Social Studies Education Project Topics

Effect of Class Size on Students’ Academic Performance in Social Studies

Effect of Class Size on Students’ Academic Performance in Social Studies

Effect of Class Size on Students’ Academic Performance in Social Studies



The purpose of this research work is to determine the effect of class-size on the academic achievement of Junior Secondary School Students in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa-Ibom State.




This chapter gives an insight into various studies conducted by outstanding researchers, as well as explained terminologies with regards to the influence of classroom size on academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria. The chapter also gives a resume of the history and present status of the problem delineated by a concise review of previous studies into closely related problems.


The existentialist philosophies of both Glasser and  Kohn are the cornerstone of my belief system which states that we are the center of our experience the one who perceives, acts in and reflects on the world and who are internally motivated by everything we do.  Teaching the tenets of this philosophy (Choice Theory) to my students would be one of the first pieces of instructions I would give them, bringing them to an awareness of their responsibility to make their own decisions about their learning and behavior in the classroom.  My philosophy is based on Glasser’s “Choice Theory” which posits that students must have a choice, and that if they help choose their curriculum and decide on the rules in the classroom, they will then have ownership of their learning, have pride in their participation, will have higher self-esteem and will exhibit greater levels of self confidence and higher levels of cognition.  This approach to classroom management creates a safe space to learn, as mainly it is their space–their classroom, they own it, they will decorate it and they will decide the rules.  When this sense of ownership is established, they will come to class willingly and with enthusiasm because they want to be challenged.

Kohn’s theories on classroom management are quite similar to Glasser’s.  Grades and praise, Kohn says, kills intrinsic motivation and the desire to learn, and this concept is, of course, antithetical to what we’ve always been taught.  The punishment/praise grade system that we were all indoctrinated in explains why the system has failed so many students as the competition norms of most classrooms indicates that for every winner/top of the class, there will be thirty-nine losers dealing with the inherent self-esteem issues surrounding their constant failure.

A key component of Glasser’s theory is that the basic need of personal competence is an inner drive that is self-initiating and is unrelated to the need for extrinsic rewards of praise or grades.  Glasser’s basic need of competence ties in perfectly with Kohn’s theory that extrinsic rewards destroy a student’s inherent intrinsic motivation by reducing the exchange to a demoralizing, manipulative dysfunctional exchange that reduces their natural interest in a subject.  Unfortunately, the traditional appeal has always been to the students’ competitive instincts.  Kohn states that extrinsic motivation focuses on what the students do not know, rather than on their possibilities for growth.  We must question the traditional assumptions about pedagogy, as right answers are not as important as the process of exploring ideas and understanding the concepts.  Helping students tap into and develop their inner authentic selves where they think, feel and care on a deeper level is our primary responsibility; arousing students’ interests in learning is another.

According to Kohn and Glasser, instead of focusing on grades and tests, we must help our students to reason, to communicate, and help them develop social and personal responsibility, self-awareness and a capacity for leadership.  Thinking deeply and critically should be the first goal of education, the second goal is the desire for more education and a lifelong affair with learning.





This chapter describes methods and procedures used in conducting this research work. The description of the procedure is done under the following headings:

  • Research design,
  • Area of study
  • Population of the study
  • Sample and sampling procedure
  • Instrumentation
  • Procedure for data collection
  • Procedure for data analysis


The surveys research method was used for this study. This was considered appropriate because survey design generally can be used to effectively investigate problems in realistic settings. The survey technique will also allow the researcher to examine several variables and use multi-variate statistics to analyze data.


The population consists of the entire staff of Champion Secondary school Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa-ibom state. With a staff strength of 100 employees (personnel dept, 2015).


Out of the population of 100 persons in Champion Secondary School, 50 persons were selected using the simple random sampling (srs) technique. The logic behind this is in conformity with the views of Okoh (2005) in his book, the principles of educational research. He opined that for any population below 100 persons or object at least more than 50% of the population is adopted as its sample to enhance effective representation so that conclusions from the study can be generalized.



This chapter is devoted to the presentation, analysis and interpretation of the data gathered in the course of this study. The data are based on the number of copies of the questionnaire completed and returned by the respondents. The data are presented in tables and the analysis is done using t-Test. The Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation co-efficient was used in the validation of hypotheses.

Table1 above shows the gender distribution of the respondents used for this study.

Out of the total number of 50 respondents, 30respondents which represent 60.0percent of the population are male. 20 which represent 40.0 percent of the population are female.




The objectives of the study was to know if there is a relationship between class sizes and academic performance of secondary schools and to equally know if there is a significant effect between class room size and the academic performance of secondary schools in Nigeria.

Findings from the study showed the following:

  1. That there is a strong and positive relationship between class room sizes and academic performance in secondary school academic performance.
  2. That there is a significant effect between the classroom size and the academic performance of secondary school students in Nigeria.


Since we have concluded that class size affects students academic performance in secondary schools, academic performance of students should be enhanced by reducing class sizes across government schools so that our education sector can improve.


  • Okoh, M.L. (2005). Meta-analysis of Research on Class Size and Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 1, 2-16.
  • Achilles, C. M., Harman, P., & Egelson, P. (1995). Using research results on class size to improve pupil achievement outcomes. Research in the Schools, 2, 23-30.
  • Bohrnstedt, G.W., & Stecher, B. M. (Eds.). (2002). What we have learned about class size reduction in California. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.
  • Farber, S.L., & Finn, J.D. (2000, April). Classroom organization and student behavior. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.
  • Fidler, P. (2001). The impact of class size reduction on student achievement. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Unified School District, Program Evaluation and Research Branch.
  • Finn, J.D. (2002). Class-size reduction in grades K-3. In A. Molnar (Ed.). School reform proposals: The research evidence (pp. 15-24). Tempe, AZ: Education Policy Research Unit, Arizona State University.
  • Glass, G.V., and Smith, M.L. (1978) Meta-analysis of research on the relationship of class size and achievement. San Francisco: Far West Laboratory of Educational Research and Development.
  • Hoxby, C.M. (2002). The cost of accountability. In  Evers, W.M., & Walberg, H.J. (Eds.). School accountability. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.
  • Johnson, K.A. (2000). Do small classes influence academic achievement? What the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows: A report of the Heritage Center for Data Analysis. Washington, DC: Heritage Foundation.
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