Background of the Study
Poor academic achievement in the educational sector particularly at the primary and secondary school levels has been decried by many Nigerians. Year after year, a large number of candidates sit for the West African Examination Council (External) since they could not make their papers in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). There have been instances of people sitting for this examination for upwards of six times without getting the required five credits to gain admission into institutions of higher learning (Adenusi, 2003). For instance, West African Examination Council (WAEC) (2005) revealed that the percentage of failure rate for English language in the past years surpasses that of the percentage of credit level, while in Mathematics, a fluctuation trend within the years was recorded by the candidates.
A breakdown of the statistics on the failure rate of candidates for 2001 revealed that out of 1,025,027 students, only 26,725 (26.07 percent) scored credit and above, 441,009 candidates failed (41.13 percent) and 316,769 (24.68 percent) got pass in Nigeria. For 2002, out of 909,888 students, 24.57 percent representing 223,568 students recorded credit, 298,562 (31.89 percent) scored pass and 40.18 percent of 387,758 students scored F9 (WASSCE, 2005).
Statistics of entries and result for the May/June 2009 West African Senior School Certificate Examination reviewed by 2010 WASSEC state committee meeting in October 12th and 14th 2010 shows candidates performance on state basis (Omolewa, 2010). On the average, about 29.93% of the candidates that sat for the 2009 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria obtained a minimum or grade 6 in at least five subjects including English Language and General Mathematics. Bauchi state topped the list with 65.53% followed closely by Abia with 63.38% and Lagos with 49.46%. The least percentage pass was recorded by Jigawa state (2.6%) while the least number of candidates that sat for the examination in the entire country was recorded by Adamawa state. Based on the rating, Kogi state was not among 13 states whose percentage was 30.17% and above (Omolewa, 2010). In another statistics on state basis reviewed by the committee, it was stated that of the 14,295 candidates sat for the WASSCE 2009 and only 8,381 passed with credits in five subjects including Mathematics and English Language. This gave a percentage of 20.30% for Kogi state (Omolewa, 2010).
The analysis above implies that there is poor academic achievement being recorded in Nigeria secondary schools in general and Kogi sate in particular which calls for ways of improving the situation. In addition, there is generally an increase in dropout rate and students withdrawing from Federal and state secondary schools to “private schools” in Kogi state (Adenusi, 2003). This could be as a result of poor academic achievement recorded by the students. Experts like Hein, (2007) and Woolfolk (2010) attribute these poor academic achievements of students to unfavourable attitude of the parents, inability of the school to provide favourable conditions to learning. Omolewa, (2010) attribute it to societal and peer group factors. However, that students fail or perform poorly in their academic according to Eze (2004) is not because they do not possess the mental ability to do well but because they do not know or do not use the most effective methods of studying or are not motivated well enough to study. It is possible therefore that lack of motivations is partially the cause of students’ poor academic achievement.
Motivation as defined by Woolfolk (2010) an internal state that arouses, directs and maintains behaviour. Motivation can either be intrinsic (internal stimuli) or extrinsic (external stimuli). At times it might be necessary to provide students with incentives for accomplishing a task, but ideally attempt should be made to nurture the students to be intrinsically motivated. Motivation is a key component in learning. The ideas of motivation as described here are broadly conceived to include an understanding of ways in which the knowledge can be used. Unless we know “the reasons why”, we may not be very involved in using the knowledge that may be instilled in us even by the most severe and direct teaching (Hein, 2007).
Motivation according to Ngwoke (1995) has to do with the internal state or mental and psychological set in an individual which compels, energizes, sustains and directs the individual’s activity towards a goal. Motivation is a psychological construct which explains purposive or goal-directed behaviour in human beings. Motivation explains, for example, why some students sweat to pass their examinations, and while some of them wait to cheat in the examinations. It also explains why an individual preserves and deprives himself of some pleasures in order to achieve a life goal. The impetus that drives human beings into setting and attaining significant goals in life is motivation. Motivation in the context of this study therefore, is concerned with how behaviour gets started, is energized, is sustained, is directed, is stopped, and what kind of subjective reaction is present in the organisms while all this is going on.
Achievement is important not only to students but to entire human race. Achievement is a stable, learned characteristic in which satisfaction is obtained by striving for excellence (Feldman, 2002). Achievement is used to assess the extent students have learnt the content in a particular course after receiving instruction in a course (Ifelunni, 1997). In this study therefore, achievement is a situation where learning outcome of students is appraised.
Academic achievement is a situation where learning outcome is appraised in terms of matching it with standardized testing and its successful completion (Feldman, 2002). It is all about what students can actually do when they have finished a course of study. Achievement is a stable, learned characteristic in which satisfaction is obtained by striving for excellence (Feldman, 2002). Academic achievement according to Sinclair (2003) is success which a student attends especially after a lot of effort. It is the fact of achieving in educational endeavour. In the context of this study therefore, academic achievement is success which a student attends after being appraised in terms of matching it with standardized testing and its successful completion. Academic achievement motivation is an internal state or mental and psychological state in an individual which compels, energizes, sustains and directs the individual’s activity towards a goal. In other words, it is the internal drive or urge that makes an individual to set up a difficult academic goal, fashion out strategies in achieving the goal and persist in tackling the task so as to achieve a standard of excellence. Academic achievement is pertinent to students because it determines goal attainment. Inability to achieve what a learner is supposed to achieve, is a function of so many factors. According to Momoh (2002) these factors can be classified into hereditary, personality, environmental, instructional, health and nutritional, reinforcement and school management. The author also said that there are similar ways of categorizing these factors. Momoh (2002:114):
The student factors such as attitudes, individual differences, physical health and readiness to learning. Teacher, instructional curriculum factors such as teacher attitude to students, types of classrooms control, curriculum contents, instructional contents, and preparation. Institutional factors such as the type of school, population control, discipline and personal interaction. However, some of these factors may not have long term effect on the academic achievement motivation of a student because they are vulnerable to changes and improvement when they become corrected.
Another factor that plays an important role in the academic achievement motivation of students is their gender. Gender highlights the fact of being male or female (Hansan, 2000). It represents the differences in sex, that is, either male or female, boy or girl, man or woman. Gender is determined by the conception of tasks, functions and roles attributed to women and men in society (Gawafer, 2011). Gender refers to socially constructed roles and socially learned behaviours and expectations associated with males and females (Okeke, 2000). Gender stereotyping is linked to all the domains of learning such that there are different expectations for male and female behaviour in all categories of learning (Damar, 2009).
Gender could influence academic achievement motivation. Lack of academic achievement motivation can be addressed through behaviour modification. Different kinds of behaviour modification techniques like proximity control, over correction, group counselling, individual counselling, aversive therapy, reinforcement among others have been used for intervention on addressing the problem of academic achievement motivation among secondary school students (Nickerson, 2009). Psychological principles and the experiences of counsellors and teachers support the following techniques for addressing lack of academic achievement motivation of students (Chidume, 2003). These techniques include, finding special skills, training in skills, (already acquired), discussion, group guidance among others. Yet decline of academic achievement motivation among secondary school students were on the increase. This lack of academic achievement motivation is evident in the poor academic performance released by the West African Examination on written and oral examinations taken by secondary school students (Adeglile, 2005). This was also supported by deviant examination behaviour exhibited by students at all levels of education. For example, most students who sat for May/June Senior School Certificate examination (2009) were reported by examination invigilators to have been found carrying books into the examination hall (Ike, 2009). The magnitude and dimensions which it has assumed had in the recent time, made the trend a public concern. The loopholes inherent in the control measures presently used, have agitated the mind of the researcher to seek behaviour modification techniques appropriate to the problem. On account of this, the researcher intends to apply educational counselling and live modelling techniques to see their effects on academic achievement motivation of Kogi State secondary school students.
Modelling is sometimes referred to as cognitive or observational learning. Human beings learn a great deal through observing others. Much social learning occurs through observation without any direct rewards or reinforcement administered to the learner (Okere, 2002). Human learning starting from table manners and inter-personal relations among others depends on observation of this kind. Children learn much of their social behavior through modeling, which basically involves observing and imitating the behavior of others. However, there are many kinds of modeling which include film modelling, live modelling among others. But the researcher is interested in live modelling. Live modeling according to Azrin (2009) is a form of learning in which an individual who needs behavior change is exposed to the sensory experience of another person.
Modeling can be used to modify various behaviours including poor academic achievement or lack of achievement motivation. Bandura and Watters as cited in Okeke (2003) note that modeling offers opportunity for the learning of a wide spectrum of behaviour and skills within a shorter period of time. Modelling technique includes role-play, modelling in consultation with teachers and the use of taped or film models. As noted by Ofordile (2002), modelling also called “imitative learning” and “social learning” refers to a change in behaviour as a result of the observation of another behaviour which is learning by vicarious experience of imitation. The author further attested that there are at least four interrelated processes involved in a modelling effect: attention, retention, meteoric reproduction and reinforcement. By means of attentional processes, the observer recognizes and differentiates the distinctive features of the model behaviour. A number of attention controlling variables many of which can be manipulated are involved including characteristics of the observer and incentive conditions. Live modelling in the context of this study therefore is vicarious form of learning in which an individual who needs behaviour change is exposed to the sensory experience of another person. The ideal is to place the observer in a situation which predisposes him to learn new ways of doing things. Most human beings model behaviour for others.
In the school setting, a behaviour modifier may use somebody who has a positive achievement motivation ability to help others with negative achievement motivation. Equally, film model of somebody who achieves can be presented to students that are finding it difficult to achieve. Such students through initiating the behavioural manifestation of the higher achiever may be motivated to equally achieve. Students not only emulate their teachers but also model influential figures in their community. Some teachers have put to great value to school learning the study of biographies of national figures and men that have made the history of the entire community of nations. Besides, star athletes, footballers, actors, business magnets, industrialists, scientists, statesmen, and even high achieving students of different cohorts in the school may be used as motivating devices to prompt students to developing the habit of striving for excellence. This instance explains why the researcher intends to use this technique to improve the level of academic achievement motivation among secondary school students in Kogi State.
Apart from motivating factors counselling is another technique to be considered in developing the habit of achieving excellence. Counselling is a human oriented service needed by all categories of individuals to understand themselves better and be able to resolve their conflicts. According to Okeke (2002), counselling is a helping relationship between a counsellor and a client in which the counsellor uses his professional knowledge and skill to assist the client achieve proper development and functional ability in order to solve or cope with life’s problems. Tambawual (2007), states that counselling is concerned with the feelings, attitudes and emotional dispositions of an individual about himself and the situation facing him. Counselling focuses on three distinct areas such as vocational, persona- social and educational.
Educational counselling is concerned with the overall education growth and development a student makes in his choice of subjects based on interest, mental ability, future educational plans and career goals (Chukwuma and Obiemezie, 2009). Educational counselling is aimed at assisting both youths and their parents to develop educational plans that will help them plan their school work (Ifelunni, 2003). The planning is such that they benefit from their school work and hence able to progress to the next level of schooling. A typical school counselling programme according to Ifelunni (2003) will include: study habit, examination techniques, how to choose subjects, knowing about the availability of other schools, teacher-student relationship, school curricular and academic counselling among others. In this present study therefore, educational counselling is the process of assisting students through counselling relationship to outline his own resources and his environmental opportunities in the process of self-understanding, planning, decision making and coping with problems relative to his developmental needs and educational activities. Educational counselling is an indispensable tool towards building high spirit of concentration among students.
Another factor that could be considered to influence academic achievement motivation of student is gender. Gender issues have been put under serious considerations in all development initiatives in Nigeria. Gender can be considered to be the society-constructed roles, responsibilities ascribed to male and female by different societies (Hornby, 2001). Obasi (2004) refers to gender as many social and cultural constructed characteristics, equalities, behaviour and roles which different societies ascribed to male and female. Gender is different from sex because sex describes the biological determined physical distinction between male and female which is universal (Ironkwe, 2008). Unamma (2003) however, described gender as sex role identity which include division of labour, power, inequalities and other cultural concept of masculine and feminine which most societies stimulate during the process of socialization. In this study therefore, gender is the sex role identity in academic achievement motivation of students.
Taking the poor performance of Kogi State secondary school students into consideration, it appears that some Kogi State secondary school teachers do not motivate their students. This is because according to Oyama (2001), Kogi State secondary school students are found roaming and parading the streets. Even in schools where guards are mounted, students are still found wandering aimlessly on the street. Many of them engage in gambling, playing snooker and all sort of indecent games when they are supposed to be in their respective classes. These according to Oyama (2001) are as a result of no motivation. This lack of motivation usually results in poor performance and mass failure of some Kogi State secondary school students.
It is against this background, that the present study sought to investigate the effect of educational counselling and modelling techniques on academic achievement motivation of secondary school students in Ajaokuta Education Authority in Kogi State.
Statement of the Problem
The recent decline of academic achievement motivation of secondary school students is a matter of concern to parents, teachers, administrators and school counsellors. This lack of academic achievement motivation is evident in the poor academic performance released by the West African Examinations Council on written and oral examinations taken by secondary school students. This was also supported by deviant examination behaviour exhibited by students. For instance, most students who sat for May/June examination were reported by examination invigilators to have been found carrying books into the examination hall. Lack of academic achievement motivation can be improved through behaviour modification. Different kinds of behaviour modification techniques like proximity control, group counselling, aversive therapy, reinforcement, individual counselling among others have been used for intervention on addressing the problem of academic achievement motivation among secondary school students yet lack of academic achievement motivation among secondary school students is on the increase.
There are reports of efficacies of proximity control, educational counselling, and live modelling in other maladaptive areas like stage fright, shyness, little or no information appears to be available in the area of academic achievement motivation of students. Using the efficacies of proximity control, educational counselling and live modelling in solving other maladaptive behaviours, would such counselling approaches be effective in motivating students to achieve academically? It is against this back drop that the study sought to investigate the effect of educational counselling and live modelling techniques on academic achievement motivation of secondary school students in Ajaokuta Education Authority in Kogi State.
Purpose of the Study
The major purpose of this study is to determine the effects of educational counselling and modelling technique on academic achievement motivation of secondary school students in Kogi state.
Specifically, the study sought to:
- Determine the effect of educational counselling on academic achievement motivation of students.
- Determine the effect of live modelling on academic achievement motivation of students
- Determine the influence of gender on the treatment outcomes of academic achievement motivation of students.
- Ascertain the interaction effect of treatment and gender on academic achievement motivation of students.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study have theoretical and practical significance. In terms of theory, the results of the study will extend the frontiers of knowledge in the areas of counselling theories especially the social learning theory. With the study, areas of achievement motivation theory that lend themselves to better counselling services are understood and explored while modifying the entire theory for easy use in academic achievement motivation.
Practically, the study also will provide information to teachers and educators, guidance counsellors, curriculum planners and students to explore the best methods to use in teaching-learning process.
The counsellor will benefit from the study because it will reveal the place of educational counselling and live modelling in enhancing performance. When this is revealed, the counselor will integrate them in modifying students’ behaviour towards near perfection. The findings of this study when published will be of much significance to guidance counsellors because they will be exposed through documented evidence to benefits inherent in live modelling and educational counselling of students to their academic achievement motivation. This thereby will add to their existing wealth of knowledge which they will integrate in counselling maladaptive students.
Curriculum planners will find the result of this study useful because it will help them see the need to modify or include in the curriculum for teacher educator the use of modelling in teaching and learning process. Equally, they will see the need for integrating educational counselling and live modelling in teaching and learning. This will enable them to adequately make use of models in teaching.
Students will benefit from the findings of this study in that when teachers start making use of modelling and counselling in propelling students to achieve, they will be better catered for. This may lead them to better achievement in their academic pursuit. Based on this, qualitative manpower will be produced for the country and society will equally benefit immensely.
Finally, the findings of this study when documented and published as it is expected will add to the stock of existing knowledge in the area of behaviour modification which will be disseminated through workshops, learned journals, conferences, and internet posting.
Scope of the Study
The study was limited to Ajaokuta Local Government Education Authority of Kogi State of Nigeria. The study utilized senior secondary 2 students. Specifically, the content scope of the study covered educational counselling, live modelling technique, academic achievement motivation and gender. It examined the effect of counselling and modelling on academic achievement motivation of the students as well as the influence of gender on treatment outcomes.
The following four research questions guided the study.
- What is the effect of educational counselling on academic achievement motivation of students?
- What is the effect of Live Modelling on academic achievement motivation of students?
- What is the influence of gender on the treatment outcome on academic achievement motivation of students?
- What is the interaction effect of treatment and gender on academic achievement motivation of students?
The following two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference between educational counselling and live modelling techniques on academic achievement motivation.
H02: There is no significant difference in the post tes