Factors Affecting the Academic Achievement of Freshmen College Students in Science at Universidad de Manila

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CHAPTER I

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Introduction

Achievement of students in schools has been the concern of school authorities. Several solutions have been offered in order to improve the quality of instruction. Some of these prove to be effective for some time, but later new innovations are introduced thus sometimes affect the teaching-learning situations in the classrooms.

Science subjects are important because this field have greatly benefited mankind in its efforts to improve the quality of life. In view of this, college education plays a vital role in molding the minds, interest, awareness and concern of an individual to prepare himself for the future. Recognizing that science makes life easier and meaningful, educational institutions, through the mandate of the government, focus its attention on the advance of science and technology in terms of classroom instruction at all levels. Science curriculum must be taught in terms of how it can develop scientifically literate society and how it can make an individual more responsive to the needs of the times. Based on observations, science instruction nowadays placed more emphasis on the mastery of the subject matter. When students did well in written examinations, teachers believe that the aim of the lesson has been achieved, but evaluation should not only be based on written tests but should also include oral and practical examinations to make sure that learning really has taken place.

Since researchers are future science teachers, there is a desire to determine what are the factors that affect student’s achievement are. The researchers want to conduct a thorough investigation to come up with a possible solution to the problem regarding the science achievement of freshmen students. In view of this line of thinking, the present study is motivated to look into the factors affecting the achievement of freshmen college students in science which might affect the student achievement whether it would be for good or not.

Background of the Study

The researchers will conduct this study because according to an international science study by Garrison (2004) Filipino students performed poorly in understanding science concepts and principle. These findings were supported by other study conducted by (Askali, 1994) (Acuna and Dasilva, 1993) stating that college freshmen students are weak in science. All over the fast changing world, people learned to rely on science for their own survival and advancement. Man just willingly admits that without such “instrument” as propellers for progress, this effort to succeed and achieve would be limited and be made useless. The concept that the more knowledge a man has in science, the greater is his opportunity for change for advancement. It emphasizes that science is essential for national development progress.

School curricula are supposed to develop the capabilities of students but according to statistics, approximately fewer than 10% high school graduates have the skills necessary to perform satisfactory in college level in science courses. Attempting to combat trend, nowadays, many science educators are turning to more ‘hands-on’ approach to their teaching. Instead of having their students memorize lengthy formulas they have them to do experiments; starting in the early grades this has been going on for years wherein teachers act as facilitators only.

Many students believe that science subjects in the freshmen level are difficult. In fact some do not like the subject. This may be attributed to some factors that underlie student’s attitude toward the subject. The educational qualification of the teacher may also serve as a factor that hinders student’s attitude in their science subject. Students find it more interesting to play truancy than to attend classes especially if the method, strategies or approaches of teachers do not suit the mental ability of the...
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