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INFLUENCE OF ACADEMIC SELF-CONCEPT, ATTITUDES AND COMPLIANCE ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN GOMBE STATE

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ABSTRACT

This study focused on students‟ academic self-concept, attitudes and compliance on academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe state. The objectives of this study is to determine the relationship between academic self-concept and academic performance of the students, to determine the relationship between attitudes towards academic activities and academic performance of the students and to also determine the relationship between compliance to school rules and academic performance of the senior secondary school students. Six hypotheses were formulated. Relevant literature is viewed regarding the concepts and components. The study is a survey research which is carried out inform of correlational design, the instruments used consist of both survey and test performance which were constructed by the researcher and are tested using test retest method, a reliability coefficient of alpha level of 0.703, 0.794 and 0.699 was found for academic self-concept, attitudes towards academic activities and compliance to school rules respectively. The study used 430 samples of students. The data was analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation statistics (r) and t test in finding the difference between male and female students. The result shows that, significant relationship exist in students‟ academic self-concept and their academic performance with a correlation index of 0.583 and p-value of 0.000, their attitudes towards academic activities and their performance at

0.507 and p=0.027, while relationship exist between compliance to school rules and academic performance at the value of 0.621 and p=0.000. The study established that significant difference does not exist between male and female students academic self-concept and their attitudes towards academic activities, while significant difference exist in their compliance to school rules, with t 7.056 and p=0.000. Some recommendations by the researcher include: Teachers should be committed to their work, establish good relationship with their students, they should be role models and demonstrate positive compliance; Parents should motivate their children to maintain positive academic self-concept, encourage their positive attitudes towards academic activities and compliance by paying attention to all their welfare issues such as school fees, books, feeding and being involved in their after school activities; Students should maintain their academic self-concept and improve their academic performance by striving to have good grades in their exams.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

Self-concept has had a long history within Psychology and Education because it provides a gauge to determine the effects, academic and social functioning on the emotional wellbeing of the individual (Kevin 2008). Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were the first to establish the notion of self concept. According to Rogers in Burns (1978), every one strives to reach an “Ideal self”. He also suggested that psychologically, healthy people actively move away from roles created by the expectations and interest of others and look within themselves for validation.

Researchers such as Alfred Mead saw no other birth place for “self” other than the society. The self of any individual develops as a result of his relationship to the processes of social activities, experience and to other individuals within those processes. The self-concept as an object arises in social interactions as an outgrowth of the individuals concern. It also deal with how others react to the individual and is generally viewed as a valued educational outcome. (Aronson,.Wilson, and Akert, 2010).

Academic Self concept also had a long history within Psychology and Education. Students‟ self-concept about their capabilities in school determine how well they perform in school. The perception of their self, plays a vital role in their performance. Balarabe and Bakari (2013), explained that self-concept is multi-faceted, hierarchical, organized and structured, descriptive and evaluative, stable, and yet increasingly situation specific. This explanation is consistent with the multidimensional and hierarchical models of self-concept by Shavelson, Hubner, and Stanton. Again in Balarabe and Bakari (2013), this model proposed that Academic

self concept is one of several different facets of the self that contribute to the individuals‟ general self-concepts.

Students in senior classes are mostly adolescents and tend to grow by being promoted from one class of the next, and so their self-concept increases. They begin to rediscover themselves more and more. Knowing the self-concept gives an opportunity for one to view himself in a unique way which probably differs from how others may perceive him. Knowing the self also helps us to build our image, ability and uniqueness. (Mcleod, 2013). The school may also develop students‟ self-concept which could influence their behaviuor and academic performance.

Attitude generally has roles in molding the behavior of each individual student, because its mental or neutral state of readiness is organized through experience. It exerts a directive and dynamic influence upon the individuals response to all objects or situations with which it is related. Mukherjee (2002) indicated that from experience, individuals acquire cognition and feelings or attraction about things or situations of their environment and the readiness implies that it is a kind of pre dispositions to respond, and therefore it gets operational components as well. (Mukherjee, 2002).

Attitudes are formed through conditioning. In a classical conditioning, when a new stimulus (the conditioning stimulus) is paired with a stimulus that already causes a certain reaction (the un conditioning stimulus) the new stimulus begins to cause a reaction similar to the one caused by the original stimulus. In another context, Operant conditioning is determined when we are praised, given approval or acceptance for expressing certain attitude, or are punished for expressing bad behavior, it then has a role to play in the behavior and performance of the student at school. (Kendra, 2013).

Students may form or change their attitude through the process of identification, that is, seeing himself similar to another person or group and accepting the attitude of the person or group of persons. The academic attitude of a child is often a satisfactorily predictive of his performance in school. (Mukherjee 2002).

Compliance to school rules and regulations is another factor that affect the students life in school. It involves altering the students‟ behaviour in order to comply to the behavioural guidelines established by the school. Thus, compliance to school rules help to adjust their behaviuor or thinking to bring it in line with some group standards, (Solomon in David, 2001). There are so many reasons why people comply to rules which may include the desire and need, to fit in, or to be accepted by others thereby maintaining order in one‟s life (David, 2001).

Generally, School rules are established to maintain good morals and social order and to prevent bad peer group influence within the students. Students in the Secondary Schools are mostly adolescents, and their peers greatly influence their reasoning during this period. Reflecting the importance of social acceptance to young stars of this age, much have been written about how peer conformity can create problems for early adolescents and about how good children are often corrupted by the negative influence of peers. The view that peer groups are mostly a bad influence during this period is overly accepted. Pressures from peers to comply with misconduct increases in senior secondary schools. Therefore, school rules must be maintained to shape students behaviour within the school premises and the society as a whole. (Vaster, Haith, and Miller 1995).

Accordingly, Academic self-concept, Attitudes towards academic activities and Compliance to school rules are part and parcel of both the male and female students lives in senior secondary schools. This study found out the possible relationship between these variables

(Academic Self-Concept, Attitudes and compliance to school rules) and academic performance of students in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

Parents, teachers, administrators and the society in general have expressed concern over adolescents‟ self-concept, attitudes and compliance. Most of these adolescents are found in our senior secondary schools. Students at this level increasingly develop their self-concept by seeing themselves in a very specific and a unique way probably not the way others perceived them, some of them commonly give themselves nicknames and have an exaggerated feeling of wellbeing. The students also have different attitudes towards their believes and emotions which trigger them to respond to other people, objects or events at home or at school in a certain way. Despite their feelings of the self and their different types of attitudes towards things and situations, they also found themselves in a school setting where they must comply to school rules and behavioural guidelines as established by the school and breaking these rules may lead to severe punishment. The researcher observed these factors and became interested in finding the influence of Academic self-concept, Attitudes towards academic activities and compliance to school rules on Academic performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Gombe State.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

This research is carried out to find out the following objectives

1.      To determine the relationship between academic self-concept and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

2.      To determine the relationship between attitudes towards academic activities and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

3.      To determine the relationship between compliance to school rules and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

4.      To determine the difference between male and females students academic self-concept in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

5.      To determine the difference between male and females students attitudes towards academic activities in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

6.      To determined the difference between male and female students compliance to school rules in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

1.4            Research Questions

For the purpose of this research, the following questions were raised:

1.       What is the relationship between academic self-concept and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State?

2.       What is the relationship between attitudes towards academic activities and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State?

3.       What is the relationship between compliance to school rules and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State?

4.       What is the difference between male and female academic self-concept of students in senior secondary schools in Gombe state?

5.       What is the difference between male and female students attitudes towards academic activities in senior secondary schools in Gombe State?

6.       What is the difference between male and female students compliance to school rules in senior secondary schools in Gombe State?

1.5            Research Hypotheses

For the purpose of this research, the following hypotheses were tested:

1.       There is no significant relationship between academic self-concept and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State

2.       There is no significant relationship between attitudes towards academic activities and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

3.       There is no significant relationship between compliance to school rules and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

4.       There is no significant difference between male and female students academic self-concept in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

5.       There is no significant difference between male and female students attitudes towards academic activities in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

6.       There is no significant difference between male and female students compliance to school rules in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

1.6            Basic Assumptions

This study is based on the following assumptions:

1.       It is assumed that there is significant relationship between academic self-concept and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

2.       It is assumed that there is significant relationship between attitudes towards academic activities and academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

3.       It is assumed that there is significant relationship between compliance to school rules and

academic performance of senior secondary school students in Gombe State.

4.       It is also assumed that there is significant difference between male and female students academic self-concept in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

5.       It is assumed that there is significant difference between male and female students attitudes towards academic activities in senior secondary schools in Gombe State.

6.       It is also assumed that there is significant difference between male and female students compliance to school rules in senior secondary schools in Gombe state.

1.7      Significance of the Study

This study acquaints the researcher with the influence of academic self-concept, attitudes and compliance to school rules on academic performance of students in senior secondary schools in Gombe state. It also enhances and improves quality education. In addition, the study is of great significance to school psychologist and counselors, government and policy makers, school administrators, teachers, parents, students and all stake holders in education as they strive to provide qualitative education to raise a better educational standard.

School psychologist and counselors will find this work very significant because it will acquaint them with how these social psychological variables (Academic self-concept, attitudes and compliance) relates to the students‟ academic performance in schools. This will enable them to draw a cause of action and counseling.

The study will be significant to Government in policy making. It will help the policy makers to make decisions that can be appropriate to Teaching/learning processes. The study will also help Government in making appropriate educational decisions that will ensure quality education at all levels and particularly the senior secondary schools.

School administrators will find this study of great importance in planning school activities, implementing curriculum contents, monitoring and assisting general academic performance of students in senior secondary schools.

This study will acquaints teachers with how these variables (Academic self-concept, attitudes and compliance to school rules) influenced students‟ performance and it will also help teachers to pay special attention to learners particularly on these social psychological variables and their relationship to students‟ learning.

Parents will also benefit from the study by understanding their children more and to understand how they cope with these social psychological variables and their relationship to students learning in schools. It will also help them to provide necessary assistance for their children.

For the students, the study will help them to understand how the variables (Academic self-concept, attitudes and compliance to school rules) influence their learning and it will help them to adjust their social behavior in the school. The study will also help students in the tertiary institutions to look at the gap this research might have leaving which will create a room for further studies.

1.8         Scope and Delimitations of the Study

This study covers the variables such as academic self-concept, attitudes towards academic activities and compliance to school rules and regulations, and to also see how these variables relate with the students‟ academic performance in senior secondary schools. The study used Government senior secondary school students including both male and females, taking its sample from senior secondary two students (ss 2). The location of the study includes all the

Eleven local government areas of Gombe state, which are divided into five educational zones in the state. The study is therefore limited all the private schools and government junior secondary school students in the state.

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