The Availability And Use Of Instructional Materials In Teaching And Learning Of Basic Technology In Secondary School

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The Availability And Use Of Instructional Materials In Teaching And Learning Of Basic Technology In Secondary School


Abstract


The purpose of the study is to examine the availability, accessibility and utilization of instructional material in teaching and learning of Basic technology in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The population of the study consisted of the entire 15 principals and 29 Basic technology teachers, within the 15 public secondary in Enugu North L.G.A. of Enugu State. The estimated population of the principals and Basic technology teachers in the study areas was 44 and therefore, there was no sampling. Three structured research questions were used. The instrument was validated by two specialists in test and measurement, and one specialist in Science and Vocational Education Department of Godfrey Okoye University Enugu. The questionnaires were administered to the principals and Basic technology teachers and were collected by the researcher. The data collected was analyzed using mean, standard deviation, and frequency percentage. The result from the analysis showed that, the availability of instructional materials in these schools is poor, including the most important ones. Basic technology teachers do not have much access to the available instructional materials. It is also revealed that the extent of use of instructional material for effective teaching and learning of Basic technology is very low. Some solutions include: the Government /Ministry of Education should provide adequate qualified Basic technology teachers, and the ministry of education should regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard. Hence, there is much need for sufficient qualified and competent Basic technology teachers, adequate availability and utilization of instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of Basic technology in all the secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

It is no longer news that one of the most difficult job in the World today is teaching. The challenges that inform this difficulty are numerous ranging from poor remuneration of teachers, indiscipline among the learners, lack of parental support, attitude of the learners towards learning, the challenges posed by English Language as a second language, availability, accessibility and utilization of instructional materials and other teaching facilities, the ability of the teacher to effectively transmit the needed signal that will bring the expected behavioral change in the learner, these and many more challenges are the factors militating against teaching effectiveness. This research shall place emphasis on accessibility, availability and utilization of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology in senior secondary school.What then is teaching? How much importance has teaching to the existence of human being and the society? Are there possible ways of combating these numerous challenges bedeviling teaching and its effectiveness? For the purpose of clarity and adequate understanding, teaching is a gradual process of transmitting signals, ideas and information to the learner from the teacher using some technique. Similarly, in the view of Atakpa (2000) teaching is defined as a gradual process of transmitting new ideas from the teacher to the learner through careful and selected techniques. In the view of Enekpa (2010) teaching is said not to taken place unless the content of the phenomenon of interest has been transmitted which in turn is expected to bring the expected behavioral chance which distinguished human being from animals. Furthermore, Abu (2000) opined that without teaching, every action of an individual is ignorance. Teaching is therefore imperative and unavoidable if mankind must live peacefully and maximize fully the real essence of existence.

Basic technology covers synthetic and natural materials, wood, metals, plastics, and ceramics, energy and machines necessary as the bedrock for a successful technological development. Modern Basic technology is a vast field, composed of many branches. Despite the broad scope and the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Basic technology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation of new species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis. See glossary of Basic technology.

For effective teaching and learning to be achieved, the teachers must employ many techniques and diplomacy in such a way that the new idea to be learnt is well communicated. One of the techniques in transmitting these signals is through the use of instructional materials, methodologies of teaching, leadership style at the classroom level, personality training and the ability to take care of the individual differences among learning at all levels of learning. The current study shall be particular about the importance of instructional material, its accessibility, availability and utilization and its effects on the academic achievement of the learners in senior secondary schools in Basic technology.

Instructional materials can be described in the view of Ola (2000) as all those instructional aides which can be visual, audio and audio visual provided in the teaching and learning situation (real or improvised) to concretize learning and remove sense of abstraction from learning. Agu (2011) holds a similar view about teaching aid as any arrangement, object, material, real or improvised brought into learning to enhance the understanding of the learner other than the normal expression of the teacher in teaching and learning. Categorically, we have three basic classes of instructional materials namely: audio instructional materials, visual instructional materials and the audio visual instructional materials.

Audio instructional materials are those materials that occur basically the auditory sense. Examples of this type of instructional materials are radio, tape recorder, speaker etc. Visual instructional materials are those materials that occur only to the sight. Example of this type of materials are posters, pictures, real objects etc. the audio visual materials as the name implies are those materials that occur both to the sense of auditory and the sight. Examples of audio visual materials are television, telegram, video etc.

Instructional materials play a very important role in the teaching and learning process. It enhances the memory level of the students. At this time that education has spread wide and entirely, oral teaching cannot be the key to successful pedagogy; therefore the teacher has to use instructional materials to make teaching and learning process interesting (NIC hulls, 2003; Raw 2006) .

According to Bina (2010), instructional materials are tools locally made or imported that help to facilitate the teaching/learning process. Obanga (2005) view them as materials things which are use to composed ported that could make tremendous enhancement of intellectual use impact the instructional materials. Obanga opined that the use of instructional materials can enhance the learning achievement since it removes the sense of abstract and concretize ideas especially in Basic technology which is more practical oriented. Cronbach (2009) states the important elements of behaviour that provides the base for learning theory situation which consists of all the objects, persons and symbols in the learning environment. Experience in situation prepares a person to respond to similar situation in future. Use of instructional materials can appeal to the individual attention by creating interest goal that will help the learner achieve direct effort. Teacher’s problem of motivation is essentially one of arranging situation with instructional materials in which the learner will see goals he want to attain. Brown (2005) summarized the role of instructional materials as follows:

  1. It promotes meaningful communication and effective learning.
  2. They ensure better retention, thus making learning more permanent.
  3. They help to overcome the limited classroom by making the inaccessible accessible.
  4. They provide a common experience upon which late learning can be developed. They stimulate and motivate students to learn.
  5. They encourage participation especially if students are allowed to manipulate materials used.

Osuala (2010) in his own contribution said it does not only help to motivate and develop interest on the part of the student, but also help to bring about an enhance respect for teachers knowledge of the subject. Instructional materials are also described as concrete or both to the sense organs during teaching (Aginna-Obu 2000). The nature of the learning and the wide range of student’s abilities in the average classroom necessitate a high degree of teachers and experience in the method of presenting the subject matter. This has been truncated with the unavailability of instructional materials in schools. However, a common goal a teacher carries wherever he is, is to make lesson presentation vitally fresh, stimulating and testing for their students. This will help the teacher to individualize the learning method as well as the content and also working according to the student’s need. This goal can be reached most effectively through the use of instructional materials. The need to emphasis on the use and importance of instructional materials in any learning and teaching environment cannot be underestimated. For any learning to take place, the teacher has to make use of these materials that would enable him to teach effectively.

Equipment and other instructional materials to some extent determine the method the teacher uses in teaching Basic technology. The method adopted could be demonstration, experimental, discussion etc. It is generally agreed by both teachers and school administrator that apart from the chalkboard and textbooks which are often available for the teacher to use, there are other materials that aid or are capable of complementing the teacher’s effort in teaching/learning process. Those materials are commonly called “instructional materials”. One of the reasons why students in our secondary schools sometime find it difficult to comprehend immediately what is being taught by the teacher is the non-availability of instructional materials that can easily convey the message of the lesson to the learners.

Orji (2000) asserts that instructional material is “the guidance of learning activities” that “a teacher uses to motivate and arouse student’s desire to learn” From the fore-going statement, it can be agreed that for effective learning to take place, a student need to be properly guided by the teacher by way of employing various method and means through which his teaching could be meaningful.

It is however noticed regrettably, that in the Nigerian system of education, little or no instructional material is made available. In rare cases when they are available, they are not accessible, when they are accessible; they are not properly utilized to best achieve the most desired goal of the teacher which has to do with the academic achievement of the learner at any point in time. This noticeable problems to the best of the knowledge of the researcher has not been properly researched especially in Enugu North L.G.A of Enugu State, hence the decision of the researcher to embark on the current study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In spite of the importance of instructional materials to academic performance of students, it is observed that most students complain of being taught principles that seem to be abstract in nature. It was the Indian axiom that says ‘’What I hear, I may forget, what I see I may forget but what I see, hear and touch I will never forget’’ the great problem and question in the Nigerian educational system is, to what extent are instructional materials made available? In cases where there are available, are there sufficient and accessible? In situation where they are sufficient, are they properly utilized? Report has proved severally from the results of WAEC, NECO and other professional examination bodies on high rate of failure of students in different subjects especially in the sciences and this again posed many questions on the heart of the researcher as whether the teachers lack proper skills and training in teaching or are instructional materials not available enough? To what extent are the teachers using the available ones? To what extent are they accessible? It is on the strength of the above problems and questions, that the researcher deems it necessary to investigate the current study to provide solutions to whatever problems that might be associated instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology in senior secondary schools in Enugu North L.G.A of Enugu State.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of the study was to examine the availability and use of instructional material in teaching and learning of Basic technology in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. Specifically, the study will determine the following:

  1. To examine the extent to which instructional materials are made available to Basic technology teachers in secondary school.
  2. To find out the extent to which teachers have access to instructional materials in teaching of Basic technology.
  3. To ascertain the extent of utilization of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology by the teachers.

1.4 Research Question

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. To what extent are instructional materials made available to Basic technology teachers in secondary schools?
  2. To what extent do teachers have access to the instructional materials in teaching of Basic technology in secondary schools?
  3. To what extent do teachers utilize the instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology in secondary schools?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, it can provide support and insight into the current cognitive theory of teaching and learning in schools. Here the theory of Jean Piaget which states that learning takes place in stages. Teachers can sequentially from simple to complex use instructional materials suitable for each stage of learning for the students.

For the practical significance, the findings of this study will benefit the followings: the school, students, Basic technology teachers, government, Basic technology text book writers, and curriculum planners.

The school shall use the findings of this study in making decisions on the importance of making available and accessible of teaching aids in the teaching and learning of Basic technology in secondary school. The reason why the result of these findings will be advantageous to the school is because the school is the centre of learning that houses both the teachers, the students and other academic activities.

The result of this study shall expose the students to the need of learning with instructional materials and invest more effort in acquiring them when need be. The students shall be exposed to the need of seeing, touching and hearing practically the knowledge that is to be learnt to remove sense of abstraction.

The Basic technology teachers shall be more exposed to the reasons why they should use teaching aids in dispensing their knowledge. The teacher shall read from the result of the research the needs to employ instructional material as it tends to reduce stress and energy spent on explanation of an abstract phenomenon.

The government shall use the findings of this study to make an informed decision on the types of instructional materials to be supplied to schools at various levels, the amount of money that should be allotted to education in the budget owing to the fact that huge amount of money is required for the procurement of these instructional material. It will also help the government to set up supervisory/monitoring team to ensure that teachers implement what has been planned in the curriculum.

The authors who write books in education shall use the result of this research to as a proper guide to bring in instructional materials as a veritable tool that will enhance proper understanding of what is to be learnt. Most teachers depends greatly on textbooks for their research and preparation before going to the classrooms, instructional materials at that point will help the teacher to easily understand the phenomenon of interest.

The curriculum planners shall greatly benefit from the findings of this research as it will help them in the planning of the curriculum on the instructional materials that should be fixed, how it should be used and who uses it. It shall also exposed the curriculum planners to effectively help the teachers as teaching is only but the implementation of what has already been written in the curriculum.


1.5 Scope of the Study

This study shall cover the availability and use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology in senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu state. The scope of this study will also examine the instructional materials used in teaching and learning in Basic technology classrooms.


1.6 Limitations of the Study

The limitations of the study include: some teachers were adamant and felt reluctant to respond to the questionnaire items, transportation to most of the schools posed limitation to the study, regarding to the road congestion, complex routes and expenses.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study examined the availability and use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of basic technology in secondary schools in Enugu State. Three research questions guided the study. Based on the findings of the study the following recommendations were made that government should make available all the necessary instructional materials to aid basic technology teachers in teaching and learning and teacher should be encouraged to make use of available instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of basic technology and all these will enhance the teaching and learning of basic technology.

Research question 1: To what extent are instructional materials made available to Basic technology teachers in secondary schools?

The result shows that few instructional materials were available, such as microscopes, preserved animal and plant specimens, test tubes, indicators etc. this makes it difficult for students to identify them especially during external examination. The poor performance in Basic technology at secondary school level is as a result of insufficiency and ineffective use of instructional materials and equipments in the teaching of Basic technology in secondary schools (Aduba, 1990). Consequently, Akudolu (2002) submitted that ICT tools are not always available to teachers in secondary schools. While Mmaka (2002) stated that for teaching of Basic technology to be more meaningful and effective, there should be modern technology. The low or poor availability of instructional materials will create room for abstract lesson rather than concrete lesson in Basic technology.

Research question 2: To what extent do teachers have access to the instructional materials in teaching of Basic technology in secondary schools?

The findings show that teachers’ access to instructional materials is not adequate enough. It is true that the available instructional materials are not sufficient, but still, teachers do not have full access to some of the available ones. For instance, Workshops and equipments are available but not accessible by teachers. Some factors like; Poor security, Principals’ and teachers’ attitude, Incompetent teachers, Insufficient qualified teachers, Poor maintenance, and Inadequate time assigned for Basic technology lessons, can deny Basic technology teachers access to instructional materials. This will negatively affect the academic performance of Basic technology students. It is because of this that Chike-Okoli (1997) in line with Ikediashi (2002) have pointed out that poor teaching experience, inadequate or poor physical infrastructure, unsatisfactory building design are likely to cause some physical discomfort for the students and are therefore bound to influence their academic achievement.
Research question 3:To what extent do teachers utilize the instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology in secondary schools?

According to the result, the utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching and learning of Basic technology is very low; only seven out of twenty listed items were utilized by teachers. Teachers do not have interest in using the available instructional materials because of incompetency, or it is often “time consuming”. This is not a healthy development because it does not make the teaching of Basic technology real, effective and productive. Similarly, Igwe (2005) asserted that passive learning through lectures and textbook reading may not provide a long lasting interest or understanding in any field of study. This problem can be attributed to insufficient qualified teachers, poor funding, inadequate time assigned for Basic technology lessons, lack of power supply, and lack of seminars/workshops for teachers are the factors that militate against the use of instructional materials. Thus, is then important that the school authority and curriculum planners should map out adequate time for especially Basic technology practical.

Non-utilization of Basic technology instructional materials will not make learning permanent, provide concrete and realistic experiences, stimulate imaginations, develop a continuity of thought, promote longer retention of factual knowledge as well as not stimulate the students’ interest in the learning of Basic technology. Therefore, for effective teaching and learning of Basic technology to take place, the resourceful Basic technology teachers should utilize properly the available instructional materials in Basic technology, together with the necessary skills.


5.2 Conclusion

The purpose of the study is to examine the availability, accessibility and utilization of instructional material in teaching and learning of Basic technology in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Findings made from the analysis showed that the availability of instructional materials in these schools is poor, including the most important ones.

Basic technology teachers do not have much access to the available instructional materials.
It is also revealed that the extent of use of instructional material for effective teaching and learning of Basic technology is very low.

However, the causative factors were narrowed to incompetent teachers, poor supervision, poor funding, inadequate time assigned for Basic technology lessons, lack of power supply, and lack of seminars/workshops for teachers. The government /ministry of education should also provide adequate qualified Basic technology teachers, regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard, provide fund for schools in order to create conducive environment for effective teaching and learning, and there should be good maintenance of available school facilities in all secondary schools, especially in Enugu North Local Government Area.


5.3 Recommendations of the Study

The following recommendations were made in line with the results of the study:

  1. The government /ministry of education should provide more adequate qualified Basic technology teachers to all the public secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area.
  2. The Basic technology teachers in public secondary schools in Enugu North should be sponsored to attend workshops where they will be taught how to improve and upgrade their competency in improvisation and utilization of Basic technology instructional materials. Such workshops could be held by the state government in collaboration with the state branch of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN).
  3. The government should provide fund for schools so as to enable them procure the relevant resources for effective teaching and learning of Basic technology.
  4. Considering the high cost of some institutional materials, appropriate management techniques should be adopted for good maintenance of available school facilities.
  5. Finally, the ministry of education should regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard.

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