Class Size And Instructional Materials As A Correlation Of Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Secondary School Chemistry

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Class Size And Instructional Materials As A Correlation Of Academic Performance Of Students In Senior Secondary School Chemistry


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine class size and instructional materials as a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry in Sapele local government of Delta State. The study was specifically set to find out the extent of availability of chemistry instructional materials in senior secondary school; investigate whether the use of instructional materials contributes to the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school; determine whether class size significantly influences the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school; and find out whether class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of Chemistry teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in Sapele local government of Delta State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, while the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that class size significantly influences the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school. The result of the findings reveals that class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools. Therefore, it is recommended that schools should stick to the 40:1 student – teacher ratio as stipulated by the National Policy on education. Class management and control is easier to achieve in a smaller class which goes a long way to determine the outcome of the learning experience. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Academic achievement represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university. The problem of students’ under-performance in secondary schools in Nigeria has been a much discussed educational issue. In solving any problem however, it is pertinent to understand the causes of such problems. Many causes or agents have been studied as the etiological starting point for investigating the phenomena of school failure or success. These causes are looked into from several perspectives including the role of the students, teachers, parents or family, school environment, society, government etc. Notable works among these are effects of: students’ study habits (Ayodele & Adebiyi, 2013; Obasoro & Ayodele 2012), school environment (Adesoji & Olatunbosun, 2008; Okoro, 2004), teachers’ competencies (Akiri & Ugborugbo, 2009), parents’ economic status (Osonwa et al, 2013), continuous assessment (Kolawole & Ala, 2014; Okwu & Orum, 2012), educational funding (Ugwulashi, 2012). However, much attention have not been given to class size and instructional material as determinants of students academic performance in Chemistry, which is the focus of this study.

Specifically, the relationship between class size and academic performance has been a perplexing one for educators. Studies have found that the physical environment, ethnicity, socioeconomics, overcrowding and teaching methods are all variables that affect student achievement (Molnar, 2000). Other factors that affect student achievement are school population and class size (Gentry, 2000; Swift, 2000; Krueger and White Moore, 2007).

Overpopulation in schools and classes is a serious problem in many schools systems. As a result, students find themselves trying to learn while jammed into spaces never intended as classrooms, such as libraries, gymnasiums, laboratories, lunch rooms and even closets. Although, research on the relationship between overcrowding and student leaving had been limited, there are some evidence particularly in high poverty schools, that overcrowding can have adverse impact on learning. A study of overpopulation in schools found that students in such schools score significantly lower on both mathematics and reading exams then did similar students in underutilized schools. In addition, when asked, students and teachers in overpopulation schools agreed that overcrowding negatively affects both classroom activities and instructional technologies (Krueger and Whiteman, 2001). On this note, it is pertinent to state that overcrowded classes not only influence students academic performance but fundamental affects the availability, adequacy and utilization of instructional materials in directly affects the teaching and learning process in secondary schools.

Instructional materials serve as a channel between the teacher and the students in delivering instructions. They may also serve as the motivation on the teaching-learning process. It is use to get the attention of the students and eliminate boredom. Instructional materials are highly important for teaching; especially for inexperienced teachers. Teachers rely on instructional materials in every aspect of teaching. They need material for background information on the subject they are teaching. Young teachers usually have not built upon their expertise whenever they enter into the field. Teachers often use instructional materials for lesson planning. These materials are also needed by the teachers to assess the knowledge of their students. Teachers often assess students by assigning tasks, creating projects, and administering exams. Instructional materials are essential for all of these activities. Basssey (2002) described instructional materials media as system component that may be used as part of instructional process which are used to disseminate informative message and ideas or which make possible communication in the teaching-learning process.

Experience over the years has shown that teachers have been depending on excessive use of words to express, convey ideas or facts in the teaching-learning process. This process is termed the ‘chalk-talk’ method. Today advances in technology have made it possible to produce materials and devices that could be used to minimize the teachers’ talking and at the same time, make the message clearer, more interesting and easier for the learner to assimilate (Onasanya, et al. (2008).According to Soetan et al. (2010), graphics including charts, posters, sketches, cartoons, graphs and drawings. Graphics communicate facts and ideas clearly through combination of drawings, words and pictures. The use of graphics in teaching creates definitiveness to the materials being studied. They help to visualize the whole concepts learned and their relationships with one another.

Chemistry as a science subject is activity oriented and the suggested method for teaching it which is guided discovering method is resource based (NTI, 2007). This suggest that mastery of chemistry concepts cannot be fully achieved without the use of instructional materials. The teaching of chemistry without instructional materials will certainly result to poor performance in the course. Franzer et al. (1992) stressed that a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained would be unable to put his ideas into practice if the school setting lacks the equipment and materials necessary for him or her to translate his competence into reality.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

There is a general impression that science education is not achieving the desired objectives especially with high incidence of students’ poor performance in chemistry and other science subjects at senior secondary certificate examination. This situation has assumed a precarious dimension in all secondary schools in Nigeria. The failure of educational system to provide adequate and appropriate teaching-learning aids in order to improve academic performance of students is of a great concern to government, educational institutions and other concern citizens. It is believed that if adequate instructional materials are made available to school and are used appropriately in teaching-learning process, a better performance could be achieved.

On the other hand, managing class size allows students to learn effectively without disturbing one another (Garret, 2008). While a number of studies have found support for the importance of class size on student achievement, others strongly disprove this claim concluding that class size has little or no impact on objective student outcomes. Copious studies have investigated the influence of class size on student attitudes, behaviors, and outcomes. The devastating issue is that limited number of these studies has focused on elementary school effects of class size on student achievement (Altinok and Kingdon, 2012). In view of the above, this study seek to examine class size and instructional materials as a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to examine class size and instructional materials as a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Find out the extent of availability of chemistry instructional materials in senior secondary school.
  2. Investigate whether the use of instructional materials contributes to the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school.
  3. Determine whether class size significantly influences the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school.
  4. Find out whether class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the extent of availability of chemistry instructional materials in senior secondary school?
  2. Does the use of instructional materials contribute to the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school?
  3. Does class size significantly influence the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school?
  4. Does class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Class size and the use of instructional materials do not influence students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools.
  • Ha: Class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is significant to Chemistry teachers in Delta State in particular and in Nigeria in general. Teachers and would find this study relevant and useful in teaching and learning procedures. The use of instructional materials would help curriculum planners in the area of practical works. It will be helpful to examination bodies such as WAEC and NECO in setting examination questions with emphasis on area of practical works. Science equipment manufacturers and science book publishers etc. will find this study relevant in areas of science instructional materials production to schools.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study boarders on class size and instructional materials ass a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry. Geographically, this study will be carried out in Sapele local government of Delta State. Hence, the respondents for this study will be obtained from selected secondary schools in Sapele local government of Delta State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Class Size:

Class size refers to the number of students a teacher faces during a given period of instruction. Dozens of studies on class-size reduction demonstrate its positive impact on student performance, though a smaller number of studies attempt to cast doubt on the connection between class size and student learning.

Instruction Materials:

Facilities given to students, so that they can use every opportunity to develop full potential. Instructional materials include fixtures, equipment, and buildings necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the program of public education.

Academic Performance:

Refers to the level at which a student, teacher or institution has managed to reach their educational goals.

Academic Performance:

Refers to the level at which a student, teacher or institution has managed to reach their educational goals.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on class size and instructional materials as a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry in Sapele local government of Delta State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine class size and instructional materials as a correlation of academic performance of students in senior secondary school chemistry in Sapele local government of Delta State. The study is was specifically carried out to find out the extent of availability of chemistry instructional materials in senior secondary school; investigate whether the use of instructional materials contributes to the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school; determine whether class size significantly influences the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school; and find out whether class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are chemistry teachers and students of some selected secondary schools in Sapele local government of Delta State.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The extent of availability of chemistry instructional materials in senior secondary school in Sapele Delta State is low.
  2. The use of instructional materials contributes to the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school.
  3. Class size significantly influences the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary school.
  4. Class size and the use of instructional materials influences students academic performance in Chemistry in secondary schools.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. Schools should stick to the 40:1 student – teacher ratio as stipulated by the National Policy on education. Class management and control is easier to achieve in a smaller class which goes a long way to determine the outcome of the learning experience.
  2. Restructuration of class size in chemistry require more facilities, therefore stakeholders should endeavour to provide required facilities and instructional materials for the teaching and learning of chemistry in senior secondary schools.
  3. Recruitment of chemistry teachers in senior secondary schools should be commensurate with the number of students in schools today so that the student-teacher ratio will not be so wide. This will reduce the possibility of taking more number of chemistry students by teachers in a particular class.
  4. Where class size is inevitably large, chemistry teachers should devise a means of dichotomizing students into segments so that instructional and pedagogical strategies to be applied by the teacher will enable the students to effectively harness the lesson very well.
  5. Instructional materials should be provided by the Ministry of Education for effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in Delta State Senior Secondary School. Other Stakeholders like the PTA should also make effort to provide teaching materials to schools.
  6. Teachers should be fully and adequately trained to make use of instructional materials through regular workshops and seminars.

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