TEACHERS-STUDENTS RELATIONSHIP AND STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES
The study on teachers-students relationship and students’ academic performance in Social Studies was conducted in Ika Local Government Area. The population for the study consisted of two thousand one hundred and seventy nine (2,179) students from seven (7) secondary schools. Simple random sampling technique was used to select one hundred (100) respondents from five (5) secondary schools in Ika Local Government Area.
Three null hypotheses were formulated in line with the purpose of the study. A structured questionnaire titled “Teachers-students relationship questionnaire (TSRQ)” was used as an instrument for data collection. The data collected were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) as method of data analysis and the results showed that all the calculated r-values were greater than the critical r-value.
This means that teacher-students’ relationship is significantly related to students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
Based on the findings of the study, it was therefore recommended among others that, teachers employed in schools should be encouraged to have friendly disposition towards students in order to motivate the students to get closer to them for academic benefits. It was then concluded that teachers-students relationship is significantly related to students’ academic performance in social studies in Ika Local Government Area.
1.1 Background to the Study
Education all over the world is acknowledged to be the most powerful and indispensable instrument for not only economic and political advancement but also for progress in all spheres of human endeavour. Hence, the Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument for nurturing productive citizenry and fostering national development (Ukpong, 2003).
These laudable and significant roles of education in the overall development of the country led to the establishment of schools in all parts of the country as well as the initiation of the teaching-learning process which of course is the platform through which the goals and philosophy of education are promoted.
Teachers play an important role in the grooming of students throughout the formal schooling experience (Baker, Grant, & Morlock, 2008). Although most research regarding teacher-student relationships investigate the elementary years of schooling, teachers have the unique opportunity to support students’ academic and social development at all levels of schooling.
Aligned with attachment theory positive teacher-student relationships enable students to feel safe and secure in their learning environments and provide scaffolding for important social and academic skills (Baker et al., 2008; O’Connor, Dearing, & Collins, 2011; Silver, Measelle, Armstrong, & Essex, 2005). Teachers who support students in the learning environment can positively impact their social and academic outcomes, which is important for the long-term trajectory of school and eventually employment.
According to Hamre & Pianta (2001) when teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. Positive teacher-student relationships are classified as having the presence of closeness, warmth, and positivity. Students who have positive relationships with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially, to take on academic challenges and work on social-emotional development.
This includes relationships with peers, and developing self-esteem and self-concept. Through this secure relationship, students learn about socially appropriate behaviors as well as academic expectations and how to achieve these expectations (Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Students in low-income schools can especially benefit from positive relationships with teachers (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).
Students in high-poverty urban schools may benefit from positive teacher-student relationships even more than students in high-income schools, because of the risks associated with poverty (Murray & Malmgren, 2005). Risk outcomes associated with poverty include high rates of high school dropout, lower rates of college applications, low self-efficacy, and low self-confidence.
There are several factors that can protect against the negative outcomes often associated with low-income schooling, one of which is a positive and supportive relationship with an adult, most often a teacher. Low-income students who have strong teacher-student relationships have higher academic achievement and have more positive social-emotional adjustment than their peers who do not have a positive relationship with a teacher (Murray & Malmgren, 2005).
It was against this background that the study seeks to find out whether teachers-students relationship has effect on students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Ika Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria in general. There is substantial research on the importance of teachers-students relationships in the early elementary years.
However, little is known about the effects of teacher-student relationships on high school students. Studies show that early teacher-student relationships affect early academic and social outcomes as well as future academic outcomes, but few researchers have looked at the effects of teacher-student relationships in later years of schooling. Researchers who have investigated teacher-student relationships for older students have found that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with positive academic and social outcomes for high school students.
This study is therefore designed to examine teachers-students relationship and students’ academic performance in Social Studies in primary schools in Ika Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
(i) Examine the academic performance of students with good teachers-students relationship in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
(ii) Examine the academic performance of students with poor teachers-students relationship in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
(iii) Examine Students’ Perception of the Student-Teacher Relationship and Academic Performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the study
The study will be of immense benefit to teachers, students, educationists, government and researchers in the following ways:
- The study will reveal if teachers-students relationship certainly affects the academic performance of students.
- If it is ascertained that teachers-students relationship promotes students academic performance, then government will see the need to promote effective teachers-students relationship in schools
- It will further enlighten teachers on strategies to adopt in promoting good teachers-students relationship.
- The study will also serve as reference manual for future researches on related issues.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- How does good teachers-students relationship affect students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area?
- To what extent does poor teachers-students relationship affect students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area?
- What is the significant of Students’ Perception of the Student-Teacher Relationship and Academic Performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The understated hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
- There is no significant relationship between good teachers-students relationship and students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between poor teachers-students relationship and students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
- There is no significant relationship between students’ perception of student-teacher relationship and academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
The research work was delimited to teachers-students relationship and students’ academic performance in Social Studies in Ika Local Government Area.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
- Financial Constraint: Financial constraint exerted pressure on the timely and effective completion of this work.
- Time Frame: The time allocated for the completion of the work was two short and this posed a serious stress on the researcher.
- Inadequate Materials: The research materials for the review of empirical literature were grossly inadequate and this also affects the timely completion of the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Academic performance: The level of knowledge or skills attained by students in a given subject usually designed by a test score or grade obtained by them during the process of assessment.
Social Studies: Is the studies of man and his physical and social environment.
Teacher: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values.
Student: A student or pupil is a learner or someone who attends an educational institution.
Classroom: A classroom is a learning space, a room in which both children and adults learn about things.