Activity Based Chemistry Instruction On Achievement Of SS2 Students Of Selected Secondary Schools In Abia State

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Activity Based Chemistry Instruction On Achievement Of SS2 Students Of Selected Secondary Schools In Abia State


The paper examines Activity based instructional methods and academic achievement of SS2 students in Chemistry using selected secondary schools in Umuahia, Abia state. Faced with the problem of poor academic achievements in external examinations, the researcher examined the effect activity based teaching approach has on the academic achievement of students. Concerning methodology, both primary and secondary sources of data was used for the study. Well-structured questionnaires were distributed to 150 students in 5 secondary schools. With a significance level of 0.05, findings from the study revealed that there is a significant correlation between activity based approach and academic achievement of students. Recommendations from the study suggests that more practicals should be offered in the chemistry curriculum across schools in the nation and more laboratories should be built to accommodate more students.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Education is the bed-rock of development of any nation. In recognition of this, Nigeria as a nation has used education to address some issues and problems. The nation Nigeria has also used the curriculum as an instrument for social transformation to address national issues and moral decadence in the society. One of the goals of education in Nigeria as enshrined in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) posited that education should develop individual into a morally sound, patriotic and effective citizen. This can be achievable through educational activities that are learners centred for maximum development and self-fulfillment.

Gbamanja (1997) asserted that success or failure of any educational system depends on the successful planning and execution of the curriculum. Anwukah, (2000) concurred with the view that the survival of any nation or society depends upon how that society addresses contemporary issues such as crime, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, conflict, religious strive, drug abuse and ethnic among others. This stresses the importance of developing a relevant curriculum that will enable individual to cope with and function effectively in the global world.

Chemistry is a focal science that encompasses all the sciences and its significance cannot be underscored. Chemistry is crucial in the realm of industrialization. Today, the world is viewed as a worldwide village; in the interim, this impression of globalization is not detached with industrialization in which Chemistry is focal. Chemistry has different advantages for national growth and development. It assumes principal jobs in food production, clothing, housing, medicine, transportation, and so on. The work tied down on the distinguishing proof of procedures which may cite the modus oparandi of showing this focal or center science called Chemistry. In any case, the subject Chemistry must be thought at the secondary school level by specialists or experts as the case may be (Chemistry educationists) who are completely grounded in Chemistry education (Zudonu, 2011). This is on the grounds that they are specialists side by side and equip with Chemistry instructional method, which is the manner by which to approach and teach their students (Zudonu, 2011). Be that as it may, in our secondary educational system today, the number of students who are offering Chemistry are not many and even the not many ones are performing poorly. The decrease and horrible performance in this subject may not be detached with the training strategies utilized by teachers, as the majority of them are not teachers but rather just accept teaching as a means to an end (Osefugbo, 1998).

Notwithstanding, enthusiasm for Chemistry must be result based when students are willing and the teachers are well disposed to utilize proper strategies that could promote students interest and active participation in the teaching/learning procedures, for example, hands-on action based. Tile (2013) depicted hands-on activities based as a circumstances where a student utilizes his/her hands in completing exercises that could upgrade his/her experiences, in this manner improving his/her interest for such ideas. Abudullai (2013) saw hands-on activities based as a strategy for teaching whereby learners are engaged effectively in class exercises with the utilization of their hands and intellects under the direction of the teacher.

In a similar vein, Ayuba (2013) noticed that Chemistry is not innately an exhausting subject. The teaching of Chemistry determines by and large whether a student have or loses interest in the subject. A well trained teacher could make intrigue even in the dullest learners. Ayuba (2013) reasons that a progressively inventive and student focused technique, for example, hands-on activities based to Chemistry exercises with a decent introduction of instructional materials may get more students intrigued by the subject. A few studies show that young men had higher interest for Chemistry (Kingdon, 2009), either no distinction (Ajayi, 2016) or young ladies perform better than young men (Calsambis, 2007) have been shown and it has kept on yielding inconsistence results. This claim calls for assessment of the impact of activity based Chemistry instruction on achievement of SSS 2 students of selected secondary schools in Abia state, Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Review confirms that Chemistry and other Basic Science subjects are not being taught the way it should in Nigerian schools (Usman, 2008). According to Brent (2005), it is to be viewed and practiced in a practical way, instead teachers teach students to memorize facts and give them no room to do science. This has affected the performance of students in the subject. They do not only perform poorly, but have very low interest for it. The researcher further said that Activity-Based teaching strategy allows students to independently plan, investigate, collect data, analyze them, draw conclusions and generalizations. Use of activity makes learning learners’ centered and could lead to meaningful learning and acquisition of science process skills. The students also have ample opportunity to make plausible hypotheses and test them to generate ideas, which are expected in their own language (Mari, 2008).

Literature also shows that 70% of scientific information or principles are passed to students via lecture methods (talk and chalk method) by science teachers (Bichi, 2002). This has been observed to be responsible for poor achievement in Chemistry over the years (Bichi, 2002). Though, lecture method makes coverage of syllabus easy and lesson planning for a wide audience easier, it is however viewed by majority of science educators as inadequate in promoting meaningful learning among all categories of learners (Bichi, 2002). This general call for teaching strategies could radically enhance meaningful learning and acquisition of science skills. The Activity-Based teaching strategy is being suggested in this study.

Chemistry as a branch of science is a universal vehicle for human development and civilization world-wide. Chemistry teaching is best carried out by the involvement of students while the teacher serves as a facilitator. Stanley (2007) says several researches carried out for the improvement of students’ academic achievement in science did not solve the problem as a result of teacher’s persistence in the lecture method in teaching of Chemistry. Barker, Slingsby, Tilling, (2003) and Usman (2000) observed that indiscriminate use of lecture method still persists which has led to poor achievement of SSS students. Against this background, this study is conceived in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of activity based Chemistry instruction on achievement of SSS2 students by using some selected secondary schools in Abia state, Nigeria as a case study.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The objective of this study is to examine the activity based Chemistry instruction on achievement of SSS2 students of selected secondary schools in Abia State.

Specifically, the research aims are:

  1. To determine the effects of activity based Chemistry instruction and conventional lecture methods of teaching on secondary school students’ achievement.
  2. To examine the influence of activity based Chemistry instruction and conventional learning method on urban and rural students’ academic achievement in organic chemistry
  3. To understand the effects of location (urban and rural) on Chemistry achievement of students taught using activity technique.

1.4 Research Questions

To help in further determining the purpose of this research, the following research questions are put forward to be addressed.

  1. What are the effects of activity based Chemistry instruction and conventional lecture methods of teaching on secondary school students’ achievement?
  2. What is the influence of activity based Chemistry instruction and conventional learning method on urban and rural students’ academic achievement in organic chemistry?
  3. What are the effects of location (urban and rural) on Chemistry achievement of students taught using activity technique?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses are formulated to be tested at 0.05 level of significance:

  1. There is no significant correlation between students taught with activity based instructional and conventional methods and students’ academic achievement
  2. There is a significant correlation between activity based Chemistry instruction and conventional learning method and urban and rural students’ academic achievement in organic chemistry

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study may be considered significant in a number of ways: it will help to increase the teachers’ level of awareness and understanding of the use of demonstration instructional technique.

Findings may also provide the teachers with a feedback on the demonstration teaching competences as a basis for improvement in their instructional practice so that they can enhance performance. Curriculum planners and educators as well as government and educational administrators need empirical data on the overall demonstration activity teaching competence of Chemistry teachers in Senior Secondary Schools to facilitate proper curricular policies and programmes for effective teaching and learning.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The focus of this research is on the effect of activity technique (precisely demonstration approach) of teaching on Senior Secondary School Students achievement in Chemistry. The educational level of focus is SS 2 students. It is believed that these groups of students have been exposed to the knowledge, attitude and skills of the subject. Therefore 100 SSS2 of five secondary schools in Aba, Abia State shall be selected for this study.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

In this study, it is imperative to define the terms that will be appearing during the course of this work as they are used within the context of the study for clarification purposes.


This is student-centered teaching-learning approach, where the student has some control over the process and directs more or less the instructional activities with the teacher providing adequate guidance.

Instructional Technique:

It is a teaching device or strategy adopted by a teacher to teach a lesson, this includes the use of games, text books etc. that stimulates learning.

Academic Achievement:

Learning outcome or output in students taught Chemistry which results from teaching techniques/methods the teacher adopts.


Outcome of result of using demonstration approach on students as measured by Chemistry achievement test.

Chapter Five

Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Introduction

This chapter is organized under the following subheadings which include; summary, conclusions, recommendation, and suggestion for further study.

5.1 Summary

This study attempted to find out how activity based instructional methods influence senior secondary school students’ academic performance in Umuahia metropolis. The study was designed to find out if activity based methods, conventional methods, and school location influences students within Umuahia Metropolis.
To provide a guide to the study, appropriate research questions were asked and thoroughly analyzed. It was posited that activity based approach in teaching and learning of chemistry has a significant influence on the academic achievement of students of senior secondary school students in these selected schools within Umuahia metropolis.
Theoretical frame work, conceptual issues and a thorough review of related literature using the variables of the study was done and also empirical studies. The survey design was adopted for the study. The questionnaire was used for data collection. Data was collected from hundred and fifty (150) respondents randomly selected from the selected secondary schools of Special Science Senior Secondary School, North-Bank, Heritage Group of Schools, North-bank Umuahia, Umuahia international school, High-level, Umuahia, Community secondary School, Wadata, Umuahia, and Government college, Umuahia. Simple tables, frequency and percentages were adopted to analyze respondents’ response and also in answering research questions. It was found out that activity based instructional methods in the teaching and learning of chemistry has a positive influence on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in Umuahia metropolis.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of the study, one can conclude that the usage of activity based instructional approaches among these students is yielding a positive result in their academic performance. 5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Students should be encouraged to practice all topics they are taught in chemistry. This will further increase understanding of students concerning the subject matter.
  2. Students should be encourage to have a more scientific approach to the learning of chemistry.
  3. More laboratories should be built in rural areas to encourage more students in those areas to pick interest in chemistry.

5.4 Suggestion for Further Study

While the results of this study indicate that teacher-led instruction was more effective in terms of achievement and participation in these high school science classes than student-directed activity-based learning, more research is needed to determine the most effective teaching methods in upper level science classes. Present findings that conflict with some of the contemporary studies would suggest the need for ongoing review and it is understandable that there is a need for further discourse. As Pang (2010 ) points out, it is possible that “The learner has adapted to a passive learning environment where…information is imparted through lecture and PowerPoint presentations rather than interpretive and application skills developed through activity-based learning”. As for what is known now, it remains difficult to determine the specific best practice, yet the current work clearly speaks to the continued need for multi-faceted instruction strategies in which there is no one-size-fits-all teaching method.

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