The objectives of this study were: (1) To identify the problems of low-achievers regarding their study habits, academic motivation, self-concept and health. (2) To examine the factors contributing to problems regarding study habits and study skill. (3) To understand the family background of low-achievers. (4) To find out whether counseling is effective in dealing with the low-achievers with regard to study habits, and academic achievement. (5) To compare the effects of individual and group counseling. (6) To investigate whether or not the effect of counseling depends either on the frequency of counseling or on the I.Q. of the counselors. (7) To find out whether there is positive correlation between the academic achievement and the different variables under study. (8) To identify the family problems those are interfering with the scholastic achievement of the low-achievers, to classify these problems and to analyze them in terms of seriousness. (9) To formulate suggestions and recommendations to parents, teachers and school authorities that can be useful in dealing with academic low-achievers.
The sample of the study consisted of 191 low academic achievers from 11 schools of the Kottayam district of Kerala state. Of them 108 were boys and 83 were girls from Malayalam medium schools. The low achievers in the study were those fell in bottom 25% (1st quartile) of the class in academic achievement which was measured by the grade point average of the first and second terminal examinations.
The study was experimental in which a pretest - posttest approach was used. The low achievers were divided into four groups: low achievers who had undergone four individual counseling session (group A), low-achievers who had undergone two individual counseling session (group B), low-achievers who had undergone four group counseling sessions (group C) and low achievers who received no special treatment (group D -control group).
The findings of the study were: (1) Counseling, both individual and group was effective in improving the study habits and study skills, Academic motivation, self-concept and academic achievement of low-achievers. (2) There was no statistically significant difference between the effect of counseling of group A and C (four individual counseling and four group counseling respectively) on study habits and study skills, academic motivation and academic achievement. (3) There was no statistically significant correlation between the subjects I.Q and the effects of counseling on all four variables under study. (4) The study revealed a statistically significant correlation between the effects of counseling on study habits and study Skills and motivation of groups B & C; study habits and study Skills and academic achievement of groups A & C;;study habits and study Skills and self concepts of groups A,B and C; and Motivation; self-concept of groups B & C; and Self-concept and academic achievement of groups A & C. (5) No statistically significant correlation existed between the effects of counseling on motivation and academic achievement of any of the counseled groups. (6) A positive correlation without statistical significance existed between the effects of counseling on academic motivation and academic achievement of all the counseled groups. (7) A study of the family background of the subjects reveals that quite a number of low-achievers had unfavorable family environment which negatively influenced their academic achievement, study habits motivation and self-concept.
Keyword(s): Student Centered Counselling