Cognitive styles and academic achievement among secondary school learners in Kenya
This study was based on cognitive styles and academic achievement among secondary school learners in Kenya. The purpose of the study was to find out the extent to which students‟ cognitive styles influence their academic performance in chemistry. The study applied a quantitative research approach, descriptive in nature. The following objectives were addressed: • To determine the cognitive styles of students • To determine the differences in students‟ cognitive styles among boys and girls • To find out the relationship between the students‟ cognitive styles and their academic achievement in chemistry To address these objectives, 200 form three students taking chemistry responded to questionnaires. The questionnaires contained three sections: personal information of the students, performance in chemistry and field independence/ dependence questionnaire. Sampling was done using stratified and systematic random sampling. Two processes of data arose: One process on performance in chemistry from section B and the other one from section C on students‟ cognitive styles. The data collected was subjected to data analysis using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The analysis involved computation of the means of scores in chemistry tests and the standard deviations for the scores. The correlation coefficients were computed using the Pearson Product Moment Correlational Analysis. The results show that both Field independent and Field dependent cognitive styles are evident among the secondary school students. The results also show that more male students were found to be field dependent while more female students were field independent and that field independent individuals scored higher than field dependent individuals. According to the research results the study show that cognitive styles could have significant influence on students‟ academic achievement in chemistry and that there could be a difference in the type of cognitive style between boys and girls. Depending on the cognitive style one has, this could have an influence on academic achievement in a particular discipline.However, there is need for further research with a large sample and various types of learners as well as various disciplines to make a conclusive conclusion on cognitive styles and academic performance.