SCHOOL DISCIPLINE AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS (A CASE STUDY OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE
This study is about school discipline and academic achievement of students. A case study of secondary school students in Uyo Local Government Area. Precisely, it focuses on how much does students’ discipline affects their academic achievement.
1.1 Background of the Study
Student motivation and engagement play an important role in learning and academic achievement. Closely related to motivation is self-discipline, the ability of students to monitor and control their own behaviour. Students who are highly self-disciplined may be able to better focus on long-term goals and make better choices related to academic engagement. The concept of self-discipline focuses on students’ own ability to engage in or refrain from engaging in a particular behaviour, rather than reliance on external motivations, rewards or punishments.
According to Duckworth and Seligman (2005), the key to establishing good discipline at school lies in learners accepting the teachers’ authority to manage their behaviour and their progress in learning. Learning activities cannot take place effectively in a classroom of thirty learners or more unless one is given authority to control, manage and direct what is going on as, when and how appropriate. Much of the authority as an educator is derived from the status he has in that role and the respect and esteem for educators generally held in society and the one particularly conveyed to learners by their parents and other sources of influence. In order to exercise managerial control, learners’ behaviour needs to be guided by the school rules and regulations. Such school rules may be explicitly stated by the educators or simply inferred from educators’ actions. This means that all schools should draw up a code of conduct and implement it.
Clearly, learners need order in the classroom if the activities which take place are to facilitate effective learning. The most important point to bear in mind in considering discipline is that creating the necessary order is more to do with the skills involved in effective teaching in general than it is to do with how one deals with learner behaviour itself. If the learning activities are well-planned and prepared; if the presentation elicits and maintains learners’ attention, interest and involvement and if the activities are challenging and offer realistic opportunities for success, then the necessary order and discipline will be established.
Most learners’ misbehavior is quite trivial. The types of learners’ misbehavior most frequently cited by educators are:
(i) excessive talk,
(ii) being noisy (i.e. shouting at another),
(iii) not paying attention to the teachers,
(iv) not getting on with work required
(v) being out of their seats without a good cause
(vi) hindering other learners and
(vii) arriving late for lessons.
(viii) destroying school’s property
Nevertheless, a well managed lesson coupled with a relationship based on mutual respect and rapport will do much to minimize students’ misbehavior in schools. This will be influenced by the teacher’s behaviour and expectations as well as the expectations learners bring with them and the prevailing ethics in the school.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Uyo Local Government Area is the administrative headquarters of Akwa Ibom State and there have been reported cases of students’ misbehavior and indiscipline which adversely affected their academic achievement in secondary schools. The problem at hand is that, some students perform poorly while others perform excellently. The truth behind this scenario is that the well-disciplined students would do better than their more impulsive peers. In other words, students’ self-discipline would influence their academic behaviour and achievement. It should also be noted that the effect of discipline on academic achievement would be majorly influenced by classroom management and the school climate. To this end, the research is instituted to examine school discipline and academic achievement of students. A case study of secondary school students in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 The Purpose of the Study
The specific aims of the study are to establish the following:
(i) To examine how time management will affect the academic achievement of students.
(ii) To examine administration of punishment and its effects on students’ academic achievement
(iii) To examine administration of school rules and regulations, and their impact on students’ academic achievement.
(iv) To examine teaching methods and how they help to instill school discipline and academic achievement of students.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this research finding will help parents to inculcate discipline in their children. It will help teachers to correct misbehavior of students in schools. It will also help educationists and government in making policies that will promote morality, exercise social control, and restore credibility and discipline in schools.
1.5 Research Questions
In order to undertake this study, the following questions were formulated:
i) Does time management really have impact on academic achievement of students?
ii) Does the administration of punishment affect the academic achievement of students?
iii) Does the administration of school rules and regulations influence the academic achievement of students?
iv) Does teaching methods instill discipline and aid academic achievement of students?.
1.6 Research hypotheses
In order to answer the research questions, the following null hypotheses were tested. These include:
i) There is no significant relationship between time management and students’ academic achievement.
ii) There is no significant relationship between administration of punishment and students’ academic achievement.
iii) There is no significant relationship between administration of school rules and regulations, and students’ academic achievement.
iv) There is no significant relationship between teaching methods and students’ academic achievement.
1.7 Assumption of the Study
The following assumptions were postulated in carrying out this research study:
i) The students with a strong sense of self-discipline would do better than their more impulsive peers.
ii) That time management, administration of punishment and school rules and regulations affect students’ academic achievement.
iii) The information given by students about themselves are correct.
iv) The schools so sampled represented a cross-section of secondary school, in Uyo Local Government Area.
v) The designed questionnaires were adequate for the selected schools.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The scope of this research is delimited to only private and public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The research was concentrated on senior secondary school (SS3) students in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.9 Limitation of the Study
The research was limited to Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It is further limited to two private secondary schools and two public secondary schools in the Local Government Area.
1.10 Operational Definition of Terms
(1) Self discipline: This refers to a student’s ability to engage in or refrain from engaging in a particular behaviour.
(2) School discipline: This is the learners accepting the teachers’ authority to manager their behaviour.
(3) Achievement: It means the progress reached in acquiring knowledge or skills.
(4) Code of Conduct: It refers to the rules and regulations governing the behaviour of both teachers and students.
(5) Impulsive Peers: This describes the less disciplined students in the classroom.
(6) Motivation: It refers to internal or external factors that enable students to monitor and control their own behaviour.
(7) School: This is a formal organization established to educate children and adults.