The Perception of Secondary School Students on Career Choice in Christian Religions Studies, A Case Study of Akoko North West Arigidi
Objectives of the Study
The specific objectives of this study are as follows:
- To examine the perception of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi regarding Christian Religious Studies (CRS) as an academic subject.
- To investigate how the socio-cultural environment of Akoko North West Arigidi influences the career choices of secondary school students, particularly about CRS.
- To analyze the potential impact of students’ perception of CRS on their career aspirations and decisions.
Chapter Two begins with a comprehensive literature review, strategically divided into multiple sub-topics that align with the outlined structure of this chapter. This section initiates with an exploration of “Career Choice,” encompassing the definition and significance of this fundamental concept in academic and vocational development. Following that, the discussion extends to “Christian Religious Studies (CRS),” providing an overview of CRS as an academic subject and its critical role within the secondary school curriculum, including its potential influence on students’ career aspirations. Subsequently, the concept of “Perception” is examined, shedding light on how perception shapes decision-making, particularly in the context of career choices. Moving forward, “Religious and Cultural Influences” are probed to understand their impact on career perceptions within CRS. Subsequent sections delve into the role of “Guidance and Counselling Services,” the unique “Educational Context in Akoko North West Arigidi,” and the importance of “Secondary School Education” in shaping students’ academic and career development. This preamble provides a clear roadmap for the forthcoming comprehensive literature review, ensuring a systematic exploration of the topics integral to the research objectives outlined in Chapter Two.
Conceptual Literature Review
Career choice, a fundamental concept in educational and vocational development (Le Surf & Leech, 2019), refers to the process through which individuals make decisions regarding their future occupational paths (Mapfumo & Nkoma, 2021). This pivotal decision-making process carries profound significance for students, influencing their academic trajectories and vocational prospects.
The significance of career choice is multifaceted and deeply ingrained in students’ lives (Mclaughlin, 2019). It serves as a compass that guides students through their educational journey and prepares them for their future roles in the workforce (Menon, 2020). The decisions made during this process can significantly impact students’ motivation and engagement in their studies (Mushaandja & Frank, 2019). When students perceive their chosen career paths as personally meaningful and aligned with their interests and goals, they tend to be more committed to their studies, resulting in improved academic performance (Oertle & O’Leary, 2017).
Moreover, career choice extends beyond academic considerations (Offor, 2018). It influences the development of skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in chosen fields (Ogunlade & Akeredolu, 2022). Career choices set the stage for students’ future professions, shaping their professional identities and equipping them with the requisite tools to thrive in the world of work (Ojirah, 2020).
In summary, career choice plays a pivotal role in students’ academic and vocational development. This process profoundly impacts their educational journey, motivation, engagement, and preparation for future careers. Consequently, it warrants in-depth exploration within the context of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and Akoko North West Arigidi.
Christian Religious Studies (CRS)
Christian Religious Studies (CRS) is an integral academic subject that holds a significant place within the secondary school curriculum (Adejimola & Tayo-Olajubutu, 2019). CRS encompasses the study of Christian beliefs, values, and practices, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the Christian faith and its teachings (Anagbogu, 2018).
CRS holds a central position in the secondary school curriculum, aiming to nurture students’ moral and ethical development (Eliamani et al., 2018). It serves as a platform for students to explore their spirituality, fostering character development and ethical decision-making (Fox & Butler, 2017).
The importance of CRS extends beyond religious education. It has the potential to significantly influence students’ career aspirations (Awinsong et al., 2015). The values and principles instilled through the study of CRS can shape students’ perceptions of career choices related to religious and ethical fields (Alloway et al., 2020).
As a result, an overview of CRS as an academic subject is essential to understanding its role in shaping student’s career aspirations, particularly in the context of Akoko North West Arigidi. This exploration will provide valuable insights into how the study of CRS may impact students’ perceptions of career choices within the field, contributing to the broader understanding of career development within religious studies.
This chapter outlines the research methodology employed in investigating the perception of secondary school students on career choice in Christian Religious Studies (CRS) within the context of Akoko North West Arigidi. The methodology serves as the roadmap for conducting the research and includes a description of the research design, population, sample, data collection instruments, validity and reliability testing, data collection process, and data analysis techniques. It provides a comprehensive framework for collecting and analyzing the data required to address the research objectives effectively.
3.2 Research Design
The research design chosen for this study is a quantitative survey research design. This design was selected due to its suitability for gathering structured data from a relatively large and diverse population, as is the case with the study’s target population of 1200 respondents (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2019; Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The survey research design facilitates the collection of quantitative data that can be statistically analyzed to provide insights into the perceptions and attitudes of secondary school students regarding career choices in CRS.
Population of the Study
The target population for this study consists of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi. The justification for this choice is rooted in the desire to understand the career perceptions of students within this specific geographic area, where CRS plays a significant role in the curriculum. Akoko North West Arigidi represents a distinct educational context, and by focusing on this population, the research aims to provcontextually relevant insightsvant (Anderson, Fontinha, & Robson, 2020; Gray, 2018).
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Discussion of Findings
Objective 1 of this study aimed to explore how secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi perceive Christian Religious Studies (CRS) as an academic subject. The findings from Tables 4.9 to 4.12 shed light on this objective.
Table 4.9 shows that a significant majority of respondents (71.2%) agreed that CRS provides valuable insights into moral and ethical values. This suggests that students recognize the ethical and moral dimensions of CRS, indicating a positive perception of the subject’s academic value. However, a notable portion (21.2%) expressed uncertainty, and a minority (7.7%) disagreed. This may imply that while many students find moral and ethical insights in CRS, some remain unsure about this aspect.
In Table 4.10, 76.9% of respondents agreed that they find CRS interesting and relevant to their lives. This is a substantial majority, indicating that students generally see CRS as an engaging and personally meaningful academic subject. However, 15.4% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed. This could mean that while most students find CRS interesting, some still have reservations or uncertainties about its relevance to their lives.
Table 4.11 indicates that 75.0% of respondents agreed that CRS helps them develop a better understanding of their religious beliefs. This suggests that many students perceive CRS as instrumental in enhancing their understanding of their faith. However, 17.3% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed. This implies that some students may not feel that CRS significantly contributes to their understanding of their religious beliefs.
Lastly, Table 4.12 reveals that 83.7% of respondents agreed that CRS should be included in the curriculum of all secondary schools. This overwhelming majority indicates strong support for the inclusion of CRS in secondary school education. However, 8.7% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed. This suggests that while most students advocate for the inclusion of CRS, a small portion remains uncertain or opposed to this idea.
In summary, the findings related to Objective 1 highlight that the majority of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi perceive CRS as a subject that provides valuable insights into moral and ethical values, find it interesting and relevant to their lives and believe it helps them better understand their religious beliefs. Additionally, there is substantial support for the inclusion of CRS in the secondary school curriculum. However, there are varying degrees of uncertainty and disagreement among some students, indicating a diversity of perspectives regarding the subject’s academic value and relevance. These findings provide valuable insights into how students perceive CRS as an academic subject.
Objective 2 of this study aimed to investigate the extent to which the socio-cultural environment of Akoko North West Arigidi influences the career choices of secondary school students, particularly in Christian Religious Studies (CRS). The findings from Tables 4.13 to 4.16 provide detailed insights into this objective.
Table 4.13 shows that 77.9% of respondents agreed that their socio-cultural background plays a significant role in shaping their career aspirations, indicating that many students acknowledge the influence of their cultural environment on their career choices. However, 14.4% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed, suggesting that some students may not be fully aware of this influence or may perceive it differently.
In Table 4.14, 77.9% of respondents agreed that they feel uncertain about the impact of their socio-cultural environment on their career decisions related to CRS. This suggests that while students recognize the influence of their cultural environment, they may not always feel certain about how it affects their specific career choices within CRS. Additionally, 14.4% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed.
Table 4.15 indicates that 87.5% of respondents agreed that the cultural values and traditions in Akoko North West Arigidi have influenced their career choices. This substantial majority implies that students believe their cultural background plays a significant role in shaping their career decisions. However, 9.6% expressed uncertainty, and 2.9% disagreed, indicating some variations in the degree of influence perceived.
Lastly, Table 4.16 reveals that 85.6% of respondents agreed that their socio-cultural environment has an influence on their career aspirations within CRS. This suggests that students recognize the impact of their cultural environment on their career aspirations related to CRS. However, 9.6% expressed uncertainty, and 4.8% disagreed, indicating that some students may not feel this influence strongly.
In summary, the findings related to Objective 2 suggest that the socio-cultural environment of Akoko North West Arigidi plays a significant role in shaping the career aspirations and choices of secondary school students, particularly within the context of CRS. The majority of students recognize this influence, but there are variations in the degree of certainty and agreement among respondents. These findings highlight the complex interplay between sociocultural factors and career choices and provide valuable insights into how students perceive the influence of their cultural environment on their career decisions within CRS.
Objective 3 of this study aimed to investigate the potential impact of students’ perception of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) on their career aspirations and decisions. The findings from Tables 4.17 to 4.20 provide insights into this objective.
Table 4.17 indicates that 76.0% of respondents agreed that their perception of CRS motivates them to consider career paths related to religion or spirituality. This suggests that many students believe that their perception of CRS has a positive influence on their career aspirations, particularly in ethical or spiritual fields. However, 16.3% expressed uncertainty, and 7.7% disagreed, indicating variations in how students perceive this impact.
In Table 4.18, 86.5% of respondents agreed that their perception of CRS can impact their future career choices. This finding suggests that students generally believe that their perception of CRS has the potential to influence their career decisions positively. However, 11.5% expressed uncertainty, and 1.9% disagreed, indicating some variations in the degree of perceived impact.
Table 4.19 reveals that 81.7% of respondents agreed that CRS has positively influenced their career aspirations, making them consider options related to ethical leadership. This indicates that a significant portion of students attribute a positive impact to CRS on their career aspirations, particularly in the context of ethical leadership roles. However, 11.5% expressed uncertainty, and 6.7% disagreed, suggesting variations in how students perceive this influence.
Lastly, Table 4.20 shows that 90.4% of respondents agreed that their perception of CRS has no relevance to their future career decisions. This finding suggests that the majority of students do not believe that their perception of CRS plays a role in their future career choices. However, 9.6% expressed uncertainty, indicating that some students may be unsure about the relevance of CRS to their career decisions.
In summary, the findings related to Objective 3 indicate that students have diverse perceptions of the potential impact of CRS on their career aspirations and decisions. While some students believe that CRS positively influences their career choices, others do not see a significant relevance. These findings highlight the complexity of the relationship between students’ perceptions of CRS and their career aspirations, emphasizing the need for further investigation and support for students in making informed career decisions within the context of religious studies.
Implication of the Study
The implications of this study are significant and extend to various stakeholders in the field of education, particularly within the context of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and career development for secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi.
Firstly, for secondary school students, the study’s findings emphasize the importance of understanding how their perceptions of CRS can influence their career aspirations and choices. Recognizing that some students perceive a positive impact on their career decisions related to ethics, spirituality, or leadership, while others do not, highlights the need for tailored career guidance and counselling services. Schools should consider integrating career counselling within CRS classes to help students explore and align their career goals with their religious and ethical values. This could lead to more informed career decisions and potentially greater satisfaction in their chosen paths.
Secondly, for educators and curriculum developers, the study underscores the value of CRS as an academic subject. The finding that a majority of students find CRS interesting and relevant to their lives suggests that educators should continue to promote engaging and meaningful instruction in CRS. Additionally, educators can draw on these findings to create connections between CRS and various career paths, highlighting the subject’s applicability beyond the classroom. This can motivate students to see CRS as a foundation for ethical and spiritually oriented-careers.
Thirdly, policymakers and educational authorities can use the study’s results to refine the curriculum and educational policies. Recognizing that students come from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds, the curriculum can be adapted to include elements that address these variations and connect them with career development. Moreover, considering the students’ perception that CRS should be included in the curriculum of all secondary schools, policymakers might explore ways to strengthen the presence and role of CRS in the overall educational system.
Fourthly, for parents and guardians, the study highlights the importance of supporting students in their career choices, especially within the context of CRS. Parents can engage in conversations with their children about how their religious and cultural backgrounds shape their career aspirations. By understanding their children’s perspectives, parents can provide guidance and support tailored to their unique needs and beliefs.
Lastly, the study contributes to the broader discourse on the relationship between religious studies and career development. It provides insights into how religious subjects like CRS can influence students’ career choices and aspirations, shedding light on the potential synergy between faith-based education and ethical career paths. Researchers and scholars in the field of education can use these findings as a foundation for further exploration and investigation into the intersections of religion, education, and career development.
Limitations of the Study
The study on the perceptions of secondary school students regarding Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and its impact on their career choices in Akoko North West Arigidi encountered several limitations that warrant acknowledgement. These limitations pertain to various aspects of the research, including methods, location, and situational constraints.
Firstly, one notable limitation of this study is the use of a convenient sampling technique. While this method was chosen for practical reasons and to facilitate data collection within the available timeframe, it may introduce some bias in the results. The sample may not be fully representative of the entire population of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi, which could affect the generalizability of the findings. Future research in this area could benefit from a more rigorous sampling approach, such as stratified sampling, to enhance the study’s external validity.
Secondly, the study’s reliance on a quantitative survey instrument, while efficient for collecting data from a relatively large sample, limited the depth of understanding that could be gained from the participants. The survey format may not have allowed students to fully express the nuances of their perceptions and experiences. A complementary qualitative approach, such as interviews or focus groups, could provide richer insights into the students’ views and the reasons behind their perceptions.
Thirdly, the research was conducted in a specific geographical location, Akoko North West Arigidi, which may limit the generalizability of the findings to other regions or cultural contexts. The socio-cultural environment, religious practices, and educational system in this area may differ significantly from other parts of Nigeria or the world. Researchers should exercise caution when applying these findings to different contexts and consider conducting similar studies in diverse settings for a more comprehensive understanding of the topic.
Lastly, the study’s cross-sectional design captured a snapshot of students’ perceptions at a specific point in time. Career aspirations and perceptions can be dynamic and subject to change over time due to various factors, including personal experiences and evolving socio-cultural influences. A longitudinal study that follows students over an extended period could provide a more nuanced perspective on the evolution of their perceptions and career choices.
In this study, the examination of secondary school students’ perceptions concerning Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and its potential influence on their career choices was carried out. The research revolved around three primary objectives: exploring how students perceive CRS as an academic subject, investigating the role of the socio-cultural environment in shaping their career choices and examining the potential impact of CRS perceptions on their career aspirations. To address these objectives, a quantitative survey was conducted, and data were collected from 104 students.
Chapter One provided an introduction to the study, outlining the background, statement of the problem, research questions, objectives, significance, scope, and limitations of the research. The chapter also presented the theoretical framework guiding the study.
Chapter Two delved into the literature related to the study, exploring concepts such as career choice, perception, religious and cultural influences, and the role of guidance and counselling services. The chapter reviewed empirical studies and identified gaps in the existing literature.
In Chapter Three, the research methodology was discussed, including the research design, population and sample, data collection instruments, validity and reliability measures, data collection procedure, and data analysis method. The rationale for using a quantitative survey design and the survey instrument with a 3-point Likert scale was explained.
Chapter Four presented the findings of the study, analyzing the responses of the 104 participants to questions related to their perceptions of CRS, the influence of socio-cultural factors on career choices, and the potential impact of CRS on career aspirations.
Chapter Five, the final chapter, summarized the key findings, discussed their implications, and acknowledged the study’s limitations. The research highlighted the importance of understanding students’ perceptions of CRS and their potential implications for career choices within the context of Akoko North West Arigidi. These findings can inform educational policymakers, teachers, and counsellors in shaping more effective career guidance and counselling services for students.
Based on the findings of this study, several conclusions are drawn:
Perception of CRS as an Academic Subject: The majority of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi perceive Christian Religious Studies (CRS) as an academic subject positively. They believe that CRS provides valuable insights into moral and ethical values and find it interesting and relevant to their lives. This positive perception suggests that CRS plays a significant role in shaping students’ values and moral compass.
Influence of Socio-Cultural Environment: The socio-cultural environment of Akoko North West Arigidi has a substantial influence on the career choices of secondary school students, particularly about CRS. Students agree that their socio-cultural background plays a significant role in shaping their career aspirations, and they feel uncertain about the impact of their socio-cultural environment on their career decisions related to CRS. This highlights the need to consider cultural factors in career guidance and counselling services.
Impact of CRS on Career Aspirations: The students’ perception of CRS has a positive impact on their career aspirations, making them consider career paths related to ethical leadership and moral values. They believe that CRS can influence their future career choices, indicating the potential for integrating ethical and moral education into career development programs.
Relevance of CRS in Curriculum: Secondary school students overwhelmingly agree that CRS should be included in the curriculum of all secondary schools. This underscores the importance they place on religious education as a fundamental part of their academic journey.
In summary, this study reveals the significant role CRS plays in the lives of secondary school students in Akoko North West Arigidi. Their positive perception of CRS, coupled with the influence of the socio-cultural environment, has implications for their career choices and aspirations. These findings emphasize the need for educational institutions to recognize and harness the potential of CRS in guiding students toward ethical and morally grounded career paths. Additionally, the study highlights the importance of considering cultural and religious factors in career counselling to ensure that students’ aspirations align with their values and beliefs.
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are made:
- Enhanced Integration of CRS in Curriculum: Educational authorities should consider enhancing the integration of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) into the curriculum of secondary schools. The overwhelmingly positive perception of CRS among students suggests that it can play a pivotal role in their academic and moral development. A well-structured CRS curriculum can further promote ethical and moral values among students.
- Cultural Sensitivity in Career Guidance: Career guidance and counselling services in secondary schools should be culturally sensitive and acknowledge the influence of the socio-cultural environment on students’ career choices. Counsellors should be trained to address the unique cultural and religious backgrounds of students in Akoko North West Arigidi and provide guidance that aligns with their values and beliefs.
- Integration of Ethical and Moral Education: Schools should explore opportunities to integrate ethical and moral education into their career development programs. The positive impact of CRS on students’ career aspirations related to ethical leadership highlights the potential for incorporating moral and ethical values into career guidance initiatives.
- Continued Research and Assessment: Further research is needed to continuously assess the evolving perceptions of CRS among secondary school students. Longitudinal studies can provide insights into how these perceptions change over time and their implications for career choices. Additionally, research on the effectiveness of specific interventions, such as culturally sensitive career counselling, should be conducted to inform educational practices.
- Inclusion of Diverse Religious Perspectives: While this study focused on Christian Religious Studies, future research should also consider the perceptions and influences of students from diverse religious backgrounds. Understanding how students from different religious affiliations perceive religious education and its impact on career choices can provide a more comprehensive picture.
- Support for Career Guidance Professionals: Educational institutions should provide ongoing training and support for career guidance professionals to equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the career development needs of students effectively. This includes training in culturally sensitive counselling techniques and strategies.
- Strengthening CRS Teacher Training: CRS teachers should receive training that goes beyond academic content delivery to include strategies for fostering positive perceptions of CRS among students. Teachers can play a significant role in shaping students’ attitudes toward the subject.
- Adejimola, S.A., & Tayo-Olajubutu, O. (2019). Spinning off an entrepreneurship culture among Nigerian University: Prospects and Challenges. African Journal of Business Management, 31(31), 80-88.
- Agi, C.W. (2020). Evaluation of students’ perception of school counselling and their attitudes towards its program. Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 2(5), 21-30.
- Alexitch, L.R., Kobussen, G.P., & Stookey, S. (2021). High school students’ decisions to pursue university: What do (should) guidance counsellors and teachers tell them? Guidance and Counseling, 19, 142–152.
- Alice, S., Alice, Y., & Patrick, M. (2021). Factors that militate against effective guidance and counselling on students’ sexual awareness, attitudes, andbehaviourss in schools. American Journal of Social Sciences, 2(8), 34-49.
- Alloway, N., Dalley, L., Patterson, A., Lenoy, M., & Walker, K. (2020). School students making education and career decisions: aspirations, attitudes, and influences. Canberra: DEST.
- Amedahe, F. K. (2019). Notes on educational research. Cape Coast: Unpublished.
- Anagbogu, M.A. (2018). Techniques for effective implementation of guidance and counselling in Nigerian schools. Guidance and Counseling practice in primary schools. Anambra State. Globe Communication Onitsha.