PEER GROUP INFLUENCE AND THE TEACHING AND LEARNING ENVIRONMENT A Case Study on the Academic Performance of Students from Selected Secondary Schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.
This study examined the peer group
influence and the teaching and learning environment (A case study of the
academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in
Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State). In this study, relevant
and extensive literatures were reviewed under some sub-headings. The
descriptive research survey was used in this study for the assessment of
respondents’ opinions using the questionnaire and the sampling
techniques. One hundred and sixty (160) respondents were used as samples
for this study to represent the entire population of the study.
A total of five null hypotheses were
formulated in this study and analysed, using the independent t-test
statistical tool at 0.05 level of insignificance. At the end of the
analyses, the following results were obtained:
- A significant relationship exists between teaching and learning environment and academic performance of students in school.
- A significant relationship exists between peer influence and academic performance of students.
- A significant relationship exists between students’ study habit/skill and their academic performance in secondary schools.
- It was found also, that there is significant difference between male and female students’ performance in schools.
- Finally, it was revealed in hypothesis five that a significant
relationship exists between examination malpractice and academic
performance of students in school.
Based on the conclusions and summary of the study, the following recommendations were forwarded:
- Adolescent should endeavour to make sure that they do not follow peers or friends who have negative attitudes or bad influence.
- Parents should ensure that their children and wards are reared
towards the right direction. They should therefore, ensure that they
learn good behaviour and character needed in their youthful development.
- Teachers should indicate in the children how best to identify and
avoid keeping bad friends by adolescents and youths in our schools.
- The society should ensure that it does not encourage the adolescents
to act in bad ways, by way of showing bad example or bad role model.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
1.0 Background to the Study 1
2.0 Statement of the Problem 6
3.0 Purpose of Study 6
4.0 Research Questions 7
5.0 Research Hypotheses 8
6.0 Significance of the Study 8
7.0 Scope and Limitation of the Study 9
8.0 Definition of Terms 9
CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE 11
2.1 Peer influence 12
2.2 Concept of teaching 13
2.3 Concept of learning 19
2.4 Development of peer influence 27
2.5 Negative Peer Influence 29
2.6 Positive peer influence 31
2.7 Family relationship and peer influence 32
2.8 Peer group pressure 35
2.9 Peer group pressure during adolescence and coping techniques 38
2.10 Significance of adolescent peer group relationship 39
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 42
3.0 Introduction 42
3.1 Research Design 42
3.2 Population of the Study 42
3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique 43
3.4 Research Instrument 43
3.5 Procedure for Data Collection 44
3.6 Data Analysis Procedure 44
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF RESULT 45
4.1 Introduction 45
4.2 Testing of Hypotheses 45
4.3 Summary of Findings 51
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 52
5.1 Introduction 52
5.2 Discussion of Findings 52
5.3 Summary of the Study 57
5.4 Conclusions 58
5.5 Recommendations 59
5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies 62
6.0 Background to the Study
As children enter adolescence, changes
in the nature of friendships also take place. In general, the amount of
time spent with friends increases dramatically, adolescents/students
spend more time with their peers than they do with family members or by
themselves (Larson, 1994).
At early stage, adolescents strive to
establish personal identities that are independent of those of their
parents, they also look increasingly to their peers for security and
social support (Furman and Buhrmester, 1992).
Eriskon (1968), from his life-crisis
perceptive, points out that friends offer constructive feedback and
information on self-definitions and perceived commitment.
Social-cognition theorists, such as
McCandless (1990), are inclined to see groups as important because of
their reinforcing nature. While other scholars viewed peer-group
formation from either an intergenerational-conflict perspective (Davis,
1990) or a dest continuity perspective (Benedict, 1998).
Although students are peer-centered,
their interactions with their peers may be egocentric. In a
naturalistic-observation study of group discussions by male adolescents
(Newmann, 1996), notes that most of the subjects comments reflected
joking, exaggeration, elaborations of truth or perceived
However, when these adolescents were
interacting with an adult leader, many of their comments showed
discouragement. Indicating discontent with the adult world, boys
remarked that adult leaders were unable to take them seriously. East
(1989), elaborates on this point in a study of several hundred students
who asked to identify socially supportive adults. These young people
identified social support (affection, nurturance, and instrumental help)
coming most from their mothers significantly less from their fathers,
and uniformly withheld by their teachers.
The nature of peer relationships in students/adolescence has been characterized in terms of social status and peer crowds.
Popular and well accepted adolescents
tend to display positive conflict resolution and academic skills,
prosocial behaviour and leadership qualities, whereas rejected and
low-accepted adolescents tend to display aggressive and antisocial
behaviour and low level of academic performance (Parkhurst and Asher,
1992; Wentzel, 1991, Wentzel & Erdley, 1993).
Adams (1996), contends that adolescence
is a period of increasing influence of one’s peers and peer values and a
diminishing role of one’s parents as a primary reference group.
The main values of peer group is social participation, group-loyalty and individual achievement and responsibility.
However, the extent of peer group
influence is better appreciated when viewed against the seven essential
functions the peer services as postulated by Ausubel (1994) but modified
by Adams (1996);
- A replacement for family to some extent.
- A stabilizing influence.
- A source of self esteem.
- Opportunities for modelling.
- Opportunities for practice by doing.
- A source of behavioural standards.
- There is security in numbers.
Therefore, peer acceptance is very
crucial during adolescence or among students. It is far more crucial and
important for us not to see this intense need to be accepted as a
negative characteristic because students who are liked or accepted by
their peers are more likely to be psychologically healthier and
self-confident than those rejected by their peers.
When a student is rejected, he feels
isolated, withdraws or acts in a hostile manner. This reaction may even
deepen his rejection. At this point an older adult, preferably an
understanding elder, parent, counsellor or teacher to intervene. The
intervention may lead to the beginning of a more constructive
interpersonal relationship for a rejected student. (Achuzie, 2000)
In relation to peer group influence, an
understanding of the relationship between the students and the school
environment will take cognizance of the fact that the student is not a
passive recipient of whatever the school offers. He is an active
participant in the actual social situation who may or may not decide
that he wishes to co-operate at the level required.
The heart of Skinner’s message, is that
we are all at the mercy of environmental controls. What we do, who we
are, what we become – all result from the particular set of
environmental stimuli that has impinged on us and that will impinge on
us. (Adamson, 1990)
It has been established that good
sitting arrangement, good ventilation and un-crowded classroom situation
positively encourage and enhance learning. Whereas uncondusive
environment like over crowdedness, non availability of seat and the
likes adversely affect or hinder learning. (Uzor, 1998)
However, Onwuka (1981), remarks that
methodology is the study and practice of various methods of teaching.
Those include the mastering and application of different principles of
This is to say that the teaching and
learning environment should be planned and organised in such a way that
it will enhance positive performance.
All these problems may cumulatively lead
to educational deficiencies such as poor study habit, academic
underachievement, poor self concept, low self esteem and lack of
motivation to learn. (Main, 1990)
Thus, this study is undertaken to
examine how peer group influence the teaching and learning process and
how environment can determine the academic performance of students in
7.0 Statement of the Problem
The adolescents have peculiarity with
their attitudes and behaviour from the agelong. The peer group influence
is one of the factors of these peculiarity associated to adolescents.
Similarly, the teaching and learning environment could be an influence
militating against academic performance of adolescents. (Edet, 2000)
In the Nigerian society, the problem of
young school leavers that could not gain entrance into higher school
could be as a result of inadequate preparations, and poor
The influence of poor on the adolescents
engaging in examination malpractices which may include cheating,
impersonation, sourcing for examination questions etc and other
8.0 Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this work is to examine; “Peer group influence and the teaching and learning environment”.
Other possible factors influencing the
performance of adolescents will be examined which include study habit
and various forms of indiscipline.
The study would also find out the relationship between teaching and learning environment on students’ academic performance.
9.0 Research Questions
The following questions were proffered to enable the researcher gather data for the study.
- Is there any significant relationship between peer group influence and academic performance?
- Will there be any significant difference between male and female students academic performance?
- Will there be any significant relationship between teaching/learning environment and academic performance of students?
- Will there be any significant relationship between students’ study skill and academic performance?
- Will there be any significant relationship between examination malpractice and academic performance.
5.0 Research Hypotheses
- There will be no significant relationship between peer group influence and academic performance.
- There will be no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance.
- There will be no significant relationship between teaching/learning environment and academic performance.
- There will be no significant relationship between students’ study skill and academic performance.
- There will be no significant relationship between examination malpractice and academic performance.
6.0 Significance of the Study
This study is essential when we consider
the power of peer group influence on the students and the need for
guidance to enable the students understand and adjust well within the
The work would be a contribution to knowledge and literature in the area that the study covered.
It will help to check some re-occurring problems which may hinder the attainment of well planned curriculum.
9.0 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study will be restricted to
students in senior secondary classes two and three of three selected
secondary schools in Apapa Local Educational District of Lagos State.
Moreover, the study is limited both in
scope and sample size. It is also limited to the variation in time,
location and definition of terms and other extraneous variables that may
be encountered during the course of this study.
10.0 Definition of Terms
- Peer group: A social group consisting of people who are equal in such respect as age, education or social class.
- Influence: The ability of someone or something to
affect the course of event or somebody’s thinking or actions by means of
argument, example, or force of personality.
- Environment: Surroundings, natural world or all the external factors influencing the life and activities of people within the environment.
- Performance: The outcome of an event or action.
- Student: A person studying in order to qualify
himself for some occupation or devoting himself to some branch of
learning at the university or other place of higher education.
- School: The second social institution circle (after home) of influence to which a child is subjected. It is a mimature of the society.