This study examined how the teachers’ perception of their public image influences the Achievement of Secondary School Physics Students in Lagos, Nigeria. The research design adopted was quasi-experimental of the pretest – post-test non-randomized control group. Purposive sampling was used to obtain a sample of three co-educational secondary schools. Each school provided one S.S.I and S.S. II class for the study. Two instruments were used in the study, the PhysicsAchievement Test (PAT) to measure students’ achievement and Teachers questionnaire to train the teachers in the experimental groups. The instrument was pilot tested to ascertain reliability. Also, there was no significant effect of gender on students ‘achievement in Physics although, females did better than males. Finally, there was no significant interaction effect of treatment and gender on student achievement in Physics. Thus, Physics teachers need to be up and doing and also in the maintenance of instructional materials. One third of the students did not think that secondary science teachers prepared them for life in a scientific-technological society. A culture of high expectancy on the part of teachers, parents and administrators may be key to influencing rates of success.


1.1 Background to the Study

While common sense suggests that teachers’ quality affects student performance, rigorous supporting evidence has rarely been provided. An important reason for this is that the ingenuity of teachers makes it difficult to sort out the direction of causation in the relationship between teachers’ perception and students’ outcomes in physics, and to separate teachers’ perception from unobserved individual characteristics that might affect both subject selection and academic performance.

Bajah.S. (1991) the ideal way of identifyingteachers’ impact on student performance would be through a random assessment of teachers across schools.

Apart from parents, the group of people who will help make this dream a reality is undoubtedly the teachers.

The federal government of Nigeria (FGN, 2008) also echoes this philosophy. It is therefore, very surprising that these teachers should be held in contempt the way it is now. If the society places so much emphasis on education, why then should it treat teachers shabbily? Could it be as much as fault of the society as it is that of the teacher? These and other pertinent. Questions must be answered.

Do we agree that teaching as a vocation is not easy? But we utterly disagree that it is deplorable as many people see it. To be a school teacher is not to be a clown, to the fools and people of low understanding. Teaching is a humble task, but to be truthful, it is the noblest of all vocations.

It will not be an over-statement to say that, shabby` treatment of teachers or low regard for teachers has been as old as time itself. From experience in this part of the world, (Frazer, B.J 1992) teaching is a humble and labour task. It only fits for people who have no other choice but to be school Master/ Mistresses. One does not need to look too closely at teaching to know that one of the causes of the poor academic achievement of the students is low regard for teachers. This has been the main cause and until this important group of people are accorded their rightful position in the society, the trend will continue.

This studyexamines the influence the teachers’ perception of their public image has on the achievements of the secondary school students in physics.School administrators, parents, and students themselves widely support the notion that teacher quality is vital to student achievement, despite the lack of evidence linking achievement to observable teacher characteristics. Studies that estimate the relation between achievement and teachers’ characteristics, including their credentials, have produced little consistent evidence that students perform better when their teachers have more ‘desirable’ characteristics.

Isola, O.M.(2010), it is widely known that students no longer perform well in physics examinations, a yardstick of measuring sound growths and achievement in physics, and one of the major causes may be the teachers public image as has been mentioned above.

Due to the composition of physics education, most physics teachers believe it should be done practically and theoretically to allow for effective understanding of the knowledge by students. From finding of

Mitchell and Dejong (1990) and Thornton (1993) “good learning requires constant variation in the purposeful intellectual activities of the learner and a wide range of pedagogical stratifies”. To them many teachers do not have access to didactic materials and modern educational technologies (laboratory, printer, video, multimedia, software etc.), which could have made training learner – centred. Researches had been conducted on learning environment in different countries like USA, Australia, Netherlands,

Nigeria etc. such researches include the research reported by Lim (1993) who did a study in physics performance in different types of schools (good, average and below) and different educational streams. It is henceforth imperative to study the teachers’ perception and its influence on student’s achievement in physics in secondary schools since science without physics is incomplete and because there can be no technological advancement without physics. This study is timely and effective when the country needs more genuine teachers to advance students achievement in physics.

1.2 Statement of the problem:

In spite of the importance of the teacher as the engine that pulls the educational system along to the land of knowledge, there is still the tendency for people to regard the teacher lowly in the society.

Kamoru O. (2006), teachers being human are sometimes conscious of their rating in thesociety and their feelings may become attitude to work on their students. It becomes necessary there to continue to monitor what, the teacher thinks about his /her job and his / her students in the light of confusing signals from the society about the public image of the teacher.

The problem of this study therefore is: What do teachers perceive their public image to be and how do they perceive their public image to influence their duty performance with regard to the then academic achievement of their students in physics. Factors such as lack of adequate laboratory equipment, ineffectiveness and lack of teaching proficiency of teachers, lack of qualified teachers and school factors have been identified as major causes of underachievement of science students in physics. Some kinds of differential behaviour toward students who vary in their mastery of the curriculum are appropriate and productive. Giving some students more advanced material than others is clearly necessary when there is variability in student skill level, and students need different amounts and kinds of teacher assistance and attention. Nevertheless, most of the teacher behaviours described below, which have been shown to be associated with high versus low expectations, cannot be defended as appropriate accommodations to individual student needs. Despite all these efforts, the poor performances of students still exist. However, little emphasis has been laid on the effect of teachers’ perception and its influence on thestudents’ achievement of physics.

1.3 Scope of the Study:

This study looks into the public image of the teachers and their influence on the achievement of the students in physics as perceived by the teachers alone. The influence of these teachers perception of their public image which this study also takes care of, is narrowed down to the science student especially in the areas of physics.

There are number of problems we find in different aspect of our educational system, but we have delimited ourselves to the public image of teachers and its influence on the achievement of the students in physics. Consequently, the teachers will help the physics students achieve their goals of academic excellence as well as the school to encourage preparation for future challenges and thereby contributing their quotas regarding development in the achievement of good standard in physics.

1.4 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to examine the influence of teachers’ perceptions of their public image on students’ in senior secondary school physics, and the objective of this study is stated below

1. To find outphysicsteachers perception of their public image.

2. To find out the perception ofphysics teachersof their public image has impact on the academic achievement of their student.

3. To find out the causes of the teachers public image in physics

4. To determine the strategies for improving teachers’ public image and its influence on the student achievement in physics.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This project is of immense importance to (i) Students,

(ii) Teachers (iii) Society.

Students of education who will like to take a look at or study the image of teachers in the Nigerian society. It isbeneficial and will draw their attention more to the great and important position of the teachers in the society.

Also to the teacher it serves as a mirror to them as they will use it to see themselves from the perspectives of the society or public. It also goes a long way to correct the poor societal conception of the teachers.

Mkpanang, J.T(2005) there are widespread claims about the negative public image of physics, but very little systematic enquiry into it. Therefore the result of this study is providing systematic and empirical data on public images and myths of physics.

By examining the different images, attitudes, belief and myths of physics that public adults hold, there is a potential for such images, attitudes, beliefs to be challenged, promoted or discouraged. The information obtained will enhance better strategies and measures for promoting Public Understanding of physics.

Moronfola, B(2002) the impact of cultural difference on image of physics teachers revealed in the comparison might serve to support or challenge the notion that physics is universal, value-free or culture-free. The findings might help to illuminate our understanding on whether the difference in culture and value system could have led to the difference in images of physics, and consequently the difference in physics achievement.

Having described the current scenario of the public understanding of physics and the importance and significance of the public images of physics teachers, I argued that thereis an urgent need to carry out this study. Before I conceptualise the theoretical framework of the study (in Chapter 3), I shall first review critically some related studies in literature.

1.6 Research Questions:

1. What is the perception of teachers of their public image and its influence on the achievement of students in physics?

2. What factors determine the competency level of teachers?

3. What factors of the teachers’ public image influencesthe achievement of students in physics?

1.7 Hypothesis

In this study, the following null hypothesis shall be stated.

i. There will be no significant relationship between the teachers’ perception of their public image and its influence on the achievement of student in physics.

ii. Students’ perception of their physics teacher will have no relative influence on their achievement in physics.

iii. There will be no significant relationship between the factors and the students’ achievement in physics.

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