THE ATTITUDE OF JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TOWARDS COMPUTER SCIENCE

ABSTRACT
Students have many different perceptions of computer science. Most business and athletics leaders will talk about how the individual’s attitude directly affects their performance in the office or on the field. Attitude towards computer science plays a crucial role in the teaching and learning processes of computer science. It affects students’ achievement in computer science. The teaching method, the support of the structure of the school, the family and students’ attitude towards school affect the attitudes towards computer science. This study looked at how students’ attitudes impact the computer science performance of the students in the classroom. Five selected school in Katsina – Ala Local Government Area of Benue State were the focus of this study. Students were surveyed by the researcher on their attitude towards computer science education. The findings revealed that attitude and gender difference have a significant impact in the performance of students in computer science. It also revealed that positive attitude towards computer science leads students towards success in computer science. Attempt to improve attitude towards computer science at lower level provides base for higher studies in computer science. It also causes effect in achievement of computer science at secondary school level.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION 
1.1     Background of the Study 
There is no disagreement on the vital importance of computer science to both the scientist, the technologist and even to every layman in his everyday life (Omenka, 2013). Computer science is the key element and activity in the day to day living that every human being practices in one form or the other (Kurumeh, Akure, and Oguche, 2007). The knowledge of computer science is an essential tool in our society (Baroody, 1987). It is a tool that can be used in our daily life to overcome the difficulties faced (Bishop, 1996). Due to this, computer science has been considered as one of the most important core subject in a school curriculum. More computer science lessons are likely to be taught in schools and colleges throughout the world than any other subject (Orton, Orton, & Frobisher, 2004).
The Nigerian education accorded computer science a special position in the school curriculum. In fact, it made a core-subject for both Arts and Science students. All the junior secondary schools students have to pass it at the junior secondary school certificate examination before they are allowed to register for senior secondary school examination. In other words computer science is one of the core-subjects both at the junior and senior secondary school levels. It is also required that a student gets a credit pass in it to get admission for science related courses in the universities.
However, the standard tests and evaluations reveal that students do not perform to the expected level. The student under achievement in computer science is not just a concern for particular countries, but has become a global concern over the years (Pisa, 2003).
Despite the relevance of computer science and the efforts made by the government to improve the student’s achievement in computer science, the result is not yet satisfactory. The West African Examination Council,WAEC (2004) Chief Examiner’s Report shows that 1,090,503 candidates sat for external out of which only 10.5% passed. In 2005 out of 1464,301 candidates that sat for external only 15.2% passed computer science. In 2007, out of 1,484,611 candidates, only 18.5% passed computer science. National Examination Council, NECO (2006) reported that many of the candidates exhibited lack of knowledge of basic principles needed to tackle some of the computer science problems.
Several studies and researches have been done in many countries to find the factors that influence the student’s performance in computer science. Among these factors, student’s attitude towards computer science is one important factor that has been consistently studied. Often, the studies on relationship between student’s attitude and the student’s academic performance show a positive relationship (Mohd, Mahmood, & Ismail, 2011; Bramlett & Herron, 2009; Nicolaidou & Philippou, 2003; Papanastasiou, 2000; Ma & Kishor, 1997). Hence students’ attitude towards computer science is a major factor that might influence the performance of the students. Due to this, several studies have been conducted in different countries in order to find out the students attitude towards computer science (Tahar, Ismail, Zamani & Adnan, 2010; Tezer & Karasel, 2010; Maat & Zakaria, 2010; Bramlett & Herron, 2009; Köğce, Yıldız, Aydın, & Altındağ, 2009; Tapia & Marsh, 2004; Fennema & Sherman, 1976) and hence to use these data to suggest the low performance of students and factors affecting it. The aim of this research is to find out the factors influencing the attitude of secondary school students towards computer science in some schools in Katsina-Ala, Benue State. The research focuses on finding the students’ attitude towards computer science and also finding the significant difference between student’sattitudes towards computer science with regard to the gender of the students.

1.2     Statement of the Problem
The rate of failure in both internal and external examinations in Computer science these days is quite alarming. The failure rate deteriorates from year to year (WAEC, 2005). 
The student’s attitude towards an academics subject is a crucial factor in learning and achievement in that subject. Whether a student views himself or herself as a strong or weak person in a specific subject may be an important factor in his or her academic achievement. Papanastasiou (2002) showed that there is a positive relation between Computer science and computer science achievement. According to Schreiber (2002), those who have positive attitudes towards Computer science have a better performance in the subject. In Kenya, studies done by Auma (2004) and Achieng (2007) looked at the relationship between teacher factors and student Computer science achievement as factors affecting Computer science performance but did not consider students attitude. However, thestudy focuses on the factors influencing student’s attitude towards Computer science with specific reference to objectives, content, methods and evaluation of the Computer science curriculum and establishes their influence on Computer science performance.

1.3     Purpose of Study
The subject is more positive. The researcher feels that a students’ negative attitude toward Computer science as a subject has a damaging effect on their performance in the classroom. The researcher also feels that teachers who are more enthusiastic and have a more positive attitude about teaching computer science have students whose attitude about the subject is more positive.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the factors influencing the attitude of students towards the study of computer science in Nigeria, using Katsina-Ala L.G.A, Benue State as a case study.
Therefore the Specific objectives of the study are:
1. To determine student’s performance in Computer science across gender.
2. To establish student’s attitude towards Computer science across gender, with reference to:
i. Objectives
ii. Content
iii. Methods
iv. Evaluation
3. Determine the level of relationship between attitudes towards Computer science and performance in Computer science.

1.4     Significance of the Study
The findings of this research upon completion will help students to understand how their attitude towards computer science can affect their performance in the subject and how their interaction with the society can influence their attitude and hence, their performance in computer science. And also, to determinethe extentto which the teacher’s attitude towards teaching the subject can affect the students’ performance in Computer science.

1.5     Research Questions
The researcher collected data from students and teachers by using both open ended questions and scaled answers on a Likert scale. The researcher asked the students questions to get a general idea of their attitude about computer science. The teacher askedabout how they see attitude affecting student performance, if they are enthusiastic about computer science, if they enjoy teaching computer science.

1.   What effect does the student’s attitude towards computer science have on their performance in the subject?
2.   How does gender affects the performance of the students in computer science?

1.6     Research Hypotheses
: There is no significance difference in the performance of students as regards their attitude towards computer science.
: There is no significance difference in the attitude of students towards computer science as regards gender.

1.7     Scope of the Study
The study was investigated in five schools in Katsina-Ala L.G.A of Benue State, Nigeria. It consists of both junior and senior secondary students of these selected schools.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 54 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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