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O.A. AkintundeTeacher Characteristics

Teacher Characteristics and Students’ Attitude As Determinants of
Students’ Performance in Economics in Selected
Secondary Schools in Kajola Local Government
Area of Oyo State

Oludare Adeyemi Akintunde

Department of Educational Management,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan

November, 2009

Abstract: The declining rate of students’ performance in public examinations like West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examinations Council (NECO) gave birth to this research. Although Economics, as a discipline, is popular among students and provides guidance to every citizen on practical conduct of life in the business world, successive governments have neglected it. Therefore, this study took a critical look at teacher characteristics and students’ attitude as determinants of students’ performance in Kajola Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria.

In this paper, key findings are presented highlighting the real determinants of students’ performance. For example, whereas teacher’s qualification, teacher’s teaching experience, teacher’s gender, and teacher’s personality may influence students’ performance, the magnitude of these factors pale into insignificance compared with students’ interest and teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of Economics. That is, the quality of students’ interest and teacher’s attitude to teaching are by far the most salient factors determining the students’ academic performance.

Indeed, findings from the related local and international evidence-based research indicate that occupational stress, frustration and lack of job satisfaction accounted for teachers’ poor attitude towards teaching.

O.A. AkintundeTeacher Characteristics

Introduction

The poor performance of students could be attributed to several factors including poor teaching quality, inadequate preparation before teaching, improper mastery of the subject matter, poor attitude to teaching profession. Therefore, teachers cannot be exonerated from the poor performance of students in public examinations. It is an assumption that if the quality of teachers were high, the students would perform well in their examinations. Anyanwu (2002) was of the view that the growing concern given to the declining performance of students in the core subjects by successive governments should equally go for Economics. There is no gainsaying the fact that Economics is a living subject and every citizen should have its basic knowledge in order to understand the dynamics of the economic system.

Despite the importance of Economics, most studies that have decried the decline in student performance has concentrated on the core subjects which are pre-requisites for admission into post secondary institutions in Nigeria (Bilesanmi, 1999; Ogunwuyi, 2000 and Jimoh, 2005).

The poor performance of students could be attributed to several factors including poor teaching quality, inadequate preparation before teaching, improper mastery of the subject matter, poor attitude to teaching profession. Therefore, teachers cannot be exonerated from the poor performance of students in public examinations. It is an assumption that if the quality of teachers were high, the students would perform well in their examinations. The problem of this study centers on finding the independent effects of both teacher characteristics and student attitude towards Economics on student academic performance in Economics at Secondary School level in Kajola Local Government Area of Oyo State.

Statement of the Problem
It appears clearly that the quality of teaching and learning of Economics is falling in schools. This phenomenon may be attributed, among other factors, to falling quality of teachers, poor attitude of teachers towards teaching of the subject and attitude of students towards studying Economics in preparation for public examinations such as the Senior Secondary School...
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