1.1 Background of the Study
Science literacy for all citizens, a critical component to America’s success in the future, is an important national goal (National Research Council, 1996; NRC). To promote student performance in science, it is important to determine which factors influence student science achievement in secondary schools (Ye, 2000). Such an understanding will aid in the development of new interventions for influencing these factors, thus enhancing student achievement in science. In an effort to improve student achievement, some educational research has focused on the development of highly qualified teachers. Researchers and policymakers have regarded improving teacher quality as a successful way to improve student achievement (Darling- Hammond, 2002; Greenberg, Rhodes, Ye, & Stancavage, 2004). For example, the “No Child Left Behind Act” requires that “all the teachers in core academic subjects should be highly qualified by the end of the 2005-2006 school year” (Greenberg et al., 2004). Specifically, highly qualified teachers are required to
(a) Obtain full state certification,
(b) Have sufficient subject-matter knowledge and teaching skills, and
(c) Hold at least a bachelor’s degree (Greenberg et al.).
Teacher education level and teacher experience, two main attributes of teacher quality, have gained attention, and have been the focus of many investigations. However, results of existing meta-analytic reviews examining the relationship between student achievement and both teacher education level and experience are in conflict, with some suggesting a positive relationship and others suggesting no relationship (Goldhaber, 2004; Wenglinsky, 2002). In the area of science education specifically, only four studies investigating the relationship between these two teacher attributes and student achievement have been conducted. All four of these studies were longitudinal, focused on the 10th to 12th grades, and reached the same conclusions in that teacher experience had no effect on student science achievement. However, these same studies produced mixed results regarding the effect of the teacher holding an advanced degree on student science achievement. Therefore, further exploration of such relationships in science instruction is needed. In addition, the degree to which the relationship between student science achievement and science teacher education level and experience is affected by classroom teacher behaviors has not been sufficiently investigated in previous research (Opdenakker & Damme, 2006). Many studies have demonstrated a link between the effect of teacher behaviors in the classroom on student achievement (for a review, see Fraser & Walberg, 2005). This link has also been found in the subject of science (Walberg, 1986; Wise & Okey, 1983). Among teacher behaviors that have been shown to lead to high student achievement are efficient classroom management skills, systematic teaching approaches, providing clear teaching goals, and using advance organizers (Fraser & Walberg, 2005; Skinner, Wellborn, & Connell 1990). As Wenglinsky (2002) has suggested, a teacher cannot be determined to be qualified by checking his or her education level, years of experience, or teaching certificate. Teachers influence students through their interactions with them, especially in the classroom. Thus, although important, teacher education level and experience only represent a portion of the ability to manage the classroom efficiently and to promote student achievement.
Based on the premises the study will investigate the impact of qualification and experience of teachers as factors in student’s achievement in basic science education in junior secondary school.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The problems that have been shown to influence student achievement can be categorized into three types: school-related problems, student-related problems, and teacher-related problems (Dossett & Munoz, 2003). Among these three, teacher-related factors, especially teacher quality, have generated a great deal of attention.
The existing literature, therefore, leaves two important problems unanswered:
(a) To what extent do science teacher education level and experience influence student achievement in science?
(b) Do science teacher behaviors mediate or moderate the effect of teacher education level and experience on student science achievement? To address these questions, this study will examine the joint effect of teacher behavior, experience, and education on student science achievement.
An examination of how teacher characteristics affect student achievement in science is important as results have the potential to provide insights into the importance of hiring and developing qualified teachers who are better able to help students achieve in science, as well as to direct the emphases of an ongoing teacher in-service training (Wayne & Young, 2003). By improving our understanding in these areas, administrators, researchers, and policymakers will better understand which teacher characteristics have the greatest impact on student science achievement. Based on the existing literature problem with the qualification and experience of teachers on the effect of students' achievement in basic science education. The study will fill the gap on how teacher’s qualification and experience affect student achievement in basic science education
1.3 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of the study intend to investigate the impact of teacher’s qualifications and experience on the achievement in basic sciences by students. The specific objective include:
1. To examine the impact of teachers qualification on students achievement in basic science education
2. To explore the effect of teachers experience on students achievements in basic science education
3. To examine the impact of teacher knowledge on students' achievement in basic science education.
1.4 Research Question
1. What is the effect of teacher’s qualification on student’s achievement in basic science education?
2. What impact does a teacher’s experience have on student’s achievement in basic science education?
3. What impact does teacher’s knowledge have on student’s achievement in basic science education?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0= Teachers qualification does not have a significant effect on student’s achievement
H1= Teachers qualification have a significant effect on student’s achievement
1.6 Significance of the Study
The following stakeholder will benefit from the findings of the study. They include the following; The Teachers, The school owners, and the Ministry of Education.
The teachers will from the study know-how and extent of their experience impact the lives they impact on a daily and monthly basis. The teacher will from the findings of the study improve their teaching skill in-order to improve the achievement of students most especially on basic science and another science-related subject in the school curriculum.
The school owner will from the findings of the study know the impact of qualification in bringing in new teachers into the schools and quantify their knowledge prowess so has to determine the impact they would be able to induce on the student which and whom they employed for.
Ministry of Education will from the findings of the study proffer good and adequate policies that will enhance basic science teaching and studies in junior secondary schools. The ministry will from the study see the relevance of informing the National Youth Service Commission of the importance of posting well-trained teachers in the degree opposite of where they schooled so as to improve the experience status of the teachers when teaching.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study will be carried out in junior Secondary School in Enugu State. The study will use a descriptive survey design for the study. The study will distribute questionnaires to students from JSS 1 to JSS 3. The study will use simple linear regression and the frequency to explain the questions collected for the study.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Qualification; It is the radar of the status of a person in terms of intrinsic subjective characteristics.
Experiences: it is the exposure and enlightenment of a person to a particular phenomenon.
Teachers: This is an individual that is responsible for imparting knowledge within the formal setting to the student.
Student: This is a person which knowledge is impacted upon in a formal setting..