Background to the study
As a teacher in the secondary school system in Nigeria for many years, experience has shown that, there are two categories of teachers – the good or effective teachers, and the bad or ineffective teachers’ observable from among teachers in the school system. The effective teachers are perceived to be fully equipped naturally and professionally to lead their students to success in competitive standardized tests, as well as inculcate in them, values that would make them exhibit behaviours that are generally desirable and acceptable. On the other hand, the ineffective teachers do not care about the success of their students in examinations, and, in some cases, students who pass through such teachers, especially in terms of emulating their life styles, tend to exhibit behaviours that are detestable by the society. Such students also, do not perform well in competitive examination. This study seeks to find out whether teacher effectiveness influences students academic performance. It is not, however, very easy, to investigate the area of effectiveness in teaching, because many hold the view that the concept has no measurable indices. In order to approach this issue, this study embarked on the following measures. The first goal of the study was to explore the school and grades of students that were used for the study. The second goal was to identify the effective and the less effective teachers from among the teachers’ population meant for the study. Thirdly, the researcher, embarked on identifying the various dimensions of teachers quality, and which helped in the categorization of the teachers into effective and ineffective groups. There are various dimensions of teacher quality. Some might argue that the primary aspect of teacher quality is content knowledge, others might argue, that, it is the effective use of pedagogy. Some others, too, might argue that teacher quality should be assessed only by student outcomes, regardless of pedagogy. Even, from among those who hold the views that teacher quality should be assessed by student outcomes, however, arguments could be made for an emphasis on different types of student outcomes. Teacher quality can be gauged by short- term outcomes such as students’ performance on state standardized tests at the end of the period prescribed for a given academic programme. Long-term outcomes may be much more difficult to measure, but some might argue, that the best teachers are those who somehow improve students’ educational trajectories in some important ways. In other words, teacher quality is multi-dimensional and complex in nature, and can be measured in multiple ways. In Nigeria, the minimum educational and professional qualifications for any individual to teach in the secondary school system, is the Nigerian Certificate in Education (N.C.E). It is speculated that a good number of teachers in the secondary school system in Nigeria have higher degrees and certificates. It is also speculated that some of the non-professional teachers (as they are called in educational parlance), are much committed in their service delivery; including giving and marking students’ assignments on regular basis, having interests in students’ progress in examinations, and having thorough knowledge of the subjects they teach. Experience has also shown that a good number of students who offer the subjects taught by some of the non-professional teachers perform very well at both the internally and externally conducted achievement tests. On another variant, experience has shown that some of the professionally and non-professionally qualified teachers in the secondary school system are found wanting in terms of instructional delivery, temperament, enthusiasm for the teaching profession and even, in the mastery of the subject they teach. The result of this is that some of the students taught by this class of teachers develop hatred for teachers and their subjects, and thus,...
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