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Education is the process of nurturing and developing the skills, capacities and potentials of the students to prepare them to be successful in their chosen careers. From this point of view, education is serving primarily as an individual development function. Education is constant and ongoing. It is a never ending process. Formal education usually starts at the age four where children attend school for the purposes of specific guidance related to skills and competencies that society sees important. In the past, once a student finishes formal education in the tertiary level, the process was finished. However, in today's changing world, individuals do not only learn inside the four walls of the classroom and continue to learn throughout their working lives.
In its broadest sense, education may be defined as a process developed to instill the knowledge, skills, talents and attitudes necessary to enable individuals to adjust and cope effectively with their environment. Its main purpose is to foster and promote the fullest self-realization for all individual. Achieving this goal requires understanding of commitment to the proposition that education is a primary tool or instrument for the advancement of human welfare both on social and economic aspect (Verma, 1990).
Ramaswamy(1990), stated that we are in the generation where the world is becoming more and more competitive, performance and quality of work has become the key factor for personal progress and development. Every parents want the best and only the best for their children. They want their children to excel and to be on top. With this desire to excel and be on top, the pressure is not only with the students but with the teachers, the schools and in general the education system itself. In fact, it seems as if the whole educational system revolves around the students' academic achievement, though other various outcomes are also expected from the school system. Thus the school exerts a lot of time, effort and resources in helping students to achieve better in their scholastic endeavors. The importance of academic and scholastic achievement gave rise to important questions for educational researchers. What factors contributes to the academic achievement of students? How do these different factors contribute towards their academic achievement?
Safaya, et al. (1963) mentioned that human life, which is the ultimate creation and gift of god to humankind, has got two aspects: The biological and sociological or cultural. While the former is maintained and transmitted by food and reproduction, the latter is preserved and transmitted by education. It is again through education that he promotes his intelligence and adds his knowledge with which he can move the world for good and for evil according to his wishes. Education in fact, is one of the major "life processes" of the human beings "just as there are certain indispensable vital processes of life in a biological sense. So education may be considered a vital process in a social sense. Education is indispensable to normal living, without education the individual would be unqualified for group life.
Every student's academic achievement may be affected by various factors like intelligence, study habits, different aspects of their personality, attitudes of the students towards school, peers, socio economic status, demographic profile, the school system etc. The desire to be successful is derived from individual's concept of himself and in terms of the meaning of various incentives as they spell success and failure in the eye of others. Thus a child who sees himself to be on top, as scholars, as successful may set as his goal the attainment of the highest grade in the class.
Nuthanap (2007) said that any modern society will not be able achieve its aim of cultural advancement, technical development and economic growth without cultivating and developing the talents of its citizens. One of the major purposes of education is to help children to develop their skills and those skills will help them have a better future. Teachers and counselors in educational institutions are often confronted with students who appear to have above average scholastic aptitude but are very poor in their studies. A recurring question that puzzles them is why some students succeed in their study while others do not. This question is sometimes considered to be closely related to learning than teaching. Jamuar (1974) stated that not only on good teaching methods but also good study attitude affects the students learning. Anwana and Cobbach (1989) are also of the view that there are other factors why students do badly academically other than low intellectual capacity. Tiwari and Bansal (1994) also stated if that an individual has a high academic achievement he is likely to have a better opportunity in life and low achievers will have difficulty in landing a job after graduation.
In our society academic achievement is considered a basis for an individual's potentials and capabilities. Hence academic achievement occupies a very important place in education as well as in the learning process. Academic achievement is defined by Crow and Crow (1969) as the extent to which a learner is profiting from instructions in a given area of learning i.e., achievement is reflected by the extent to which skill and knowledge has been imparted to him. Academic achievement also denotes the knowledge attained and skill developed in the school subject, usually designated by test scores. Achievement is influenced by personality, motivation, opportunities, education and training.
There are several other factors also which influence the academic achievement of student like study habit, self-concept, socio economic status, intelligence etc.
Other than low intellectual capacity, there are many factors why many students do badly academically. One factor is poor study habits, in which naturally intelligent students will have poor or low academic performance because they have bad study habits. Habits are true indicators of individuality in a person. So study habits may be defined as the behavior of an individual in relation to his studies. In the process of learning, learner's habitual ways of exercising and practicing their abilities for learning are considered as study habits of learners. The pattern of behavior adopted by students in the pursuit of their studies is considered under the caption of their study habits. Study habits reveal students personality. Learner's learning character is characterized by his study habits. Study habits serve as the vehicle of learning. It may be seen as both means and ends of learning.
Study habits play a very important role in the life of students. Success or failure of each student depends upon his own study habits. Of course, study is an art and as such it requires practice. Some students study more but they fail to achieve more. Others study less but achieve more. Success of each student definitely depends upon ability, intelligence and effort of students. No doubt, regular study habits bring their own rewards in the sense of achievement of success.
There are many types of disadvantaged students: physically, mentally, socially & culturally, educationally and emotionally. The socially disadvantaged are not handicapped by genetic deficiency, but by the socio economic circumstances of their lives. The socio economic disadvantage prevents them from developing their basic and natural potentialities.
The disadvantages are not with the individual, but with the society.
Study habits refer to the activities carried out by learners during the learning process of improving learning. Study habits are intended to elicit and guide one's cognitive processes during learning. According to Patel (1976) study habits include.
1. Home environment and planning of work
2. Reading and note taking habits
3. Planning of subjects
4. Habits of concentration
5. Preparation for examination
6. General habits and attitudes
7. School environment
The study habits are influenced by attitudes, personality traits, levels of aspirations, teaching methods adopted and material they are to learn. So, it is the effort of teachers to develop good study habits among students. Such habits are the best equipment with which they can live and lead their lives with confidence. If the habits are developed in the young age they will definitely cherish the joy of its fruits in the rest of their lives, because grown up children are already habituated to certain things. So they find it difficult it modify their habits and behavior. Therefore, it is better to develop study habits in secondary school students. It is the proper time and age to cultivate study habits. At this age students are quite matured. They are able to know what is good and what is bad. They can avoid bad things and invite good things with the help of teachers.
As a child grows and develops, he learns, not only about the world about him and his place in it, but also about himself. Each person lives with himself and hence, to some degree is always alone. No one can ever completely know the self-better than anyone else, although in the pursuit for understanding oneself and others there has developed much of human thought and philosophy, including psychology. Man has long held the hope of answering such questions as: who am I? How did I come to be this way? And their logical consequence, the search for purpose; why am I? (Nadalmani, 2001).
The psychological construct, the self-concept is essentially private even though it is in part translated into action by the beliefs we express. Sidhu (1987) defined self-concept as those perceptions, beliefs, feelings, attitudes and values which the individual views on describing himself.
Personality is not a specific quality of a person but a quality of his behavior. How he behaves depends upon how he feels about himself, about other people and about his relationship with them. These feelings make up his self-concept what he thinks about himself as a person. A person's self-concept is the fundamental core of his entire personality and determines the quality of behavior.
It can be predicted that the poor self-concept implying lack of confidence in facing and mastering the environment, will accomplish his performance in school. In sum, the self-concept does appear to be related to school adjustment. Substantial evidence indicates that children and adults with poor self-concept when compared with those who have high self-concept are more anxious and less adjusted generally and less popular, are less effective in groups and are less honest about themselves. The pattern of parental rewards and punishments seems to affect the self-concept and quite certainly, the self-concept of bright but under achieving youngsters are less positive than those of children who are doing as well as can be expected in school. Incidentally children tend to mold their self-concept according to the way they think their teachers regarded them.
Adolescence is a period of biosocial transition from childhood to adulthood. This period extends roughly from 12-19 years. Now a day's puberty occurs earlier than it used to be, due to improvement in nutrition and health care. This has lengthened the transition from adolescence to adulthood. A dramatic biological change occurs in adolescents. In early adolescence, they experience a growth spurt. As a result they stop thinking of themselves as children and parents begin to expect matured behavior from them. Conflicts with parents, teachers, peers and society may arise over their demands and expectations along with this task of establishing a their own identity, which involves an understanding of self, of one's relationship with others and of one's values and roles in society. Erickson (1981) describes this as 'Identity crisis'. Adolescents adopt many strategies to resolve this crisis by trying out different roles like good girl / boy, dutiful daughter / son, a rebel, athlete and so on.
The world is becoming more and more competitive and parents desire that their children achieve high in academics. During this stage the influence of school far outweighs all others. So good schooling and effective teacher guidance are of utmost importance. Performance at school and experience in the larger world are related to the self-image of students. They have to strive hard to achieve better results academically. As a result, school and studies become major stressors. Hence, adolescents tend to give up and neglect recreational activities. This has resulted in the absence of physical and mental relaxation. The best type of relaxation is one in which the students learn the skill of relaxing. Schools should provide opportunities for regular physical and mental training like yoga which is a relaxation technique which will facilitate the enhancement of study habits, self-concept and academic performance (Erickson 1981). Teachers in school should become facilitators of learning. The infinite treasure with in every learner should be discovered and nurtured. For the purpose of improving learning, effective study skills have to be taught. Study skills may involve reference, reading, listening, study habits and learning strategies. Learning improves with planning of where, when and how much to study.
Nayak et al. (2004) defined teaching as not about giving information, knowledge and skills to students, but it is about giving opportunities for students to mold their personality and develop their talents and skills. The primary purpose of teaching is to assist the individual to attain his and her full potential as well as to develop the necessary skills to cope up with the changing environment. The family, religious organizations and community also share primary responsibility in the educational process.
Socio Demographic Profile
Quality of education is mostly assessed on the basis of academic performance, and achievement scores are considered to be its primary indicators. However, achievement scores alone neither provide sufficient understanding of the causes of students' success or failure, nor suggest the ways for improving the achievement. There is a need to identify and analyze the factors that can affect academic performance. The understanding of these factors can suggest some measures for improving the quality of education.
Research on the academic achievement suggests that it has relationship with some demographic characteristics. For example, Jaeger & Eagan (2007) and Cole & Espinoza (2008) found gender differences in the academic performance of male and female students. Keith, et. al. (2006) found positive relationship between age and academic performance. However, Kaur, et. al. (2010) found that age does not significantly contribute to academic performance of university students in distance learning.
Tuttle (2004) found that students' academic performance correlates with the family household income and their place of residence. Davis-Kean (2005) found on his study that educational attainment of the parents and household income are strong predictors of academic achievement. Acharya and Joshi (2009) found that parents' education can affect the achievement motivation in academic area. Yousefi, et. al. (2010) found that there is a relationship between family income and academic achievement of students.
The above stated research studies indicate that some demographic factors may affect academic achievement of students. It was hypothesized that some demographic factors may be significant predictors of academic achievement of students.
Colegio de Sebastian, an educational institution that commits itself in academic excellence of the students is just a new school as compared to other big universities in Pampanga. As of to date there has been no research made about the students' academic achievement. The researcher decided to conduct research in the school so as not only to help the students but also the school itself.
Keeping in view the importance of study habits, self-concept, socio demographic status and academic achievement Colegio de Sebastian students was taken up with following specific objectives.
_ To analyze the study habits of the students in Colegio de Sebastian.
_ To study the self-concept of the students in Colegio de Sebastian.
_ To determine the socio demographic profile of boys and male and female girls studying in Colegio de Sebastian.
_ To know the influence of study habits, self-concept, socio demographic status on academic achievement.
At Colegio de Sebastian, where the research will be conducted, student applicants are selected based on specific academic criteria. Students should get a specific grade in the entrance exam in order to be admitted at Colegio de Sebastian.
Despite these standards and the selection process, on average, 15% of all the students failed their math, science and English subjects. This is not a troubling number of failures, but it highlights the question, "What factors beyond intelligence, are responsible for the variance in the academic achievement of students?"
What causes an intelligent student to either succeed or to fail in school? This is a question of great concern for many prospective and current students. It is also a concern for the faculty members who feel responsible for the students, and for the parents who have to pay the tuition fees. Myburgh, Grobler and Niehaus (1999) state that there is an increasing awareness that individual differences in intelligence alone cannot account for all, or even for the majority, of differences in academic achievement.
One can conclude that besides intellectual ability, there have to be other factors that play a role in the learning and the academic achievement of students. Other important factors include the students' interests and their involvement in various academic tasks, how they perceive their interactions with their teachers, and what they feel and think about themselves with regard to the execution of academic tasks (Sikhwari 2004:13). Also included here are the students' attitude, their self-concept and motivation (Sikhwari 2004), self-determination (Mnyandu 2001), motivation, self-efficacy and perceived value (Nilsen 2009), stress and anxiety (Bester 2003), their socio-economic resources, parental involvement and family obligations (Areepattamannil & Freeman 2008), and learning strategies (Rodriguez 2009).
This study will focus on academic self-concept and study habits as factors that could influence and cause a variance in academic achievement.
Research by McCoach and Siegle (2003) suggest that self-concept helps to predict academic achievement. They state that as much as one third of the variance in achievement can be accounted for by academic self-concept. Findings seem to lend support to the theory that consistent success or failure has an effect on self-concept, and that the level of academic achievement is influenced by an individual's self-concept of ability (Dambudzo 2009:6). The following highlights the importance of self-concept in academic achievement, when Mostert (1995:6) contends that a positive self-concept is one of the most vital elements for success, and because self-concept is both a personal and motivational variable, its overall contribution to the variance of academic achievement should be quite high; individuals seem to be motivated to perform in a manner consistent with their self-concept.
Mwamwenda (in Dambudzo 2009:6) states that educators generally believe that an understanding of self-concept and what it involves is essential if education is to achieve its ultimate goal of developing the individual's highest possible potential. In addition, an awareness of the role self-concept plays in human behaviour and development will enable educators to deliberately introduce ways of maximizing self-concept as an integral part of whatever they do in their interactions with learners. Marsh (in Areepattamannil & Freeman 2008:7.5) declares that a higher self-concept is associated with greater academic achievement among students. There is also evidence to the contrary, namely that humble self-assessments are more conducive to academic achievement, according to Ocshe (2003:67), Yoon, Eccles and Wigfield (1996) and Trusty, Watts and House (1996). Despite much research, there are no conclusive studies that clearly indicate the link that joins academic self-concept and academic achievement (Sanchez & Roda 2003).
Existing theory and research of Deci and Ryan (in Mnyandu 2001:1) have shown that self-determination (intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation) plays a prominent role in the academic performance of learners. Kushmand, Sieber and Harold (in Broussard 2002) declare that a high level of motivation and engagement in learning has consistently been linked to a reduction in the number of drop-outs, and to increased levels of student success. In any academic setting, whether it be elementary, secondary or higher education, a student's motivation for learning is generally regarded as one of the most important determinants, if not the premier determinant, of the success and quality of the learning outcome (Mitchell in Broussard 2001:7). However, the relationship between motivation and academic achievement remains complex (McCoach & Siegle 2001:73). Mnyandu (2001:11) declares that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, are prerequisites for academic achievement. Mnyandu (2001:11) considers it imperative that educators acquire a broad understanding of these different forms of motivation in order to help the learner to make use of the specific type of motivation that will facilitate his/her success in achieving the set goals.
In the light of the above, the research question can be indicated as follows:
How may the participants be described in terms of their Socio - Demographic profile?
number of members of the family
How may the participants be described in terms of their Study Habits?
How may participants be described in terms of their Academic Achievement?
Can academic self-concept, study habits and socio demographic profile predict the level of academic achievement of students of Colegio de Sebastian?
Hypothesis of the Study
There is a significant relationship between the students' Academic Self-concept and Academic Achievement
There is no significant difference between the students' Academic Self-concept and Academic Achievement
There is a significant difference between the students' Study Habits and Academic Achievement
There is no significant difference between the students' Study Habits and Academic Achievement
There is a significant difference between the students' Socio-demographic profile and Academic Achievement
Academic self-concept, study habits and socio demographic status can be used to predict academic achievement.
Academic self-concept, study habits and socio demographic status cannot be used to predict academic achievement.
Significance of the Study
Study habits, self-concept and socio economic status play a very important role in bringing about the better academic achievement. The study could bring to light the importance of academic self-concept, study habits and socio demographic profile which are the major contributors of academic achievement.
Through this research, the counselor can come up with an intervention program that would help the low achievers. Students would also know the reason why they are getting low grades. Faculty members could also adjust their teaching methods for students with low academic performance.
Delimitations of the Study
The study will be confined to college students. Moreover, the study will be conducted only at Colegio de Sebastian.
Academic achievement will only include English, Math and Science subjects.