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THE IMPACT OF LEARNING STYLES ON CAREER PREFERENCES OF ADOLESCENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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THE IMPACT OF LEARNING STYLES ON CAREER PREFERENCES OF ADOLESCENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

 

ABSTRACT

 

This study examined the impact of learning styles on career preferences of adolescents in secondary schools in Lagos State.  A descriptive survey design was adopted.  The sample consisted of 150 students who were randomly selected from three secondary schools in Ikorodu Local Government Area in Lagos State. A questionnaire titled “impact of learning styles on career preferences was designed to collect data from the subjects of the study.  Data collected through this process were analysed using the chi-square method (x2) and t – test statistical tool at 0.05 level of significance. Findings from the study revealed that,

 

  • Learning styles have a significant effect on career preferences.

 

  • There is a significant difference between gender and learning styles of students.

 

  • There is a significant difference between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents.

 

  • There is no significant difference between learning styles and students perception of their learning environment.

 

  • There is a significant relationship between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.0    INTRODUCTION

 

1.1   Background to the Study

 

In considering learning and how to improve student learning, one needs to understand the way(s) in which an individual learns. Learning is the sum total of an individual’s life experience acquired through socialization process. It exceeds a mere acquisition of factual information or the mastering of skills, as it also includes the sum total of an individual’s life experience which are relatively permanent in nature and which have survival value for him (Mukherjee, 2002). It is widely accepted that while it is possible to identify common constituent elements, the learning process varies at an individual level.

 

Different people learn in different ways. This is the basis of the study of learning styles. People have different learning styles based on personality types. For example, a sequential learner prefers to learn by following steps in a logical order. A global learner will learn by looking at the big picture, and putting bits of information together in a seemingly random fashion. Some people tend to pick up information better when it is presented numerically, others when it is presented verbally.

 

According to Keefe (1987), learning style is all of the cognitive, affective and psychological characteristics which reflect the individual’s perceptions on his/her environment. Learning styles are important not only for learning, but for helping us through our everyday lives. Learning styles relate to a person’s preferences for absorbing information, for solving problems and for success in social and personal situations. They can have implications for learning and work.  Although there is a substantial body of knowledge of how much isolated aspect of physical environment as temperature, light and sound affect human beings, not much is known about the interaction of this factors. There is little information on how the total environment of the school and class room affects learning process and style. Learning can occur in many different settings: in the home and the play ground, as well as in the class room every child brings with him into a class room all his earlier training and experience, a kind of internal environment that makes him an environmental factor of considerable significance to others. A learning environment is therefore more than what an engineer can measure in the students immediate physical surrounding; it includes everything inside and outside the space the child occupies which in any way affects his learning style during a particular learning routine.

 

For some scholars and teachers, the belief is that learning styles do not significantly affect a student’s choice of career or even academic performance. They posit that success in academic performance and ultimately, career preferences is solely a function of the individual student level of intelligence. On the other side of the spectrum, some scholars argue that the importance of a good learning style tailored towards an individual student preferred learning method cannot be over emphasized. Hence, they encourage the adoption of a suitable learning style so that students are able to absorb and retain knowledge in good time. In addition, they believe individuals will both choose and succeed more often in a career choice when the demands of the job match the preferred learning style of the person. Hence there is a need to ascertain what really the relationship between learning style and career preference is.

 

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

 

The common problem among students is inability to mobilize cognitive strategies that would help to learn effectively which have translated to poor academic performance.

 

The evidence is the outcome of large number of failures recorded in local and national examinations such as SSCE.  Hence, the researchers are interested in looking at the impact of learning styles on career preferences.

 

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

 

The objectives of this study are as follows:

 

  1. To determine if there is any relationship between learning style and career preferences of adolescents in secondary school in

 

Lagos State.

 

  1. To determine if there is any relationship between gender and learning styles among adolescents in secondary schools.

 

  1. To determine if there is any difference between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents

 

  1. To determine if there is a difference between learning styles and students’ perception of the learning environment.

 

  1. To determine if there is any relationship between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents.

 

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

 

  1. What is the relationship between learning styles and career preferences?

 

  1. What is the relationship between gender and learning styles among adolescents in secondary schools?

 

  1. What is the difference between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents?

 

  1. What is the relationship between learning styles and students’

 

perception of the learning environment?

 

  1. What is the relationship between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents?

 

1.5   HYPOTHESES

 

The study is aimed at testing the following five hypotheses:-

 

HO1: There is no significant relationship between learning styles           and career preferences.

 

HO2: There is no significant difference between gender and learning        styles among adolescents in secondary schools.

 

HO3: There is no significant difference between learning styles and        career preferences of early and late adolescents.

 

HO4: There is no significant difference between learning styles and students’ perception of the learning environment.

 

HO5: There is no significant relationship between learning styles and career preferences of early and late adolescents.

 

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 

The findings of this study when completed will be of great help to the:

 

  • Counsellors

 

  • Teachers

 

  • Students

 

  • Parents

 

The findings will have implications for Guidance Counsellors in assisting the students to make right career choices considering their talents and abilities.

 

The study will be of benefit to teachers in that it will help them to understand various learning styles, so that they can provide the best way of learning for students.

 

The study will help students develop appropriate learning styles.

 

The result of this study will also expose parents to reasons why students make wrong career choices and how they can help.

 

1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

 

The scope of the study will be limited to only senior secondary school students within Lagos state. The aim is to assist students to scale through development tasks characterized by this stage. This includes styles of learning and choice of career.

 

1.8   LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

 

This study could be carried out in the whole of Lagos State but due to financial and time constraint, it is limited to three selected secondary schools in Ikorodu Education District II of Lagos State.

 

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