- 1 ABSTRACT
- 2 CHAPTER ONE
This study assessed the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on academic anxiety of senior secondary school students in Zaria Metropolis, Nigeria. A Quasi-experimental design, involving pretest-posttest without a control group was adapted for the study. two co-educational schools were randomly selected that served as the treatment groups, Purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the sample population of twenty (20) students with high rate of academic anxiety out of a total population of 194 senior Secondary School students within the metropolis. The treatment groups were exposed to metacognitive scaffolding strategies of planning, monitoring and evaluation for the period of eight weeks.
The instrument used for data collection was Academic Anxiety Rating Scale (AARS). Hypotheses one, two and three were tested using paired t-test, while hypothesis four was tested using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The findings of the study revealed that; Significant difference existed in the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem of academic anxiety among Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis (t = 11.650; P = 0.002), Significant difference existed in the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on Concentration problem of academic anxiety among Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis (t = 7.401; P = 0.011), Significant difference existed in the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on memory problem of academic anxiety among Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis (t = 9.012; P = 0.021), Significant differences existed in the differential effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem, concentration problems and memory problem of academic anxiety among Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis and (F = 4.241; P = 0.016). It was recommended that School Psychologists, school Counsellors and Teachers should be encouraged to use metacognitive scaffolding strategies in handling Worry, concentration and memory problems so as to reduce academic anxiety among senior Secondary School students. Also Seminars, conferences and workshops should be organized by Government and Educational stakeholders the new strategy in order to address problems of academic anxiety among Senior Secondary School Students.
LISTS OF ABBREVIATIONS
1. AARS – Academic Anxiety Rating Scale
2. ANCOVA – Analysis Of Covariance
3. CBT – Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
4. REBT – Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy
5. SSCE – Secondary School Certificate Examination
6. ZPD – Zone of Proximal Development
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The key variables of the study were operationally defined as follows:
- Academic Anxiety: refers to students with worry problem, Concentration and Memory problem, experiences by senior secondary school students within their
- Worry Problem: refers to an internal feeling of uneasiness and distraction in task performance within the academic settings.
- Concentration Problem: refers to low attention ability due to academic tasks.
- Memory Problem: refers to low retention ability due to anxiety caused by academic task.
- Metacognitive scaffolding: refers to higher thinking ability, using processes of; planning, monitoring and evaluation strategies through social interactions, support
and guidance to address academic anxiety problem.
- Planning: refers to the appropriate selection, arrangement and allocation of thought in task performance.
- Monitoring: refers to application of one‘s awareness and comprehension in dealing with difficult task performance.
- Evaluation: refers to appraising and reflecting on the final product and the efficiency at which the task was performed.
1.1 Background to the study
Academic Anxiety is a psychological state that is characterized by cognitive, behavioral and emotional components. Under the cognitive component of academic anxiety which is the basic concern of this study, there are indices of worry, low concentration, low memory, Oversensitivity, difficulty solving problem, cognitive dysfunction and poor attributional style. No two human beings, even identical twins can respond in the same way to the same situation or stimulus, this uniqueness make individuals differ from one another. The differences among individuals may be with respect to their cognitive, behavioral, physical, psychological, sensory and many more areas of characteristics. Sometimes these differences are to such an extent that people may deviate from the status considered as normal. However, being different is not always negative but sometimes individuals are different from other individuals of the same life age due to functional loses in one or more areas in different proportions; this may lead them to impairment which may result into disability, severe academic anxiety which is a disability in itself (McCarty, 2012). Academic anxiety is a kind of anxiety which relates to impending danger from the environments of the academic institutions including teacher and certain subjects.
Evidence revealed that, there is an increase on student‘s academic anxiety that leads to poor performance and achievement especially in subjects that requires higher mental functioning. Most students in public senior secondary schools in Zaria Metropolis experiences academic anxiety considering its prevalence among school aged children and adolescence worldwide. Academic Anxiety had a negative effect on the information processing system, such as weakness of concentration and attention.
Academic anxiety is not a bad thing. It is true that high level of anxiety interfere with concentration and memory which are critical from academic success. However, without any anxiety, most individuals would lack motivation to study and do daily assignments. Emad, (2016) pointed out as a student‘s academic performance suffers, the anxiety level related to certain academic tasks increases‖ (p.79). Emmanuel (2013), stated that academic anxiety could be a response to some yet unrecognized factors either in the learning environment or in an individual‘s self. The key indices of academic anxiety under the cognitive components of academic anxiety are as follows; Concentration problem, Memory problem, Worry problem, oversensitivity, difficulty solving problems. Cognitive dysfunctions and poor attributional style ( Huberty, 2009) in line with that, Cole, Martin, Peek, Seroczynski and Fier, (2011), articulated that; those who suffer from severe academic anxiety tend to avoid academic settings.
For a learning to take place, student should be anxiety free in order to learn without threats and difficulties. Even though anxiety within academic circle is not totally bad to the students, a moderate level of anxiety is motivational to a student, it can only be considered bad if it exceed to the harming level which interrupts with concentration, retention, and completing academic tasks.
Metacognitive scaffolding is a technique that concentrates on monitoring student‘s current level of thinking, reasoning and understanding and decides when it is not adequate. It supports students to manage their thinking, recognize when they have problem with a situation or do not understand something, and adjusts their thinking accordingly, not just
guides them to master a specific subject or a topic procedures (Choi, Land & Turjeon, 2016). Findings of studies into the effects of metacognitive scaffolding have shown a positive effect on the learning outcomes (Azevedo & Hadwin 2014; Azevedo, Moos, Greene, Winters, & Cromley, 2008; Bannert 2015; Bannert, Hildebrand, & Mengelkamp, 2009; Lin & Lehman 1999; Veenman, Kok, & Blote, 2016).
Research shows that metacognitive scaffolding supports metacognitive activities and facilitates problem-solving processes. For example, Ge and Land (2011) found that students who received metacognitive question prompts performed significantly better than those who did not receive question prompts in all four problem-solving processes, including problem representation, generating solutions, making justification, and monitoring and evaluation. Specifically, students who closely followed the question prompts demonstrated significantly better problem solving skills in metacognitive activities, such as planning for the problem solving process, monitoring the problem solving progress, evaluating the effectiveness of the solutions, and justifying the viability of the proposed solution against alternatives.
Bulu and Pedersen (2010) investigated the effects of domain general and domain-specific scaffolds on learning and problem-solving outcomes during ill-structured problem solving. Their findings revealed that domain-general scaffolds facilitated monitoring and evaluation better than domain specific ones and helped students transfer problem-solving skills when they were faded, while domain-specific scaffolds facilitated learning of the scientific content and problem representation better than domain-general scaffolds. In the domain-general conditions, students evaluated their solutions more effectively and provided alternative solutions to the problem. These results suggest that domain-general scaffolds are effective for fostering students‘ monitoring and evaluation skills. Chen and Chan (2011) reported that process prompts facilitate students‘ problem-solving efforts and support self-monitoring and metacognitive thinking. These research findings indicate that metacognitive scaffolds are effective in supporting students‘ metacognitive processes, including planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
Despite the increasing research efforts, there is still a lack of understanding of how metacognitive scaffolding affects students‘ academic anxiety, problem solving processes and outcomes and their metacognitive skills, particularly in Worry problem, concentration and Memory problem indices of academic anxiety.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Academic anxiety is one of the most common Psychological disorders in school aged children and adolescents worldwide, its characterized by physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural components, which interfere with students‘ information processing system, academic performance and achievement. Students with high academic anxiety achieve low academic performance and the level of academic anxiety can become more harmful over time of care is not taking.
Furthermore, Nelson and Harwood, as cited in Emad (2016), suggested that ― the student with high academic anxiety have difficulty in memorization comprehension, storage, concentration, problem solving and retrieving of information which affects student‘s academic performance and achievement. In line with the above statements and prevalence of academic anxiety worldwide, students in Zaria Metropolis are not likely to be exempted from the existing problem looking at the high rate of failure in SSCE, high number of young adults drop out from schools and lacking of intrinsic motivation among senior secondary school students may greatly resulted of academic anxiety. Since evidence have shown academic anxiety interrupts with information processing system of an individual and to Cole, Martin, Peek, Seroczynski and Fier, (2011), articulated that; those who suffer from severe academic anxiety tend to avoid academic settings. The intent of the study is to bring out a way forward in addressing academic anxiety problem of senior secondary school students in Zaria Metropolis, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to asses:
- The effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- The effect of metacognitive scaffolding on concentration problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- The effect of Metacognitive scaffolding on memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- The differential effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem, concentration and memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
1.4 Research Questions
The followings research questions were raised to guide the study:
- What is the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis?
- What is the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on concentration problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis?
- What is the effect of Metacognitive scaffolding on memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis?
- What is the differential effect of my problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses are raised to guide the study:
Ho2 . There is no significant effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
H02. There is no significant effect of metacognitive scaffolding on concentration problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
H03. There is no significant effect of metacognitive scaffolding on memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
H04. There is no significant differential effect of metacognitive scaffolding on worry problem, concentration problems and memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
The study assumed:
- That metacognitive scaffolding may have effect on worry problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- That metacognitive scaffolding may have effect on concentration problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- That metacognitive scaffolding may have effect on memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
- That differential effect of metacognitive scaffolding may exists on worry problem, concentration problems and memory problem of Senior Secondary School Students in Zaria Metropolis.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study add value to theory building on cognitive and metacognitive development most especially the effects of metacognitive scaffolding on academic anxiety.
Students with academic anxiety exposed to instructions on metacognitive scaffolding will have a new way in handling academic anxiety, thereby enabling them to become independent, active and improve academically in their thinking.
The findings of the study serves as an intervention package and models for psychologists and counselors in addressing a client with the problem of academic anxiety looking in to the review and findings of this work.
The findings of the study also benefits educators and educational agencies with a comprehensive data, theoretical and conceptual frameworks of Metacognitive scaffolding psychological techniques and skills in addressing academic anxiety which stressed the importance role of expert adults in assisting the incapable learners in completing difficult tasks that requires higher thinking and learning or goal, techniques that can be used to help students who are experiencing academic anxiety, so as to prevent academic nervousness, fear and inability which lead to massive failure within the academic circle.
The findings of this study provides and assists teachers with more information on how to improve on the effective use of teaching methodologies and application of techniques that enable learners and the teachers themselves to engage in higher thinking and cognitive abilities to enhance proper teaching and learning processes. It is hoped that the study re-awake teachers mind on how to identify students with anxiety and utilize viable methods that assists with views for better understanding to avoid school drop-out. The study also provides teachers with the basis for proper insight in planning school activities and programme that addresses academic anxiety.
The findings of the study is beneficial to society by creating awareness to the general public most especially parents in assisting their ward/students who lack the ability to alter their learning on how to learn (Metacognition) towards achieving their academic goals and to address, reduce and cope with academic anxiety by acquiring the Metacognitive scaffolding skills, techniques and strategies. It shall also help students on how to plan, monitor, regulate and evaluate their learning strategies in dealing with their academic tasks, conditions and reading style as well as problem solving ability.
The findings of this study also serves as a bridge to future researchers to explore, experiment using instruction in Metacognitive scaffolding in order to re-address academic anxiety among senior secondary schools students.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study covers all government public senior secondary schools within Zaria metropolis of Kaduna state Nigeria, SS2 students male and female who showed the symptoms of academic anxiety were used in the study. The study is delimited to assessment of the effect of metacognitive scaffolding on academic anxiety among senior secondary school students in the study area with respect to Worry problem, concentration and Memory problem as the indices of academic anxiety, using metacognitive scaffolding strategies of planning, monitoring and evaluation strategies. The study does not look at oversensitivity, difficulty solving problems, cognitive dysfunction and poor attributional style, due the nature, duration and the cost of quasi-experimental research