Learning Styles and Students’ Academic Achievement in Government in Secondary Schools

Learning Styles and Students’ Academic Achievement in Government in Secondary Schools
Learning Styles and Students’ Academic Achievement in Government in Secondary Schools

Learning Styles and Students’ Academic Achievement in Government in Secondary Schools

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background to the Study

The concept “learning style” has been defined by various scholars mostly as a signal for individual differences. These differences may manifest itself in life styles and even in personality types. However, Students learn in diverse ways, each of them has their own different styles or preferences students have is of prevailing significant in the teaching-learning progressing.  The manner by which each student learns will create a landscape by which the students will either maintain or restrain their intentional cognition. Therefore, the educators’ knowledge about the students learning style is beyond doubt.

Alfonseca (2015) stress that to be conscious of the students’ learning styles will facilitate the adaption of suitable techniques and methods to match with the students’ inclination. Recognizing the students’ learning style may very well aid the teachers in becoming more sensitive to students’ differences in the classroom, thus promoting enhancement to teaching practices that best suit the students learning styles.

According to Cuthbert (2016), awareness of the learning styles is vital for allowing adjustment in the educators’ pedagogic approaches. Every individual has its own natural or habitual pattern of acquiring and processing information in learning situations. The common ways or patterns by which people learn are known as their learning styles. Learning styles are set of cognitive, emotional and psychological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with and responds to the learning environment. Everyone has a combination of various learning styles. Some people may find that they have a dominant style of learning, with far less use of the other styles while others find that they use different styles in different circumstances. A core concept is that individuals differ in the ways they learn.

Moreover, learning style has been defined by various scholars mostly as a signal for individual differences. These differences may manifest itself in ‘life styles’ and even in personality types. Honey (2014) describe learning style as an individual preferred or habitual ways of processing and transforming knowledge. It is the psychological attributes, resulted from individual differences which is determine particular strategies a student chooses while learning.

According to Felder (2015), learning styles were found to affect learners’ learning behaviours. Learners having different learning style would behave differently in the way they perceive, interact, and respond to the learning environment. Since learners differ in their preferences to certain learning styles, it will be important for teachers to examine the variations in their students on the features of their learning styles, because the information about learner’s preference can help teachers become more sensitive to the differences students bring to the classroom. Adjustments can then be made to accommodate the students’ varied needs. This study, therefore, aims at examining the relationship between learning styles and students academic performance in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

There has been a public concern on the declining state of students’ academic performance in Government in both internal and external examination over the years. Most especially at the secondary school level. Accordingly, several research reports has indicated that students performed poorly in secondary school social science subjects especially in Government.

Many studies have been carried out on the various cause of these learning failure among whom are teaching methods, class size, school environment, school location and classroom variable etc. (Nwafa, 2015). Despite the effort exerted by concern citizen of this nation and other agencies to put a stop to this problem, but all their effort seems to be abortive. As a result of this, parents have pointed accusing fingers on teachers in respect to their teaching effectiveness while teachers in turn put the blame on government on the inability to provide basic education materials to schools.

Moreso, no study has been carried out on the relationship or influence of learning styles and academic achievement of Students in Government in Oron Local Government Area. This has been a subject of concern to the researcher which necessitate the study on learning styles and students’ academic achievement in Government in secondary school in Oron Local Government Area.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to examine learning styles and students’ academic Achievement in Government in Secondary Schools in Oron Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to;

(i)     Examine the relationship between visual learning style and student’s academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

(ii)    Assess the relationship between auditory learning style and student’s academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

(iii)    Determine the relationship between kinesthetic learning style and student’s academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

1.4   Significance of the Study

It is expected that the research of this nature will be of immense significance to teachers, students researchers, educational planners and policy makers as well as other stakeholders in education system.

  1. To students, the study will be of help to the student to adhere to the preferred and favorable learning styles.
  2. To teacher, the study will help them to acknowledge the difference that exist among students in terms of their individual learning styles.
  3. This study hoped to be of help to education planners such that while educational curriculum will be planned it should be structure with consideration to individual different in students learning styles.
  4. Also, students will be able to identify the best learning styles in learning Government in senior secondary schools.
  5. It will enable the teachers to choose which learning style can improve the teaching of Government.
  6. This study will also serve as a reference material to other researchers who carryout research on this topic or similar topic.

1.5   Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:

(i) How does visual learning style relates to students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area?

(ii) To what extent does auditory learning style relates to students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area?

(iii) Does kinesthetic learning style relates to students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area?

1.6   Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated in line with specific objective of the study:

(i) There is no significant relationship between visual learning style and students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

(ii) There is no significant relationship between auditory learning style and students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

(iii) There is no significant relationship between kinesthetic learning style and students academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

The researcher encountered some challenges in the process of conducting this research work. Factors that would have confounded this study include:

(i) Financial constraint: This has been one of the major limitation faced by the researcher due to inadequate funds from the parent that would have faster the availability of empirical data for the study.

(ii) Time Frame: The time allocated for the research was short for the researcher to complete the project of this kind due to other academic activities in the school.

1.8   Delimitation of the Study

This research work is delimited to learning styles and students’ academic achievement in Government in secondary schools in Oron Local Government Area. Furthermore, focus was on visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles. Specifically in senior secondary two (SSII) students.

1.9   Definition of terms

The following terms used in the study were conceptually evaluated by the researcher based on its usage in this context.

(i)    Learning: This refers to the process by which students acquire knowledge either through reading, teaching by the teachers, personal experience etc.

(ii)   Learning styles: This is the techniques adopted by the students in order to facilitate learning and obtain knowledge.

 (iii) Academic Achievement: Academic achievement is the learning outcome of a student or learner in a group task in school as examined through administration of test and examination in a particular area of study or subject.

(iv)  Visual learning style: This is the learning style in which students can memorize what they see and understand better from picture, diagram, and chart.

(v)   Auditory learning style: It refers to the learning style in which a person learns through listening and speaking.

(vi)  Kinesthetic Learning style: This is a learning style in which learning takes place by the students carrying out physical activities, rather than listening to a lecture or watching demonstrations.

(vii) Government: This is the social science subject in which the researcher carrying out his research work to test the students academic achievement.

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