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MORAL JUDGEMENT AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR AS CORRELATES OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BENIN CITY

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MORAL JUDGEMENT AND ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR AS CORRELATES OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BENIN CITY.

TABLE OF CONTENT

Title Page…………………………………………………….i

Approval page………………………………………………..ii

Certification…………………………………………………..iii

Dedication…………………………………………………….iv

Acknowledgement……………………………………………v

Table of content………………………………………………vii

Abstract……………………………………………………….x

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study………………………………………1

Statement of Problem………………………………………….7

Research Questions…………………………………………….9

Purpose of the Study……………………………………………10

Significance of the Study……………………………………….11

Scope of the Study………………………………………………11

Definition of Terms……………………………………………...12

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

Morality……………………………………………………14

Concept of Moral Judgement………………………………15

Stages and Level of Moral Judgement……………………..17

Ethical Behaviour…………………………………………..19

Students Academic Achievement…………………………..23

Moral Judgement and Ethical Behaviour and Academic

Achievement………………………………………………..29

Summary of Review of Related Literature…………………35

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Research design………………………………………………….37

Population of the Study………………………………………….37

Sample and Sampling Techniques………………………………37

Research Instrument…………………………………………….38

Validity of the Instrument……………………………………….39

Administration of Instrument and Data Collection………………39

Method of Data Analysis…………………………………………39

CHAPTER FOUR:DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF RESULTS

Demographic variables ….…………………………………41

Research questions………………………………………….42

Discussion of Finding………………………………………51

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Summary ………………………………………………………53

Conclusion …………………………………………………….55

Recommendation’s……………………………………………55

Suggestions for Further Research………………………………56

References………………………………………………………58

Appendix 1……………………………………………………62

Appendix 2…………………………………………………….65

Abstract

This study investigates moral judgement and ethical behavior as correlates of academic achievements among secondary school students in Benin City.

The total sample of the study comprises two hundred students who participated in the study. Four research question and four hypotheses’ were examined. Data were collected using a questionnaire. The questionnaire consists of two section; section A and section B. Section A comprises of the personal data of the respondents, such as Age, Class, Sex and School. Section B consists of items that seek the opinion of the respondents about moral judgement under different situations within our society. The validity of the instrument was confirmed in terms of content. The hypotheses of study were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Data was analysed using Pearson correlation. The result showed a significant relationship between the students moral judgement and their academic performance. And school as a variable has more effect on both academic performance and the moral judgement of students than age category and gender.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Moral judgement is one of the many aspects of moral development, with the freedom to choose. In cognitive developmental research, the development of moral reasoning depends on the interactions between the child and the society. Experience is conceived to stimulate moral development byproviding role-taking opportunities andproviding an optimal amount of cognitive disequilibrium.

Experimental research has established that both processes can lead to moral stage change. Yet the experimental research does not clarify by how much these processes correspond to real-life experiences.Little evidence exist to test whether real-life experiences with parents, peers and the community at large do influence the development of moral reasoning.

It was first proposed by Jean Piaget (1932) that parents can stimulate the development of their children’s moral judgement by encouraging independence of adult constraint, and that also peer reciprocity and cooperation, exposure to diversity of individual and cultural values can stimulate more complex moral reasoning or moral decision-making.

Current research on moral action breaks the process of moral-decision into four parts:

The ability to recognize a situation as having a moral decision

The ability to discern right and wrong

The ability to choose a course of action among competing values and

The ability to implement that choice (Rest in Cooper, 2004:5).

These four dimensions, commonly known as the four component model represents a synthesis of processes that individuals use for moral behavior. The second component, how a person decides something as being morally right or wrong is referred to as moral judgement.

Cognitive developmental researchers have conducted many research studies on moral judgement for over 30 years. This collective body of researcher is a part of a broader effort to research each of the four cited components as separate phenomenon and to study the interaction between them.Moral judgement is a by-product of the child’s general social experience as patterning of experience is necessary before the child is capable of higher form of moral judgement.

The ability to make moral judgement plays an important role in moral development, as it is a process of defining a happening in terms of moral justifiability. Moral development cannot be studied in isolation from other aspects of development example physical, intellectual, emotional and social.

Ethical behavior: involves demonstrating respect for key moral principles which includes honesty, fairness, equity, dignity, diversity, and individual’s rights.

It also implies that secondary school students must act on the basis of the following ethical principle:

Respect for others

Personal responsibility for their actions;

Strengthening trust within members of the school.

The school is seen to have the responsibility to develop the ethical character of their students which increases their chance of a measurable academic success. It benefits the studentby helping them develop moral judgement and other values needed for success in life.

A growing body of research on character education is suggesting that the practices of teaching ethics will bring about a positive social and academic outcome in school.



Academic achievement:is a measure of the extent to which a person has acquired certain knowledge or master certain skills usually as a result of planned instruction or training (Emendu,2003 :5).On the other hand it is the outcome of education and the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved the educational goals. According to Bossaert&Doumen in Obeta (2014:141), academic achievement is commonlymeasured by examination or continuous assessment. However, there is a general agreement on how it is best tested. In some countries, the achievement of school is measured by the academic performance index. In Nigeria, academic performance is measured majorly by the student’s performance in externalexaminationslikeWEAC Examinations both Senior and Junior WEAC, NECO examinations andJAMB examinations.

Over the years, the issue of poor academic performance of secondary school student in Nigeria has been of much concern to all. These problem has led to the widely acclaimed falling standard of education in Edo state and Nigeria at large.The investigations of the factors that influence students’ academic performance have attracted the interest and concern of teachers, psychologist, researchers and school administrators. Reports from several studies revealed various causes of poor academic performance of secondary school students. These factors’ according Ajila and Olutola (2007) includes:

Problems of inadequate facilities in the school

Problems of teachers commitment to duty

Problems traceable to the students

Problems caused by parents and the society

Problems of government policy and low funding of the education sector.

Ichado (1998) also argued that the environment in which the student comes from can greatly influence his performance in school. Ajao (2001) was also of the view that students’ academic performance in both internal and external examination has been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching. As the quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties.

Considering governments’ huge investment in public education, its output in terms of quality of students has being observed to be unequal with government expenditure. The goal of the Nigerian educational system is to help students develop well in moral behavior and as well as academic achievement.

This research is therefore set out to analyze how moral judgement, and ethical behavior relates with academic achievement of secondary school students in Benin city.

Statement of problem

Over the years there have being different opinions in ascertaining what makes an act morally right or wrong and this individual perception among students of various class and family background have been found to be directly or indirectly related to their academic performance.

Otunbor (1992) opined that what a child perceives as being morally right or wrong has a significant impact in his academic performance.

In Nigeria and to a less extent, the world at large, students have variations in the choice of moral judgement and these are proportional to their response to the medium or media that leads to that act.

What a student sees as ethically right or wrong determines his or her response to the teaching process. Fafunwa (2001) noted that the acceptance of ethically right conditions by students has caused a tremendous increase in their academic achievement.

The generally acceptable act by the society in which student has keyed into has increased the academic prowess and thus makes academic achievement on the high side.

One major challenge faced by students is the ability to differentiate morally right or wrong act. This project work is aimed at identifying how the moral variation on morally right or wrong judgement affects the academic performance of students.

Research questions

Is there any significant relationship between moral judgement and the students’ academic performance?

Does age affects the relationship between academic performance and moral judgement of students?

Does gender affects the relationship between academic performance and moral judgement of students?

Does school affects the relationship between academic performance and moral judgement of students?

Research Hypotheses

H01: Moral judgement does not have significant influence on the academic performance of student.

H02: The age of students does not have significant influence on the academic performance of students and their moral judgements.

H03: Gender does not have significant influence on the academic performance of students and their moral judgements.

H04: School does not have significant influence on the academic performance of students and their moral judgements.

Purpose of the study

To show the correlations or relationship between moral judgement, ethical behavior and students’ academic performance.

To show how negative moral judgement and ethical behavior affects students’ academic performance.

To show how students’ academic performance can be improved via positive ethical behavior and moral judgement.

To show factors that influence the moral judgement and ethical behavior of students as it relates to their academic performance.



Significance of the study

The research findings provide lasting solution to the problem of students’ moral judgement and ethical behavior as it relates or affects their academic performance.

This study would be useful and valuable in identifying and preferring solution to ethical issues among students as it affects their academic performances.

Researchers, education officers and guidance and counseling would find the study to be useful in decision making with respect to the students school achievement.

Scope of the study

This study is restricted to senior secondary schools within Benin City in Edo state.

Therefore this research will be limited in scope to students in four randomly selected secondary schools within the city. These secondary schools include:



1. Army day secondary school

2. Uselu Grammarschool

3. Federal Government Girls College

4. uwelu Grammar School

Operational definition of terms

MORAL JUDGEMENT: These are evaluations or opinions formed as to whether some action or inaction, intention, motive, character trait, or a person as a whole is more or less Good or Bad as measured against some standard of Good.

ETHICAL BEHAVIOUR: This is the standards that you hold for yourself of the attributes of honesty, responsibility, and how you treat others in all facets of your life.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the outcome of education- the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.

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