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CAUSES OF BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS AMONG CHILDREN OF PRIMARY SCHOOL IN ENUGU
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Behavioural problems are bad, unacceptable behavioural in a given society. Behavioural problems (maladjustment)is defined as bad or unsatisfactory adjustment of behaviour (Webster Encyclopedia unabridged dictionary, 1994). Ross (1980) views behavioural problems to be presented when a child emits behaviour that deviates on arbitrary and relative social norm in that it occurs with a frequency or intensity that authoritative adults in the child’s environment judge under the circumstances to be either high or too low.
From the perspective of public welfare and safety personality disorder or maladjustment was defined as an antisocial personality which is marked by a long-term of irresponsible, impulsive, unscrupulous, even criminal behaviour beginning in childhood or early adolescence (Berstein, Roy, Srull, and Wickers, 1991). To the teacher, the meaning of behavioural problem in the classroom situation “is a higher or explicit attempt to give a symbolic interactionist account of discipline problems in the calassroom (Stebbings, 1970). There are over 427 behavioural problems identified by Ross (1980) but those of very serious implication that has relevance to teaching/learning process and research work has been done extensively is by Stouffer. He had 50 behavioural problems exhibited by school different. Although not of equal seriousness. None of them can be said to be entirely unimportant (Stouffer, 1998).
According to Stouffer (1988) information from the white house conference on child health and protection indicates that one out of every three school child’s maladjusted in one or the other. It had also been estimated that 12 percent of school children are so emotionally up-set as to require the services of guidance specialist and physiatrists (Mukhurjee, 1978). To obtain a situational report, the researcher also found from social welfare center Enugu and the Borstal Training Institute Enugu State alarming increase of about 80% and 100% respectively in the number of maladjusted children/youths which must bear it roots since their childhood. This is because any maladjusted preschool child will turn to the maladjusted in childhood and then turn out to be a maladjusted adolescent and finally turns out to be a maladjusted adult if nothing is done to curb it at the initial stage. This opinion is shared by Kagan and Moses (1962), Kolo (1992) and Coplan (2005). Where they stated that behaviours exhibited by children at young age tend to stabilize throughout life. Wickman (1978) found a marked discrepancy between the rating of teachers and mental hygienist on the relative seriousness of behavioural problems in school children. Teachers stress the importance of problems relative to sex, dishonesty, disobedience, disorderliness and failure to learn. For them the problems that indicate withdrawing, recessive characteristics in children are of comparatively little significance. This opinion is also shared by (Stebbins, 1970) Research work has been done extensively by Stouffer (1998) on the ratings of teachers on behavioural problems of children in the developed nations. Literature has shown the non-existence of such data in Nigeria. Their research findings cannot be authoritatively said to be true of our own school children in Nigeria due to certain factors such as environmental, social economical and political.
According to Dantani and Abubakar (1999), manifestation of maladjusted forms of behaviour in primary school is one of the areas of concern for teachers, educational administrators and parents. This is because no meaningful learning can take place if the learner is maladjusted. Teachers have great role to play in the development of the pupil they often observe the development in children that occur during school year and they report their cognitive, affective and psychomotor development. The contribution of the teacher in the development of the child cam make a difference for the brighter future of any society (Okon and Anderson, 1982).
According to Hendrkz (1986) the school is expected to contribute towards pupil’s development as healthy balance people who are able to fit into their communities, to control their less acceptable impulse to become what is known as socialized. Teachers encounter more of children’s behavioural problems they know those problems that can hamper effective teaching/learning in the class and those behaviour that could be detriment to the child. Based on all these, the researcher intends to finds out how the teachers will rate the behavioural problems of children in the primary schools in Enugu state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Teachers have a great role to play in the development of the pupil. They often observe the development in children that occur during school year and report their cognitive, affective and psychomotor development. The contribution of the teacher in the development of the child can make a difference for a brighter future of any society (Okon and Anderson 1982) this opinion is also shared by Hendrikz (1986).
From the background, one out of three pupils is maladjusted in a way (Stouffer, 1998). From the situational report, information from social welfare center and Borstal Training Institute Enugu stated that there were over 80% and 100% increase respectively in the number of maladjusted children. Manifestation of maladjusted forms of behaviours in the primary schools is one of the areas of concern for teachers, educational administrators and parents. This is because no meaningful learning can take place if the learner is maladjusted. The maladjusted should exhibit problems such as truancy, inattention, no interest in working quarrelsome, restless, disobedience, stubbornness, laziness.
The teacher could be stressed up in trying to correct the child, may lose patient, may even be annoyed and refused to come to class because of the problem of the maladjusted child.
There are over 50 behavioural problems of children in the classroom, it is important to point out which of these behavioural problems affect the teachers and pupils effective teaching/learning process. Rating of behavioural problems of children by teachers and metal hygienist has been carried out by (Blair, Jones & Simpson, 1975). In the development nation, this can not be authoritatively claimed to true situation for our own school children due to economic, environmental social and political factors. In order to find out which behavioral problem has serious implication, this study is designed to find out which behavioural problem has serious implication, this study is designed to find out how teachers rate behavioural problems of children in primary schools in Enugu State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to determine the teacher’s ratings of behavioural problems of pupils in public primary schools in Enugu State specifically. This study is to:
- Find out current causes of behavioural problems among children of primary school in Enugu.
- Identify the ratings of teachers of the seriousness of fifty behavioural problems of children in the primary school in Enugu State.
- Find out the difficulties teachers encounter with children having behavioural problems in the primary school in Enugu State.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is hoped that when teacher’s rating of behavioural problems of children in the primary school are identified, the study will be beneficial to teachers, headmasters, school administrator, parents, guidance and counseling personnel, psychologist, mental hygienist students and the government. It would identify those behavioural problems that can be hamper effective teaching and meaningful learning, thereby it would help the teachers and administrators to utilize the most suitable teaching methods/techniques. Behavioural problems which crop up in childhood will be reduced to the minimum because teachers will be able to curb that in childhood. The child would also develop a sound personality, sound attitude and morals which is one of the goals of primary education in Nigeria (National Policy of Education, 2004). Parents will benefit because, they will be able to identify these behavioural problems in their children and help them to manage these problems. Mental hygienist, guidance counseling will be better informed and it would be a tool for making their work easier.
1.5 ASSUMPTION OF THE STUDY
The study will cover five chapters; Chapter one consist of the background of the study, including statement of the problem, objectives, scope etc. The chapter two deals with the review of related literature, Chapter three dwelled on the research methodology, while Chapter four present and analyse data collected from sample respondents and finally, the chapter five of the study summarize, conclude and provide recommendations to the problems identified by the study.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study:
- What are the current causes of Behavioural problems among primary school pupils in Enugu State?
- What are the teacher’s ratings of the seriousness of 50 behavioural problems of children in the primary school in Enugu State?
- What are the difficulties teachers’ encountered with children having behavioural problems in primary schools in Enugu State?
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study looked into teachers rating of the seriousness of behavioural problems of children in Enugu state, the current causes of maladjustment among children as well as the difficulties the teachers faced with children having such problems. The ranking order of the seriousness of the behavioural problems of school children is not included in the research work.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
In carrying out a project work like this, a lot of problem are often encountered and such problems include the following;
- Collection of data posed a problem as some of the respondents approached for interview were quite indifferent
- Scarcity of textbooks, journals and other relevant publication on the chosen topic which serves as inhibiting factor in gathering up to data information on the subject matter.
- Internal and external validity also a problem to the research work.
- There was also the uncooperative attitude of some of the respondents which they frequency complain of engagement elsewhere.
- In addition, the research is restricted in scope because of financial constraint. A larger population would have been sampled if not for financial limitation.
1.9 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Attitude: is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person, place, thing, or event (the attitude object). Prominent psychologist Gordon Allport once described attitudes “the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology
Cause:- A cause has been defined by the oxford dictionary sixth edition (2000) “The cause of something is what makes it happen”. A reason explains something; the purpose of something you do is the reason for doing it, the things you hope to achieve.
Curriculum:- It has been noted that the definition of curriculum changes from time to time and it also changes due to special condition, conception of knowledge, the learner and, indeed, education.
Failure:- This refers to the act of o stage of failing or inability to meet up with what one is required to do.
Maladjustment: Inability to adjust to the demands of interpersonal relationships and the stresses of daily living
Methodology:- Is the study and practice of various method of teaching. This implies that methodology is both the study of different methods and the systematic means of presenting subject matter and learning experiences.
Motivation:- Motivation comes from the word motive it is defined as a pushing or moving power that makes an individual to strive to achieve a set goal despite difficulties.
Psychology:- The scientific study of human behaviour and thought processes.
Research:- It is defined as the systematic and objective analysis and reporting of controlled observation with a view to arrive at the development of generalization, principles, theories or explanation of phenomena.
Researcher:- He is an individual or group of individuals who carry out investigation about an issue.
School Authority: Refers to an organized system of administration in which the whole members in the school are united on agreeable constitution that enable the school function towards achieving of her objectives and goals
Sociology:- Is therefore scientific study of human behaviour in groups, having for its aim the discovering of regularities and order in such behaviour and expressing these discoveries as theoretical propositions or generalization that describe a wide variety of patterns of behaviour its primarily concerns itself with social relationships.
Teacher: One who teaches or instructs; one whose business or occupation is to instruct others; an instructor; a tutor
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