Comparative Effect Of Co-Operative Learning Strategy And Inquiry Based Method In The Learning Of Chemistry Among Secondary Schools In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Comparative Effect Of Co-Operative Learning Strategy And Inquiry Based Method In The Learning Of Chemistry Among Secondary Schools In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to investigate the comparative effect of co-operative learning strategy and inquiry based method in the learning of chemistry among secondary schools in Nigeria. The sample comprised 275 senior secondary school students (134 male and 141 female) who were selected by multi-stage sampling technique. Five research questions and five research hypotheses were raised for the study. Quasi- experimental pre-test and post-test control group design was utilized for the research. The research instruments used for the study were Numerical Aptitude Test (NAT), chemistry Achievement Test (CAT), chemistry Attitude Scale (CAS) and Self-efficacy Questionnaire (SEQ). The test-retest reliability coefficient of 0.82 and 0.78 respectively was obtained for the two forms of the achievement tests at four weeks interval. The hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Multiple Regression Analysis statistical methods were used to analyse the data gathered. The study findings show that there is a significant difference in the post-test in scores in chemistry among participants exposed to the three experimental conditions. Cooperative learning was more effective in students’ performance in chemistry. There is a significant difference in the post-test scores on self-efficacy due to the intervention strategies. Participants exposed to inquiry-based learning have higher scores in post self-efficacy more than those exposed to the cooperative learning and control. There is a significant difference in the post-test scores on attitude to learning chemistry among the experimental groups. Inquiry-based learning and cooperative learning successfully improved the participants’ attitude to learning chemistry than those in the control. There is a significant linear relationship between chemistry performance test scores and a set of dependant variables (attitude to chemistry and self-efficacy). Both self-efficacy and attitude to learning chemistry accounted for a significant variation in students’ performance in chemistry. Based on the findings, some recommendations were proffered one of which is the need to engage students in the teaching and learning process in order to help them increase their understanding of the subject.


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 to the Study

The study of chemistry and its related fields is important for so many reasons. It gives scientists understanding into how the human body works amidst so many metabolites and enzyme. Such understanding has advanced the production of effective drugs that cure ailments and also prevent them. Chemistry has also found application with engineers. Today, petrochemical products are used in storing water, foods, clothes, and for preservations. Electronic components like diodes, condensers, and resistors are produced with the knowledge of chemistry. These applications of chemistry among others depict the idea that chemistry education is an indispensable part of science education.
The teaching and learning of chemistry in science education has its peculiar challenges. One of the major problems is the experimental verification of what is taught. The students are not often exposed to laboratory experiments owing to the cost of acquiring the consumable chemicals which may not be stored on the shelves. Students of chemistry find some of the concept very abstract and difficult to understand. Others have phobia for chemicals and are scared that it could harm them given their corrosive, basic or poisonous nature. It is made up of concepts which require complex mental process that involves vitalizing, manipulating, analyzing, abstracting, and associating with idea (Oluchukwu, 2015). This implies that the study of chemistry requires effective and efficient teaching for the students to learn meaningfully.

In spite of the importance of chemistry in national development, researchers have observed low achievement in chemistry among students in senior secondary school certificate examinations (Giginna & Nweze, 2014). The percentage analysis of students’ performance in West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) also revealed that those who passed chemistry at credit level over the years has not been consistently increasing as compared to the percentage of students who enrolled for the examination. From 2007-2012, the percentage of those who passed at credit level was below 50% except in 2011. From 2013 to 2016, although, the percentage of those who passed at credit level was above 50%, there has been consistently decline in the percentage of those who made credit passes; from 72.34% in 2013, to 62.49% in 2014, 60.60% in 2015 and 57.74% in 2016. The poor achievement of students in chemistry has been blamed on teacher-related factors by Giginna and Nweze (2014). Some of the factors implicated include: the teaching methods adopted by the chemistry teachers, lack of activities and assignment that will involve the students’ active engagement and teacher demonstrations with little or no practice on the part of the students. The chemistry teachers play a vital role in ensuring success in the delivery of subject matter.

Ofoefuna (2008) observed that chemistry teaching needs a lot of activities on the part of the students for them to benefit maximally from the learning experiences. Okoye (2013) asserted that teaching and learning have gone beyond the teacher standing in front of the learners to disseminate information to them without learners actively participating. Literature however, is replete with evidence that chemistry classrooms are dominated with conventional methods of teaching which makes students passive recipients in the teaching/learning process. For example, Giginna and Nweze (2014) blamed the poor teaching methods adopted by chemistry teachers over the years. Uzoechi (2014) opined that science education (chemistry inclusive) programmes must focus attention on innovative teaching methods that can promote creative thinking in science problem-solving. Science educators also advocate a shift from teacher-centered methods to leaner-centered methods that engage students actively in the process of learning. These efforts in assisting the learners to learn, have led to the development of cooperative learning and inquiry based learning which could enhance meaningful learning.

Cooperative learning is the deliberate instructional use of heterogeneous small groups of students who work together to maximize each other’s learning (Igboegwu, 2012). Ifamuyiwa and Onakoya (2013) viewed cooperative learning as an instructional method in which learners work together in small groups in such a manner that each member of the group can participate in a clearly collective task and engage in discussion with one another while participation in authentic learning activities relevant to real life that encourage them to teach one another. Cooperative learning is an instructional method in which small groups of students work together on a common task to accomplish group, individual and common goals.

In a cooperative learning class, there exist small groups divided out of the whole class with each group having a leader. Each group together with its leader participates in structured group activities, as they work together on sets of problems and a given common goal. While the groups work together on their tasks in the cooperative learning class, the course tutor moves group to group, observes the interactions, listens to the conversations and intervenes when he feels it is appropriate. The tutor can ask groups to give a brief oral report on their findings or submit a copy of their group – activity materials for his comments. Johnson and Johnson (2008) indicate that cooperative interaction when compared with competitive, individualistic as well as traditional teaching methods provides greater achievements, retention of materials, motivation, and more frequent use of higher level reasoning strategies. It also provides more positive attitude towards classmates, regardless of handicaps, gender, ethnic background or level of ability, great self-esteem, psychological, health and collaborative skills. More learning occurs when students learn together, talk through with each other and support each other’s work. Meaningful learning can also be achieved when students discover knowledge for themselves through inquiry based learning.

Inquiry based learning (IBL) on the other hand is originally designed as a classroom- based method of instruction with the intention of improving students’ achievement. Inquiry based learning starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios. It is mainly involving the learner and leading him to understand. Inquiry allows you to ask questions about new resolutions and issues while you are gaining new information. IBL according to Sola and Ojo (2007) involves developing questions, making observations, doing research to find out what information is already recorded, developing methods for experiment, developing instruments for data collection, collecting, analyzing and interpreting data, outlining possible explanations and creating predictions for further study. The process is often assisted by a facilitator. Inquirers research issues and questions to develop their knowledge or solutions.

Inquiry based learning includes problem–based learning and is generally used in small scale investigation and projects, as well as research. The inquiry-based instruction is principally very closely related to the development and practice of thinking skills. Cheval and Hart (2005), classify inquiry based learning into three namely: structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry. All these types of inquiry can be useful to students to learn science when taught appropriately. In this study, guided inquiry will be used. Students will be given a set of topic and materials to develop method to find answers to the given problem unlike in conventional method where the teacher is at the centre of instruction.

The conventional (lecture) method is used primarily to introduce students to a new subject, but is also a valuable method for summarizing ideas, showing relationships between theory and practice, and re-emphasizing main points. Although lecture method is beneficial for large group of students and for covering large content areas, it has been castigated in many research studies. This study seeks to ascertain the effect of cooperative learning strategy and inquiry-based learning on academic achievement of secondary school students. The study also seeks to establish the influence of gender on the achievement of students relative to teaching strategies.

The result of studies on the influence of gender on the achievement by students have been inconclusive. Some studies like that of Nwanze (2016) showed that significant difference exists between the achievements of students while other studies (Izuegbunam, 2018; Pius, 2018) found no significant difference in achievement. Such disparity in the achievement of students due to gender has been attributed to gender stereotyping which is becoming common in most schools. It is believed that certain disciplines especially the sciences is reserved for males and others like the social sciences, arts and humanities are more female oriented. This belief drives the attention given to male students who enroll for sciences than females resulting in gender stereotyping.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The methods of teaching chemistry in the senior secondary schools pose some problems. The subject is taught using poor and inappropriate methods by teachers. Also, it is taught in a manner that does not give the students in-depth knowledge of the subject to enable them apply the lessons to real life situation. The conventional method teachers use in teaching the subject make students to be passive learners who merely listen, read and memorize the concepts for the purpose of passing examination. As Onah (2006) noted, most teachers of chemistry did not major in chemistry and therefore find it difficult to teach the difficult concepts. Invariably, this does not augur well for the students as they find it difficult to cope with.

Basically, the situation is very grave. It has affected the attitude of the students towards chemistry as well as their self-efficacy and performance in the subject. Ochoba, (1994) have rightly noted that students’ performance in chemistry at the SSCE has declined. This was attributed to short supply of qualified teachers of chemistry and poor teaching method among other reasons. Despite the large number of students that offer chemistry at both West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO), the performance level has not matched the popularity of the subject. The Chief Examiner’s Report of the May/June 2015 Examination attributed the poor performance of candidates to such weaknesses as poor graphical analysis, the use of wrong terminologies and failure to expatiate points. This is the essence of this thesis as it appears that no study has been carried out to really and methodically address the matter.


1.3 Objective of Study

This study was designed to investigate the comparative effect of co-operative learning strategy and inquiry based method in the learning of chemistry among secondary schools in Nigeria. Specifically, the objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the difference in the post-test scores in chemistry Achievement Test of participants exposed to the experimental conditions(Cooperative learning and Inquiry-based learning).
  2. Explore the difference in the post-test scores in self-efficacy among participants exposed to the three experimental conditions.
  3. Establish the difference in the post-test scores in attitude to chemistry among participants exposed to the experimental conditions (Cooperative Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning).
  4. Determine whether a linear relationship exists between chemistry Achievement test scores and other dependent variables (attitude to chemistry, self- efficacy).
  5. Determine if there is any gender difference in the post-test scores of chemistry among participants in the experimental groups.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study.

  1. What would be the difference in the post-test scores in chemistry Achievement Test among participants exposed to the experimental conditions?
  2. To what extent would there be difference in the post-test scores in self-efficacy among participants exposed to the experimental conditions?
  3. What would be the difference of the post-test scores in attitude towards chemistry among participants exposed to the experimental conditions?
  4. To what extent would there be linear relationship between chemistry Achievement post-test scores and a set of dependent variables? (attitude to chemistry, self-efficacy and performance)
  5. What would be the gender difference in the post-test scores in chemistry among participants in the experimental groups?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were raised for the study:

  1. There will be no significant difference in the post-test scores in chemistry Achievement Test among participants exposed to the three experimental conditions (Cooperative Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning and Control group).
  2. There will be no significant difference in the post-test scores in self-efficacy among participants exposed to the three experimental conditions.
  3. There will be no significant difference in the post-test scores in attitude to chemistry among participants exposed to the three experimental conditions.
  4. There will be no significant linear relationship between chemistry Achievement post test scores and a set of dependent variables (attitude to chemistry, self- efficacy).
  5. There will be no significant gender deferential in post-test scores in chemistry among participants in the experimental groups.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study would be valuable to Educational Psychologists, Guidance Counsellors, Policy Makers, Teachers, Researchers, Evaluation Experts, School Principals, Curriculum Experts Students. To the Educational Psychologist and Guidance counsellor the result from this study will provide bases to profer solution to children or young people who are experiencing problems that hinder their successful learning and participation in school and other activities.

To the students’, identification of a more effective Cooperative and Inquiry-Based Learning will help them to perform better in chemistry. To the teachers and evaluation experts the benefits of Cooperative and Inquiry-Based Learning will make teaching and learning process more interesting because students‘ performance will improve and their interest sustained, thus enabling the realization of the stated instructional objectives which is the goal of any academic enterprise. To other researchers; the findings and suggestions of this study will create an insight for researchers into other methods of learning, it will also be a base-line data as well as a reference material for future studies and to the school principals, the result from this study will provide bases for developing and implementing the use of Cooperative and Inquiry-Based Learning that has a greater effect in improving students‘ performance in chemistry.

Finally to curriculum experts in the educational sector. It would bring about a review of the present educational policy in the curriculum with the aim of emphazising Cooperative and Inquiry-Based Learning to improve learning abilities. The information gathered through this study would also help institutions and researchers in education to have a better understanding of instructional methods, self-efficacy and attitude to the subject to be able to evaluate students’ academic achievement. It will be a contribution to existing knowledge in this field of study.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study was delimited to three selected Senior Secondary Schools in Oluyole local government area Oyo state, Nigeria. It covered two instructional methods (Cooperative Learning and Inquiry-Based Learning), Attitude towards chemistry, Self-efficacy, and Performance in chemistry. The study was also delimited to public secondary schools in Oluyole local government area Oyo state and students’ in Senior Secondary School II in the study area.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

  • Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data.
    Financial constraint, was faced by the researcher, in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires.
  • Time Factor: Time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher.

1.9 Operational Definition of Terms

Academic Performance:

This is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

Cooperative Learning:

This is an educational approach which aims to organize classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences.In this study, cooperative learning refers to a teaching strategy in which small teams, with students of different levels of ability, using a variety of learning activities improve their understanding of the subject.

Inquiry-Based Learning:

This is an active learning that starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge.In this study, Inquiry-based learning is a process where the teacher creates an environment in which students are free to ask questions, learn concepts and explore possible solutions within a real-world project-based content.


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


Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of the Study

This study examined the Effects of cooperative learning and inquiry based instruction on students’ academic achievement in chemistry in Oluyole local government area Oyo state Nigeria. This chapter discusses the result of the statistical analysis relating to the research questions postulated and the hypotheses tested. The discussion of findings tries to place the findings of the study in perspective vis-à-vis other related findings. It highlights the implications of the findings to Educational Psychologist, Guidance Counsellors, Policy Makers, Researchers and Evaluation Experts in Nigeria. The chapter also provides specific recommendations on the findings.


5.2 Conclusion

In view of the findings of this study, the following conclusions were made.

  1. Chemistry Achievement Test significantly differed among students exposed to the three experimental conditions. The study found out that Cooperative Learning was more effective in students’ performance in chemistry than Inquiry- based Learning.
  2. There was a significant difference in the test scores on students’ self-efficacy due to intervention strategies. Participants exposed to Inquiry-Based Learning have higher scores in post self-efficacy more than those exposed to the Cooperative Learning and control.
  3. There was a significant difference in the test scores on attitude to learning chemistry among the experimental groups. Inquiry-Based Learning and cooperative learning successfully improved the participants’ attitude to learning chemistry than those in the control.
  4. There was a significant linear relationship between chemistry performance test scores and a set of dependant variables (attitude to chemistry and self- efficacy). Both self- efficacy and attitude to learning chemistry accounted for a significant variation in students’ performance in chemistry.
  5. There was no significant difference in the post-test scores in chemistry among participants in the three experimental groups due to gender difference.

5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are proffered:

  1. There is need to engage students in the teaching and learning process in order to help them increase their understanding of the subject. They should not merely know what the teacher says but should have a better grasp of the concepts. This will have a high impact on students’ performance in chemistry.
  2. The Students should be encouraged to believe that their actions produce the outcomes they desires and to persevere in the face of obstacles or adverse circumstances.
  3. There is the need for students to be connected with the learning materials. This will improve performance in chemistry.
  4. Frequent and regular use of cooperative learning and inquiry-based learning would help students to learn many life skills and share common goals which allow them to learn to trust each other as they achieve more than would be possible on their own.

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