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Academic Performance Essay Sample

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Academic Performance Essay Sample

1.1. Background

Academic performance is affected by a number of factors including past school background, personal motivations, classroom setting and parents’ socio-economic status. A family’s socio-economic status is based on family income, parental education level, parental occupation, and social status in the community, note Demarest, Reisner, Anderson, Humphrey, Farquhar, and Stein (1993). Families with high socio-economic status often have more success in preparing their young children for school because they typically have access to a wide range of resources to promote and support their children’s development. According to Graetz (1995), one’s educational success depends very strongly on social economic status of the parents. Considine and Zapala (2002) argue that families where the parents are advantaged socially, educationally and economically foster a high level of achievement in their children. Social Economic Status (SES) according to Considine and Zapala (2002) is a person’s overall social position to which attainment in both social and economic domain contributes. They add that social economic status is determined by an individual’s achievement in, education, employment, occupational status and income. In this study, social economic status (SES) was characterized by family income and parental education. Graetz (1995) argues that children from high social economic status families perform much better at school compared to children from low SES families.

Schools are institutions in which groups of individuals are brought together to share educational experiences and such interactions may breed positive or negative influences on learners. It is believed that most of the students admitted are from the medium and low economic backgrounds because PUP is a state-owned university whose students pay their fees and majority of the students are either self-sponsored or paid for by their parents. These students are from various school backgrounds. In this study, former school background was characterized by school ownership (public or private).

The physical arrangement of a classroom is like a map that directs learning and can be arranged according to classroom goals and interests. The overall atmosphere of the classroom sets a stage for student interaction, management rituals, routines and a sense of community. If not properly managed, the classroom can fall apart from being disorganized, unsafe and poorly constructed. Effective classroom management uses a variety of instructional strategies that enhances the students’ overall experience and optimizes their learning potential. In this study, we will determine how the classroom set-up affects the academic performance of the students; choices were bigger classrooms, fewer students per class and proper ventilation for each room.

Another group of performance-affecting factors are the personal motivations. Motivation is something that energizes, directs, and sustains behaviour; it gets students moving, points them in a particular direction, and keeps them going. We often see students’ motivation reflected in personal investment and in cognitive, emotional, and behavioural engagement in school activities (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004; Maehr & Meyer, 2004; Reeve, 2006). Motivation directs behaviour toward particular goals. Social cognitive theorists propose that individuals set goals for themselves and direct their behaviour accordingly. It determines the specific goals toward which learners strive (Maehr & Meyer, 1997; Pintrich et al., 1993). Thus, it affects the choices students make.

Motivation often leads to improved performance. As you might guess, then, students who are most motivated to learn and excel in classroom activities tend to be our highest achievers (A. E. Gottfried, 1990; Schiefele, Krapp, & Winteler, 1992; Walberg & Uguroglu, 1980). Conversely, students who have little interest in academic achievement are at high risk for dropping out before they graduate from high school (Hardré & Reeve, 2003; Hymel et al., 1996; Vallerand, Fortier, & Guay, 1997). In this study, the researchers are curious to find out what encourages the students the most to maintain a high GPA. The factors we considered are: acceptance to graduate school, attention of future employers, outside motivation (includes pressure from parents and friends), competition with fellow students and others.

The students’ academic performance is assessed by use of tests, assignments and examinations and is then evaluated through GPA. Much as it is normal for students in an educational institution to perform well and others poorly, even after receiving the same services, the researchers are curious to know why makes some students perform well and while others perform poorly.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Academic performance which is measured by the examination results is one of the major goals of a school. Schools are established with the aim of imparting knowledge and skills to those who go through them and behind all this is the idea of embracing good academic performance. Polytechnic University of the Philippines whose vision is to be a total university is keen on quality assurance and maintenance of standards. However, the dean noted that while some students perform highly and others do not perform well. The researchers would therefore like to establish the factors affecting the academic performance of civil engineering students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines with specific reference to personal motivations, socio-economic status, classroom setting and former school background. We, as the proponents, tend to find answers to such questions. 1) What is the relationship between students’ former school background and academic performance of civil engineering students? 2) What is the relationship between students’ personal motivations and academic performance of civil engineering students? 3) What is the relationship between the classroom setting and academic performance of civil engineering students? 4) What is the relationship between parents’ socio-economic status and academic performance of civil engineering students? 1.3. Specific Objectives

1) To establish the relationship between students’ former school background and academic performance of undergraduate students. 2) To
establish the relationship between students’ personal motivations and academic performance of undergraduate students. 3) To establish the relationship between the classroom settings and academic performance of undergraduate students. 4) To establish the relationship between parents’ social economic status and academic performance of undergraduate students.

1.4. Significance

The study will allow the researchers to make recommendations to Polytechnic University of the Philippines policy makers especially on the Administration and Registration Office, Office of the Civil Engineering Chairperson, CE Laboratory and even school administrators on what guidelines and strategies can be employed to improve academic performance in institutions of higher learning. The findings will help the University Admission and Registration Office to review its methods of admitting students in order to improve academic performance. The report will also be a source of reference to other researchers intending to study academic performance of Polytechnic University of the Philippines students.

1.5. Research Hypotheses

1) There is a positive relationship between students’ former school background and academic performance (GPA) of undergraduate students. 2) There is a positive relationship between students’ personal motivations and academic performance (GPA) of undergraduate students. 3) There is a positive relationship between the classroom settings and academic performance (GPA) of undergraduate students. 4) There is a positive relationship between parents’ social economic status and academic performance (GPA) of undergraduate students.

1.6. Scope and Delimitation

The study was conducted at Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Sta. Mesa, Manila, using correlation design and a sample of first year, second year and third year selected from the civil engineering department. The content scope covered factors such as former school background, personal motivations, socio-economic status and classroom setting which affect the academic performance of undergraduate students.

CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 Introduction

This Chapter contains the theoretical review, conceptual framework and the review of related literature.

2.1 Theoretical Review

The theory adapted for this study was derived from the System’s theory input-output model developed by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy in 1956. The theory, according to Koontz and Weihrich, (1988) postulates that an organized enterprise does not exist in a vacuum; it is dependent on its environment in which it is established. They add that the inputs from the environment are received by the organization, which then transforms them into outputs. As adapted in this study, the students (Inputs) are admitted into the university, with different personal motivations, from different social economic backgrounds and are from various school backgrounds, when they get into the university system, the management of the university transforms them through the process of teaching and learning and the students output is seen through their academic performance.

Robbins (1980) argued that organizations were increasingly described as absorbers, processors and generators and that the organizational system could be envisioned as made up of several interdependent factors. System advocates, according to Robbins (1980) have recognized that a change in any factor within the organization has an impact on all other organizational or subsystem components. Thus the inputs, the processors and the generators should function well in order to achieve the desired outcome. Saleemi (1997) in agreement with Robbins (1980) argued that all systems must work in harmony in order to achieve the overall goals.

According to the input-output model, it is assumed that the students with good personal motivations, high social economic background and good school background will perform well if the university facilities are good, the lecturers and the management of the university is good which may not always be the case and this is the shortcoming of this theory. According to Oso and Onen (2005), the interrelationships among parts of a system have to be understood by all parties involved. This theory requires a shared vision so that all people in the university have an idea of what they are trying to achieve from all parties involved, a task that is not easy to achieve. Independent Variable

Independent Variable
2.2 Conceptual Framework of the factors affecting academic performance (Fig 1)

School Background

Personal Motivations

Classroom settings

Socio-Economic Status
School Background

Personal Motivations

Classroom settings

Socio-Economic Status

Extraneous Variable
Extraneous Variable
– University Facilities
– Management of University
– Quality of Lecturers
– University Facilities
– Management of University
– Quality of Lecturers
Dependent Variable
Dependent Variable
– Bigger classroom
– Fewer students per class
– Ventilation of the room

– Bigger classroom
– Fewer students per class
– Ventilation of the room

– Acceptance to graduate school
– Attention of future employer(s)
– Outside motivations (pressure from parents, family, etc)
– Competition with fellow students
– Self-recognition

– Acceptance to graduate school
– Attention of future employer(s)
– Outside motivations (pressure from parents, family, etc)
– Competition with fellow students
– Self-recognition

– Public HS
– Private HS
– Public HS
– Private HS

Grade-Point Average
– 1.00-1.50
– 1.51-2.00
– 2.01-2.50
– 2.51-3.00

Grade-Point Average
– 1.00-1.50
– 1.51-2.00
– 2.01-2.50
– 2.51-3.00

Academic Performance

Academic Performance

– Parental Education
– Family Income

– Parental Education
– Family Income

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