Predictors of Academic Locus of Control Among Form Three Secondary School Students in Kitui County, Kenya
Muthui, Priscah Mulike
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Academic locus of control refers to a learner’s belief of the cause of his/her academic achievement. It is therefore a learner’s conviction that success in academics is either as a consequence of one’s effort or external forces like fate and luck. A Learner’s academic locus of control is either internally or externally oriented. In a learning environment, a learner with internal locus of control orientation has high likelihood of benefiting more from the teaching and learning processes compared to a learner whose locus of control is externally oriented. The academic locus of control of a learner may enhance or hinder his or her learning processes. Consequently, the poor grades witnessed among secondary school students in Matinyani Sub-County may be attributed to the students’ academic locus of control among other factors. Given the importance of this variable in determining the student’s learning ability, this study looked at the predictors of academic locus of control among secondary school students. The study has four objectives which aimed at determining how the learners’ locus of control relates to their academic self-efficacy, motivation and self-esteem and determining a predictive equation for predicting academic locus of control using the above stated predictors. Rotter’s social learning theory (1954), self-determination theory by Deci and Ryan (1985) and Covington (1984) and Beery’s (1976) self-worth theories formed the study’s theoretical basis. Ex-post -facto research design was used and the target population was 1250 (700 boys and 550 girls) form three students in Matinyani Sub -County in Kitui County. Stratified and purposive sampling was applied in selecting schools where samples were drawn from. The number of respondents per school was determined by proportionate sampling and a sample of 291 students was randomly picked. An adapted questionnaire for students was used to collect data. The pilot study was done to ascertain the validity and internal consistency reliability of the adapted scales. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (Version 21). Null hypotheses were tested using Pearson product moment correlation and multiple regression analysis. The results provided a proof that academic self-efficacy, academic motivation and academic self-esteem are significantly related to academic Locus of Control. The evidence provided showed that in terms of academic locus of control orientation, internally oriented respondents had a higher mean score for both academic self-efficacy, motivation and self-esteem compared to their externally oriented counterparts. It was also found out that academic motivation had the highest predictive index followed by academic self-efficacy while academic self-esteem was found to have the least predictive index. It was further found out that the highest correlation in academic motivation was realized between intrinsic motivation towards accomplishment and academic motivation while amotivation was found to have a negative and a significant relationship with academic motivation. An important implication and recommendation of the study was that teachers, parents and all the stakeholders should collaborate to ensure that they provide a conducive learning environment in order to enhance the development and nurturing of the three constructs among the students both at home and in school.