A study of the relationship between selected school characteristics and geography achievement of grade ten pupils in the Northern Province of Zambia

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Siame, Everett Changala Kafwimbi
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Pupil academic achievement could be influenced by many factors. Some of the factors could be pupil-based,teacher-based, home based, and school-based Knowledge of the influence of such variables on pupil achievement could be essential and beneficial to the educational system. In industrialised societies, findings of many studies indicated the significance of out-of-school factors in influencing achievement. However, that might not necessarily follow so in Africa because of cultural differences between African and Western societies. Some research done in the developing world indicated contradictory results.Therefore, generalisation of findings of work done in Western societies might not be wise.This study was prompted by the variations in school examination results between schools and provinces. Such a situation oould be unhealthy for the nation, socially and politically, as it might lead to problems arising from overrepresentation and under—representation of certain schools at higher levels of education.The present study attempted to find out the relationship between teacher characteristics, class size,and instructional resources, and pupil academic achievement in geography at Grade ten level in Northern Province of Zambia. The study tested two null hypotheses. Hull hypothesis one was that, there is no relationship between Grade ten pupil academic achievement in geography and selected school characteristics, namely: i) Teacher Characteristics, ii) Class Size, ill) Instructional resources. Null hypothesis two was that, there is no difference between high achievers, moderate achievers, and low achievers in geography at Grade ten level of secondary education. Bvidence was collected to teat the null hypotheses at .05 level of significance. A sample of 300 Grade 11 pupils and another of teachers of geography who taught Grade ten in 1984, took part in the exercise.Stratified random sampling was used to select eight schools out of 14 schools in the province. The schools consisted of two girls'schools, two co-educational schools and four boys' schools. Random numbers were used to select 80 from girls'schools,80 from co-educational schools and 140 from boys' schools. Teachers of geography were selected if they taught.Grade ten pupil in 1984.The sample of pupils was divided between high achievers, moderate achievers, and low achievers based on geography results in Grade ten. Pupils who obtained grades one and two constituted high achievers, Moderate achievers were pupils who obtained grade three. Low achievers were pupils who obtained grades four and fail.Ordinal data were collected for both selected school characteristics and achievement in geography. Data on selected school characteristics were obtained by using a structured questionnaire consisting of Part I and Part II for teachers and pupils respectively. The researcher also observed teachers at work in order to elicit information which was required ia the lesson observation check-list. Data on achievement were supplied by pupil. Bearing in wind that variance in achievement could be due to variations in the home backgrounds of pupils, and that some pupils might be acre able than others, there was need to control these factors. Selection of pupils with comparable home backgrounds helped to neutralize the home factor. Selection of pupils with equivalent ability based on Grade seven examination results helped to neutralize the intelligence factor. When all the data were collected, the friedman test was applied to determine whether or not column ranks differed significantly. Null hypothesis one was rejected, while null hypothesis two was accepted. Results seemed to indicate that pupil academic achievement was dependent on the school characteristics. Secondly, the results showed that there was no significant difference between high achievers, moderate achievers, and low achievers.
Geography--Study and Teaching--Zambia , Achievement Tests--Geography-- zambia