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Psychological principles of teaching and their effects on the academic performance of backward children in secondary school in Buea sub division

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The children we call backward children are not in need of special education. They are likely to need some extra time and help in regular class room. They are capable by learning like an average child. Backward children are those who learn at a slower than average rate.

The causes of slow learning are low intellectual learning, unfavorable school conditions and personal factors such as illness and absence from school. Environmental factors such as family inadequately, cultural, poverty, parental disharmony also contribute to this slow learning.

Backward children or slow learner work best with a changeful designed step. Slow learners can learn if instruction is approached changefully. The ways in this reigned are tutoring and remedial instruction.

Slow learning children are not special education students but they represent a group of educationally retarded. These children need suitable arrangements in regular schools. Although some of these children receive education in special school and special class, they finally move to regular school after backwardness in removed.

Identification of slow learning children is not obvious except for educational backwardness. These children display weakness in thinking, finding, out relationships, similarity, familiarity, reasoning, poor development of concept, language, and number concepts, memory, Socio emotional.

Characteristic include feeling of in security, withdrawal, immaturity, regression and fantasy. This chapter shall explain the following headings, background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, significant of the study, research questions, and hypothesis of the studies, justification of the study, scope of the study and operational definitions of terms.

Background of the study

No country can probably justly claim that it has already achieved whatever is possibly achievable for its handicapped children, either physically handicapped or mentally or of any type. What is more important, however, is how a country is moving in that direction.

The need for providing adequate facilities for the children below average in intelligence and attainments has been well realised all over the world. In all educationally progressive countries, including our country, institutions for handicapped children are found.

During the post war period, in most of the advanced countries, there has been a rapid expansion of social as well as educational programmes for all levels of mental retardation and in Cameroon too during the last decade.

It is not very long ago that mostly mentally retarded children were generally considered as idiots. This outlook is changing as time passes. The idea that mentally retarded children are totally in educable has been given up.

Now they are classified according to the various levels of intellectual ability. All the educationists and psychologists of the world are unanimous with regard to the need for the education of the children who are below average either intellectually or academically or by both.

The importance of the problem of educating dull backward children or failing pupils lies in the facts noted below: there is considerable wastage in education at the Secondary Education level. Even at the primary level wastage is not less.

To lessen the wastage at both the levels- Primary as well as Secondary – some kind of education for the dull backward children is a prerequisite.

Secondly, backwardness and dullness are related to delinquency and researches by C.Burt, W.Healy, Mann and Mann, M.A.Merril, Goddard and the like have shown that there are high percentages of dull and backward children among the young delinquents.

This gives added importance to the need for special attention to the education of l backward children. The last but not the least important factor is the present educational situation in Cameroon. At present, education from 6 to 14 years is compulsory and children come to school from all strata of society.

So, naturally, individual differences show themselves still more widely; and if, some adjustment to the educational needs of individual children is not planned soon, the result may be further deterioration in school success and further wastage of efforts on every front. For many centuries children having mental deficiency were neglected and maltreated Instead of being given help and education.

Mental illness was shrouded in mystery for years. More attention was paid to the deaf-mute and blind children than the mentally deficient.

In the 19th century many research workers like Itard in France (1810), Edward Seguin in Paris (1837) Guggenbahl in Switzerland (l84l), Maria Montessori in Italy (l897), India, early, and efforts have been made in educating physically handicapped children.

The O.Decroly in Belgium started experiments educating mentally deficient children. In credit for -pioneering work in this direction goes to the Christian Missionaries. Miss Annie Sharp-, Miss A.J. Ask with and others established schools for blinds.

Briefly, all the efforts in the 19th century, in Western countries and in India clearly point out that these efforts- were made either to educate physically handicapped children or the children who were severely mentally deficient.

The efforts demonstrated that to a certain extent, even mentally retarded children can be taught and practically nobody is entirely uneducable (p.181). In the 20th century many problems such as delinquency, wastage and stagnation in education, etc., have been posed by those children who are neither physically handicapped nor severely mentally retarded.

These children are just below average in the scale of Intelligence and in scholastic achievements. In many countries, including Cameroon, the failing students have attracted the minds of the educationists and psychologists.

A good number of researches have been done in the 20th century and institutions for educating the failing students have been instituted in many countries in the world including Cameroon like the Holy Cross International College located at the Yaoundé Akonolinga Tran African highway which admits and educate backward children.

After independence, in India too, the work in this direction has been initiated. In 1955-56, a National Advisory Council for the Education of the Handicapped had been appointed. It makes provision for the establishment, supervision and control of the institutions for educating handicapped.

The backward children or the failing students have already drawn attention of the research workers and the educationists of the countries.

In Cameroon, most teachers are not trained to effectively manage the diversified needs of their learners. Most of these teachers have little or no knowledge about the psychological principles of teaching which help to facilitate teaching and learning processes. Also inadequate infrastructure and educational resources, no specialised trained teachers in a regular classroom with unstructured environment and a large class size make the teaching learning process ineffective. Nalova (2011), states that the normal class population set by government for the regular class is 60 children but most Cameroon classrooms take 80 and above. She continues to explain that infrastructure and resources, non specialised trained teachers in a regular classroom with unstructured environment and a large class size make the inclusive school problem worse (p.211). This is why Save The Children (2002) remarks that it is not all about placing the disabled child in school environment but meaningfully transforming the entire school environment to be responsive to every child’s needs is the their concern. This may not be possible with the Cameroon classroom because the teachers have no expertise. On the other hand, it is evident that to determine teacher’s disposition is just one strategy out of others like government policy, school climate, financial back-up and the opinion of parents etc. One will say with certainty that it is difficult, without specialised knowledge, to simultaneously accommodate children with different learning differences or disabilities and at the same time with varying degree of disabilities (p.211).

The academic performance of most Cameroonian students in the public and professional secondary schools, especially in Buea Sub Division is very poor. This is because the teachers teaching these children have little or no knowledge about the psychological principles of teaching which can be used during instruction to facilitate teaching and learning. Backward children will find learning in such an environment difficult since the teachers cannot individually meet their needs. This explains why the researcher has to undertake this study to investigate the effect psychological principles of teaching to see the extent to which these approaches can help these backward children to comfortably study well in the regular classroom with their peers who are so call normal children.

Statement of the problem

Psychological principles of teaching play a vital role in participation in lessons. They form a focal point and attract attention, arouse interest and promote a desire to learn, supplement description and help to explain words and processes, give an accurate impression of the concept, illustrate relationships, promote retention and memory, help to consolidate what has been learned, help to save teaching time, make learner to have self esteem, learners get motivated and have the idea of sharing in participation in lessons.

The education of backward children can hardly be a success without the use of psychological principles of teaching in the teaching learning process. This is to say that backward children need a variety of psychological principle of teaching to be able to effectively study in the classroom environment.

They also need teachers with a good knowledge about psychological principles of teaching and who can use these principles effectively in order to meet the learning and academic expectation of backward children.

The psychological principles of teaching are fast becoming a necessity in every institution of learning because the classroom is a place where children from different backgrounds (rich and poor parents) are being taught in the same class.

Some children in the same class seem to be lagging behind in the teaching learning process, whereas they are taught by the same teachers using the same methods and under the same conditions children do not assimilate at the same rate.

Some are fast and some slow. Because of this, there is a need for psychological principles of teaching for slow and backward learners so that they can improve on their academic performance and be at the same level of learning with others because they are preparing for the same tests, exams, at the end of the academic year.

In the days before formal schooling, these students would carry on productive lives working at tasks that did not require extensive reading, writing or math. However, nowadays the emphasis is less on occupational learning and more on academic preparation.

Thus, to provide them the best possible opportunities in a changing world there is a growing need to help remediate these children. In our schools nowadays, teachers labelled backward children as idiots, fools, dull children, morons, good for nothing children.

Due to this conception in the minds of the teachers, they pay little or no attention to these children during the teaching learning process, this then lead to poor academic performance of these children.

Due to the poor academic performance of backward children and the introduction of psychological principles of teaching by psychologists the researcher want to find out whether psychological principles of teaching have an effect on the academic performance of backward children.

Research Objectives

General Objective

The general research objective of the study is to investigate the psychological principles of teaching and their effects on the academic performance of backward children in Buea Sub Division.

Specific objectives

1) To investigate how the use of instructional materials affect the academic performance of backward children.

2) To examine how motivation affect the academic performance of backward children.

3) To find out how co-curricular activities affect the academic performance of backward children.

4) To investigate how remedial teaching affect the academic performance of backward children.

5) To investigate how group dynamic affect the academic performance of backward children.

Research Questions

General Research Question

The general research question of the study is to find out, to what extend do psychological principle of teaching affect the academic performance of backward children in Buea Sub Division.

Specific Research Questions

1) To what extend do the use of instructional materials affect the academic performance of backward children?

2) How does motivation affect the academic performance of backward children?

3) To what extend do co-curricular activities affect the academic performance of backward children?

4) How does remedial teaching affect the academic performance of backward children?

5) How do group dynamics affect the academic performance of backward children?



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