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Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption ofgoods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία(oikonomia, “management of a household, administration”) from οἶκος (oikos, “house”) +νόμος (nomos, “custom” or “law”), hence “rules of the house(hold)”. Political economy was the earlier name for the subject, but economists in the late 19th century suggested “economics” as a shorter term for “economic science” that also avoided a narrow political-interest connotation and as similar in form to “mathematics“, “ethics”, and so forth.

A focus of the subject is how economic agents behave or interact and how economies work. Consistent with this, a primary textbook distinction is between microeconomics and macroeconomics. Microeconomics examines the behavior of basic elements in the economy, including individual agents (such as households and firms or as buyers and sellers) and markets, and their interactions. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy and issues affecting it, including unemployment, inflation, economic growth, and monetary and fiscal policy.

Other broad distinctions include those between positive economics (describing “what is”) andnormative economics (advocating “what ought to be”); between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioral economics; and between mainstream economics(more “orthodox” and dealing with the “rationality-individualism-equilibrium nexus”) and heterodox economics (more “radical” and dealing with the “institutions-history-social structure nexus”).

Economic analysis may be applied throughout society, as in business, finance, health care, and government, but also to such diverse subjects as crime,[education, the family, law, politics,religion social institutions, war, and science. At the turn of the 21st century, the expanding domain of economics in the social sciences has been described as economic imperialism.

An attitude may be defined as a predisposition to respond in a favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given attitude object (Oskamp and Schultz 2005). The focus of this project is on school students’ attitudes towards Economics subjects taught in secondary classrooms. The term ‘subjects’ refers to both theory and laboratory classes in secondary school. Thus, the scope of the present study was limited to Economics as experienced by students in secondarys chool rather than out-of-school experiences obtained from external sources such as the media, museums, field trips and friends. Attitude towards Economics or science denotes interests or feelings towards studying Economics or science. It is the students’ disposition towards like or ‘dislike’ science while attitude in science means scientific approach assumed by an individual for solving problems, assessing ideas and making decisions. Student beliefs and attitudes have the potential to either facilitate or inhibit learning (Yara, 2009).Many factors could contribute to student’s attitude toward studying science (Economics). Several studies (including Wilson 1983; Soyibo, 1985;Berg 2005; Adesoji, 2008) report that students’ positive attitudes to science correlate highly with their that, in general, the attitude of Nigeria students towards the basic sciences tend to decrease in the order, Biology, Economics, Physics and Mathematics. Defiana (1995) found that using integrated science environment activities improved high school student attitude toward and awareness about the environment. Armstrong and Impara (1991) in their studies determined that fifth and seventh – grade students using nature score as a curriculum supplement developed more positive attitudes than those who did not. Abimbola (1983) reported that students exposed to a programmed instruction recorded higher and more favourable attitude towards mathematics. Ayelaagbe (1998) also reported a more positive attitude of studies after exposing them to self learning strategy. Similar results were obtained by Udousoro (2000) after using computer and text assisted programmed instruction and Popoola (2002) after exposing students to a self learning device. Popoola(2008) also reported that students attitudes and interests to sciences, especially Agricultural science correlate highly with their science achievement. Halladyna and Shanghnessy (1982) and Adesoji (2008) have concluded that a number of factors have been identified as related to students’ attitude to science (Economics). Such factors include; teaching methods, teacher attitude, influence of parents, gender, age, cognitive styles of pupils, career interest, social view of science and Scientifics, social implicating of science (Economics)and achievement. The studies thus reviewed suggest that there is a relationship between attitude and methods of instruction and also between attitude and achievement;and that it is possible to predict achievement from attitude scores. What isneeded to complement the results of such studies however is the nature of relationship between students’ attitude and factors related to teaching and learning of Economics. Results of these types of study are likely to broaden our knowledge as how we can influence students’ attitude positively towards Economics as a subject in Akure, Nigeria.


The purpose of the study is to investigate the attitudes of students in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State toward studying of Economics as a subject. The study is also designed to make various recommendations for teachers and other stakeholders on how to arouse or improve students attitudes in the subject.


Despite the greater number of Economics graduates produced by our tertiary institutions; every year there are numbers of secondary schools where Economics teachers are not competent in the teaching of the subject. Also, the attitude of the students in secondary schools towards Economics as a profession is not encouraging. This makes the teaching of Economics ineffective and inefficient even where there are competent teachers to teach. It is on this premise, that this study is designed to investigate the attitude of students to teaching and learning of Economics in secondary schools.


In order to investigate the attitude of students to Economics, the following questions were raised:

Do the students have positive attitudes towards Economics?

Do their negative attitudes a result of the attitude of their teachers towards the subject?

Do their attitudes towards problem solving result of unavailability of textbook and other instructional materials?

Should Economics be made compulsory for all science students in secondary schools?


The study was limited to secondary schools in Akure South LocalGovernment of Ondo State only. Based on the time frame and financial constraints in covering all the secondary schools in the Local Government, the study was also limited to the students in Senior Secondary Schools (SS Class)

The names of the schools are:

St.Dominic Grammar School, Akure.

C.A.C.Grammar School, Akure.

Oyemekun High School, Akure.

St.Peter’sUnity High School, Akure.

Fiwasiaye Girls Grammar School, Akure.


The study is aimed at looking at the students’ attitudes towards Economics in some selected secondary schools in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State. The results of the study is hoped to assist Economics teachers to develop new learning experience for the students and reorganize these learning experience in some ways enough to arouse the interest of the students. It would be of good assistance to teachers to create a habit were they would improve on the obsolete teaching methods, use adequate, modern and relevant instructional materials and textbooks at their disposed to the fullest. This study may also assist the students to improve their attitude towards the study of the subject. Finally, the government and parents would benefit from the study of their roles as these would be highlighted at the recommendation column.1.7Assumption of the Study Based on the study, the following assumptions were made. Secondary school students constitute a valid source of data needed in the study. Also, that the respondents will give valid and unbiased responses to the questionnaire items and that the samples drawn will be representatives of the population


Economics:- This is a science subject taught in the Senior Secondary Schools.

Learning:– This is the process of acquiring knowledge in Economics among Senior Secondary School Students.

Attitude:– This refers to students’ positive mind to the study of Economics.

Teaching:– Transmission of the knowledge of Economics to Senior Secondary School Students. Instruction

Materials:- These are aids used in teaching and learning of Economics in Senior Secondary School.


Literature review

The importance of teacher characteristics in realizing educational goals and objectives in any educational system cannot be over emphasized. Teacher characteristics are the instructional behaviours exhibited by the teacher towards goal attainment. These characteristics are the combination of peculiar qualities, traits, mental or moral nature/strength and status that make one person or group different from another. Successful teachers’ characteristics are those that have been found by empirical researches to be related to improved achievement by students in the cognitive, affective or psychomotor outcomes of education (Offorma, 1994). The bedrock of educational system lies on a core of devoted, knowledgeable, competent and well-trained teachers. Groton (1983) rightly pointed out that if a person is to be successful in his chosen career, that individual also needs a set of ethical beliefs or standards for guidance or direction in the appropriate use of competences. A competent teacher seeks to know his learners’ behaviour during the teaching and he or she must perceive the individual learner in an holistic way since gender neutral has affective, cognitive and psychomotor talents. Also, students’ participation in the instructional process is critical and their perception thereof presents methodological challenges when they are underprepared. The knowledge of the way the students think and perceive can aid the teacher to reflect upon and adjust the teaching strategies to enhance students’ understanding and achievement. Allport (1968) described perception as the way people judge others with who they are in contact. A persons’ attitude to an idea or object determines what the person thinks, feels and how the person would like to behave

towards that idea or objects.

Adu (2012) defined attitude as internal beliefs that influence personal actions which is learned through one’s experience. This has to do with a disposition to act or react in a particular way as the individual responds to a situation (Amoo & Rahman, 2004). Thus, the students’ perception of the teachers’ characteristics could influence their attitude toward Economics or any other school subject. Students more often than not judge their teachers in such areas as the teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter, communication ability, the choice of appropriate teaching method and the general classroom management skills. A teacher who is rated high on these indices in the perception of the students is likely to enjoy the confidence, respect and admiration of students.

In the teaching-learning process, both the teacher and the learners must be active. The learner learns through some activities while the teacher does all he or she considers necessary to make learning possible. For any society to be equipped with the basic knowledge and skills that will enable it to better appreciate the nature of economic problems, and how to make rational economic decisions, such a society must depend on the accumulated knowledge of economics, which the citizens possess. For many years, educators and researchers have debated over which variables influence student achievement. A growing body of evidence suggests that schools can make a great difference in terms of student achievement and a substantial portion of that difference attributable to teachers (Adu 2012).

The teaching of Economics provides a learner with the opportunities to live meaningfully within the changing economic world. The following are the objectives or attainable outcomes of teaching Economics:

•     to equip students with the basic principles of Economics necessary for useful living and higher education;

•     to prepare and encourage students to be prudent and effective in the management of scarce resources;

•     to raise student respect for the dignity of labour and appreciation of economic, cultural and social values of our own society; and

•     to enable students to acquire knowledge for the practical solution of the economic problems of the society, such as Nigeria, developing countries and the world at large.

From the highlighted objectives, the question is often asked: Why study Economics? To provide an answer, Adu et al. (2009) put forward the identified reasons:

•     the study of Economics enables a student to understand the nature of the complexity of the economic activities in which he is only a very small part.

•     It enables students to understand and appreciate various government polices where choices have to be made such as probably to spend more money on free education and therefore provide less employment opportunities.

•     the study of Economics provides the students with basic skills for analysing Economic problems thereby preparing them better for positions where economic decisions have to be made

The study of Economics helps a government to promote growth and development therefore improving the quality of life of the citizens.

•     Knowledge of Economics is useful to analyse fascinating patterns of socio-economic behaviour.

•     the study of Economics is useful to understand and alter the inequalities in the distribution of income and opportunities. (Adu, 2012)

In view of the above, every society is faced with three fundamental Economic problems: What to produce? How to produce? And for whom to produce? These problems can find solutions through Economics and possibly are solved through the study of Economics. Economics has been widely accepted by many countries to the extent that many students are now writing examination in this particular subject at the end of their Senior Secondary school level. In other words, the necessity for Economics as a foci teaching and learning subject from school level is an indication that Economics has a significant impact on the student as a knowledgeable citizen of society.

1.1  Knowledge of Subject Matter

Fennema and Frank (1992) agreed that teacher’s knowledge of the subject matter is an indicator of teachers’ teaching effectiveness. Eggen and Kauchak in Adediwura and Tayo (2007) sub-divided teachers’ knowledge of subject matter into categories: knowledge of content, pedagogical content knowledge and general pedagogical knowledge. Ball and Bass (2000) had earlier explained that knowledge of Mathematics and Economics itself (knowledge of subject matter) should go further than the specific content of the discipline to the knowledge of how to teach, present mathematical and economic concepts and that of selection and use of instructional media and resources. Muijs and Reynolds (2002) posited that the teaching effectiveness of the teacher is hampered if he/she is not well versed in the contents to be

taught. A teacher who has a deep understanding of the concept to be taught is more likely to use unambiguous language; their presentation is likely to be more coherent and they would offer clearer explanation than those with a weaker background, (Uya, 2011). Adu (2012) in his finding on importance of Economics teachers’ knowledge of subject contents, affirm that effective teaching that can lead to better achievement by the students and provide a positive attitude. This depends on the teachers’ confidence and in-depth knowledge of the subject matter.

1.2  Communication  Ability

No subject matter can be learnt properly without the appropriate disciplines vocabulary and communication thereof, the use of the disciplines in its appropriate terms facilitates the required knowledge and understanding of whatever is being learnt. Communication may be used to mean the transfer, transmission or exchange of ideas, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes or emotion from one person or group of persons to another (Esu, 2004). Ajibade and Ehindero (2000) opined that if there is any act germane to effective teaching it is that of communicating. Teachers should strive to make their presentation as unambiguous, coherent and logical as possible. Eggen and Kauchak (2001) underlined the basic aspects of effective communication to include precise terminology, connected discourse, transition signals and emphasis. Afangideh (2001) reported that the purpose of communication in the teaching-learning process is to effect change, to produce a desired response; or to influence action contributing to the welfare of the school system. Afangideh (2001) further highlighted four dimensional objectives of communication as: to inform, to stimulate, to persuade and to remind. Uya (2011) asserted that the effectiveness of any educational system depends to a large extent on the effectiveness of the communication system being adopted. And that the teacher has the capability to change the attitude of another person if there is trustworthiness, belief and validity of what he says. To a large extent the effectiveness of any classroom interaction and/or activity is determined by the competency of the teacher to initiate and sustain communication between and among their students. (Ahmad, 2009)

1.3  Teaching Method

The use of appropriate teaching method incorporates an ordered way of accomplishing an end or performing a task. Adu and Adeyanju (2013), described methods as systematic patterns to be followed in the teaching/learning process to drive home a point. Whether in, formal or informal education, teaching method effectiveness makes for retention of learnt concepts. The extent to which an instructional procedure is potent depends greatly upon its effective use by the instructor and the impression it leaves on the learner, which is usually evident in their attitude as well as performance (Obanya, 1984). Umoren (2001) in a research on methods of teaching suggested that the ability of the teacher to impart knowledge so depends greatly on the method he applies during the teaching learning process. Where the method is defective, the students stand to lose as they do not benefit from lessons. According to Uya (2008), for the teacher to be able to ensure order and enhance classroom learning, they have to possess necessary pedagogical skills which have to be systematic and methodical. They have to explore and make good use of their knowledge of instructional skills/strategies, whether the method adopted falls within the spectrum of mass or individualized instructional methods (Umoh, 2005). Adu (2013) opined that teaching, by its nature requires a variety of methods to facilitate teaching/learning in the class and to develop the student’s knowledge and understanding to the maximum.

1.4  Classroom Management Skills

Classroom management is the process of leading, directing, ordering or restraining of students in a class in a way that will lead to effective learning. Byrne, Hattie and Fraser (2001) observed that students will perform best in a controlled atmosphere that is conducive to academic and social needs of the students. The atmosphere in the classroom needs to be relaxed, free from threats and anxiety, non-competitive and thought provoking to allow students participate and enjoyment of the lesson. In such an atmosphere the students’ interest in and attitude towards the subject taught could be enhanced. Isangedighi (2007) stated that disciplined behaviour in the class is the student’s ability to exercise self-control under a given classroom condition. Udofot (1995) explained that while the classroom serves as a theatre stage for learning, the prevailing management and discipline are strong determinants of successful learning and commensurate outputs. Thus the goal of effective classroom management is to have students display appropriate behaviour during class activities in order to enhance the teaching and learning process that can lead to the attainment of set objectives. Teacher’s characteristics in instructional delivery are therefore a measure of the teacher’s ability to apply professional skills in a teaching/learning situation. The question in this study could then be asked: To what extent do teachers’


3.1 Methodology and procedure

In this research the researcher among other methods used the descriptive research method. The descriptive research is concerned with the collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data for the purpose of describing vividly existing conditions, prevailing practices and beliefs, attitudes, on-going procures etc. the descriptive research goes beyond the description of the conditions or phenomena to include discovery of meaning. It also focuses a discovery of trends that are developing. The main objectives of descriptive research is to get detailed and factual information about issues, events, problems and describe the events as they are.

The descriptive research method enabled the researcher to describe in a systematic manner secondary school students’ attitude and achievement towards economics

. The essentials of the descriptive research cannot be over-looked, it is a research that gives the true picture of the whole situation or problem. It gives the basis for eliciting possible policies for alleviating problems. It also saves time. The data for the descriptive analysis was generated through various types of data collection; they are interviews, which are structured interview and unstructured interview, also through an empirical investigation. They all will be discussed below.


Interviews involve eliciting information from the respondent through some verbal interaction between the interview and the respondent. It is a face to face interaction situation in which one person the interviewer questions, which are responded to orally. The questions which are properly framed, allows the respondent easy understanding of the information that are being sort for.

3.2   The empirical investigation

The researcher conducted a detailed empirical investigation in selected secondary schools. The method here was based on sustained participant observation approach (Scott, 1965). Data were collected through interviews, study of secondary material and observation. The observation is an investigation method used to obtain direct information method used to obtain direct information on the behavior of individuals, objects or situations. It involves watching people, situations phenomena and getting first-hand information relating to particular aspects of such people, events, situations or phenomena.

Information relating to certain aspects of human behavior can only be obtained in the particular settings where such behaviors are exhibited. Use of interviews are discussed above. Secondary materials are those source of information which other people did not participate or witness the events. The author of a secondary source material tries to collect and synthesize a pool of materials, which include encyclopedia, dictionaries, textbooks, journals and periodicals, newspapers and magazines as well as publications. Extensive use was made of personnel interviews. In this research the researcher concentrated on focused interviews. This involved the use of guided questionnaire sheet which are designed to assist the researcher to obtain desired information from the respondents. This technique was aimed at giving the respondents the freedom to answer questions asked, while the interviewer occasionally directed the discussion towards the course that will enable him obtain the required information.

3.3   Reliability of data collected

interviews used where the structured interviews and unstructured interview. The structured interview is a rigidly standardized and formal kind of interview. The questions were presented to the different respondents, in the same order and choice of alternative responses, and it is restricted to predetermined list. The structured approach allowed for reliable data analysis. In the unstructured interview, which is a flexible type of interview which contains very few restrictions on the respondent’s answers, the respondents were encouraged to express their thoughts freely.

The secondary materials that were studies were those relating to internal topic. These include textbooks, publications of government, newspapers, journals and periodicals. The textbooks were gotten from the library to provide detailed information and knowledge. Generally, the textbooks provided interpretation in the topic. The government publications like books, pamphlets, e.t.c. from different government agencies and parastatals contain very rich information concerning the topic, they included statistical reports, research reports, official reports, laws and other materials that are not readily available elsewhere.

The newspapers on the other hand provided current information concerning peoples’ views and opinions in the area of study. The formed valuable sources of information from where good ideas have been obtained to be helpful in designing and executing a very good work


In this study, the research method had great emphasis toward the descriptive sample survey. This approach was adopted here because the researcher worked with a much number of potential variable of interest with little previous knowledge of theory that would inform us on where to begin.  It is considered that a more flexible and exploratory approach will be needed.

A possible compromise between the exploratory research of the single participant observer and a much more systematic and standardized approach is the descriptive sample survey.  In this sample survey, a premium is placed on certain kinds of standardization, here the research was concerned with the methodology areas.

This final to collect data in such a way that all respondents are confronted with rarely identical questions.This seems is concerned with sampling are the question of generalization in making results.  The third is with specifying standard criterion for data analysis procedure so that different analysis may reach similar conclusion based on the available data.

3.5 Population of the study

The available population of the affected states is two hundred and fourteen (200), the information was obtained from the records of various sources.

3.6 Instrument for data collection

Two instruments where used in the study and it yields a lot of contribution and contents.

i.     Oral Interview:  The research used face-to-face interview with the interviews with the respondents to obtain the necessary information needed from the organization.

ii.     Questionnaire:  The research used questionnaires to gather information from the respondents.  The questionnaire contains difference questions.  Some option from which the respondents were, required to choose

3.7 Validation of the instrument

The instrument was subjected to both content and face validity by supervision, after all the corrections, the validated instrument was taken back for conformation to ensure that suggestions and observation were incorporated.

3.8 Reliability of the instrument

The instrument was subjected to test, retest reliability test.  The result showed a good internal consistency.

3.9 Methods of data collection

The data for this study where obtained from primary data where obtained from respondents, through direct interview and questionnaire method.

The secondary data were obtained through the stocks of material from the researchers’ friends and associates and National library.  More so, an experience from observation was very helpful in this research work.

3.10 Methods of data analysis

The analysis of data was organized along the following lines.  Descriptive statistical analysis was used to indicate percentage scores of all the respondents. The calculation of respondents were equally drawn up on the table.


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