BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Economics is a social science which is concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities and services. The term economics originates in Ancient Greek (oikonomia, “household management, administration”) from (oikos, “house (nomos, “custom” or “law”), implying “house(hold) regulations.” Political economy was the subject’s original name, but economists in the late nineteenth century proposed the term “economics” as a shorter phrase for “economic science” that also avoided a restricted political-interest connotation and sounded similar to “mathematics,” “ethics,” and so on (Eze 2015).
The topic is concerned with the behavior and interaction of economic agents, as well as the functioning of economies. To this end, a fundamental textbook difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics is made. Microeconomics is the study of the behavior of the economy’s fundamental parts, such as individual agents (such as families and businesses, or buyers and sellers), and markets, as well as their interconnections. Macroeconomics is the study of the overall economy and the factors that influence it, such as unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and monetary and fiscal policy (Eze 2015).
Student beliefs and attitudes can either help or obstruct learning (Yara, 2009). Numerous variables may influence students’ attitudes toward science and social sciences (Economics). Numerous studies (e.g., Wilson 1983; Soyibo 1985; Berg 2005; Adesoji 2008) indicate that students’ positive attitudes toward science are highly correlated with the fact that, in general, the attitude of Nigerian students toward the basic sciences and social sciences tends to decline in the following order: Biology, Economics, Physics, and Mathematics (Defias 1995).
Halladyna & Shanghnessy (1982) and Adesoji (2008) identified a number of factors that influence students’ attitudes toward science and social sciences (Economics), including teaching methods, teacher attitudes, parental influence, gender, age, pupils’ cognitive styles, career interests, social views of science, social implications of science (Economics), and achievement. The studies indicate that there is a link between attitude and instructional approaches, as well as between attitude and accomplishment; and that attitude ratings may be used to predict achievement.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to Keeves (1992), attitudes toward science and social sciences, including economics, are generally favorable, demonstrating widespread support for science and scientific education. Additionally, there is consistency in the average degree of attitude toward economics and general science across nations and age groups within a country. However, in countries with a high degree of technical and industrial development, the data indicated a more neutral attitude toward science. Boys, on average, had a more favorable attitude toward science, the study revealed. According to Kempa & Dude (1974), learners’ enthusiasm in science is related to their achievement in science. Olatoye (2001) concluded from these data that students’ attitudes toward economics had a considerable direct influence on their success in the discipline. According to Adesokan (2000), despite economics’ status as a scientific topic, students continue to have unfavorable views about the subject, resulting in poor teaching performance and low enrolment.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to assess the attitudes and perception of students towards the study of economics in nigerian secondary schools. Specifically but not limited to, other objectives of the study are:
i. To determine the importance of economics as a subject in Nigerian secondary schools.
ii. To determine the factors that affects students choice of economics in Nigerian secondary schools.
iii. To determine if there is any significant influence of students’ attitude towards economics on academic performance.
The following null hypotheses will be tested in this study:
Ho1: Economics as a subject is not important in Nigerian secondary schools.
Ho2: There is no significant influence of students’ attitude towards economics on academic performance.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study’s findings are significant as it will aid Economics teachers in developing new learning experiences for students and reorganizing existing learning experiences in ways that pique students’ attention. It would be beneficial for instructors to develop a practice of improving on old teaching techniques and maximizing their usage of appropriate, current, and relevant instructional materials and textbooks. Additionally, this study may aid students in developing a more positive attitude regarding the subject’s study. Additionally, both the government and parents would benefit from an examination of their respective roles, which would be underlined in the suggestion column.
Finally, this study will go further in helping researchers with more information on the effects of social media on student’s academic performance.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the attitudes and perception of students towards the study of economics in nigerian secondary schools. Specifically, this study will be focused on determining the importance of economics as a subject in Nigerian secondary schools, determining the factors that affects students choice of economics in Nigerian secondary schools and determining if there is any significant influence of students’ attitude towards economics on academic performance.
Teachers and students of economics in selected secondary schools will serve as enrolled participants for the survey of this study.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The researcher encountered minor obstacles when conducting the study, as with any human endeavor. The significant constraint was the scarcity of literature on the subject due to the nature of the discourse, so the researcher incurred more financial expenses and spent more time sourcing for relevant materials, literature, or information and in the data collection process, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Furthermore, the researcher did this investigation alongside other academic activities. Furthermore, the sample size was limited because only a few respondents were chosen to answer the research instrument, therefore the results cannot be generalized to other secondary schools outside the state. Despite the constraints encountered during the research, all elements were minimized in order to provide the best results and make the research effective.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Attitudes: A settled way of thinking or feeling about something.
Perception: The way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.
Students: A student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment in a desired field.