Understanding the nature, magnitude, significance and implication of peer group influence in education, is very crucial and important for the “productivity” of educational processes, and the organizational design of school systems in our Nigerian Educational sectors and around the globe. However, Academic activities are directed towards ensuring that students gain mastery of educational objectives. In schools, the extent to which these objectives have been met is determined greatly by the interaction of peer groups which could possibly reflect in student’s academic performance. Peer group play a large role in the social, emotional and academic development of students. Peer group influence begins at an early age and increases through the teenage years. Thus, understanding the prospects and challenges of peer group is crucial for the productivity of educational processes and the organizational design of school systems in order to improve student’s academic performance.
See Samples Of Undergraduate Research Topics, Free Projects And Materials Guide For Students
Peer group is a small group of similar age, fairly close friends, sharing the same activities. In its most acceptable form, peer group is a healthy coming-of age intermediary, by which youth grasp negotiating skills and learn to deal with challenges and to solve problems in a social context. Peer group can also act as positive role model, for example, if one is involved with a group of people that are ambitious and working hard to attain high academic goals, one might feel pressured to follow suit to avoid feeling excluded from the group.
Friendships are critical interpersonal vehicle that move them towards psychological growth and maturity, allowing social compassion which influences the development of self-evaluation” which suggests strongly, the unprecedented effect of peer group in almost all facet of adolescent’s growth. Such effect could be seen in social and emotional lives of young people, which does not end at the above mentioned, but could also manifest in their attitude towards educational activities and careful consideration of these elements has shown that they reflect in the academic performance of students as well as their study habit. More so, it is generally observed that peer group has a lot of influence on students. This is seen from the role played by the peer group in the life and learning of a child, evidence abound that students feel more comfortable and relaxed among fellow students. A child who is brilliant and surrounded by dull friends would lose interest in learning and study. On the other hand, a peer group which is prone to study would have positive effect on a dull member towards learning and stimulate his/her interest on learning. The nature of a peer group determines the impact on the motivation of and achievements of its member. Therefore, one group may have a negative impact on its members while the other may have positive impact on its members as well.
Peer group is a group of people of same age or social status. The peer group is the first social group outside the home in which the child attempts to gain acceptance and recognition. Adolescents always emulate their mates in whatever form of behaviour they exhibit, particularly that which interest them thus, since socialization only refers to changes in behaviour, attitudes having their origin in interaction with other persons and those which occur through interaction, a child learn more through interaction with peers.
Peer group is the pivot of social change and during interaction with peers, the child`s life is transformed from the helpless child into matured adult. A peer group is also defined as a small group of similarly aged; fairly close friends, sharing the same activities. In general, peer groups or cliques have two to twelve members, with an average of five or six.
However, the attractive nature and the morals of the group determine whether a group is likely to have positive or negative impact on members’ motivation and achievement. If the atmosphere of the group is warm, understanding and supportive, the group influence, task performance and achievement will most likely be positive. A hostile group will constantly, mostly such that does not place prominence to academics will frustrate and produce a negative impact not only on the member’s growth and behaviour but also on their drive to studies and academic achievement. Conversely, the kind of person a student is shows the type of group he or she is most likely to join. Imitation of behaviours in a group occurs when a person acts in a way that is likely to be joined by the rest of the group. Students who are playful but have academic traits should be encouraged to join a study inclined group.
Study habit is an action such as reading, taking notes, holding study groups which the students perform regularly and habitually in order to accomplish the task of learning. Study habits can be described as effective or ineffective depending upon whether or not they serve the students well.
INFLUENCE OF PEER GROUP ON STUDY HABIT
Generally, it has been observed that a group which a child belongs to could influence his learning, studies from various cultures have shown that a child right from infancy to adolescence is faced with urge to belong and to be accepted by the group. A basic human need is to acquire an affiliation to a group in the society. Peer relationships are common in the schools and homes and this plays important roles in the socialization of children in Nigeria. Students in the midst of their group transformed into the true picture of their behaviour, they feel more comfortable among fellow students but feel morose at home or at the presence of teacher. The most important influence on student behaviour to learning is not always the teacher but the fellow students. When they are in a group that study’s hard, they gradually follow suit and become addicted to study thereby, improving their study habit.
It is generally observed that peer group has a lot of influence on students. This is seen from the role played by the peer group in the life and learning of a child, it is believed that students feel more comfortable and relaxed among fellow students. A child who is brilliant and surrounded by dull friends would lose interest in learning. On the other hand, a peer group which inclined to study would have positive effect on a dull member towards learning and stimulate his/her interest on learning. Therefore, the nature of a peer group determines the impact on the motivation of and achievements of its member through observing and imitating the behaviour of others, learners can bypass much wasteful random behaviour and come close to reproducing the behaviours of which members are recognized. A child may not be dull but playful. If he is well monitored and he falls into a group of brilliant students who are not playful, he imitates them and this changes his attitude towards learning for better. This is why it is important for teachers to be able to distinguish a playful child from dull one. Students who are playful but have academic traits should be encouraged to join a study inclined group.
In conclusion, peer group plays an important role in the lives of students. They form a critical part of the social environment of school and also create and maintain a culture different from the home. It is obvious Peer groups are not a fad or a trend, they are around to stay; therefore, Parents, Teachers and Administrators should be on watch-out to identify the types of peer their students move with both in school and outside the home. They should do their best to see that their children relates with friends who can positively influence them and have good impact on their study habit which will in turn have a positive impact on their academic performance.