Assessment of Learning Styles and Academic Performance of Primary Schools
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to discover the Assessment of learning styles and academic performance of primary schools. The specified objectives that will guide the research are:
- To identify the learning style preferences among the pupils
- To determine the academic performance levels of pupils
- To discover the relationship between learning style and academic performance of the study.
- To find out what measure can be taken to help the pupils with low academic performance.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literatures that would assist in explaining the research problem and furthermore recognize the efforts of scholars who had previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.
Precisely, the chapter will be considered in three sub-headings:
- Conceptual Framework
- Theoretical Framework and
- Empirical Review
Concept of Learning:
According to Mangal,(2007), learning occupies a very important place in our lives. Most of what we do or do not do is influenced by what we learn or how we learn it. He opined that learning provides a key to the structure of our personality and behavior. However, this term has not been always interpreted in the same way by numerous thinkers and psychologists. Smith, in Mangal,(2007) defined learning as the acquisition of new behavior or the strengthening or weakening of old behavior as a result of experience. Crow and Crow in Mangal,(2007) also defined learning as the acquisition of habits, knowledge and attitudes. It involves new ways of doing things and it operates in an individual’s attempt to overcome obstacles or to adjust to new situations.
Basavanthapa,(2006) defined learning as the mental activity by which knowledge, skills, attitudes, appreciations and ideas are acquired resulting in the modifications of behavior which comes through knowledge and experience. Kolb sees learning as a core process of human development and makes a distinction between development and simple readjustment to change (Quinn,2004). Development results from learning that is gained through experience. As stated by Basavanthapa,(2006), learning involves a series of operations by the learner at a given time which includes observation, description, analysis, validation and evaluation. She opined that an effective learning is not a mere accumulation of facts but a discovery of a relationship between parts on the whole, between facts and principles and between principles and actions.
Mangal,(2007) stated that learning which is a process of bringing out relatively permanent changes in the behavior of an organism may be classified into a number of categories depending upon the domain or specific area of the behavior in which changes are introduced or the methods that are employed for the introduction of behavioural changes. She stated that if we follow the former criterion, learning can be classified as verbal learning, learning of motor skills ( such as walking, dancing, swimming), affective learning (such as learning of habits, interests, attitudes, appreciation) and cognitive learning( learning of concepts, principles, problem solving). She further stated that in terms of the later criterion, learning may be categorized as trial and error learning, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, chain learning, shaping, learning through generalization, learning through discrimination, serial learning, associative learning and insightful learning. In addition, Mangal (2007) stated that learning as a useful process may result in outcomes such as bringing desirable changes in behavior, attaining of proper growth and development, attaining balanced development of personality, and realizing of the goals of life. These outcomes can contribute significantly in the overall improvement and progress of the learner for helping him to lead an adjusted and satisfying life.
Factors affecting Learning
According to Mangal,(2007), the success or failure in the task of learning in terms of introducing desired modification in the behavior of a learner will automatically depend upon the quality as well as control and management of some factors which include the following: Mangal,(2007) stated that learning is greatly affected by the learner’s physical and mental health maintained by him particularly at the time of learning. She opined that a child that does not maintain satisfactory physical health have to suffer adversely in terms of gains in learning. He further stated that the mental state and health of a learner at the time of learning become potent factors in deciding the outcomes of learning. The results achieved by the learner through the process of learning depend heavily upon potentials which include learner’s innate abilities and capabilities, learner’s basic potential in terms of general intelligence, specific knowledge and learner’s basic interests, aptitude and attitudes related to learning. Basavanthapa,(2006) stated that mental processes vary from individual to individual. Individual differences such as educational background, experiences in the home, church, or business influence these responses. In addition, she opined that the same person may not respond the same way at all times because he may not always interrelate facts, emotions and opinions the same way.
According to Basavanthapa,(2006), most single learning experiences contribute to the attainment of more than one objective. She stated that the learner must perceive the learning experience as relevant as the objective. Mangal,(2007) stated that learning is greatly influenced by the level of aspiration and nature of achievement motivation possessed by a learner. She opined that too much aspiration makes it impossible for the learner to achieve gains in learning. She therefore stated that a learner has to maintain the level of his aspiration at a reasonable level. This means that his aspirations should neither be too high which will result in non achievement of any of his goals nor too low as not to try to achieve goals which is quite capable. Basavanthapa,(2006) stated that the teaching learning environment should be structured to provide opportunities to cope with the pupils’ individual differences. She opined that teachers should establish an environment in which learning will most likely take place. Berman, Synder, Kozier & Erb,(2008) stated that an optimal learning environment facilitates learning by reducing distraction and providing physical and psychological comfort. They stated that a learning environment should have adequate lighting free from glare, a comfortable room temperature and good ventilation. Noise can also distract the pupils and interfere with listening and thinking. According to Berman, Synder, Kozier & Erb,(2008), motivation to learn is the desire to learn which greatly influences how quickly and how much a person learns. Motivation is generally greatest when a person recognizes a need and believes the need will be met through learning. Readiness to learn is the demonstration of behaviours or cues that reflect the learner’s motivation to learn at a specific time. Readiness reflects not only the desire or willingness to learn but also the ability to learn at a specific time (Berman et al, 2008).
Berman, et al (2008) stated that when a learner is actively involved in the process of learning, learning becomes more meaningful. If the learner actively participates in planning and discussion, learning is faster and retention is better. They stated that active learning promotes critical thinking, enabling learners to problem solve more effectively.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried out to critically analyse the Assessment of learning styles and academic performance of primary schools.. The entire primary school pupils of Uyo local government area form the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of two hundred and sixty-six (266) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only two hundred and fifty-nine (259) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 259 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
In this study, our focus was to critically analyse the Assessment of learning styles and academic performance of primary schools., using the entire primary school pupils of Uyo local government area, as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at identifying the learning style preferences among the pupils, determine the academic performance levels of pupils, discover the relationship between learning style and academic performance of the pupils, and find out what measure can be taken to help the pupils with low academic performance. This study was anchored on the Path-Goal Theory of Leadership and Trait theory.
The study adopted the survey research design and conveniently enrolled participants in the study. A total of 259 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from the entire primary school pupils of Uyo local government area .
Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:
- The different learning styles used in teaching of pupils include: visual learning style, auditory learning style, kinesthetic learning style and reading and writing learning style. While some other learning styles include: the social, solitary, verbal and logical learning style.
- During the course of the research, it was discovered that there was a relationship between learning styles and pupils academic performance. pupils academic performance greatly improved when the learning styles that suited the pupils were used.
- For pupils with low academic performance, the following measures can be used to improve their academic performance.
- Encouraging them,
- Helping them set attainable goals,
- Offering extra lessons to them,
- Lightening their work loads where possible,
- Helping them draw a time table and
- Setting practice exams for them.
In the light of this findings, the following recommendations were made;
- That teachers should be trained on the different learning styles that exist
- Educators and teachers should know the learning styles that is most effective for their pupils
- pupils should be encouraged to find out which learning style fits them more and improves their academic performance.
Other recommendations include;
pupils with low academic performance need encouragement. They should be encouraged and rewards should be handed out when necessary. This goes a long way in boosting their ego and increasing positivism.
They should also be encouraged to set attainable goals which aid them in creating and maintaining their reading culture and without fail, practice exams should be given to check their academic progress and get them acclimatized with examination culture.
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