A STUDY INTO THE INFLUENCE OF FIELD STUDY ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Field study is the collection of information outside a laboratory, library or workplace setting (Wikipedia, 2016). The approaches and methods used in field study vary across disciplines. For example, biologists who conduct field study may simply observe animals interacting with their environments, whereas social scientists conducting field study may interview or observe people in their natural environments to learn their languages, folklore, and social structures. Geographers however carry out their field study on lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth Field study involves a range of well-defined, although variable, methods: informal interviews, direct observation, participation in the life of the group, collective discussions, analyses of personal documents produced within the group, self-analysis, results from activities undertaken off- or on-line, and life-histories (Glaser, 1995). Although the method generally is characterized as qualitative research, it may (and often does) include quantitative dimensions. The quality of results obtained from field study depends on the data gathered in the field. The data in turn, depend upon the field worker, his or her level of involvement, and ability to see and visualize things that other individuals visiting the area of study may fail to notice. The more open researchers are to new ideas, concepts, and things which they may not have seen in their own culture, the better will be the absorption of those ideas. Better grasping of such material means better understanding of the forces operating in the area and the ways they modify the lives of the people under study (Abu, 1998). When humans themselves are the subject of study, protocols must be devised to reduce the risk of observer bias and the acquisition of too theoretical or idealized explanations of the workings of a culture (Bourdieu, 1999). Participant observation, data collection, and survey research are examples of field study methods, in contrast to what is often called experimental or lab research.
Geography literally “earth description” is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth. Four historical traditions in geographical research are spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), area studies (places and regions), study of the human-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Nonetheless, modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called “the world discipline” and “the bridge between the human and the physical science”. Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography (Wikipedia, 2016). These branches of geography can properly be examined adequately through field study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Field study has been proven to have given clear physical understanding to geography students as it lies at the heart of geographical research, and encompasses broad area surveys (including aerial surveys), more localized site surveys (including photographic, drawn, and geophysical surveys, and exercises such as field walking), and excavation. In the Earth and atmospheric sciences, field study refers to field experiments (such as the VORTEX projects) utilizing in situ instruments. Permanent observation networks are also maintained for other uses but are not necessarily considered field study, nor are permanent remote sensing installations. This study is examining the influence of field study on the academic performance of geography students.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the influence of field study on the academic performance of geography students.
2. To examine the influence of field study in the understanding of geography as a subject.
3. To identify the limitations associated with field study in the field of geography.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the influence of field study on the academic performance of geography students?
2. What is the influence of field study in the understanding of geography as a subject?
3. What are the limitations associated with field study in the field of geography?
HO: there no is significant relationship between field study and academic performance of geography students
HA: there is significant relationship between field study and academic performance of geography students
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The results from this study will educate the educators in the field of geography, the geography students and the general public on the effect of field study on the academic performance of geography students.
2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the issues of field study and its effect on the academic performance of students studying geography in the University of Benin.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.