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Keywords: MOTIVATION AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR ENHANCING STUDENTS INTEREST IN THE STUDY OF ECONOMICS
Background to the study
It has been noted that motivation is an important factor in learning and an umbrella term that covers types of those things that help the individual to learn. It is therefore important that educators should try and understand its nature and way of operation. Motivation is the problem facing the standard of education in the society and has been noted that among the factors that determine the success of learning in academics is the level of of performance and commitment of the students and this depends on the rate of amount of interest one have for the subject.
However, the only means through which this can be achieved is through adequate motivation of students by their teachers. It is only through motivation that students feels not only happy, but puts in maximum effort and interest for his subject. Making a contribution to that (Sternberg and Lubant 1996) said that motivation is probably indispensable for school success. Without it, the student never even tries to learn. But at this juncture one may ask what exactly motivation is? And how does it help in boasting students interest in the study of economics?
In simple terms, motivation based on Latin verb for moveer is the force that makes one to do something. It is a process that involves goals, physical or mental activity and it is both instigated and sustained (Williams, 1997).
Alechunu (1995) reacting to the meaning of the word motivation says “It is a general term applying to the entire class of drivers, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces that moves an individual to action”.
According to Omebe (2001) motivation is the process of arousing movement in an organism and the movement is produced and regulated through the release of energy within the tissue.
Onyehalu (1988) was of the view that motivation entails a serious consideration of the goals and motives that produce observed human behaviour. It is essentially an internal urge or drive or tension that prompts an organism into action.
Ukeje (19920 said that motivation can take many form of regular payment to teacher’s salaries, wages, allowance and many other entitlements when due. It can be in form of good working environment. This has to do with providing enough classroom with all facilities like electricity, air-conditions, good seats, enough classroom with normal number of students for proper control of teachers, and many other needs, equipment that will make it comfortable and conducive for students.
Motivation is also the drive within the individual as well as the external drive that leads to the achievement or accomplishment of a goal, the drive to achieve a goal or to set a goal such as needs, wants and desires and internal forces achievable. A child for his own sake may not want to learn because there is no apparent immediate benefit to be derived from learning. In other words, he cannot see why he has to learn (negative attitude) for a child to develop the attitude and willingness to learn, there must be sort of motivation.
In a nutshell, motivation can simply be defined as “All these phenomena which are involved in the stimulation of motion towards particular objectives that was previously set”. In other words motivation is the drive within the individual as well as the external drive that leads to the achievement or accomplishment or goals. But the question then is how far or to what extent is student motivated and how does motivation boast student’s performance? It is important to note that students like employees in order organizations need to be adequately motivated that this can be done by providing them with things that can induce them to put in their best. Motivation of students can also be achieved by reinforcing them with praises, promises, gifts in form of giving handout or even text books to improve learning and also creating an enabling environment for them not only to study but to enjoy their studies through increased performance.
Instrument according to Oxford Learners dictionary 6th edition is something that is used by some body in order to achieve something.
Economics is a social science that studies a particular aspect of social or human behaviour. The word ‘economics’ originated from the Greek words ‘eikos’ and ‘nemo’ which literarily mean, ‘a house to manager respectively. Consequently, economics ordinarily means management of a household or simply a household management. This definition is useful only in as much as it reminds us of the essential nature of the study of the subject (Akande and Azike 2002).
Due to the pervasive nature of the subject (Economics) many definition have been given as there are many economists. Right from the classical to the neo-classical and modern periods many economists have come up with varying definition of the subject.
The early economists, the classical economists, defined economics as a science of wealth.
a. Adam Smith, known as the father of Economics, for example, defined Economics as “an inquiry into the Nature and causes of the wealth of Nations”.
b. J. S. Mill defined Economics as “the practical Science of the production and distribution of wealth”.
c. J. B. Say of France defined Economics as “the study of the laws which govern wealth.
d. F. A. Walker, who defined Economics as “the body of knowledge which relates to wealth”.
e. Alfred Marshall, Economics is “the study of mankind in the ordinary business of life”.
f. A. C Pigou defined economics as “a means of studying how to increase total production in order to raise the standard of living of the people”.
Lord Lionel Robbins (1932), defined Economics as “a science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce, means which have alternative uses”
Gregory N. Mankiw, (2000), “Economics is the body of how society manages its scarce resources.”.
Onwe (2011), defined economics as a science that studies man’s behaviour in an attempt to reconcile his unlimited wants with his limited means which entails his efforts in identifying his problems and finding solutions to them by subduing his physical, biological socio-political cum economic environment to attach a higher standard of living.
Kontz et al (1972), Motivation is “a general concept applying to the entire class of drives, desires, need, workers and similar forces.
Kikpatrick (1979) observed that a need arises when a desire to achieve or acquire something compels person to act or feel in a certain ways and that the satisfaction or deprivation of needs determine whether people grow or stagnate. He noted tha when needs are satisfied, the person grows and seeks satisfaction of higher, more complex needs but that whose needs are satisfied, the individual suffers motivational pains and even physical illness.
Also teachers on the other hand, can also be motivated by making them to feel satisfied with their job by ensuring regular payment of salaries because they need to be inducing, as he has to induce the spirit of motivation in the student. Above all, gaining interest in what is to be learned by students is known to be a major aspect of a teacher’s job. Children according to Farrant (1980) “ are like horses which you can lead to the water but cannot force to drink” and Farrant explained that motivation is all important for getting children to learn, once their attention is captured the battle is half won.
Therefore, teacher efficacy is a powerful input variable related to student achievement. There are varieties of specific actions which teachers can take to increase motivation in class room. By trying to encourage the development of need achievement, self confidence and self direction in students who need these qualities. Trying to make learning interesting by emphasizing activity investigation, adventure, social interaction and usefulness, directing learning experience towards feeling of success in an effort to encourage an orientation towards achievement of a positive efficacy and this can be achieved by making use of objectives that are challenging but attainable and when appropriate that involved student impact and to use behavioural techniques to help student exert themselves and work towards remote goals.
Consequently, teachers and schools authorities have little or no plan for motivation of students in their school system and then it becomes a problem and a gap is created in the educational process.
It is as a result of the importance of motivation as an instrument for boasting student’s interest that this study was carried out with special reference to some selected schools in Aguata Local Government Area.
Statement of the Problem
There is no doubt that if a student is motivated in one way or the other by the teacher, the student will participate actively and have interest in his studies. That is why they are taken care of and are provided with all the necessary things that will be of good interest to the learner.
However, there is lack of interest among secondary school students in the study of Economics as a result of this, there is poor performance among secondary school students because there is inadequate motivation. For instance, in early ages, students are chased to schools with cane and are forced to be in class till the school dismiss but recently, the revise is the case. Research has found that if a student is flogged and dragged to school they hardly can understand or be comported in the class, hence the need for motivation. Right from homes motivation from parents helps students to come to school daily and on time. Likewise in the school if teachers motivate them to learn, they can do well. In some classes today, teachers have not time to encourage their students to learn and this affects them in their academic work. It is in view of this problem that the researcher tends to find out how motivation can be used as an instrument for enhancing student’s interest in the study of Economics in some selected schools in Aguata Local Government Area.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate how motivation will be used as an instrument for boasting students’ interest in the study of Economics in Aguata Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study sought to:
1. Identifying the ways through which students in secondary schools could be motivated to boast their interest in the study of Economics. In Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
2. Examining the effect of inadequate motivation on the interest of the student in the study of Economics in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
3. Finding out the factors which hinder the motivation of students in the study of Economics in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
4. Finding ways of improving the motivation of students and teachers for effective input and output in the educational system. In Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Significance of the Study
This study is aimed at finding out the importance of motivation as an instrument for boasting students interest in the study of economics in some selected secondary schools in Aguata Local Government Area.
This study will be significantly useful to the staff in secondary schools, the ministry of education and to the society it will help to encourage the administrators of our school system to view the concept of motivating the students as one of the top priorities that should be considered seriously.
Also this study will be significant because the researcher hopes that findings and the subsequent recommendation will serve as a nice contribution towards the academic development of the theories of motivation and above all, serve as a spring board to fellow student researchers especially those who may wish to research further on the subject matter in future.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers the importance of motivation as an instrument for boasting students interest in the study of Economics in some selected schools in Aguata local government area in Anambra State.
To undertake the study, some research questions were formulated based on the objective of the study.
1. To what extent could the student be motivated so as to boast their interest in the study of Economics in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State?
2. To what extent can inadequate motivation impede the interest of student in the study of Economics in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State?
3. What are the major Factors that hinders motivation of students in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State?
4. What strategies could be appropriate in enhancing the process of motivation of students and teachers for effective input in the educational system in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Keywords: MOTIVATION AS AN INSTRUMENT FOR ENHANCING STUDENTS INTEREST IN THE STUDY OF ECONOMICS