The future growth of any nation, even the most advanced nations of the world depend quite considerably on the quality of education it provides for its citizens. The quality of education on the other hand depends upon inspired, satisfied and truly dedicated teachers among other things. This may only be achieved through effective management of both human and material resources by the teacher right from the foundation level of education.
The material resource refers to the structures, instructional resources and laboratory, while the human resources refer to the human component which includes the academic, non-academic staff and students of the school. For the school to function effectively all these components need to be assess on a regular basis.
Assessment is one of the processes and activities that characterize the school system and persons in the system. These persons in the system need to be assess even though learners in the school have been the only segment of assessment. One important tool for assessment has been the test.
Test is a process of gathering data on the amount of knowledge, skills, traits and characteristics acquired by learner in the school system. Tests are used on learners at various stages of their learning and testing produces scores and data on the basis which crucial decision are taken. What become an issue is the use of these test results in the educational system.
As the society continues to developed, assessment data are generated and used in a variety of ways to enhance administrative technique, learning and the possibility of success by both the learner and the teacher. The results of school assessment are relevant not only to learners, but also to the teachers, hence the need for secondary school students’ assessment of geography teachers’ instructional effectiveness.
Secondary school students are a group of young children who have completed the first segment of education and have moved to the second stage of Education called secondary school (Ada, 2006). McDonald (2003) maintains that assessing teachers through the use of students is the most legitimate procedure as it is the only true indicator of teachers’ effectiveness. Theall and Franklin (2001) maintained that students are the most qualified sources to report on the extent to which the learning experience was productive, informative, satisfying or worthwhile. He maintained that student satisfaction is a direct indicator of teacher’s effectiveness.
The word geography was derived from two Greek root word “geo,” meaning earth and graphe” meaning “to describe or write about the Earth (Ozgen, 2011).” The importance of geography lies in the study of the child’s home environment, which forms the first part of the senior secondary school geography syllabus. The content as prescribed in the National Curriculum designed to actualize the attainment of its objectives, include recognition, location and description of major physical and cultural features. Special emphasis on the curriculum include location of the school in relation to other parts of the town, identification, description and analysis of the various types and forms of physical and cultural interaction between towns and its surroundings; identification of the locational relationship of local government, state, nation and other parts of the world; and the description of major physical and human features of the world (Federal Ministry of Education (FME), 2004).
The content, if well taught, would provide students with a sound basis for the study of geography of his locality, the world around him and as well, enhances the development of a wide range of geographical skills, thoughts and attitude that enables the students to achieve higher results in the subject (Oliver, 2007).
Oliver (2007) is of the opinion that geography enables students to develop scientific skills of observation, systematic reasoning, collection, organization and analysis of geographical data, asking and answering geographic questions, use and interpretation of photographs, maps and other geographic representations. These are in addition to ensuring the learner’s potentials for exploring other aspects of geographic studies.
The objective of geography in secondary school curriculum cannot be overemphasized. As one of the required subject in the curriculum of secondary schools in Nigeria (FME, 2004), geography is one of the compulsory subject for science students in secondary school. In the curriculum, geography is group with literature in English and history and stand as the only science subject (NERDC 2007). For the objectives of geography as subject to be realized to a large extent depend on the teacher who is teaching the subject.
Teaching is an attempt to help someone acquire or change some skills, activities, knowledge, ideas or appreciation (Ada 2006). In other words, the teachers’ task is to create or influence desirable changes in behavior or tendencies in behavior in his students. The definition of teaching above identify three important domains in education, which are knowledge, concept or ideas (cognitive), skills in all its forms (psychomotor), attitudes, beliefs and values (affective). It is only through effective instruction that the needs of the learner can be accomplish. This effective instruction is given by the classroom teacher.
Teachers’ instructional effectiveness is the degree in which the teachers achieve the desired influence on students learning outcome (Ogunbiyi, 2004). Teacher’s instructional effectiveness can also be derived from student’s opinion on their teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter, teaching methods, classroom management and relationship with students and assessment of student learning outcome. Ory (2001) is of the view that students assessment of teachers instructional effectiveness should not be used alone. It should be combined with other methods like peer review, teaching portfolios, classroom observation or self- evaluation. Researchers are unlikely to ever agree that the variables that may influence students assessment of teachers’ instructional effectiveness can be controlled completely. They went further to say if students assessment of teachers must be used, should be for formative purposes (Gaubatz,2000, Theall and Franklin 2001). Brown 2004, Weeden and Lambert 2006 and Remsal, 2007) are of the opinion that students assessment should only be one of the several forms of evaluation used to shed light on teachers’ instructional effectiveness. Assessment of instruction can be carried out through students’ evaluation of teachers, inspectors of education in the Federal Ministry of Education and state ministry of Education, principals of schools and teachers themselves. Most evaluation as mentioned above are carried out for the purposes of teacher’s promotion and not for academic improvement of students (Ogunbiyi, 2006).
Instructional effectiveness of geography teachers according to Alokan (2010) could be measured using effectiveness indicators such as knowledge of the subject matter, classroom management, classroom communication, students’ performance, and relationship with students, classroom interaction, and students’ evaluation. In addition to Alokan’s indicators, others related variables like methods of teaching, instructional material usage, area of specialization.
Subject matter is an essential component of teacher knowledge, it is neither new nor a controversial assertion. After all, if teaching entails helping others learn, then understanding what is to be taught is a central requirement of teaching. Myriad of tasks of teaching, such as selecting worthwhile learning activities, giving helpful explanations, asking productive questions, and evaluating students’ learning, all depend on the teacher’s understanding of what the students are to learn (Buchmann, 2000).
Helping students learn involves more than the delivery of facts and information. The goal of teaching is to assist students in developing intellectual resources to enable them to participate in, not merely to know about, the major domains of human thought and inquiry. These include the past and its relation to the present; the natural world; the ideas, beliefs, and values of our own and other peoples; the dimensions of space and quantity; aesthetics and representation; and so on. Understanding entails being able to use intellectual ideas and skills as tools to gain control over everyday real-world problems. Students should see themselves, either alone or in cooperation with others, as capable of figuring things out–of using geography to define and reason through a problem; of tracking down the origins of current social policy; of interpreting a map or soil sample, of understanding how physical forces operate; of recreating in writing a feeling, idea, or experience. To accomplish the content of the subject matter, the teachers need to be well vast in classroom management.
Classroom management is the heart of teaching and learning in school setting. A well-managed classroom can provide an exciting and dynamic experience for everyone involved. It is one of the most important skills possessed by effective teachers. Barbetta, Norona and Bicard (2005) consider this skill as the most important aspect of teachers’ training and they stated that effective classroom management is largely concerned with worthwhile academic activities. The classroom management system as a whole is designed to maximize student engagement in those activities. Student achievement, as well as emotional and social outcomes, can all be positively affected by a good classroom management. Unfortunately, experiential evidence has shown that geography teachers’ classroom management skill in Cross River State is grossly deficient. Hence, there is need to empirically investigate the extent geography teachers’ possess this classroom management skill.
Teachers as the most effective element in classroom management, are expected to prepare classroom environment for the educational activities and to execute the teaching programs. Teaching strategies, methods, tools and equipment are important for effective teaching; however, none of these factors can be effective in the strict sense unless there exists a healthy communication between teachers and learners. Effective teachers should also be excellent communicators as well as experts in their field. Teachers having effective communication skills makes it possible to present knowledge in a clear and easily comprehensible way, and thus affects the quality of teaching. If the teachers send their messages without considering the students’ level, a healthy communication process may not be created in the classroom. Therefore, if the teachers want to create a positive climate in the classroom, first of all, they have to align student expectations with their own expectations at a common point using classroom interaction.
Classroom interaction of geography teachers refers to the whole range of activities and experiences through which teachers; curriculum, materials, and learners interact. It has to do with the interactive processes through which teachers’ implement the curriculum and impart learning to students using available materials (Newell and Jeffrey, 2002). Studies have shown that teacher classroom interactions is central to effective curriculum implementation as it has a strong influence on students’ learning outcomes (Rogers, 2000; Oliver, 2007). Walkins and Wager (2000) reported that students’ perceptions of their teacher classroom interactions influenced attitudinal outcomes, adding that where students perceive teachers as initiating satisfactory classroom interactions, their feelings, motivation and attainment in the geography curriculum, were positively affected.
Students’ relationships and interactions with teachers either produce or inhibit developmental change to the extent that they engage, meaningfully challenge, and provide social and relational supports (Barbetta, Norona and Bicard 2005). In this sense, relationships between teachers and students reflect a classroom’s capacity to promote academic development, and it is precisely in this way that relationships and interactions are the key to understanding geography classroom activities as well as teachers’ effectiveness.
The classroom runs on interactions between students and teachers, and among students: the relationship between the student and the teacher and the relationships of students with one another. These relationships and their value emotionally, instrumentally, and psychologically are fundamental supports to the value of their experience in the classroom setting for furthering academic development as well as teachers’ effectiveness. Hall and Kelly (2000) observed that most teachers and students live for their social relationships, and for many students, relationships with teachers are core organizers of experience; they are fundamental to core developmental functions. Yet, the qualities of teacher student relationships are frequently not study especially as it concerns geography teachers’ effectiveness.