Effect of Teachers’ Educational Qualifications on the Academic Performance of Secondary School Students in Kaduna State
Objectives Of The Study
To find out how teacher’s qualification affects students’ academic performance, government policy on education, teachers’ competence and examination policy.
- To find out if teacher’s teaching qualification affects students’ academic performance or achievement.
- To find out if teacher’s training affects students’ academic achievement.
- To find out if non-professional qualification affects students’ academic achievement.
REVIEWED OF RELATED LITERATURE
A quality teacher is one who has a positive effect on student learning and development through a combination of content mastery, command of a broad set of pedagogic skills, and communications/interpersonal skills. Quality teachers are life-long learners in their subject areas, teach with commitment, and are reflective upon their teaching practice. They transfer knowledge of their subject matter and the learning process through good communication, diagnostic skills, understanding of different learning styles and cultural influences, knowledge about child development, and the ability to marshal a broad array of techniques to meet student needs. They set high expectations and support students in achieving them. They establish an environment conducive to learning, and leverage available resources outside as well as inside the classroom. This study was guided by Education Production Function theory (EPF) which connects teacher characteristics to students’ achievement. This theory is also called input-output theory. Teachers have been recognized as indispensable factor and the most important element in the cause of transmission of knowledge and academic success. Concepts and attributes used to indicate teacher quality are complex and lack consensus definition. Some literature has teacher quality indicators as not only knowledge and skills, but also personal qualities like attitudes, organizational skills, teaching skills, guiding and supporting, communication skills, and so on. Several studies have it that quality indicators like teachers’ subject matter knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, teachers’ qualification have strong positive effect on achievement while others observed contrary to that. Some researchers claimed that teachers’ knowledge of her students has the highest correlation to their achievement, while others maintained that teachers’ teaching experience has the highest correlate. Generally, effective classroom management was observed to have strong positive correlate to students’ interest as well as their achievement.
Teacher’s experience and achievement
Scholars including Darling-Hammond (1999), and Obanya (2003) asserted that the quality of an educational system depends on the quality of the teachers. Ferguson (1992) and Wenglinsky (1992) in different studies found that the single factor affecting academic growth of students is differences in effectiveness of individual classroom teachers. Certain studies on performance suggest that three consecutive years of quality teachers can help overcome the average achievement gap between children from low income and children from higher income families (Hanushek, 2005, Boyd 2008). Clearly, the context of teaching is important and may affect the impact of teacher attributes. It is argued that prospective and experienced teachers’ knowledge and beliefs serve as a filter through which their teaching takes place (Borko and Putnam 1996). However, a study conducted by Martins, Mullis, Gregory, Hoyle and Shen (2000) showed that in a situation where experienced teachers are not promoted out of the classroom into management positions, level of experience has a significant influence on teaching effectiveness of the teachers and their students’ achievement. Aiken (1991), in his study found that teaching experience of teachers is significantly related to their teaching effectiveness and their students’ achievement. The findings of Martins et al (2000) showed a strong positive relationship between teacher experience and students’ outcomes. Murname (1996) opined that the typical teaching- learning curve peaks in a teacher’s first few years. Other studies have shown that new teachers have incomplete or superficial pedagogical content knowledge (Ornstein et al 2000, Feiman-Nemser and Parker 1990). A novice teacher tends to rely on unmodified subject matter knowledge, most often directly extracted from the curriculum and may not have a coherent framework or perspective from which to present the information. Novice also tends to make broad-pedagogical decisions without accessing students’ prior knowledge ability levels or learning strategies. If beginning teachers are to be successful, they must wrestle simultaneously with issues of pedagogical content knowledge as well as general pedagogy or generic teaching principles (Grossman 1990 as cited in Ornsten et al 2000). Similarly, pre-service teachers have shown to find it difficult to articulate the relationship between pedagogical ideas and subject matter concepts (Gess-Newsome and Lederman 1993). Wilson (1992) documents that more experienced teachers have a better “overarching” view of the content field and on which to base teaching decisions.
Teacher’s qualification and achievement
A number of researches have argued that teacher quality is a powerful predictor of students’ performance. The research carried out by Rivkins, Hanushek and Kain (1998) identifies teacher quality as the most important school-related factor influencing student achievement. Darling-Hammond (2002) opined that measures of teacher preparation and qualification are by far the strongest correlates of student achievement in reading and mathematics. Rockoff (2003) found a strong and statistically significant different between teachers’ qualification and achievement. Studies show little impact of emergency or alternative- route certification on students’ performance in either mathematics or science as compared to teachers who acquire standard certification (Goldhaber and Brewer (1997) found that a teachers’ advanced degree is not generally associated with increased students learning from eight to tenth grade, but having an advanced degree in mathematics and science for mathematics and science teachers appears to influence students’ achievement. The same were not found to be true for English and history teachers. Monk and King (1994) found that even in subjects where subject-specific training may take difference; its impact depends on the context of the classes taught
Participation in Professional Development Activities
Professional development activities can be conducted by many different organizations, in schools and out of school, on the job or on sabbatical leave. On these occasions, practicing teachers update their content knowledge and teaching skills to adjust to the introduction of new curricula, new research findings on teaching and learning, changes in the needs of the student population, etc. Critique has been leveled against the episodic nature of these activities and the fact that very little is known about what they really consist of. There is mixed evidence on the effect of teachers’ participation in professional development activities on student outcomes. On the one hand there are some studies on in-service professional development, which found no effect (Angrist &Lavy, 2001, Jacob &Lefgren, 2004), while other studies found that higher levels of student achievement were linked to mathematics teacher participation in content-specific pedagogy activities related to the curriculum (Brown et al.,1995; Cohen & Hill, 1977; Wiley & Yoon, 1995). Wenglinsky (2000) found a positive effect of professional development activities that focused on the needs of special education students, on higher-order skills, and on laboratory skills in science. More recently Harris and Sass (2007) identified what they call the “lagged effect of professional development”, i.e., the larger effect of professional development three years after taking place. The correlation between student achievement and teacher professional development activities does not allow us to draw conclusions about a causal link, as this variable is confounded with other attributes of teachers, i.e., participating teachers are likely to also be more motivated and, usually, more specialized in the subjects they teach. Teachers ‘Formal Education Findings related to teachers’ academic degrees (e.g., bachelors or masters, etc.) are in-conclusive. Some studies showed positive effects of advanced degrees (Betts, Zau, & Rice, 2003~ Ferguson & Ladd, 1996; Wayne &Youngs, 2003), while others showed negative effects (Ehrenberg & Brewer, 1994; Kiesling, 1984). Some argue that the requirement of a second degree raises the cost in terms of teacher education and the time it involves and may prevent quality candidates from choosing this profession (Murnane, 1 996).Teacher Education in the Subject Matter of Teaching (in-field preparation). This characteristic is related to the subject matter knowledge teachers acquire during their formal studies and pre-service teacher education courses. The evidence gained from different studies is contradictory. Several studies show a positive relationship between teachers’ preparation in the subject matter they later teach and student -Hammond, 1999, 2000; Gold Haber & Brewer, 2000; Guyton &Farokhi, 1987), while others have less unequivocal results. Monk and King (1994) find both positive and negative effects of teachers’ in-field preparation on student achievement. Gold Haber and Brewer (2000) find a positive relationship in mathematics, but none in science. Also, Rowan, Chiang, and Miller (1997) report a positive relationship between student achievement and teachers’ majoring in mathematics. Monk (1994), however, finds that having a major in math&matics has no effect, and a significant negative effect of teachers with more coursework in physical science. Recent studies in the USA on the widespread phenomenon of out-of-field teaching, Ingersoll (2003) portrays a severe situation where almost 42% – 49% of public Grade 7-12 teachers teaching science and mathematics actually lack a major or full certification in the field (1999-2000 data). In Israel, according to arecent survey (Maagan, 2007), these percentages are even higher for elementary teachers —42% in mathematics and 63% in science (2005-2006 data). The Committee (NRC, 2010) considered the wider issues of quality control in teacher education and pointed out that in the USA, as elsewhere, there are procedures for ensuring quality at individual and at institutional level. They point out that there are many difficulties in ‘teacher tests’, not least being confident that the items measured are significant in teacher performance. Referring to institutional quality, they review the application at state level in the USA of Standards and point out: The standards that do exist are not based on research that demonstrates links between particular standards and improved outcomes for students taught by teachers who were educated in a particular way because such evidence is not available We note that teacher education is hardly alone in lacking data that directly link components of professional preparation to the outcomes for those who receive the professionals’ services9. (NRC, 2010: 159) A study in North Carolina over the years 1994-2004 reported that elementary school students in Grades 2 to 5 fared better in math and reading tests when they had been taught by teachers with National Board Certification (NBCTs) (Clotfelter et al, 2007). Similarly, a small-scale study by Sato et al (2008) reported higher quality assessment practices among NBCTs. However, such findings have been challenged by Rouse (2008) who did not find a significant relationship between board certification and pupil attainment in his quasi-experimental study of 54 teachers 10 in North Carolina. In other studies, Gimbert et al (2007) have attempted to relate different models of teacher preparation to student attainment but could find no correlation whilst Lustick and Sykes (2006) found significant achievements in teacher learning through Board certification, but did not consider student outcomes. However, in a survey of NBCTs due to renew their certification (after ten years), 98% reported that National Board Certification had positively influenced their careers and 92% reported that National Board Certification had positively influenced their students’ learning (Petty et al, 2007). In the UK, work undertaken by the Centre for Market and Public Organisation at Bristol University (Slater et al, 2009) has examined the effect of individual teachers on pupil outcomes. Using a definition of teacher quality restricted to impact on student outcomes, Slater et al (2009) use a unique dataset containing the GCSE examination results and Key Stage 3 test results in math, science and English for 7,305 pupils taught by 740 teachers across 33 schools in England between 1999 and 2002. Pupil records are linked with particular teachers through class lists provided by the schools. The analysis considered subject-specific prior achievement (for previous teacher effects) and observable school effects (intake, resources, selection). According to the findings of this (non peer reviewed) study, teacher characteristics of gender, age, experience and education do not play any statistically significant role in explaining variability in teacher effectiveness. A negative effect was shown only in relation to very low levels of experience. The authors concur with research conducted in the US (Kane et al, 2008) in concluding that teacher characteristics are not reliable indicators of teacher quality. One English study of the influence of CPD took a longitudinal approach and did claim that there were detectable changes in teaching style that derived from the professional development experiences (Boyle et al, 2005). Those CPD experiences that were found to be most effective were the longer term ones that included peer observation and sharing of practice. However, a relatively large scale study of CPD in England found that only 24% of schools were attempting to evaluate CPD undertaken by teachers in terms of the influence on pupil attitudes (Goodall et al, 2005). Little is known about the relationship between characteristics of different professional development activities and pupil outcomes. The evaluation of the GTCETeacher Learning 11 Academy( TLA) (Lord et al, 2009) provides some evidence to support a link between enquirybased learning and positive outcomes for teachers, pupils and schools. The evaluation found evidence of impact on teachers’ capacity to reflect on practice and self-evaluation, school policies ( e.g. behavior management, CPD approaches and pupil involvement), pupils’ progress (before and afier tests, and using Assessment for Learning approaches). However, the evaluators noted that ‘schools did not appear to have a systematic approach to evaluating CPD and its impact’ (p.109) and recommended greater use of pre- and post-intervention methodologies by teachers and CPD leaders to support robust assessment of impact on classroom practice and pupil learning. A systematic review of induction studies (Totterdell et al, 2004) indicated that the lack of largescale and longitudinal research in this area prevents the type of investigation that might lead to a sound understanding of the connection between enhanced professionalism and the quality of pupil outcomes. A systematic review of subject specialist input into CPD in England did find some evidence of impacts on pupils in the following areas: learning and achievement ( e.g. improved knowledge of scientific concepts, problem solving, mathematical skills, literacy skills, reasoning, and use of ICT) as well as affective development ( e.g. attitudes to learning, motivation and self-esteem) (Cordingley et al, 2007). In Scotland, a study of CPD for science teachers by Thurston et al (2008) suggests that it was possible to measure impact in terms of increased pupil attainment by relating this to the changes in classroom practice attributed to CPD. They conclude that CPD can facilitate changes in the professional practice of teachers; however, it must be supported by well structured opportunities allowing teachers to draw support and advice from each other. Some writers have positively associated action research partnerships between schools and universities with improving pupil outcomes (e.g. Costello et al 2000; Slater and Ravid, 2010). Similarly, mentor training and development has been found to lead to improvements in teaching and learning (Strong, 2009). A small-scale survey (95% response rate) by Dallat et al (2000) of 20 teachers following a one-year course in Expert Teaching in Northern Ireland concluded that 12 changes to practice are most likely to occur where teachers: have time to reflect and review their practice; participate in collegial discussions and observations to share practice and encourage professional development; learn in their school context; and undertake longer term professional development. As Day et al (2005; 2006a, b) have shown teacher commitment is very important in these matters. They argue that professional development should not be divorced from the need for wider contextual understanding of what enhances teacher commitment to the profession; taking a standards-based approached to professional development may serve to decrease commitment. They suggest that policymakers and school leaders should consider the contexts for professional development which can change practice positively – that is, contexts in which teachers professional values are acknowledged and built on. If commitment can be sustained across the career phases then problems of teacher retention are less likely to occur. Day and Gu (2007) also suggest there is a particular lack of consideration given to the CPD needs of more experienced teachers. In England, Hurd (2008) used inspection evidence to assess whether the presence of student teachers in secondary schools had an effect on pupil attainment. The study considered more than 1200 schools over a three year period. The number of trainees has no significant effect on school results at A-level or General Certificate of Secondary Education ( GCSE), or on the overall value added between Key Stage 3 and GCSE level. However, at Key Stage 3 level at age 14, while there appears to be a very small depressing effect on achievement in schools with low numbers of trainees, there is a significant positive effect on achievement in schools with larger numbers of trainees. (Hurd, 2008:19) In a previous article, Hurd et al (2007) found that involvement in ITE appeared to have a positive influence on teachers professional development but found it difficult to relate this to pupil outcomes. In the USA some Professional Development Schools (PDS) have explicitly sought to bring improvements in pupil outcomes and teacher education together. The Kansas State University PDS Partnership project offers an example of an initiative with the dual aim of improving pupil 13 )utcornes and improving teacher preparation. The project shows significant gains in student ichievement and positive outcomes of reform of the teacher education program (Shroyer et al, l007). The report authors acknowledge that sustained and intensive work requires investment, ;upport for professional development and change among faculty, school staff and administrators. If the ultimate vision for teacher education is to enhance K- 12 student learning, then teacher ~ducators in K-12 schools and colleges of education and arts and sciences must perceive :hernselves as directly responsible for the teaching and learning of K- 12 students as well as that ffuture and practicing teachers.’ (Shroyer et al 2007, p. 223) Research also indicates that leadership is crucial in securing improvements in pupil outcomes. rh~e major review of such literature, carried out in New Zealand by Robinson et al (2009) found :he most important aspect is that school leaders must be active in areas of teacher learning and ievelopment. The leader must be seen to be active to demonstrate to teachers that he/she sees the value of what is happening.
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 constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine effect of teachers’ educational qualifications on the academic performance of secondary School students. Selected secondary schools in Kaduna forms 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 eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Effect of teachers’ educational qualifications on the academic performance of secondary School students in Kaduna state. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing effect of teachers’ educational qualifications on the academic performance of secondary School students
This study was on effect of teachers’ educational qualifications on the academic performance of secondary School students in Kaduna state. Three objectives were raised which included; To find out if teacher’s teaching qualification affects students’ academic performance or achievement, to find out if teacher’s training affects students’ academic achievement and to find out if non-professional qualification affects students’ academic achievement.. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected secondary schools in Kaduna state. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
This study has provided valuable insights into the relationship between teachers’ educational qualifications and the academic performance of secondary school students in Kaduna State. While it highlights the positive influence of teacher qualifications, it also emphasizes the need for a multifaceted approach to teacher assessment and a consideration of contextual factors. The study’s findings can inform policy decisions, teacher development initiatives, and efforts to enhance the overall quality of education in the state.
Based on the findings and conclusions of the study on the effect of teachers’ educational qualifications on the academic performance of secondary school students in Kaduna State, several recommendations are proposed to improve educational outcomes and enhance the quality of education in the region:
- Educational authorities and institutions should prioritize and invest in ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers. This includes offering workshops, courses, and training programs that enhance teaching skills, pedagogy, and subject knowledge.
- Develop incentive programs that encourage teachers to pursue higher educational qualifications, such as advanced degrees and certifications. These incentives could include financial rewards, career advancement opportunities, or recognition for their achievements.
- Implement comprehensive teacher evaluation criteria that consider not only educational qualifications but also teaching effectiveness, classroom management skills, and student engagement. This holistic approach to assessment provides a more accurate measure of teacher quality.
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