Government is an important subject in the school curriculum. Its focus is to help students understand the institutions of the state (country) and the process of governance. This understanding encourages individuals as citizens to actively participate in the process of national development. The new government curriculum is aimed at making the field relevant and functional to the new political currents in Nigeria and the world (Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council, 2008).
Government is defined by Anyaele (2018) as the study of agencies, political institutions and dynamics of the state. It involves looking into the functions and relationship between these institutions concerned in the steering of the affairs of the state. In this study, the government is seen as the study of interrelated political institutions and their peculiarity in political processes and governance towards national development. government is captured by the fourth edition of the National Policy on Education (2004) as one of the non-vocational elective subjects offered in senior secondary schools. The government subject curriculum was reviewed in (2008) to address: value re-orientation, poverty eradication, job creation, wealth generation and using education to empower the people. Consequently, Nigerian Education Research and Development Council NERDC (2008) highlighted the objectives of Government subjects as contained in the National Senior Secondary School curriculum on Government subject as follows: understand the concept, principles, institutions and process of government; reorganized as an informed citizen and contribution towards the achievement of national development; become active participants in the democratic process of the nation and their local environments; appreciate the role of Nigeria as a member of the international community; appreciate the challenges and dynamics of past and present government in Nigeria and the world; recognize the role of ICT in e-government and in fostering the process of governments in the world.
It could be deduced from the objectives of government at the senior secondary school level that the subject is designed to enhance the production of politically informed and effective citizens that would contribute to national development. The relevance of government in citizenship education cannot be overemphasized. This could be the reason the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2008) in her National Policy on Education made provision for other school subjects that have similar and related contents such as social studies, citizenship education and peace education. This is to ensure that every citizen has the knowledge of government and to participate in government-related issues within and outside the country. Government engenders sound education of the citizens, as well as inculcates a sense of political consciousness and political responsibility, political honesty, cooperation as well as the desirable skills to solve political problems.
In the words of Anyaele (2018), Government has great relevance for it prepares citizens to take an active part in the government of their country; through the study of government, citizens know their rights, duties and obligations as citizens, and the study of government equips those interested in politics to be professional politicians; knowledge of government puts the citizens in a position to defend their fundamental human rights when violated; the study of government will help the citizens to understand the type of system of government adopted in their country and the implications of such system of government; knowledge gained from the study of government inculcates the spirit of nationalism and patriotism in them; citizens with sound knowledge of government will be liberated from political ignorance and understand why the government of their country belongs to some international organizations. The knowledge of the Government widens the citizens’ political horizon and political education. The knowledge of government also stimulates and arouses the interest and curiosity of citizens in the activities of government thereby preventing the emergence of tyranny and dictatorship. It supports the practice of democracy and the rule of law. Given the importance of government, all the citizens of a given nation must have enough knowledge about it. This is one of the reasons why it was introduced into the Nigerian education system. But with all the necessary efforts the federal government made for the effective and efficient teaching and learning of government by students it seems that the objectives have not been achieved. Students still perform poorly in the subject.
The inability of students to achieve maximally in the subject maybe because of school location, teachers' qualifications, teacher's method of teaching, good instructional materials, improper teacher motivation, lack of consistency in educational policies and other educational problems (Oden, 2021). The differential scholastic achievement of students in government has been and is still of concern and research to educators, government and parents. This is so because of the great importance the subject has on the national development of the country. All over the country, there is a consensus of the union about the fallen standard of the subject in the Nsukka Education Zone (Adebule, 2004). Teachers also complain of students’ low achievement at both internal and external examinations in the subject. The annual releases of senior secondary certificate examination results (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) justified the problematic nature and generalization of poor secondary school students' performance in government. For instance, the percentage of failure compared with students who passed government between 2018 to 2020 is below average. The role of government as a subject is to lay the foundation for a further understanding of how to live in an egalitarian society. And if a good foundation is laid on the subject, it is likely the objectives of the subject will be achieved. However, different people at different times have passed the blame for poor performance in secondary school to students government because of their low retention, parental factors, association with wrong peers, low achievement, low retention, low achievement, motivation and the likes (Aremu & Sokan, 2003, Arem 85 Oluwole 2001, Aremu, 2000).
However, Marakinyo (2013) believe that the low achievement of students in government is attributable to teachers' use of flipped classroom approach to teaching.
A flipped classroom is a type of blended learning where students are introduced to content at home and practice working through it at school. This is the reverse of the more common practice of introducing new content at school than assigning homework and projects to be completed by the students independently at home.
Flipped classroom approach is a teaching approach where the learner is given text materials to read at home and equally taught how to interact with family members and also members of the general public bearing in mind the subject content objectives, and further come to the classroom during the in-classroom interactive session for deeper cognitive thinking among the learners under the guidance of the teacher. The strategy moves activities including those that may have traditionally been considered homework into the classroom. In a flipped classroom, learners research home while engaging in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor.
Jala (2016) has it that flipped classroom model is based on the idea that conventional teaching is inverted because what is normally done in class is flipped or switched with that which is normally done by the students out of class. Here, instead of the students listening to a lecture in class and then going home to work on a set of assigned problems, they read course literature and assimilate lecture material at home and engage in teacher-guided problem-solving, analysis and discussion in class. The writer further said that secondary education has to shift towards more flexible, effective, active and student-centred teaching strategies that mitigate the limitations of traditional transmittal models of teaching. Hence, FCA has been suggested to support this transition. The phrase “flipped learning” came into general use in the mid-2000s but was implemented first by chemistry teachers Bergman and Aaron at Woodland Park High School in America in 2007.
Proponents of flipped classroom teaching and learning model listed numerous advantages of flipping the classroom at the secondary education level including the following: it allows the learners to learn at their own pace. This is because, the learner decides when and how to approach the learning materials and the members of the society, if the learner gets tired, he can stop and start to learn later. This helps in the management of the learner’s cognitive load. Flipped classroom model encourages students to actively engage with lecture materials. By engaging with lecture materials, learners take over teaching and learning and flipped classrooms equip learners for independent learning out of the classroom. It helps learners to acquire the skill of communication and social interaction. It allows the teacher to interact with the learners and to evaluate students learning, flipped classroom approach is a transition from teacher-centred teaching and learning to students centred teaching and learning with the guidance of a mentor.
In flipping, the teacher should enlighten the learners on FCA, educating the learners on why the usual conventional method of teaching and learning is reordered. The produced learning guide containing the content, the expected learner out of the classroom activities, communication, in-classroom interactive sessions, learning objectives and evaluation strategies is given to the learners. There is a communication channel between the teacher and the learner during the learners out of the classroom activities. There is a time for an in-classroom interactive session. Here the learners interact with one another with the guidance of a mentor. Evaluation and analysis take place in the classroom.
However, a Higher Education Academy Network (2018) outlined “four pillars of flip” as the flexible environment-space, mode of delivery and timelines for learning; learning culture a learner-centred approach to encourage deep learning; intentional content-that maximises learning; professional educator-who guides learning and continuously improves practices. When the government is an interactive subject is taught in a flexible environment where the learners take ownership of teaching and learning and professional educators facilitate knowledge. It is quite clear that using a flip classroom teaching approach may lead to the achievement of students in Government.
The achievement has to do with the act of accomplishing or finishing a task successfully. Achievement occurs when students successfully master the concepts, the meaning and the practice of each concept in real-life through interaction with the members of society and fellow peers under the guidance of the teacher. In the words of Ibegbu (2011) when a task or work is accomplished, by exertion or skill or practice, it becomes an achievement. Achievement in government is, therefore, the extent to which a learner has attained the objectives of government subject contents, the practice of that concept and the interactive techniques in real-life governance.
Usually, Standardized tests or teacher-made tests are used in measuring achievement. In this study, the achievement test is used to measure secondary school students’ achievement in government. Achievement tests are therefore designed to determine success or failures in specific areas of the subjects or other experiences in the school curriculum. The above indicates that when achievement is positive, it brings joy to the learner and when the reverse is the case, it brings grief to the learner. The variable of gender to some extent may determine the achievement of learners in government and other secondary school subjects. However, data collected from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has shown that students’ achievement and interest in Government over the years have declined tremendously. This is an indication that students’ achievement in Government is declining. Okeke (2013) stated that students’ achievement has a close link with teachers’ approach to teaching. The researcher reiterated that the teaching approach adopted by the teacher could either enhance or deter students’ achievement in any subject. Students’ poor achievement could largely be attributed to a poor instructional approach (Insulor, 2012). The appropriate medium of instruction and ineffective approaches whether formally recommended or self-directed could also be responsible for the poor performance of the students in government. Teachers are persistently noted for using teaching approaches that cannot facilitate appropriate learning by the students, consequently, it results in low student achievement (Tukura, 2015).
Some of the reasons given why students achieve poorly in Government and other senior secondary school subjects is the prevalence of traditional teaching approach that denies students a sound educational experience. The study is set to explore the effect of flipped classroom approach on students' achievement in Government in the Nsukka Education Zone. Another variable in the study is gender. The study will also examine the moderating influence of gender. This may have moderating influence on the achievement of male and female achievement in Government.
Gender is the socially or culturally constructed characters, roles and qualities, behaviour that different societies ascribe to males and females varying from one society to another and at a different time in history. In this study, gender is focused on the roles and behaviours that secondary school male and female students exhibit in the areas of achievement in Government.
Even though studies have been made in the Western world as regards the flipped classroom approach, the studies are still in their infancy stage. It is on this ground that Bishop and Verleger (2013) have it that empirical research on the flipped classroom model in higher education, and more detailed investigations of students’ perceptions of its use, are in their infancy and the need for further research is underlined by many. In the same way, Mo and Mao (2017) said that relevant research is still in its infancy in the field of applied research combining College English reading teaching with flipped classrooms supporting the observations of the above researchers, about the infancy stage of flipped classroom model, Flipped Learning Network (2014) noted that currently, the amount of rigorous, empirical research on the effectiveness of the flipped learning model is limited but growing. This has compelled some researchers to investigate opportunities for adapting commercially produced games via the use of supplementary materials and modified modes of play (Coleman, 2002b; Miller & Hegelheimer, 2006). This was the approach adopted in the present study. Such an approach should be based on sound second language acquisition theory. Following Miller and Hegelheimer (2006), this investigation, therefore, consulted Chapelle’s framework for evaluating CALL task appropriateness (Simulations thus correspond in multiple ways with both constructivist and communicative theories through student-centred, active involvement using authentic language. Thus, the effectiveness of simulation games on learning is still unsettled, and the increasingly elaborate computer-based simulations add to this debate, which has shifted from a comparative approach to investigations into how to best make use of simulations.
A study by Xioyang (2015) on a flipped classroom in Open University Teaching Based on an Ecological perspective in China examines the students’ performance after adopting an ecological flipped classroom model in a transition course. There were significant differences between the experimental class and the control class, which showed that the students’ translation competence had improved based on the flipped classroom model. Aliye et al., (2018) researched the flipped learning method in engineering education at Iowa State University. The study revealed that flipped learning gained popularity amongst engineering educators after 2012.
Jun and Chunmei (2017), carried out a study on the effectiveness of college English reading classroom teaching in the flipped classroom paradigm. The study identified three challenges that were categorized into three main themes, namely student-related challenges, faculty–related challenges, and operational challenges.
Nathan, et al., (2014), conducted a study on flipping an agricultural education teaching methods course. The study resulted in the identification of three overarching categories that include: (a) the quality and effectiveness of online video modules, (b) in-class lecture time, and (c) overall learning that took place due to the use of the flipped classroom approach.
Caroline and Bruno (2018) conducted a study that examined whether flipped classroom in organic chemistry has a significant effect on students’ grade in Canada. The results showed that students in the experimental group have significantly higher final grades in organic chemistry than those in the control group, that is 77% for students in the active classroom vs 73% in the traditional classroom (P < 0.0). The effect was the greatest for low–achieving students, with final scores of 70% in the active classroom compared with 60% in the traditional one (P < 0.001). The researchers finally commented that the differences in performance are likely due to students spending more time-solving problems in a flipped classroom rather than having the questions assigned to them as homework.
Minkyoung, et al., (2016) conducted a study an investigation into effective pedagogies in a flipped classroom. The study was geared towards exploring what type of learning activities in a flipped classroom that is perceived to be the most effective in the achievement of desired course competencies in India. The result of the study showed that implementing flipped classroom instructional activities accompanied by desirable challenges, is highly advisable to foster deep engagement.
Jala (2016), conducted a study on the flipped classroom: for active, effective and increased learning, especially for low achievers. The essence of the study was a result of the pressure to shift towards more flexible, effective, active and student-centred teaching strategies that would mitigate the limitations of traditional transmittal models of education in Sweden. The result revealed that a large majority of the students had a positive attitude towards the flipped classroom, and the use of video and modules and that a positive attitude towards the flipped classroom, was strongly correlated to perceptions of increased motivation, engagement, increased learning and effective learning. Low achievers significantly reported more positively as compared to high achievers with regards to attitudes toward the use of video as a learning tool perceived increased learning and perceived more effective learning.
Roland (2013), conducted a study on flipping the classroom: An empirical study examining students learning. The study was carried out to examine the effectiveness of flipping the classroom at a Freshman College in North Carolina. The result showed that 14.8% of the students showed significant knowledge gains from the flipped classroom instruction and 81.5% showed no significant improvement.
Susan et al., (2017), conducted a study on the results of a flipped classroom teaching approach in Anaesthesiology residents. The study examines the most effective and engaging teaching approach in Graduate Medical Education in America. The study findings revealed anaesthesiology residents’ preference for the flipped classroom and a beneficial effect of this teaching method on knowledge retention.
Xiaodan and Maochun (2017), conducted a study on flipped classrooms in college English teaching based on the application of SPOC and mobile internet technology. The study was organized to validate the teaching effects of Small Private Online Course (SPOC) based mobile internet flipped classrooms in China. The result showed that college English teaching based on SPOC flipped classroom outperformed traditional teaching mode in teaching effects.
Nathan, et al., (2014), conducted a study examining student perceptions of flipping an Agricultural Teaching Methods Course. The study examined an active learning approach known as a flipped classroom and sought to explore student perceptions of flipping a teaching method course required in an agricultural teacher education program in Florida. The study resulted in the identification of themes that were labelled and further separated into subthemes. They included (a) positive aspects of online lectures, (b) technological issues, (c) positive aspects of classroom learning activities, (d) negative aspects of classroom learning activities, and (e) students' beliefs regarding the flipped classroom approach.
Carmen, et al., (2014) conducted a study on gender differences in the learning and teaching of surgery: A literature review. The study was geared towards exploring evidence concerning gender differences in teaching and learning in surgery to guide future initiatives in Sweden.
Marcus, et al (2016) conducted a study on gender differences in boys’ and girls’ perceptions of teaching and learning Mathematics. The study focused on investigating some gender differences between boys and girls in their perception of the classroom settings, perception of classroom settings about achievement in mathematics and aspects of self-regulated learning skills in Sweden. The result indicated that, concerning the classroom setting, those boys feel that they use group work more than the girls do. Boys feel that they have an influence over the content and are more involved during the lesson than girls. Concerning students’ relations to mathematics, the study found that boys perceive mathematics to be more important than girls do. One implication for teachers from the study points out how different aspects of a perceived learning environment affect students’ boys’ and girls’ achievement in mathematics.
Aftab and Khatoon (2013) conducted a study on the influence of gender, types of school and occupational stress on pupil control ideology of secondary school teachers. The study examined the effects of gender, type of school and occupational stress on pupil control ideology of teachers in India. 608 students made up the population. The results of the analysis showed that among the three independent variables, occupational stress had the greatest influence on PCI (51%). Further, it is revealed that male and female teachers do not differ in their PCI. The study also finds that teachers in Government schools are more custodial than teachers in Government-Aided, Muslim, Hindu, A.M.U. and Christian/Missionary managed schools.
Mehrak, et al (2016) conducted a study on English Learning Achievement and EFL learners’ cheating Attitudes and cheating behaviours. The study investigates the role of achievement in learning English as a foreign language in EFL learners’ cheating attitudes and cheating behaviour. The result of regression revealed that achievement in learning English had weak power to predict cheating attitudes. However, the power of achievement in learning English to predict cheating behaviour of language learners in language classes was five times stronger.
Dyah (2016) conducted a study on the influence of strategy of learning and achievement motivation of Learning Achievement Class VIII students of State Junior High School in District Blitzar in Indonesia. 24 students were the population in the study. The result showed that there is a difference in learning achievement between groups of learners who have low achievement motivation. There is an interaction between the two strategies using problem-based learning and discussion, as well as achievement motivation on learning achievement. Most often instructional strategies, methods, techniques and approaches are anchored on particular or more theories and models. The study is anchored on Social Constructivism Theory (Lev Vygotsky, 1896–1934) and Bloom’s Taxonomy (adopted as a theory) (Bloom, 1956)
The Social Constructivism theory states that learners actively construct their knowledge and meaning from their experience (Fosnot, 1996, Steffe and Gale 1995). Constructivism is founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experience, we construct our understanding of the world we live in. An individual generates his own rules and mental models, which he uses to make sense of his experience. Learning, therefore, is simply the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experiences.
In the course of the research, it has been found that Nathan (2014) adopted Bloom’s (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as a theory in explaining the flipped classroom approach. According to the Scholar, Bloom’s lower level cognitive domains (knowledge and comprehension) are focused on and outside of class time and the more complex domains (application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation) are focused on during the in-class time. The scholar said that as noted by National Research Council (2009) and supported by Whittington (1995) instructors in the college of agriculture (i.e. his area of specialisation) are often teaching at the lower cognitive level (knowledge and comprehension). In turn, students are likely then asked to take the concepts learned in class and then while out of class, apply, analyse, synthesize and evaluate those concepts through some kind of homework, assignment or project. According to the scholar, this was a case in the lecture portion of the teaching methods in Agricultural Education at the University of Florida.
Government subject curriculum embodies government subject topics that students need to learn to live meaningful lives, such as the meaning and functions of government; the meaning of power, and how power could be acquired, the meaning of legitimacy; the meaning of democracy and its features; the meaning and function of local government to mention but a few.
This poor performance may be a result of the Discussion Conventional method used in teaching government subjects. Also, the number that offers this subject in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) is small. In 2016, 1983 students registered for government subjects in Nsukka Education Zone. This increased to 2035 in 2017. In 2018 the number decreased to 1839. The fall in the number of students that registered for the subject may also be attributed to the government policy (2004) which made government a non-vocational elective subject. The level of passes for the 3 years is not encouraging. The percentage passed at the credit level was below 50%. This is quite alarming. Hence, the problem of this study is what is the effect of the (FCA) teaching model on the interest and achievement of secondary school students in Government.
The issue of concern in this study is whether the flipped classroom and gender are significant factors in secondary school students’ achievement in government.