This study examined the effect of punishment and reward on academic performance of senior secondary school students in Shomolu local government area of Lagos State. Five research questions were formulated to guide the study. Through the process of simple random sampling, a total of two hundred (200) students from five (5) senior secondary schools were selected to participate in the study. The major instrument used for collecting data was a questionnaire tagged EPRAP. The data collected were analyzed. Chi square was used to test the hypotheses. Findings showed that punishment has significant effect on the academic performance of students. It was also discovered that intrinsic reward has no effect on the academic performance of students. Research also showed that extrinsic reward has a significant effect on the academic performance of students. From results findings, it was recommended that students should focus more on self motivators rather than on gifts and awards. Also, teachers, and parents should use all forms of punishment and reward systems appropriately as over use frequent reliance on any of them may reduce the effectiveness.
Motivation itself is a hodge-podge- a term of very complex dimensions. It is known to include the rewards and punishments among many other interacting drives, forces and incentives which affect or influence student’s learning. ‘Extrinsic’ forms of motivation like rewards and punishments have always been used by lectures/ teachers educators to correct or stimulate certain forms of behaviors. Yet, what their effects and consequences are, whether they facilitate or hinder learning and to what extent, how they operate to increase, if at all, the efficiency of learning and many such allied questions have remained largely unanswered. Or, their answers have generally been improvised, for the most part, from intuition, conjecture or just intelligent guess- work rather than on research findings. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to examine these questions in order to discover (uncover, to be more specific) the effect of punishment and reward on the academic performance of students. For purposes of analysis, rewards will include intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Also, punishment will include corporal punishments, Expulsion and suspension.
1.1 Background of the Study
Students are priceless assets and most essential elements in education. It is absolutely necessary to direct students to exhibit acceptable attitude and behavior within and outside the school. In an attempt to achieve an organized and peaceful school environment and maintain law and order, school management specifies rules and regulations to guide the activities of members of the educational organization. Student’s discipline is a prerequisite to almost everything a school has to offer students (Selfert and Vornberg, 2002). Seifert and Vornberg further linked discipline with both the culture and climate of the school thus. In schools where discipline is a serious problem, for example, where students bully others, parents tend to transfer their children to ‘better’ schools, and because the well behaved usually perform well (Rigby, 2000), their transfer can affect the overall performance of that school. Troublesome students can sometimes make teachers react emotionally to the extent of using punishment. But punishment, instead of curbing behavior, can aggravate it (Dreikurs, Grunwald and Pepper 1998). Currently, schools have different types of reward and penalty policy in place, but almost all of them have one common goal which is to motivate students to learn. Educators nowadays are aware that giving penalties are counterproductive.
Punishment is the use of physical or psychological force or action that causes pain in an attempt to prevent undesirable behavior from recurring. Scolding, threats,deprivations, and spankings are all forms of punishment. Back in the nineteenth century, Froebel wrote that the use of punishment was a good way for adults to make a child “bad”. If the goal for child is the development of morality, of making good choices on his /her own, then punishment should not be involved .conditions should be created that not only allow but strongly induce children to be or become moral and disciplined individuals who can make good choices on their own(Bettelheim,1985;Ramsburg,1997).Punishment tends to generate anger, defiance, and a desire for revenge. Moreover, it also gives encouragement to the use of authority rather than reason thus this would tend to break the relationship between adult and child (Kohn, 1994).Punishment teaches a child that those who have the power can force others to do what they want them to do(Bettelheim,1985;Samalin and Whitney,1995)
Children can be categorizedas intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Every teacher in the classroom uses strategies to acknowledge and encourage appropriate social and academic behavior by their students. These strategies take many forms,some overt and some dramatic (presentation of tokens or recognition at an assembly). Since Thorndike (1874-1949) described the Law of effect,educators and psychologists have noted that when a behavior is successful it is more likely to occur again in similar circumstances. Many teachers believe that motivation can be “jump started”by providing tangible rewards such as stickers, candy or prizes.They assert that reinforcing appropriate behaviors can have positive results since children tend to continue or repeat an action that is rewarded. Others argue that rewards devalue learning and counteract the development of self –discipline and intrinsic motivation. These opponents assert that tangible rewards produce short-term changes and only serve as motivators if students wants them.They contend the use of rewards fosters competition and the “what’s in it for me?” attitude;the more they are used, the more incentives students expect. The simple message is that the consequences of a behavior affect future performance of that behavior. If, following the contingent delivery of a consequence, a behavior becomes more likely in the future, then that consequence was reinforcing or rewarding.An effective rewards and penalty system promotes positive behavior and regular attendance. It is the essential foundation for a creative learning and teaching environment.The ultimate goal of rewarding children is to help them internalize positive behaviours so that they will not need a reward. Eventually, self-motivation will be sufficient to induce them to perform the desired behaviour, and outside reinforcement will no longer be necessary.
This research therefore, points out that in order to impart knowledge and facilitate students learning, teachers make use of different strategies (punishment and reward). The forms of punishment under study in this research are corporal punishment, suspension, and expulsion and the types of reward under study in this research are intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Nigeria and the world all over, academic performance remains a vital means through which students learning is measured and evaluated. The increasing poor performance in public examination has over the years been a great concern to stakeholders in education. Government, educational administrators and managers, captain of industries and professionals from all walks of life have continued to show their concern for the dwindling academic performance of senior secondary school students in public examinations such as WAEC(West Africa Examination Council), NECO(National Examination Council), JAMB(Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board), and NABTEB(National Business and Technical Examinations Board.
However, the dwindling performance of students in public examination can be attributed to several factors such as poor study habits, lack of concentration in class, indiscipline, ineffective use of punishment and reward, family issue, peer influence, absenteeism, failure to reward appropriate and punish inappropriate behavior and the likes.
The falling standard of education is a pressing problem of the society and it has become a cankerworm which must be tackled. Efforts made to identify the cause of these problems and to suggest possible solution has led educational researchers and scholars to investigate some teacher, school environment and students variable as correlates of students’ academic performance. Although these have led to improvement in students’ academic performance, it appears that such improvement is adjudged to be insignificant.This however is an indication that more investigation needs to be conducted for students’ academic performance to be improved upon significantly. This study therefore filled this gap by investigating the effect of punishment and reward on senior secondary school students’ Academic Performance in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purposes of this study are to:
1. Determine the effect of Corporal Punishment on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State.
2. Determine the effect of Suspension on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State.
3. Determine the effect of Expulsion on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State.
4. Determine the effect of Intrinsic Reward on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State.
5. Determine the effect of Extrinsic Reward on the Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of much importance to teachers in Shomolu Local Government area of Lagos State on how to effectively make use of punishment and rewards in their relationship with the students.
The study will also help students to understand the appropriate behaviors to exhibit in and outside the school. For the parents, the study will help them to know which behavior exhibited by the child requires reward and which requires punishment.
Through this study, the stakeholders in education sector may come to appreciate the implications of punishment and reward in the Senior Secondary Schools. It is hoped that this study will help the Senior Secondary Schools administrators in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State to b improve on the academic performance of students in various schools.
This study will also help to discover the effects of punishment and reward on learning in some selected Secondary Schools in Shomolu Local Government area of Lagos State.
1. What effect does corporal punishment have on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students in Shomolu Local government Area of Lagos State?
2. What is the effect of suspension on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School Students in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State?
3. What is the effect of expulsion on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students?
4. What is the effect of extrinsic reward on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students?
5. What is the effect of intrinsic Reward on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students?
1. There is no significant effect of corporal punishment on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students.
2. There is no significant effect of suspension on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students.
3. There is no significant effect of expulsion on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students.
4. There is no significant effect of intrinsic reward on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students
5. There is no significant effect of extrinsic reward on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research will be carried out in selected Secondary Schools in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms were used in the work,
· PUNISHMENT: An act of correcting a wrong ‘act’ or character exhibited.
· REWARD: An act of appreciating a job well done.
· MOTIVATION: An act of rewarding or providing with an incentive.
· REINFORCEMENT: An act of giving more force or effectiveness to; strengthen.