Self-Efficacy and Locus of Control as Predictors of Academic Achievement among Secondary School Students in Osun State Unity Schools

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study investigated self-efficacy and locus of control as predictor of academic achievement among Junior Secondary school students in Osun state Unity schools, using Self-Efficacy Scale (SES) and Locus of Control Scale (LOC) as measuring instruments. The Cronbach alpha coefficient for validity of the two instruments are respectively a = 0.68 and a = 0.83. A descriptive survey research design was adopted using a sample of two hundred (200) students randomly selected from three (3) Government unity schools in Osun state. One hypothesis and two research questions were generated and tested using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and Multiple Regression statistical tools with the margin of error set at 0.05 significant levels. The results indicated that a significant relationship exists between self- efficacy, locus of control and academic achievement. The study also revealed that self- efficacy and locus of control predict well students' academic achievement. Implication of these findings on stakeholders in educational industry, curriculum planners, educational psychologists and practitioners were suggested.

Word Count: 167

Key Words: Self efficacy, Locus of Control, Academic Achievement, Secondary school and Students

Introduction

The prediction of success or failure in school is quite often based on cognitive variable usually assessed on Wechsler's (1996) intelligence scales. In an attempt to improve such predictions, there has been an upsurge of interest within the past few years in noncognitive (conactive) variables. Emerging in the literature are; selfefficacy, self-concept, locus of control, emotion intelligence, study-habit, Anxiety, self- esteem, self-identity,... to mention but a few.

Another way of taking noncognitive variables into account is to use personality traits or factors to predict students' academic performance, either alone or in conjunction with cognitive abilities. Although not new, this approach now has a unified framework, something it had lacked in the past (Boekaert 1996, DeFruyt & Mervielde, 1996), the five-factor's models (Goldberg, 1990, Costa and McCr ae, 1992). Two traits in these models, External and Internal (locus of control), have been used to examine the links between students' performance and personality in many studies based on Eysenck's model (e.g. Br ebner and Stough, 1995, Eysenck, 1994, Zeidner, 1995). The other trait self-efficacy model of personality was proposed by Bandura (1977), who also took an interest in the power of traits in predicting academic and occupational success (Cattell, Eber, and Tatsuoka, 1970).

The public debate now in educational sector is whether there is falling or decline in standard of education in Nigeria. This debate continues to ravage the minds of researchers and educational stakeholders because precise answer is yet to be sought but rather speculation of what might be responsible for this assertion or claim. Many factors had been adduced for this, if it is actually true. Among the factors are classroom management, educational materials (teaching aids), qualified personnel, education/ school phobia or fright, factors which these researchers recognized as physical variables. These researchers therefore considered it, pertinent to look at other factors named psycho- social factors that might also be responsible or cause decline or predict students' academic performance, among such factors had been identified in the context of introduction of this work. The focus of investigation in this research is personological factors such as self- efficacy and locus of control as predictors of students' academic performance.

Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate the self- efficacy and locus of control as predictors of academic achievement among junior secondary school students of the Government Unity Schools in Osun State. …