A study of relationship between attitude and achievement in top quartile and lower quartile in physics among form IV students in Imenti division of Meru district, Kenya
Magiri, John B.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between attitude and achievement in Physics among form IV students in Imenti division of Meru District. The method of this study involved the use of two instruments. The administration of an attitude test questionnaire and an achievement test. These were administered directly to forty Form IV students of Physics/Physical Science in each of the five sample schools used in the division. The scoring and marking was done by the researcher and the scores were expressed as percentages. The relationship between the main variables was obtained by analysing and interpreting the data for upper (best) 25% of the same class in each of the sampled schools. Further analysis using inferential statistics, mainly involving regression analyses and correlational techniques were employed. Additionally, analysis of topic by topic performance to investigate which areas the Form IV students had learning difficulties in Physics was also made. These topics were mechanics, thermodynamics, waves and optics, and electricity and magnetism. Consequently, the study revealed the following findings: 1. That attitude and achievement were positively correlated for the upper 25%. Such relationship was not present for the lower 25%. Unfavourable attitudes may not have been the main cause of poor performance but there existed other factors. 2. Students in the upper quartile generally had a positive attitude towards Physics while those in lower quartile had a negative attitude. 3. Most students performed poorest in thermodynamics but performed best in electricity and magnetism. 4. Boys had slightly better performance in Physics than girls. On the basis of the above findings, some recommendations for the improvement of attitudes and performance in Physics learning/teaching encounter were made. These were teaching through experiments, encouragement of problem solving activity and development of self-confidence in students.