Background of the Study
For many years, educators, politicians and people in general have debated on the number of students a teacher can work effectively to ensure students adequate learning. Although most people would agree that having a few students to teacher ratio would benefit the student academically, many will also argue that it does not guarantee success and would cost school a great deal or more money. Prior to reviewing the research, a clarification of terms associated with the research context is necessary. There is still little consensus on whether and how teaching is affected by small and large classes, especially in the case of students in the later primary years. Individual attention in smaller classes, were a more active role for students, and beneficial effects on the quality of teaching. It is suggested that teachers in both large and small classes need to develop strategies for more individual attention but also recognize the benefits of other forms of learning, for example, the group work (Harris & Plank, 2000).
The Role of the teacher in imparting knowledge to learners in any educational system cannot be overemphasized. Rohwer (2001) have stated that meaning is given to any curriculum of instructional at the execution stage. This is when the teacher puts the concepts as stated theoretically on paper into practice. For the curriculum to be implemented as properly as was intended and for the curriculum goals and objectives to be achieved, the teachers have to be effective. Teacher’s effectiveness according to Rohwer (2001) is the extent to which the teacher analysis the task at hand, assess the learners, plans his lessons, instructs the learners and evaluate the extent of success of his lessons. The proper co-ordination of all activities determines therefore the level of effectiveness of the teacher in discharging his duties as well as student’s achievement. The extent to which a teacher discharges his duties well is affected by so many a factor among which is the number of students or class size per teacher. In a school system, this is usually written as a ratio, which is known as the teacher-student ratio. In Nigeria situation, the national policy on Education (2004) stipulates that the teacher student ratio should be 1:40 for primary and secondary schools respectively. This recommendation is based on the realization of the fact that a teacher can only do well with a certain number of students in the class. Beyond that optimum number, the classroom becomes a crowd. Under such conditions, effective control of students becomes difficult and as such will affect student’s performance negatively. While analyzing the factors responsible for students under performance and achievement, Esezebor (2006) wrote that the Universal Primary Education Scheme and high rate of increase of the Nigerian Population has led to a situation where as many students as possible are admitted into the Nigerian school system. According to him, there are situation where the teacher-students ratio is as high as 1:45. Such situation particularly in public schools does not make for close attention to individual students by the teachers. The author further states that high population of some secondary school classrooms results in situation where students have to write on their laps and sit on window sills. Any learning in such classes cannot be meaningful and the teacher cannot be effective. As such academic performance of the students will be poor.
The relevance of class size in education system form the fact that each individual child (student) develops at his own different ratio since the secondary level of education is very critical as it marks the preparatory ground for higher education. It is important that each child (student) should be given a chance to develop at his own rate. Gagne (1990) as cited in Micheal (2016) state that the factors that make children readily for school operates within widespread individual difference they must have a clear picture of their nature and extent Blair (2005) opined that so long as a teacher consider his job to be teaching individual pupil (students), it is necessary to know the level at which each individual operates and set up school tasks to commensurate with each level. In contrary to that, Eliogue (2010) pointed out that unfortunately, whether they like it or not, a large part of their work as teacher involves working with group and not with individual learners. Thus, the problem of dealing with differences among students is complicated by the size and heterogeneity of the groups that constitute school class levels. Under condition of 1:50 providing for differences in the readiness for learning becomes a major problem.
In stressing the importance in students learning, Lindgren (2013) writes that for the level of performance of students to be known and for enough motivation to be given to them to learn, teachers should give exercise regularly to students. These exercises when written should be marked and returned to the owners regularly. In a situation where the class is very large, a teacher may find it difficult to mark student’s book and return such books to the owners. This fact is complicated by the fact that in some secondary schools most teachers teach more than one subject. Thus, if a teacher has just completed a lesson in mathematics and had given assignment, he may find it not very inviting to give another assignment in another subject to the students for the mere fact that the number of exercise books waiting to be marked could be frightening. If the teacher’s entitlement had not yet been paid, the problem assumes colossal proportions.
Hunt and Hilton (2005) have also stated that a large class does not allow for enough attention to be paid to individual students by the teacher. According to them, it reduces the level of teacher-student relationship and as a result does not allow student to know the teacher well enough, establish rapport with him and gain his confidence so as to ask questions about the questions and get the teacher’s guidance. Assignments are not given and if at all are given, it is not standard and academic performance suffers.
Therefore, this study examined the relationship between class size and teacher effectiveness of business studies in junior secondary school in Ilorin west local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
Class size, which is on the increase in the country’s tertiary institutions due to over emphasis on educational qualification attainment gives cause for students poor mental development these days which in turn have other great and grave consequences on academic performance. A society may rise or fall depending on the quality of the products of its tertiary institutions. Unfortunately, the quality of education acquired in our various institutions gets so low each day as a result of the effect among others, class size which remains on the increase. The problem of students not performing well in their academics when actually viewed critically is not wholly the fault of teachers. The teachers have no choice than to lecture a class with a number of students above one hundred and fifty in a classroom that is built to accommodate fifty (50) students.
The class becomes so overcrowded that most times students are seen standing inside and outside the classroom and also sitting on half built walls around the class receiving lectures with teachers who are constrained to shout and strain their voices in order to be heard delivering lectures/teaching lessons to students. In view of the points above, the study focused on classroom size as it correlates with teacher effectiveness of business study of public junior secondary school in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State, Nigeria.
Purpose of the Study
The study examined the relationship between class size and teacher effectiveness of business studies in junior secondary school in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria. Other specific purposes of this study are to:
- Investigate the effect of students’ population on the teacher effectiveness of business study in public junior secondary schools in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria.
- Investigate the relationship between class environment and teacher effectiveness of business study in public junior secondary school in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria.
- Examine the relationship between class facilities and teacher effectiveness of business studies in public junior secondary school in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria.
The following research questions were used to guide the study:
- What is the students-teacher ratio of business study classes in public junior secondary schools in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria?
- Do classes in public junior secondary schools in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, sited in good environment?
- Is there adequate teaching and learning facilities for the business study classes in public junior secondary schools in Ilorin West local government area of Kwara State, Nigeria?