The study was carried out to determine the assessment of students’ personal qualities by secondary school teachers in Awka Education zone, Anambra State. Seven research questions were formulated and two null hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population of the study consists of 1544 secondary school teachers in Awka Education zone, Anambra State. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select a sample of 279 secondary school teachers from the population. Fifty structured item question was developed by the researcher for the collection of data. Three experts from the field of measurement and evaluation validated the instrument. Internal consistency using Cronbach alpha method was used to obtain a reliability coefficient o .89. Mean and standard deviation was used to answer the research questions while t-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses. It was found that majority of teachers do not assess their students’ personal qualities but they accepted the techniques used in assessing students’ personal qualities. They also accepted the uses of assessment result. It is recommended that effort should be made by teachers to increase the assessment of students’ personal qualities. Teachers should be attending seminars, conferences, in-service training so as to be updated in the process of assessing students’ personal qualities. Salary increase is required to sustain teachers’ interest in teaching and assessing students’ personal qualities. The government should motivate their teachers by paying them regularly. More teachers should be employed so that they will not be engaged with too many responsibilities.
Background of the study
Nigeria, like other countries of the world, acknowledges that education is a vital tool for achieving national development. Education is the aggregate of processes through which human beings develop their abilities, special skills, attributes, and other behaviour patterns that are of value to the society in which they live (Fafunwa, 1996). The World Bank (2001) tends to agree with Fafunwa in one of its definitions of education as the development of knowledge, skill, ability or character by teaching, training, studying or experience. Education is not compartmentalized; its desire is total development of man. Education is not limited to knowledge acquisition. That is why Ezeokoli (1999) noted that teaching and learning should get a learner to become truly educated by cultivating the three ‘h’ namely head, heart, hand. In this context head, heart and hand signifies cognitive behaviour, affective behaviour and psychomotor behaviour respectively. Akande (2002) asserted that the purpose of teaching is to educate someone, which entails over-all development in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domain. Development in these three domains will aid students to have quality education.
Quality education can be explained as the extent to which education accomplishes the various roles ascribed to it in the National Policy of Education. Such roles include usefulness of education for employment, relevance to the developmental needs of the recipients as individuals and the society in which the individuals live and operate as citizens. With the introduction of the Policy on Education in Nigeria (FRN, 2004), the national educational goals which were derived from the philosophy of education include:
(a) the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity;
(b) the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society;
(c) the training of the mind in the understanding of the world around; and
(d) the acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society.
The national education goals listed above cannot be achieved if the students are not taught and assessed. Teachers need to assess the students to ascertain if they have learned.
One of the functions of a school is the certification of the individual learner under its embrace (Idowu & Esere, 2009). To effectively carry out this role, assessment of one kind or the other is a prerequisite. Assessment is a means whereby the teacher obtains information about knowledge gains, behavioural changes and other aspects of the development of learners (Oguneye, 2002). It involves the deliberate effort of the teacher to measure the effect of the instructional process, as well as the overall effect of school learning on the behaviour of students. Assessment covers all aspects of school experience both within and outside the classroom. A synthesis of these definitions as reported by Ukwuije (2007) shows that educational assessment is a process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes, beliefs, practices or generally what behaviour a learner does or does not have, acquire or develop before, during, and at the end of instruction, or a course of study. It covers the cognitive, psychomotor as well as the affective aspects of learning.
Assessment of students’ personal quality or affective behaviour ought to be continuous. The National Steering Committee on Continuous Assessment in Nigeria Schools led by Professor Yoloye regards continuous assessment as a method of ascertaining what a child gains from schooling in terms of knowledge, industry and character development, taking into account all the child’s performances in tests, assignments, projects and other educational activities during a given period of term, year, or during the entire period of an educational level (Ipaye, 1996). It is also a method of using the recorded performances of each pupil to help him or her improve on achievement through guidance. According to Onunkwo (2002), continuous assessment is the method of evaluation in which students’ achievements in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains from the moment they start schooling until the end of it are determined using scores obtained from various instruments and techniques such as tests, rating scales, checklists, observation, projects, interview, projective technique, peer appraisal, self report etc. Therefore all the domains should be assessed regularly.
Okoro (2006) defined affective domain as the learners’ social development and inculcation of new attitudes, values and interest. It contains learning skills that are predominantly related to emotional process. The learning process in the affective domain include being open to experience, engaging in life, cultivating values, managing oneself, and developing oneself. There are five major subdivision in the domain namely; receiving, responding, valuing, organization and characterization (Anakweze, 2010). Assessment in the affective behaviour of students is used for diagnostic purposes, in determining the personality of individual, choice of career, record purposes and for selection (Habor-Peters, 1999). Based on the words of Popham (2011), affective assessment entails measuring students’ attitudes, interests, or values. It is sometimes referred to as personality or dispositional assessment. It is conducted in an effort to discover students’ usual or typical inclinations. In contrast to cognitive assessment, affective assessment does not measure the content that the learners know or the skills they are able to perform rather it measures students’ disposition. Unachukwu and Onunkwo (2000) noted that Nigerian teachers predominantly evaluate learner’s cognitive activities at the detriment of affective behaviours. What is often forgotten is the fact that the cognitive and affective domains go hand-in-hand; they do not function independently but should complement one another. Although increasing what students know and are able to do is primary, their content-related attitudes, values, beliefs, and dispositions – the affective domain are equally significant. Bowles, Gintis, & Osborne( 2001) found out that cognitive skills needed in the labour market accounts for only 20% while 80% of the skills are of non cognitive skill which includes affective and psychomotor skills. These authors above referred to the affective behaviours of students as students’ personal qualities.
Also Ipaye (1996), Iyewarun (1996), & Okon (2000) noted that Nigerian schools’ assessment especially at the secondary level is concentrated on cognitive achievement to the detriment of affective and psychomotor development of learners That is why students with pass marks in their subjects receive a certificate at the end of the course no matter how “bad” their manners are or how unskilled they may be. In other words, behaviour, attitude, interest, aptitude and other affective traits do not count towards obtaining a certificate. The importance of developing the affective behaviour of students has been emphasized in many important official educational documents (Nwagu, 1992). Teachers are required to adopt a more practical and utilitarian orientation that would awaken and sustain the interest of the students in the various school subjects and programmes and other related situations in the wider world outside the classroom. Teacher’s assessment are expected to facilitate the development in individuals of favourable attitudes towards issues of patriotism, unity, social integration, civic obligations, socio-political ideals and personal qualities .