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7!
Effect of Gender on Students Academic Achievement in
Secondary School Social Studies

Peter Ogbianigene Dania (Ph.D.)
(epart)ent #f Social Science Education% (elta State *ni+ersit,% -.ra/a% Nigeria
E-)ail of t0e aut0or1 daniapore2,a0oo.co)

Abstract
30is paper in+estigated t0e effect of gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool Social
Studies. 30e stud, adopted a 4uasi-e5peri)ental design (252 non-rando)i6ed pre-test% post-test control group
co)prising si5 groups )ade up of four e5peri)ental groups and two control groups. Si5 sc0ools and one
0undred and eig0t, (1!& *pper .asic 2 students in (elta and Edo States )ade up t0e sa)ple for t0e stud,. Si5
intact classes were rando)l, selected and assigned to e5peri)ental and control groups. 30e instru)ent used in
t0is stud, is t0e ac0ie+e)ent instru)ent tagged 7Social Studies -c0ie+e)ent 3est8 (SS-3. 30e +alidit, and
relia.ilit, of t0ese instru)ents were esta.lis0ed. 30e relia.ilit, of t0e instru)ents was esta.lis0ed using Pearson
product )o)ent correlation coefficient (r. -nd t0e relia.ilit, coefficients o.tained was &.79. :eans% Standard
(e+iation% -nal,sis of co+ariance (-N;#$- <esult re+ealed t0at1 gender ()ale=fe)ale 0ad no significant
effect on students ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies and finall,% result s0owed t0at t0ere was significant interaction
effect of treat)ent and gender on students acade)ic perfor)ance in Social Studies. >ased on t0e findings% so)e
reco))endations were )ade.
Keywords: ?ender% acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent

Introduction
3raditional and stereot,pical=approac0es to pro.le) sol+ing are grossl, inade4uate in t0e face of co)ple5
realities of our ti)e. @e need to .e a.le to design wa,s forward and co)e up wit0 different alternati+e solutions
to see)ingl, naug0t, c0allenges of life. *nfortunatel,% t0e traditions of education and t0e t0in/ing culture of our
societ, )a/e no pro+ision for design -we see it as appl,ing onl, to .uildings and furniture (Aassan B #gun,e)i%
2&&!.
Social Studies is one of t0e co)pulsor, su.Cects studied in Cunior secondar, sc0ools in Nigeria. *do0 (1993 and
:ansara, (199D point out t0at 7t0e su.Cect is a discipline t0at can .e used in sol+ing pro.le)s of relations0ip
and interaction in )anEs d,na)ic en+iron)ent8. For >ergeso) (2&&3% Social Studies )ust .e centred on
inno+ati+e )et0ods t0at ai) at see/ing t0e trut0 w0ic0 include pro.le) detecting% pro.le) sol+ing% and learning
., e5peri)enting and disco+er,. 30e i)portance of Social Studies in t0e Nigerian Educational S,ste) cannot .e
o+ere)p0asised. 30e o.Cecti+es of Social Studies education w0ic0 are in line wit0 t0e p0ilosop0, and ai)s of
Nigerian Education are 0inged on t0e de+elop)ent of 0ig0 co)petencies re4uired for sol+ing )anEs di+erse
en+iron)ental pro.le)s for .etter and effecti+e social li+ing. Specificall,% t0e focus of Social Studies is to
e5tricate t0e Nigerian c0ild fro) t0e apron strings of colonial education w0ic0 )erel, propagated foreign +alues
and t0erefore ac4uaint 0i) wit0 0is own cultural +alues and traditions. 30e teac0ing of Social Studies is directed
towards .uilding a +irile Nigeria Nation% irrespecti+e of et0nic di+ersit,. It is also directed towards pro)oting
citi6ens0ip and +alues education in addition to s/ills de+elop)ent (-de,e)i and -Ci.ade% 2&11. -s noted .,
-/poc0afo% (2&&1% in spite of t0e i))ense .enefits to .e deri+ed fro) t0e introduction of Social Studies in our
sc0ool curriculu) t0ere see)s to .e a poor 0andling of t0e su.Cect in t0e secondar, sc0ools.
#f great concern is t0at )ost Social Studies teac0ers still rel, )ostl, on t0e lecture )et0od for i)parting
infor)ation. @0ile t0e )anner of presentation is supposed to .e acti+it,-.ased% )ost Nigerian secondar, sc0ool
teac0ers rel, on t0e lecture )et0od. Studies li/e t0ose of *)eoduagu (199'% #/o.ia (2&&&% -/poc0afo (2&&1
and -risi (2&&2 0a+e pointed out t0at despite t0e )ore t0an t0irt, ,ear e5istence of learning st,le t0eories
(detailing 0ow people learn% )ost teac0ers still dispense infor)ation using con+entional lecture )et0od wit0out
regard to studentsE learning a.ilities. 30is teac0ing )et0od is t0eoretical and teac0er-directed% instead of .eing
constructi+e or acti+it,-.ased. In t0e lecture )et0od% t0e teac0er% according to -/inla,e% :ansara, and -Ci.o,e
(199D% -/inla,e% >olarin% #lani,onu and -,odele (1997% #gundare (2&&& and #ganwu% (2&&' si)pl,
.eco)es t0e e5positor and drill )aster w0ile t0e learner re)ains t0e listener and a store0ouse of facts t0at can .e
retrie+ed w0en a student 0ears 0is na)e called ., t0e teac0er.
30e pro.le) of studentsE under-ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies 0as .een a )uc0 discussed educational issue since
t0e earl, !&Es w0en it .eca)e a co)pulsor, su.Cect in Nigeria ((u.e, B #n,a.e% 19!&G #ri)olo,e% 19!'G
He)lec0% 19!'% 199&G I,ewarun% 19!!G :ansara,% 1991G -/inla,e% 1997G :a/inde% 1999G >usari% 2&&&G #ganwu%
2&&' and -de,e)i B -Ci.ade% 2&11. Suc0 discussions 0a+e consistentl, centred round instructional strategies
used in teac0ing t0e su.Cect. @0en si)ilar situations of under-ac0ie+e)ent were e5perienced in :at0e)atics
and t0e Sciences in Nigeria% new instructional )et0ods were e)plo,ed suc0 as )aster, learning% peer tutoring%
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co)puter-assisted instruction% si)ulation ga)es and .rainstor)ing. - stud, of teac0ing .e0a+iour and studentsE
ac0ie+e)ent in science ., -/ue6uilo (19!9 s0ows t0at student acti+ities are .etter t0an teac0er acti+ities in
pro)oting aut0entic learning% at least in Cunior secondar, sc0ool integrated science classroo)s.
In +iew of t0e fact t0at gender of participants )a, 0a+e i)pact on t0e students acade)ic perfor)ance% t0is stud,
will use gender as )oderator +aria.le. ?ender differences in ac0ie+e)ent 0a+e .een e5a)ined for so)e ti)e
resulting in a su.stantial .od, of literature (Jac/ and Jo0annes% 2&&1. 30e i)portance of e5a)ining instructional
strateg, in relation to gender is .ased pri)aril, on t0e socio-cultural differences .etween girls and .o,s (-.ra%
1991. 3raditionall,% girls in our societ, 0a+e .een encouraged to confor)% w0ereas .o,s are e5pected to .e
acti+e and do)inant ris/-ta/ers. ;orro.orating t0is +iew% Aassan and #gun,e)i% (2&&! ac/nowledge t0at )ost
.o,s are pro+ided wit0 to,s t0at en0ance t0eir +isual- spatial a.ilit, suc0 as truc/s% Hegos (to,s consisting of
plastic .uilding .loc/s and ot0er co)ponents and )odel. Spencer (2&&' also affir)s t0at t0at t0e ga)es of
girls are often 0ig0l, structured re4uiring turn ta/ing and rules. 30us% social e5pectations and confor)it,
pressures )a, create cultural .loc/s to girls. Fa.un)i (2&&' in a stud, disco+ered t0at gender co)position 0as
a significant relations0ip wit0 studentsE acade)ic perfor)ance and t0at gender co)position 0as a significant
influence on secondar, sc0ool studentsE acade)ic perfor)ance. >eside t0is% inconsistent findings 0a+e .een
disco+ered on gender differences and acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent (>ello% 199&G >oling B >oling 1993G Hau B Hi
199DG ?i).a% 2&&DG Nsofor% 2&&DG Ia/i% 2&&D and #lowe% 2&1&. 30ere is t0erefore t0e need to find out if
gender 0a+e effect on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ents in Social Studies.

Purpose of the Study
1. 3o in+estigated t0e effect of gender on t0e acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in Social Studies.
2. 3o found out t0e interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on t0e acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in Social
Studies.

Research Questions
30e following researc0 4uestions guided t0e conduct of t0e stud,1
1. @0at is t0e influence of gender ()ale and fe)ale on acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in Social StudiesJ
2. @0at is t0e interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in
Social StudiesJ
Research ypotheses
30e following 0,pot0eses were for)ulated and tested1
o
!
: 30ere is no significant )ain effect of gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in Social
Studies.
o
"
: 30ere is no significant interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of
students in Social Studies.

#ethodolo$y
30e stud, e)plo,ed t0e 4uasi-e5peri)ental setting of non-e4ui+alent (pre-test and post-test and control group
design. 30e reason for t0e adoption of t0is design was 0inged on t0e fact t0at intact classes were rando)l,
assigned to e5peri)ental and control groups respecti+el,% since it was not possi.le to 0a+e co)plete
rando)i6ation of su.Cects. 30e sa)ple for t0is stud, consisted of one 0undred and eig0t, (1!& *pper two (JSS
II studentsE fro) si5 (D pu.lic secondar, sc0ools of t0e t0ree senatorial districts of (elta and Edo States. 30e
t0ree senatorial districts- are t0e (elta ;entral% (elta Nort0% (elta Sout0 ((elta StateG Edo ;entralG Edo Nort0%
and Edo Sout0 (Edo State. In order to pro+ide a sa)pling fra)e% t0e researc0er conducted t0e )ultistage
rando) sa)pling tec0ni4ue at four le+els using t0e .alloting tec0ni4ue.
30e si5 sc0ools used were far apart and no sc0ool was e5posed to )ultiple treat)ents. 30is is to pre+ent
conta)ination and spill o+er effect. 30us% none of t0e sc0ools were taug0t an, of t0e top ics=units for t0e
stud, .efore 0and. 30e 3& students t0at were used to deter)ine t0e relia.ilit, of t0e stud, were e5cluded fro)
t0e total sa)ple of students to .e used for t0e stud,. In eac0 of t0e cooperating sc0ools% one ar) of *pper >asic
two was selected t0roug0 a die for use. 30e instru)ent used in t0is stud, was t0e ac0ie+e)ent instru)ent tagged
7Social Studies -c0ie+e)ent 3est8 (SS-3. 30is consisted of 5& )ultiple-c0oice ite)s drawn fro) Junior
Sc0ool ;ertificate E5a)ination past 4uestions as set ., t0e :inistr, of Education% -sa.a% and was .ased on
*pper >asic two Social Studies s,lla.us on si5 content areas na)el,1 co))on 0eritage% citi6ens0ip% National
s,).ol% leaders0ip and followers0ip% 0ow leaders are c0osen and growt0 and de+elop)ent. 30e instru)ent was
+alidated .efore use using t0e test-retest )et0od and t0e relia.ilit, coefficients of &.79. SS-3 was ad)inistered
on t0e respondents as pre-test and post-test. 30e stud, lasted for a period of si5 wee/s wit0 t0e in+ol+e)ent of
si5 researc0 assistants t0at were properl, trained in t0e use of t0e instructional )odes and instru)ent. (ata were
anal,sed using )ean% standard de+iation and -nal,sis of ;o+ariance (-N;#$- statistical tools. 30e le+el of
significance adopted is &.&5alp0a.
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Results and %iscussion
Research Question !
@0at is t0e influence of gender ()ale and fe)ale on acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in secondar, sc0ool
Social StudiesJ
&able !: #ean and Standard %eviation Scores of Students Achievement Scores ' Gender(

Gender
Pre)&est Post)&est #ean
Gain * + S% * + S%
:ale !D 52.35 12.25 !D D'.D3 13.57 12.2!
Fe)ale 9' '!.3! 12.37 9' D2.&' 13.9& 13.DD
&,&A- !./ 0/(12 "3(3" !./ 31(1" !1(20 !"(42
(ata on 3a.le 1 s0ow t0at at pre-test% t0e ac0ie+e)ent )ean scores for )ales and fe)ales were 52.35 and '!.3!
respecti+el,. Si)ilarl, t0e standard de+iations were 12.25 for t0e )ales and 12.37 for t0e fe)ales. -fter post-
test% it was o.ser+ed t0at for t0e )ales% )ean ac0ie+e)ent score was D'.D3 wit0 a standard de+iation of 13.57
w0ile for t0e fe)ales% t0e )ean ac0ie+e)ent scores and standard de+iations were D2.&' and 13.9& respecti+el,.
30is i)plies t0at )ales ac0ie+ed 0ig0er t0an fe)ales considering t0eir 0ig0er )ean ac0ie+e)ent scores at post-
test. -s a result of t0is o.ser+ed difference in )ean ac0ie+e)ent scores% 0,pot0esis 1 was tested at &.&5 le+el to
deter)ine if t0e o.ser+ed difference was significant.

Research Question "
@0at is t0e interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in
secondar, sc0ool Social StudiesJ

&able ": #ean and Standard %eviation Scores of Students Achievement Scores ' &reatment and Gender(

&eachin$ Strate$y
Gender Post)&est
* + S%

Si)ulation ?a)es (E1
:ale
Fe)ale
31
32
72.9&
D!.75
12.35
11.3!

>rainstor)ing (E2
:ale
Fe)ale
25
32
D3.99
D5.19
1&.19
15.17

Hecture :et0od (;ontrol ?roup
:ale
Fe)ale
3&
3&
57.&&
51.33
12.72
7.79

30e a.o+e ta.le s0ows t0at )ales ac0ie+ed )ore t0an t0e fe)ales in si)ulation (E1 and t0e control
groups% w0ile t0e fe)ale did .etter in .rainstor)ing (E2. 30is is s0own ., t0e )eans scores of 72.9& (for E1%
57.&& (for ;% w0ile D3.99 (for E2 for )ales as against D!.75 (for E1% D5.19 (for E2 and 51.33 (for ; for t0e
fe)ales. Aowe+er to deter)ine if t0ese o.ser+ed differences were significant% 0,pot0esis ' was tested at &.&5
le+el of pro.a.ilit,.

&estin$ of ypotheses
ypothesis !
,!
1
30ere is no significant )ain effect of gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students in secondar, sc0ool
Social Studies.
&able 1: Analysis of 5ovariance of Students6 Achievement Scores ' for Gender
Source 3,pe III Su) of S4uares df :ean S4uare F Sig.
;orrected :odel 21D'!.&93
a
2 1&!2'.&'7 155.93! .&&&
Intercept 3''5.59' 1 3''5.59' '9.D39 .&&&
P<EK3ES3 213'7.9&5 1 213'7.9&5 3&7.551 .&&&
?EN(E< 3!.91& 1 3!.91& .5D1 .'55
Error 122!D.&1! 177 D9.'13
3otal 75'DD!.&&& 1!&
;orrected 3otal 3393'.111 179
a1 < s4uared L .D3! (-dCusted < s4uared L.D3'
30e data presented on 3a.le 3 s0ows t0at gender is not significant on studentsM ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies.
30is is re+ealed ., t0e calculated F (1%177 L &.5D1% p L .'55 w0ic0 is less )ore t0an &.&5. >ut t0e )ain effect
of gender on pretest was significant (F (1%177 L 3&7.551% p L&.&&& and t0e effect was noticea.le a)ong fe)ale
gender. 30is indicates t0at gender 0a+e no significant influence on t0e ac0ie+e)ent of students. 30e null
0,pot0esis of no significant difference was t0erefore acceptedG t0at t0ere is no significant difference in t0e
influence of gender on ac0ie+e)ent of students in Social Studies.
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ypothesis " o
"
:
30ere is no significant interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar,
sc0ool Social Studies.
&able 7: Analysis of 5ovariance of Interaction Effects of &reatment and Gender on Students6
Achievement in Social Studies
Source 3,pe III Su) of S4uares df :ean S4uare F Sig.
;orrected :odel 92D!.!2&
a
5 1!53.7D' 13.&77 .&&&
Intercept 71272D.323 1 71272D.323 5.&2!E3 .&&&
S3<-3E?IES N ?EN(E< 92D!.!2& 5 1!53.7D' 13.&77 .&&&
Error 2'DD5.291 17' 1'1.755
3otal 75'DD!.&&& 1!&
;orrected 3otal 3393'.111 179
a1 < s4uared L .273 (-dCusted < s4uared L.252
3a.le ' 0owe+er s0ows significant interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on studentsM acade)ic
ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies. Facts e)erging fro) t0e ta.le s0ows t0at t0ere e5ist a significant interaction
.etween treat)ent and gender on student acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent F (5%17' L13.&77% pO &.&&1. 30us% t0e null
0,pot0esis two was reCected and we up0eld t0at t0ere was significant interaction effect of treat)ent and gender
on studentsE acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool Social Studies.
30e )ean scores are displa,ed grap0icall, (Fig.1 and it is e+ident t0at t0ere is an interaction. 30e interaction
was felt at E2 treat)ent le+el. 30is i)plies t0at studentsE gender is sensiti+e to t0e treat)ent t0is is w0,
grap0icall,% interaction did )anifest. Fig1 s0ows interaction effect of treat)ent and gender on studentsE
ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies.

8i$( !: Interaction Effects of 3reat)ent and ?ender on StudentsE -c0ie+e)ent in Social Studies

%iscussion of Results
>ased on t0e findings of t0e a.o+e results% fe)ale students in t0e e5peri)ental groups gained in ac0ie+e)ent
)ore t0an t0eir )ale counterparts did. Aowe+er% 0,pot0esis testing re+ealed t0at t0is difference in t0e )ean
ac0ie+e)ent scores of )ale and fe)ale students e5posed to treat)ent is not significant. 30is finding is in
conflict wit0 t0ose of Jegede and l,ang (199&% #/e/e (199&% #sa/we (1991% :ordi (1992% *)eoduagu
(1995% NCo/u% 1997% #gun/ola (1997% 3ala.i% E)iola and #gunsa/in (2&&3% :ustafa% P0an% Fa.un)i (2&&'%
-de,e)i and -Ci.ade (2&11 as well as -pata (2&11. Aowe+er% it corro.orates t0e findings of -/insola (2&&7%
Nent, (2&1&% -wofala% -dene,e and NneCi (2&11 and -)osun (2&11% t0at t0ere is no significant gender
difference in t0e acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent of students w0en e5posed to treat)ent.
30e stud, also agrees wit0 t0e assertions t0at gender difference )a, e5ist .ut a good )et0od s0ould .e capa.le
of neutrali6ing t0e difference (-/insola (2&&7. Aence% in t0e pre-test t0ere e5isted so)e gender difference
.etween t0e se5es in .ot0 t0e e5peri)ental and control groups. 30e difference t0at e5isted wit0in t0e
e5peri)ental groups reduced drasticall, after treat)ent. Ne+ert0eless% rat0er t0an reduce t0e difference% t0e
control group t0at did not e5perience treat)ent% 0as increased gender difference. 30is finding i)plies t0at
w0et0er a student is )ale or fe)ale% gender does not )a/e a difference in t0eir acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent. 30e
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!2
stud, re+eals as well t0at acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent gained ., .ot0 )ale and fe)ale students in t0e e5peri)ental
group surpassed t0at of t0eir respecti+e counterparts in t0e control group. 30is stud, t0erefore asserts t0at
students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent is not a function of gender.
30e inconsistencies in t0e findings of studies re+iewed% is an indication t0at t0e gender factor in ac0ie+e)ent
re)ains an issue re4uiring di+ersified attention. -s #/on/wo (2&12 noted% a clear understanding of gender
differences in ac0ie+e)ent )a, re4uire in+estigating t0ese differences across su. s/ills wit0in a su.Cect area
rat0er t0an considering t0e o+erall ac0ie+e)ent )ean score in a su.Cect and t0is will lead to a )ore useful
educational reco))endation. Furt0er)ore% e5a)ining t0e different aspects of socio-cultural factors as t0e,
relate to gender issues )a, ,ield so)e positi+e results. 30is stud, 0owe+er% supports t0at t0ere is no superiorit,
.etween )ale and fe)ale in ter)s of acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies.
A,pot0esis two predicted t0at t0ere would .e no significant interaction effects of gender and treat)ent on
students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool Social Studies. 30e findings re+ealed t0at t0ere was a
significant interaction effect of gender and treat)ent on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool
Social Studies. 30is finding is in agree)ent wit0 Jegede and l,ang (199&% :ordi (1992% ;0in- 3in (1993 and
Fa.un)i (2&&' in ter)s of t0e interaction of gender and treat)ent on students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent. 30is was
.ecause significant interaction effects e5isted .etween gender and treat)ent in ter)s of students acade)ic
ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool Social Studies.

5onclusion
30e results in t0is stud, pro+ide e)pirical e+idence t0at students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar, sc0ool
Social Studies depend on t0e )et0od of instruction adopted and are not influenced ., gender. Aowe+er% groups
(treat)ent did interact significantl, wit0 gender to influence students acade)ic ac0ie+e)ent in secondar,
sc0ool Social Studies. 30e stud, 0as s0own t0at gender ()ale=fe)ale 0ad no significant effect on students
ac0ie+e)ent in Social Studies. It can t0erefore .e concluded t0at gender of students w0et0er )ale or fe)ale%
does not see) to 0a+e an, influence on t0e effecti+eness of an, of t0e treat)ent e)plo,ed in t0e stud,. 30is is
an indication t0at if .ot0 treat)ent=strategies are used effecti+el, for )ale and fe)ale t0e, are li/el, to produce
t0e sa)e result.

Recommendations
>ased on t0e findings of t0e stud,% t0e following reco))endations are )ade1
1. -ll learners s0ould .e gi+en e4ual opportunit, and t0e sa)e le+el of encourage)ent irrespecti+e of t0eir
gender.
2. Hearners s0ould .e t0oroug0l, and deli.eratel, )oti+ated to engender 0ig0er le+el of ac0ie+e)ent in
Secondar, Sc0ool Social Studies and indeed in all su.Cects at t0at le+el of education irrespecti+e of gender.
3. 30ere s0ould .e no differentiation in t0e wa, )ale and fe)ale are taug0t. E4ual treat)ent of )ale and
fe)ale s0ould .e factored in Social Studies instructional curriculu) and sc0ool polic, for)ulation.

References
-.ra% J. (1991. ?ender differences in creati+e ac0ie+e)ent1 - Sur+e, of E5planations. Genetic, Social &
General Psychology Monographs.117 (3% pp. 235-2!5.
-de,e)i% >. -. and -Ci.ade% I. -. (2&11. 30e ;o)parati+e Effects of Si)ulation ?a)es B >rainstor)ing
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