Barnabas Obiaje Ellah, Vincent Yohanna Iwah




This study investigated the predictive power of students’ locus of control as well as learning approaches on ability levels in Physics classrooms in secondary schools. Five research questions were answered, and five null hypotheses were tested. A correlational survey research design was adopted for the study. The study was conducted in Makurdi Metropolis of Benue State. The study sampled 550 science students offering Physics as a school subject in Term II for 2021/2022 Academic Session from 89 senior secondary schools in the study area using simple random sampling technique. The instruments for data collection were Approach to Study Inventory (ASI), Locus of Control (LOC) and Ability Group Test (AGT). The instrument ASI developed by Biggs, Kember, and Leung, (2001) and LOC developed by Rotter (1966) was adapted in the study. The instruments were face validated by three experts. Construct validation was also done for ASI and LOC using factor analysis. The internal consistency estimate obtained through Cronbach’s Alpha was 0.72 for ASI and 0.76 for LOC. Data collected were analyzed using regression analysis to answer the research questions and test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. Findings revealed that surface learning approach, deep learning approach, internal locus of control, external locus of control as well as the combination of students’ learning approaches and locus of control have significant predictive power on students’ ability levels in Physics. Based on these findings, the following recommendations were made among others that Physics teachers should give students opportunity to participate in the class and give tasks that are within their ability and School counselors should encourage external control-oriented students not to avoid or neglect striving hard or to remain idle even when anticipating that luck and fate could determine their success.


Key words: locus of control, deep learning approaches, surface learning approach cognitive ability, Physics.


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