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Understanding school effectiveness and english language certification in the third world : an ethnographic… Adewuyi, David Aderemi 1998

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UNDERSTANDING SCHOOL EFFECTIVENESS AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION IN THE THIRD WORLD: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF SOME NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOLS by DAVID ADEREMI ADEWUYI B.A. (English); Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, 1981 M.A. (Language Arts); University of Ibadan, Nigeria, 1984 M.A. (English); University of British Columbia, Canada, 1993  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Language Education) We accept this thesis as conforming To the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AUGUST 1998 © David Aderemi Adewuyi, 1998.  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Department of Language Education The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC. Canada.  Da e....^V.Mh^ t  Abstract The main purpose of this study was to identify, describe, and explain the school effectiveness characteristics that might influence English language certification in selected secondary schools in a Third World country, Nigeria. Ethnographic methods of participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, camera and video recordings, and documentary analysis were used to study six secondary schools in urban, sub-urban, and rural settings. The study was conducted in response to the call for the contextualization of School Effectiveness Research (SER). One incontrovertible conclusion in School Effectiveness Research (SER) is that the accumulation of evidence on the characteristics of school effectiveness has not answered the perplexing question of why certain characteristics work in one school and not in others. Many researchers have suggested contextualizing SER as one way of dealing with this nagging problem. The contextualization of SER, argued these researchers, would ensure that local school and classroom cultures were taken into consideration in the design, implementation, and interpretation of School Effectiveness Research. Studying the nuances of local school cultures might illuminate the relationships between school effectiveness characteristics and the classroom instructional strategies employed by effective teachers to enhance student academic achievement. Results from the six case studies indicated support for many school effectiveness characteristics that have been attested to in the literature, such as strong and purposeful school leadership, clear and articulated goals, high  ii  expectations of student achievement, a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning, and frequent evaluation of students' progress. But some characteristics that might be peculiar to the Third World were also unraveled by the study. For instance, extramural lessons seemed to be an important feature in certain schools that achieved effective examination results but lacked effectiveness characteristics. There appears also to be a link between the identified school level effectiveness characteristics and the classroom level instructional strategies employed by effective teachers in English language classrooms. The study of the dimensions of effective instruction in Nigerian English language classrooms yielded some "language examination-oriented instructional strategies" that were different from the "mediational instructional strategies" used by effective language teachers in Californian classrooms in the United States of America. It was felt that these differences were a result of contextual differences in the two developed and developing world domains.  iii  Table of Contents Title Page Abstract Table of Contents List of Figures List of Tables List of Appendices Acknowledgements Dedication  i ii iv vii viii ix x xi  Chapter One: Background Background Statement of the Problem Purpose of Study Significance of Study Overview of the dissertation  1 3 9 9 10  Chapter Two: Review of Literature Introduction Definitions of School Effectiveness Criteria for assessing school effectiveness and English language achievement What is school effectiveness in Nigeria? What is English achievement in Nigeria? Characteristics of Effective Schools Status variables from input-output studies Limitations of input-output studies Content/Organizational and Process variables Content/Organizational variables Process variables Criticisms of School Effectiveness Research School Demographic characteristics: The context variables School effectiveness characteristics and Language education classrooms The role of case studies in the present study A framework of relationships Summary  12 13 16 16 18 20 21 30 33 36 42 47 52 58 63 64 70  Chapter Three: Methodology Study Design: The Rationale Theoretical overview of field research Ethnography  iv  72 73 75  Some essential features of ethnography The conception of the framework: The sensitizing concepts Linking data with conclusions Sampling procedures Study Phase Data sources and research techniques Primary data sources Secondary data sources Data analysis procedures Trustworthiness of data and Limitations of the study Summary  77 81 82 83 90 96 101 106 108 115 118  Chapter Four: Results and Discussion The Nigerian language policy in historical, constitutional and educational perspectives C a s e description of the schools studied  119 133  School A School B School C School D School E School F Data interpretation from the schools' portraits Summary  135 143 153 160 169 175 180 186  Chapter Five: Summary of Major Findings Nature of the study Major findings of the study Internal characteristics in Nigerian secondary schools and school effectiveness External characteristics in Nigerian secondary Schools and school effectiveness Summary of conclusions School effectiveness characteristics and English language education in Nigeria Summary...  190 194 196 200 208 210 219  Chapter Six: Implications, Recommendations and Conclusion Study conclusions in relation to rationale Implications and Recommendations Implications for further research Implications for practice Conclusion  V  221 223 224 227 229  References  230  Appendices: Appendix A  254  Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix Appendix  258 263 268 269 277 278  B C D E F G  vi  List of Figures Figure 1: A contextual, multilevel, multifactor model of school effectiveness Figure 2: Conceptual linkages for assessing academic achievements in a given Third World country  vii  List of Tables Table 1: Five-year marks results for the target population (n=262)  87  Table 2: The six purposefully selected schools that participated in the study  89  viii  List of Appendices Appendix A: Invitation letter to the Principal and Consent Form  254  Appendix B: Parent Informed Consent Letter and Form  258  Appendix C : Student Informed Consent Letter and Form  263  Appendix D: Sample of PrincipalA/P/Designate Interview questions  268  Appendix E: June 1997 S S C E English Language Paper 1  269  Appendix F: Interview schedule for the participating schools  277  Appendix G : Sample of student questionnaire  .278  ix  Acknowledgements This project was made possible with the assistance of many people both in Canada and Nigeria. I wish to thank the principals, teachers, and students of the participating schools. I sincerely thank Mr. Adedayo Adewumi and Mr. Layi lyanda who took the letters of invitation to the principals of participating schools in Nigeria. They also collected and mailed to me the consent letters from the principals. Dr. Lekan Oyeleye of the Department of English, University of Ibadan,. gracefully provided me access to his office to work in during data collection phase of this study. Mr. Pius Adesanmi assisted me in data collection in one of the schools. Dr. Keye Olaore provided me with free feeding and accommodation in Ibadan during the same period. I sincerely appreciate the help of these reliable friends. The greatest threat to the successful completion of this project was finance. I was however lucky to be associated with administrators like Dr. John Willinsky, Dr. Victor Froese, and Dr. Marion Crowhurst, who on different occasions, provided me with jobs in the Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction and Language Education Research Centre from which I earned salaries to pay school fees and other expenses. I also wish to acknowledge the assistance I received from the University's Awards and Financial Aid Department. I thank my supervisors and co-workers in the U B C library system, the A M S storeroom, Education Computing Services, Museum of Anthropology, and many other departments where I had worked on the university campus. I thank my supervisory committee members. The chair, Dr. Bernie Mohan, with his wealth of experience and patience, assisted and shaped my thinking on this project right from inception to its completion. Dr. Margaret Early was more than a committee member to me. Apart from her sound academic judgements, her motherly concern for my welfare during my anxious moments was highly commendable. Dr. Donald Fisher succeeded in demonstrating to me the academic joy one could derive from the practice of ethnography. I thank them all. Although my family was far away in Nigeria, I constantly received words of encouragement and prayers from my wife and children. Numerous relations and friends also assisted me with prayers. Above all, I give praise to God Almighty, who gave me the capacity to combine matrimonial and academic responsibilities in Nigeria and Canada respectively. If anything, HE is the one to claim credit for all I have been able to achieve these past eight years of my sojourn to Canada. Finally, I alone take full responsibility for any inadequacies found in this project.  x  Dedication This project is dedicated to the memory of my loving mother, Alarape Abike (Ome'se owo) whose life was tragically cut short in a vehicle accident in 1989. Sun're o!  xi  Chapter OneBackground. This study describes and analyzes internal and external school effectiveness characteristics that appear to contribute to student achievement of English language in six Nigerian secondary schools. Research on these effectiveness factors known as School Effectiveness Research (SER) has, over the last three decades accumulated a considerable body of information about the school-based characteristics that make a difference in student learning. Effective schools are those schools that promote student academic learning and character development (Brookover & Lezotte, 1979; ILEA, 1986; Rutter et al., 1979; Willms, 1992; Willms & Raudenbush, 1989). Schools possessing these characteristics can now be identified relying on research-based criteria (Coyle and Witcher, 1992). A n accumulation of evidence on what characteristics make a school more effective has not however explained why certain characteristics work in some schools and not in others. Attempts to find solutions to this perplexing problem have led researchers to suggest that S E R programs take local conditions of schools into account in the design, implementation, and interpretation of such research programs. Fuller & Clarke (1994) for example, argue that research programs bounded by the Western conception of pedagogical practice and by implicit social rules pertaining to authority and social participation might mask rather than illuminate how teachers and their tools in local school cultures operate to enhance school effectiveness (p. 144). This study attempted to describe and analyze local school effectiveness characteristics in six secondary  2  schools in Nigeria. It was assumed that knowledge about school effectiveness characteristics in a non-democratic nation in the Third World would complement our knowledge of the conditions under which certain school characteristics are more likely to influence student academic achievement and moral development. Many reviews of S E R have identified factors common to effective schools. These effectiveness factors may be generally grouped into status factors (Bridge et al., 1979; Guthrie, 1970; Fuller & Clarke, 1994), content/organizational factors (Fullan, 1985; Purkey & Smith, 1983), and process factors (Brookover & Lezotte, 1979; Rutter et al., 1979; Fullan, 1985). Status factors are quantifiable and manipulable variables such as years of teaching experience, class size, and size of library facilities. Content factors include: effective teacher characteristics and behavior; strong supportive school leadership; academic emphasis; effective instructional strategies; good home-school-community relations; and positive external relationships with board and board office personnel. Process factors include: clearly articulated goals, objectives, mission; decentralized decisionmaking and collaboration; high student expectations; and strong school culture (Downer, 1991, 324-325). Recently, context variables, such as school demographic characteristics were included in S E R (e.g. Stringfield & Teddlie, 1991; Lee & Bryk, 1986; Lee & Lockheed, 1990). How these characteristics may be conditioned in autocratic Third World nations however has not been given adequate research attention. The present study looked at how the political situation in Nigeria at the time of the study had influenced school effectiveness and student achievement in the English language in six selected schools. A n  3 understanding of what makes schools effective in countries without liberal democracy could yield better insights into how to design, implement and interpret research in such undemocratic nations. This introductory chapter is organized into five sections. The first section presents a background statement identifying the general problem. The second section states the purpose of the study. The third section states the significance of the study. Following a brief summary in the fourth section, the chapter concludes with an overview of the dissertation, which is the fifth section.  Statement of the Problem. In Teacher in America, Jacques Barzun in 1945, quoted by Lightfoot, 1983, described the hopes for formal schooling in the United States: "Sociologists and the general public continue to expect public schools to generate a classless society, do away with racial prejudice, improve table manners, make happy marriages, reverse the national habit of smoking, prepare trained workers for the professions, and produce patriotic and religious citizens who are at the same time critical and independent thinkers" (Lightfoot, 1983: 379). Today, more than half a century later, many of these exaggerated and extravagant expectations of formal education are still held by contemporary policy makers, educationists, researchers, and parents. For example, in response to Coleman et al.'s (1966) view that differences in student achievement are more strongly associated with family socio-economic status than with schoolbased variables, an enormous research attention has been directed at investigating and dispelling this skeptical claim (e.g. Rutter et al., 1979;  4 Edmonds, 1979; Weber, 1971; Austin, 1979; Brookover et al., 1973; Wellish et al., 1978). In the process of investigating this pessimistic view, a quite optimistic idea arises from research results that schooling surely makes a difference. Not only can effective schools be identified; it is equally possible to introduce effectiveness characteristics into less effective schools, the belief being that in such a way, it may be possible to improve schools. In fact, many surveys, (e.g. Odden & Dougherty, 1982; Bliss et al., 1991; Education Week. 1995) have pointed out that most U S states have a school improvement program in one form or another that reflects features of the effective schools literature. While the programs might merely be a political ploy to appear to be tackling the problem, implicit in these school improvement programs, nevertheless, is a conviction that the school is an appropriate level to focus educational reform efforts; and accordingly, efforts to improve schooling are an on-going exercise. What constituted effective schooling in military-ruled Nigeria was a major focus of the present study. The importance of schooling as a vehicle of national development is not lost on the Third World, whether democratic or not. In Nigeria for example, the 1979 (revised 1981) National Policy on Education is unambiguous on this issue: "The Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted education as an instrument par excellence for effecting national development" (p. 5). Education is no more a private enterprise, but a huge government venture with dynamic intervention and active participation. It is safe to conjecture that this observation is applicable to other African nations. With a recent history of slavery and colonialism, emergent  5  independent African nations seem to believe, even if only at the policy level, that formal education is a potent weapon for fighting and reversing the untoward legacies of colonial imperialism. Two important legacies of colonial rule in Africa with serious educational implications are uneven development between the rural and urban sectors of the national economy, on the one hand, and the adoption of the colonial master's language as the colony's official language after independence, on the other. The national economy is divided into the traditional rural sector, which mainly depends on subsistence farming, and a modern urban sector that provides some opportunities for salaried employment. Aside from the attendant hardships associated with subsistence farming, rural villages do not have modern amenities like pipe-borne water, electricity and health facilities, many of which are available in urban cities. For several decades, the social and economic practices in independent African nations have been the movement of ambitious young people from rural to urban settings for a better living. The main route of achieving the movement is formal western education. The evidence of this education is in credentials issued to those who have passed examinations at various school levels, the most important of which are examinations taken at the end of secondary school. In Anglophone West African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Liberia, these examinations, conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), are collectively known as West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE). Although the W A S C E can be taken in many  6  subjects, by far the most important subject is English language. It is the one subject that all students must pass in order to be admitted to a college or university irrespective of the discipline to be pursued or, indeed, to be eligible for many salaried jobs. The emphasis placed on success in English language at the school certificate level as a measure of literacy in the language is a consequence of both historical and political experience of colonial rule. Nigeria as it is known today was created in 1914 by the amalgamation of former Northern and Southern protectorates by Lord Lugard, the first colonial governor-general. The country contains a large number of nations, or peoples, each with its own history and culture. Their distinctive identities are expressed in more than 400 different languages (Hansford et al., 1976). English, the language of the British colonial masters, became the "neutral" language, a common tool for the expression of the complexities of the culture, politics, sociology, and education of the multi-cultural and multi-lingual country. Since independence in 1960, successive Nigerian governments, civilian and military alike, have found the issue of introducing an indigenous language to replace English as a national language politically explosive. In view of the current prestige of English as "the world language," the situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. A major aim, therefore, of the formal education system in Nigeria is the establishment of literacy in English language. A failure in English at the senior secondary school certificate level is tantamount to a failure in education more generally, and there is accordingly great concern when large numbers of students do not pass this examination. Such was the situation in Nigeria at the  7 conception of this study when pass rates were generally poor. For example, the 5-year (1990-1994) national average pass rate for English language was 30.1 percent (computed from 1990-94 Annual Reports of W A E C ) . Such poor performance is indicative of a decline in standard of education and it has been a major concern of Nigerian parents, educators, and researchers for a long time. Research efforts in Nigeria to address this problem have been mainly directed at studying the texts produced by senior school certificate students (and students of higher educational levels) in tests written in English with a view to identifying and describing the nature and sources of identified linguistic errors (e.g. Adewuyi, 1984; Afolayan, 1968; Olagoke, 1975). These errors are usually blamed for the poor performance of the students in English language examinations. The quality of student writings however is intricately interwoven with the quality of instruction in the classroom among other factors, and quality instruction is best provided in effective classrooms and schools. School Effectiveness Research conducted on and in Nigeria (e.g. Lockheed & Longford, 1989; Lockheed, 1991; Chacko, 1989; Anderson et al., 1989; Lee & Lockheed, 1990; Lockheed & Komenan, 1989) is relatively scanty, compared to those in Europe and North America, for example. Most of the studies so far conducted in the elementary and secondary schools have concentrated on subjects other than the English language. This study is an attempt to bridge this gap. While effective schools are believed to provide quality instruction to students, research results also suggest that the home environment is an important factor that may promote or hinder student achievement in school.  8 Homes where youngsters are born to alcoholic or drug-addicted parents or are born out of wedlock would have consequences for school learning. Even if students are treated as equals in the classrooms, they encounter gradations of poverty and wealth outside. They may be taught to be mutually helpful, considerate, and cooperative in solving problems in the classrooms, but the first commandment of the acquisitive and competitive world around them is "winner takes all." Teachers may labor in the classroom to emphasize to the students the virtues of decency and kindness; but television, movies, and comic books gratify crime, brutality, and violence. Honesty may be the best policy, but what about corrupt politicians who bribe and are bribed by corporations? Students' experiences outside the classroom may stunt moral growth or deny them positive experiential continuum. Indeed, the greatest influences on student achievement level are often beyond the control of the teacher or the school. Accordingly, this study looked at these external factors as they affected effectiveness of the schools participating in the study. Most S E R has been carried out in the developed countries of North America and Europe (e.g. Rutter et al., 1979; Edmonds, 1979; Weber, 1971; Brookover et al., 1973; Mortimore et al., 1988). Many of the studies are also concerned with factors that are more easily measured through large scale surveys and correlation studies in elementary schools and are sponsored by multi-national corporations and government agencies (see for example, Block, 1983). The present study, which utilized the method of holistic ethnography to collect and analyze data, was conducted in six secondary schools in an  9 autocratic Third World nation. The ethnographic approach helped to describe and analyze meanings, themes, and nature of school effectiveness in those schools by relying on the points of view of the participants - students, teachers, principals, and government officials. The problem of this study is concerned with the internal and external school effectiveness factors, which can influence student achievement of English language in six, selected Nigerian secondary schools.  Purpose of Study. The purpose of this study was to identify, describe, and analyze the internal and external effectiveness characteristics that might influence student achievement in English language in six Nigerian secondary schools. What is considered "school effectiveness" and "English language achievement" in the present study is discussed in the next chapter.  Significance of the Study. Marshall & Rossman (1989) observe that a worthwhile research project should demonstrate that it will be useful in three broad ways. First, it must contribute to knowledge. Second, policy makers should find it useful and meaningful. Third, the study should be of practical application (p. 31). The study being reported here was undertaken because of its potential for adding to knowledge of school effectiveness in five general areas. First, it examined both school-based and society-based effectiveness factors which could shed light on local conditions under which certain school and societal factors are more likely to influence student learning. Second, it considered English language certification in a country where English is the official language, the most important subject on  10 the curriculum, and the medium of instruction from the third year of primary education up to the tertiary levels, including the universities. Knowledge gained from the findings of the study could assist policy makers and principals by the introduction of identified effective factors into less effective schools to achieve improvement. Third, as an exploratory project, the present study developed a conceptual framework that could serve as a model, with necessary local modifications, for future researchers who might be interested in S E R studies in similar Third World nations. Fourth, considering each of the above, the study had the potential to yield useful information for further research. For example, if school-based variables were found to be shaped by ecological influences (Rutter et al., 1979) of the larger society, it might be worthwhile to determine which of the variables, school-based, society-based, or both, that might be manipulated to enhance student achievement. Finally, this study might foster a deeper understanding of the local classroom instructional strategies that promote effective schools in autocratic and the Third World generally. All five of these areas have the potential for guiding policy makers, school administrators, teachers, and other researchers on decisions related to school improvement programs.  Overview of the dissertation. The remainder of this dissertation is presented in five chapters. Chapter two reviews the literature in the main areas of interest for this study: schoolbased and society-based school effectiveness characteristics. Rather than reporting the total range of research in these areas however, the focus is on the  11 literature that is most appropriate to this study. Emphasis will be on the Third world. The chapter will discuss the limitations of the existing research, which provides a background for the study. The chapter concludes with the presentation of a conceptual framework that guided the collection and analysis of data for the present study. Chapter three describes the method used in the study. Following an outline of the study design and data collection procedures, the analysis procedures are stated. Chapter four presents the findings of the study in form of school portraits. Chapter five summarizes the present study, discusses the major findings in relation to the literature, and draws conclusions from the findings and the review of the related literature. Chapter six explores the implications of the study and advances some suggestions for further research and practice.  12  Chapter TwoReview of Literature. This chapter summarizes conceptual and empirical work accomplished in the area of School Effectiveness Research (SER) in the last three decades. The primary purpose of this review is to integrate the findings from the research about school expenditures with those of content, process, and context variables of school effectiveness in order to provide a framework for identifying, describing, and analyzing the characteristics of effective schools in Nigeria. The review will also emphasize the significance of previous research to the present study in order to prepare the ground for a description of the research design and methods in chapter three.  Introduction. In the opening chapter, a number of researchers were cited for their work in identifying several characteristics of effective schools related to student achievement and school improvement (Brookover et al., 1979; Rutter et al., 1979; Edmonds, 1979; Fuller, 1987; Fuller & Clarke, 1994). It was noted that one major puzzle associated with the findings of the empirical studies is that effective characteristics in one setting cannot be generalized to other settings (Purkey & Smith, 1983). Fuller & Clarke (1994) sum up the current literature when they state that "conducting school effectiveness studies which are sensitive to, and attempt to measure, variability in local conditions will require more resources and broader technical competence in study teams, not the least of which is deep local knowledge" (p. 143).  13 This review of school effectiveness will begin with a discussion, which traces its use in educational research. Some definitions of school effectiveness will be discussed and the one which best corresponds to the purpose of the present study will be identified. The review will also identify three sets of characteristics of effective schools that relate to student achievement most especially in the developing world. These are status variables, content and process variables, and context variables. The chapter concludes with the description of the conceptual framework used to collect and analyze data for the study.  Definitions of School Effectiveness. Central to the literature on effective schools is the concept of "effectiveness." Researchers however do not have a common definition for this concept. In the majority of S E R studies, an effective school has been defined exclusively in terms of student academic achievement often as measured on standardized achievement tests (Edmonds, 1979, 1981, 1982; Goodlad, 1976, 1984; Phi Delta Kappan, 1980; Weber, 1971). Edmonds (1982) exemplifies the words of a group of researchers who characterize effective schools in terms of: 1. strong educational leadership; 2. high expectations of student achievement; 3. an emphasis on basic skills; 4. a safe and orderly environment; and 5. frequent evaluation of pupils' progress (p. 4).  14 The above five school characteristics are repeatedly mentioned in the literature as manipulate correlates of educational achievement. This "5-factor" model has, however, been criticized on many grounds by many reviewers (e.g. Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Reynolds etal., 1994; Downer, 1991). Reynolds et al. (1994), for example, question the appropriateness of referring to these five factors as "causes" of student achievement. Given the correlational status of the model, they challenged it on several fronts. First, they contend that it is hard to know whether the factors are the causes rather than the effects of high achievement especially for the "high expectations of student achievement" factor. They argue that it is quite plausible that feedback from satisfactory student results at an earlier stage might lead to high expectations for the future. Secondly, they contend that "emphasis on basic skills" factor would be used as a control variable, rather than as a causal factor which distinguishes effective from non-effective schools. They argue that if one were to measure outcomes in the affective domain instead of achievement, goal consensus on basic skills would be a less likely cause of the measured dependent variable. Thirdly, they raise the question whether the five factors are really independent factors. By examining the correlation between the factors, they wonder whether "frequent evaluation" and "orderly climate" could not better be seen as aspects of strong instructional leadership than as independent causes. Lastly, they examine the locus of the factors. The factors sometimes are regarded as all being aspects of school leadership, whereas in other instances,  15 they are seen as aspects of school climate (pp. 12-13). In view of these critical conceptual questions, the 5-factor model of school effectiveness may be deficient as a valid measure of effective schools. Wynne (1981) on the other hand defined an effective school in terms of student character development. Wynne's work is a set of studies conducted during a ten-year period (1970-1980) by his undergraduate and graduate students to determine effective schools in and around the Chicago area. Relying on data from the studies, Wynne contends that the route to academic achievement is via character development. Rather than academic proficiency, character building is, and should be the primary aim of schooling. He argues forcefully that "the conduct and attitudes that young persons display are learned from outside environments and from the persons operating in those environments" (p. 201). While Wynne's position is quite different from that of those who contend that it is the school that mediates student achievement, his sole reliance on the home environment suffers the same flaw of unidimensionality in defining school effectiveness. Wynne overlooks the reciprocal effects of the wider society and the school environment in shaping student achievement. More refined models of school effectiveness have been developed by other researchers (e.g. Blom et al., 1986; Clauset & Gaynor, 1982; Duckworth, 1983; Squires et al., 1983). Usually, these models contain at least two levels at which effectiveness indicators are defined, usually the school level and the classroom level. They also take background characteristics of students into  account as control variables at individual student level. Some of these models (e.g. Blom et al., 1986) contain a third level - context - at which effectiveness indicators are defined. What emerges from the above review of various definitions of school effectiveness is that a school effectiveness model should be dynamic, multidimensional, and context-specific.  Criteria for assessing school effectiveness and English language achievement. What is school effectiveness in Nigeria? Assessing school effectiveness has been very problematic in S E R as discussed in the last section above. In the present study, the definition of school effectiveness includes the belief that the school's internal administrative and instructional activities, as well as the government external political and bureaucratic pressures would result in the attainment of at least a pass grade by most students of the school in the English language at the senior school certificate examinations conducted by W A E C . In other words, what counts as effectiveness is the will of the school's leadership to create and maintain facilitating conditions under which inputs (for example, school facilities and supplies, quantity and quality of teachers) are attracted and used in order that the majority of the students pass the English language at the end of their secondary education. Implied in the above definition is that an effective school will have three essential components: 1) necessary inputs, for example, curriculum that is adequate in scope and sequence, necessary instructional materials, adequate  17  time for learning, and effective teaching practices by qualified teachers; 2) facilitating conditions such as community involvement, school-based professionalism, and flexibility; and 3) the will to act by the governments and communities to create effective schools (see Lockheed & Levin, 1993). One basic assumption of the study was that an effective school is shaped both by internal school and classroom factors as well as external societal influences such as government policies and school demographics. Although the condition for awarding a certificate at the end of secondary education in Nigeria is "to obtain a pass grade in at least five of the eight or nine subjects offered" (WAEC, 1994-96, p. 7), no candidate will be offered a certificate if s/he fails the English language. It is thus the one subject that determines secondary education certification. In other words, success or failure in the subject determines candidates' further educational pursuits and their subsequent production in the labor market. The reasons for this situation are fully discussed in chapter four below. At this point, suffice to say that achievement of at least a pass grade in English language on high stakes examinations such as West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) is taken as a measure of school effectiveness in Nigeria. Indeed, the reliance on a single subject as an index of school effectiveness and standard of education is common in the Third World, especially in African countries where colonial languages are adopted as official languages for political reasons. The political survival of such nations is dependent on those "unifying" languages whose indigenous languages are either not committed to writing or unacceptable to other linguistic ethnic groups. The  adopted colonial language is used nationally not only in education, but in government business, commerce and industry, as well as for internal and international communication. While schools certainly have other purposes and goals as well, for instance, moral development, a school that does not adequately prepare its students to pass the English language is not regarded as effective even if all the students are saintsl'While the school certificate result of English language does not tell the whole story, it remains the most reliable  ;  outcome measure pf school effectiveness in Nigeria. For this reason, it is used in this study. It was assumed that other schooling outcomes are embedded in English language achievement. For instance, it was assumed that an effective school would, as a matter of necessity, provide enabling conditions for students' moral development that is another educational outcome. What is English achievement in Nigeria? This study adopts West African Examinations Council's (WAEC) English language senior school certificate examination results as the measure of English language achievement in Nigeria. For secondary school certification, a student must obtain at least a pass grade in English language. There are 9 possible grades - A 1 , A 2 , A 3 (excellent); C4, C 5 , C 6 (credit); P7, P8 (pass); and F9 (fail). In assessing English language achievement in the participating schools, the percentage of students who have at least a pass grade in each of the schools is calculated either from raw data provided by the schools. It should be added that < the West .African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) is a criterionl  j  j  ; ••  i  referenced standardized examination that involves five West African countries  19 including Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Gambia. In criterionreferenced examinations, marks are awarded on the basis of some predefined criterion of what constitutes a correct answer but there are no predetermined quotas for the number of students who may receive passes. For instance, all students could obtain marks of 95 percent or above. Norm-referenced tests contrast with criterion-referenced ones in that marks are determined by the sagacity of the student's answers relative to those of other students. Examiners of norm-referenced examinations also have some preset proportion whom they will classify as passing the examination, 60 percent, for example. Part of the reasons why W A S C E result was used in the present study was that research has shown that student achievement on standardized tests generally predicts achievement for succeeding years (Squires, et al., 1983). Standardized tests also provide a measure of educational effectiveness in the public's eye. In the Nigerian situation for example, mass failures in W A S C E has led to public outcry and demands for more educational accountability in the country on several occasions. Again, schools that achieve above expectations on standardized tests also tend to succeed in other important areas, such as school attendance and low incidence of anti-social behaviors. There is thus a suggestion that areas that correlate with standardized test performance provide clues to more effective schools. These specific conceptions of school effectiveness and student achievement guided data collection and analysis for the present study.  20  Summary. In this section, various definitions of school effectiveness were examined the unidimensional ones that focus exclusively either on student academic achievement or student character development, and a more refined one that is multidimensional and context-specific. What is understood by "effectiveness" and "achievement" in the Nigerian schooling system was discussed. Since school effectiveness is a dynamic and a complex concept, this study adopted a definition which offered a better opportunity for studying and understanding the characteristics of effective schools in a specific Third World domain; a definition that accords with the purpose of the study. In the sections which follow, the characteristics of effective schools that could influence student achievement will be examined. Emphasis will be placed on those characteristics that are particularly relevant to student achievement in the Third world.  Characteristics of Effective Schools. The importance of context in studies pertaining to schooling was introduced both in chapter one and in the last section above. The traditional belief that schools can enhance student learning has for long led researchers to seek to identify those school factors relevant to student achievement. But how those factors are constrained by local societal forces has not been given adequate research attention. This is perhaps one of the reasons why little is known about why some factors hold positive effects in one setting and not in another. The Nigerian school and society provide the setting for this study. The  21  identification, description, and analysis of the internal and external school effectiveness factors that might contribute to English language achievement were the focus for the investigation. The reason for this focus is the general acknowledgment that meaningful understanding of underlying differences among effective and non effective school organizations is dependent upon specific cultural study of teacher authority, rules of classroom participation, the structure of classroom work, and how teaching tools or inputs mediate these social forces in the schools (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 142). Three waves of studies will be covered by this literature review. They are input-output studies of the 1960s; organizational and process variable studies that immediately followed the first wave of input-output studies; and later studies that took context into consideration as an important variable in S E R . In order to examine how the identified variables illuminated the English language classroom in Nigeria, a brief comparison between how the school effectiveness perspective was applied to bilingual education classrooms in United States and how it is applied to E S L classrooms in Nigeria is carried out. The purpose of this section of the literature review is to provide a fresh look at language education in the Third World classrooms.  Status variables (or necessary inputs) from input-output studies. The Coleman and Plowden reports of the 1960s (Coleman et al., 1966; Plowden, 1967) concerning American and British schools, respectively, are among the influential research projects, which investigated student achievement differences across different schools. Although conducted in different continents,  the similarities in the findings of these projects were striking and shocking to the whole educational world. The projects found that the amount of variation in student achievement attributable to school inputs were negligible when compared to the amount attributable to student background characteristics. The reports further suggested that many determinants of student achievement lie outside the control of the schools, and worse still, that in many instances, the schools are powerless to compensate for many effects of non-school factors. Since the publication of these reports, there have been waves of research undertaken into school effectiveness most especially in Europe and North America, though with some application to the other parts of the world as well. The first wave of studies is "quantitative research on school effectiveness" called educational production function studies by economists, input-output studies by sociologists, and research on the cost-quality issue by lawyers (Murnane, 1982). Typically, this line of research involves taking measures of specific resources found within the school environment and correlating them with test scores or some other student outcome. The focus is on easily quantifiable and manipulable variables such as years of teaching experience, student-teacher ratio, hours of student exposure, school size, availability of boarding facilities, and the size of library facilities. At issue is whether or not the money spent on education affects the quality of education. The research addressing the relationship between school resources and student achievement has generated many conflicting findings in developed countries but more consistency in the  23  developing world. The specifics of this first wave of studies relevant to the present study are discussed below. 1. Availability of school facilities/supplies. In the developed world where school facilities and supplies are relatively readily available, researchers have found no significant relationships between school supplies and student achievement. For example, Bridge, et al. (1979) perceived no relationship between the age of school buildings and achievement (p. 269). Neither did they find in most studies they reviewed that the number of science labs, the building value per pupil, or the per pupil value of property corresponded significantly with pupil performance. Only in a study by Michelson (1970) did they observe that aspects of the physical plant related significantly with student performance. This study showed a positive association between achievement and both school acreage and a school facilities index (Bridge et al., pp. 272-273). With regard to the influence of instructional supplies on student outcomes, Bridge and his colleagues concluded, "there seems to be no consistent relationship between achievement and the availability of current acquisition of library books and other teaching materials (p.274). In another review, investigators for the New York State Education Department (1972) reported no significant association between achievement and supplies measures. In two of the three studies they reviewed, the value of school property was unrelated to student outcome (p.112). Similarly, two out of three studies showed no significant relationship between library size and cognitive development (p. 106). In the review, all three studies using instructional materials  24 cost as school input failed to show a positive relationship between textbook supplies and cognitive achievement. However, the investigators found evidence that textbook quality corresponded to variations in student performance (pp. 113114). Not all summaries of research concluded that facilities and supplies have minimal effects on student achievement in the developed world. For instance, Guthrie (1970) observed that "a number of studies under review...present results to suggest that service components such as age of school building, adequacy and extent of physical facilities for instruction also are significantly linked to increments in scales of pupil performance" (pp. 45-46). Additionally, Spady (1973) wrote that "facilities themselves do pay off," though not to the extent demonstrated by personnel expenditures (p. 150). The inconsistency of results in developed countries has been blamed on inadequacy of research methodology and invalid measure of specific facilities (e.g. Murnane, 1980; Bridge, et al., 1979). In contrast, studies in developing countries related to availability of textbooks and supplementary reading materials tend to provide a consistent positive relationship between these inputs and student achievement. For example, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) studies in the early 1970s which relied on surveys given to teachers and/or students yielded evidence of textbook effects on science achievement in Chile, India, and Iran (Comber & Keeves, 1973; Purves, 1973).  25 In the early 1980s, the World Bank sponsored two experiments, introducing textbooks into randomly selected classrooms. In the Philippines, math, science, and Pilipino texts were introduced in 52 primary schools at ratios of two pupils per book and one pupil per book. A control group of similar classrooms and children also was selected in a research project that involved a total of 2,295 first- and second-grade students. Results indicate that achievement differences for the treatment groups were .30 to .51 S D higher across the three subject areas. This improvement was estimated to be twice the gain that would result by cutting size from 40 to 10 students. No significant advantage, after supplying one text per child versus one book for every two children, was however observed (Heyneman et al., 1984). The second textbook experiment in Nicaragua, (Jamison et al., 1981) yielded a similar result. Fuller & Clarke's (1994) review of recent empirical findings from Third World studies on achievement effects from school inputs provides further testimony on the influence of textbooks on student achievement at both the primary and secondary school levels. Within primary schools in the Third World, research continues to find positive achievement effects from textbook supplies and utilization. For example, Harbison & Hanushek (1992) found that availability of textbooks and basic writing materials held effect sizes of one third to one half a S D , depending on the grade level and subject, in the impoverished northeast of Brazil. The importance of supplementary reading materials and pupil exercise books also emerges from lEA's recent study of reading achievement in four  26  developing countries. Supplementary readers, exercise books, along with the presence and use of library resources, were significantly related to achievement in Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, but not Hungary (Postlethwaite & Ross, 1992). The importance of textbooks, exercise books, and school libraries has also been observed in studies in Egypt (Al-Baz et al., 1992), Malaysia (Ching et al., 1990), Swaziland (Johnson, 1992), Thailand (Raudenbush & Bhumirat, 1992), and Zimbabwe (Nyagura & Riddell, 1992; Ross & Postlethwaite, 1992). No significant effects were found from reading materials, after controlling for student socio-economic status (SES), teacher subject-matter knowledge, and other school factors, in a study from Indonesia (Ross & Postlethwaite, 1989). Less consistent effects from textbooks are observed in studies within secondary schools in developing countries. In schools where baseline levels of textbooks are generally low or highly variable, covariation with achievement has been reported (e.g. Heyneman & Jamison, 1980; Sembiring & Livingstone, 1981). However, when schools are well stocked with texts, covariation with achievement is difficult to observe. In these settings, variation in supplemental reading materials and utilization of school libraries helps to explain variation in achievement levels (e.g. Fuller et al., 1994). The frequency and duration of teachers' actual utilization of textbooks are found to be influential in Thailand (Lockheed & Longford, 1991). In sum, it can be said that the provision of adequate school facilities and supplies helps students in the Third World to achieve more. Schools that have  27 these facilities are therefore regarded to be effective especially if these resources can be put into use in order to raise students' academic achievement. This is an obvious conclusion since educational outcome is measured by the percentage of students who obtain pass grades in English at the end of their secondary education. 2. Teacher Quality. The general background and preservice training of teachers rarely help to explain variation in students' achievement in the United States and Europe (Hanushek, 1989; Harbison & Hanushek, 1992; Murnane, 1975). Bridge, e t a l . (1979) even found in the studies they reviewed a negative relationship between teachers' educational attainment and mathematics achievement at the elementary school level (p. 235). Elsewhere, Murnane (1980) reported the "interesting negative result present in many studies...that teachers with Master's Degrees are no more effective on average than teachers with only Bachelor's Degrees" (p. 5). Research has, however, tended to show that teaching experience is positively related to student achievement in developed countries (e.g. Bridge et al., 1979; Glasman & Biniaminov, 1981; Guthrie, 1970; Murnane, 1980). Spady (1973) suggests the statistical relationships between teaching experience and student achievement could reflect teachers' use of seniority. According to him, "teacher experiences must be regarded as an inadequately studied variable whose effect on student achievement remains obscure" (pp. 151-152). Murnane (1975) observed a nonlinear relationship between teaching experience and  28 student achievement. In the study, teaching "experience over the first two years positively affected student achievement but...additional years of experience showed no relationship to achievement" (p. 248). Attempts in the literature to explain such nonlinear relationships have touched on the following points: 1. Maybe "nothing more is learned that enhances teacher effectiveness" (Bridge et al., 1979, p. 248) after teachers have gained a certain amount of experience. 2. Teachers may reach the peak in their careers after which "age and experience will quite likely inhibit capacity to learn and grow in the job" (Spady, 1973, p.151). 3. More effective teachers are more mobile between jobs. Attrition of effective teachers would occur from their acquiring better positions elsewhere (Block, 1983, p. 5). In developing countries, the influence of teachers' own knowledge of the subject matter and their verbal proficiencies have held strong effects on achievement especially in the primary school studies. For instance, in Brazil, Harbison & Hanushek (1992) administered identical math and Portuguese examinations to students and their teachers. In math, a 12 percent higher score for teachers was associated with a 10 percent higher score for students. Although of a lower magnitude, the influence of teacher knowledge on students' Portuguese achievement was similar. In Indonesia, Ross & Postlethwaite (1989) also found strong effects from teachers' written language proficiency. Findings on the influence of teachers' formal education and postsecondary training in the Third World are mixed. In countries with low or highly variable teacher quality, pre-service training does appear to be effective. For  29 example, teacher training has been associated with primary school student achievement in rural Colombian schools (Psacharopoulos et al., 1992) and in Zimbabwe (Nyagura & Riddell, 1992; Ross & Postlethwaite, 1992). Tatto et al. (1992) also found associations between training within particular types of preservice colleges and the performance of their new graduates' own students in Sri Lanka. Preservice training in specialized colleges is expensive and at times not related to student achievement (Lockheed et al., 1991). Warwick & Reimers (1992) found that the amount of tertiary preservice training held no effect in Pakistan. Similar no-effect findings were reported in Egypt (Al-Baz et al., 1992), and in Thailand (Raudenbush et al., 1992). Within secondary schools, achievement effects of in-service teacher training are quite mixed. Work in Thailand revealed that in-service training was related to student achievement in private, but not public, junior secondary schools (Jimenez et al., 1988). In Bostwana, in-service training in math yielded a significant effect on pupil performance (Fuller et al., 1994). 3. Instructional Time and Work Demand Placed on Students. In the United States, there is no agreement among researchers on the influence of instructional time on student achievement. For example, for young children, Brown & Sacks (1986) found that the length of academic programs appears to exert a considerable influence. But in secondary schools, "Achievement" study (1985), clearly indicated that typical North American students do not learn much academically over the course of the school year. In  30  European secondary schools, the time spent on specific curricular topics is more directly related to achievement than are gross measures of instructional time (Schaub & Baker, 1991; Westbury, 1989). Karweit (1985) found that lengthening the school day or school year does not guarantee that the share of classroom time focused on instructional tasks will increase. The situation in the Third World is quite different. Even gross indicators of instructional time across a variety of developing countries are consistently related to achievement. The early IEA studies (e.g. Heyneman & Loxley, 1983) revealed consistent effects from the length of the school day and year. Jimenez & Lockheed (1993) showed that private secondary schools tend to differ markedly from government schools in the number of school days on which students attend, and this helps to explain why private schools are more effective. In Nigeria, for example, Lockheed & Komenan (1989) found that the gross amount of instructional time across schools helped to explain achievement levels. Fuller et al. (1994) found in Botswana that achievement gains during the school year for students in Form 1 and Form 2 equaled .55 S D for English and .45 S D for math. Policy-relevant school factors that have consistently revealed lack of significant effects both in developed and developing countries are class size and teacher salaries. Limitations of input-output studies. The inconsistencies of results of input-output studies in developed countries have not gone unchallenged by researchers. Murnane (1980) for instance, suggested that the apparent inability of researchers to relate facilities  31 measures to student achievement could be due to inadequacies in the research methodology used (pp. 11-12). He considered physical facilities, class size, curricula, and instructional strategies, "secondary resources that affect student learning through their influence on the behavior of teachers and students." Current research methodology "may be inappropriate for measuring the influence of secondary resources" (p. 14). Others have challenged the validity of specific facilities measures included in school input-output research. For instance, Bridge et al. (1979) questioned researchers' use of library size measures, such as the number of books available or the number of books being added to the library, to test the influence of library resources on student achievement. The authors believed that a better measure would have been library book circulation since books must be read in order to be beneficial (p. 274). In a similar vein, the New York State (1972) investigators agreed that "more appropriately defined dimensions of the school library such as types of holdings and rate of circulation...may be more likely to produce a realistic picture of the library's contribution to student achievement" (p.106).  Summary. This review of literature of input-output studies within developed and developing countries on the one hand, and between primary and secondary school levels, on the other, has yielded the following insights: 1. The idea that schools can be organized to influence student achievement has been re-emphasized. 2. Within developed countries, student learning was shown to depend more on  32  the people providing educational services than on school facilities and supplies. Rather than the quantity of resources available, student achievement is more dependent on the quality of educational inputs. 3. In developing countries, mainly because of variation in the quantity and availability of school material inputs, student achievement is dependent both on the quantity and quality of school inputs. 4. Material school inputs held more effects in the primary schools than in the secondary schools in the Third World, because quality, in general, often is higher and more uniform across secondary schools, relative to primary schools (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 128). 5. The general results of input-output research underscored the importance of the quality of student-teacher interactions in both developed and developing worlds. The studies reviewed consistently showed some characteristics of teachers to correspond with some student achievement. 6. Based on insights from the above review, it appears that in order to gain a meaningful understanding of why some characteristics of effective schools work in one setting and not in another, local context of studies has to be taken into consideration in the design, implementation, and interpretation of School Effectiveness Research programs. Prior research has shown that the inconsistencies found in most studies can be traced to inadequate understanding of the specific contextual influences exerted on student achievement. This review has identified school material inputs, teacher quality, and instructional time as relevant indices of effective schools in developing countries.  33 These variables constitute one group of characteristics in the present study. Previous studies focused on these factors but they were far removed from important classroom teaching and learning processes, and as a result, they were not very successful in locating the specific features of school and classroom organization that influenced achievement in specific contexts. The present study will examine the local conditions under which internal and external characteristics are likely to influence teaching practices in Nigeria. In the section that follows, the more complex characteristics of effective schools will be examined.  Content/Organizational and Process Variables. Following the first wave of input-output studies (in which the main focus was on status variables) and emerging from the criticism made of their methodological and conceptual approaches (noted in the last section above), a new wave of studies emerged with certain refinements in the research designs and the conceptions of how to measure school effectiveness. In particular, a greater emphasis was placed on content/organizational and process variables. These were regarded to be more educationally significant than school physical inputs (Downer, 1991; Riddell, 1989). Wellisch et al. (1978) observe that "process variables appear to offer greater potential for understanding differences in school effectiveness" (p. 211). Of considerable interest to researchers were the findings pertaining to school policies and characteristics that differentiate between schools experiencing greater and lesser success in educating children (Edmonds, 1979, 1982; Rutter et al., 1979; Brookover et al., 1979; Mortimore et al., 1988; Wellisch et al., 1978; Teddlie et al., 1989; Weber, 1971).  34 Out of these latter empirical studies grew several rich literature reviews and textbooks which summarized a whole array of characteristics of effective schools (e.g. Block, 1983; Purkey & Smith, 1983; Fuller, 1987; Reynolds et al., 1994; Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Zigarelli, 1996). Purkey & Smith (1983) for instance, identified nine organization-structure variables and four process variables while Downer (1991) identified ten school effectiveness factors grouped into six content/organizational factors and four process factors. Purkey & Smith (1983) characterized organization-structure variables as those that "can be set into place by administrative and bureaucratic means...[and] precede and facilitate the development of the [process] variables" (p. 443). The process variables "define the climate and culture of the school characteristics that need to grow organically in a school and are not directly susceptible to bureaucratic manipulation" (p. 443). Organizational factors include effective teacher characteristics and behavior, strong supportive school leadership, academic emphasis, effective instructional strategies, good home-school-community relations, and positive external relationships with board and board office personnel. Process factors include clearly articulated goals, decentralized decision-making and collaboration, high student expectations, and strong school culture (Downer, 1991, p. 325). One aim of this present study was to identify which school level content and process characteristics were related to student achievement in Nigerian secondary schools. The choice of characteristics for review in this section was  35 based on two criteria: first, they had to be school level characteristics that have been consistently identified in the educational literature as being important to student achievement; and second, they had to be characteristics that had the potential of being relevant in policy arenas in the Third World. This second criterion becomes acutely important in view of the fact that what works in one setting might not necessarily be effective in another. In order to identify these characteristics, an integrative review (Cooper, 1982) of four recent reviews (Downer, 1991; Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Zigarelli, 1996) and a textbook (Reynolds et al., 1994) on school effectiveness and school improvement literature was undertaken. The characteristics that were consistently linked with effective schools and which were perceived to be relevant to Third World situations were identified. The choice of reviews and text from which to identify school level content and process characteristics was based on four criteria. Each review and the book were recent (between 1990 and 1996); were comprehensive in scope (for instance, Reynolds et al., 1994 said "we ...present a review of the literature on school effectiveness from virtually all the countries in the world where research has been conducted, in order to assess what the 'state of the art' of the discipline is across the world" p. 25); adopted a critical stance to the studies reviewed; and applied the resulting information to making recommendations for practice and further research. The findings from all reviews were compared to produce a synthesis of the school level content and process characteristics consistently identified across different literature and which could have potential policy applications in the Third  36 World. A s a result of the synthesis, three content/organizational and two process characteristics were selected for review for this study: Content/Organizational characteristics: strong supportive school leadership; teacher quality, participation, and satisfaction; and good home-school-community relations. Process characteristics: school climate conducive to learning; and goal-oriented instructional program. These are the characteristics that are believed to aid school effectiveness in the Third World. They are believed to be characteristics that can enhance the attainment of a pass grade in English language by the students of the studied schools.  Content/Organizational (or facilitating) Variables. These are characteristics that are put in place by the school authorities, the communities in which schools are located or the government. They precede and facilitate the development of process characteristics. 1. Strong Supportive School Leadership: Principal as Leader. Research consistently pointed to leadership from the school administrative and academic standpoints as a critical incident leading to student achievement. Most often, principals assumed a multifaceted roles: they were governors, managers, instructional leaders, facilitators, and role models (Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Reynolds et al., 1994). As governors, principals provide the administrative and academic milieus within which the staff can exercise its professional expertise to the fullest extent. Conforming with, and assimilation of, the success components in the school is to  37 a large extent dependent on the exercise of leadership authority by influencing the behavior of the subordinates and other school participants. They initiate programs, set policies, and obtain material and financial resources to carry them out. Effective principals possess necessary perquisites of permanence, power, and legitimacy (Phi Delta Kappa, 1980, p. 203); and therefore protect tradition, promote unity among staff, and ensure continuity of school culture. More importantly, principals ensure a safe and orderly environment in which teaching and learning can take place. As managers, effective principals are task-oriented, action-driven, well organized, always ready to delegate work to subordinates, and skilled in getting things done (Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Reynolds et al., 1994; Downer, 1991). They have adequate organizational skills and are flexible in style to accommodate the needs of most school participants. Acting as "gate-keepers of change" (Berman & McLaughlin, 1975, p. 20), effective principals' support for successful implementation of school improvement programs has been attested to in the educational literature (e.g. Reynolds et al., 1994). In addition, Zigarelli (1996) found effective principals to be those "empowered to hire and fire teachers unencumbered by contractual handcuffs or by administrative bureaucracy" (p. 107). As instructional leaders, effective principals insist on high achievement for staff and student, often by assuming an assertive instructional leadership role. This is achieved through the provision of an atmosphere conducive to learning; making frequent, short, and unannounced visits to classrooms; presenting  38  innovative programs and techniques to staff; meeting often with staff to discuss matters related to school effectiveness; and organizing teacher effectiveness training programs (Reynolds et al., 1994). The principals also create an atmosphere that promotes staff job satisfaction through administrative support for teaching innovation and where students are confident that the school will facilitate their learning. Coyle & Witcher (1992) quoted Squires et al., (1983, p. 68) as observing that in stressing academic standards, effective "principals...tend to spend a large proportion of their day on activities related to instruction." Principals of effective schools take great interest in instruction. It is assumed that more effective classroom instruction raises academic achievement. Effective principals also promote both vertical communication (between teachers and administrators) and horizontal communication (between and among teachers) especially on matters concerning the curriculum. Effective communication at the two levels is an indication of collegiality which is often associated with effective schools and academic achievement (Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Zigarelli, 1996; Reynolds et al., 1994). They emphasize academic standards through program co-ordination, observation, and evaluation of teacher instruction, and frequent monitoring of how teachers assign homework. Acting as role models for both staff and students, effective principals exude an attitude of commitment, irrespective of the task at hand (Coyle & Witcher, 1992). Emphasis is laid on the importance of hard work and on the importance of the contribution of individuals to the realization of the school goals.  39 The exercise of discipline, through clear enunciation of school rules and their even-handed enforcement, helps greatly in creating feelings of firmness, fairness, and consistency which are characteristics of effective leadership (Reynolds et al., 1994). 2. Teacher quality, Participation, and Satisfaction. Most studies cite effectiveness of teachers as an essential ingredient of quality schooling. Teacher status variables (e.g. teacher experience, teacher training, and teacher salaries) which have very minimal, significant, or no effects on student achievement have been discussed earlier (see status variables above). What is discussed in this section is how actual classroom processes can lead to student attainment of pass grades in English. Effective schools are schools that can achieve effective classrooms and these classrooms show a combination of effective characteristics. Effective schools do not teach, teachers do. Whatever effect schools have, those "school effects" are results of the interaction of teachers, pupils, and the curriculum in classrooms. How teachers manage available classroom time is more important than the actual number of minutes allocated for instruction. Opportunity to Learn (OTL) which is defined as "how much of the designated curricular content that is really covered during the school year" (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 123) is greatly determined by the efficient use of allocated time for instruction. For learning to take place, students have to be engaged in appropriate instruction activities. Forms of pedagogy also make a difference in the classrooms. In Nigerian and Swazi secondary schools, for example, time spent listening to the teacher  40  lecture was positively related to achievement (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 132). Another study in Nigeria found that more frequent probes and questions posed by teachers were positively associated with math achievement (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 132). Less didactic, more active forms of pedagogy were negatively related to science and math achievement in the Philippines (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, p. 132). In essence, an effective teacher would employ the most suitable form of teaching in the classroom to benefit the greatest number of students. A key concept in effective schools is teacher morale. Effective schools allocate funds for classroom materials and equipment as well as for staff development. This could demonstrate to teachers that instructional activities and the continuing professional growth of teachers are priorities. Aside from budgetary allocations, high teacher morale is boosted in effective schools because procedures that address hiring, promotion, tenure, termination, leave, planning periods, direct instructional time, and both staff and curriculum development are clearly stated and consistently practiced (Coyle & Witcher, 1992). High teacher morale has been associated with low teacher turn-over in that teachers in this situation seem more satisfied with their role and more often voiced a preference to continue working in their present schools rather than transfer elsewhere (Fetters et al., 1968). If teachers are happy with their work, chances are that they will be willing to help students and the school achieve its set goals, part of which of course is the attainment of pass grades in English language.  41 Research on schools as organizations has shown that effective schools are paradoxically loosely and tightly coupled simultaneously on teacher input. Teachers have greater autonomy within their classrooms but little influence over school policy matters (Zigarelli, 1996; Downer, 1991). The school personnel operation is based on small number of agreed upon themes, but there are considerable freedoms as to how best to serve these themes (Downer, 1991, p. 329). 3. Positive Home-School-Community Relations. Compared to lesser achieving schools, parents of students in effective schools are perceived universally as more interested and more concerned over their children's schoolwork. This heightened interest is reflected in findings of most empirical studies reviewed by many researchers (e.g. Reynolds et al., 1994; Zigarelli, 1996; Downer, 1991; Coyle & Witcher, 1992). Support from, and cooperation with the superintendent, the school board, and the central office are often cited as contributing to better schooling (Zigarelli, 1996; Reynolds et al., 1994). In an earlier study, Zigarelli (1994) reported that better relations and tighter coupling between administration and the classroom resulted in more productive teachers and greater student achievement. Rapport between the school and the community ensures teachers' satisfaction and lower turnover. In such a situation, the teachers will work with students in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect that will certainly enhance their educational attainment in English.  42 Effective schools develop and maintain a positive relationship between themselves and the community. They endeavor to make parents welcome in the school. In some cases, there are reciprocal visits between teachers and parents in order to "get better acquainted with individual needs and to develop a rapport with parents by meeting on home ground" (Phi Delta Kappa, 1980, p. 136). Holding regular parent conferences, communicating with parents in a positive manner at PTA meetings, and working with parents on extra-curricular activities, are some of the strategies reported by research to achieve positive schoolcommunity relations (Downer, 1991; Zigarelli, 1996). At such meetings, problems are solved and the school can concentrate more on instructional activities that may enhance student academic achievement. Vallina (1978) observed that effective principals exhibited adept community relations skill. They display greater verbal fluency skills when communicating with parents and community members; exercise a greater degree of informality when communicating with parents and community members; use a wide variety of communication media; address community issues; and take specific steps to enhance public relations (pp. 111-118).  Process (or the will to act) Variables. These are characteristics that define the climate and culture of the school. They need to grow organically in a school. 1. School Climate Conducive to Learning. The creation and maintenance of positive school climate and culture conducive to learning is part of the attributes of an effective school leadership.  43 The literature on S E R both in developed and the Third World depicts school environments supportive of the learning process as purposeful, orderly, and cooperative. Citing Purkey & Smith (1983), Coyle & Witcher (1992) identified the following cultural norms as indispensable to enabling school climate: collegiality; experimentation; high expectations; trust and confidence; tangible support; reaching out to the knowledge bases; appreciation and recognition; caring, collaboration, and humor; involvement in decision making; protection of what is important; traditions; and honest, open communication (p. 392). These characteristics stress successful teaching and learning in effective schools. Maintenance of school discipline is often cited as a prerequisite of an orderly and peaceful environment for teaching and learning. Fighting, stealing, and other anti-social behavior problems transpire less frequently in higher achieving schools, compared to lower achieving ones (Reynolds et al., 1994). Discipline is enforced even-handedly through the clear enunciation of school rules and regulations. Effective schools also have reward systems as incentives to promote and encourage good behavior and academic achievement. In effective schools, rules undergo periodic revisions in order to delete obsolete provisions and adopt new relevant restrictions. 2. Goal-Oriented Instructional Program. Instructional programs in effective schools focus on the achievement of specific goals and objectives. Commonly stressed in the literature is student acquisition of basic skills especially in reading and math. Generally, effective schools strive to upgrade student proficiency in basic skill areas and to combat  44 student learning difficulties. Outlier studies of school effectiveness have yielded strong evidence about the effectiveness of goal-oriented instructional programs. " 'Outliers' are cases in a research study that do not conform to predicted patterns" (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 73). Using positive outliers, that is, exemplary schools only, many researchers (e.g. Weber, 1971; Edmonds, 1979, 1982; Wilder, 1977; Anderson et al., 1992) have identified coherence and coordination as features common to effectively implemented programs. Stringfield, in the Louisiana School Effectiveness Study (LSES), found that "the goals and actions of the principal eventually became synonymous with 'school culture'...or ethos...[which] is created, understandable, and changeable phenomenon" (Reynolds et al., 1994, pp. 162-163). The authors identify five broad, measurable categories of school ethos: Meaningful, universally understood goals; Attention to daily academic functioning in all classes; Coordination of curriculum and instruction across classes, programs, and grades; Recruitment and development of staff, including moving non-performing staff out of the school; and efficient Organizing of school functioning to achieve daily activities and overall goals of the school (MACRO). (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 163). The authors noted that M A C R O does not have a direct effect on student learning, but teachers and parents have impact on those processes by providing high Quality instruction at the Appropriate difficulty levels and with adequate Incentives over sufficient Time (QAIT). (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 167).  45 M A C R O , besides ensuring consistency of instruction within grades, also promotes continuity of instruction across grades in effective schools. Articulation of instruction allows for a smooth transition from one grade to the next. Students who are in danger of falling behind in the class benefit from 'extra' programs, such as, compensatory education, bilingual education, gifted and talented education, special education, and counseling programs which are created and funded by effective schools (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 169). The provision of extra programs in effective schools is directly related to the concept of individualization. Weber (1971) defined the concept as a "concern for each child's progress and the willingness to modify a child's work assignments, if necessary, to take account of his stage of learning to read and his particular learning problems" (p. 27). Effective schools' programs have one way or the other to meet students at their own levels. Universal success in schooling is emphasized and the underlying shared characteristic in such effective schools is a profound belief that "even one system failure is unacceptable" (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 179). Effective schools develop systems for carefully and continuously evaluating student progress (Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Downer, 1991; Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Reynolds et al., 1994). Research issues related to evaluating student progress include: frequent monitoring of school activities, and superior instructional leadership (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 100); classroom monitoring and feedback provided by the administration impacts on teacher behavior (p. 121); frequent and short unscheduled visits to classrooms provide the effective  46 principal with the knowledge of each teachers' weaknesses (p. 125), and enables the principal to provide personal assistance and professional in-service to affected teachers to redress those specific problems; and the availability of an evaluation mechanism is a basic ingredient of an organizational goal (p. 209). Frequent evaluation and monitoring are basic characteristics of effective programs. It should be noted that no single factor is sufficient to account for higher levels of student achievement. Instead, school effectiveness and school improvement literature shows that exemplary student achievement is generated from many policies, behaviors, and attitudes of various school participants that together shape the total learning environment. It is this total learning environment that determines the school culture. Underlying the programs and policies of effective schools is the belief that the students can achieve. Effective schools, either in developed or the Third World, operate in a climate conducive to teaching and learning, where professional staffs hold high expectations for student accomplishments, and where a greater sense of control over the learning environment is prevalent. School effectiveness results from concrete actions taken by effective principals in response to student and staff needs. Clear goals are set and specific plans to reach the goals are pursued, employing school and community's human and material resources in the process; and at the same time, creating and maintaining enabling environment supportive of the goals to be maintained. The S E R program from which this summary is derived is not without its limitations. A  47 brief outline of some of the persistent criticisms of School Effectiveness Research is presented in the next section.  Criticisms of School Effectiveness Research. Several review articles have alleged serious conceptual and methodological deficiencies in S E R that "call into question its utility both as a model for further research and as a source of findings that can guide school improvement practice" (Rowan et al., 1983, p. 25). Reynolds et al., (1994) also identified seven reasons why the S E R field is slow in developing: lack of consensus regarding content which should be learned (the goals of schooling); lack of knowledge of how people learn; lack of quality measures of learning; lack of firm historical teacher effects research base; problems with multi-colinearity; the late development of psychometric tools for dealing simultaneously with multiple levels of analysis; and finally, the lack of models on which to build (p. 56). Most of the above reasons are related to the following limitations of S E R noted by other researchers: 1. Narrow Definition of School Effectiveness. Almost every S E R study defines "effectiveness" idiosyncratically. Most often, school effectiveness is defined by many researchers as instructional effectiveness (for instance, Brookover et al., 1979; Rutter et al., 1979; Mortimore et al., 1988), using standardized achievement tests to measure the construct. Rowan et al., (1983) and Cuban (1983) have however questioned the validity of measures of S E R derived from procedures focusing only on instructional outcomes, to the exclusion of other school goals. So, studies should specify  48 other schooling outcomes on which to ascertain school effectiveness. 2. Different Methods Identify Different Schools A s Effective. Even when researchers concentrate on a single dimension of school effectiveness (for example, a particular grade level, primary or secondary), it is assessed in a number of different ways. For example, absolute measures of instructional outcomes; moral development; test score trends; cohort gain scores; and the like. Rowan et al., (1983) found that validation studies showed that different methods do not correlate highly with one another (p. 26). Purkey & Smith (1983) came to similar conclusions in their critique of researchers' use of outlier schools. A way out of this dilemma might be to develop a grand theory of S E R that will guide researchers as to how to use standardized methods for school effectiveness investigations. 3. Conceptual Problems Related to the Choice of an Effective Measure. The use of absolute standard as a measure of effectiveness tend to preclude schools serving predominantly low socioeconomic status students from being classified as effective (Rowan et al., 1983, p. 26). But various methods that controlled for student background variables, especially socioeconomic status, permit schools with low absolute scores to be labeled effective (Purkey & Smith, 1983, pp. 432-433). Perhaps, the adoption of multi-level and multi-factor contextual models for the study of effective schools might solve this problem. 4. Instability of Measures. Reliability studies have shown measures of instructional effectiveness to be "extremely unstable over time" (Rowan et al., 1983, p. 26; Reynolds, et al.,  49 1994, p. 57). It might therefore be necessary to measure effectiveness over time rather than at a single period in order to have an accurate understanding of effective or less effective schools. 5. Failure to Control Adequately for Student Background Characteristics. Many S E R studies did not adequately control for student background variables. It is important to control for the effects of the background characteristics of students when estimating the effects of school inputs on achievement because of possible inter-correlation between those characteristics, school climate, and school outcomes (Rowan et al., 1983, p. 28). Several reviewers complained that many studies did not properly control for the effects of demographic factors. As a consequence, relationships between school-level variables and school effectiveness found in many studies may be suspect (Rowan et al., 1983, p. 28). 6. Problems in Causal Ordering. Reynolds et al. (1994) argued that school-level variables related to effective schools need not be causes of student achievement; they might instead be consequences of it (pp. 12-13). They pointed out that high expectations may result from school success rather than cause it. August & Hakuta (1997) reached a similar conclusion in their review of 33 studies when they remarked that "most studies...cannot give firm answers about any particular attribute and its relationship to student outcomes" (p. 162). Rowan et al. (1983) also observed that certain school-level factors and effectiveness "are related by a pattern of simultaneous causation that defies simple description" (p. 28). Since correlation  50  might not be causation, S E R , probably experimental studies, should clearly specify which variables are causes of effectiveness and which ones are mere correlates. 7. Problems of Generalization of Results. S E R studies very often employ relatively small samples (Purkey & Smith, 1983, p. 431). The studies also tend to focus on a narrow segment of schooling urban elementary schools serving poor children (e.g. Edmonds, 1979; Purkey & Smith, 1983, p. 431; Rowan et al., 1983, p. 29); private versus public schools (e.g. Fuller et al., 1994; Jimenez & Lockheed, 1993); single-sex schooling (e.g. Lee & Lockheed, 1990). Findings from this type of study can only be of limited policy relevance because of limitations in their external validity. But a single study definitely cannot answer all relevant questions about effective schools. One way to tackle this problem is an international coordination of research efforts in S E R so as to develop a grand theory of S E R . 8. Vague Plans for School Improvement. S E R focuses on the analysis of global differences between effective and noneffective schools rather than focusing on specific local contextual factors. From the results, policy makers and educators are advised that factors such as strong leadership, positive school climate, high student expectations, and strong school cultures are key determinants of effectiveness. But there is lack of specificity regarding the attributes of these general constructs as how they may be interpreted and implemented in particular contexts (Fuller & Clarke, 1994, pp. 141-144; Cuban, 1983, p. 695; Rowan et al., 1983, pp. 29-30). In this regard,  51 Fuller Clarke's (1994) advice that S E R projects be contextualized should be heeded. In spite of these limitations of S E R , "theory and common support many of the findings," so declared Purkey & Smith (1983, p. 427). Furthermore, there has been a measure of consistency in the research findings that encouraged Coyle & Witcher (1992) to announce that "the characteristics of effective schools can now be summarized" (p. 390). Most importantly, current research in S E R has taken the identified lapses in the first generation S E R studies seriously by paying attention to them in the design, implementation, and interpretation of results. For instance, on the basis of improved conceptual and methodological design, Cuban, in the Foreword, praised Teddlie and Stringfield's (1995) Schools Make a Difference: Lessons Learned from a 10-Year Study of School Effects for avoiding the pitfalls of earlier S E R studies. Summary. This section of the literature review has attempted to provide specific research information about the school level content/organizational and process characteristics that constituted another group of variables in this study. (The first group were input-output or status variables). It began by explaining the relevance of the school level focus to this study which has a major interest in describing and analyzing new information for school improvement especially in the Third World. The claims for the importance of both school level focus and for this particular set of content and process factors appear to have solid support in the literature.  52 These particular characteristics are important for this study for two reasons. First, each of the factors has been identified in previous research as being important in improving student achievement. Second, each of them appears to have the potential to be manipulated with a moderate input of resources. This is not to say that they are easy to change, but just that they are more malleable than other factors which have been linked to higher student achievement, such as student background characteristics. Since the content and process factors can be planted and nurtured to fruition in the schools, gaining more understanding on them in a particular socio-cultural and geo-political milieu would form an informed basis for their recommendation for adoption by policy makers. The review ends with an outline of some of the criticisms leveled against S E R studies, the realization of which has led to improvements in the design, implementation, and interpretation of current S E R . The next section of this chapter will discuss the school demographics that constitute the third and final set of characteristics in this study.  School Demographic Characteristics: The context variables. In order to describe and analyze how demographic characteristics impact on school effectiveness in Nigeria, three school demographic characteristics were included in this study: (1) urbanization; (2) gender; and (3) school system. Each of these characteristics has support in the literature as being related to school effectiveness. The characteristics were selected for use in this study for two reasons: first, individually or together in a certain combination with the school level content and process characteristics, they are related to school  53 effectiveness. Second, the demographic characteristics usually define the contexts in which studied schools are described and analyzed. 1. Urbanization as a context characteristic. In the present study, schools located in urban, suburban, and rural areas were included. Generally, the study of school effects in the United States has been primarily a study of urban schools (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 101). However, there have been a few studies and reviews that looked at rural school effectiveness (e.g. Buttram & Carlson, 1983; Conklin & Olson, 1988; Lomotey & Swanson, 1990; Stringfield & Teddlie, 1991). These studies identified two areas that differentiated effective rural and urban schools: resource allocation and cohesiveness. Typically, rural schools have fewer resources than urban schools (Buttram & Carlson, 1983; Stringfield & Teddlie, 1991). In a similar vein, rural schools generally have smaller student population and staffs that are more culturally homogeneous and, consequently, more likely to be cohesive (Conklin & Olson, 1988; Lomotey & Swanson, 1990). Hannaway & Talbert (1991) examined urban, suburban, and rural schools using the 1984 High School and Beyond database. The study examined student characteristics, staff composition, and organizational context across these three levels of urbanization. They found that their study provided "further empirical support for the view that urban and suburban schools operate in two separate worlds (p. 26). Using the same database, Purkey & Rutter (1987) compared teachers in urban and suburban high schools, concluding that the teachers  54 perceived that both they and their students had more difficult tasks and less supportive environment in urban than in suburban schools. Similarly, Witte & Walsh (1990) came to similar conclusions in a study that compared schools from different urbanization settings in Milwaukee when the authors observed the existence of "two very separate educational worlds - one in the city and one in the suburbs" (p. 192). More recently, Fuller et al. (1994) found that urban location of junior secondary schools in Botswana made a positive difference both in post test scores and in learning gains (p. 368). Gender as a context characteristic. There are two areas in the literature that has received research attention in S E R with regard to gender issues. One is teacher gender and student achievement (e.g. Grafton, 1986; Evans & Tribble, 1986; Guskey, 1986); and the other is gender-differentiated schools and school effectiveness. The present review deals with the later in that the present study included three genderdifferentiated schools : boys only, girls only, and coeducational. The study did not explore teacher gender in relation to student achievement. In the United States, two studies on American Catholic secondary schools used large random samples. A study by Lee & Bryk (1986) used the High School and Beyond database which included longitudinal information on the background, attitudes, behaviors, and achievement of 1,982 graduates. Results of academic achievement, achievement gains, educational aspirations, locus of control, sex role stereotyping, and attitudes and behaviors related to academics indicated that single-sex schools delivered specific advantages, especially to their female  students. Another study, Riordan (1985) used the 1972 National Longitudinal Study data and found positive achievement effects for single-sex schools, particularly for girls. Studies that examined the relation between sex-stereotyped attitudes and behaviors and American sex-segregated education from first to twelfth grades found girls' school students to have less stereotypic attitudes. These range from views on women's roles in society, including the appropriateness of women entering typically male professions, to more favorable attitudes toward feminism (Lee & Bryk, 1986; Trickett et al., 1982; Vockell & Lobonc, 1981). Girls trained in a single-sex environment demonstrated lower levels of fear of success and were more likely to exercise leadership roles (Lockheed, 1976; Price & Rosemier, 1972; Winchel et al., 1974). No significant single-sex effects for boys were reported in any of these studies. In the developing countries, gender-focused educational research concentrated more on lower female school-attendance rates more than on differential effectiveness of schooling by gender (Lee & Lockheed, 1990, p. 213). However, some studies that focused on the latter reached conclusions similar to those reported by United States studies. For instance, Jimenez & Lockheed (1989) compared gender groupings on the mathematics achievement of eighth graders in Thailand. Single-sex schools were found to be more effective for girls although coeducation was more effective for boys. Lee & Lockheed (1990) found that single-sex schools affected Nigerian girls positively in both increasing mathematics achievement and in engendering  56 less stereotypic views of mathematics; but conversely, single-sex education had less positive effects on adolescent males. In a recent study, Fuller et al. (1994) studied school and family factors which influenced young females' widespread advantage in acquiring literacy and reading skills junior secondary schools in Botswana. The researchers found that girls outperformed boys in English on both the pretest and posttest at statistically significant levels (p > .001). Not only were females more proficient than boys in English at the beginning of the school year, but also their rate of learning was greater over the academic year (p. 364). 3. School system as a context characteristic. In the United States, just as Coleman et al.'s (1966) report sparked off the controversy that led to the development of S E R in the seventies, so also was the provocative Coleman et al.'s (1982) report which concluded that attending private schools improved student performance as measured by standardized tests of verbal and mathematical skills generated a wave of criticisms against the study. For instance, Murnane (1985) and Murnane et al. (1985) alleged selectivity bias and the magnitude of effect as part of the inadequacies of the study. But unlike the 1966 report whose criticism resulted in many school effectiveness factors, the 1982 conclusion that the average student performed better in private than in public schools seems to be more widespread (Hanushek, 1990). In developing countries, case studies of five countries by Jimenez & Lockheed (1995) which compared private and public schools in Columbia, the Dominican republic, the Philippines, Tanzania and Thailand found that: 1. Although students in private schools came from more privileged families than  57 those in public schools on average, there was a significant overlap between the two groups. 2. With students' background and selection bias held constant, students in private schools outperformed students in public schools on a variety of achievement tests. 3. The unit costs of private schools are lower than those of public schools. 4. Private schools have greater school-level decision-making and put more emphasis on enhancing student achievement (p. 115). Criticism of S E R studies without context characteristics. Apart from the allegations of selectivity bias and magnitude of effects (Murnane, 1985; Murnane et al., 1985) leveled against S E R , Good & Brophy (1986) also complained that there was insufficient S E R within certain school contexts : for instance, middle socioeconomic status schools, secondary schools, rural schools, and so forth. As Wimpelberge et al. (1989) pointed out, context variables were unimportant to earlier S E R researchers (e.g. Brookover & Lezotte, 1979; Edmonds, 1978; 1979a; Weber, 1971) mainly because they were primarily interested in disputing Coleman et al.'s (1966) report which had concluded that differences in students' achievement were more strongly associated with family background characteristics than with school-based variables. The researchers concentrated on discovering the correlates of effective schooling for the urban poor. As a result of their single-mindedness in identifying effective schooling correlates, Winpelberg et al. (1989) argued that much of the criticism aimed at S E R in the early 1980s centered around the issue of context:  58  Context was elevated as a critical issue because the conclusions about the nature, behavior, and internal characteristics of the effective (urban elementary) schools either did not fit the intuitive understanding that the people had about other schools or were not replicated in the findings of research on secondary and higher S E S schools (p. 85). The present study looked at three context characteristics as they appeared to affect the six studied secondary schools in Nigeria.  Summary. The literature review in this section identified urbanization, genderdifferentiation, and school systems as context characteristics that have been shown to influence and/or is influenced by school processes. Since it was not clear what influences they might have on school effectiveness and student achievement in Nigerian secondary schools on the one hand, and on the other characteristics in the study, on the other, an attempt was made to describe and analyze these contextual characteristics in the study.  School Effectiveness Characteristics and Language Education Classrooms. As language educators, what should we do with the identified school effectiveness characteristics? An attempt to answer this important question necessitates that we move beyond mere identification, description, and analysis of school effectiveness characteristics that might influence student achievement in Nigerian secondary schools. In this section of the literature review, I will briefly discuss how the school effectiveness perspective could be used to illuminate Nigerian language education classrooms.  59 The identified school effectiveness characteristics discussed in the preceding three sections are the ones that appear to significantly contribute to student achievement in the Third World. In the United States, Tikunoff (1987, for example) has demonstrated that there is a link between school effectiveness characteristics and classroom instructional strategies employed by effective teachers to achieve those effectiveness characteristics. He identifies two different but related sets of instructional strategies that are employed by teachers in effective schools to enhance achievement for all students in general on one hand, and for Limited English Proficient (LEP) students, on the other. First, there are classroom level instructional strategies that apply to A L L students in A L L classrooms. Second, there are language classroom instructional strategies that apply only to L E P students in language classrooms. Tikunoff conducted the Significant Bilingual Instructional Features (SBIF) descriptive study in California in 1983 (Tikunoff, 1983). The study sought to identify, describe, and verify instructional features that appear to be successful in producing positive classroom experiences and learning outcomes for L E P students. In a series of post-research reports (e.g. Tikunoff, 1983a & b; 1985; Tikunoff et al., 1983, 1987; 1994; among others), Tikunoff reported on how some of the general effectiveness characteristics might be employed to illuminate specific classroom instructional strategies that explain the academic gains of L E P students in bilingual programs in effective schools. The Significant Bilingual Instructional Features (SFBI) descriptive study was designed to identify, describe, and verify important features of bilingual education for instruction of  60  L E P students. The project involved the study of 58 classrooms and 232 students, grade K-12, at six diverse sites representing a variety of ethnolinguistic (Mexican, Puerto Riccan, Cuban, Cantonese, and Navajo) and multilinguistic groups. The classrooms, according to a report (Tikunoff, 1983a), were nominated for their success as settings for bilingual instruction. A variety of qualitative and quantitative procedures were used to collect data on instructional organization, time allocation, teacher characteristics, classroom language use, students' academic learning time, and student participation styles. The investigation indicated that there is a basic difference between: 1) classroom level instructional strategies that apply to A L L students in A L L classrooms throughout the school, and 2) language classroom instructional strategies that apply O N L Y to L E P students in O N L Y language education classrooms. Correspondingly, there are two sets of instructional strategies employed at the nominated classrooms. First, classrooms that seek to develop basic skills proficiency for A L L students are characterized by: (1) congruence of instructional intent, and (2), use of active teaching behaviors. Second, for S P E C I F I C L E P students' academic achievement, three mediational strategies were found effective: (1) use of the students' native language and English for instruction, (2) integration of English language development with basic skills development, and (3) use of information from the students' home culture. Essentially, what the findings boil down to is that in addition to the identified school effectiveness characteristics, there are corresponding classroom level instructional strategies employed by teachers in effective schools  61  to achieve academic achievement for their students either generally or specifically. With respect to the development of general basic skills proficiency for all students: 1) "congruence among instructional intent, how instruction is organized and delivered, and what the expected results will be in terms of student performance; and 2) "the consistent and effective use of active teaching behaviors" (Tikunoff, 1987, p. 100) characterize effective classrooms. Another set of "three mediational strategies" are found by Tikunoff to be effective in respect of specific L E P students' academic achievement. These are: 1) "effectively using both English and students' native language for instructional purposes," 2) "integrating English language development with instruction in the content areas," and 3) "using information from students' native cultures to enhance instruction" (Tikunoff, 1987, p. 100). The use of these instructional strategies is based on a theoretical and pedagogical assumption that views second language acquisition as a process of construction. This view of language learning minimizes the importance of innate, language specific abilities, and favors language development as a result of extensive cognitive processes and particularly in response to language input (including instruction and correction), output (including production practices), and interaction. The construction view of language learning, emphasizing the benefits of instruction and practice of language elements is represented by McLaughlin (1990, pp. 125-6): In this view, practice can have two very different effects. It can lead to improvement in performance as sub-skills become automated, but it is also possible for increased practice to lead to restructuring and attendant decrements in performance as learners reorganize their internal  62  representational framework...Performance may follow a U-shaped curve, declining as more complex internal representations replace less complex ones, and increasing again as skill becomes expertise. This view can be contrasted with an alternative view, the emergence view of language learning, represented by Krashen. The emergence view suggests that (a) language emerges in a learner according to the learner's own internal syllabus, largely as a result of innate predisposition; (b) language development results only partially from learner's general cognitive processes; and (c) language development relies only partially on the linguistic environment. The very influential view of Krashen (1982, 1992, 1993) suggests that form-focused instruction, the type discussed by Tikunoff, is of relatively little value in language achievement. Based on the emergence view of second language learning, all Tikunoff's "congruence of intent" and other instructional strategies in the world may not significantly help students' achievement of English. In other words, there may be a difference between giving the examiners what they want (using Tikunoff's instructional strategies) and providing the best conditions for second language learning (advocated by Krashen). This study assumes a construction view of second language learning, especially in an examination-oriented schooling system such as Nigeria. Therefore, Tikunoff's model that links the general school level effectiveness characteristics with general and specific classroom level instructional strategies would be further examined in detail and compared to what was found in effective Nigerian language education classrooms in chapter five below.  63  The Role of Case Studies in the present study. Brookover et al. (1979) published a landmark American study of school effectiveness using a large-scale quantitative survey within which a case study of four schools was used. The case study aimed to focus more closely on the relationships of socio-economic status (SES), ethnicity and school achievement found within the larger survey. According to the authors, the case study phase of their study was conducted in order to: (a) check on the survey data; (b) recognize school social system characteristics which may impact on achievement, but were not identified in the survey data; (c) translate the statistical relationships found in the survey data into meaningful behavioral relationships (p.133). The present study did not conduct a large-scale survey and Brookover's use of case studies within a wider survey was neither possible nor desirable. The present study was exploratory and used purposeful qualitative sample of case studies. The aims of the present case study was significantly different from Brookover's: (a) to compare the case studies with general School Effectiveness Research findings from developed countries to suggest which characteristics might be operating in the case studies and might possibly be relevant in the Nigerian situation generally. (b) to compare the case studies with general School Effectiveness Research findings from developed countries that may relate to any characteristics not  64  previously identified in the literature, (c) to use the school portraits in the case studies (see chapter 4 below) to suggest how the above characteristics are framed by school culture and school organizational and classroom instructional processes in holistic patterns. In the final section of this chapter, the conceptual framework that guided data collection, and the description and analysis of the internal and external factors that might influence school effectiveness and student achievement in English language in selected Nigerian secondary schools is described.  A framework of relationships. A great deal has been written about the school effectiveness characteristics that promote student achievement. It has also been argued that no single factor is enough to account for school effectiveness and student achievement. On the contrary, the literature on school effectiveness and school improvement is consistent in emphasizing that the total learning environment be shaped by many policies, behaviors, and attitudes of the school participants at various levels. At the school level, such characteristics as availability of school facilities/supplies, educational leadership, conducive school climate and goaloriented programs continue to assert positive influence on student achievement. At the classroom level, teacher quality, instructional strategies, as well as the presence of opportunity to learn are consistently mentioned in the literature as  65  contributing to effective teaching and learning. Depending on the educational structure of a particular society, other levels above the school, for instance, the district, state, and national, can be discerned and they can also influence educational outcomes. For instance, active parental involvement, and positive home-school-community relations have been shown to positively influence effective schooling and student achievement. Above all, the student background characteristics, such as intellectual capacity, motivation, and home environment must be taken into consideration in the description and analysis of school effectiveness. The student background characteristics, it must be emphasized, explain the major part of the variance in student achievement and they cannot easily be influenced by education - at least not in the short run (Reynolds et al., 1994, p. 15). In order to facilitate the interpretation of other more malleable characteristics, student background characteristics are mainly used as control factors in models of school effectiveness. All of these characteristics (school level, classroom level, and individual student level) appear to be constrained by the particular context in which they are measured. In order that school effectiveness research results benefit policy makers, practitioners, and other researchers, a conceptual framework of S E R should be multilevel, multi-factor, and contextual (Reynolds, et al., 1994). To be multilevel, the framework must include at least three levels (or even more): school level, classroom level, and individual student level. The framework is multifactor if on the different levels, more factors or variables contribute to the outcomes of that  66  level. It is also expected that the factors on the different levels influence each other. Lastly, the framework should specify the context in which the research is. being conducted. The framework developed for the present study (see figure 2 below) conformed to these expectations. The purpose of the study was to gain a meaningful understanding of the internal and external effectiveness characteristics in Nigerian secondary schools as they might affect student achievement in English language. In conceptualizing a framework for the study, the linkages among context (urbanization, genderdifferentiation, school system); student background, environment (district, state, national), and educational policy (WAEC, Ministries of Education); then school level inputs, general classroom instructional strategies, and specific language classroom instructional strategies; and outcome (individual student achievement) were emphasized and incorporated into the framework. The environment was conceptualized as a social system of beliefs, expectations, norms, and cultural symbols which drive the aspirations and daily lives of a given society and which functioned in ways that provided specific identity to that group (Turner, 1978, p. 54). What constituted effectiveness and achievement in six Nigerian secondary schools was elicited and assessed for their impact on the educational system in the country. Also, the framework explored the extent to which each school prepared its students for the attainment of pass grades in English, a measure of school effectiveness in Nigeria. The concept of educational policy in the framework followed the perspective of Kerr (1976, a & b). Kerr defines policy as statements that specify  67  intent, direction and action. This definition is consistent with Black's (1968) view of policy in which some authorizing agent (A) obligates itself to direct some implementing agent (B) to act in accord with some conditional imperative (I). This framework was used to explore the extent to which the authorizing agent (WAEC/Ministries of Education) was successful in directing the secondary school system to educate students in accord with some specific imperatives within the context of the studied schools. Taken together, the student background; the environment, that is, the socio-cultural and geo-political contexts of beliefs and norms of the schools under study; and the Nigerian educational policy that guided the schools' actions and rules of engagement constituted the external characteristics described in the study. The internal characteristics comprised of the school level organizational structures and classroom instructional processes. The school organizational structures dealt with the system for accomplishing educational objectives, such as, school leadership, creation and maintenance of a conducive learning environment, and provision of goal-oriented instructional programs. Classroom instructional processes dealt with student-teacher interactions, opportunity to learn, and the quality and ability of teachers to make learning happen during lessons. These include general instructional strategies for ALL students in ALL classrooms and specific instructional strategies for ESL students in language education classrooms (Tikunoff, 1987). Both the internal and external characteristics were described and analyzed within the particular demographic  68  contexts of the schools studied. Scheerens & Creemers (1989) presented a framework for a causal model of school achievement (Figure 1). This model can be seen as multilevel and multifactor which is also context specific.  Figure 1. A contextual, multilevel, multifactor model of school effectiveness (Scheerens & Creemers, 1989) School level inputs, slurcture managerial processes  Classroom level inputs, teaching strategies  BackLiiouiiil  variables SI-.S. ;iplimde  Individual student level, achievement educational attainm'  The model was considered to be well suited to the present study because it contains the essential levels and factors of school effectiveness in specific contexts, the type studied in the present study. Based on the information gathered from previous research and on the purpose of the present study, a framework was developed based on Scheerens & Creemers" (1989) model. The conceptual framework in Figure 2 portrays how context is related to both internal and external school effectiveness characteristics.  69  Figure 2. Conceptualized linkages for assessing academic achievements in a given Third World country. School Level Inputs Internal Factors Gen. School Instructional Strategies  C  Specific Lang. IClass. Inst. Strategies!—I  O  N Student Background  T  OUTCOME  E X Environment  T  H  External Factors  Educational Policy  The school organizational structures and classroom instructional processes (internal factors) are believed to be shaped by the impact of individual students' socio-economic status as well as the national, state, and district environmental policies (external factors) in the schools studied. It is the assessment of how each school managed these factors that may suggest the students' achievement/outcome in English language.  70  Summary. This review has attempted to describe the background literature and thought that provided the underpinnings for the present study. It was organized in three parts. The first part dealt with the concept of "effectiveness" and "achievement" as used in the literature. The various definitions offered were discussed and the one selected for this study was presented. The second part discussed three categories of effectiveness characteristics - status, content/process, and context characteristics. These characteristics are the ones that were consistently cited in the literature as impacting positively on student achievement especially in the Third World. Limitations of research within each category were discussed. Tikunoff (1987) distinguishes among three different but related school effectiveness issues: 1) school level effectiveness characteristics, 2) classroom level instructional strategies that applied to all students in all classrooms, and 3) language education classroom instructional strategies that applied only to L E P students. Following Tikunoff's model in the United States, the identified school effectiveness characteristics are used to illuminate the instructional strategies used by effective teachers in language education classrooms in Nigeria. The conceptual framework that guided data collection and analysis of the present study was presented in the third part. Basically, the conceptual framework consists of internal and external school effectiveness factors. The internal factors consist of school level inputs, general instructional strategies for all students in all classrooms, and specific language classroom instructional  71  strategies for E S L students. External factors include student background variables, the federal, state, and district environmental variables of the school, and educational policy that drives the schools' administration. The next chapter of the dissertation describes the study method that was used to collect and analyze data for the study.  Chapter ThreeMethodology. This chapter focuses on the research design and the procedures of the study. It begins by stating the rationale for the field research orientation adopted for the study. Then, the theoretical and historical overview of the field research tradition is discussed, followed by the description of the field research method used in this study. The analysis process is then outlined and the chapter is rounded up with a brief summary after an account of how the study attempted to ensure credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability.  Study Design: The Rationale. The choice of research methodology is always driven by the purpose of the study among other considerations. The purpose of this study was to gain a meaningful understanding of those characteristics that might affect student achievement in English language in six purposefully selected Nigerian secondary schools. Few naturalistic studies have looked into the school organizational life and classroom instructional processes in the Third World. This study may be categorized as exploratory. It was a descriptive study, which was primarily concerned with gaining a better understanding of complex characteristics and behavior patterns, all of which are intricately interwoven. It was a study that was carried out in real settings, outside the science laboratory. The contextual and individual differences (between schools, classrooms, students, and principals, among others) were of significant interest in the study.  73  This study, therefore, was based on field research rather than on experimental principles, and it aimed to present an accurate description of the effectiveness characteristics that might be identified in the six selected secondary schools.  The Field Research Tradition. Field research in its broadest sense means "learning from people" (Spradley, 1980, p. 3). The focus is on multiple research strategies that allow the researcher to learn about the social world through first hand experiences. Field research is alternately referred to by investigators as ethnography, naturalistic inquiry, qualitative research, symbolic interactionism, interpretative procedures, and phenomenology (Erickson, 1986; Smith, 1978). In this section, the term field research will be used to refer to this tradition since all the approaches share a similar theoretical perspective.  Theoretical overview of Field Research. The primary aim of field research is to gain insight and understanding about the relationship between how individuals make meanings and the circumstantial social contexts in which they interact. It aims to examine the natural world as constructed by the participating members; to capture what people do and say as a product of the interpretation of their complex social world (Sevigny, 1981). Central to this tradition is the belief that groups of people can and often do have systematically different views of reality and consistently different ways of interpreting what actions, words, objects, and so forth, mean. Furthermore, people take action in the world based on their ideas and beliefs about the way the world "really" is, in light of their notions of what things mean,  74  regardless of what is "scientifically" verifiable as "fact" (Dorr-Breeme, 1985, p. 66). From this perspective, the goal of field research is to do more than examine the social phenomena or simply observe the social interactions of the participants. Ideally, the researcher strives to "get inside"; to describe and explain the social processes and it's context in terms of the participants' realities and meaning systems (Guba, 1978, pp. 11-15). As Guba & Lincoln (1981) put it, quoting Goffman (1961), "any group of persons...develops a social life of their own that becomes meaningful, reasonable, and normal once you get close to it." Further, "it is the totality of this meaning, reasonableness and normalcy in each context and setting that the naturalistic inquirer seeks to understand, to explain, and to describe (p. 133). For most field researchers, description and interpretation are only valid to the extent that they take into account and clarify the views of reality and notions of meaning that participants in the activities under study are actually using as they enact those activities (Erickson, 1979; Smith, 1978). The field researcher is like an actor. Rather than sitting in the audience watching the drama unfold on stage, s/he is instead on the stage acting a role and interacting with other actors (Goffman, 1959). The researcher taking this role in order to examine social phenomena from the actor's perspective is referred to as a participant observer. The problem, then, is as Schutz points out, "to make the life world visible as a topic of inquiry and not merely a resource of inquiry" (cited in Benson & Hughes, 1983, p. 53).  75 Research always begins with a problem or an issue, what Malinowski referred to as "foreshadowed problems" (cited in Hammersley & Atkinson, 1996, p.160). Foreshadowed problems for this study were discussed in chapter one. More categorically, as a former student and teacher of English language in Nigeria on one hand, and an assessor of the language in West African secondary school terminal examinations for several years on the other, my motivation for this study was the urge to find ways of improving the effectiveness of the Nigerian secondary school system. That is, I wished to find answers to the question : What are those factors that are essential in a school to increase the percentage of those who attain pass grades in English at the school certificate level? The study is grounded in the literature of school effectiveness and school improvement. Although a conceptual framework was developed for data collection and analysis, efforts were neither made to base the study on predetermined research questions nor was the search for effectiveness characteristics in the selected schools limited to the analytical categories suggested by the framework. In the section that follows, a brief description of holistic ethnography - the field research method used in the study is presented  Ethnography. Ethnography is a social research method that has been variously defined by many theorists. It originates in anthropology to describe the "ways of living of a social group" (Heath, 1982). It is the study of people's behavior in naturally occurring, ongoing settings, with a focus on the cultural interpretation of behavior (Firth, 1961; Hymes, 1982). There is no agreement on what is ethnography's  exact distinctive feature. For Spradley (1980), it is the elicitation of cultural knowledge. Gumperz (1981) sees it as the detailed investigation of patterns of social interaction; while Lutz (1981) opines that its holistic analysis of societies is paramount. Glaser & Strauss (1967) lay great emphasis on its potentiality to develop and test theory; while Hammersley & Atkinson (1995) regard ethnography as an "unusual research method that draws on a wide range of sources of information" (p. 2). In spite of its various conceptions, there is a thread of thought that runs through the various definitions and features of ethnography which is the consensus that, as a method, it can provide a description and an interpretiveexplanatory account of what people do in a setting, the outcome of their interactions, and the way they understand what they are doing. Hammersley & Atkinson (1995) put this point succinctly : "The ethnographer participates, overtly or covertly, in people's daily lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions; in fact collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issues with which he or she is concerned." In education research literature, the terms ethnography, qualitative research, and naturalistic inquiry are often used interchangeably. Yet for WatsonGegeo (1988): "ethnography differs from other forms of qualitative research methods in its concern with holism and in the way it treats culture as integral to the analysis (not just as one of many factors to take into consideration)" (p. 577). It is important to stress that ethnography is not merely observation in nonlaboratory settings; it is also carried out in a systematic, intensive, and detailed  77 manner, such that the ethnographer examines how the behavior and interactions are socially organized, and tries to understand the social rules, interactional expectations, and cultural values that underlie behavior in a particular natural setting.  Some essential features of ethnography. Many essential characteristics of ethnography recommend its adoption for the present study. Hymes (1982) points to ethnography's systematicity, comprehensiveness, topic-orientation, and hypothesis-orientation as its major features (pp. 22-24). Heath (1982) adds that ethnography involves participant observation, takes the concept of culture as holistic, and it is comparative in perspective (pp. 34-36). In an integrated and comprehensive manner, WatsonGegeo (1988) discusses five main principles of ethnographic research which subsume and expand on Hymes and Heath's contributions. First, ethnography focuses on people's behavior and directs attention to cultural patterns in that behavior. This is not to deny the fact that ethnographers are interested in individuals whom they observe, interview, and with whom they develop rapport on the field. But because cultural behavior is by definition shared behavior, and it is one of the goals of ethnography, even if individuals are studied, their actions both produce and reproduce social structures. For example, because of individual learner's differences, it might be difficult for a teacher to understand why some learners are academically successful and some are not. By focusing on individual "problematic" or "successful" learners, knowledge and awareness can be gained by the teacher as to what the learner's background  78  knowledge and history might contribute to their problems or successes in school. Carrasco's (1981) and Early's (1992) studies illustrate this point. From in-depth study, individual children's abilities are recognized after ethnographic-teacher collaboration demonstrates that the hitherto "written off" children can actually succeed academically with more focused assistance and understanding by the teacher. Second, ethnography is holistic. That is, the conceptual interpretation of culture is more than the sum of its parts, both material and non-material. This factor encourages ethnographers to situate their particular descriptions in the context of larger purposes such that any aspect of culture or a behavior is described and explained in relation to the whole system of which it is a part (Diesing, 1971; Firth, 1961). The fact that ethnographers seek to understand, describe, and explain behavior or interaction holistically as suggested above points to two other features of ethnography. First, each situation investigated by an ethnographer is understood from the perspective of the participants in that situation. Pike (1964) extends the emic-etic distinction (derived from phonetic/phonemic distinction) in linguistic meaning to the cultural domain. The general framework with which one begins analysis of a given case he calls " e t i d . " The analysis of the actual system he calls "emic." The reconsideration of the general framework in the light of the analysis he calls "etic2" (Hymes, 1982, p. 25). Thus the emic or cultural specific framework used by the members of a society for interpreting and assigning meaning to their experiences differs in significant ways from the researcher's  79  ontological or interpretive etic framework. For etic terms to be useful, they have to be carefully defined and operationalized because as Chaudron (1986) and Mehan (1981) have pointed out, etic terms (e.g. attitude, correction, justice, etc.) are not culturally neutral. Emic terms however refer to culturally based perspectives, interpretation, and categories used by members of the group under study to conceptualize and encode knowledge. Ethnographers, therefore, build their analysis on emic terms that incorporate the participants' perspectives and interpretations of behavior, events, and situations, and does so in the descriptive language the participants themselves use (Spradley, 1979). The second feature of ethnography is related to the generation of grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Theory is based in and derived from data, and arrived at through a systematic process of induction. The authors believe that theory based on data cannot usually be completely refuted by more data or replaced by another theory, and that the process of arriving at a theory is related to its subsequent use and effectiveness. A grounded theory "works" because it can predict and explain a phenomenon rather than speculate on the "oughts of social life" (p. 35). Related to the above point is another principle of ethnography; and that is, data collection begins with a theoretical framework that directs the researcher's attention to certain aspects of situations and certain kinds of questions. It should be quickly added though that, while guided by ethnographically based or grounded theory, "ethnographic observation and interpretation are not determined by it" (Watson-Gegeo, 1988, p. 579). Ethnographers do not use  80  quantified, fixed category checklist observational schemes in their observation since such pre-determined schemes cannot capture the rich complexity of social interactions and cannot address "the relationship between the verbal and nonverbal behavior, or between behavior and context" (Mehan, 1981, p. 39). What this implies is that ethnographers are not only aware of the scope suggested by prior theory, but that they also expand their awareness in the current investigation to include events and interactions not touched upon in earlier studies. The result of this guided awareness might lead to a correction of earlier methodological defects, and a search for interactions, patterns of behavior, and other significant and maybe, unique socio-cultural meanings in the situation under study. As method, ethnography is eclectic, involving the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods as appropriate to the research question (Pelto & Pelto, 1970). Ethnography in the main involves the techniques of observation (formal and informal), participant-observation (observing while interacting with those under study), interviews (structured and casual), audio- and/or videotaping of interactions for close analysis, collection and interpretation of all relevant or available documents and other materials from the setting, and other techniques as required by the investigation to answer questions posed by the study. Finally, ethnography is comparative (Firth, 1961). This principle is associated with the issue of external validity, which in qualitative research has to do with the extension of the understandings. Detailed description enables others to understand similar situations and extend these understandings in subsequent  81 research (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). The primary concern of the ethnographer is to build a theory of the particular setting under study. They then extrapolate or generalize from that situation to others that would be studied in a similar way. It should be realized however that direct comparison of the details of two or more settings is almost impossible in practice. At a more abstract theoretical level however, comparison is certainly possible, although such a comparison should be carefully built on emic framework (Watson-Gegeo, 1988, p. 581).  The conception of the framework: The Sensitizing concepts. From the literature review and the characteristics of field research as theoretical bases on the one hand, and my background as a social researcher on the other, I started to develop "sensitizing concepts" (Blumer, 1954). (See also in this chapter the discussion of sensitizers within the analysis process). With my prior knowledge of the Nigerian educational system (in which I had gone to school, taught, and assessed the English language for many years), what followed was a continuous interaction between theories and emerging ideas. Both theory and emergent ideas interacted with data as they were being collected on the field. I worked with the ideas that English language certification in the secondary schools might be affected by both the internal school organizational and classroom instructional processes as well as with external governmental educational policies. I actively engaged in reflexivity knowing full well that I was the data-collecting instrument. I was however also aware that common sense knowledge that I had could be erroneous. I therefore engaged in  82  systematic inquiry even where doubts seemed justified by attempting to describe phenomena accurately rather than how I perceived them or how I wanted them to be (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995, pp. 17-18). In other words, analysis and interpretation of data were grounded in the available data obtained from the primary sources of observations and interviews as well as from secondary sources of questionnaires, camera and video recordings, documents, and anecdotal evidence.  Linking Data with Conclusions. As earlier discussed above, the key sensitising concepts emerged from my reading of relevant S E R literature in the developed and developing worlds, which led to the development of the conceptual framework that guided data collection and data analysis for this study. In this section, we shall discuss how the interpretation of data from different sources was done holistically, especially in forming impressions about each school that participated in the study. The conceptual framework served as a sensitizer, guiding the range of data that were collected and analyzed. For instance, observations concentrated on characteristics contained in the framework such as school materials and supplies, classroom teacher/student interactions, school organizational practices, and the like. Interview questions were also asked to solicit information on these characteristics. Secondary data sources such as questionnaires, camera and video recordings were also directed to seek more understanding of the characteristics.  83 Relying on my prior knowledge and experience of the Nigerian schooling system in general and the particular cultural and educational practices of the state I studied in particular, I drew upon the notion of 'reflexivity' (Hammersley & Atkinson, 1995). A s a social researcher, collecting and analyzing data of each case study was shaped by the socio-historical situation of Nigeria and the schools at the time of the study (see first section of chapter four). There was a continuous interaction among theories, emerging ideas, and more data. The schools' portraits, for instance, were grounded in the data from various sources including anecdotal evidence. The portrait of each school was used to draw tentative and speculative conclusions discussed in chapter five.  Sampling ProceduresChoosing a setting. Decisions regarding the selection of a setting are intricately bound with the specific nature of the problem under investigation. Of equal importance are issues associated with gaining entry and access. Burgess (1984) contends that "...access is a prerequisite; a precondition for the research to be conducted" (p. 45). Initially, access involves receiving permission to conduct the study in the particular chosen setting. In addition, during and throughout the research project, access within the setting is also important. The decision to study school effectiveness in Nigerian secondary schools was influenced by many factors. The overriding interest was my patriotic concern for the plight of students with poor performance in the terminal senior secondary school English language examinations. Without a pass in the language at the  84 credit level, there is no chance for further studies. Another factor was that I wish to return to my country after graduation and use my expertise to help improve the educational system in Nigeria. Furthermore, I hail from the setting - Oyo state (now broken into Oyo and Osun states) - where I had received primary, secondary, and tertiary education and where I had taught and assessed English language at all the above educational levels for several years before coming abroad for further studies. As a "son of the soil," I had the required social skills and cultural attributes necessary to negotiate entry, gain access, and interpret collected data at the setting. In addition, since little S E R has been conducted in the Third World, it seemed to me that this study would complement our knowledge of school effectiveness in the developing countries. In sum, the choice of Oyo State was informed by a combination of patriotism, easy accessibility, convenience, practicality, and future professional opportunities. Selection of schools for study. During a meeting with my dissertation advisory committee in November 1995 at which I successfully defended my research proposal, I was advised to consider studying successful schools in Nigeria as a way of gaining easy access rather than asking the question "Why is it that a large percentage of students fail the English language examinations in Nigeria?" By focusing on successful schools, I could find answers to the above question. I adopted a purposeful sampling strategy using grades in the English language S S C E as the initial criteria.  85  The next question for me was how to determine the successful schools and what would be the criteria for their selection. To answer the first question, I traveled to Nigeria in December 1995 to do some preliminary preparations for the study. I first approached the Oyo state branch office of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), the agency that conducts and keeps records of the West African Senior Secondary Examinations in five West African countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Gambia. I requested the English language results of all the secondary schools in Oyo State. I was directed to the headquarters office of W A E C in Lagos. In Lagos, I was asked to put my request in writing that I did. I requested for a 5-year (1990-1994) English language results for all the secondary schools in former Oyo State (now Oyo and Osun states). The application was processed, passing through many officers. I was asked to pay a certain amount of money to cover the cost of writing the computer program that would extract the needed data from West African Examinations Council's database as well as the cost of printing. I went to a nearby bank to purchase a bank draft and paid the charged amount. I was issued an official receipt for the payment and I was asked to come back in two weeks. The point of the receipt was to provide me with evidence in case of police arrest that was rampant in Nigeria at the time of data collection. That I came from Canada that had severed diplomatic relations with Nigeria at the time made my case more precarious. On January 2nd, 1996, I collected the data and came back to Vancouver. At U B C , the process of school selection was in three phases: (a) entering  86 the 5-year marks for individual schools into the S P S S program; (b) calculating the 5-year average for each school; and (c) determining the S E S of each school based on my knowledge of each school and where it was located. The S P S S program was used mainly to sort out schools into categories based on their 5year (1990-94) performance at the senior school certificate examinations (SSCE) rather than to test for statistical significance. There are nine obtainable grades in English language - A1 through F9: A 1 , A 2 , A 3 (Excellent); C 4 , C 5 , C 6 (Credit); P7, P8 (Pass); F9 (Fail). I coded A1 through C 6 as High Pass; P7 & P8 as Low Pass; and F9 as Fail. The reason for distinguishing between High and Low Pass was the fact that it was only the High Pass grade that qualified candidates for further studies. Low Pass grade could at best be used for low-paying jobs in private and public establishments. In order to determine successful schools, both Low Pass and High Pass grades were added together for each school. Of over 600 schools entered, only 262 had complete 5-year results and these 262 schools formed the target population for the study. The reason why only 262 schools had complete 5-year results was that many of the schools established during the civilian administration of 1979-1983 were either merged together or closed down by the succeeding military administration. For these 262 schools, I computed the 5-year average High Pass, Low Pass, and Fail for the schools. Based on my knowledge of the location of the schools, 232 were identified as low S E S ; 23 were medium S E S ; and 7 high S E S . Typically in Nigeria, high-income parents get salaried jobs in big cities and towns and even if they are self-employed in towns and rural villages, they use their wealth to send  87  their wards to schools in big cities. Conversely, low-income parents are found in rural farming areas. Thus, it was not difficult to sensibly guess at the socioeconomic status of a school based on its reputation, location, and whether it attracted majority of its student population from low, medium, or high-income families. I was also interested in purposeful sampling of schools that would reflect different school demographics of urbanization, gender mix, and school system. Having known the marks for each school, I then set the threshold of a 5year average of 60 percent or above for a school to qualify as "effective. Table 1 below shows the range and mean of the schools' marks: Table 1. 5-year Marks results for the target population (n=262). Low S E S N=232  Medium S E S N=23  High S E S N=7  Range  4.40-62.07 %  33.53-94.74 %  28.86-97.48 %  Mean  26.56 %  54.06 %  68.92 %  The main rationale for the next step was to select top-scoring schools from each group. Altogether, 7 schools were purposefully selected for participation in the study. In finally selecting 7 schools from the three groups, I was guided by the consideration of having schools that would reflect different demographics of urbanization (rural, sub-urban, urban); gender differentiation (co-educational, boys only, girls only); and different school system (private, and public). From the low S E S group, only 2 schools scored above 60 percent [Schools C (62.07) and G (61.76) ] and they were selected. School G however dropped out because the  88 principal did not respond to the invitation to participate in the study. In the medium S E S group, 7 schools scored above 60 percent. Of these schools, the three with the highest scores were 2 Federal Government Colleges and a state coeducational secondary school (94.74, 89.74, and 76.87 percent). Two of these schools were selected (Schools B and F). The school with 89.74 percent was eliminated to avoid having two Federal Government schools in the same group. In high S E S group, 5 schools scored above 60 percent. Of the three highest scoring schools in the group (97.48, 82.91, 82.73 percent), the first 2 were selected (Schools A and D). The third school, a private school was eliminated to avoid having two private schools in the same group. Another school (School E) was however selected in this group because it was the only boys-only school in the high S E S group. The school's score was 66.30 percent. At the end, I had the following purposefully chosen sample of schools:  89 Table 2: The six purposefully selected schools that participated in the study.  School System  Urbanization  Gender Mix Rural  Sub-urban  School E  Boys only Public  Girls only Co-ed.  Urban  School C  School D (Federal) School F  School B  Boys only Private  Girls only Co-ed.  School A (Private)  All schools > 60 percent. F$ange=62.07 percent - 97 percent All public schools are state government owned unless otherwise stated  Seeking permission from the principals of the selected schools. From the list of all the secondary schools in Oyo State that I had earlier collected from W A E C , I identified the selected schools. I wrote a letter on April 23, 1996 to each of the principals of the selected schools inviting their schools to participate in this study (Appendix). By mid-June 1996, six of the seven principals had signed and returned the letter of consent to participate in the study. On September 28, 1996, I left Vancouver for a 6-month data collection visit to Nigeria.  90  Study Phase. Field Entry and data collection. Gatekeepers. Issues of access involve gatekeepers; those individuals in the setting who have the power or mandate to grant or withhold access to people or situations for the purpose of research (Burgess, 1984). Gatekeepers control where the investigator may or may not go; when and under what circumstances; what documents may or may not be examined; and so forth. The first task of the researcher therefore is to develop strategies for making him/herself acceptable to the various gatekeepers keeping in mind these and any other situational concerns associated with access. As a Nigerian who had taught in various educational levels, and having secured the permission of the selected school principals through writing, I did not anticipate encountering access problems, and I had none. I arrived Nigeria on September 30, 1996. All Nigerian secondary schools were already in session for 1996/97 a week before my arrival. In Nigeria, a school session is normally made up of three equal terms of about 12 weeks each : 1st Term  -  September- November  2nd Term  -  December - March  3rd Term  -  April - mid June.  On Monday October 7, 1996, I started visiting the schools. I traveled to all the 6 schools in the first week, announcing my arrival in the country and working out schedules with the schools. In each school, I sought the permission of the  91 principal to be allowed to observe a final year (Senior Secondary 3) English language classroom and work with the English teacher(s). The English language teachers in the assigned classrooms assisted me in administering students' and parental consent forms. My experience in the schools was that of ready welcome and assistance, encouraged by the sense of pride the principals had of their schools. The letter of invitation had indicated that their schools were chosen because of their consistent successful performance in the English language for a period of at least five years. In one of the schools, the principal, with pride, introduced me to the Chairman of the Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) of her school, who incidentally was visiting the Principal the same day I was visiting her school: P : Meet Mr. eh eh DA : Adewuyi P : Mr. Adewuyi. Mr. Adewuyi is from Canada and he has come to do a research in our school because our school is one of the best in English language in the country. (Field notebook entry)  Scheduling. In the schools, the principals always referred me to the Vice-principal (academics) who was in charge of subject scheduling and allocation of teachers to subjects. In some cases, the principals sent for the V P s and introduced me to them in his/her office or in others, gave me a note to go and meet the V P myself. In such cases, I would introduce myself to the V P s and tell them about my mission to their schools. In all cases, the mention of their schools' good performance as a criterion for choosing their school for study did the magic. They  92  showed enthusiasm and many of them requested that I made my findings available to them. Since most schools were under the policy control of the state ministries of education, time allocation to each subject per week was reasonably uniform in each state. In most schools in the two states, English language was supposed to be taught daily for an average of 35-40 minutes. Each school was however allowed to put the English lesson in any period the school found suitable, for example, either in the morning or afternoon. This is a sample of the English language timetable I collected from one of the schools : Monday - 9.30 a.m. - 10.10 a.m. Tuesday - 8.10 a.m. - 8.50 a.m. Wednesday - 12 noon -12.35 p.m. Thursday -10.50 a.m. -11.30 a.m. Friday - 9.55 a.m. -10.30 a.m. I arranged with the schools to spend two weeks per term in each school to observe English lesson classrooms. I was able to cover the 6 schools between October 14, 1996 and January 24, 1997. (See schedule in Appendix F). In each school, I interviewed the Principal or his/her designate, the English language teacher(s) of the allocated classes, and some of the students. Participant Observation. An ethnographic researcher's role is actually many roles as s/he interacts with subjects to obtain data, establishes social relationships, and moves from role sets appropriate in one group to different role sets for other groups  93 (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993, p. 416). The role a researcher assumes partially determines the kind of data the s/he is able to collect. Roles can be defined along a dimension of activity from passive to active (Schwartz & Schwartz, 1955). The dimension of passiveness to activeness is further described by Gold (1958) as he distinguishes four "ideal typical" field roles : complete observer, observer-asparticipant, participant-as-observer, and complete participant:  Passive Complete Observer  —  —  —  —  —  Observer-asParticipant  —  —  —  —  —  Participant-asObserver  Active Complete Participant  The boundary between role categories is not clear cut and as Hammersley & Atkinson (1996) point out, there are possible tensions and conflicts that a researcher may experience in adopting and maintaining the various roles. They highlight the importance of the "marginal native" while also suggesting there is, however, "a sense of schizophrenia that the disengaged/engaged researcher may suffer." From the perspective of the "marginal" reflexive researcher, there is both the sense of "becoming" or total commitment and the need for some social and intellectual "distance." For Hammersley & Atkinson (1983) : it is in this 'space' created by this distance that the analytic work of the ethnographer gets done. Without the distance, without such analytic space, the ethnography can be little more than the autobiographical account of a personal conversation. This would be an interesting and valuable documents but not an ethnographic study, (p. 102) As a former teacher trainer in Nigeria, I had some former students who were now teachers in many of the studied schools. A s well, there were former university mates who were also teachers in the schools. Furthermore, I had  94 earlier taught in one of the studied schools, all pointing to the fact that I easily established both collegial, social, and professional relationships with many of the staff members that took part in the study. But this relationship was a potential source of conflict in two areas : 1 ) the staff might alter their usual behaviors due to the presence of a former colleague/friend/teacher as researcher, and 2 ) our prior relationship might pose a potential threat to the neutrality needed to obtain objective data, thereby increasing the risk of over-identification or "going native." Adopting the role of participant-as-observer, I encountered the aforementioned conflicts during the first weeks of the study when I first went to the schools to announce my arrival and introduced myself to the participants. The obvious excessive respect shown to me by those I had known before created an emotional tension in deciding on how much spontaneous participation was needed on the part of the participants without my missing something as a researcher. Tension and conflicts at the start of the study were related to establishing my identity as a researcher and developing a workable schedule. It was at this time that my presence had the greatest influence on the staff that participated in the study. The purpose of the study was discussed with them, in particular, the distance and neutrality that was needed to be maintained in my role as participant observer without actually telling them what I was looking for. I found it a little difficult initially to steer our discussion away from the participants' admiration for me. The prevailing political and economic situations in Nigeria at the time of data collection generated the perception that I had luckily  95  escaped from the harsh economic and political conditions. Their foremost interest was therefore to know from me how they could also leave Nigeria and come to Canada! I was suddenly aware of my newly attributed status and I dared not dismiss their concerns without alienating them and getting them disinterested in my study. I solved the problem in two ways. First, I tried and succeeded in disabusing their minds about the unqualified rosy picture painted of studying and living abroad. Secondly, I would arrive early before any appointment to attend to personal inquiries before formal activities. In fact, I promised many of them who had pre-requisite qualifications that I would help to send application forms from U B C to them on my return to Canada. In such a manner, I was able to maintain the rapport that I had established with the participants while at the same time, maintain the distance essential to my participant observer role. W e chatted casually in the staff common room before and after most sessions. The acceptance and rapport that was established between myself and the participants was concretely demonstrated by their interest and readiness to come to my aid in obtaining any required data or information I might need from them. In fact, one teacher in one of the schools who was also a graduate student in Education in a local university lent me a book on problems associated with mass failure of Nigerian students in public examinations. Not only that, many teachers actually administered the students' questionnaire during their lessons which boosted the response rate of the questionnaires.  96  Data Sources and Research Techniques. In the course of most field studies, researchers utilize a variety of data collection methods. The multiple strategies used and implemented in this study are reviewed below.  Field Notebook. Field notes are the primary data collection tools in research investigations of this type. Field notes also depend on the researcher as instrument to obtain narrative records. These narrative records are a continuous record of the situations, events, and chronological description of the observations and interactions that are obtained by the researcher and details on the content of documents (Burgess, 1982). Field notes are a systematic record of everything that is perceived or reflected upon during each phase of the research study. Several types of field notes should be carefully maintained (Burgess, 1984; Corsaro, 1981). I kept a field notebook in which a variety of data and necessary information were recorded.  Field Journal. A set of reflective notes was systematically maintained over the course of this study. These notes were compiled in a field journal where personal reflections based on the field notes regarding events in the setting and interactions with the participants were recorded. Also noted in the field journal were hunches, significant thoughts, and tentative questions that emerged and developed which might be pursued later.  97 Writing the journal offered the opportunity to reflect on what was recorded in the field note earlier, "a time for self-expression, self-exploration, and selfanalysis" (Burgess, 1982). The journal became the forum for formulating research strategies in order to deal with questions related to my research role, personal feelings, impressions, and relationships with the participants. In field studies, analysis and data collection are done simultaneously. Field notes are classified and coded as the research progresses (Fisher, 1987). It is important, therefore, that entries in the field journal also record the emergence of insights and ideas and the development of themes over time. Glaser & Strauss (1967) and Schatzman & Strauss (1973) emphasize the importance of analytic notes. A s preliminary analyses developed during the study, such analytic notes helped to pose the questions and form the working hypotheses, in order to clarify the conceptual framework required to interpret the data. Initially, the analytic notes most often took the form of questions or queries that required further consideration and investigation. For example, two weeks into classroom observations, a portion of the journal entry read : If teachers skip many classes and students and parents seem to be happy or unconcerned about this, how on earth did students in this school manage to pass English at 7 1 % average? Has the school declined? Check 1996 result and compare with 90-94 average. From such questions and action plans, working hypotheses were developed within the field journal. For example, it was from the above reflection that I started thinking about developing questionnaires to probe further how students still managed to pass when some schools appeared not to do much  98 teaching. Important topics and themes that needed to be explored were noted. At the end of each working day, I summarized briefly the key ideas that emerged from the field note and recorded thoughts about theme development. A s an illustration, student indiscipline and laissez-faire attitude was consistent themes that emerged from the first school I observed. These themes applied to the students and teachers. I was going to observe a lesson in the school one morning. The English lesson was supposed to start at 10.00 a.m. I was driving to the school around 9.45 a.m. From as far as more than one kilometer away from the school, I saw many students in their school uniform just going to the school while others were leaving the school compound. The resumption time was 8.00 a.m. when all students were supposed to be at the assembly, after which they ought to go to their different classes for study. On getting to the school compound, the situation was very chaotic and the noise level was very high. Many students were playing soccer in groups, others were discussing in groups and it appeared there was no one in control on the school premises. I parked my car on one of the open fields where the students were playing soccer. Normally, I had thought that the sight of an unfamiliar car should suggest to the playing students that a visitor was coming into the school and they ought to run to their classes. All that they did was shift from where I parked to another part of the field to enjoy their game! This situation showed the boldness of the students, a situation very different from my memories of the way students would respect teachers and school visitors.  99 I went into the class where I would observe the lesson and took my seat at the last row in the back. I took out my field notebook, recorded the code name of the school, time, subject, and drew the seat arrangement and my own observation position in the classroom. Then I waited for the teacher to come. At ten minutes after the scheduled time, I asked a student if the teacher would not come, to which she said she didn't know. I then asked for the class captain. I asked him if the teacher would not come. He told me that he had gone to call the teacher who told him that she would come but she was not in the class yet. Again, I had thought that since the teacher was aware that I would be in the school to observe her lesson, she would be in the class. After thirty minutes, I myself went to the staff room where the teacher had her office. I met her chatting with other staff members. A s soon as she saw me, she stood up, met me and shook my hand and introduced me to other members of staff present. She apologized that she was not in class because she had a slight headache and talking in the class would worsen her case. She promised that she would be in class the following day since English was supposed to be taught daily. I thanked her and left the staffroom. I was curious to know if anybody cared about what was happening in the school. I went to the principal's office where I met the secretary. The secretary told me that the principal was busy settling a quarrel among some people. I was shocked that the principal was even in the school and the whole place was that chaotic. I walked round the school compound and observed that, at the time of my visit, there was only one class in session, taught by a pregnant woman, and  100 the subject was Bible Knowledge in Form 2 C . After leaving the school, I visited a family in the university campus on which the school was situated. Incidentally, the school was populated mostly by the university community both in terms of students and teachers. I casually mentioned my experience in the school as a way of finding out more about the school, knowing that the family I visited also had wards in the school. This is part of what I recorded in my field notebook immediately I left the family : In our informal discussion, I gathered that the school is now in a mess caused by the laissez-faire attitude of the former principal who had retired. I learnt that the new principal is now trying to put things in order. When I said that no teacher showed up at the two lessons I intended to observe, one family member said : "For some years now, students don't get more than a lesson a day. They will be lucky to have 2 lessons a day." When I asked why the situation is that bad, the husband answered : "The former principal was very weak. He could not control the Professors' wives [female teachers in the school]; and since he was to retire soon, he did not bother at all about school discipline." Although these were the years the students scored well, I discovered later that rather than classroom teaching and learning activities perse, students benefited a lot from extra mural lessons provided by parents who could afford them. It should be observed that the emerging themes of "laissez-faire attitude" and "student indiscipline" were phrases used by my informants. In summary, a field journal was systematically maintained for each of the six schools in this study to monitor the research process and study the characteristics found in each school.  101  Primary Data Sources. 1. Informal and Formal Observations. In addition to the reflective field notes and journals discussed above, overt note-taking in the classrooms and schools also occurred throughout this study. Observation notes were kept each time I was in the setting. The date, time, location, and participants were noted at the start of the note taking. Informal Observation. Field notes began with informal observations during the first visits to the schools, and subsequently, throughout the course of the study. The first notes were records of my impression of the schools on the first day of my visit to them. The intent was to make the informal observations as objectively as possible in order to record a general and holistic view of the school environment and those I had contact with. In particular, I included physical descriptions of the situations and participants, accounts of events, details of conversations, and the actions and reactions of the students, teachers, and other informants. The informal observations helped to construct an overview of the routines in the schools for the day. The detailed information described in the field notes led to more focused questions and uncovered areas for formal observations later in the study. Formal Observation. The formal observation notes were written in the classrooms during teaching. The notes were more detailed and systematic and were kept in conjunction with descriptive field notes. The aim was to gain additional data to develop the patterns emerging in the field notes. The formal observation included  102 a detailed observation of each English lesson that would last about 35-40 minutes. Guided by the theoretical framework earlier discussed in chapter two and armed with the knowledge gained from the review of literature, the focus of the formal observations was to gain a thorough understanding of each school culture as exhibited through classroom instructional processes, by looking for indicators of (1) teacher effectiveness (e.g. quality of instruction, appropriate level of difficulty of materials, incentives, and whether sufficient time was allocated to students to solve particular problems); (2) conducive learning environment (e.g. teacher class control, noise level, and students' interest in the lesson); (3) availability of instructional materials (e.g. how many students had textbooks, exercise books, dictionaries); teacher/student interaction (e.g. whether the lesson was dominated by the teacher or students were allowed to ask questions). I was mostly concerned to capture the nature of the behaviors and interactions of the teachers and students rather than counting the number of times a particular behavior occurred. I was encouraged to do this by Anderson et al.'s (1989) observation that "frequency counts of behaviors are typically less informative than the quality of those behaviors or the appropriateness of the behaviors given the context in which they were exhibited" (p. 299). The formal observations contributed a very reliable data on which the portrait of each school was constructed.  2. Formal and informal interview. Interviews are an important form of data collection and they complement participant observations; they can help the researcher to gain access to  103 situations that through time, place or situation are "closed" (Burgess, 1984, p. 106). Interviews are perceived in field research as "conversation with a purpose" (Burgess, 1984, p. 102) or confidential conversations. The interview can take many forms and can be placed on a continuum with the formal and informal interviews situated at each opposing end. The formal interview is described as a situation in which there is little rapport between the interviewer and the respondent. A s Burgess (1984) puts it: "the interviewer has formulated a set of questions prior to the interview which are to be answered rather than considered, rephrased, reordered, discussed, or analyzed" (p. 101). At the other extreme is the totally non-directive or informal interview wherein the respondent is free to express their problems, interests, or concerns as they wish, stimulated by an interested, sympathetic listener (Whyte, 1982). For the purpose of this study, during formal interviews, I endeavored to achieve a balance between these two extremes. The intent was always to try and capture the respondent's perspective, their personal account of their school world by asking them questions and conversing with them at the same time. Formal Interviews. Formal interviews were scheduled with all the principals, the English teachers of all classes I observed, and some students. Since the six schools were different in demographic details, the interview questions were not exactly the same for all the schools, although the aim of the interviews was to capture the respondent's perspective of school effectiveness in their particular schools. The participating principals or their designates were interviewed in their offices  104 and each interview lasted about thirty minutes. Most teachers declined to be interviewed and those who consented did not allow me to audio-tape the conversation in spite of my assurance of confidentiality and anonymity. The reason for this as I found out later was not unconnected with the prevailing political and economic situations in Nigeria at the time of data collection. Most teachers in the low achieving schools were concerned with how to make ends meet and anything that would not fetch them money was of little interest to them. With hindsight, I would have offered to pay them to agree to take part in interviews and be taped. But the downside of such an arrangement might be a distortion of facts as they would be willing to satisfy me rather than speaking their minds. While the students did not decline to be interviewed, I found it impossible, for their number and schedule problems, to interview them individually. The students moved to other lessons after the English lesson and planning to meet them after the school hours proved impossible. I succeeded in doing some group interviews in two schools, and interviewed the head of school in another school. In order to compensate for my inability to interview all the students, I had to design questionnaires at different stages of data collection that I administered to them by the help of the English teachers. Each interview was audio taped. The tape recorder was visible during the interview and a multidirectional microphone was situated on the table. The reactions of the participants were carefully monitored during the interview, in particular, the effects of the context and the influence of the researcher were noted. The tape recorder and the microphone did not seem to noticeably inhibit  105 the response of the respondents. The first concern during the interviews was always to build rapport with the respondents, to establish a situation that was comfortable and non-threatening. I did not notice any nervousness or uneasiness among the principals or the V P s ; but some teachers and students who exhibited these signs regained confidence as soon as I started chatting with them before going into the interview proper. I was careful to allow whatever time was necessary for the respondents and myself to become comfortable with the interview situation. At the start of each interview I explained why I wanted to conduct the interview and that I had topics I wanted to cover. I however indicated that there was neither a particular requirement to cover only these topics or to cover them in any particular order. I emphasized that I was also interested in their questions and therefore the interview session was also a forum for discussing topics that were of interest and importance to them, although sometimes, their questions might not be relevant to the purpose of the study. Informal Interviews. Informal interviews or conversations proved as effective as formal interviews. I was able to use the informal interview format to explore with teachers who were not assigned formally to me. I would go to the staff room and start a discussion, then tried to steer the topic of the conversation to school effectiveness matters as they affected the particular schools. For example, after some discussion on unrelated matters, I could remark : "Oh! but you people are lucky to be in this school. I think the principal is very nice to everyone." Using this  106  strategy in one school, the five teachers present in the staff room at that time looked at themselves and burst into laughter. One after the other, they openly criticized the principal citing many examples to back up their assertions. This type of information was noted and recorded as reflective notes in the field notebook. This type of information was cross-checked with data from other sources on the same school in the construction of the portrait of the schools.  Secondary Data Sources. 1. Questionnaires. Where possible, I used questionnaires and video taping as supplementary sources to explore a specific concern after a general pattern was falling in place. For instance, I was unable to interview all the students and I needed to collect data from them. Two, there were emerging themes from observations and interviews which needed further probing the students and English teachers. The emerging themes were related to the relevance of classroom instruction to student achievement of English in the studied schools. I therefore designed and administered questionnaires to the students and their teachers in the studied schools. Apart from supplying the background information of the students, the questionnaire data confirmed my initial hunch that more than classroom instruction, most students and their teachers agreed that extra lessons outside the classrooms were a major source of students' success in English language examinations.  2. Camera and Video Camera. In this study, the video camera was used to capture events both inside the  107  school environment, inside the classrooms, and outside the schools for two reasons. First, since the study was interested in external factors that might affect school effectiveness in the selected schools, ecological events with effectiveness implications that might be missed by observations and interviews were recorded for further analysis. Second, because the data was collected in Nigeria and many readers of this dissertation were in North America, the video camera served as an honest eye to the contextual events and situations in Nigeria. For example, one morning, when I was going to a school for observation, I captured students on my video camera loitering outside the school compound, some were just going to school, while some were leaving for home at 10.00 a.m. in the morning. Later, on analyzing the data, it was found that the school was one that did not have an effective principal and consequently, it bred undisciplined and truant students. Again, I took a photograph of a set of rules that were conspicuously written on walls of a girls' only school. On further analysis of the data, together with other data from the school, I found that the students rarely broke those rules. So, writing the rules on walls was a strategy for communicating the school laws and regulations vividly to the students and their parents. In constructing the portrait of each school, data collected by my cameras have been invaluable to corroborate or refute evidence from other sources.  3. Documents. Besides the observations and interviews discussed above, written documents were also obtained from W A E C , the Federal Ministry of Education, and from individual schools. These documents were the 1994 Regulations and  108 syllabuses for the joint examinations for the school certificate and general certificate of education (ordinary level) and for the general certificate of education (advanced level); 1979 National policy on education (revised, 1981); 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Calendar of activities from some schools. A content analysis of these documents, especially The national policy on education, Constitution and the Syllabus contributed to the situational context in which data from other sources were interpreted.  Data Analysis Procedures. 1 . Theoretical Considerations. Analysis of data is not a separate stage of field research. While the presentation of the reports is linear, the process of data collection and analysis is cyclical. The general conception of data analysis is one of content analysis. The data are words organized into extended text that requires analysis. The process is one of progressive focusing; the researcher moves progressively from the general to the specific and from the concrete towards the abstract. Miles & Huberman (1984) use the term data reduction and describe the process as one of:  ^  selecting, focusing, simplifying, abstracting, and transforming the data that appears in field notes. Data reduction is a part of analysis that sharpens, sorts, focuses, discards, and organizes the data in such a way that final conclusions can be drawn and verified, (p. 23) This narrowing of focus in analysis, parallels the view of field research  design as a funnel structure. Progressive focusing starts with the research problem that is foreshadowed and refined over time. Eventually, the scope of the  109 problem is clarified and the final focus may be quite remote from the initial foreshadowed problems. A s the tunneling process occurs there is a gradual shift from general descriptive accounts of social situations towards developing and testing explanations or theory building. The purpose of the analysis is to put social actions (the text of the transcripts) and symbols (the concepts and codes isolated and developed) together in and through time and thereby develop the process of theory generation. The concepts used for analysis are part of the data; they may emerge from the field, are checked and rechecked against further data, compared with other material, strengthened or perhaps reformulated (Woods, 1986). Data analysis was continual throughout this study. It began in the prefieldwork phase, in the formulation of the research problem, and continued throughout data collection process and into the writing of the report. Fisher (1995) provides the progressive analytical stages followed in this study. According to Fisher, five concurrent phases constitute the analysis process : (a) sensitizers, (b) coding, (c) model building, (d) triangulation, and (e) theory linkage. Although the phases can be distinguished as they emerge into one, it is important to remember that as one moves forward, one constantly goes back to previous steps. Sensitizers. Analysis of data involves constant and continuous review of the data from various sources, i.e. from observations, interviews, questionnaires, video  110 recordings and camera pictures, and documents. Data on each school was reviewed to recognize what sensitizers were guiding the analysis. A s mentioned above, sensitizers are any recurring words, ideas, or images found either in the data or in the theoretical literature/conceptual framework guiding the study. Blumer (1954) refers to the orienting ideas that the researcher brings to the inquiry as "sensitizing concepts" which "give the user a general sense of reference and guidelines for approaching empirical instances" (p. 7). The literature on school effectiveness and school improvement which yielded the characteristics of effective schooling especially in the Third World coupled with the developed conceptual framework (figure 2 above) generated sensitizing concepts which guided this research inquiry from the beginning. For example, in each school visited, sensitizers like school facilities and supplies (such as number of chairs and desks in the classrooms, school vehicles, and the like); the number and qualifications of English language teachers; the number of students with prescribed textbooks during a lesson, were monitored and recorded. While some ideas and theories were brought to the study, others emerged from the research process, especially during the simultaneous collection and analysis of data on the field. In developing sensitizing concepts in each school data, I sought to explicate the interactions, activities, and behaviors of the participants in each school by examining various school data and relate these to external data. Although there were similar concepts that cut across all the schools (for example, loyalty among teaching staff), each school's data generated unique concepts.  Ill  Coding. Coding categories emerged from constant comparison of data, theory, and sensitizing concepts among the schools' data. For each school, the mass of data compiled in the field journal, transcripts and documents had to be systematically ordered. The first step was to read each data source from beginning to end; then watch participants, events, and activities on the video. The division of the schools into two broad categories - effective and less effective was discerned at this stage. Reading and re-reading the transcripts and watching the videos, I searched for important elements, concepts, and indicators of effectiveness and non-effectiveness, for example whether or not English teachers used effective instructional strategies during lessons. Further treatment of the data resulted into coding effectiveness and non-effectiveness concepts separately, although the study had started by regarding the selected schools as "effective" based on the 5-year average performance in English language. The data was always reexamined for consistent patterns (for example, administrative set-ups, principal role, rules in the schools, teachers' promotion of rules, and students' attitudes to the rules). I also looked for confusing, contradictory or surprising evidence (for example, in one school where there was an overwhelming evidence of noneffectiveness occasioned by apparent weak and indifferent leadership and what seemed to be lack of dedication by the teaching staff, the school prefect, in an interview, still praised the school for what the teachers were doing to ensure that students get good grades in English language). An explanation for this apparent contradiction could be sought in the cultural background of the participants. A s a  112 tacit rule, nobody of a younger age brings down his elder especially in the presence of a stranger. It might also be the case that in spite of the assurance of confidentiality and anonymity, the school prefect did not feel comfortable to tell the truth since the interview was tape recorded, nursing the possibility that the school authority might be confronted with his evidence. But evidence from other sources was overwhelming in support of the school to be coded as low achieving. Careful consideration and recognition was accorded the participants' use of language. The data was searched for recurring terms and phrases that marked important theoretical phenomena. For example, "laissez-faire attitude," and "student indiscipline" were emic terms associated with evidence of noneffectiveness; while "clean environment," and "prompt attention to problems" were associated with effective schools. Model building. The coding process was repeated another three times for each school's data and the merging of some concepts and creation of new ones occurred, but in general, the focus continued to narrow to fewer concepts. Segments of data were taken in turn and compared with other segments of data similarly categorized as well as noting their relevance to other categories (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). The frequency of the category was tabulated including its distribution in the data but emphasis was laid on the nature and context of occurrence rather than frequency. The process also involved actively searching for contradictions and negative evidence that would further focus the categories.  113 Trianqulation. Triangulation is cross validation of evidence from difference sources. In this study, the task was to compare data that related to the same concept but which occurred at different phases of the field work or at different points in the temporal cycle of the setting. The various accounts of different participants (principal, student, teacher, parent, government official) collected by various methods (observations, interviews, questionnaires, video camera, and documents) were cross checked. There was a deliberate search for contrasting cases, those that are negative, extreme, or countervailing. Checks such as these involved making contrasts and comparisons among the schools' data, weighing the evidence and checking out rival explanations in order to push the emerging characteristics hard to see if they hold up (Miles & Huberman, 1984). Theory Linkage. By assessing the patterns of social events in each school that led to the emergent school effectiveness/non-effectiveness characteristics, we can test the scope and the strength of the relationship posited by theory.  2. Data Analysis Proper. The written observations from the field notebook and the audio tapes of the interviews were transcribed and typed into a computer. Listening again to recorded interview, and viewing events earlier video-recorded provided an opportunity to re-live in slow motion each session. The long hours of typing the transcripts evolved as a process. The process was moved beyond the mechanics of typing the transcripts to a time of reflection and systematic listening. Thus,  114 typing the transcripts often provided a familiarity with data that might otherwise have been missed. Often comments and insights were noted in the field journal during the typing phase. The typed transcripts facilitated the coding of the data. The computer was used for word processing and retrieval of additional copies for analysis. The transcripts become the data bases of this research study. The transcripts were reviewed throughout the study to search for concepts, patterns, and themes. Notes were made on the transcripts and the segments of transcripts were indexed to facilitate coding and analysis. Indicators of the categories were entered under each category on a broad sheet. Each school has a separate broad sheet. The data obtained from the six schools through the various sources were analyzed in two sections. Section 1 is a content analysis of the 1979 National Policy on Education, 1979 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution, and the 1994-96 W A E C Syllabus. This documentary analysis formed the historical, contextual, and educational backgrounds against which data from other sources were described and analyzed especially in the construction of the studied schools' case descriptions which form section 2 of chapter four. Individual School Description. The individual school description was an attempt to synthesize and integrate all available data on each school from a variety of sources to construct a portrait (Lightfoot, 1983). The portrait of each school tells the story as objectively as possible and sheds light on the instructional strategies employed  115  by the teachers in the language classrooms.  Trustworthiness of Data and Limitations of the StudyTrustworthiness of data. A naturalistic study has to convince readers that its data are trustworthy. This study, in attempting to establish the trustworthiness of the data collection and analysis, followed the Lincoln & Guba (1985) criteria of "credibility," "transferability," "dependability," and "confirmability" which are the naturalists' equivalent to the conventional terms "internal validity," "external validity," "reliability," and "objectivity" respectively. Based on the above criteria the following review will outline how I attempted to establish the trustworthiness of the study's data collection and analysis. 1. Credibility. I utilized such techniques as prolonged engagement, persistent observation, and triangulation to enhance the credibility of findings and interpretations. First of all, I undertook a prolonged stay at the actual sites of data collection. The data collection itself took a six-month period (October 1, 1996 March 3, 1997). Moreover, I had spent most of my life at the setting before coming to U B C in 1990, studying, teaching, and assessing students in the English language. During data collection, my observations were persistent in that I constantly checked my observations with the target subjects in the schools and outside of them. Finally, I utilized triangulation by using multiple and different methods (questionnaire, interview, observation, documentary analysis, video camera recording) to collect and analyze data.  116 Beginning at the preliminary phase of the study and continuing to the end, I constantly sought out my peers to test patterns that developed during analysis and writing. I did this by presenting preliminary categories to describe data patterns with three graduate students at U B C under the leadership of a professor, and this process continued throughout the writing of the dissertation. A further attempt to establish credibility was the utilization of negative instances. Specifically, negative instances were helpful in the checking of the emerging patterns that developed during data analysis. Through the utilization of negative instances, I was able to look for any evidence that did not fit the pattern. I also utilized audio and video tapes to collect a large portion of the data that was used. Member checks were undertaken during the study. I kept checking any pattern noted with the participants while I was still on the field. One instance of this was after the interviews were completed, I played audio tapes back to participants to get and check their reactions. Transferability. This study attempts to provide the reader with a thick description (Miles & Huberman, 1984) of the settings in terms of time and context. Since this is a naturalistic study, I cannot specify the external validity of such a study but I have attempted to provide sufficient description that might allow interested readers to reach conclusions about transfer to another context. 3. Dependability. I attempted to establish that the process used was dependable by asking for critical feedback from peers in the Ph.D. program both at the university of  117 Ibadan, Nigeria while I was on the field, and at U B C during final data analysis and the writing process. I also consulted with my dissertation supervisory committee from time to time to help clarify knotty issues until the completion of the writing. 4. Confirmability. As part of the informal audit, a language educator familiar with both qualitative data analysis and high school effectiveness literature examined the final products produced during data analysis. While this does not substitute for a formal audit that could not be done for financial restrictions, all comments and criticisms given by the informal auditor were considered in the production of the final draft of my dissertation. Necessary revisions in data analysis were also made as a result of this informal audit. Limitations of the Study. Some of the limitations noted in chapter 2 in S E R could not be avoided in this study. First, the number of schools studied is very small. Therefore, causal relations among variables can not be established and generalization of results can only be limited to the schools studied in Nigeria. This is particularly so since the schools were purposively selected rather than being randomly selected. The choice of a single school subject as an index of schooling outcome is an obvious limitation in this study. In spite of the argument that English language achievement is a dependable indicator of school effectiveness in Nigeria, it would have been more reliable to base the determination of school effectiveness on the performance of the students in all the subjects they wrote examinations on in the  118 school certificate and on other outcomes. This limitation is however mitigated by the fact that even if a student scores "As" in all other subjects, and fails English, the candidate will not be awarded a certificate. Similar to the limitation above, it is not too good to base school effectiveness on a single measure - academic attainment. Other school goals, such as moral development and social integration could have been measured as well. This was not done in this study because the project will be unmanageable.  Summary. This chapter had tried to discuss the study design for this research project and the rationale for choosing the field research option. It went on to outline the conceptual underpinnings of the field research tradition with a particular reference to holistic ethnography. Both the pre-study and study phases of the project were reviewed followed by the discussion of data gathering instruments. Data analysis procedures were outlined followed by the discussion of attempts made to ensure the study's credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability. The limitations of the study were discussed. The next chapter presents the results of the study and discusses the findings.  119  Chapter Four. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION. This chapter reports and discusses results in 2 sections. Section 1 presents a critical content analysis of three documents that are related to Nigerian language policy in education. It is this policy that seems to account for the external characteristics that might influence the way schools are administered in the country. The influence of external characteristics constitutes the second stated purpose of the present study. This section presents a historical and contextual situation for the interpretation and deeper understanding of data from all sources, such as questionnaires, observations, interviews, and so forth. It provides a background to the socio-geo-political milieu in which the schools studied functioned. It also discusses why English language achievement is chosen as a measure of school effectiveness in Nigeria. Section 2 presents case descriptions of the schools studied. These school portraits (Lightfoot, 1983) are syntheses of all relevant available data from all formal and informal sources. The purpose of this section is to present an integrated ethnographic account that will let the reader feel what it would be like to be in the schools. Section 1 : The Nigerian Language Policy in Historical, Constitutional, and Educational Perspectives. The history of education in Nigeria predates the establishment of the country as a political unit by the colonial British administration. Whereas the country came into being in 1914 as a result of the unification of the southern and  120 northern protectorates under Sir Frederick Lord Lugard (Fafunwa, 1974, p. 13); before then in 1842, the first Christian missionaries had settled along the western coasts to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ by establishing churches in their domains. In order to gain converts who could read the bible, the missionaries embarked on learning the local languages, committing many of them into writing for the first time, and educating the local people to become literate in those languages. Many of the local converts in turn learnt the English language, the language of the missionaries, in order to interpret whatever the missionaries wanted to say to the local people. Thus the purpose of the first educational program was the production of Christian converts, literate in the local languages and the production of pastors who might, in addition, be literate in English (Afolayan, 1979, p. 159). Although the British colonial government did not overtly contradict the missionaries in their efforts to develop Nigerian languages, it also did not commit funds to develop them. To all intents and purposes, the colonial government found it more convenient to operate different language policies in the two distinct geo-political units of the country, namely the North and the South (Ajulo, 1995, p. 166). This situation continued until 1882 when the colonial administration directly intervened in education. The colonial administration collaborated with the missionaries and established a few schools. The colonial government financed these schools and this period witnessed the production of the first colonial educational policy that shifted emphasis away from the local indigenous languages to the study of  /  121 English language as the official medium of instruction and the basis for certification. The period continued through 1914 until 1960 when Nigeria was granted political independence. At independence, the new nation inherited an educational system that was deformed in four major areas. First, the system was colonialist in purpose, in that the Nigerian children were being educated to meet the needs of a foreign culture and therefore untrained to appreciate their own linguistic and cultural heritage. Second, with political and financial intervention of the colonial administration in education before independence, the educational policy was anti-indigenous languages in orientation. The study of indigenous languages was jettisoned and that of English promoted with all vigor. Third, by implication from the first and second remarks above, the policy was culturally not Nigeria-based and consequently, in the fourth place; it was not Nigeria-directed. After independence, Nigerians gradually started to re-evaluate their role in the comity of nations; the movement from being colonial subjects toward being citizens of their newly independent country had started, and there was a public outcry by nationalists and educationists against the colonial educational system. In 1964, in an attempt to "sound out" the opinions of 200,000 parents randomly sampled over a wide geographical and representative area of the country on primary and secondary educational systems, Babs Fafunwa (1974, pp. 42-43), then a university professor and later a federal education minister, conducted a survey, the result of which indicated that 98 percent of the sampled parents were dissatisfied with the colonial education system. It was as a result of this survey  122 that in 1964, a proposal was made for a national curriculum conference to the Joint Consultative committee, the national advisory board on education. Subsequent activities on this proposal resulted in the production of the 1979 National Policy on Education, which was revised in 1981 by the then civilian government of President Shehu Shagari. Before the promulgation of the Policy, the adopted 1979 Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution provided the legal framework of the language policy. These two documents contain the blueprint on which the current educational practices in Nigeria are based. English and three indigenous languages, Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba that are spoken by the three most populous ethnic groups in the country in the same names, were assigned functions in the 1979 Constitution. Section 51 of the Constitution reads : "The business of the National Assembly shall be conducted in English and Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba..." The word "and" which conjoins the four languages connotes equal status for the four languages which may be therefore be deemed the official languages of the Nigerian Federal government. In respect of the State Houses of Assembly, section 91 of the Constitution states : "The business of a House of Assembly shall be conducted in English, but the House may, in addition to English, conduct business in one or more other language spoken in the state as the House may by resolution approve." The local government legislative bodies of each state and their respective public services were naturally expected to derive their linguistic policies from Section 91 cited above.  123  At least six inferences may be made from the cited linguistic provisions of the Constitution. First, English should continue to be the business language of the legislative bodies and public services in Nigeria; second, some Nigerian languages could, in addition to English, be admissible, either when the respective legislative houses resolved to take that line of action; or when adequate arrangements have been made for them; third, none of the indigenous languages so used might replace English as the primary business language of all the corporate bodies in the entire public life of Nigeria; fourth, the official languages of the federal government should consist of English and the three specified indigenous languages, fifth, at the state and the local government levels, the official languages should consist of English and an unspecified number of languages indigenous to that state or locality; and sixth, English is the only language common to all levels of government in Nigeria (see Ajulo, 1995). These inferences, if correct, clearly demonstrate the dignity and eminence of place accorded the English language in the country and why it is the most important subject on the curriculum of the Nigerian schooling system. It is not a mere coincidence therefore that success in English language in high stakes examinations like the West African School Certificate Examinations (WASCE) is an index of school effectiveness in Nigeria. Of all the legacy left behind by the British at the end of colonialism, probably none is more important than the English language. Bamgbose (1971) puts the point succinctly when he remarks : "English is now the language of government, business and commerce, education, the mass media, literature, and much internal as well as external  124  communication" (p. 35). The 1981 revised edition of the Policy is a 49-page document made up of 107 paragraphs under 12 sections. It starts with an introduction in which the federal government affirms its belief in education "an instrument of national development," (p.5) and "a dynamic instrument of change" (p.6). The philosophical orientation of the policy is derived from, and it is part of, five main national objectives as stated in the second national development plan. The objectives are the building of: 1. a free and democratic society; 2. a just and egalitarian society; 3. a united, strong and self-reliant nation; 4. a great and dynamic economy; 5. a land of bright and full opportunities for all citizens (p.7). Paragraph 2 states that the philosophy is based on "the integration of the individual into a sound and effective citizen and equal educational opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, both inside and outside the formal school system" (p. 7). In consequence, continues paragraph 3, the quality of instruction at all levels has to be oriented towards inculcating the following values : 1. respect for the worth and dignity of the individuals; 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  faith in man's ability to make rational decisions; moral and spiritual values in inter-personal and human relations; shared responsibility for the common good of society; respect for the dignity of labor; and promotion of the emotional, physical, and psychological health of all children (p. 7).  Paragraph 4 states : "for the philosophy to be in harmony with Nigeria's national objectives, it has to be geared towards self-realization, better human  125  relationship, individual and national efficiency, effective citizenship, national consciousness, national unity, as well as towards social, cultural, economic, political, scientific, and technological progress" 9p. 7). Paragraph 5 states : "the national education aims and objectives to which the philosophy is linked are therefore : 1. the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity; 2. the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society; 3. the training of the mind in the understanding of the world around; and 4. the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competencies both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of society" (p. 8). Part of paragraph 6 states : "Furthermore, to foster the much needed unity of Nigeria, imbalances in inter-state and intra-state development have to be corrected. Not only is education the greatest force that can be used to bring about redress, it is also the greatest investment that the nation can make for the quick development of its economic, political, sociological and human resources" (p. 8). Paragraph 7 details the 12 measures that the government will take to implement the policy. Paragraph 8, section 1 states : In addition to appreciating the importance of language in the educational process, and as a means of preserving people's culture, the government considers it to be in the interest of national unity that each child should be encouraged to learn one of the three major languages other than his own mother tongue. In this connection, the government considers the three major languages in Nigeria to be Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba (p. 9). Similar to the inferences from the linguistic provisions of sections 51 and 91 of the 1979 Constitution, the curricular implications of the above paragraph  126  are : 1. language is important in the educational process; 2. language is a means of preserving people's culture; 3. a Nigerian child should learn at least one other language other than its own; and 4. the three major indigenous languages in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In order to make more sense of the respondents' response to certain interview questions and their views on the educational effectiveness issues in Nigeria, it is pertinent at this juncture to review the inferences from the Constitution and the curricular implications from the Policy against the actual practices in the Nigerian educational sector at the time of data collection in Nigeria, that is, between October 1996 and March 1997, both months inclusive. While it is evident from the Constitution that the authors rightly perceived Nigeria as a multi-cultural socio-political entity to which a multi-lingual paradigm is applicable, political will is obviously lacking in implementing the constitutional provisions especially in respect of the use of the three indigenous languages. In the brief civilian administration of President Shehu Shagari between October 1, 1979 and December 31, 1983 when he was overthrown by the military, lethargy on the part of the political class to use Nigerian languages in the legislative houses paralyzed the constitutional declaration. Part of the problem is the suspicion of other linguistic groups whose languages were not so adopted for use. Except in the northern part of the country where Hausa was generally  127  adopted, legislative houses in the East and West settled for the English language which did not threaten any linguistic group. With respect to the Policy, it is evident that the curricular provisions were very sound, but again, there were problems both at the conceptual and implementation levels. These problems can be characterized as vagueness, unsuitability, and omission. Throughout the entire document and especially paragraph 7 that is devoted to the details of implementation measures, no attempt is made to define how Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba would "be in the interest of national unity," or how each child would "be encouraged to learn one of the three major languages other than its own mother tongue." The provision is vague as to whether or not learning another Nigerian language in school is in addition to the acquisition of his mother tongue naturally at home. An unsuitable defect is represented by paragraph 15 (4) on the medium of instruction in the primary school: Government will see to it that the medium of instruction in the primary school is initially the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community and, at a later stage, English (p. 13). There is no evidence in the document to suggest that the authors realized that the English language could not be effective medium of an adequately development-oriented public primary education for the Nigerian nation. They seemed not to recognize that such a policy must have assumed that every primary school teacher would have to master the English language to the level in which they must be able to adjust the level of their proficiency to the varying levels of language use attained by various primary school children of different  128  ages and experiences. With predominant illiterate parents, the students would largely be learning the language only within the school environments with dissimilar facilities and opportunities. In respect of secondary and tertiary education, no mention is even made of the role of language. While English and the three indigenous languages are listed among the core subjects in the junior secondary (p. 170), there is no specification of which of them, English or the language of immediate community, should be the medium of instruction. This is an omission that undermined the goal of uniform educational growth in all parts of the country as envisaged by the policy. Consequent upon the above conceptual lapses, there are corresponding implementation defects. Since the policy is silent on how paragraph 8 would effectively and efficiently be implemented "as a means of preserving the people's culture," and "in the interest of national unity," there has been no attempt, at any level of government, to set in motion ways and means of enabling or encouraging the Nigerian child "to learn one of the three major languages other than its own mother tongue." So, although the provision of the role of language is the most important in the policy in respect of potency of language not only in the educational process, but also in the realization of the much-needed national unity, the provision has remained a dead letter! Another implementation problem in relation to paragraph 8 is the provision of paragraph 11 (3) concerning pre-primary education : To achieve the above objectives, Government will : ensure that the medium of instruction will principally  129  the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community; and to this end will: a) develop the orthography for many more Nigerian languages; b) produce textbooks in Nigerian languages and English (p. 10). The running of the pre-primary education has been in complete contrast with this provision. The English language, and not "mother tongue or language of immediate community" has been the medium of pre-primary education. It is highly ironic that parents who could afford nursery schools would not even send their wards to those schools that do not employ teachers who are capable of teaching the students in English language. The use of English could not have been expected to lead to, or even encourage, the development of the orthography for many more Nigerian languages, or the production of textbooks in Nigerian languages, since no one would make use of them. In sum, in the legislative and educational sectors, unquestionably sound roles have been mapped out for the indigenous languages in spite of the lapses pointed out, but the roles have been completely ignored and unimplemented. In the 38 years of Nigeria as a politically independent country, she has been ruled by the military for more than 26 years. The military regimes are characterized by coups and counter-coups, which denied the nation of any meaningful continuity in implementing policy matters including educational policies. Not only that, Nigeria, like most other African states, lacks visionary leadership needed to manage multi-ethnic diversity for nation building. This has led to political crisis defeating economic growth, for instance, the current Abacha military junta that seized power from an interim national government of Earnest Shonekan after the annulment of the 1993 federal elections, has been described as the most corrupt,  130  the most inept, and the most repressive of all the military regimes Nigeria had had the misfortune of having. At the time of data collection for this project, Nigeria had been suspended from the Commonwealth; Canada had closed her diplomatic mission in Nigeria over the "judicial murder" of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other eight Ogoni environmentalists; and the United States and the European Union had placed "limited sanctions" on Nigeria for her human right abuses and non-commitment to democratic reforms. These international measures and internal dissent by pro-democracy activists, have made Nigeria a pariah nation in the comity of nations. Coupled with attendant economic recession at the home front, an average Nigerian, among whom are the teachers, find it extremely difficult to make ends meet. Workers' salaries are at best paid in arrears and most other entitlements are not paid at all. It is in this state of poverty that most public school teachers were when data collection was carried out in Nigeria. This fact is important in interpreting and understanding the verbal and behavioral reactions of the informants to the questionnaires and interview questions. The third document that is relevant to this study is the 1994-96 W A E C Syllabus. This is the examination syllabus that stipulates what counts as achievement in each of the subjects on the curriculum of the secondary schools in 5 West African countries. With regard to English language, the document specifies what the West African Examinations Council expects as English achievement. W A E C is "to test the different basic skills of communication in English using all forms of receptive and productive communication, namely,  131  continuous writing (letter writing and the free essay); reading comprehension and vocabulary; grammatical structure and lexis; listening comprehension and production of speech in English" (WAEC, 1994-96, p. 14). Candidates are therefore required to write three examinations in English language : 1. Essay writing, comprehension, and summary; 2. Multiple choice lexis and structure; and 3. Orals. It is specified by the Syllabus that "candidates' ability to communicate in English through the medium of writing" will be tested. "The test of linguistic ability with ability to write effectively, given an audience, a situation and a reason for writing as well as in the effective organization of the material" (p. 14). Comprehension passages are designed to test candidates' ability to: a) find appropriate equivalents for selected words and phrases; b) understand the factual contents that are categorically stated; c) make derivations and inferences from the content of the passages; d) respond to uses of English expressions to reveal/reflect sentiments/emotions /attitudes; e) identify and label basic grammatical functions of individual words, phrases, or clauses as they appear in the context; f) recast phrases or sentences into grammatical alternatives, (p. 14) The summary section will consist of one prose passage of approximately 400-500 words, and will test the candidates' ability to: a) extract absolutely relevant information; b) summarize all of the points demanded in clear, concise English; c) present a summary of specific aspects or portions of the passage; d) avoid repetition, redundancy and extraneous material, (p. 15) (See Appendix for June 1997 English Language Paper 1 Examination) Multiple choice section will contain 40 lexical items and 60 structural items and candidates are expected "to be familiar with standard usage of vocabulary items in context." Items may be set testing the more general vocabulary associated  132  with 18 major fields of human activity including building, agriculture and horticulture, fishing, finance, photography, mineral exploitation, common manufacturing industries, and the like (p. 15). Oral English consists of 2 papers: listening comprehension, and production test. Listening comprehension is on tape and it is designed to test candidates' "ability to understand spoken English" (p. 16). Oral production tests candidates' "ability to speak English; it is intended to test all aspects of English pronunciation" (p. 16). It will be observed that the English language syllabus expects any candidate who obtains a pass in the examination when all the scores in the three papers are aggregated to be a competent user of the language not only in written communication, but in speech as well. All the four linguistic skills of speaking and writing (productive) and reading and listening (receptive) as well as thinking are tested. It is thus safe to conjecture that the criterion of proficiency in English in Nigeria is the attainment of the standard expected of a secondary school graduate. In order to prepare students adequately for this examination, teachers and students ought to work conscientiously in simulated examination situation in the process of practicing how to write different types of essays - argumentative, narrative, descriptive, expository, report writing, creative writing, technical/scientific, etc.; different types of letters - formal, semi-formal, and informal. The students also have to be exposed to a variety of writings from many registers/genres and master the techniques of summary writing. A school will be effective to the extent to which it can adequately prepare its students to gain a  133 pass grade in this all important subject. In the next section, case descriptions of the schools studied are presented. The presentation is not in any particular order. In order to analyze the extent to which a school is effective, three areas are particularly emphasized in the data gathered from various sources : 1). School inputs (including the school's demographics, school facilities and supplies, and student socio-economic background); 2). Facilitating conditions (including school leadership, teacher satisfaction and participation, instructional strategies, home-school-community relations, learning environment, and school programs); and 3). Will to act (including government policies and directives, and school authority's management of such policies). It is essentially the combination of these characteristics, in varying degrees with the schools' demographics that appears to determine the effectiveness or otherwise of the schools studied. As already explained in chapter 2, the 1996 S S C E English language result is used to gauge the effectiveness of the schools. Section 2: Case descriptions of the schools studied. In this section, some of the characteristics prevalent in each school are highlighted. The reported features are synthesized from all data sources such as observation, questionnaire, interview, video recording, documents, and anecdotal evidence from informal sources. The purpose of this section is to present an integrated descriptive ethnographic account of each of the studied schools. Two effects are expected to be achieved by this approach. First, practices will be related to learning outcomes; and second, a link between each school setting  134 and indicators of student outcomes will be established. These two important components are reported missing in most of the 33 studies reviewed by August & Hakuta (1997). It is pertinent to remind the reader that the schools studied are not randomly, but purposefully selected. They are therefore not representative of effective or non-effective schools in Nigeria and the observations made in this section should not be generalized. However, some characteristics of the schools suggest some significant patterns which have been attested to in the literature, and which may therefore be applicable in other Nigerian schools of similar characteristics. To remind the readers of the schools' demographics, Table 1 is reproduced below: Demographics of the 6 schools that participated in the study:  School  Urbanization  Gender Mix  System  Rural  Sub-urban  School E  Boys only Public  Girls only Co-ed.  Urban  School C  School D (Federal) School F  School B  Boys only Private  Girls only  School A (Private) All schools > 60 percent. Range = 62.07 percent - 97 percent All public schools are state government owned unless otherwise indicated Co-ed.  135  School A. ...I got to the school at 10.20 a.m. I asked for the principal's office. It is located in the main administrative building, an imposing storey beautifully painted and very neat. The lobby wears an aura of officialdom. Everyone speaks in English language and there is order. Visitors are allowed into the principal's office by the female Secretary in the order they came in. I met 8 people (5 men and 3 women) waiting, like me, to see the principal. Comfortable benches are provided for visitors and on the opposite desk, newspapers and magazines are available for visitors who care to read them. People spend an average of about 5 minutes with the principal before they come out of her office. There is a male messenger who ushers in visitors when it is their turn. The female secretary is now busy on the manual typewriter. She occasionally looks up to greet in-coming visitors. She is very polite. One female teacher comes in, apparently from a classroom, her hands covered with chalk dust. She washes her hands in the wash basin provided outside the main lobby of the principal's office. She then goes in into the opposite office, which has the inscription "Vice-Principal (Academic). It is my turn to meet the principal. The messenger beckons to me to go in. The principal is busy reading a file. My greetings make her to look up. Her looks suggest that she wants a brief meeting and I quickly introduced myself as the graduate student who had earlier obtained her permission to study her school for a doctoral degree. She rings a table bell. The messenger peeps in." Please, Call me the V P academic." She continues to read the file. A short while, a white woman comes into the office. The principal introduces me to her: Meet Mr. Adewuyi. He's here to study our school for his doctoral research. Please take care of his needs. The meeting shifts to the V P academic's office. It is here I have time to tell stories of why I am in this school and what I actually need from the school authority. The woman takes me to the English department. She introduces me to Mrs. U, the Head of Department (HOD). The V P takes leave of me and asks me not to hesitate to come to her if I need further help. The HOD says she is ready for a class and gives me appointment for the following day. She apologizes for not having time to continue with our discussion but promises to be of help in my study, i left her staff room at 11.05 a.m. Outside, the surrounding of the school is very clean and the noise level low. There are movements at the car park under shade trees in front of the administrative building. Many cars are coming in and others going out of the school. I listen to conversations of some students who discuss in low  136 voices. They all speak in English. It is time to change lessons. Many teachers and students are coming out of classes and some are going into others. In about five minutes, there is silence again all over the compound. I left the school at 11.12 a.m. (Field Note, October 07, 1996). The above account is my first impression of School A on the day I first visited the school. School A was a private, co-educational, international institution located within a university campus. The university itself was located in a very big city of more than 10 million inhabitants. Established in 1963, this school's primary objective was, and still to a lesser extent, is to "cater for the interests of the expatriate staff of the university." From inception, efforts have been geared towards bringing the school "to the same level as other international schools" outside Nigeria. Graduates of the school are sent abroad for external exchange programs; and apart from the common School Certificate examinations conducted by W A E C , students of this school are prepared for, and they do take both the international baccalaureate and the London G C E in order to meet the aspired international standards. From the school's records, the student population in 1996/97 session was 1,600. The school had an established staff strength of 80 and existing staff was also 80, meaning that the school had no staff shortfall. There were 9 English language teachers in the school and all of them had at least a Master of Arts/Education degree and the average number of years of their experience was 13 years. This statistics shows that the school's quality of English language teaching staff appears to be relatively high, a factor often cited in effective schools.  137  The school had facilities that would be the envy of less privileged schools. The school library was well stocked and it was always busy as students were encouraged to do their "projects" there. Most of the recommended textbooks were available for teachers and students' use and a professional librarian supervised the library. The school had three 34-seater buses and 2 smaller vehicles all on which the school's crest was inscribed. The school's location (within a university in a big city) guaranteed it electricity, pipe-borne water and telephone lines. There were gardeners and maintenance workers who kept the compound clean at all times. Uniformed security personnel monitored the school gate and its grounds 24 hours a day. Most classrooms had ceiling fans that kept the tropical heat away on sunny afternoons; and there was no shortage of benches and chairs for students' use. All this appeared to suggest that both the teachers and students were always prepared for meaningful academic activities in the school. Questionnaire data indicated that most students in school A came from enlightened homes where parents had one form of formal education or another. The parents were upper and middle-upper class citizens who were relatively well to do enough to cater for the financial needs of their children in school. Because parents were generally enlightened, they were more interested and concerned about their children's schoolwork and moral behavior. A majority of them was reported to always give help to their children at home in their assignments and the parents always visited the school and participated in solving students' academic and disciplinary problems. For instance, I was told in an interview that:  138 Parents may come to the school anytime. They send for the reports of their students, that is after the third week of resumption. W e give them a report...When we give you that type of report, you know exactly where your child stands...Parents will start running looking for teachers, looking for the lessons here and there. And if there are parents who don't have money, they find it by all means. They may find the lessons very expensive, but they still pay. (Teacher interview, January 16, 1997) The school was organized into subject departments and a Head of Department (HOD) headed each department. The HOD was the most senior (in academic qualification) and most experienced (in years of experience) in the department. Each department was autonomous to the extent that students and staff within each department always solved their academic and behavioral problems unless the school authority had to know about them. In this way, the school leadership appeared to have effectively designated authority to her subordinates. Observations showed that the vice-principal academic monitored the teachers to ensure that they went to classes to teach and coordinated the activities of the departments. Indeed, the school took instructional activities so seriously that teachers had to go to the V P academic's office to pick up pieces of chalk and duster on their way to their lessons. When they finished teaching, they would return to the V P ' s office to sign the teaching register. It thus became easy for the V P to monitor the teachers' movements without necessarily leaving her office. At times, I observed the V P actually went round the classes to see what was being done in the classrooms. I gathered from interviews and observations that teachers in School A were given some autonomy to manage their classrooms and they were entrusted with certain administrative responsibilities (like being chairpersons and members  139 of committees) which in turn seemed to motivate the teachers to work harder and to co-operate with the school authority to achieve the set goals. Teachers' salaries and other entitlements were reported promptly paid when due. This situation appeared to have enhanced their satisfaction and efficiency. Teachers therefore seemed very active, and more interested in their jobs. I observed that they were always busy marking students' assignments in the staff rooms when they were not teaching in the classrooms. That the teachers were satisfied with the deal they got from their employer is evident in the excitement shown by a teacher in an interview: ...then leave bonus, automatically, you get it with July salary. You don't fight. Because whatever happens, immediately any new thing is implemented in the university, the following month, we get it here. S o , we want to work hard. Parents are always at our neck : "We pay you; you get this salary; we pay fees; you dare not [be lazy]" But in state schools, 3,4, months, no salary. (Teacher interview, January 16, 1997). Inside the language classroom in School A, I observed some instructional strategies employed by the teacher to ensure that the students not only enjoyed the lesson, but also sensitized them to what W A E C always looked for in the assessment of examination questions. First, the teacher made constant reference to "what W A E C wants." For instance, whenever a student responded to the teacher's question, if the response was correct, the student was promptly rewarded by such praises as "Very good," "Excellent," or "Clap for him/her." The whole class would then be reminded of what was "good" or "excellent" in the response: "Yes, you are required to write in sentences, not in phrases," for example; or "Remember that if the underlined word is in plural form, the expected  140 synonym should also be in the plural form." The emphasis was always on what pitfalls the students should avoid when responding to actual W A E C examination questions. This strategy appeared to have familiarized the students with senior school certificate examinations in English language as well as how their written examinations would be assessed. Another instructional strategy I observed in the language classrooms was constant reference to West African Examinations Council's syllabus by the language teacher during teaching. Thus it appeared to have become part of the instructional strategy that classroom and take-home assignments were always fashioned out of W A E C ' s actual examination questions. In a student group interview, I gathered that most students were familiar with the examination syllabus and knew what they should cover before the school certificate examination. Indeed, language teachers always indicated areas of students' weakness in their quarterly assessment reports, and this seemed to be why most parents looked desperately for extramural lesson teachers to help their children at home in their reported weak areas. The principal was reported to be the overall coordinator of the administrative and academic activities of the school. I was told that she ran the school by holding regular staff meetings with the Vice-Principals and Heads Of Departments. From observations, she appeared to clearly demonstrate that she was a dedicated educational leader who took great pride in the achievement of her staff and students. There seemed to be great rapport among the teachers and between them and the principal. For instance, they all called her "mummy," a  141  name only reserved for the respected elderly woman in the Yoruba culture where the school was situated. Although in the minority, there were expatriate teaching staff as well as foreign students in the school. There was no visible sign of tension among staff and students because of differences in race, skin color, or language. Indeed, the heterogeneous nature of the school inhabitants appeared to promote the compulsory use of the English language for communication all the time on the school premises, a seemingly significant blessing to the students to constantly improve their spoken language. From the interview data, the school's academic program could clearly be articulated by most teachers who strived hard to meet the objectives and goals of the school. The school's academic and administrative documents showed visible coherent and coordinated instructional and social programs, and both the administrative and academic activities were blended to complement each other in order to achieve the set goals. This in turn had appeared to enhance the quality of instruction in the school, measured by "opportunity to learn" (OTL). I observed that students were always engaged in either classroom or out-of-class instructional activities, which in turn seemed to result into orderly and conducive school climate that engendered good coverage of the curricular content of the syllabus during the school year. In summary, data from many sources indicated many of the effectiveness characteristics identified in the literature in School A. There were clear and specific academic goals for the school. The goals were stressed and pursued in many ways by the school authority, the teachers and other staff. Students'  142 academic achievement and moral development were jealously guarded and monitored. All participants in the school appeared to have very high expectations that were equally applied to the students in that they were expected to meet the international academic standards. To achieve this goal, the language teachers employed some instructional strategies that were supposed to adequately prepare the students to confidently face internal and external examinations. The teachers appeared highly motivated and dedicated. They seemed to assume responsibility for achieving the school's objectives by following "what W A E C says we should teach religiously." The school appeared to exhibit an excellent high morale, high level of educational leadership, and a great sense of pride in what was collectively achieved. At the entrance to the administrative building were billboards on which students' names that win local, national, or international prizes either in academics or extra-curricular activities were conspicuously displayed. Samples of outstanding essays with the writers' names were also displayed on the boards on a weekly basis. It is no surprise that this school was among a few Nigerian schools that has a web page on the Internet. The page was created and managed by self-declared old boy, a former foreign student, who now resides in the United States, but who still prides himself with attendance of the school when he was an adolescent. This is a further testimony to the school's strong school culture that appears to have grown beyond the boundaries of its physical location. The strong school culture of academic excellence is further authenticated by the school's steady academic achievement growth in English language from 97.48 percent in 1990-94 to 99.50 percent in 1996. The  143 school had adequate funds to provide inputs that appeared to have been put to good use by willing and dedicated school administrators. The conditions so created by these positive developments appeared to be facilitative of the steady academic achievement of students in English language examinations.  School B. School B was a Catholic, girls-only state school established in 1961 to cater to the secondary school need of the predominantly catholic residents around the location of the school. The school was in the same city as School A. Whereas the school was Catholic, religion seemed to play an indirect role in the educational attainment of English by the pupils in that as a state school in a secular country, all public schools were supposed to be subjected to uniform educational practices, although religious observations like morning prayers and noon mass were allowed. At the time of this project, the school had a student population of 2,590. The established staff strength was 101, but only 70 teachers were employed, giving a teacher shortfall of 31. There were 12 English language teachers, 2 were Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) graduates, 9 had first university degrees, and 1 had a Master of Education degree. The average number of years of experience of the English language teachers was 8 years. By Nigerian standards, the above statistics shows that School B had relatively well qualified and experienced English language teachers, although the principal of the school, in an interview, said that the English department was  144 short staffed. With an average of about 60 students per class, the English language teachers' job appeared to be enormous, but they seemed to cope well. It is on record that the school enjoyed staff stability as teachers' turn over was very low when compared to some other studied schools. Although a public school, School B was reported to enjoy financial contributions and moral support from the Parent/Teacher Association, the membership of which was drawn from the middle and upper-middle class parents. Questionnaire data indicated that about 70 percent of the parents had formal education and 60 percent of them engaged in salaried jobs provided by government establishments and parastatals. Thus the enlightened parents appeared to show interest in the academic achievement and moral development of their wards. 64 percent of the 153 students polled indicated that they got academic help from their parents at home on their assignments, and 66 percent confirmed that they attended extramural lessons to supplement what was learnt in school. Indeed, 94 percent of the students indicated that they attended feepaying nursery primary schools, a reliable indicator of high socio-economic status of the parents in the Nigerian situation. The socio-economic status of the students together with the location of the school in a city appeared to have enhanced the supply of many facilities in the school. For instance, the school had modern social amenities like treated water, electricity, and telephone. There was a 43-seater bus provided by the state government, and the school employed gardeners and cleaners, who kept the school compound neat at all times. The medium-sized school library was  145 reasonably stocked and there were visible student academic activities in the library at the time of data collection. Observation data indicated strong feeling of student discipline; they were courteous, polite, and neat. That the students were well disciplined is not surprising. This school employed a creative strategy that constantly reminded the students of the "dos" and "don'ts" of the school. On the walls of the school buildings were conspicuous inscriptions of some of the most important school rules. I took a photograph of one set of rules inscribed boldly on a wall: S O M E BASIC S C H O O L R U L E S 1. School sandals must be brown. Slippers, covered shoes and high heeled shoes are not allowed. 2. Only bottle-green cardigan is allowed. 3. Hair braids must not be less than ten. "Brush" style is not allowed and only S.S.3 students are allowed to thread their hair. Attachments are not allowed on one's hair. 4. Only green and golden earrings are allowed. Dangling earrings or excessive large ones are not allowed. 5. Rings, necklaces, blackpower, rubber bands and bangles are not allowed. Rosary rings, bangles are not allowed. 6. No makeup is allowed - (eyeliner, blusher or mascara). 7. No mini skirts or slits allowed. 8. Ruffles and rubber bands are not allowed for one's hair. Only black hairpins are allowed. 9. Stop whatever you are doing at 12 o'clock and say the Angelus or your silent prayer. 10. Do not pass the middle staircase - it is for the teachers. 11. Do not cross the lawn. Visitors should not come upstairs to see anyone. They should stay in the visitor's corner and send for whoever they want to see. 12. The school skirt is bottle green. Zips and buttons are to be on the lefthand side, not at the back and should be below the knees. These rules were put in place to sensitize the adolescent girls to their vulnerability if they dressed inappropriately to school. I gathered from an interview that these rules were rarely broken since they were put together at the  146 PTA meeting. Thus, a student and her parents appeared not to have any excuse to break the rules. Any infringement of the law was reported promptly and firmly punished according to laid down sanctions. Also recorded by my camera were other laws written on big signboards in strategic places on the school compound. Some of them read: "DO NOT D U M P R E F U S E H E R E " and " K E E P T H E C O M P O U N D C L E A N . " One English teacher in School B was a university classmate of the researcher. The teacher, herself a Vice-principal, voluntarily shed light on how the school was administered in an informal discussion. Asked why teachers in the school seemed to be contented with their jobs as evidenced in low teacher turn over in spite of the fact that their salaries were untimely paid as in other state schools, she explained that the principal was a rare school administrator. The principal, a woman who was nearing retirement age, was well respected within the state's council of principals. She had clout in the ministry of education and rather than for personal gain, the principal constantly used her influence and position to get the best for the school and staff. For instance, my informant continued, the principal was among the very few principals who could dictate the type of teachers she wanted in her school. Also, when teachers' salary was being rationed, her school was among the first to be paid. So, most of the teaching and administrative staff respected her and wanted to work hard to reciprocate her concern for the progress of the school and staff. She also said that the fact that the academic staff understood that the principal could hire and fire, so to say, made the lazy ones to sit up and worked harder.  147 Not only that, I was told that students also always responded favorably to teaching as many of them came from enlightened homes. Most of them could also afford most prescribed textbooks and other supplies required from them. This situation seemed to encourage the teachers to attend classes because they engaged prepared and willing students who wanted to learn. In sum, the charismatic leadership of the principal, coupled with the socio-economic status of the students that appeared to always put them in a state of preparedness to learn, seemed to set school B apart from other public state schools studied. Whereas school B appeared to have many effective characteristics noticed in school A above, some of the public state schools studied lacked these effectiveness characteristics as discussed in the following portraits below. Similar to what obtained in School A, School B was also broken into subject departments, each department headed by an HOD. School B also had 2 V P s - academic and administration. I was told in an interview that the V P academic coordinated the academic activities of the school while the V P administration took care of administrative matters such as sick leave, study leave, and such matters affecting staff and the ministry of education. The school had a guidance counselor knowledgeable in adolescent female problems. I was told that career guidance was also part of her job. It seemed to me from the school's documents, that each of the school officers - HODs, V P s , and the counselor were given reasonable autonomy to function within the guidelines of the school and ministry's laws. I was told that the principal concentrated on the overall coordination of both the academic and administrative activities of the  148 school. In this way, it seemed that the principal delegated authority to her subordinates and the school appeared to run smoothly. Inside the language classrooms, I observed that teachers, like in school A, were examination conscious and therefore adopted some instructional strategies to sensitize the students to the need to adequately prepare for S S C E . For instance, once every week, the class I observed simulated what actual W A E C marking exercise was really like. The whole class did an earlier essay writing assignment. The teacher could call on any student to come to the front of the class to read her essay. The whole class would listen. Afterwards, the whole class would determine whether the essay had required number of words (never not less than 350; better to write more than to write less), if the essay followed the expected conventions (e.g. formal or informal language use), if ideas were developed in paragraphs, and how many sentences per paragraph, what grade the essay should be awarded (pass, credit, excellent) and why? This exercise involved lot of brainstorming which often appeared to lead to very interesting disagreements among the students and the teacher: "You see, if it is even difficult for us to arrive at a consensus here, you can imagine how difficult it will be for the W A E C examiners to objectively grade your examination scripts. It is always better to do very well so that at the end of the day, whatever criteria are used to arrive at a grade, you will at least get a credit in English language," I recorded a teacher encouraging the class. Although the decision was reportedly taken at the school level, another instructional strategy I observed in this school was dividing the school certificate  149 examination syllabus among experts in different areas of language study. The English language syllabus was divided into three areas: 1) lexis, structure, and essay writing; 2) summary and comprehension; and 3) oral English. An expert in the area taught each of these areas. It will be observed that these areas cover all that is required to be covered in the examination syllabus. In an examinationoriented schooling system, this strategy was intended to achieve maximum OTL for the students. Again, parents were always alerted if a student was visibly weak in any of the areas so that parental help at home could be provided. When asked to comment on the home-school-community relations of the school in an interview, the principal eulogized the Catholic church for financial and moral support for the school. She specifically singled out the relatively administrative ease with which she ran the school through effective dissemination of information to parents and students during Sunday worships in the church. Government directives and circulars, PTA decisions, and such matters that concerned the welfare of the staff and students were explained and broadcast to parents in the church on Sundays. She also said that the church, on many occasions, had decided to execute development projects in the school to complement government endeavors. An example was the supply of ceiling fans to the offices of the principal and the V P s in 1994. The church, through the PTA, also erected the school demarcation wall and provided a manned gate. With a manned gate, lateness and truancy were reported to have been drastically reduced in the school, confirmed the elated principal.  150 With effective leadership, disciplined students, and motivated and dedicated staff, a conducive learning environment appeared to have been created and maintained in School B. I observed that the noise level during the school hours was always low and the classrooms were always busy with teaching and learning activities. One remarkable observation was that students had been taught to keep busy even if a teacher did not come to class. Each class captain, elected by the students of the class, was reportedly empowered to ask noisy students to stand up and close their eyes! It seemed to me that there was a clear indication that the students were aware of what it took - hard work - to pass the senior school certificate examinations. The students also seemed to have imbibed the Christian moral teachings of diligence and dedication to duty. The 1990-94 average English language attainment of School B was 82.91 percent. It is surprising that its 1996 score was 66.19. Asked to comment on the relatively poor 1996 result, the principal resented Government's intrusion in school admission procedures. She blamed the state government which, three years earlier, had forced the school to admit a set of students the school rejected because they did not obtain the school's cut-off mark. She also complained that the entrance examination for that year (1993/94) leaked and that was how the weak students gained admission into the school. Many teachers who were approached informally after the principal interview did not agree with the principal's explanations. A deeper analysis of the principal's reaction to the result seemed to show that her public relation was affected by the unexpected poor results. In fact, she told me in an informal  151  interview that she did not know how she would face the parents at the following Parent/Teacher Association meeting. This appears to be an indication of the reciprocal respect she and the PTA had for each other. The result appeared to embarrass her and she did not get immediate answers on why the result was relatively poor from her teaching staff whom she summoned to an emergency meeting when the result was released. Many members of staff told me they were so sure of their efforts that they suggested that the school should petition the West African Examinations Council to complain that something should have gone wrong with the school's assessment. Whether or not the school took this line of action was unclear before I left the field. What appeared to be certain however was that the teaching staff said they were rededicated and they vowed to work harder to ensure a better performance in the future. If the 1996 result was taken into consideration, it would appear that School B presents a negative outlier example - a case that does not conform to expectations. Considered on school effectiveness variables that were visibly present, external and internal, this school ought to perform better as discussed in its portrait. A probable explanation for this declining result might be that W A E C , the examining body, did something wrong through its examiners to this particular center. In spite of efforts by the body to provide objective assessment of student scripts, research (for instance, Hamp-Lyons, 1991) has shown that test assessment is a complex process that may not yield expected results. It is quite possible that the examiner for this center was conservative with marks especially  152 if s/he deviated much from the rubrics of the marking scheme. This is often the case with new and inexperienced examiners. From personal experience, it is possible that the students from this school attempted the same questions and gave incorrect answers. This situation is probable if during their preparations for the examination, they collectively treated past questions in the classroom; and in the actual examination, questions similar to the treated ones, but with one or two key words changed, were asked. The tendency is for students to jump at seemingly familiar questions; but they might not be aware that some important words have been changed which therefore would require a different answer from the ones they had seen before. Finally, although very infrequent, there have been cases of errors committed by the computer section of W A E C due either to human or machine error. Results from other centers might be sent to another school if their numbers are contiguous. While it is difficult to ascertain that School B's 1996 English language result was W A E C ' s fault, it is apparent that the teachers in the school felt cheated somehow, but they were not discouraged; rather, they reassured their students and parents that the 1996 result was not as a result of their incompetence or lack of dedication to duty. It is remarkable that in my discussion with the teachers, they only talked of poor results, never of poor students! In sum, School B exhibited many characteristics of effective schools adequate school facilities and supplies, effective use of instruction time, strong and dedicated school leadership, motivated and dedicated staff, positive home-  153 school-community relations, and strong school culture. It is also considered an effective school in spite of its 1996 English language result because it scored above 60 percent, the criterion for labeling a school "effective."  School C. ...the teachers are finding it difficult to achieve the set goals; I mean, teaching is to pass West African School Certificate examinations which is the major thing and because they [the students] don't have textbooks, hardly can you find 5 students in the class having prescribed textbooks... ...Do you believe that we don't even have staff toilets in this school? As big as the school is? A school established in 1965? If anybody is sick at all or he is having bowel problems, he will be compelled to stay at home because there are no ways of coping with that in the school premises. (Vice principal interview, School C, December 3, 1996). Established in 1965, School C was a public, co-educational secondary school located in a small village some 30 kilometers from the nearest big town where most teachers resided and commuted daily to the school. I gathered that this school served many other adjacent villages in the community from where students trekked or cycled to the school, some for kilometers, each school day. Depending on the farming season, many of the students might be asked by their parents to help on the farm especially during the planting and harvesting periods. This seems to explain, in part, according to information supplied by some students I interviewed, why the school population was not stable. The V P academic of the school, himself a graduate student in a nearby university, explained in an interview that the school's student population was not really stable. He put it at between 7 and 800 students. He attributed the instability to  154 government policies; for instance, the introduction of arbitrary levies and fees that made students who could not pay to stay away from school. Although the school had an established staff strength of 54, at the time of this project, only 32 teachers were in the school, with a teacher shortfall of 22. There were 4 English language teachers in the school; 2 were regular teachers employed by the state government and 2 were appointed and paid by the Parent/Teacher Association. These P T A teachers, as they were called, were only accountable to the PTA and the school authority therefore did not have direct authority over them. This situation, in part, appeared to undermine the authority of the school leadership to enforce discipline on erring P T A teachers. The 2 regular teachers had first degrees but the 2 P T A teachers were Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) holders. The average number of years of experience among the English language teachers was one year, an indication of a high turn over of teachers in the school. Going by the 1996 English language result which was 14.72 percent against its 1990-94 average of 62.07 percent, School C is an example of a school that had drastically declined in English language attainment. A s one looks for conditions that might explain the declining achievement of the school, several features that have been attested to in the literature stand out to compete for attention in the interview and observation data. First of all, most students came from poor homes and as such could not afford the prescribed fees and textbooks and other school needs including midday meal. This situation appeared to put the students in a state of  155 unpreparedness for academic work most of the time when they came to school at all. How would hungry students be friendly with one another? The school itself was bare of facilities that may enhance the teaching and learning processes because it was under funded by the state government that owned it. The rural location of the school meant lack of social amenities like treated water, electricity, and telephone. Indeed, as old as the school was, pointed out the V P in an interview, there were no toilet facilities in the school compound, a situation that would necessitate staff with bowel problems to stay away from school. From the interview data, teachers' salaries and other entitlements were not paid on time and they complained of the rising cost of transportation that had forced them to draw up a roster of school attendance at their convenience! The teachers appeared to be depressed and their morale seemed low as evidenced by their ambivalent attitude to work. They appeared to feel trapped in a system that gave them a take-home pay that could not take them home! They were constantly looking for a way out of the cruel system. Those who were lucky to get better jobs had resigned their appointments and had left the s c h o o l : ...And many are leaving. Teachers are leaving everyday. One of our English teachers is leaving soon. He's going on retirement. Maybe he's frustrated. Many people are leaving the job. (VP interview, School C, December 3, 1996). The teachers' poor condition appeared to bind them together in a collegiality that did not augur well to the students' academic achievement and moral development. There was almost a universal belief in the school that the students could not do well. Rather than searching for solutions to the school's  156 problems, the teachers seemed to believe that the government and the parents should be blamed for the school's woes and "there is nothing the school can do about it." It is remarkable that language teachers in this school appeared not to do much to be creative in solving the academic problems facing the students. Indeed, I was not able to pinpoint any innovative instructional strategies they employed inside the language classrooms. It should be mentioned at this juncture that it is not School C alone where teachers' salaries were not regularly paid. This was a regular feature in most state public secondary schools in the two states studied according from information gathered from teachers and parents. However, the location of the school appeared to add to the teachers financial problems and their subsequent frustration and unhappiness. For instance, while the irregularly paid teachers in other public state schools located in cities and towns could organize extramural lessons for pay to supplement their salaries, teachers in School C in the rural village could not do the same thing for two reasons. One, most of the teachers • did not live in the village where the school was located and they had to go back to the town they came from at the end of each school day. Second, and perhaps more devastating, the students came from poor homes and therefore their parents could not afford to pay for extramural lessons when they even reportedly found it difficult or impossible to pay school levies and purchase necessary textbooks and other supplies. It was also reported that parents in this school did not show much interest in their children's academic work. Questionnaire data bore this out in that most  157  parents had no formal education and most students indicated that they did not receive help in their assignments at home. Students had to do the cleaning of the school on their own, spending the school time to do it. If students were aware that they would cut the grass on a particular day, many of them would stay away; again, another reason why the population of the school appeared to be unstable and why the "opportunity to learn" was low. When students stayed away from school, it is predictable how their academic performance would be at the end of the school year. How did a school with an average 5-year performance of 62.07 percent in 1990-94 descend to an abysmal 14.72 percent in just 2 years? This question was put to the V P academic during an interview. While the V P emphasized the teachers' hardship and government's uncaring attitude towards teachers, it appears that a lot could be explained by the difficulty faced by the school's leadership. While there were remarkable similarities in the hierarchical administrative and academic set-ups in all the schools studied, what appears to make a significant difference between the more effective schools and school C is the ability of the school principal to enforce the laid down procedures. For instance in school C, there were academic departments headed by HODs just as in schools A and B; but unlike them, there seemed to be evidence to suggest that the school leadership had lost control in the school. He sided with the teachers and he was unwilling to add to their financial burden, so to say. There was no monitoring of classroom work and the V P academic, whose duty it was to do it, was a graduate student who might be away from school for weeks at times to  158 attend to his academic work in the university. The principal appeared to be very much aware that his teaching staff lived day by day in the school, hoping that one day, they would get a better job, or a posting to another school in the town or the city. In this type of situation, it appears that the authority of the principal was undermined by the fear that the school might be more short-staffed than its present profile if the principal was to enforce school rules as they affected the teachers. From the foregoing discussion, it appears obvious that school C did not have an environment conducive to meaningful teaching and learning activities. As can be expected, students in this school exhibited open contempt for school rules and regulations by always being unruly, noisy, and roaming about aimlessly on the school compound when they were supposed to be in the class learning. The principal found it difficult to maintain a balance between effecting discipline among the teachers and students. Orderly school environment appeared to have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency by the principal by trying to satisfy the teachers that still remained in school C. It is no wonder that the V P academic declared in an interview that: Well, in this school, the relationship between the teachers and the principals, is very cordial. Very very cordial. And we live like a family here. But for the students, I don't know! (VP interview, School C, December 3, 1996). True, members of the teaching staff appeared to show collegiality in order to protect their interests, but in the same interview, the V P said that the students had a lot of disciplinary problems, including truancy, parents fighting with teachers on the school premises, and students "accusing teachers who were not  159 ready to promote those who failed." It is evident that the school was unable to pursue an interest in having high expectation for students' academic achievement or socially acceptable behavior. The students seemed to rely on luck rather than hard work in order to succeed academically. Discipline enforcement by the school authority seemed to be frowned at both by the students and their parents, and the school leadership appeared to be apathetic in dealing with the problem. The characteristics of this school can briefly be summarized as follows : 1). The achievement goals set by the school when it was doing well were no more pursued. Hence, there was no more evaluation program for monitoring teaching. 2). Teachers no longer took responsibility for students' achievement, just as they perceived that the government did not take any responsibly for their welfare. 3). Non-school factors such as students' socio-economic status, their parents, and the government policies influenced the level of student achievement in school C. A s such, the school had low expectations and assumed no more responsibility for successful teaching and program evaluation. 4). The students were now perceived as lazy truants who were instigated by their parents to disobey school rules and regulations, who therefore deserved whatever poor grades they obtained in terminal external examinations. In sum, school C suffered from under funding as a public state government school and there were no adequate school facilities and supplies. The school leadership appeared to be handicapped in effecting discipline on erring students and teachers, resulting in the lack of school atmosphere  160 conducive for teaching and learning activities. Moreover, the school was located in the rural area where social amenities were lacking. School C was populated mainly by students from poor homes. The students could not afford to pay school levies and fees regularly, a situation that always necessitated their staying away from the school. The teachers appeared dissatisfied with their job. Their salaries and other allowances were irregularly paid. In additon, the hostility shown by parents towards them, coupled with lack of social amenities in the village appeared to make them stay away from living in the village. The school could not therefore organize extramural lessons like other public state schools. Even if these lessons were organized, it appeared that the parents were too poor to pay for them. It might not be surprising therefore that school C neither showed much of school effectiveness characteristics nor effective results.  School D. School D was a girls-only Federal Government owned college. Established in 1974, the school was located in the outskirts of an ancient big town, some 15 minutes drive from downtown. The establishment of federal government colleges in each of the states of the federation is primarily aimed at providing schooling facilities to the children of federal government employees wherever they may be posted in the country. School D had a student population of 2,000 at the time of this study. With an established staff strength of 134 and actual 124 teachers, the school had a teacher shortfall of 10. Of the 124 teachers, 9 were English language teachers; 8  161 of whom had first degrees and the remaining one had a Masters degree in Education. The average number of years of experience of the English teachers was 12 years, an indication of low teacher turn over. By Nigerian standards, this school was well staffed with qualified teachers. The school was populated mainly by the children of federal government employees working in the state in which the school was located. About 80 percent of the students lived in residence. The remaining 20 percent were students whose parents were residents of the town. Most teachers came from different parts of the country since they were federal government employees who could be posted to any federal government establishment anywhere in the country. A s a norm therefore, the language of communication among the staff and students was predictably English. Students seemed benefit from this situation as they were "forced" to use the English language always, which in turn appeared to improve their spoken language skills. Because most parents were in the upper and upper-middle level in socioeconomic status, their children could afford to pay prescribed fees and purchase needed school materials. The questionnaire data show that 1,807 out of 1,908 (that is 95 percent) of students polled indicated that at least one of their parents had formal education and 90 percent of the students indicated that their parents engaged in salaried jobs. Of the 191 senior secondary 3 students pooled in the school, 180, representing 94 percent indicated that they attended fee-paying nursery primary schools, a family background that enhanced their academic achievement in the secondary school. That most parents were literate and  162 relatively financially solvent seemed to be one of the reasons why most students either got academic help on their assignments at home or attended extra lessons to complement what was taught in school or both. Generally, federal government colleges are relatively more funded than state schools in Nigeria. Therefore School D had many facilities almost comparable to those found in private School A. School D also had a well-stocked library that was supervised by a professional librarian, assisted by 2 teachers and the student librarian. There was the story of book donations from parents from time to time. The school had a 43-seater luxurious bus, two water tankers and an ambulance. Because the school was located in a big town, there were electricity and telephone lines. Many members of staff were also accommodated on the school compound in comfortable staff quarters. Unlike the day schools whose students were no more under the supervision of the schools after closing, students in School D seemed to enjoy evening and weekend activities organized by the school to enhance their academic development and moral growth. These activities included literary and debating competitions, drama production and sporting events. The school had a sick bay to provide emergency treatment for sick students and members of staff: A student was sleeping and the teacher inquired from the class why she was sleeping. The girl was woken up. "What's the matter with you? You cannot sleep in my class. G o to the sick bay if you are not well," the teacher said. Teacher gave the student a note to take to the sick bay. It was 9.37 a.m., the sick student came back from the sick bay and the teacher asked her: "Have you been treated?" "Yes, ma," the student answered. Student went to her seat, fetched her textbook from her locker and joined another student in order to participate in the on-going lesson. (Classroom observation, School D, October 30, 1996).  163  There were male gardeners and female cooks in the school. Many features appeared to combine to raise the "opportunity to learn" in School D. Truancy and lateness appeared to be almost non-existent since most students resided in the hostel. Most of the parents of students who lived in town took their wards to school in cars. Many of the teachers also lived in the school compound. School facilities were reasonably available and parents provided needed materials for their daughters' use both in the dormitories and in the classroom. S o , the teachers appeared always eager to teach prepared students and most teachers knew what their duties were : Well, as a teacher, I go to class to teach my lessons. I teach the students; get to know their problems whether academic or not. Because they can only do well academically if they are happy. So, as a teacher, I get to know their problems, solve the problems, then concentrate also on their academic work. They are given series of exercises to do. They are assessed from time to time to make sure that they actually understand what they are being taught in class; and that way, they cope fine with their studies. (Teacher interview, School D, November 6, 1996). So, with a clear goal of preparing the students for the S S C E that could be articulated by the teachers; with students eager to learn; and with motivated and dedicated teaching staff, School D appeared to display many characteristics of effective schools attested to in the developed countries. Inside the language classroom, the teacher I observed appeared particularly creative in dealing with the problem of class size vis a vis what was expected to be covered in the teaching and examination syllabuses. Preparing more than 40 students per class on one-to-one basis seemed an impossible mission especially if the reader understands that a teacher mighty be assigned  164 more than one language classroom to teach. Such was the situation in School D. I observed that the English language teacher divided the class into groups of four students, each group having essay topics to be collaboratively worked upon during their free time. The groups would later come to the class to present their write-up to the whole class. Moderated by the teacher, a simulation of what actually happens in English language assessment by W A E C examiners was initiated in the classroom. Through this process, the students appeared to be sensitized to the W A E C ' s requirements while at the same time they seemed to cover more curricular content thereby increasing their OTL. In the process, the weaker students could benefit from their more proficient peers. The above instructional strategy seemed to go hand in hand with introducing the students to the W A E C syllabus: what they were expected to cover and how to succeed in examinations. Most students interviewed in this school were well aware of the content of the W A E C syllabus in English language. They indicated that at the beginning of the senior secondary 1, the English language teacher introduced them to the syllabus. Since the teacher turn over in the school was relatively very low, it appears that the same teacher that started with the students from senior secondary 1 saw them through senior secondary 3 at which level they wrote the school certificate examinations in English language. Observation and interview data appeared to clearly show that the principal of the school, a woman, was a great asset to the school. From both academic and administrative standpoints, she seemed diligent, strong, and firm. There appeared to be a clear indication that the school was organized and managed in  165 a way to achieve its set goals. The principal saw to it that the academic standard she set for the school was pursued with vigor and seriousness. She seemed to work in harmony with the vice-principals, the heads of departments and the students' representative council with whom she held regular meetings to seek ways of continuously improving the academic achievements of the school. In this regard, one teacher remarked in an interview: Well, the principal is the overall coordinator. So, just as the V P academic looks into the academic programs of the teachers and the students, the principal does the same thing. Occasionally, she requests for the diaries to look through to see what the teachers are doing. Occasionally too, she calls the students to give her their exercise books to see if they are actually being taught or not. S o , she does this from time to time. And she holds meetings with teachers; discusses with them the standard she wants in the school; and she also finds out the problems of the teachers and students. In fact, sometimes, she asks teachers to bring to her very difficult students who won't attend their lessons; students who won't concentrate on their studies...and in some cases, she sends for parents of such students, so that she can discuss with them to know if the problems are actually from home. (Teacher interview, School D, November 6, 1996). Staff welfare appeared to be also a high priority for the principal. She regularly encouraged teachers to attend in-service training courses in the local universities to upgrade their academic and professional skills. Thus the morale of the teachers appeared to be boosted, and coupled with regular payment of their salaries and other entitlements, they seemed dedicated and relatively satisfied with their jobs as authenticated by the low turn over in moving from the school to other jobs or to other schools. An in-depth analysis of the teachers' responses in the interviews and observations further reveals a rivalry among the teaching staff. The popular belief  166 in Nigeria generally is that teachers from the northern part of the country are not as hard working and resourceful as their counterparts from the west and east. In School D, in order to prove that they were just as capable as their peers from the west and east of the country, teachers from the north appeared to be working very hard, and they visibly tried to help the students who needed extra academic attention. Teachers from the west and east in turn tried to prove that they were better, and the ensuing competition appeared to raise the academic achievement of the students. Again, the principal came from the community in which the school was located, she therefore seemed psychologically secured. The teachers and other staff from the other parts of the country seemed to cooperate with her in order to obtain good recommendations that were crucial to their promotions. The teachers appeared to always seek the favor of the principal by being loyal to her, following her rules, and maintaining the standards she set. From observation and interview data, it appears clear that the school took evaluation of students' academic progress very seriously. The V P academic coordinated the academic activities of the school and she monitored the teachers' instructional activities. Classroom assignments and tests were reported administered from time to time and parents were constantly informed of their children's performance. The school had a strong and vibrant P T A that contributed financially to the smooth running of the school. The school leadership also involved parents in the area of student discipline whereby recalcitrant students had their parents invited to the school for interview to find out if the child's problems were from home.  167 There seemed to be a considerable emphasis upon expectation for student achievement. All the federal government colleges in the country are ranked annually on the basis of the academic performance of the students as measured by senior school certificate examination (SSCE) results. The best 3 schools are given prizes by the federal government through the federal ministry of education. The principals and staff of the affected schools are given incentives. This annual event has engendered a healthy academic rivalry among the federal government colleges throughout the country. The average 5-year (1990-94) achievement in English language of School D was 94.74 percent. This percentage slightly improved to 95.00 percent in 1996. School D came 6th in 1996 and the principal had promised to win a prize come 1997. The staff and students of the school shared their principal's optimism and they all appeared to be working towards the realization of this objective. The teachers seemed to believe that most of the students could do well and they had great pride in what they were doing to help the students attain higher achievements. Indeed, the teachers appeared to see their job as forging the much-needed unity in the country through education. Interview and observation data indicated that the teachers were given autonomy to manage their classrooms and they were entrusted with certain responsibilities, which in turn appeared to motivate them to work harder, and to cooperate with the school authority in order to achieve the set goals. For instance, asked about the responsibility of the teachers with regard to student discipline, a teacher in School D explained:  168 Well, in the classroom situation, if there is a disciplinary problem, the subject teacher is expected to handle the situation immediately, because the subject teacher is the person on the spot...And one would expect the teacher to handle the situation. But if the problem is so grievous that the teacher alone cannot handle, they should call the attention of the V P academic, who is the chairman of the disciplinary committee for students. But in most cases, they don't have any serious problems that the teacher on the spot cannot handle. (Teacher interview, School D, November 6, 1996). It appears evident from the above response that the school organization was both loosely and tightly coupled (Downer, 1991). That is, teachers had greater autonomy over their classrooms and over certain matters, but they had to yield to the higher authority in other matters beyond the individual teachers. Such a paradoxical situation has been found to be a characteristic of effective organizations. Student discipline in school D appeared to ensure an environment conducive to teaching and learning activities. Anti-social behaviors were reported to be rare and when they occurred and detected, the erring students were reportedly promptly, firmly, and even-handedly brought to justice. In summary, in spite of the fact that School D was short staffed, it was relatively more funded than the state government schools. The available teaching staff in school C was dedicated, resourceful, creative, and shared responsibility for their students' academic achievement and moral development and they still aspired to do better. There appears to be evidence that the school leadership strictly enforced discipline in a fair-handed, if firm manner. The majority of the staff and students seemed to respect the principal. She appears to ensure that her staff benefited from all allowances and grants that other federal government staff enjoyed. Most students and staff were accommodated in the school  169 compound, a situation that appears to reduce truancy and absence from work to the barest minimum. With the creation and sustenance of seeming positive school environment and cordial home-school-community relations, it appears that School D had many effectiveness characteristics and effective results in the 1996 SSCE. School E. Perhaps the most prestigious college in the country, School E, a boys-only public, state institution, had produced "80 percent of the presidents of the Nigerian Society of Engineers since its inception," and had produced eminent and renowned old boys ranging from traditional rulers, university vicechancellors, distinguished politicians, top-ranking diplomats, military generals, and the only Nobel laureate Nigeria has so far produced. This college also has a web page on the Internet, developed and maintained by old boys. School E "was founded on February 2 8  th  1929...with 29 students." With  3,850 students at the time of this study, School E was the most populous of the schools studied. It had 75 teaching staff, a teacher shortfall of 37, the established staff strength being 112. Of the 75 teachers in the school, 11 of them taught English language. 5 of them had Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) certificates and the remaining 6 had at least first degrees. The average number of years of experience of the teachers was 3 years indicating a relatively high teacher turn over. Located in the same city as Schools A and C, School E was actually an appendage of the state's ministry of education. The school was established to  170 train education inspectors. So, the teachers of the college were education officers-in-training and they were drawn from different disciplines. The location of the school in one of the largest cities in Africa ensured the availability of treated pipe-borne water, electricity, and telephone lines. Indeed, School E had no equal among the state schools in the availability of school facilities and supplies, although the teachers complained of late payment of salaries just as in other state schools studied. But as part of the ministry of education, the school came first when facilities were to be distributed to state secondary schools. There were 2 43-seater luxurious buses, 2 combi buses and an ambulance in the school. Gardeners employed directly by the ministry maintained the school ground. According to an anecdotal evidence, all the 29 foundation students who started the school in 1929 eventually became high-ranking civil servants and the tradition of the studentship of the college has since been from enlightened homes. Until 1979 when the gates of the college were thrown wide open to students from every home around the vicinity of the school, only a clique of students from influential parents came to School E. At that time, enrollment was low and academic achievement excellent. Teaching staff vacancy was hardly heard of as the old boys were always in charge of academic staff postings at the ministry of education. Because the post of Education Officer is a career post, most teachers appeared to work hard and cooperate with the principal to obtain favorable recommendations vital to their promotions and to maintain the impeccable academic record of the college.  171 Political tragedy however appeared to befall the school in 1979 when the brief (1979-1983) civilian government of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) introduced free education at all levels, one of the party's manifesto promises on which it won acceptance and subsequent victory at the polls. The gates of this prestigious and elitist school were thrown open for the children of parents around the college. During this period, students did not need to take entrance examinations to secondary schools as it was the policy of the then ruling party to allow a 100 percent mass movement of primary six pupils into the secondary schools. The policy also stipulated that no child should go more than 5 kilometers from its home to attend a school. So, many schools sprung up during this time all over the state. In fact, within school E, documentary evidence indicated that the former hostel accommodation was converted to 2 new secondary schools, such that 3 schools now occupied the same space hitherto used by School E only. Unfortunately, the increase in student intake was neither matched with commensurate staff strength nor with adequate school facilities. Although textbooks were provided free of charge to all secondary schools, teachers interviewed recollected that the books did not go round all the students, and that the textbooks, the production of which was contracted to the party faithful, did not conform to curricular requirements. S o , the "free education at all levels" slogan and the half-minded execution of the party program appeared to spell the academic doom of many state schools, including School E. Although the civilian administration was short-lived as it was sacked by the military in 1983, the legacy of inadequate facility supply, lateness in salary  172 payment, and increase in school fees and other levies, lingered on until the time of this project. This situation seemed to have caused a lot of problems for the school. Since most traditions of the school were broken during the civilian era, many of the enviable traditions had been jettisoned altogether. One of the broken traditions that appeared to adversely affect the school's academic achievement was that the school now had a non-ex boy as Principal of the college. It was widely believed that a principal who was not a former student of the college would not be committed to the maintenance and advancement of the academic excellence and moral probity for which the students of the school were known. A s if to lend credence to this belief, the incumbent principal of the school at the time of this project appeared unable to show many of the effective leadership qualities found in the effective schools literature in developed countries. What appeared immediately obvious as I got to the school for observations was student indiscipline as well as teacher impotence. A typical day in this school at the time of data collection was chaotic, a school seemingly at war with itself. Students seemed uncontrollable, making noise both inside and outside the classrooms, and playing soccer all over the school compound. The public address system would at intervals warn students to return to their classes, but the yelling at the students would only make them to relocate to another part of the school compound to continue enjoying their play! Asked in an interview why the situation deteriorated to seeming unmanageable proportions, the vice principal academic of the school, himself part of management, lamented the situation and pointed to the government that  173 created the situation leading teachers to fend for themselves outside their official teaching duties for additional income: You see, one cannot over-rule the Nigerian factor; and that factor is that people want to make ends meet at all costs even though at the detriment of the innocent students! So, you find out that invariably, the teachers don't, you know, most of them don't go to the official assignments as they are supposed to do. What they try to do is they have extra lessons just to make ends meet. (VP interview, January 28, 1997). A school whose leadership did not monitor the attendance of the teaching staff in the classrooms and consequently could not check student truancy, restlessness, and indiscipline could not possibly be expected to give much to the students both academically and morally in the school. Apparently, the school leadership and the teaching staff had given up. Apathy appeared to reign supreme in the school and no one seemed to be in charge. The students appeared to come to school and leave whenever they liked. For the benefit of the reader, all public schools in Nigeria have school uniforms which students are mandated to wear to school. One school's uniform might not be the same with that of another school. So, it is very easy to recognize students of any particular school through the uniforms worn by the students. At the time of this study, students of school E were found wandering about in the city when they should be in school learning. In school E, I observed that teaching, if done, was without any visible commitment on the part of the teachers, and the school authority did not monitor the teachers. Indeed, in the two weeks I assigned to the school for classroom observation, only one lesson was observed and taped. Searching through the  174 data, I was unable to discern any remarkable innovative instructional strategy used by the language teacher to prepare students for the senior school certificate examinations S S C E ) in English language. The principal was always busy attending to visitors, mostly parents who wanted their children admitted into the school. It is perhaps reasonable to suggest that the pressure on the school from parents to admit their wards did not allow the school authorities to realize that the school was not doing much for the students in terms of academic achievement. In sum, it appears that school E lacked many effectiveness characteristics noticed in schools A, B and D. The school was under funded and teachers were not regularly paid. Teachers indicated disatisfaction with their jobs and they seemed apathetic to check student indiscipline. The school leadership appeared to lack many of the attested qualities of effective leaders. In spite of this seeming absence of effectiveness characteristics in the school, the school can still be regarded as effective based on effective results as its performance improved from 66.30 percent in 1990-94 to 84.03 percent in 1996. Some reasons for this situation can be speculated about. The questionnaire data indicated that more than half of the 2,080 students polled in the senior secondary 3 revealed that their parents had formal education and that they got help on their assignments at home. In fact, 144 out of 153 (or 93 percent) of the students in another survey confirmed that they attended fee-paying primary schools and 63 percent attended extramural lessons after the school hours. Moreover, interview data revealed that the English language teachers organized extramural lessons for pay outside the school hours in "order to make ends meet." What all this points to  175 is that rather than classroom instructional activities perse, students' achievement in English language appears to be attributable mainly to extramural lessons and learning activities outside the school, which most parents were able to pay for. School F. School F, a public state government owned co-educational college, was established in 1978 within the premises of a university in a big city. It had a student population of 2,360 at the time of this study. There were 55 existing teaching staff where there should normally be 111 teachers, leaving a teacher shortfall of 56. Of the 55 existing teachers, 7 of them taught English, 1 of whom was a N C E holder and the remaining 6 had at least a first degree. Among them was an average of 8 years of experience. The college was conceived to be like School A that would cater for the secondary school education needs of the expatriate staff of the university first and foremost. However, its establishment coincided with the promulgation of the military government's indigenization decree of 1977 that sought to replace the foreign headship in all governmental establishments, including the universities, with qualified Nigerians. This resulted in the resignation and eventual departure of many foreigners from the university. Thus, the need to establish a private college to be run by the university ran into a hitch. Rather than canceling the plan to establish it however, it became a public rather than a private institution and funded by the state government rather than by the university. Mostly the children of the university staff populated the school and this gave birth to a very strong and supportive PTA. It was reported that the school  176 had however suffered from inept leadership for long and it was just a few months before data collection that the former principal, who was reputable for laissezfaire attitude, was replaced by a new female principal who the community now looked up to to improve on her predecessor's performance. The former principal was reported to be a weak leader who was unable to control the teachers and other staff, and considered the female teachers as "untouchables" as many of them were wives of powerful professors in the university. Although the university did not control the school, the cultural value of given respect to the elderly and the successful in the society appeared to have paralyzed the former principal in relating professionally with the female teachers. It is hard to say whether the new principal would be able to take control of the affairs of the school since "the school has not really settled down" at the time I had an interview with her. But there appeared to be positive effective leadership signs that she might succeed. For instance, she acknowledged that there were problems in the school: academic, disciplinary, fiscal, and administrative, and that she was working on all of them. Aside from weak leadership, the way the state government treated the teachers and staff did not help the matter. Teachers complained of poor salaries that were always paid in arrears. Readers are reminded that public state schools were under funded in Nigeria at the time of this study. Although the new principal tried to play down the demoralizing effects of this situation, she at the same time acknowledged the problem:  177 Well, I would say like in any, in any, in any country or with government whose economy is not all that buoyant like we are having right now in Nigeria which I really think is a passing phase, one would expect such a thing. But you know those of us who are a bit in the, or at the other side; what I mean is that young teachers may find it frustrating, but knowing that it is just a passing phase and that it has not always been like this, one can bear with the government... (Principal interview, School F, November 26, 1996). Even when the principal "understands" and sympathized with government, her teaching staff was not all that graceful. It appeared that the teachers must supplement their poor and irregular pay by engaging in extramural lessons for pay. Many of them were reported to engage in even other activities that did not enhance the academic achievement of the students in any way. For instance, some of the female teachers brought wares to sell to the university staff and they did this spending the school time for personal business. I also learnt that many other teachers had one form of occupation or another in the town. Many teachers just came to school in the morning to sign the attendance register and disappeared afterwards for the day! Although the Parents/Teachers Association supported the school financially, an in-depth analysis of the PTA activities indicated that they were not actually doing much in the area of academic-enhancing projects; rather they embarked on very expensive building projects befitting the status of the university: ...the university has a lot of input because initially, I think the university has a lot of inputs. For example, recently we've just been given, we've just, em, the general repairs has cost the PTA about 3 million because they say the school is not looking like a school that should be in a university campus; that it has fallen below their own standard. So, they had to give it a face-lift. S o ,  178 that's why we have em the project. S o , they have a lot of financial input to the whole thing. (Principal interview, School F, November 26, 1996) So, instead of employing more staff for the school that had a teaching staff shortfall of 56, the highest in all the schools studied, or providing incentives to the teachers, the PTA was more interested in developing physical facilities which appeared not to have significant impact on the academic achievement of the students. Talking with some parents revealed that parents believed the school could not adequately provide for the academic needs of their children and most of them therefore were ready to spend money sending their wards to continuing education centers within and outside the university for extramural lessons. It is however remarkable that it was in School F where I observed the use of the native language in the content area. I was in a Physics class one morning waiting for the next lesson, which should be English language lesson. The Physics teacher observed that the students appeared not to understand what "fulcrum" was when she explained using the textbook explanation. She checked with the class and her suspicion was confirmed. She then used Yoruba language to refer the students to a play called "olomokuya" in Yoruba. It is a play in which a long and strong pole is put on a Y-forked thick stick planted in the soil. Two children will sit at opposite ends of the pole while they throw themselves up and down in succession. She explained that the point at which the pole crossed the Y-forked stick was a fulcrum. There appeared to be evidence that the students could relate to the illustration as they indicated that they now understood what a fulcrum was.  179 At the time of data collection, only a few lessons were taught in this school while I was there, and none in the class assigned to me. It appears safe to say that the moderate academic gain in English language from 76.87 percent in 1990-94 to 89.72 percent in 1996 could not be totally attributable to meaningful classroom learning activities. Rather, the reasons for their achievement can be sought from other sources. For instance, many parents were reported to be ready and capable of paying for extramural lessons for their wards. Not only that, many students came from enlightened homes where they were constantly exposed to a lot of educational materials like the radio, television, and computers that enhanced their academic attainment. Many of them also got parental help at home as the questionnaire data indicated. So, in the main, it appears possible that school F gained effective examination results from academic activities outside the school, especially extramural lessons. To summarize, school F was under funded just like the other public state schools studied. It is difficult to make reliable speculations on the school's leadership effectiveness as the incumbent principal just resumed duty at the time of data collection. What appears to be certain was that there seemed to be lack of many of the effectiveness characteristics of effective schools in school F. But probably as a result of extramural tutoring which most parents were able to pay for, school F was able to achieve effective examination results in the 1996 S S C E in English language.  180  Data interpretation from the schools' portraits. The reader should be reminded that the above case studies were undertaken to achieve the following first aim: to compare the case studies with the general School Effectiveness Research (SER) findings from developed countries, the aim being to suggest which characteristics might be important in the case studies and might possibly be relevant in the Nigerian situation. A careful examination of the data in the six case studies reveals some perplexing results. There appears to be three sets or patterns recognized: (a) declining school (i.e. a school where originally effective results had declined): one that showed neither effectiveness characteristics nor effective examination results, that is, school C; (b) schools that showed effectiveness characteristics and effective examination results, that is, schools A, B and D; (c) schools that did not show effectiveness characteristics but showed effective examination results, that is, schools E and F. The reader should be reminded that this study started with six schools that were judged effective based on the average of 5-year (1990-94) senior school certificate examinations (SSCE) results in English language. All the schools scored above 60 percent. How then is it that the study appears to end with different categories of schools? Leaving category (a) above for the moment, category (b) reveals three schools, A, B and D, which showed evidence of many of the effectiveness  181 characteristics attested to in the School Effectiveness Research (SER) literature in developed countries. The schools showed some evidence of strong and supportive leadership, relatively adequate school supplies, effective instructional strategies, high S E S , creation and maintenance of environment conducive for learning, and positive school-home-community relationships, among others. Looking closely at the schools' data, that schools A and D were effective is not surprising. School A was a private school that was relatively well funded by the federal government-owned university that was its proprietor. The English language teachers were relatively well paid and on time engendering hard work and dedication on their part. That the school was located in a big city ensured the availability of essential school facilities like electricity, water supply, and telephone lines. Most of the students came from homes with high S E S . The school principal was also dedicated and she created and maintained conducive environment for meaningful teaching and learning activities. The school enjoyed the support of a financially strong Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) that was always ready to assist the institution in time of need. School D was a federal government owned college that enjoyed a relatively higher funding than the state government schools. Teachers' salaries and personal emoluments were promptly paid which engendered hard work and dedication among the English language teachers. Most of the students were drawn from the upper-middle and upper level strata of the society. Because the school was a boarding school, truancy and indolence among students were reduced. Students were able to pay prescribed fees and afford the purchase of  182 essential textbooks and other school supplies. They were therefore always ready for classes. The students were referred to by an English language teacher as "teachable" students. The school principal was dedicated to duty and well respected by staff and students alike. She showed capacity for accommodating staff and students from different ethnic backgrounds as evidenced by mutual and respectful relationships among staff and students in the school. One English language teacher I observed in lessons showed innovation in combating the problem of big class size by assigning essay topics to students in groups. These assignments were done outside the class hours but assessed together by all students in the classroom. The school's PTA was strong financially and very supportive of the school's administration. In essence, schools A and D appeared to be effective because of the relatively high level of funding they enjoyed both from the federal government and from the parents. This level of funding guaranteed regular payment of teachers' salaries. These two important factors appeared to be complemented with effective school leadership, location of the schools in sub-urban and urban cities, and positive home-school-community relationships. These characteristics accord with what was found in the S E R literature in the developed world. The results therefore are not surprising. School B was one state government owned school that showed evidence of effectiveness characteristics, although teachers' regular salaries were not guaranteed. Many of the observed effectiveness characteristics can be attributed  183 to the dedication and charisma of the principal. A s discussed in the school's portrait above, the principal was not only well respected by her staff and students in the school; she was also a rare gem among the other principals in the state. She effectively used the Catholic Church to get the parents involved in the administration of the school. Many thorny issues that concerned the school and students were always discussed and resolved after church services on Sundays. The PTA was strong financially and there was a report that the P T A had executed some development projects for the school. For instance, the PTA installed ceiling fans in some staff rooms in the school. Most of the students of the school came from high S E S homes and they were able to purchase whatever school textbooks and other supplies needed. The location of the school in a big urban center guaranteed it some social amenities like telephone lines, portable water, and electricity. The English language teachers expressed satisfaction in the way the principal took their welfare seriously. So, although the school was equally under-funded like most of other state government schools, the teachers made do with what was available and worked hard to help the students. In spite of the school's declining examination result in English language, the school showed evidence of school effectiveness characteristics that were noticed in Schools A and D. The situation is however different with regard to category (c), that is, schools E and F. These schools did not show much evidence of school effectiveness characteristics, but they showed effective examination results. Based on the examination result criterion therefore, Schools E and F can be  184 considered effective. It however appears that it might be difficult to say that the characteristics of these effective schools in Nigeria match those exhibited by effective schools in the developed countries. How possibly can this seemingly puzzling situation be explained? Using information about the Nigerian context, a different explanation of these results may be possible. First, both schools E and F were state government schools that were relatively under-funded compared to the private and federal government schools A and D. One might ask that with apparent under-funding and its consequences, for instance, teachers' irregular payment, how did the school maintain effectiveness in examination results? A s described in the portraits of the schools, there were reports that students attended extramural lessons outside the school hours. Readers are reminded that both schools reported that teachers in the schools were actively involved in the organization and execution of extramural lessons for pay. It is even interesting to note that this arrangement had the blessing of parents who reportedly willingly paid for the lessons. S o , the situation was such that the English teachers supplemented their poor and irregular payments with additional income from extramural lessons. In addition, the parents recognized the inadequacies of the schools in educating and ensuring their children's success at the S S C E in English language. Many of the parents were therefore ready to pay for the lessons. In sum therefore, rather than classroom instructional activities per se, school E and F's effectiveness appears to have been achieved in part by extramural lessons organized by English language teachers for additional income  185  and paid for by the willing parents. In sum, schools A and D were well funded and teachers' regular salaries were guaranteed. Together with other visible effectiveness factors, the schools obtained effective examination results. School B was a public state government college that was not well funded but it nevertheless showed many characteristics of effective schools. Also, while its 1996 result declined somewhat, it is still considered an effective school based on examination result criterion. Schools E and F however were also state government schools that were under-funded. A s a result, teachers' salaries were irregular. But the teachers organized extramural lessons outside the school hours for additional pay which parents appeared ready to pay for. S o , while many of the effectiveness characteristics noticed in schools A, B and D were missing in schools E and F, they still managed to obtain effective examination results through extramural lessons. With regard to category (a), School C was a public state government school that was equally under-funded and therefore, teachers' salaries were irregular. It was located in the rural village where many other factors appeared to conspire against its success. First, the teachers were not living in the village, a fact that may be connected with lack of school facilities and social amenities, coupled with the parents' hostility towards the teaching staff. Second, most of the parents were poor. They could neither pay prescribed fees on time, nor were they capable of purchasing necessary school supplies including textbooks. Third, most parents were illiterates and students indicated that the parents showed little or no interest in their schoolwork and could not help them in their assignments.  186  Furthermore, truancy, indolence, and indiscipline were reported to be prevalent among the students. The school principal's authority appeared to be undermined by his powerlessness to mete out discipline to erring students and staff. The principal felt powerless because he believed that the state government that owned the school was not doing much to alleviate the suffering of staff and students. He therefore considered imposing discipline on the staff as unnecessary and additional punishment. Unlike Schools E and F that tried to maintain effectiveness via examination results, School C could neither organize extramural lessons for its students because the teachers were not living in the village, nor could the parents afford to pay for such lessons outside the school. It should not be surprising therefore that the school's circumstances at the time of this study appeared to match its woeful performance. To summarize, school C neither showed evidence of effectiveness characteristics nor evidence of effective examination results. This situation appeared to be as a result of poor funding that engendered irregular staff salaries. Teachers were not living in the village, extramural lessons were not organized, and parents could not afford to pay for them.  Summary. In this chapter, findings of the study were presented. First, a critical analysis of three documents was undertaken. The documents were related to language education policies in Nigeria.  187  Section 2 presented the portraits of the schools studied in which data from various sources were used to construct the descriptive portraits. In analyzing and interpreting the data, I continuously engaged in reflexivity by looking for patterns engendered by the relationship among theory, emerging ideas, and more data. Using the conceptual framework as a sensitizing concept, validating evidence from different sources (triangulation) was carefully carried out to arrive at a descriptive portrait of each school. The study began with a purposeful sample of six case studies of schools considered effective on the basis of their 1990-94 S S C E results in English. The first aim of the case studies was to compare the case studies with the general School Effectiveness Research (SER) findings from developed countries, the aim being to suggest which characteristics might be important in the case studies and might be possibly be relevant in the Nigerian situation. Secondly, the case studies aimed at comparing the case studies with the general S E R findings from developed countries in order to recognize any features not previously identified in the literature. The third aim was to use the school portraits in the case studies to suggest how the characteristics identified were framed by school culture and school organizational and classroom instructional processes in holistic patterns. It is not possible, given the purposeful sampling procedure and the purpose of this study, to establish causal relationships among the effectiveness characteristics identified and the effectiveness of the schools. Statements about these various characteristics related to school effectiveness are therefore speculative and tentative.  188  Three patterns of schools were recognized in the portraits: (a) a declining school: one that showed neither effectiveness characteristics nor effective examination results, that is, school C. (b) schools that showed effectiveness characteristics and effective examination results, that is, schools A, B and D; (c) schools that did not show effectiveness characteristics but showed effective examination results, that is, schools E and F. In sum, schools A and D were well funded and teachers' regular salaries were guaranteed. Together with other visible effectiveness characteristics, the schools obtained effective examination results. School B was a state government school that was not well funded but still managed to have effectiveness characteristics and effective results. Schools E and F however were also public state government schools that were under-funded. A s a result, teachers' salaries were irregular. But the teachers organized extramural lessons outside the school hours for additional pay which parents appeared ready to pay for. So, while many of the effectiveness characteristics noticed in schools A, B and D were missing in schools E and F, they still managed to obtain effective examination results through extramural lessons. School C was a public state government college that showed neither effective characteristics nor effective results. It was under-funded and the teachers' salaries were irregular. The school was located in the rural village where there were no social amenities. Most parents were poor and illiterates.  189  Many anti-social behaviors like truancy, laziness, and lack of discipline were associated with the students. Keeping in mind the aims of the case studies and going forward into the next chapter, we draw the attention of the reader to the following groupings of the schools: (a) Schools A, B, and D which have characteristics which seem similar to effective schools in the S E R literature in the developed countries; (b) Schools E and F which lack many of these characteristics, but have effective examination results; and (c) School C, which lacks effectiveness characteristics and lacks effective examination results.  190  Chapter FiveSummary of Major Findings. This chapter has three main sections. The first section reviews the present study by describing the research problem, the study design, and the method. The second section presents the major findings of the study; and the last section draws some conclusions based on the findings and related literature.  Nature of the StudyPurpose. In order to ascertain which school effectiveness factors significantly contribute to student achievement and moral development in a school, knowledge of the local conditions of the school is necessary. One of the reasons given for the lack of adequate explanation for why certain effectiveness factors work in one school and not in others has been the failure of researchers and other people interested in school change to consider context in the design, implementation, and interpretation of research programs. This view is reinforced by Tyler's (1983) warning that "efforts to improve the effectiveness of schools cannot be intelligently directed without understanding the dynamics of particular schools" (p. 462). The purpose of this study was to identify, describe, and analyze the internal and external school effectiveness characteristics that might influence student achievement of English language in six Nigerian secondary schools. Previous research has accumulated the characteristics that make a school more effective; but emphasis had mainly been laid on elementary schools in developed  191  countries. Since school effectiveness is considered to be a dynamic, contextspecific construct, one of the assumptions of this study was that an understanding of what makes schools more effective in the Third World could yield better insights into how to design, implement, and interpret research in such domains. Moreover, findings from empirical studies from the Third World could contribute to existing knowledge in School Effectiveness Research (SER) thus enhancing the generation of a grand theory in the relatively new discipline. Literature Review. The literature review had three main purposes. The first purpose was to explain school effectiveness as it was defined and used in earlier studies, especially in the developed countries of Europe and North America. More importantly, the senses in which school effectiveness and academic achievement are used in the present study were discussed. In order to do this, the development of the concept of school effectiveness was traced from its narrow coverage of either academic achievement or character development to a more refined multi-level (school, classroom, context) construct. School effectiveness as a multi-level, multi-factor, and context-specific construct was adopted for this study. In the Nigerian context, a school is effective to the extent to which it can prepare the largest percentage of its students to gain a pass grade in the English language at the end of the secondary education. Attainment of a pass grade in English is an index of academic achievement in the country.  192 The second purpose was to identify three categories of effectiveness variables that were often cited in the school effectiveness and school improvement literature as significant to student achievement especially in the Third World. Based on this section of the literature review, status, content and process, and context characteristics were identified. The third purpose was to develop a conceptual framework that guided data collection and data analysis of the present study. This framework is believed to be of value to future researchers of S E R in and about the Third World. Framework of Relationships. Scheerens and Creemers (1989) developed a causal model of school effectiveness that was designed to guide future research in S E R . School effectiveness was conceptualized as contextual, multi-level, and multi-factor. These features of the model are congruent with the findings from the literature review, and because of its appeal to the purpose of the present study, the model was adapted for the development of a conceptual framework for the data collection and data analysis for this project. Basically, the framework consists of internal and external components that together appear to relate to student academic achievement and character development in Nigerian secondary schools. The impact of the national, state, and district level policies (external factors) in the schools studied may relate to the school organizational structures and classroom instructional processes (internal factors) in the schools.  193  To say that the framework is multi-level is to say that it recognizes national, state, and district levels as where policies can impact on school effectiveness and academic achievement. It is multi-factor in that at each level, there are more than one factor that compete for significance in contributing to or hindering school effectiveness. The framework is contextual in that each studied school reflected a unique response to the characteristics from both the multi-level and multi-factor domains in accordance with the peculiar demographic situation of each school. It is in this sense that it is possible to discuss the characteristics that are either common to, or set the schools apart. Taken together, these characteristics in different but intricate ways, enter into the portrait of each school. It should be pointed out that the developed conceptual framework, rather than being used to prove causal relationships among variables, was only used as a guide to data collection and analysis and to provide a descriptive interpretation with particular reference to a school. The present study was essentially exploratory and it was concerned primarily with gaining an understanding of interrelated characteristics and complex behavior patterns. Statements about the characteristics that appear to relate to school effectiveness are therefore tentative. Study Procedures. This study employed holistic ethnography as a way of gaining the perceptions of school participants - principals, teachers, parents, government officials, and students - in order to study the internal and external school  194 effectiveness factors in six Nigerian secondary schools. The main sources of data for the study were participant observations and interviews. Secondary sources included questionnaires, video recordings, and documents. Five levels of analyses were used in the study in order to obtain as clear a picture as possible about the effectiveness status of each studied school. A critical content analysis of three documents that were significant to the Nigerian language education policy was carried out to lay an historical, educational, and contextual foundation for the interpretation and deeper understanding of data from other sources. The second level involved the analysis of questionnaire data from which some descriptive data (see below) were constructed. At the third level, both the observation and interview data were analyzed and relevant vignettes were quoted to substantiate findings. Using Harper's (1989) "narrative mode," video data analysis formed the fourth level in which the video camera served as an honest eye that verified some contextual events on the field. The fifth level was a synthesis of all relevant data from all sources to construct portraits of the schools.  Major Findings of the Study. The study procedures described in the preceding section produced a number of findings related to the literature, the conceptual framework, and the purpose of the study. This study was aimed at gaining a meaningful understanding of the internal and external school effectiveness characteristics that might influence student achievement of English in selected Nigerian  195  secondary schools. Findings from the content/organizational and process characteristics form the internal characteristics while findings from the study of school demographic characteristics, status variables, and student socioeconomic background constitute the external characteristics. It should however be pointed out that this dichotomy is essentially for descriptive purposes only. A s will soon be evident, characteristics from different descriptive levels dovetail into each other. It is also pertinent to remind the reader that as an exploratory qualitative study, there are no firm empirical bases for making strong causal claims among variables. Since the characteristics are an aggregate from different schools, rather than a single school exhibiting all characteristics, different characteristics may be more or less significant for different schools. Therefore, none of these individual characteristics should be considered necessary or sufficient conditions for effective schooling in Nigeria. The case studies from which the portraits were constructed were used to achieve the following aims: (1) to compare the case studies with the general School Effectiveness Research (SER) findings from developed countries so as to suggest which characteristics might be operating in the case studies and might possibly be relevant in the Nigerian situation. (2) to compare the case studies with the general S E R findings from developed countries and identify any characteristics not previously identified in the literature.  196  (3) to use the case studies to suggest how the identified variables are framed by school culture and school organizational and classroom instructional processes in holistic patterns. From the schools' portraits, there appeared to be three patterns of schools: Schools A, B, and D which have characteristics which seem similar to effective schools in the S E R literature in the developed countries; Schools E and F which lack many of these characteristics, but have effective examination results; and School C which lacks effectiveness characteristics and lacks effective examination results.  Internal Characteristics in Nigerian Secondary Schools and School Effectiveness. 1. Content/Organizational Factors. In the S E R literature, content/organizational characteristics are necessary administrative and bureaucratic variables that are set in place in effective schools in order to achieve set goals. They are manipulable variables created and maintained by strong school leaders who motivate staff and students, as well as carry the parents and government officials along in a continuous and continual quest for school effectiveness. Three characteristics relating to organization factors were studied: School Leadership. From both administrative and academic standpoints, principals of schools A, B and D had qualities similar to well-attested qualities of effective school leaders. They created and maintained environments conducive to administrative  197 and academic activities. They exercised leadership authorities that influenced the behavior of subordinate staff and students. They were well organized and visibly active in the day to day running of the school, delegating authority when necessary. They insisted on high achievement for their staff and students by encouraging staff social and academic welfare, which in turn created an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect that promoted staff job satisfaction. Students in these schools worked harder than their counterparts in schools E, F and C, and they were generally well disciplined with less incidents of anti-social behaviors. This finding is consistent with conclusions reached by many earlier studies. For instance, reviews by Purkey & Smith, 1983; Coyle & Witcher, 1992; Reynolds et al., 1994; Tikunoff, 1987 all attest to the influence of strong school leadership in effective schools. Teacher Participation and Satisfaction. Teachers in schools A, B and D were more satisfied with their job than teachers in schools C , E and F. Earlier studies have come to a similar conclusion (e.g. Fuller & Clarke, 1994; Reynolds et al., 1994; among others). In spite of the general low status accorded teaching as a profession in Nigeria, teaching job satisfaction seems to be affected by where a teacher gets a job. For instance, for many reasons already discussed, teaching in a federal government secondary school is more prestigious than teaching in a state government secondary school. Also, teaching in a city provides more opportunities to the teachers than teaching in the rural village. At issue are not only how promptly salaries and entitlements are paid, but also what is available in terms of social  198 services in the places of work. The morale of teachers in schools A, B and D was boosted through regular payments of their entitlements and they enjoyed regular in-service training. They in turn co-operated more with the schools' authorities in attaining set goals and objectives. They operated more freely in their classrooms guided by wider school rules and regulations. Positive Home-School-Community Relations. Schools A, B and D in the sample maintained positive relationship with parents and government officials within the communities in which they were located. A s already described, parents of students in schools A, B and D were interested and concerned about their children's academic work. They therefore paid regular visits to the schools to forge an alliance with the school authorities on how to solve problems confronting the school and their wards. Numerous S E R studies have come up with similar results. Among such studies are Zigarelli, 1996; Reynolds, etal., 1994; Phi Delta Kappa, 1980; Downer, 1991; Vallina, 1978. 2. Process Factors. In S E R literature, process factors are not directly susceptible to administrative and bureaucratic manipulation. They are variables that grow organically (Purkey & Smith, 1983) in a school as a result of an earlier cultivation of necessary organizational factors that were discussed in the last section. Process factors in effective schools define the climate and culture of the school as an environment conducive to learning through goal-oriented programs. Two characteristics related to process factors were studied:  199 School Culture. Schools A, B and D created and maintained positive school climate and culture conducive to meaningful teaching and learning activities. This conclusion is consistent with Coyle & Witcher's (1992) observation that collegiality, high expectations, and collaboration among other cultural norms characterize effective schools. The principals of schools A, B and D in this study maintained school discipline resulting in infrequent reports of anti-social behaviors among the students. Goal-Oriented Programs. Schools A, B and D had well-defined, goal-oriented programs toward which the administrative and academic activities of the school were directed. Generally, the schools' basic goal was to prepare students to gain at least a pass grade in English language at the senior secondary school certificate examinations. In schools A, B and D, the teachers were more creative in dealing with excessive workload necessitated by large class sizes, while they strived at the same time to provide quality instruction. Emphasis was laid on the acquisition of basic linguistic skills needed to respond intelligently to examination questions. Schools A, B and D were also characterized by frequent monitoring of students" progress and teachers' classroom activities. The principals were interested in staff and students' welfare and through regular assessments, students got feedback and those lagging behind in their learning were identified. Such students either got additional help from teachers in school or their parents were alerted so that extramural lessons could be arranged for them at home in  200  their weak areas. A similar finding can be found in many earlier studies such as Weber, 1971; Reynolds et al., 1994; and Fuller & Clarke, 1994, among others.  External Characteristics in Nigerian Secondary Schools and School Effectiveness. 1. School Demographic Characteristics. Three school demographic characteristics were studied : urbanization, gender, and school system. Of the three, two characteristics, urbanization and school system, were found to be associated with school effectiveness in Nigerian sample: Urbanization. Typically in Nigeria, public schools located in the rural areas suffer the same social infra-structural neglect that bedevils rural villages. School C typifies this situation in the present study. The school lacked social amenities, which as a result discouraged teachers from living in the village. Teachers in this school spent a lot of money on transportation to and from the school without any compensation from the government in terms of "bush allowance." They felt unhappy, demotivated, and became apathetic to the welfare of the students. The relatively poor parents who were mostly illiterates were concerned more with their day to day survival on their farms than on their children's schoolwork. They could not afford their children's school fees and other levies, or purchase necessary school supplies for them. In the S E R literature, the rural/urban dichotomy and its effect on school effectiveness are discussed, but the results are mixed. For instance, Buttram &  201 Carlson (1983) and Stringfield & Teddlie (1991) both found that rural areas had fewer resources than urban schools. Hannaway & Talbert (1991) also reached a similar conclusion when they found an empirical support for the view that urban and rural schools operated in two different worlds. However, Purkey & Rutter (1987) found that teachers perceived that they and their students had more difficult tasks and less supportive environment in urban than in rural schools. In the Nigerian situation of the sample, many intertwined factors that have already been discussed may make public secondary schools in the urban areas more effective than those in the rural areas. School System. It appeared that in this study sample: 1) The private school A secured more funding than schools B, C , D, E, and F that were public schools. 2) The federal government school D secured more funding than schools B, C, E, and F that were state government public schools. The reader may be referred to research conclusions both in developed and developing countries. For instance, Coleman et al., (1982) found that the average student performed better in private than in public schools. Also, Jimenez & Lockheed (1995) in case studies involving five developing countries found that students in private schools outperformed students in public schools on a variety of achievement tests. In the present study, there were many characteristics that appeared to be associated with the most secure funding of private and federal government  202 colleges. The private school A was backed by relatively adequate funding to employ high caliber staff and focused more on clear academic goals. The student selection process distinguished the "socially advantaged intakes" from the "socially disadvantaged intakes" (Blackey & Heath, 1992). Also, appointments and promotion of staff, as well as student and staff discipline, were unencumbered by government bureaucratic red tape that bedeviled public state schools B, C, E and F. Punishments and rewards were promptly and evenhandedly meted out to erring and outstanding students and staff respectively; and the school principal enjoyed greater decision making autonomy. The federal government college D was more adequately funded than the state schools B, C, E and F, and as a result, it attracted more brilliant students among the numerous students who competed for admission through entrance examinations that were designed to separate brilliant from less brilliant entrants. The teachers were aware that they were dealing with "teachable" students, most of whom came from enlightened and affluent middle and upper middle class homes. This school paid its staff promptly and the teachers were promoted more regularly than their state government counterparts. The school enjoyed tremendous Parent/Teacher Association financial and moral support and the boarding house system provided the much-needed guidance and counseling for the adolescents. The study of gender as a demographic characteristic was not pursued in this project for three reasons. First, most data from various sources did not indicate gender as a significant characteristic of school effectiveness in the  203 schools studied. Second, the student achievement outcome, that is, the 1990-94 and 1996 senior school certificate English language results, was not presented by W A E C in male/female comparisons, although this could be done if desired by the researcher. Third, and more importantly, the purpose of the present study was to gain an understanding of school effectiveness characteristics in different school systems and different locations rather than in measuring male/female student achievements separately. It may however be worthwhile by future research to examine this characteristic. 1. Status Characteristics. In the S E R literature, the second set of external factors that were found to influence school effectiveness in schools were the status factors. Three characteristics related to these factors were studied : quality and quantity of school facilities, teacher quality, and instruction time. School Facilities. Generally, schools A, B and D had relatively adequate school facilities complemented by a student body that was visibly more prepared to learn. They were able to pay levied fees and purchase prescribed school supplies. Both the human and material resources in schools A, B and D were superior to those found in schools C, E and F. In terms of human resources, schools A, B and D were able to attract and retain hard-working and well-motivated teachers whereas school C could only boast of a few regular teachers. With respect to material resources, schools A, B, D and E had accumulated a lot of resources over the years. For example, while School C did not have any school vehicle,  204  School A had three. In the S E R literature, these "cumulative resource effects" (Wimpelberg et al., 1989) partly accounted for the achievement of the effective schools. This finding is consistent with earlier findings in the Third World research in secondary schools; for instance, Fuller et al., 1994. In the developed countries where school supplies are readily available, S E R studies (e.g. Bridge et al., 1979) have reported no significant achievement. Teacher Quality. In the present study sample, it appeared that both quantity (that is the number of English teachers employed to teach) as well as the quality (in terms of teachers' qualification and experience) of teachers in schools A, and D, and to some extent, school B were higher. In schools A, B and D, there were relatively more English teachers than in schools C, E and F; and while in general terms, all the schools studied had more than a "normal" class size, teachers in schools A, B and D worked harder, gave and assessed more assignments than teachers in schools C , E and F. Teachers in schools A and D also reported more regular in-service training organized by local universities, therefore enhancing their efficiency. This finding is consistent with earlier results in S E R in the Third World, for example, Fuller et al., 1994 and Jimenez et al., 1988. Instructional Time. In this study sample, it appeared that schools A, B and D provided more opportunity to learn (OTL) for their students. All the schools studied had the same instructional time for the English language, but various other factors  205  combined to create more OTL for schools A, B and D. For instance, availability of school resources such as school gardeners, security personnel, school vehicles, water tankers, and health and communication facilities, made it easier for teachers and students of schools A, B and D to concentrate more on teaching and learning activities most of the time. So, while all the schools theoretically had the same instructional time, in practice, they differed widely in the grosser amount of instructional time each school had to help the students. Impressions from both developed and developing nations in earlier studies support this finding. For instance, Karweit (1985) found that lengthening the school day or school year was not as significant as focusing on instructional tasks during the assigned instructional time. Heyneman & Loxley (1983); Jimenez & Lockheed (1993); Lockheed & Komenan (1989); and Fuller et al. (1994) all found achievement gains in the gross amount of opportunity to learn across schools. Class Size. In the present study sample, schools A and D had smaller classes. This characteristic, although inconsistent with earlier conclusions from S E R studies in developed countries, is not surprising given the nature of the learning objectives of English language discussed in the previous chapter. The reader is reminded that a typical English language examination at the school certificate level consists of three different papers, one of which is essay-writing, comprehension, and summary. The candidate is also expected to do a multiple-choice paper in vocabulary and structure and do the orals. For secondary school certification, a  206  candidate is expected to gain at least a pass grade when his/her scores in the three papers are aggregated. What is at issue here is how the schools can adequately prepare their students for these papers in such a way that students succeed at the end. While it is uncertain how much of school preparation contributed to their achievement, students from schools A, B and D indicated that they benefited more from school lessons than did students from schools C, E and F. Student socio-economic background. W e suggest that S E S may be an important characteristic in the future study of school effectiveness in Nigeria. Indeed, the mean score of the 5-year examination results of the different categories of schools shown in Table 1, chapter 3 above, where low S E S schools had 26.56 percent, medium S E S , 54.06 percent, and high S E S , 68.92 percent, appears to support this impression. In the present study sample, school C, the only low S E S school, had examination results that declined to 14.72 percent, well below the standard 60 percent. But medium or high S E S schools A, B, D, E, and F maintained their effective examination results. (The data did not however show S E S differences between medium and high S E S schools). Earlier studies of School Effectiveness in developed countries indicated that S E S is a significant factor in school effectiveness (e.g. Coleman, et al. 1966; Plowden, 1967). It has been made clear earlier that this study was not designed to identify causal effects among variables, and it is not aimed to do so. W e do not claim that S E S is a causal factor or that we can identify a unique effect for S E S compared to other possible  207  factors in the data. W e note, for example, that School C , the only low S E S school in the sample, is also the only rural school. The case studies were not selected to distinguish S E S and rural/urban differences. Some of the importance of S E S as a characteristic can be gauged from the role it plays in the school portraits. For instance, we mentioned that schools E and F were successful in examinations but lacked many of the school effectiveness characteristics. The students of both schools engaged in extramural studies. The parents with sufficient income paid for the cost of the extramural tutoring. Schools B and F were medium S E S schools. This is not the case in school C, the only low S E S school, which did not show evidence of extramural tutoring, and it appears that parents were too poor to pay for such tutoring. Extramural tutoring. Extramural tutoring is a characteristic which appears to be important in the Nigerian situation, but which has not been identified as a significant factor in the S E R literature in the developed countries. In the present study, extramural tutoring appears to be related to examination result effectiveness of schools E and F. Both schools E and F were state government schools that were relatively under-funded compared to the private and federal government schools A and D. How did the schools maintain effectiveness in examination results? A s described in the portraits of schools E and F, there were reports that students attended extramural lessons outside the school hours. Readers are reminded that both schools reported that teachers in the schools were actively involved in the  208  organization and execution of extramural lessons for pay. The arrangement had the blessing of parents who reportedly willingly paid for the lessons. In fact, the situation was such that the English teachers supplemented their poor and irregular payments with additional income from extramural lessons. In addition, the parents recognized the inadequacies of the schools in educating and ensuring their children's success at the S S C E in English language. Many of the parents were therefore ready to pay for the lessons. In sum therefore, rather than classroom instructional activities per se, schools E and F's effectiveness appears to have been achieved in part by extramural lessons organized by English language teachers for additional income and paid for by the willing parents.  Summary of Conclusions. The findings from the present study, taken against the background of research literature on School Effectiveness in developed countries, suggest the following tentative conclusions about the particular schools in the study sample: Internal Factors. 1. Strong, supportive and action-driven principals characterized schools A, B and D. 2. Teachers of schools A, B and D were more satisfied with their jobs. 3. Schools A, B and D maintained positive relationships with the communities in which they were located. 4. Schools A, B and D created and maintained positive school climate and culture conducive to meaningful teaching and learning activities. 5. Schools A, B and D had clear and goal-oriented programs.  209  External Factors. 1. In our sample, it was not possible to clearly distinguish between S E S and urban/rural differences. While the data do not allow us to make a clear distinction between rural/urban differences and S E S differences, there was evidence that: (a) Schools A, B, D, E and F located in urban and sub-urban locations performed better than school C located in the rural area. (b) Schools A, D and E had students with high S E S . (c) Schools B and F had students with medium S E S . (d) School C had students with low S E S . 2. The private secondary school A was more adequately funded than the public secondary schools B, C, E and F. 3. The federal government secondary school D was more adequately funded than the state government schools B, C, E and F. 4.  Schools A, D and E had greater material resources.  5. The quantity and quality of the teaching staff appeared higher in schools A, B and D than in schools C, E and F. 6. With the same instructional time, the opportunity to learn (OTL) was on the average more in schools A, B and D than in schools C, E and F. 7. Schools A and D had smaller class sizes than schools B, C, E and F. One characteristic that was not previously identified as important in the literature was extramural tutoring. But in this study, this characteristic appears to be important: Students at schools E and F received extramural tutoring. This may explain why schools E and F had effective examination results but lacked many  210 of the characteristics of effective schools.  School Effectiveness Characteristics and English Language Education in Nigeria. In the last section above, a list of school effectiveness characteristics that appeared to influence English language achievement in the schools studied was presented. In this section, an attempt is made to demonstrate that there is a link between the identified effectiveness characteristics and the instructional strategies used by teachers in the effective schools. The aim is to go beyond merely listing the effectiveness characteristics and move to the examination of classroom instructional strategies that may relate to effectiveness in the schools studied. By so highlighting the connection between school effectiveness characteristics and the instructional strategies that produced them, a fresh look at language education in Nigerian secondary school classrooms can be made. This approach will not only enrich the findings of the study, it will also guide the type of recommendations to be made to policy makers, school practitioners, and other researchers who might be interested in understanding school effectiveness and instructional strategy issues in the Third World. In the United States, Tikunoff (e.g. 1987) has applied the school effectiveness characteristics to illuminate language education classrooms by shedding light on the instructional strategies employed by effective teachers to assist students achieve both in the content areas and in English language. While schools in United States have similar instructional contexts (Tikunoff, 1987), the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria breed different types of schools with regard to  211  effectiveness. Using Tikunoff's model and the studied schools as illustrations, the different types of instructional strategies employed by teachers of effective classrooms in Nigeria for their students' academic achievement of English will now be examined. Based on his project on Significant Bilingual Instructional Features (SBIF), Tikunoff, 1987 (p. 100) discusses two sets of instructional strategies used by effective teachers to increase A L L students' performance in A L L classrooms with regard to basic skills proficiency and increase L E P students' performance in language classrooms: 1) A s regards A L L students' basic skill achievement, general instructional strategies that work include: a) congruence among instructional intent, how instruction is organized and delivered, and what the expected results will be in terms of student performance; and b) the consistent and effective use of active teaching behaviors is essential; 2) for L E P students, "three [specific] mediational strategies have been found to be effective": a) effectively using both English and students' native language for instructional purposes, b) integrating English language development with instruction in the content areas, and c) using information from students' native cultures to enhance instruction. Classroom observation in this study provides an opportunity to witness both sets of instructional strategies as used in Nigerian language classrooms. In terms of the general strategies 1 (a) and (b) above, teachers in effective language classrooms (for instance, Schools A and D) in the Nigerian sample employed similar instructional strategies similar to what obtained in Californian  212 classrooms to achieve basic skills proficiency for all students. Interview and observation data show evidence of "congruence among clarity of intent, organization and delivery of instruction, and student outcomes in effective instruction." Both teachers and students in more effective language classrooms were very clear about the intent of secondary school education in Nigeria. First and foremost, the Nigerian schooling system is examination-oriented. Students have to pass examinations at the end of their primary education in order to move to the secondary schools. Furthermore, secondary school students have to pass in at least five subjects, including English language, before they can gain admission to tertiary institutions. A s already explained, a secondary school is effective to the extent to which the majority of its students can pass the standardized examinations organized by W A E C . The W A E C syllabus contains what the candidates are expected to cover in each subject and it is on this curricular content that examinations are set. So, one evidence of clarity of intent is familiarity with the W A E C syllabus by the teachers and students. In an interview with one English teacher in School A, she stated: We follow the scheme of work [syllabus] religiously. At the beginning of each year, we all give our students what W A E C says we should teach; and we follow them religiously. S o , if a parent wants to know what the child is doing in school and they want to compare with the scheme of work; it is always there. So, we don't just teach anyhow, we follow what W A E C asks us to teach. (Teacher interview, School A, January 16, 1997) In School D, I conducted a student group interview during which I asked how familiar the students were with the W A E C syllabus with regard to English language examination expectations. One student responded thus:  213 Our English teachers always educate us about the syllabus, the marking scheme, the marking schemes and how, what is expected of us in our summaries, how to write our summaries, how to make sentences. And in our oral English, most of the time, they pronounce the right words, and those of us that have problems in pronunciation, we have oral English classes separately. Then extra classes in our final year. (Student interview, School D, November 6, 1996) It is evident from above vignette that the teachers were not only aware of what is at stake and what it takes to prepare for examinations in effective schools, they also emphasized the same to the students. There was corresponding organization and delivery of effective classroom instruction in those more effective schools. The teachers had very high expectations of the students' outcome and they took responsibility for the outcomes. Effective organization and delivery of instruction was enhanced by the schools' administrative and academic practices that included constant monitoring of the teachers' instructional activities and students' academic progress. Teachers' morale was high and they were highly motivated because their salaries were paid on time and they were encouraged to upgrade their academic and professional skills from time to time through in-service training in local universities. In sum therefore, there are many similarities between the instructional strategies employed by successful teachers in Californian classrooms and those used by their Nigerian counterparts in the sample in achieving basic skills proficiency for all their students. Data from the more effective schools in Nigeria showed evidence of active teaching behaviors among the teaching staff, and there is visible evidence of congruence among clarity of intent, how instruction is packaged and delivered, and what the students' learning outcomes should be.  214 With regard to specific instructional strategies 2 (a), (b), and (c) above however, there appears to be not much similarity between the so called "mediational strategies" that are effective in United States and those used in Nigerian language classrooms. From the observation data, English language teachers only used the English language for instructional purposes in English language lessons unlike in California where both English and student native language are used. I do not have any evidence that the students' native language was used for instruction in English lessons. However, in other subjects, there were instances of when teachers in content areas had to explain unfamiliar and difficult concepts in Yoruba (students' native language). For instance, the use of Yoruba in a Physics class in School F to explain what a fulcrum was which was earlier referred to in chapter four. Reasons for English language teachers not using student native language for instructional purposes inside the English language classroom can be speculated about. A s already highlighted, W A E C ' s expectations in English language examinations emphasize the four linguistic skills and "writing" is particularly the most important. So, whereas the United States' intensive instruction to L E P students is geared towards oral proficiency (Tikunoff, 1987, p. 101), English language instruction in Nigeria is mainly geared towards the acquisition of appropriate writing skills needed to pass English language examinations. Again, by the time the students get to the final year in the secondary school at which they write W A S C E , they are expected to be competent enough in the language to participate effectively in classroom  215 activities. And since most students are relatively homogenous in their English proficiency, it may be that there is no need for the use of the students' native language to complement the English language. In fact, in my experience, it is an index of school effectiveness in Nigeria for English teachers to be experts in E S L who use only English for instructional purposes and that the English teachers like to model English competence in their teaching. In addition, in federal government colleges, as in School D, where students and staff come from different linguistic and ethnic backgrounds, using any language other than English in the language classrooms will defeat the purpose for which such schools are established. Federal government schools are established to achieve the much-needed unity among different ethnic and linguistic groups that inhabit the schools. The obvious unifying language is the official English language. Moreover, in situations where there are some expatriate staff and students as in school A, it will not be appropriate or even possible to use any language other than English in the classrooms for instructional activities. In Nigerian language education classrooms I studied, I have no evidence of an effort to integrate English language development with instruction in the content areas as it is done in the United States although this practice has long been recommended by linguists (e.g. Mohan, 1986). A s already pointed out, secondary school education generally, and English education in particular, is examination-oriented in Nigeria. That is, what is more important is for students to pass examinations in the subjects. So, rather than serving as a service course to  216 the other content area, what really concerns the teachers and the students is for the majority of students to pass English at senior secondary certificate examinations ( S S C E ) . Moreover, unlike in Californian classrooms in the United States which Tikunoff studied where it is possible for some English teachers to also teach other subjects, the Nigerian secondary schools are divided into academic departments and the usual practice is that each subject is taught by experts in those subjects. In essence therefore, Nigerian English teachers do not see themselves as providing service to other content areas; they rather concentrate on English language development needed to pass the S S C E . Finally, I did not observe teachers using information from students' native culture to enhance instruction. In Californian classrooms, immigrant students learn English to function in the Californian setting, whereas the Nigerian student learns English for use in the Nigerian setting. This situational difference may account for why it is not necessary to invoke students' native culture as an instructional strategy in Nigerian language classrooms. Since the schools studied were relatively homogenous in respect of students' and teachers' cultural background, cultural information may not be needed or used by teachers to enhance students' academic achievement. Not only that, I did not observe any perceived disjunction between the students' and teachers' cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and it may be that it was not necessary to adopt the instructional strategy of using students' cultural information to enhance academic achievement of English language. Even in School A where there were some expatriate students and teachers, it appears that they had been well entrenched  217 into the Nigerian society at the time of data collection, and since they were being prepared for an examination to be taken in Nigeria, language teachers did not reference their native cultural information to enhance their language achievement. The fact that the Nigerian educational system is examination-oriented has implications for the type of instructional strategies adopted by teachers in the more successful language classrooms. There appear to be a set of instructional strategies that can reasonably be called "language examination-oriented strategies." One instructional strategy I observed in one of the effective schools is a creative way of dealing with W A E C ' s examination requirements. One such requirement is the range of topics to be covered in preparing for English language examinations. In School D, the English teacher divided the class into groups of 4 students, each group having essay topics to work on collaboratively after the school hours. In the class, the group leaders read the completed essays of their groups. The whole class, moderated by the teacher, jointly assessed the essays on the criteria used by W A E C . Thus the immediate feedback that involved the whole class would hopefully benefit many of the students. This strategy has many advantages. Firstly, the students will be able to cover a wide variety of topics that may be examined by W A E C in actual examinations, thereby increasing their opportunity to learn (OTL) which concerns the actual curricular content covered during a school year. Secondly and more importantly for the examination-oriented schooling system, students are made aware of the technicalities involved in the assessment of their writings by W A E C . They are  218 therefore familiar with tasks to be faced later in actual examinations. Since "familiar tasks tend to be low-risk tasks" (Tikunoff, 1987, p. 108), the tendency for the students to do well in actual examination is greatly enhanced. Thirdly, group work engenders collaboration whereby weak students benefit from their more brilliant peers. This strategy may not be useful in American classrooms where the bulk of academic achievement is assessed on reading and math achievement tests that are examined mostly through the objective rather than the written mode. Another remarkable language examination-oriented instructional strategy I observed in the more effective classrooms in Nigeria is the use of past W A S C E questions to prepare students for actual examinations. From experience, W A E C often uses past examination questions maybe with minor changes in focus. If students are well prepared using past questions, the belief is that they will be able to do well in actual examinations and this has, according to students interviewed, proved to be effective. Again, this strategy may not be appropriate for the American language students whose aim of language education is oral proficiency in the language rather than passing a high stake examination on the subject. From the discussion above, it is evident that while effective schools in the United States and Nigeria use similar general instructional strategies to enhance their students' basic skills proficiency, there are differences in the specific instructional strategies used to achieve students' academic achievement in English in the two domains. Whereas the mediational strategies of a) using both  219 English and student native language for instructional purposes; b) integrating English language development with instruction in the content areas; and c) using information from students' native cultures to enhance instruction have been found to be effective in the United States' language education classrooms, these strategies appear not to be used in Nigeria. Other strategies appear to be more appropriate to Nigerian language education classrooms particularly language examination-oriented strategies. The implication of this observation is that S E R has to be contextualized in order to illuminate the uniqueness and similarities of effectiveness characteristics in different domains. Summary. The purpose of chapter five was to bring together the results of this study in relation to its purpose, reviewed literature, conceptual framework, and related research. Many of the findings are parallel with conclusions from earlier studies; new findings were highlighted, and inconsistent findings discussed. Taking a cue from Tikunoff, the findings of the study were employed to illuminate effective English language education classrooms in Nigeria by discussing some language examination-oriented instructional strategies employed by the more effective teachers. The implications of these conclusions are discussed in the next and final chapter.  220  Chapter SixImplications, Recommendations, and Conclusion. Chapter 5 gathered together the key conclusions of the present study and illuminated the Nigerian effective language education classrooms. It was noted in that chapter that because of the nature of the design of the study, an exploratory qualitative study, there can be no direct and empirical causal claims as to how a school came to be effective or not effective. It is also difficult to separate cause from effect and questions such as: Do the characteristics of schools cause them to be effective, or does effectiveness lead to these characteristics? cannot be answered by this study since comparison sites were not included in the design. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the implications of these conclusions and recommend how schools, further research, and practice might benefit from the findings and tentative conclusions drawn from them. In the opening chapter, five general areas of understanding related to school effectiveness and school improvement were identified. It was suggested at that time that the present study had the potential of adding to existing knowledge in these areas and that this knowledge might be of use to policy makers, school administrators, teachers, and other researchers. It is now time, first, to use these five areas as a framework to discuss briefly the study's conclusions. Second, this chapter will discuss some implications of the study for further research and practice.  221  Study Conclusions in Relation to Rationale. First, this study looks at both school-based and society-based effectiveness factors that appear to contribute to school effectiveness and English language achievement in a Third World country. The importance of government policy and school location is underscored, especially in the conclusions drawn about particular internal and external variables that appear to make a difference in school effectiveness. While many of the identified variables have been suggested by earlier studies, this study found other factors not identified in the effective literature which may be important for effectiveness and achievement as well. One such factor is extramural lessons. Thus some additional contextual information about S E R in the Third World is provided by this study. Second, the present study adds to existing knowledge about the relationship between school effectiveness and the nature of the learning objectives of English in a country where political expediency makes it an official language. In a real sense, English language has a gate-keeping posture for further education in Nigeria. The question then is: In what way has the government encouraged the majority of the secondary school students to succeed in English language at the S S C E level? This study did not find that the Nigerian educational system promoted equity of educational opportunity in any meaningful manner. For instance, only a few federal government colleges were relatively well funded while numerous state government colleges are allowed to wallow in poverty, a situation that bred ineffectiveness and poor performance at  222  terminal examinations of English language. Thus the issues of effectiveness and achievement were being dictated by conditions that lie outside the ambit of the schools. Third, this study employed a conceptual framework that guided data collection and data analysis. It is important to point out that the framework suggests additional contexts and instruments of data collection at the study sites. The use of questionnaires and video camera to probe what happens inside the schools and outside of them is a case in point. Moreover, the probe into the language classroom instructional strategies that enhanced achievement was made possible by the framework. Finally, the environmental factors (national, state, district) and educational policy in the framework, on which valuable information is gathered, are new additions to Scheeren and Creemer's (1989) model. Fourth, useful information based on the insight gained from effective language education classrooms in Nigeria is generated and used for recommendations for further research and practice. For instance, similar to the ones used in Californian schools, we have information on those instructional strategies that work to enhance basic skills proficiency of all students in general, and "language examination-oriented strategies" that work for specific E S L students. Fifth, this study fosters an understanding of the relationships among effectiveness variables, English language certification, and effective instructional strategies in effective schools. What is significant here is that the relationship  223 among these variables are very complex and they play out differently in different schools. While it is difficult to establish causal relationships among these characteristics, it is nevertheless important that the study illuminates the contextual conditions under which each characteristic could contribute to school effectiveness and student achievement. Thus, the role of context in S E R is further emphasized by the present study. Summary. The above summary has attempted to demonstrate that there has been a contribution to knowledge in each of the five major areas of interest that collectively provides the rationale for this study. The next section will describe the implications of the study for schools and for people interested in school effectiveness and school improvement.  Implications and Recommendations. The purpose of this study was to identify the school and societal level factors that might affect school effectiveness and English language certification in some selected secondary schools in Nigeria. Perhaps this was the easy part of the problem because the next step is to discuss strategies whose end result would be to shed light on the important school level organizational and process conditions, as well as classroom instructional processes. In order to achieve this, the conclusions from this study are presented in terms of their implications for school practice and further research.  224  Implications for further research. The present study utilized the contributions of several related areas of research in its development of a framework of relationships and its study procedures. A s a result of this research, there are some suggestions that other researchers might find helpful. Implication one. This study used secondary schools as samples. Majority of earlier studies has focused on elementary schools. There is a strong indication in the literature that elementary and secondary schools do not share the same attributes. The results have therefore added important information to the literature. However, since this study involved only two out of thirty-six states in Nigeria, further studies might focus on secondary schools in other states of the federation. Implication two. The framework of relationships used in this study drew from earlier S E R studies (Scheerens & Creemers, 1989), which focused on internal factors of school effectiveness. While the present study focused on both the internal and external school effectiveness characteristics, it is an exploratory study. Other researchers might wish to focus on specific parts of the conceptual framework; for example, external factors. Knowledge gained from such focused study might enrich the literature on S E R . Implication three. The holistic ethnography method used in gathering data for this study appears to be very effective in shedding light on what might otherwise have been missed if quantitative methods were used. For example, the actual classroom observations have led to an illumination of language education  225 classroom instructional strategies employed by effective teachers to enhance English language achievement. It is doubtful if the survey method or the use of questionnaires only could have achieved such illumination. Other researchers may consider using the same method in other schools in different states of the federation to determine if the same classroom instructional strategies apply and remain significant. A profile that provides the school principal and staff with information about their school's instructional strategies might be useful for decision-making about school improvement. Implication four. This study found that the more effective schools in the sample studied all had female principals. But the study did not look at sex of principal as a characteristic of school effectiveness. Important questions that might be considered by future research are: Are female principals more effective than male principals are, that is, is there a gender influence? Are female principals more effective because they find themselves in particular locations, that is, is it a contextual influence? Implication five. The findings of this study raised questions about the equality of effectiveness opportunities in the Nigerian secondary schooling system. For instance, urban schools and federal government colleges appeared to be more effective than rural and state government colleges. English language certification appears therefore to have a gate-keeping posture for post-secondary education and salaried-job opportunities in the country. Further research needs to unravel the extent to which equity of educational opportunity is hampered or enhanced by ineffective and effective instruction in the schools.  226 Implication six. The use of language examination-oriented instructional strategies to enhance academic achievement in Nigerian effective schools provides support for the view of second language acquisition as a process of construction (McLaughlin, 1990), as opposed to the emergence view represented by Krashen (1982, 1992, 1993). In effective schools therefore, "schools matter." Since effective instruction seems to breed effective schools, it is necessary for further research to find how second language acquisition processes operate in language classrooms across the country. This type of research might illuminate the link between instructional strategies and examination performance, an important information in an examination-oriented schooling system. Implication seven. While there are similarities between the instructional strategies employed by effective teachers in the United States and Nigeria to achieve all students' basic skills proficiency, there appears to be not much similarity between United States' "mediational strategies" and Nigeria's "language examinationoriented instructional strategies." In other words, different instructional strategies seem to be effective in the two different domains with respect to language education achievement for specific L E P and E S L students in the United States and Nigeria respectively. There is need for further research to identify and describe other local effective instructional strategies that may enhance E S L achievement in the country.  227  Implications for practice. Because the sample used in this study was limited to only six schools in Nigeria, it could be that the implications for practice will be most relevant to the schools in the two states the schools are located. There are, however, precedents in the literature for most of the study's findings. Thus it is possible that other schools in other states of the federation could apply the information from this study to illuminate the conditions which are related to school effectiveness and English language achievement. The focus of this discussion therefore deals with the implications related to school effectiveness, student academic achievement and school improvement planning. The internal and external school level conditions that seem significantly related to school effectiveness are of interest for school improvement planning. In this study, 12 of such conditions are identified. All of them have been identified not only as being important in the present study, but also as having considerable support (with the exception of class size) in the literature as being important to school effectiveness and academic achievement, and hence school improvement and successful school change - the ultimate goals of S E R . Implication one. The first implication of this study to the application of the findings in other schools is the importance of the conditions that create conducive context for school effectiveness and academic achievement. Notable among these conditions in Nigeria are school location and availability of school facilities in relation to effectiveness. It appears from the findings for instance, that schools located in the rural areas may be disadvantaged and consequently also attract  socially disadvantaged students. It is necessary for teachers in such rural schools to be supported to meet the challenges posed by student poverty and inadequate supply of social amenities and school supplies. Implication two. If the main task of school improvement is to determine how to create conditions to enhance student achievement, then a good place to start might be with effective school leadership and effective classroom instructional practices. This study has suggested the importance of these two variables for student achievement. Implication three. Effective schools tend to have what August & Hakuta (1997) call "customized learning environment." Staff in effective schools designs the learning environment to mirror school and community contextual features and goals. More importantly, efforts are geared towards the implementation of the most suitable strategy to meet students' needs. This certainly refers to the school ethos, an overall impression the school creates to visitors. A number of factors probably influence this overall impression. In this study, student's discipline stands out. This factor could be a focus for academic achievement and school improvement. During the principal and teacher interviews, references were constantly made to specific actions that were taken by the school authorities to influence student behavior. The development of a school discipline policy was one of these actions. Although the policy development was done differently in different schools, it always involved teachers and administrators, and in some schools, students. The key to successful implementation of the policy appeared to be  229 prompt and even-handedness in the administration of student discipline policy. Implication four. One of the conclusions referred to the possibility that school and societal level conditions were potentially important to student achievement. It could be that different combinations of these conditions could be effective in different settings. One guideline that could be applied generally is that the principal is in an ideal position to influence the school level conditions that were included in this study. Implication five. Some instructional strategies appeared to be effective in enhancement of student academic achievement in successful schools. Perhaps the knowledge about these strategies could be communicated to principals and schools' boards. At least two benefits could be derived from this suggestion. First, an emphasis could be placed on the effective instructional strategies that work in each classroom; and second, there could be increased discussion among practitioners about how different instructional strategies could be developed and enhanced at individual school level.  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(1986). Inside schools: Ethnography in educational research. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Wynne, E.A. (1980). Looking at schools: Good, bad, and indifferent. Lexington, Mass: Heath.  253  Zigarelli, M.A. (1996). An empirical test of conclusions from effective schools research. Journal of Educational Research, 90 (2), 103-108.  254  APPENDIX A  Invitation Letter to Principals. Principal's Consent form to Participate in the Study.  255  THE UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA  X Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: (604)822-3154  April 23, 1996.  Courier Address: 2034 Lower Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T IZ2 The Principal.  Nigeria. Dear Sir/Madam, INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STUDY OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE CERTIFICATION IN NIGERIA AND LETTER OF CONSENT.  I am a postgraduate (Ph.D.) student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. I am interested in examining issues in second language assessment as they affect students' performance in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) of English language in Nigeria, the topic of my study. Your school has consistently performed above the national average in English language at the S S C E in the past 5 years (1990-1994) according to WAEC records. I would therefore like to invite your school to participate in my study with six other schools in Oyo and Osun states. This study will help explain why students in your school have been successful in the S S C E in English language over the years. To better understand why some schools and their students perform better than others, some key factors that influence students' performance, such as the environment, educational policy, structure and processes of secondary education in Nigeria, will be included in the study. With your permission, I intend to observe one SSS 3 English language classroom in your school in the 1996/97 school session for two weeks each term. In order to understand why your school has been so successful, the students in the selected class and their teacher(s) will be interviewed for about 20 minutes in the process of this study. I will also like to see some documents like lesson notes and documents relating to school policies and guidelines so as to understand the consistency noted in the high performance of your students in English language.  256  If you agree to participate, the name of your school and those of all participants (student and teachers) will remain confidential. All information that may be of a confidential nature will not be linked in any identifiable way to you, your school, or any participant. Following the conclusion of the study, all information will be destroyed after two years. Participation in the study is entirely voluntary and you and other participants have the right to withdraw at any time during the study. If you have any questions concerning the study or any other concern, please feel free to contact me (or/and the following):  Dr. Bernie Mohan Dept. of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4 Canada. Tel - 604-822-2353 Fax-604-822-3154 David Adewuyi Department of Language Education 2125 Main NWI Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4 Canada. Tel - 604-224-6834 Fax-604-822-3154 Dr. Margaret Early Dept. of Lang. Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4 Canada. Tel - 604-822-5231 Fax - 604-822-3154  If your school is willing to participate in the study, please complete the section below, detach, and mail to me at your earliest convenience.  Thank you. Yours truly,  David Aderemi Adewuyi. (Ph.D. student)  257  To: David A. ADEWUYI Dept. of Language Education University of British Columbia 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC V6T IZ4. Canada.  I have received a copy of the invitation letter and my school has agreed to participate in the study of English language certification in Nigeria.  Name Position... School.... Signature Date  APPENDIX B  Parent Informed Consent Letter. Parent Consent Form.  259  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA  X Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC Canada. V6T IZ4 Tel: Fax:  (604) 822-5788 (604)822-3154  Courier Address: 2034 Lower Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T IZ2  PARENT'S INFORMED C O N S E N T F O R M  PROJECT: Issues  in second language assessment: A case study of senior school certificate examination of English in Nigeria.  INVESTIGATORS: Principal Investigator:  Student Investigator:  Dr. Margaret Early Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 822-5788/(604) 822-5231 David Aderemi Adewuyi Ph.D. candidate in Teaching English as a Second Language Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 224-6834.  PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of the linkages among socioeconomic environment, educational policy and school structure and processes on the outcome of senior school certificate examination of English language in Nigerian secondary schools. The project attempts to understand why some secondary schools, irrespective of their location and the socio-economic status of the students, perform better than others in English language examinations especially the senior school certificate. W e seek to find answers to the main question: What school policies and structures contribute to students' success in the English language in Nigerian secondary schools?  PROCEDURES: This study will focus on the activities your child will be performing in his/her English language lesson. Class observation (1 will take notes) will focus on his/her interaction  260  with his/her English teacher and other students. Interviews will be conducted in English language to seek his/her views about the school policies that affect his/her performance in English language. Interviews will be audiotaped, and his/her classroom activities and discussions will be videotaped only with his/her permission.  Documents such as in-class writing and essays, including his/her teacher's comments, will also be collected. Your child's identity will be kept strictly confidential, as his/her names will not be used. Nobody will have access to any data including video and autotapes except your child, my thesis advisor, and me. Your child will be invited to review videotapes and audiotapes recorded in class and in interviews at any time. DURATION: Class observation will be conducted in English language lessons for the duration of two weeks in each term of 1996/97 school year, that is, from September 1996 to June 1997. Interviews will be in English language and will take approximately 30 minutes (once each term) and will be conducted by me with your child's consent and at his/her convenience. I may informally ask him/her some questions for a few minutes before or after the class. Classroom activities will be videotaped/audiotaped for 45 minutes (the lesson period) once in a term. REFUSALS: You have the right to ask your child to refuse to participate at any time; it is not a problem if he/she does not wish to be interviewed, or observed, or recorded (audiotaped and/or videotaped). INQUIRIES: I will be happy to answer any questions about my research at any time. Please do not hesitate to contact me either in person or by telephone.  261  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC Canada V6T IZ4 Tel: Fax:  (604) 822-5788 (604) 822-3154  Courier Address: 2034 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC. V6T 1Z2. Canada  PARENT'S C O N S E N T FORM  PROJECT: Issues in second language assessment: A case study of senior school certificate examination of English in Nigeria. INVESTIGATORS: Principal Investigator:  Student Investigator:  Dr. Margaret Early Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 822-5788/(604) 822-5231 David Aderemi Adewuyi Ph.D. candidate in Teaching English as a Second Language Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 224-6834.  I have read the informed consent form and understand that my child's participation in this research is voluntary and I am free to withdraw his/her participation at any time without any repercussions. I know that my child's name will not be used in connection with anything he/she says or writes. I understand the goals of this research (observations, interviews, and recordings of classroom activities). If I would like more information about the project, I know that I am free to ask for it.  I have received a copy of the consent form. Name (Please print)  Signature  Date  APPENDIX C  Student Informed Consent Letter. Student Consent Form.  264  THE UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA  X Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC Canada V6T IZ4 Tel: (604) 822-5788 Fax: 604,) 822-3154 Courier Address: 2034 Lower Mall. Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T IZ2  STUDENT'S INFORMED C O N S E N T F O R M  P R O J E C T : Issues in second language assessment: A case study of senior school certificate examination of English in Nigeria.  INVESTIGATORS: Principal Investigator:  Student Investigator:  Dr. Margaret Early Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 822-5788/(604) 822-5231 David Aderemi Adewuyi Ph.D. candidate in Teaching English as a Second Language Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 224-6834.  PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of the linkages among socioeconomic environment, educational policy and school structure and processes on the outcome of senior school certificate examination of English language in Nigerian secondary schools. The project attempts to understand why some secondary schools, irrespective of their location and the socio-economic status of the students, perform better than others in English language examinations especially the senior school certificate. W e seek to find answers to the main question : What school policies and structures contribute to students' success in the English language in Nigerian secondary schools? PROCEDURES: This study will focus on the activities you will be performing in your English language lesson. Class observation (1 will take notes) will focus on your interaction with your English teacher and other students. Interviews will be conducted to seek your views  265  about the school policies that affect your performance in English language. Interviews, which will be conducted in English, will be audiotaped, and your classroom activities and discussions will be videotaped only with your permission. Documents such as in-class writing and essays, including your teacher's comments, will also be collected. Your identity will be kept strictly confidential as your names will not be used. Nobody will have access to any data including video and audiotapes, except you, my thesis advisor, and me. You will be invited to review videotapes and audiotapes recorded in class and in interviews at any time. DURATION: Class observation will be conducted in English language lessons for the duration of two weeks in each term of 1996/97 school year, that is, from September 1996 to June 1997. Interviews will be in English language and will take approximately 30 minutes (once each term) and will be conducted by me with your consent and at your convenience. I may informally ask you some questions for a few minutes before or after the class. Classroom activities will be videotaped/audiotaped for 45 minutes (the lesson period) once in a term. REFUSALS: You have the right to refuse to participate at any time; it is not a problem if you do not wish to be interviewed, or observed, or recorded (audiotaped and/or videotaped). INQUIRIES: I will be happy to answer any questions about my research at any time. Please do not hesitate to contact me either in person or by telephone.  266  T H E UNIVERSITY O F BRITISH COLUMBIA  Department of Language Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, BC Canada V6'T IZ2 Tel: Fax:  (604) 822-5788 (604) 822-3154  Courier Address: 2034 Lower Mall Road UBC, Vancouver, BC Canada. V6T 1Z2.  STUDENT'S CONSENT FORM  PROJECT :  Issues in second language assessment: A case study of senior school certificate examination of English in Nigeria.  INVESTIGATORS: Principal Investigator:  Student Investigator:  Dr. Margaret Early Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 822-5788/(604) 822-5231 David Aderemi Adewuyi Ph.D. candidate in Teaching English as a Second Language Department of Language Education, U B C . Tel. (604) 224-6834.  I have read the informed consent form and understand that my participation in this research is voluntary and I am free to withdraw at any time without any repercussions. I know that my name will not be used in connection with anything I say or write. I understand the goals of this research (observations, interviews, and recordings of classroom activities). If I would like more information about the project, I know that I am free to ask for it.  I have received a copy of the consent form.  Name (Please print)  Signature  Date  268  APPENDIX D Sample of Principal/Vice-Principal/Designate Interview Questions.  Note: Open-ended questions were asked to solicit information in the areas of school facilities and supplies, school leadership and administration, staff and student discipline, government educational policies as they affected the running of the school, and community and parental involvement in school administration.  1. What documents, for instance, the school inventory form, exist that document what this school has 2. How does the administrative organization of this school look like? 3. What functions are performed by the principal officers of the school? 4. How are the students brought into the administration of the school? 5. What are the major problems facing this school: financial, disciplinary, shortage of facilities and supplies, shortage of teachers, late payment of salaries, etc? 6. In what ways are the parents and the community involved in the administration of the school? 7. In your opinion, what are those things that facilitate students' academic achievement of English language in this school? 8. How does the school ensure the realization of the school's goals and objectives? 9. How does the school deal with staff and student disciplinary problems? 10. What rewards, if any, are given to exemplary staff and students?  APPENDIX E  June 1997 Senior School Certificate Examination English Language Paper 1.  270  S101/1 June S.S.C.E. 1997 ENGLISH LANGUAGE 1 2 1/4 hours  THE WEST AFRICAN EXAMINATIONS COUNCIL NIGERIA Senior School Certificate Examination June 1997  ENGLISH LANGUAGE 1  2 1/4 hours  Answer four questions in all. One question from Part A, and questions 7,8 and 9.  271  PART A  [50 marks] Answer one question from this part. All questions carry equal marks. Your answer should not be less than 400 words except where otherwise stated. You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this part. 1. Narrate to your classmates an experience you have had or heard about which illustrates the saying: "You reap what you sow." 2. Write a letter to the Commissioner for Agriculture in your state deploring the low level of food production in the state and suggesting measures which the government should take to ensure that there is sufficient food for all. 3. During the last holidays, you had the opportunity to travel to another state and to witness some of the traditional festivals in the area. In an article suitable for publication in your school magazine, describe one of these festivals. 4. You have noticed a general decline in the level of discipline and morality in your society. In an article suitable for publication in a national newspaper, discuss some instances of this decline and its probable causes; and suggest ways in which the trend can be reversed. 5. You have received information that your younger brother, who is schooling in another part of the country, is playing truant and keeping bad company. Write a letter warning him of the consequences of such behaviour and urging him to turn over a new leaf. 6. A vehicle in which you were travelling was involved in an accident and several passengers including yourself were injured. Describe to sympathizers, who have come to visit you in hospital, how the accident happened and what followed.  272  PARTB SECTION 1 COMPREHENSION  [40 marks] Answer all the questions in this part. You are advised to spend about 45 minutes on this section. 7.  Read the following passage carefully and then answer the questions on it.  Returning home after a decade-and-half abroad, our geography master remained incurably addicted to foreign ways and ideas for years after landing here. He would forever stick to his theory of Africans suffering from a curse inflicted on them by the Almighty God for some heinous sins committed centuries ago. He would, in support of this theory ask listeners, "Why would our mosquito inflict deadly malaria on us whereas the British mosquito does not bite? Why aren't there poisonous snakes in Britain whereas here most snakes are deadly? Why should the deadly sickle cell disease be peculiar to the black race?" Of course, he hardly waits for answers to these and similar questions before jumping to the same inevitable conclusion. However, he met his match one day when a new student joined the class and heard the litany we were used to. The new boy calmly said, "Sir, I happen to know a few white men who suffer from the sickle cell disease; some are Italians and some are Spanish. The mosquito is equally deadly in India, South-east Asian countries and South America. The United States and some other South American countries have their deadly snakes. And, Sir, I know many white men; some of them British, who would prefer our brilliant sunshine to their horribly cold winter." And he sat down. I had never, before that day, seen our master so consumed with anger. He directed a burning look at the poor boy, who had no answer to this new battle. Without as much as saying a single word, the master stalked out of the classroom. Needless to say, our anger was turned on the new boy, who had decided to rock the boat without taking the time to sound the water. A delegation was sent to the master to apologize to him. He was appeased. But we all notice something rather unusual thereafter - never again did he dwell on the issue of Africans being the accursed people.  (a)  What point of view is the geography master fond of advancing?  (b)  Mention the three arguments he uses to support this view.  (c)  What extra argument did the new boy offer after countering each of the master's points?  (d)  Why do you think the master fought back with his look rather than with  273  further argument? (e)  "...rock the boat' (i) What figure of speech is this expression? (ii) What does it mean as it is used in the passage?  (f)  "... who had no answer to this new battle" (i) What grammatical name is given to the above expression as it is used in the passage? (ii) What is its function in the passage?  (g)  For each of the following words or phrases, find another word or phrase that means the same and can replace it as it is used in the passage: (i) addicted to; (ii) heinous; (iii) inevitable; (iv) brilliant; (v) stalked.  274 5 8.  Read the following passage carefully and then answer the questions on it.  W e are interested in the various kinds of injury that can occur in road traffic accidents, how to prevent them and their first aid management. Most of us have probably witnessed one form of road traffic accident or another. The universal reaction of eye-witnesses is panic as they rush to the scene and stand there looking in dismay. Road traffic accidents are great crowd-pullers as everyone wants to stop and have a look. However, the three most useful things you can do if you are at the scene of a road traffic accident are to assist in the rescue of the trapped victims; to render first aid treatment to victims; and to help in conveying injured people to the nearest hospital. Road traffic accidents have a great potential for causing injury to the human body. The high velocity at which the motor vehicle is travelling, the sudden deceleration on impact and the hard rigid nature of the motor-car body, all contribute to increase potentials of injury. Probably, the most risk-laden road traffic accidents are those which involve motor-cyclists as they do not have a solid motor-car body to protect them from the direct impact of an oncoming vehicle on the road. Road traffic accidents involving motor-cyclists are the cause of high mortality as the human skull is often fractured on impact on the hard surface of the road. Road traffic accidents involving cars and their passengers can cause some serious problems as the wreckage of the car may trap some people inside. This may mean that the crumpled car body needs to be cut away before the victims can be saved. If the road accident results in a fire, then this can be disastrous as the fire will prevent rescuers from coming near, thus resulting in the quick demise of the victims from burns. This is why every car-driver must possess a fire extinguisher in his vehicle. This little device may save lives in some situations. (a)  What, according to the writer, do eye-witnesses usually do as soon as an accident occurs?  (b)  What three things does he suggest that eye-witnesses should do?  (c)  Mention two of the factors that can increase injuries during road accidents.  (of)  Why are motor-cyclists more at risk when accidents occur?  (e)  Why does the writer suggest that every car-driver should have a fire extinguisher in his vehicle?  (/)  "If the road accident results in a fire..." (i) What is the grammatical name given to the above expression? (ii) What is its function in the passage?  275  (g)  For each of the following words, find another word or phrase that means the same and can replace it as it is used in the passage: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v)  universal; conveying; velocity potentials; disastrous. S E C T I O N II SUMMARY  [30 marks]  You are advised to spend about 40 minutes on this section. 9.  Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions on it.  Every child, whether he comes to his family by birth or adoption, discovers what a family is through the experiences of family life. The new-born infant has no way of knowing which of the many faces that hover above him belongs to a parent. He has no way of knowing what a parent is. He only knows that he is comfortable or uncomfortable, hungry or satisfied. Gradually, as the months go by, he begins to know who brings comfort when he is uncomfortable and food when he is hungry. He comes to know the feel of the arm that holds him close when he eats and holds him safe in his bath. He knows the voice that soothes him and sings to him. He grows to know who responds to his needs when he cries out. This is the special person in the whole strange new world who belongs specially to him. This is his first recognition of a parent. The mother and father who care for a child, who listen for his voice and try to interpret what he means, who comfort him, who feed him and play with him discover for the first time what it is to be parents. They grow to be parents just as the infant grows to recognize them as such. They come to know the developing personality of their child in a way that no other person really can. They recognize whether he is a lusty eater or a nibbler; vivacious or reserved; adventurous or cautious. By observing his intellectual and physical abilities, they also get to know what he may become in future. They are concerned with meeting his needs and wants; fostering his growth to maturity. Sometimes because of their responsibility to their child, parents have to do unpleasant things. They have, for instance, to take him for injections. He can have no choice about taking medicine when he is ill. He must learn quickly, and not necessarily at his own pace, that fire is not a play-thing. In the intimacies of daily living, the child and the parents learn the bitter and the sweet of family  276 relations. It is through the experiences of family life that a child and his parents grow to be a family. For every parent, biological or adoptive, it is the daily loving care of the child and his responsiveness that build up the parents' feelings. For every child, it is being loved and being cared for that produce family closeness. (a)  In two sentences, state how the new-born infant perceives his environment.  (b)  In one sentence, say what an infant first learns about its parents.  (c)  In two sentences, say what parents learn about their child as he grows up.  (d)  In one sentence, summarize what a responsible parent often has to do in the interest of the child.  Appendix F. Interview Schedule for the Participating Schools: School A - January 27-31, 1997 School B - February 3-7, 1997 School C - February 10-14, 1997 School D - February 17-21, 1977 School E - February 24-28, 1977 School F - March 3-7, 1977.  278  Appendix G.  Sample of Student Questionnaire.  Note: Please supply the following information as accurately as possible: 1. School 2. Gender 3. Age 4. Father's Highest Education: Please underline one: a) School Cert, b) N C E c) BA/BEd. d) M A / M E d . e) P G D E f) Other 5. Mother's Highest Education: (Specify one from the list in 4 above). 6. Father's present Occupation: (e.g. Teacher, Civil Servant, Farmer, etc) 7. Mother's Occupation: (As in 6 above). 8. What is your future career? Please answer Yes or No to the following statements: I attended nursery primary school in my elementary school years. My parents/peers often assist me in my school assignments at home. My parents arrange extramural lessons for me in English language after school hours. My parents employ an English teacher to teach me at home. I attend extramural lessons organized by my school in English language. My lesson teacher teaches English language better than my class teacher. My class teacher gives and marks more assignments in the classroom than my lesson teacher. 8. My lesson teacher gives and marks more assignments than my class teacher. 9. The impact of the extramural lesson has made me to improve on my English language performance in school? 10.1 would have passed English examinations without the extramural lessons.  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.  


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