By Onah, KT; Anamezie, RC; Nnadi, FO (2022). Greener Journal of Educational Research, 12(1): 22-30.
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Vol. 12(1), pp. 22-30, 2022
Copyright ©2022, the copyright of this article is retained by the author(s)
1, 2 & 3 Department of Science Education, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, P.M.B. 01660 Agbani, Enugu State, Nigeria.
108065035976 , 208036704252
1Orcid:https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4075-8580, 2orcid:https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6316-74282 & 3orcid:https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7173-4517.
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Onah, Kingsley T
E-mail: kingsley.onah@ esut.edu.ng
Phone: 08065035976 , 208036704252
Science education embodies all educational processes aimed at providing unlimited opportunities for learners to understand and utilize the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes required to operate effectively in a scientific and technological society. Science education is an integral field of study which considers both the subject matter of science discipline such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture, and so on, as well as the process involved in the teaching and learning of science (Okeke, 2014). It is in the attainment of this goal of science education that we hope to produce the required large pool of experts in science and technology, which will help to bring about the much-needed socio-economic development of a nation. These experts can only be produced through a well-organized and efficient science and technology education. Physics education is an aspect of Science Education that deals with the teaching and learning of physical properties of matter in relation to its energy.
Physics is the most fundamental and the root of every field of science (Eryilmaz, 2016). Anyakoha (2016) defined physics as a natural science that involves the study of matter and energy and their interactions. Physics is the study of the natural phenomenon at its most fundamental levels and manner. This is because, physics, being one of the core subjects offered in Nigerian schools forms the basis for the nation’s technological advancement and human resource development (Abubakar, 2012). Physics knowledge has contributed immensely to the production of tools and devices of tremendous advantage to the human race (Sani, 2012). The knowledge of physics according to Gabriel (2012) offers the learners the opportunity to think critically, reason analytically and acquire the spirit of enquiry. The researcher also stressed that the knowledge of physics develops in students, the scientific and technological knowledge, skills and attitudes which will assist them to make decisions based on the observation and experimentation. Quantum Physics, Geophysics, Medical Physics, Computing Physics, Material Physics, Environmental Physics, Communication, Physics Education, Engineering and Industrial Physics, to list but a few, are career courses in institutions of higher learning; and most importantly, teaching younger Physics students. The knowledge of Physics transforms to emergent of technological sophisticated materials like computers, transistors, laser and other Robotic machines that aid efficiency in the world of Science.
Interestingly, as important as Physics Education is, students’ academic achievement has not been encouraging in the institution of higher learning. The pass rate for the undergraduate Physics Education courses at ESUT for the past couple of years has been dismal. In 2020, the pass rates for SED 144 (first year, Teaching Fluid Mechanics-second semester), SED 243 (second year, Teaching Atomic Physics; First semester) and SED 346 (Third year, workshop practices in Physics Education; Second semester) were 25%, 38% and 43% respectively, though in 2021, there were relative improvement of student’s achievement in the courses aforementioned, as about 60% of the students who sat for the respective courses passed with at least Credit (C, 50mark) (Department of Science Education, ESUT 2022). The low pass rates in all the Physics Education undergraduate courses have prompted the question regarding which cognitive and non-cognitive factors predict academic achievement in Physics Education. The Examiners during Results Consideration stated that many students cannot properly draw physics diagrams, give correct definitions of some concepts or solve some problems, using mnemonics to master some physics equations.
The students’ poor achievement in Physics Education has been attributed to many factors. These include; poor methods of physics instruction by the teachers, insufficient number of qualified physics teachers, lack of indigenous textbooks, inadequate apparatus in the physics laboratory, poor classroom management by physics teachers, teacher’s belief and attitude towards physics, physics teacher’s inability to improvise, inadequate instructional materials and aids, educational background and parental expectations on the learners and finally students’ related-factors or variables like students’ academic anxiety, academic self-efficacy, academic locus of control, academic motivation and more ( Adedayo & Jegede, 2013). This study therefore, is set to find out the predictive power of students’ academic self-regulation on their academic achievement in Physics Education.
Academic self-regulation is defined as the acts of controlling one’s behavior, emotions, thoughts, feelings and actions in the pursuit of long-term academic goals. Self-regulation is also seen as the act of setting specific goals which involves utilizing task strategies such as elaborating, organizing, rehearsing and displaying high levels of self-efficacy and intrinsic interest; and self-monitoring and self-reflecting on performance outcomes. Academic self-regulation involves students who can be self-independent, self-initiated learners with the ability to use a variety of learning strategies (e.g., organizing, transforming, note taking) to accomplish specific learning goals (Zimmerman, 2012). According to Zimmerman and Kitsantas (2014) Self-regulation is a multidimensional construct that includes the regulation of emotion, cognition, and behavior for attainment of educational goals. Within the academic domain, self-regulation encompasses purposeful actions, monitored and sustained by the learner, to achieve learning goals. According to Younes et al (2014) self-regulation is a skill that individuals employ to change their thoughts, feelings, desires, and daily activities to attain higher goals. They added that self-regulation incudes strategies, which individuals use to regulate and control the academic cognition. Pintrich (2000) in Younes et al (2014) defined self-regulation as the active and constructive processes that learners employ to regulate, motivate and control their cognition and behavior for enhanced academic achievement. They opined that students who are self-regulated have certain features distinguishing them from students who are not. These features include using cognitive strategies, controlling and trying to arrange time, programming and controlling mind processes to reach personal goals, creating appropriate learning environments, putting in adequate effort to control and regulate academic assignments and class environment. Self-regulation is a factor which was introduced by Bandura in the 1967’s. Preliminary studies on self-regulation were conducted at different personal, familial, and social levels. Bandura describes self-regulation as the ability to begin and give up necessary activities, social and educational opportunities, and the ability to postpone achieving task or a desired goal (Bandura, 1988, 1991; Kitsantas, Winsler and Huie (2008) One theorist who had a great impact on the expansion of self-regulation was Zimmerman. Zimmerman describes self-regulation as self-regulation of thoughts, emotions and self-generated actions, which are planned and acquired periodically to achieve personal goals (Garner, 2009; Zimmerman, 2008; Zimmerman, Bonner, & Kovach, 1996). Based on literature, individuals have two systems of self-regulation: promotion self-regulatory focus and prevention self-regulatory focus. In promotion focus, the subject is sensitive to positive results, whereas in prevention focus the subject is sensitive to the absence of losses. Results of examinations have shown that through transformational leadership, promotion relies considerably on job satisfaction. Nowadays, the significance of self-regulation has been emphasized in all psychological aspects of Human behavior, not only in the emotional aspect (Tseng & Kang, 2009). The academic self-regulation is organized under the following components:
Academic self-regulation includes the components of self-planning, self-monitoring, self-instructions, self-evaluation and self-reaction.
Self-Planning: This is the self-regulatory or strategic actions taken by the students which refer to self-generated actions and thoughts, which are systematically designed to attain the desired goals. This process includes goal setting, planning, self-motivational beliefs, outcome expectations, and the extent to which the learner gives importance to the tasks.
Self-Monitoring: This is the inclination to use clues from other peoples’ self-presentations in controlling one’s own self presentations. Deliberate attention to one’s own behavior is referred to as self-monitoring. It is assisted with self-recording where for instance behaviors are recorded along with time, space and frequency of occurrence. Self-monitoring is the ability of one to adjust oneself from situation to situation or to the standards set by others. If you are self-monitoring, you can control both your verbal and non-verbal presentations so that you can respond to those expectations. High self-monitoring individuals are concerned about and are aware of the way others react to them, but they give more importance about actively and effectively changing their behaviors to adjust to others’ reactions and expectations.
Self-Instruction: Self-instruction refers to taking notice and considering academic strengths, weaknesses and strategies as they apply to tackle day to day challenges of academic tasks. Self-instruction is ability of individual telling oneself to go ahead during a learning task and solve different problems. These problems are provided to strengthen the mastering ability. The instruction involves repetition of tasks to promote understanding, which in turn promotes academic achievement.
Self-Evaluation: Self-evaluation means reflective thinking, thinking about one’s self activity, of the past. Self-evaluation is the process learning how to understand how another has performed, in order to permit the subject to evaluate how well s/he has performed. Self-evaluation is comparing present performance with a standard. This standard may be completing a task first or giving importance to the standard in the process of completing the task. Self-evaluation is usually an initial self-reflective process that occurs after learning; and self-regulated learners evaluate accurately how well they are doing.
Self-Reaction: Self-reaction refers to reaction to one’s performance and the strategies which one employs for coping with the result of reflective thinking. This may be positive or negative, good or bad, acceptable or not.
The general desire to improve non-cognitive learning skills and student’s academic achievement in Physics Education should be a concern of all stakeholders in education in Nigeria. Therefore, this study seeks to examine the predictive power of students’ academic self-regulation on their academic achievement in Physics Education in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria.
Gender has been noted by researchers over the years as having impact on achievement in Physics and its related disciplines (Akumah, 2013). Akumah even stressed that science, technology and their related disciplines are male-reserved while Art and Humanities are female reserved. This belief makes boys appear to have a natural positive attitude towards science and technical subjects while girls show more inclination to Arts and Humanities. The problem is even compounded by the fact that most science educators give masculine outlook to science subjects such as chemistry and physics (Babajide, 2010); encouraging females to go rather for biology, agricultural science and home economics which they consider to be more female-friendly science subjects. Some other researchers (Nwankwo & Okoye, 2015; Orefor, 2016) opined that gender has no influence on students’ achievement in the sciences. All these and related treatments make girls have phobia for science and science-related subjects which definitely affect their future career-choice and eventual achievement. Due to lack of consensus regarding the issue of gender and science and more importantly to capture the interest of girls, and consequently improve their achievement in physics and other science related carriers, there is a need therefore to try such innovative strategy as scaffolding teaching approach to see what effect it will have on achievement of male and female students in the sciences especially Physics.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to investigate the prediction of academic self-regulation on the achievement of Physics Education students in Enugu State University of Science and Technology of Enugu State.
Specifically, the study seeks to find the:
The following research questions were designed to guide the study
The following null hypotheses were formulated for the study; which was tested at 0.05 level of significance
A correlational survey research design was employed for the study. The correlational is most suitable since it can enable the researcher to collect data on the study variables, and systematically describe the facts and characteristics of a given population, as well as predict the relationships thereof (Wenslaus, 2015). The population of the study was 1342 science education students in Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). The sample for the study consisted of 172 students (82 males and 90 females). The sample was drawn through purposive sampling technique from Physics Education programme in Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). Simple random sampling, precisely balloting was used to select year II and year III students in the programme. The instrument used for data collection were two the Physics Academic Self-Regulation Scale (PASRS) adapted from 30 items scale of Akhatar and Mahmood (2013) and Physics academic Achievement scores extracted from the students semesters examination of 2020/2021 academic session which was conducted by the university (ESUT). PASRS is a four point scale, ranging from 1 = strongly disagree to 4 = strongly agree, which was used for all items in this instrument. 9 question items had negative cue in the instrument, precisely 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23. These negatively cued items were reverse-scored before the scores were computed at the analysis stage. Moreover, for analytical convenience, the 4 points scale was reduced to three points after data has been collected. Thus, the analyses were based on Low Self-Regulation, Moderate Self-Regulation, and High Self-Regulation as depicted below.
Low Self-Regulation 0.00 – 2.49
Moderate Self-Regulation 2.50 – 3.00
High Self-Regulation 3.10 – 4.00
Physics achievement was measured based on 2020/2021 semesters examination scores of year II and III physics education students. The examination was organized by Enugu State University of Science and Technology. The examination questions were normally taken through the basic processes of validation and reliability (vetting) before they were administered. Hence, the examination questions were deemed fit, valid and reliable. The variable of academic achievement is an interval scale. A student’s achievement score is lower or higher than another. The standard measure of achievement is the scores of students in an examination. It is graded 100% on a full scale as 70 – 100 = A, 60 – 69 = B, 50 – 59 = C, 45 – 49 = D, 40 – 44 = E, 0 – 39 = F. the variable has been re-graded as ordinal scale as shown below
Low Achievement 0 – 49%
Moderate Achievement 50 – 69%
High Achievement 70 – 100%
The instrument was face and content validated by three experts and tested for reliability using Cronbach alpha which yielded a coefficient of 0.87. The instrument was administered to the students and scored by the researcher to avoid bias. The research questions were answered using mean, standard deviation, frequency and percentages. Hypotheses were tested using simple linear regression analysis. If the p-value is less than 0.05, then the null hypothesis will be rejected and accept alternative hypothesis but if it is greater than 0.05, the null hypothesis will not be rejected.
Research Question 1: What is the mean academic self-regulation of Physics Education students in ESUT?
Answer to Research question 1 is presented in Table 1.
Table 1: Mean and Standard deviation of academic self-regulation of Physics Education students in ESUT?
Table 2 shows the Physics Academic Self-Regulation scale (PASRS) of Physics Education students in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State. The result shows that, out of the 25-items questions, the students indicated low self-regulation on 4 items, moderate and high self-regulation on 16 and 5, respectively. The mean average physics academic self-regulation scale is 2.82 which depict moderate overall academic self-regulation for physics students in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State.
Research Question 2: What is the academic achievement of Physics Education students in ESUT?
Answer to Research question 2 is presented in Table 2.
Table 2: Frequency and Percentage of academic achievement of Physics Education students in ESUT?
Table 2 shows that the rate of Physics Education achievement in the selected courses in Physics Education Programme in Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State. The results showed that about 17.44% of the physics education students had low achievement in their 2020/2021 semesters assessment. The proportions of students with moderate and high achievement are about 53.49% and 29.07% respectively. This suggests average of moderate achievements.
Hypothesis 1: There is no significant prediction of academic self-regulation on the academic achievement Physics Education students in ESUT.
Table 3: Relative Contribution of Physics Academic Self-Regulation to the prediction of their academic achievement in Physics Education
Table 3 displays the unstandardized coefficients with t- and p-values of the predictor and the moderator variables respectively. The table showed that the independent variable made a significant contribution to the prediction of physics education academic achievement. Considering the extent of contribution, academic self-regulation, the un-standardized coefficient (B = .296) and standardized coefficient or slope ( = .306) was significantly different from 0.000 (t = 4.281; P < 0.05). This indicates that for every one point increase in students’ self-regulation, their academic achievement increased by 30/100 when controlling gender. Therefore, null hypothesis was thus rejected. There was statistical significant contribution of students’ self-regulation to the prediction of their academic achievement in Physics Education.
Table 4: Moderated multiple regression analysis on Academic Achievement
Table 4 shows that the independent variable (self-regulation) as seen in model 1, has significant effect on the academic achievement of the students with the value of R2 = .139 and adjusted R2 = .129, it implies that the independent variable; self-regulation contributed approximately 1% prediction of academic achievement, thereby indicating that it is good predictor of academic achievement. This is also statistically significant F (2,169) = 13.611; P < 0.05.
Table 5: Analysis of Variance on the Moderated Multiple Regression
Table 5 showed the output of ANOVA on the moderated multiple regression. It shows in model 1, F (2, 169) = 13.611; P < 0.05. This added weight for the rejection of the null hypothesis. Hence, the independent variable (self-regulation) significantly predicted academic achievement of Physics Education students.
Hypothesis 2: Moderation effect of gender on students’ academic self-regulation in predicting their academic achievement in physics is insignificant.
Table 3 shows the moderating effect of gender on self-regulation, the un-standardized coefficient (B = .160) and standardized coefficient ( = .473) was not statistically significant different from 0.00 (t = 1.155; P > 0.05). More so, model 2 of the model summary table showed addition of the moderator variable (gender) to the predictor variable made no significant contribution to the prediction of students’ academic achievement (R2 Change = .007) which is not statistically significant F-Change (2, 168) = .250; P > 0.05. Hence, the null hypothesis was accepted. Thus, there is no moderation effect of gender on the relative predictor variable to the prediction of students’ academic achievement in Physics Education.
The results of this study along with the immense research on the area of perceived control provide significant evidence supporting the impact of self-regulation on school success. Success in school is usually thought of as acquiring good grades and achieving well on standardized tests and examinations. This is certainly one aspect of success but many other factors are also involved. Factors such as motivation levels, self-esteem, ability to adapt to various settings, acceptance of constructive criticism and willingness to learn according to the literature, are influenced by self-regulation. From the result, self-regulation made a significant contribution to academic achievement of Physics Education Students and it was found to be statistically significant as evident in table 3, 4 and 5. The finding is consistent with the previous work of (Baris, 2015; Zimmerman, 2102; Zimmerman, 2011; Zimmerman, 2010; Stephanie, 2013; Kitsantas, Winsler & Huie, 2008, Zimmerman & Schunk, 2008) but against the work of (Achufusi & Utaka, 2021). This was also consistent with Bandura (1967) who noted that those who have a sense of self-regulation in mastering academic task tend to learn better in formal school environment as well as in informal environment outside the school. Be that as it may, the sky is the starting point for students that have good self-regulation for them will achieve more.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study examined self-regulation as predictor of academic achievement of Physics Education students in physics courses in Enugu State University of Science and Technology. The result had so far revealed that the independent variables relatively correlated with and significantly predicted academic achievement.
Consequently, educators need to spend time implementing curriculum and instructional and management techniques that reinforce students’ belief and internal tendencies to fostering growth towards a more regulated self and perceived sense of control for students with external tendencies. The policy makers should therefore include in the educational blue prints strategies that will help students (right from elementary school) to develop goal setting skill, appropriate learning style (studying style), perception of self and time management skill. The policy should not just be a window dress blue print. It should be proactively implemented and monitored until the expected skills are developed by all students at different ages and levels. Furthermore, school authority should always make sure that students are not left out in decision-making. It is hoped that this will promote their sense of self-regulation about themselves and academic activities. Teachers should not see the variable in this study as superior to the other and hence neglect or ignore one at the expense of the other. They should endeavor to improve self-regulation on the students by adopting teaching strategies that would stimulate students’ self-regulation belief and internality.
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