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PSYCHOMETRIC STUDY OF JUNIOR SECONDARY STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BASIC SCIENCE TEACHER MADE TEST AND BASIC EDUCATION CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION

EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background of the study

Psychometrics is defined as a field of study related with the theory and techniques of psychological measurement, which comprises the measurement of knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits and educational measurement. It is mainly concernedwith the construction and validation of measurement instruments like questionnaires, tests, and personality assessments. Psychometrics deals with two main tasks, which include; the construction of instruments and the procedures for measurement, and the development and refinement of theoretical approaches to measurement.Significant psychometriccharacteristics are the difficulties, discrimination and distracter indices which have been discovered in test items, based onthe performance of candidates responding to the items. Given the importance attached to Basic science,performance of students has become a thing of deal because of the possibility that a lot of students will not be self-employed and self-reliant when they leave school.

The importance of junior secondary school students’ academic test and basic education examination performance predictors have been emphasized by many researchers who pointed out that student attitudes and interests could playasubstantial role among students studying basic science.

One of the main reasons for testing students in schools is to give rise to scores which are on many occasions used in making important decisions such as selection, promotion and certification. Based on  scores from students tests, schools decide who are to be promoted, external examining bodies also through this means decide who are to be certificated, higher institutions etc decide who are to be admitted. At junior secondary school level, test scores are majorly the scores used to make judgment on the competence/or skills for basic education certification and admission into senior secondary school, among others. Since the decisions made based on scores of students are very important to the students, parents, guardians and the public, the scores should reflect the most accurate estimates of abilities, competencies and skills.

Basic science is a close in to teachingof science in which concepts and principles are presented such that the fundamental unity of scientific concepts without any predilection to the compartmentalized Science is expressed. It is a subject which encircles all science subjects, namely Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics, therefore, is a subject that is needed in all branches of science, applied science and social science. The subject is also geared towards helping students to grow the basic understanding of the Nigerian business system and its role in the economic society of the country. It provides students with the ability, courage and skills to be gainfully employed upon completion of their programme as well as prepare them for setting up their small business as entrepreneurs. The subject implants into students, at their early age, the worthwhile values as value orientation, employment generation and wealth creation that are neededfor an entrepreneur and the workers in the business environments to succeed. Due to the relevance of this subject, no student should be denied of the proper grasp and learning of Basic Science especially at the junior secondary level.

Diverse difficulties facing the teachers and external examiners on how to assess students and to obtain scores with free and fair evaluation as well as reducing difficulty are too numerous to mention. Ebube in the year (2010) placed special importance on fair and equitable treatment of examinees that is similar or equal with their actual performance on the test they took. On this premise, teachers embrace different techniques of teaching; they also embark on constant students’ assessment to motivate students to study hard. After generating and developing test items, the administered tests are marked and thee overall scores produced are used to judge the competencies, achievement, skills of the each student without giving heed to the response pattern of the students to the items of such items in relation to the students’ character traits. The main purpose of standardized tests and basic education certification exam is to provide a means of measuring a group of examinees’ skills that is as fair and objective as possible. This evaluation of test scores may also lead to a decision to leave a student from some academic programmes at senior secondary school level. It is therefore important that a standardized test scores provide a fair and equitable evaluation of the skills and ability that it purports to measure.

1.2. Statement of the general problem

The poor academic performance of junior secondary students in Nigeria has become a household problem in that it has led to a host of several problems both within the educational sector and outside it. The poor academic performance of students in basic science some say may have been attributed to the lack of effectiveness of teachers in the field others argue that it has been as a result of the inability of students to read. Whatever the problem may be, the poor performance in basic science has grossly affected the educational sector in making a laughing stock among educationally developed nations in Africa let alone in the advanced countries. as the saying goes that technology drives the world, the consistent poor performance of students in basic science may spell doom for the country’s future since the youths are the leaders of tomorrow.

1.3. Aims and objectives of the study

The main aim of the study is to examine the academic performance of junior secondary students on basic science using the teacher made test and the basic education certificate examination as a guide. Other specific objectives of the research are;

  1. To examine the level of effectiveness of teachers in teaching basic science in junior secondary schools in Keffi.
  2. To determine the causes of poor performance of students in basic science in Keffi local government area.
  3. To evaluate the effectiveness of teacher made test on the academic performance of students in junior secondary schools in keffi local government area.
  4. To examine the influence of teachers in the academic performance of students in junior secondary schools in keffi.
  5. To recommend ways of improving students performance in public examinations in basic science.

1.4. Research Questions

  1. What is the level of effectiveness of teachers in teaching basic science in junior secondary schools in Keffi?
  2. What are the causes of poor performance of students in basic science in Keffi local government area?
  3. What is the effectiveness of teacher made test on the academic performance of students in junior secondary schools in keffi local government area?
  4. What is the influence of teachers in the academic performance of students in junior secondary schools in keffi?
  5. Does teacher made test influence academic performance of basic science students in public examinations?

1.5. Research Hypotheses

H0: Teacher made test does not significantly influence the performance of basic science students in basic education certificate examination

H1: Teacher made test significantly influences the performance of basic science students in basic education certificate examination

H0: Teachersdo not influence the performance of students in public examinations

H1: Teachers influences the performance of students in public examinations

1.6. Significance of the study

The study would be immense importance to the development of basic science in the educational curriculum of junior secondary schools as it would proffer solutions to the poor academic performance of students in public examinations in keffi local government area. The study would also be of importance to researchers, scholars and students who are interested in making further studies on the subject matter.

1.7. Scope of the study

This work is restricted to the psychometric study of junior secondary students’ academic performance in basic science teacher made test and basic education certificate examination using keffi local government area of Nassarawa state as a case study

1.8. Limitation of the study

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9. Definition of term

PSYCHOMETRIC TEST:psychometric test - any standardized procedure for measuring sensitivity or memory or intelligence or aptitude or personality etc; "the test was standardized on a large sample of students" mental test, mental testing, test

PSYCHOLOGY:the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.

SCIENCE:the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

TEST:a critical examination, observation, or evaluation

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