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The effects of teaching methods on students’ academic performance in the BUEA MUNICIPALITY

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This research was aimed at finding out the effects of teaching methods used in Teaching Geography and their effects on students’ academic performance in some secondary schools in the Buea Municipality. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. The population of the study was; One Government, one Mission, and one Private secondary school were used (selected the sample survey was used in carrying out the study.


The population consisted of all secondary school students within the Buea Municipality. The simple random sampling technique was used. The sample size was made up of 60 students. The instrument used to collect data was the questionnaires which the researcher personally carried out. The data collected was analyzed using the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation using concepts and ideas that emerged from the data.


The main findings revealed that the methods used such as (lecture illustration, lecture-demonstration, and cooperative methods) influence students’ academic performance in geography. It is recommended that stakeholders should endeavor to organize seminars, workshops to train teachers on how to use different teaching methods effectively so as to improve students’ academic performance.






1.0 Introduction


Teaching methods are standard procedures of presenting subject matter and organizing teacher-student interaction during a lesson. Each teaching strategy is associated with a method. Teaching methods can be general and specific. General teaching methods are the procedure that is common in the teaching of a different subject.


On the other hand, specific teaching methods may be applicable mainly to specific teaching subjects, thus this research is aimed at determining the effects of teaching methods that are used to the teaching of Geographies like lecture illustration, lecture-demonstration, and the interactive (cooperative method), on students’ academic performance in geography.




1.1 Background of the Study


Education is important in Cameroon and in every country for it contributes to the political, social, and economic development of every community. More so, education is a basic human right and it is a basic instruction for achieving the goal of national unity, political stability, equality, and mobilizing all the potentials of a nation.


In addition, education is the process of facilitating learning, knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits assumed to a group of people which are transfer to other people through storytelling, discussion, teaching, and training or through research. Successful teaching and learning emanate to a large extent from careful planning, preparation, and the methods used in giving out the materials. Before this can be done the teacher must be fully aware of the subject matter and various teaching methods of teaching (Okpala, 1980).


Education describes the total process of human learning by which knowledge is impacted, faculties trained and skills developed. Nkeng and Mambeh (2008) viewed teaching methods as those techniques and strategies used by teachers in their efforts to facilitate students learning. It is an activity that translates curriculum goals and objectives into experiences that students acquire during their interaction with their teacher. Therefore, the ability of the teacher to appropriately use the different strategies will go a long way to improve the students’ academic performance.


According to Tambo (2003), teaching methods are important components for the curriculum for they determine how effective the objectives would be attained. The teaching methods are chosen based on the objectives to be attained. Learning outcomes according to Tambo (2003) are of many types.


There are many higher-order learning outcomes and lower-order learning outcomes. While lower learning outcomes only help an individual to remember information higher-order learning outcomes help an individual to solve problems which is the goal of education.


The teaching methods used are a factor of the kind of learning outcome. With particular reference to secondary education in Cameroon, the various subject has been included in the curriculum to enable students to acquire knowledge and skills. Certain subjects are categorized as core while others are either vocational electives or non-vocational electives.


Geography is found under core and non-vocational electives categories. This shows the importance of Geography in achieving educational goals. However, the teaching of Geography as a social science subject in secondary schools is not without some problems. Poor academic performance in Geography in particular has been documented by many researchers.


This has also been collaborated by high failure in public examination in the country such as G.C.E (General Certificate of Education). This has been attributed to the fact that strategies used in our classroom, the different methods used are not very effective.


Effandi and Iksan (2007) stated that the quality of education that teachers provide to students is dependent upon what the teacher does in the classroom. The use of traditional teaching methods such as lectures in Geography classrooms has been the underlying factor for students’ poor performance in the subject.


Clar and Lalarham (2003), observed that Geography has traditionally used a wide range of teaching methods than any other subject. Because of the nature of the subject which has both physical and human, it calls for a paradigm shift from teacher-centered to learner-centered instructional strategies that permit the involvement of learners.


According to Hunter (1984) and Reinhartz (1980), teaching is a constant stream of professional decisions that affects the probability of learning decisions that are made and implemented before, during, and after interactions with the students explaining, defining, giving examples, stressing critical attributes and demonstrations. A teacher has to set a test to find out if students have learned well and the students should show whether they have understood the lesson by their academic achievement.


In the past, most parents and teachers were very interested in teaching their children to grow deeper in the knowledge using different methods without using textbooks which will help to improve their performance. Again, during that time teachers were untrained unlike today that teachers are trained and yet performance is low and students are less active in class, this is due to the lack of interest by the teacher to use this method appropriately. Because some teachers are not well trained and are unable to give out the knowledge.


Some teachers use these methods just as they have seen them without the understanding that each method has its way of teaching which depend on the level of the students and the subject, for instance, most teachers use lecture method in all subjects and classrooms both at the secondary and high schools without considering the age of the students thus, making students not to participate in a class or give them inferential thinking skills leading to a situation where students are not active in the classroom and as well have no interest in the subject, this is because most students learn by doing and not listening.


Furthermore, some of these teachers use these methods not because they have seen them but because they are not trained. For a teacher who has not gone through training, he or she might not be able to apply these methods appropriately, this causes them to be ignorant about the methods used in teaching Geography which will arise students’ interest thereby leading to desirable performance.


Education today is geared towards student-centeredness which means that the teacher must be trained in order for them to use the appropriate teaching methods well; this is because they need to direct the students on how these methods are used for the students to perform well and also become active in the teaching and learning process.


Thus, a well-trained teacher will be able to teach well and create a love for the subject into the minds of the students but a teacher who is not trained will rather create discouragement and haterade of the subject in the minds of the students.




1.2 Statement of the Problem


The academic performance of students in Geography can be greatly influenced by the methods used in teaching. It was observed during teaching practice experience that Geography was taught using general teaching methods which do not enhance effective learning in a subject like Geography and thus affected the academic performance of Geography students in public exams like G.C.E.


This has prompted the researcher to carry out research on the methods used in teaching Geography and their effects on students’ academic performance.


This research is therefore aimed at investigating the specific teaching methods like lecture illustration, lecture-demonstration, and the interactive (cooperative method), to find out how their use in the teaching of Geography influence the teaching and learning process and the academic performance of Geography students in the Buea Municipality.




1.3 Objective of the Study


1.3.1 General Objective.     


This research seeks to investigate the effect of methods used in teaching Geography on students’ academic performance in Buea Municipality.


1.3.2 Specific Objectives


The study seeks;


To find out the effects of lecture illustration methods on students’ academic performance in Geography

To investigate the use of the lecture-demonstration method on students’ academic performance in Geography.

To find out the influence of the interactive method on students’ academic performance in Geography


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