AN ANALYSIS OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLASS SIZE AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENT
Background to the Study
relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing
one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, ethnicity,
socioeconomics, overcrowding and teaching methods are all variables that affect
student achievement (Molnar, 2000). Other factors that affect student
achievement are school population and class size (Gentry, 2000; Swift, 2000;
Krueger and White Moore, 2007).
issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much
concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it adds to the widely
acclaimed fallen standard of education in Lagos state and Nigeria at large. In
order to better understand the skill levels of students, it might be necessary
to evaluate factors affecting their performance. These include: school
structure and organization, teachers’ quality, curriculum and teaching
philosophy (Driscoll, Halcoussis and Svomy, 2008).
students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had
been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001). As
school grows, they typically become more bureaucratic, resulting in more
formalized human relations and increased curricular specialization. Another
stand, typically conducted by economist directs attention to the potential for
increased efficiency and cost reductions as schools get bigger. Conclusions
from these two streams are not consistent. Although, the studies with an
organizational focus generally favour smaller schools, research with an
economic focus tends to suggest benefits from increased size.
classrooms have increased the possibilities for at risk students, as well as others,
to lose interest in school and do poorly on test. There identifies for specific
problems regarding overcrowding, students not getting individual attention, low
reading scores, frustration and stress felt by the teachers and the inability
of students to concentrate or stay on task while in class. The problem
identified can be that teachers are unable to give individual attention to
students. Teachers’ aides are not always available and sometimes students have
to share textbooks. It can take the entire class time for students to find
seats, make sure everyone has a textbooks to look at and then explain the next
assignment. This leaves no time for individual attention to explain assignment
and answer questions. Thus, with teacher unable to help individual students,
those who need extra help in gaining or maintaining their reading skills get
left behind. They are unable to keep up the reading or in class discussions
because of many students in one class.
in schools and classes is a serious problem in many schools systems,
particularly in the inner cities where space for new construction is limited. As
a result, students find themselves trying to learn while jammed into spaces
never intended as classrooms, such as libraries, gymnasiums, laboratories,
lunch rooms and even closets. Although, research on the relationship between
overcrowding and student leaving had been limited, there are some evidence
particularly in high poverty schools, that overcrowding can have adverse impact
on learning. A study of overpopulation in schools found that students in such
schools score significantly lower on both mathematics and reading exams then
did similar students in underutilized schools. In addition, when asked,
students and teachers in overpopulation schools agreed that overcrowding
negatively affects both classroom activities and instructional technologies
(Krueger and Whiteman, 2001).
classroom conditions not only make it difficult for students to concentrate on
their lessons, but inevitably limit the amount of times teachers can spend on
innovative teaching methods such as cooperative learning and group work or on
teaching anything beyond the barest minimum of required materials. In addition,
because teachers must constantly struggle simply to maintain order in an
overpopulated classroom, the likelihood increase that they will suffer from
burn out earlier than might otherwise be the case.
there is a significantly amount of research analyzing students’ performance
(Matuga, 2009; CerezoRUssillo and Casanova Arias, 2004), there is still a need
for more concentrate test results. It is necessary to define the effects of
environmental, psychological and sociological elements. This clarity will
better enable school to provide a quality learning institution – organized and
established public domain, with a sphere of knowledge influence and activity
idea that school population and class size might affect students’ performance
is consistence with the growing literature on the relationship between public
sector institutional arrangements and outcome. The purpose of this study is to
further examine the relationship of class size, school population and student
of the Problem
performance of secondary school students in NECO, WAEC, several scholars have
proposed various factors responsible for the poor performance of students, few
research have been dedicated to the correlation between class size, school
population and academic achievement. This study therefore looks at how class
size, school population and ever population affect students’ academic
performance in secondary school.
of the Study
general purpose of this study is to find out the relationship between class
size, school population and students’ achievement using some selected secondary
schools in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State as a case study. The
specific objectives are to:
the relationship between class size and academic performance of students
the relationship between school population and academic performance of
the effects of overpopulation on classroom management
the impact of overpopulation on school resources and facilities.
there any correlation between class size and academic performance of students?
there any relationship between school population and academic performance of
there any relationship between overpopulation and classroom management?
there any relationship between overpopulation and school resources/facilities?
Ho1: There is no significant relationship between class size and
academic performance of students.
Ho2: There is no significant relationship between school
population and academic performance of students.
Ho3: There is no significant relationship between overpopulation
and classroom management.
Ho4: There is no significant relationship between overpopulation
and school resources/facilities.
of the Study
research work focuses on the relationship between class sizes, school
population and students’ achievement using some selected secondary in Ojo Local
Government Area of Lagos State as a case study. This research work cover all
secondary schools in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. However, four
public secondary schools were used as case study.
of the Study
study is important for several reasons. First, the findings will help teachers
to identify the reason for the academic performance of students in large
classes with high population and how they can address the problems.
it will provide comprehensive information for educational planners, educators
and parents on how they can assist students to cope in large classes.
this research work will lead to further in-depth study on the impact of class
size and school population on the academic performance of students in Nigeria.
it will serve as a contribution to knowledge in the subject area. In the
regard, it will be useful for other researchers who might want to carry out
research in related areas.
Academic Achievement: knowledge attained or skills
developed in school subject by test scores.
Secondary School/High School: is a term used to describe an
educational institution where the final stage of schooling known as secondary
education and usually compulsory up to a specified age taken place. It follows
elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary)
Overpopulation: This is when the numbers of students
in a particular class exceed the standard of student-teacher ratio of 1:40
Research Work: Investigation or experimentation
aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts or practical application of
such new or revised therein or laws.
Classroom: A room where classes are taught in a
school, college or university.