The effect of academic achievement motivation and home environment on academic performance among standard eight pupils
Muola, James Matee
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The objectives of this research were to; (a). Investigate the influence of academic achievement motivation and home environment on the academic performance of pupils. (b). Examine the relationship that exists between the pupils home environment and his academic achievement motivation and (c). Find out whether the variation in pupils academic performance and academic achievement motivation can be attributed to their sex and to geographical location differences. The study was carried out on 235 standard eight pupils from six primary schools which were randomly selected from Machakos district Kenya. Three of these schools were urban schools selected from Machakos town while the other three were rural schools selected from Kilome division. The pupil’s age ranged between 13 and 17 years. Two questionnaires i.e. the SP profile and home environment questionnaire were administered to provide information on pupils levels of academic achievement motivation and home environment. The results of a district mock examination which the pupils had done at the end of the year 1988 while in standard seven were used as a measure of their academic performance. The findings of the study indicated significant positive relationship between the pupils academic achievement motivation and their pupils performance in school is dependent on academic achievement motivation among other factors. The relationship between the home environment factors and academic performance was found to be weak. Significant positive relationship between the fathers occupation and the pupils performance in English was observed. Further, the results indicated significant positive relationship between family size and the pupils performance in Kiswahili. Significant negative relationship was reported between the mothers occupation and the pupils scores in (a). Mathematics, (b). Science and agriculture (c). Geography, history, civics and religious education, (d). art and crafts, home science and music and (e). Overall performance. There was also a significant negative relationship between the pupils' performance in Science and Agriculture and the fathers' occupation, fathers' education and learning facilities at home. All the other correlations between the various home environmental factors and the pupils' performance in different papers in the Mock Examination were low and non-significant. These conflicting findings which may be due to the uncontrolled intervening variables and the small sample studied warrant further investigation into the relationship between the home environment and pupils' academic performance. According to the results, the pupils' academic achievement motivation was found to be significantly related to their home environment. This implied that the pupils' motivation to do well in academic work is to some extent dependent on the nature of their home environments. No sex differences were found in the pupils' academic achievement motivation. The academic performance of boys was found to be significantly higher than that of girls in the papers on Mathematics and Science and Agriculture. No significant differences were found between the mean scores of boys and girls in all the other examination papers and academic achievement motivation. The study showed that the academic achievement motivation of the urban pupils was significantly higher than that of the rural pupils. The results also showed that pupils from the rural area performed better than pupils from the urban area in all the papers in the Mock Examination. The fact that the academic achievement motivation of the urban pupils was higher, one would have expected their performance to be better than that of the rural pupils. However, this was not the case. This implied that there are other factors other than the academic achievement motivation that contributed to the observed differences in academic performance of the urban and rural pupils. Nevertheless, the findings suggested that the pupils' academic achievement and academic achievement motivation are somehow influenced by their locality. It was concluded that academic achievement motivation is among the variables that can be attributed to the variations in the performance among primary school pupils. The home environmental factors did not seem to play a significant role in the academic performance of pupils. The other major conclusion on the findings was that the pupils' home environment is to some extent accountable to his motivation to achieve success in academic work. The sex of the pupil influences his performance only in Mathematics and Science and Agriculture. The geographical location of the pupil is a determinant factor of academic success and academic achievement motivation among pupils as suggested by the findings. In relation to these findings it was recommended that, in order to minimize the variations in performance among pupils the investigated factors must be carefully considered. Ways of creating a more favorable home environment and motivating pupils must as well be sought. Finally, some suggestions for consideration in future research were made. For example, it was noted that there is need to carry out a research that would cover a larger sample drawn from all over the country. It was also suggested that there is a necessity to investigate on other factors that influence academic achievement motivation.