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1.1   Background to the Study

Student evaluation of teachers is the most popular approaches to teacher evaluation. Other approaches include principal evaluation of the teacher, peer evaluation, self-evaluation and use of students’ test scores. Student evaluation of teachers implies that students who are being taught by a teacher are made to express their opinions and feelings concerning the effectiveness of their teacher’s instructional processes and activities over a period of time, and the extent to which they have benefited from those processes and activities. Such students’ opinions and feelings have been used as feedback data to improve instruction and enhance the professional growth of teachers. They have also been used as the basis or part of the bases for personnel decisions like promotion, pay rise, dismissal and other forms of award/reprimand for the teacher being assessed. Thus, Students Evaluation of Teacher is a phenomenon and practice that has thrived over the years in the murky waters of controversy. It is one of the ways of holding the teacher accountable to his/her clientele.

In students’ ratings of the teacher’s, instructions are used sometimes as a measure of the performance of the teacher from the students’ point of view. Although they are usually applied at the post-secondary (college) educational level, other writers have asserted that the ratings could be applied at secondary and at even elementary school levels. The use of students’ ratings in teacher evaluation is predicated on the assumptions that: (a) the student knows when he/she has been motivated to learn, (b) it is the student whose behaviour is to be changed, (c) student ratings constitute feedback to the teacher and (d) student recognition may promote or motivate good teaching. Most of these assumptions are undeniably true.

Using students to evaluate the teacher is quite inexpensive, and some studies have found modest degrees of correlation between students’ ratings of teachers and students’ achievement scores. However, there are really many questions about the validity, reliability, generalizability, utility, interpretability and acceptability of students’ ratings as means or measures of evaluating teachers on the job, especially when the results of such evaluation exercises are to serve purposes such as promotion, determination of tenure, dismissal or other forms of award/reprimand. However, there are some studies that have focused on correcting the flaws associated with the use of students to evaluate teachers (Darling-Hammond et al, 1983; Marsh, 1987; McKeachie & Lin, 1991; Joshua, 1998; Bassey, 2002).

After a synthesis of ideas and reports on student evaluation of the instructor/instruction, Aleamoni (1987) identified what he described as eight typical concerns of students’ evaluation of instruction as follows: (i) students cannot make consistent judgments concerning the instructor and instruction because of their immaturity, lack of experience and capriciousness; (ii) faculty express a widely held belief that only colleagues with excellent publication records and experience are qualified to evaluate their peers’ instruction; (iii) most student rating schemes are nothing more than a popularity contest, with the warm, friendly, humorous and easy-going instructor emerging as the winner every time; (iv) many faculty believe that students are not able to make accurate judgments concerning either instruction or instructor until they have been away from the course (subject), and possibly away from the institution, for several years; (v) there is a general indictment of student rating forms as many faculty members maintain that these forms are both unreliable and invalid; (vi) any of several extraneous variables, or conditions (e.g. size of class, gender of student, gender of teacher, course of major or area of specialization, etc.) could affect students’ ratings; (vii) the grades or marks that the students either expect to receive or actually receive are highly related to their ratings of both the course and the instructor; and (viii) faculty members frequently ask how student ratings or evaluations can possibly be used to improve instruction.

Although Aleamoni (1987) has also presented well-researched views and study reports to counter each of these eight concerns, SET is still an issue of concern, and this justifies the numerous studies that are directed at assessing the attitudes of teachers and faculty (who are at the centre of such evaluation programs), of which this study is one. But as far back as 1927, Remmers, regarded as the father of research into students’ evaluation of instruction, made the following strong conclusions that were empowered by accumulated evidence from more than two decades of research: (i) there is warrant for ascribing validity to students’ ratings, not merely as measures of students’ attitudes toward the instructor, but also as to what students actually learn from the content of the course; (ii) students’ judgment as a criterion of effective teaching can no longer be waved aside as invalid and irrelevant; (iii) teachers at all levels of the educational ladder have no real choice as to whether they will be judged by those they teach; the only real choice any teacher has is whether he/she wants to know what those judgments are, and whether he/she wants to use this knowledge in his/her teaching procedures; (iv) as higher education is organized and operated, students are pretty much the only ones who observe and are in a position to judge the teachers’ teaching effectiveness; and (v) no research has been published invalidating the use of student opinion as one criterion of teachers’ teaching effectiveness.

After more than 70 years since Remmers drew these conclusions, the use of students’ ratings of the instructor/instruction as a criterion for evaluating the teacher’s performance or effectiveness is a practice that has attracted research, including this one. Some of these research results are quite encouraging and revealing, while some are questionable in terms of reliability and validity.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Many studies have found positive attitudes to students evaluation of teacher, for example those of McKeachie (1983), Roe & McDonald (1983), Marsh (1987), and Marsh & Dunkin (1991). The findings from these studies attest to the usefulness and accuracy of student evaluations and their positive relation to teaching effectiveness in comparison with other measures. Other studies, on the other hand, have not found such positive attitudes. For example, in a study by Kauchak et al (1985), student evaluation of teachers was ranked seventh out of ten alternative approaches in terms of perceived validity, while this same approach was ranked eighth out of the nine given evaluation strategies in a study by Newton & Braithwaite (1988). Student ratings of the teacher were ranked fifth out of six approaches considered by Stark & Lowther (1984). In all these studies, primary and secondary teachers were used. The rankings are not impressive.

The major issue with these studies is the fact that most of them were conducted abroad, mostly in the USA. There is a serious need to conduct similar studies in the Nigerian setting, to find out the attitudes and perception of Nigerian teachers towards teaching. It is equally necessary to find out whether the attitudes expressed by teachers are affected by certain characteristics of teachers. These constitute the problem and therefore the justification for this study.

The purpose of this study, therefore, is to determine the effect of poor attitude of teaching in Nigeria; and how these attitudes were influenced by certain characteristics (e.g. gender, geographical location, academic qualifications, teaching experience and professional status) in Nigeria.

1.3   Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to investigate the effect of poor attitude of teaching in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

i)            To determine whether the teaching experience of a teacher have any influence on the attitude of teachers to teaching profession

ii)          To examine whether the sex of the teacher his or attitude to teaching profession

iii)        To find out if the qualification of the teacher have any effect on his or her attitude towards teaching

iv)         To ascertain the environmental setting that affect teachers’ attitude towards teaching

1.4   Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)            What does the teaching experience of a teacher have any influence on the attitude of teachers to teaching profession?

ii)          Does the sex of the teacher his or attitude to teaching profession?

iii)        Does the qualification of the teacher have any effect on his or her attitude towards teaching?

iv)         Does the environmental setting that affect teachers’ attitude towards teaching?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;

i)            Teaching experience of a teacher does not have any significant influence on the attitude of teachers to teaching profession

ii)          Sex of the teachers does affect their attitude to teaching profession

iii)        Qualification of teachers has significant effect on their attitude towards teaching

iv)         Environmental setting has a significant influence on teachers’ attitude towards teaching

1.6   Significance o the Study

The result of this research will obviously reveal the reasons affecting the attitude of and behaviour of teachers towards teaching. This in turn will help identify the main problems faced by teachers, students and the community in general with appropriate solution sought. Out. The study will therefore act as a guide to the educational administrators when deciding attitude of teachers towards effective teaching.

1.7   Definition of Terms

Attitude: This refers to the general behaviour of teacher as a result of teaching. This outward expression of inner teaching reflects to total, disposition of the teacher which includes some actions and reactions affecting the general out-put of the teachers.

Teachers: Teachers are all those that are professionally skilled and certificated as a result of training in educational and related courses to improve knowledge to learners. They include N.C.E. AND Bachelor degree holders, B.Sc form recognized universities.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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