Importance of school plant to the Teaching-learning process

A paper written by Udosen Namse Peter

ABSTRACT

This paper examines school plant and its importance to teaching and learning in the school system. It begins with a brief overview of school plant and relates it to educational planning. It then examines school plant as a concept and explains the teaching learning process. Five (5) importance of school plant are then explained. The paper ends with a conclusion highlighting the main points of the paper.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

It has been observed that many schools are now paying more attention to their school plant. School plant which includes all educational facilities has been repeatedly found to have a positive relationship with quality of education.

These educational facilities include the site, the buildings, physical equipment, recreational spaces and textbooks used for the achievement of educational objectives (Oluchuckwu 2002).

Odupurokan (2011) states that a well planned school plant will gear up expected outcomes of education, that will facilitate good social, political and economic emancipation; effective teaching and learning and academic performance of students. Therefore it can be said that the school plant is an essential aspect of educational planning because unless schools are well suited, buildings adequately constructed and equipment adequately provided much teaching and learning may not take place. Corroborating these, Mark (2002) and Ajayi (2007) maintained that high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms libraries, technical workshop and labouratories are lacking.

WHAT IS SCHOOL PLANT

The school plant is the sum total of building, equipment, textbook including the surrounding where teaching and learning takes place. The school plant includes all permanent and semi – permanent structures in the school.

TEACHING – LEARNING PROCESS

The teaching learning process is a systematic series of activities carried out by teachers to ensure learners (students) behave in a pre-determined way, or imbibe certain attributes (curriculum). These include change in behaviour, attitude and performance in achievement tests. The teaching – learning process is usually guided by a curriculum.

IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL PLANT

Many researchers have shown the obvious relationship between school plant and curriculum, which in turn affects effective teaching and learning. The impact of the physical environment, in which teaching – learning takes place, is very important. The reasons for this are not far-fetched and include:

  1. School plant helps improve students’ performance in achievement tests (WAEC,NECO, JAMB, SAT etc).
  2. School plant improves attendance and reduces dropout rate.
  3. School pant improves student’s attitude to learning.
  4. School plant increase teaches retention rate.
  5. It boosts teaching effectiveness.

STUDENT PERFORMANCE IN ACHIEVEMENT TESTS

Learning is a complex activity that puts student’s motivation and condition to the test. (Lyons, 2002 in Mcgowern 2007). It has been a long held assumption that curriculum and teaching only have an impact on learning. However it is becoming apparent that the physical conditions of school can influence students’ achievement. A study by Chan and van Berkan (1996) found that 2nd grade students in standard school buildings scored higher as measured by the comprehensive test of basic skill than did their counterparts attending class in sub-standard facilities. They also found that air conditioning, absence of graffiti, condition of labouratories, classroom furniture correlated with students’ achievement at a significant level. In Nigeria, analysis of the WAEC and NECO exams results show that students in well equipped schools (mainly private and urban) do better that those in poorly equipped schools (mainly public and rural). It can be concluded that technologies and adequate school plant better equip students for success in achievement tests.

STUDENTS ATTENDANCE AND DROPOUT RATE

Students’ attendance has long been linked to success in school. Student’s presence in school is essential for teaching and learning to take place. Bracey (2001) note that an abundance of research corroborates the belief that smaller school plant will improve attendance rates. Smaller school plants have been found to foster instructional innovation, which in turn engages students and provides motivation for class attendance. The idea behind building larger schools was to lower per student cost; however, the benefits of larger school are not realized by many schools.

Another cause of poor attendance is that the convenience and environmental conditions in many public schools in Nigeria are a deplorable state or non-existent. I have encountered many female students who stay away from school because of the state of the conveniences. The Asthmatic society of Nigeria reports that respiratory problems such as Asthma are the leading cause of pupils below 8 years absenteeism in Nigeria. They claim that poor classrooms and surrounding condition cause dust and other irritants to infect pupils. The aesthetics of the school including facilities such as Air conditioners, Internet, and beautiful Surroundings motivate students to attend school regularly and therefore learn more.

STUDENTS ATTITUDE TO LEARNING

Factors of the school plant that affect behavior and attitude are known as ambient environmental conditions. O’Neill (2000) notes that these factors include temperature, ventilation, lighting, colour and noise level. These elements produce comfort and Irritation, either of which can affect behavior of school students. The attitude of students is often driven by how they perceive the surroundings, including their physical environment. Annoyed students often become disciplinary problems for example: Earthman and Lemaster (1996) found that the thermal environment of classrooms can be very important to the well being of children. temperature levels have been found to have a significant impact upon attention span of students.

Interior factors such as lighting and aesthetic features can affect student behavior and influence disciplinary referral rates. Evidence exists that florescent lighting may increase stress level and hyperactivity more so than full spectrum or incandescent lighting (McGuffey, 1981). Lackney (1996) found that students in classrooms without adequate ventilation had more negative attitudes than children exposed to natural light. McGowen (2007) states that certain researchers have suggested that educators can manipulate atmosphere from constricting to engaging by changing colour schemes in instructional areas.

TEACHERING EFFECTIVENESS

Good physical working condition in any occupation can have a positive impact upon job effectiveness and morale. According to Keller (2003), it is difficult to separate teaching effectiveness from school environment. Physical surroundings (school plant) impact job satisfaction and hence job performance – teaching.

Stockyard and Maybery (1992), Contend that the physical environment has been shown to play a significant in teaching effectiveness. Teachers agree that the facilities in which they teach can deter the quality of their teaching, if the physical environment is substandard.

A teacher that teaches in a classroom with a projector and interactive board will definitely be more effective than a teacher using black board (Chalk and Talk).

TEACHER RETENTION

It is important to note that while new teachers are needed to address retirement and enrollment growth, more emphasis should be placed upon retaining the teachers already employed. When teachers are retained, it boosts the learning attitudes and behavior of students. Students learn better from teachers whom they have already developed a bond or familiarity.

One of the reasons commonly attributed to teachers leaving the profession are poor work environment. Who wouldn’t prefer an air conditioned banking hall to a hot smelly class? If in school plants are not available and well planned, teachers will be lost to other sectors.

CONCLUSION

School plant is very essential to achieving positive outcomes in the teaching – learning process. The school plant is the pillar and support of all teaching and learning activities. The site, size, arrangement and other aspects of the classroom, support facilities such as labs, toilets and other equipment can either be welcoming or repulsive to teachers and students alike. This simple fact has been noted to profoundly influence the acts of teaching and learning.

REFERENCE

 

Ajayi, I. A. (2007). Issues in school management Lagos: Bola Bay.

 

Bracey G. W. (2001). Small school, Great strides Phi Dekta Kappan.

 

Cash, C. S. (1993), Building Condition and student Achievement and Doctoral Disertation, Virginia Polytheistic Institute. Retrieved from www.sciedu.com on 27-7-2012.

 

Chan. T and Van Berken (1996). Environmental impact on student learing (ERIC Document reproduction service, ED 406). Retrieved from www.ERIC.com/research on 26-7-2012.

 

Deal, T. E. (1997). Shaping School culture the heart of leadership. San Fransisco: Jossy-Basy.

 

Earthman, G. and Lemasters, L. (1996). Review of research on the relationship between school buildings, student achievement and students behavior. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the council of education facility planners international (ERIC Document N. ED 415). Retrieved from www.ERIC.com on 27-7-2012.

 

Keller, B. (2003). Question of teacher turnover sparks research interest. Education weekly, 27 (33) retrieved on 26th July 2012 from www.sciedu.online.com

 

Lackney, J. (1998). 12 design Principles based on brain – based learning research retrieved 23rd July 2012 from www.designshare.com/research

Mark, S. (2002). School building and students academic learning outcomes New York: Strong Brook.

 

Mcguffey, C. W. (1982). Facilities in Improving Educational Standards. Berkely: Mccutchan.

 

Oluchukwu S. (2000). Challenges of Educational Planning in the 21st century Port-Harcount: Ben Ray.

 

O’Neill, D. (2000). The Impact or school facilities on students’ achievement at selected Texas schools. Doctoral Dissertation – retrieved from www.sciedu.com on 27-7-2012.

 

Stockhard, J. and Mayberry, M. (1992). Effective Educational Environments. Newbury Pork: corwin Press.

 

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5 Responses to “Importance of school plant to the Teaching-learning process”

  1. Alicia Says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board and
    I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give
    something back and help others like you helped
    me.

  2. namse Says:

    Thanks Alicia.

  3. jasmin a. ramas Says:

    pls. send me discussion about factors affecting the characters of a school plant.thank you

    • namse Says:

      sorry for the late reply. some of the factors affecting the character of school plant are; curriculum, cuture of the area, available finance etc.

  4. sandeep sharma Says:

    the material set here is good.i read it and it is quite helpful.please keep posting such points and make it easily accessible for the learner …………………

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