The study examined teachers’ gender and
its effect on the performance of students in English Language in
selected secondary schools of Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun
State. Relevant and related literatures were reviewed under relevant
The descriptive research survey design
was used for the assessment of respondents’ opinions with the use of the
questionnaire and the sampling technique.
A total of two hundred respondents, made
up of 100 males and 100 females) were involved in this study. A total
of four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study with
the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlational Coefficient tool at
0.05 level of significance.
At the end of the analyses, the following outcomes emerged:
1. There is a significant relationship between teachers’ gender and students’ performance in English Language.
- Hypothesis two shows that there is no significant relationship
between female teachers’ preference for male students and their
performance in English Language.
- It was also found in hypothesis three that there is no significant
relationship between male teachers’ preference for male students and
their performance in English Language.
- Hypothesis four reveals that there is a significant relationship
between teachers’ preference for the opposite sex and students academic
performance in school.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1
1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem 5
1.3 Purpose of the Study 6
1.4 Research Questions 7
1.5 Research Hypotheses 8
1.6 Significance of Study 8
CHAPTER TWO: Literature Review 10
2.0 Introduction 10
2.1 History of English Language 10
2.2 English as a Global Language 12
2.3 Studies On Language Acquisition 13
2.4 Effect of Teacher Gender on Students’ Performance 16
2.5 Teachers’ Opinions about Students’ Attitude and Performance
in English According to Gender 22
2.6 Educational Qualifications for Teachers 28
2.7 Summary of the Review 33
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 35
3.0 Introduction 35
3.1 Research design 35
3.2 Population 36
3.3 Sampling technique 36
3.4 Sample size 36
3.5 Research instrument 37
3.6 Validity and Reliability of Instrument 37
3.7 Procedure for data collection 38
3.8 Procedure for data analysis 39
CHAPTER FOUR: Data Analyses and Presentation of Results 40
4.1 Introduction 40
4.2 Descriptive Analyses of Data 40
4.3 Testing of Hypotheses 43
4.4 Summary of Findings 47
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 48
1.1 Introduction 48
1.2 Discussion of Findings 48
1.3 Summary of the Study 52
1.4 Conclusions 53
1.5 Recommendations 54
1.1 Background to the Study
The concept of gender has become an
essential phenomenon for some psychologists on how students learn.
Gender distinctions, gender bias, and gender issues remain very
paramount in understanding achievement-related behaviours so as to make
it predictable, and as such amenable to possible manipulations (Dee,
1988). The source of gender differences has long been a topic of heated
debate. Though tests of general intelligence suggest on overall
differences between men and women, there are large gender differences
between men and women, there are larger gender differences in scores of
cognitive tasks (Linda, 2006).
According to the same source, men
perform better in certain visual tasks; women excel in verbalization,
while these differences may some day be traced back to known differences
in hormonal exposure and male and female brain structures. It is also
possible that differences in academic development arise from the fact
that male and female teachers have tendency to treat boys and girls
differently in the classroom.
In teachers and gender gaps in student
achievement (NBER Working Paper No. 1160 Dec. 1988) findings included
that gender interactions between teachers and students have significant
effect on whether a student was afraid to ask questions in a particular
class. Dee (1988) opined that assignment to a teacher of opposite sex
lowers students’ achievement by about 0.04 standard deviations. Other
result implies that just “one year with a male English teacher would
eliminate nearly a third of the gender gap in reading performance among
thirteen years olds. And would do so by improving the performance of
boys and simultaneously harming that of girls.
Similarly, a year with a female would
close the gender gap in science achievement among thirteen year olds by
half and eliminate entirely the smaller achievement gap in mathematics.
On all the data suggests that “a large fraction of boys” dramatic
under-performance in reading reflects the classroom dynamics associated
with the fact that their reading teachers are overwhelmingly female.
Gender biased behaviours of teachers has
been discovered as insidious problems. Sitting in the same classroom,
reading the same textbook, listening to the same teacher, boys and girls
receive very different education (Sadker, 1999). In fact, upon entering
school, girls perform equal to or better than the boys on nearly every
measure of achievement but by the time they graduate from high school or
college, they have fallen behind. However, discrepancies of girls and
the performance of boys in elementary education lead some critics to
argue that boys are being neglected within educational system. In the
contrary, American Association of University women published a report in
1992 indicating that females receive less attention from teachers and
the attention that female students receive is often more negative than
the attention received by boys (Baily, 1992). In fact, examination of
the socialization of gender within schools and evidence of gender biased
hidden curriculum, be it in English language or mathematics demonstrate
that girls are short-changed in the classroom.
However, beyond changing their own
teaching behaviours teachers need to be aware of the gender bias
imbedded in many educational materials and texts and need to take steps
to combat that need to be considered when trying to establish a gender
Gender fair materials need to
acknowledge and affirm variation. They need to be inclusive, be
accurate, affirmative, representative and integrated in weaving together
the experiences, needs and interests of both males and females (Bailey,
1992). Far too many of our classroom examples, story books and text
describe a world in which boys and men are bright, curious, brave,
inventive and powerful but girls and women are silent, passive and
invisible (Conmick, 1995).
Needless to say that to the extent
stated above, female students are being short-changed in the quest to
learn the official language which the Colonial Lord (Britain) brought to
Nigeria this was to enable them to create an elite class that would
help propagate the basic tenets of Colonialism (Slavery, exploitation
etc) foster the administration of the “Indirect Rule” system in the
country and eventually serve as the multi-ethnic groups in the country
(Omoyajowo, 1992). There seems to be nothing that is naturally
compelling an average Nigerian to learn the language more than the
instrumental functions it performs in the Nigerian life that is, it is a
means through which certain special needs for national interest can be
As at now English Language is used
nationally for politics administration, business, educational endeavour
and international communication. It has thus been accepted as the
country’s second language. The average Nigerians need it for higher
education, higher status in the society and a times better employment
The National Policy on Education (NPE,
1981) clearly stipulates that it should be the medium of expression at
secondary and tertiary levels. English language performs the above
mentioned rules in our national life among others and this is why it is
appropriate for an average Nigerian, irrespective of gender to have some
knowledge of it for him/her to relate with the society.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
English Language is one of the
compulsory subjects in the secondary school and at least, a credit in it
is a major prerequisite for admission into all courses in most of
tertiary institutions in Nigeria (Olusakin, 2000). This is because
English Language which is the second language of most Nigerians is the
nations lingual franca.
Many students seeking admission to
higher institutions of learning could not be admitted because of their
failure to obtain at least a credit grade in English Language at the
senior secondary school certificate examination (SSCE). This kind of
academic failure according to Adeyoju (1995) continues to generate a lot
of concern among those who are engage in academic pursuit.
Several inhibitions to the learning of
English Language by students have been identified, some are human in
nature, while others are non-human. One of the most prominent human
inhibitions is teachers’ gender, female and male teachers will naturally
exhibits feminine and masculine traits respectively while teaching the
language. These include tolerance, energy, attention, assertion,
accents, body communication and, of course teachers’ preference for a
particular sex of student. On the other hand, students are too likely to
have their gender preference in respect of their language teachers.
It is said that male and female students
sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbook, listening to
the same teacher, receive different education. In the light of this, Ibe
(2004) stated that education for the future that will equip the
individual with the power to adapt change irrespective of gender should
be the most important goal of education.
In order to accomplish this, the
curriculum planners and authors of textbook should provide gender
reality modules for in-service English Language teachers as well as the
pre-service teachers. Educators need to be made aware of the bias they
are reinforcing in their students through socialization messages,
sexists texts and materials type of attention spent on boys and girls in
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to
determine the extent to which teacher’s gender affect the performance of
students in English Language in selected secondary schools in Ado-Ode
Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State. The researcher intends to
determine specifically whether:
- The sex of the teacher is related to the performance of students’ in English Language.
- The female teachers impact better on the female students’ achievement in English Language.
- Whether male teachers impact better on the male students’ performance in English Language.
- Whether students achieve more under a teacher of opposite sex in English Language.
1.4 Research Questions
- Is the sex of teachers relate to the performance of students in English Language?
- Do female teachers’ performance for female students affect their performance in English Language?
- Do male teachers’ preference for male students affect their performance in English Language?
- Do students’ preference for teachers of opposite sex affect their performance in English Language.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- There will be no significant relationship between teachers’ gender and the students’ performance in English Language.
- There will be no significant relationship between female teachers’
preference for female students and their performance in English
- There will be no significant relationship between male teachers’
preference for male students and their performance in English Language.
- There will be no significant relationship between teachers’
preference for students of opposite sex and their performance in English
1.6 Significance of Study
The study will benefit the following stakeholders in education:
- 2. The Students: The
students at the centre of any educational system require the mastery of
English Language in order to do well in other subjects, as the medium of
instructions in secondary schools in the English Language. Secondly,
for admission into tertiary institutions in Nigeria, a credit pass in
English Language is a prerequisite.
- 3. The Teachers: The
teachers are the vehicle through which knowledge is passed to the
students in school. This work will enable them to appreciate the biases
in their teaching behaviour as well as those inherent in the curriculum
and correct such in their teaching in the classrooms.
- 4. The Curriculum Planners:
This group of people will benefit from this research by becoming more
of the hidden gender biases that they package in the curriculum.
- 5. The Counsellors: The
counsellor as the advisory personnel in secondary schools will be
equipped with the knowledge of the extent to which teachers’ gender can
affect the performance of the students and be able to guide the school
in order to make use of gender to the advantage of learning in schools.
- 6. The Evaluator: This
research work would enable the evaluator to appraise the learning
difficulties that students encounter in English Language as a second
language and proffer solutions to such difficulties.