- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
As the world population continues to increase, the class sizes are also affected. Class size is often mentioned by experts in the educational literature as having effect on student‘s feelings and performance, quality of school budgets and on administration as well (Owoeye and Yara, 2011). It is considered as one of the important determinants of academic performance over which teachers in schools have little or no control. Class size may be defined as the number of students per teacher in a given class or the population of a class (Ajayi et al., 2017). Mokobia and Okoye (2011) explained that educators universally have identified class size as important and desirable attribute of effective educational system. Consequently, debate has continued in the educational literature stakeholders such as academics, policy makers and parents over the educational consequences of class size. Some researchers have maintained that class size is a tool which can be adopted in measuring performance of educational system (Kedney, 2013). According to Imoke (2006) optimum class size implies rational coordination of educational infrastructures, subject to available number of students in order to attain high level of productivity.
According to Doyle (2014), in modern day education, the focus is on the needs, interest and comfort of the students. Thus, managing class size allows students to learn effectively without disturbing one another (Garret, 2008). While a number of studies have found support for the importance of class size on student achievement, others strongly disprove this claim concluding that class size has little or no impact on objective student outcomes. Copious studies have investigated the influence of class size on student attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes. The devastating issue is that limited number of these studies has focused on elementary school effects of class size on student achievement (Altinok and Kingdon, 2012). The orthodox wisdom among parents, teachers, school administrators, and policy makers is that, smaller class size translates to improvements in student learning and outcomes. This orthodox wisdom, however, has not been universally supported by realistic evidence (Aturupane et al., 2013). It has been argued that increasing the intake of senior secondary school students in a large class has numerous benefits for the schools and the country as a whole. It helps to reduce the cost of building additional classrooms of which few schools as well as the country have the resources to fund additional classrooms and teachers. Also there is usually high energy, fun and excitement in large class size in public senior secondary schools. In addition, students learn to work well in groups since group work is a necessity in large class size (Azigwe et al., 2016; Owolabi et al., 2012).
Adeyemo, (2001) opined that the major goal of the school is to work towards attainment of academic excellence by students. According to him, the school may have other peripheral objectives; emphasis is always placed on the achievement of sound scholarship. Besides, virtually everybody concerned with education places premium on academic achievement, excellent academic achievement of children is often the expectation of parents. At the outset of an activity, students differ in learning as a function of their prior experiences, personal qualities and social supports. The latter includes the extent that parents and teachers encourage them to learn, facilitate their access to resources necessary for learning, and teach them strategies that enhance skill acquisition and refinement. Parent’s academic aspirations for their children influence their children’s academic achievements both directly and indirectly (Bandura and Pastorelli,2001).
In Nigeria however, the class size is becoming increasingly unmanageable, putting teachers in an impossible position of giving individual student required attention. In Nigeria public schools, the teachers' eye contact with the students in class has become so reduced that some of the poorly motivated students can form number of committees at the back of the class while teaching is going on to engage in non-school discussion. Regular assignments and home works are dreaded by teachers considering the staggering number of books to mark and to record. A research by Bosworth (2014) revealed that, the correlation between class size and student achievement is complex with many disagreeing results. The study concluded that class size has tiny impact on student achievement. The findings were inconsistent with the results of Rubin (2012) in that the later indicated that as the class size increases, student achievement declines. Contributing to exiting studies, conclusion from a study by Allen et al. (2013) was that 62 students per teacher was a threshold number and once class size went beyond 62, learning effectively stopped. Thus, as the number of students in a class was more than 62, teachers find it difficult to teach effectively and efficiently leading to students not being able to also learn effectively since low participation of class activities were possible. Despite this finding, Allen et al. (2013) indicated that large class sizes do have moderate adverse effect on teaching and learning. The finding however contradicts the earlier studies and conclusions by Bosworth (2014).
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Inflated class size is very critical to teaching and learning process as teachers sometimes have real difficulty in dealing with students on individual bases. We find a scenario in our schools where a teacher stands right in front of the classroom throughout the lesson period without moving around from time to time to supervise what the students are doing because there is hardly a space between one row of lockers and another. Class size refers to an educational tool that can be used to describe the average number of student per class in a school (Adeyemi, 2008). As school population increases the performances of students become an issue. Adeyemi, (2008) reported that average class size influences the cost of education while capital cost could be reduced by increasing the average class size in Nigeria schools.
Nwadiani, (2000) argued that the higher the class size, the lower the cost of education. He contend however, that most classrooms are overcrowded spreading resources thinly and thereby affecting the quality of education. Ajayi, (2010) supported the view points and argued that in order to control rising capital cost of education, the average class size could be increased. Class size refers to educational tools that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school. In emphasizing the importance of class-size to the learning teaching process, ALL Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) recommended a maximum of forty students per class for efficient and effective teaching. Adeyela, (2000) found in her study that large class size is not conducive for serious academic work. Similarly, Egede, (2005) pointed out that an alarming class- size of 100 or more students in the secondary schools leave the teacher overworked and therefore unable to exercise patience and positive attitude.
In the light of the above, the study will try to investigate the influence relationship between class size and teaching-learning of biology. It will look at the effects of negative effects of class size on biology teaching and learning. It will ascertain the causes of populated class size on teaching and learning of biology. It will also examine the quality class size helps in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching and learning of Biology in schools and the wayforward.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to investigate the influence relationship between class size and teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools.
The specific objectives will be:
- To examine the negative effects of class size on teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools
- To ascertain the cause of populated class size on teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools
- To ascertain the how quality class size helps in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools
- To recommend ways of solving class size problem in Schools
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the negative effects of class size on teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools?
- What are the causes of populated class size on teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools?
- How can quality class size helps in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching-learning of biology in Monef Schools?
- What ways solve class size problem in Schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0 there is no significant influence between class size and teaching-learning of biology in Schools.
H1 there is significant influence between class size and teaching-learning of biology in Schools.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is very crucial as it come at a time where Nigerian education has become progressively populated and overcrowded thereby posing a threat to decline in teaching and learning of biology. The study will reveal some of the causes and also provide ways of remedying such problem.
Ultimately, the study will enable parents on birth control; the teachers will know how to come out with measure in tackling populated class size and will draw the attention of the government in mapping out measures and policies in solving the problem.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to the investigation influence of class size on teaching and learning biology schools. It will concentrate on the effects and causes of populated class size on teaching and learning of biology. The study will look at how quality class size helps in teaching and learning of biology and the way forward.
- LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
TIME CONSTRAINTS: One the challenges experienced by the researcher is the issue of time; the research will simultaneously engage in departmental activities like seminars and attendance to lectures. But the researcher was able to meet up with the deadline for the submission of the project.
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS: Every research work needs funding; however lack of adequate funds might affect the speed of the researcher in getting materials for completion of the project.
- DEFINITION OF TERMS
Class size is typically defined as the number of students for whom a teacher is primarily responsible during a school year. The teacher may teach in a self-contained classroom or provide instruction in one subject. Achilles, (2003) gives the following example of class size: “Average class-size is the sum of all students regularly in each teacher’s class divided by the actual number of regular teachers in those specific classes.
The act or profession who teaches, something that is taught. Teaching includes all the activities of providing education to other; it is also a form of inter-personal influence on students.
Is the process of acquiring new understanding, knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, attitudes, and preferences.... The nature and processes involved in learning are studied in many fields, including educational psychology, neuropsychology, experimental psychology, and pedagogy.
Class size reduction
Class size reduction is the processes to achieve class sizes smaller than the ones currently in place (Achilles, 2003).
Amedahe, F. K. (2016). Large classes in Ghanaian universities:
Challenges and innovations. Paper presented at the First International Symposium on Strategies for Effective Teaching in Tertiary Education, Cape Coast, Ghana.
Bosworth, R. (2014). Class size, class composition, and the
distribution of student achievement. Education Economics.
Garret, D. J. (2008). Classroom management Essentials.
London: Cambride University Press.
Hattie, J. A. C. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800
meta-analyses relating to achievement. London, UK: Routledge.
Imoke, F. (2006). Class size and academic success among
adolescent Nigerians. Ile-Ife: Obafemi Awolowo University Press Ltd.