow political-interest connotation and as similar in form to “mathematics“, “ethics”, and so forth.
A focus of the subject is how economic agents behave or interact and how economies work. Consistent with this, a primary textbook distinction is between microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics examines the behavior of basic elements in the economy, including individual agents (such as households and firms or as buyers and sellers) and markets, and their interactions. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy and issues affecting it, including unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and monetary and fiscal policy.
Other broad distinctions include those between positive economics (describing “what is”) and normative economics (advocating “what ought to be”); between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioral economics; and between mainstream economics (more “orthodox” and dealing with the “rationality-individualism-equilibrium nexus”) and heterodox economics (more “radical” and dealing with the “institutions-history-social structure nexus”).
Economic analysis may be applied throughout society, as in business, finance, health care, and government, but also to such diverse subjects as crime,[education, the family, law, politics, religionsocial institutions, war,andscience.At the turn of the 21st century, the expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.
An attitude may be defined as a predisposition to respond in a favourableor unfavourable manner with respect to a given attitude object (OskampandSchultz 2005). The focus of this project is on school students’ attitudes towards Economicssubjects taught in secondary classrooms. The term ‘subjects’ refers to both theory and laboratory classes in secondary school. Thus, the scope of the present study was limited to Economics as experienced by students in secondaryschool rather than out-of-school experiences obtained from external sourcessuch as the media, museums, field trips and friends.Attitude towards Economics or science denotes interests or feelingstowards studying Economics or science. It is the students’ disposition towardslike or ‘dislike’ science while attitude in science means scientific approachassumed by an individual for solving problems, assessing ideas and makingdecisions. Student beliefs and attitudes have the potential to either facilitate or inhibit learning (Yara, 2009).Many factors could contribute to student’s attitude toward studyingscience (Economics). Several studies (including Wilson 1983; Soyibo, 1985;Berg 2005; Adesoji, 2008) report that students’ positive attitudes to sciencecorrelate highly with their that, in general, the attitude of Nigeria studentstowards the basic sciences tend to decrease in the order, Biology, Economics,Physics and Mathematics. Defiana (1995) found that using integrated scienceenvironment activities improved high school student attitude toward andawareness about the environment. Armstrong and Impara (1991) in their studiesdetermined that fifth and seventh – grade students using nature score as acurriculum supplement developed more positive attitudes than those who didnot.Abimbola (1983) reported that students exposed to a programmedinstruction recorded higher and more favourable attitude towards mathematics.Ayelaagbe (1998) also reported a more positive attitude of studies afterexposing them to self learning strategy. Similar results were obtained byUdousoro (2000) after using computer and text assisted programmed instructionandPopoola (2002) after exposing students to a self learning device. Popoola(2008) also reported that students attitudes and interests to sciences, especiallyAgricultural science correlate highly with their science achievement.Halladyna and Shanghnessy (1982) and Adesoji (2008) have concludedthat a number of factors have been identified as related to students’ attitude toscience (Economics). Such factors include; teaching methods, teacher attitude,influence of parents, gender, age, cognitive styles of pupils, career interest,social view of science and Scientifics, social implicating of science (Economics)and achievement.The studies thus reviewed suggest that there is a relationship betweenattitude and methods of instruction and also between attitude and achievement;and that it is possible to predict achievement from attitude scores. What isneeded to complement the results of such studies however is the nature of relationship between students’ attitude and factors related to teaching andlearning of Economics? Results of these types of study are likely to broaden our knowledge as how we can influence students’ attitude positively towardsEconomics as a subject in Akure, Nigeria.
1.2PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to investigate the attitudes of studentsinAkure South Local Government Area of Ondo State toward studying of Economics as a subject.The study is also designed to make various recommendations for teachersand other stakeholders on how to arouse or improve students attitudes in thesubject.
1.3STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Despite the greater number of Economics graduates produced by our tertiary institutions; every year there are numbers of secondary schools where Economics teachers are not competent in the teaching of the subject. Also, theattitude of the students in secondary schools towards Economics as a professionis not encouraging. This makes the teaching of Economics ineffective andinefficient even where there are competent teachers to teach.It is on this premise, that this study is designed to investigate the attitudeof students to teaching and learning of Economics in secondary schools.
In order to investigate the attitude of students to Economics, the followingquestions were raised:
- Do the students have positive attitudes towards Economics?
- Do their negative attitudes a result of the attitude of their teacherstowards the subject?
- Do their attitudes towards problem solving result of unavailability of textbook and other instructional materials?
- Should Economics be made compulsory for all science studentsinsecondary schools?
1.5SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study was limited to secondary schools in Akure South LocalGovernment of Ondo State only. Based on the time frame and financialconstraints in covering all the secondary schools in the Local Government, thestudy was also limited to the students in Senior Secondary Schools (SS Class)
The names of the schools are:
- DominicGrammar School, Akure.
- A.C.GrammarSchool, Akure.
- OyemekunHigh School, Akure.
- Peter’sUnityHigh School, Akure.
- Fiwasiaye Girls Grammar School, Akure.
1.6SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is aimed at looking at the students’ attitudes towards Economicsin some selected secondary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of OndoState.The results of the study is hoped to assist Economics teachers to developnew learning experience for the students and reorganize these learningexperience in some ways enough to arouse the interest of the students.It would be of good assistance to teachers to create a habit were theywould improve on the obsolete teaching methods, use adequate, modern andrelevant instructional materials and textbooks at their disposed to the fullest.This study may also assist the students to improve their attitude towardsthe study of the subject.Finally, the government and parents would benefit from the study of their roles as these would be highlighted at the recommendation column.1.7Assumption of the StudyBased on the study, the following assumptions were made. Secondaryschool students constitute a valid source of data needed in the study.Also, that the respondents will give valid and unbiased responses to thequestionnaire items and that the samples drawn will be representatives of the population
1.8DEFINITION OF TERMS
Economics:- This is a science subject taught in the Senior Secondary Schools.
Learning:– This is the process of acquiring knowledge in Economics amongSenior Secondary School Students.
Attitude:– This refers to students’ positive mind to the study of Economics.
Teaching:– Transmission of the knowledge of Economics to Senior SecondarySchoolStudents.Instruction
Materials:- These are aids used in teaching and learning of Economicsin Senior Secondary School.
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