Effect Of Argument-Base Enquiry Approach On Acquisition Of Skills And Interest In Biology

Biology Education Project Material

Effect Of Argument-Base Enquiry Approach On Acquisition Of Skills And Interest In Biology


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology with special reference to Oshogbo local government area, Osun State. Specifically, the study aims to determine the extent argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills, determine whether there is a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology, determine whether the adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills and determine whether there is gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 141 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analyzed, the findings revealed that Argument-base enquiry approach have an effect on acquisition of skills and interest in biology. The study thereby recommend that the use of argument-base enquiry approach should be encouraged among teachers of biology to improve student‟s acquisition of skills and interest. Also, both male and female senior secondary school students should be taught Biology with argument-base enquiry approach as both acquire science process skills when used. Lastly, teachers of Biology should be sponsored by government/private school owners to attend regular courses, workshops, seminars and in-house training on the use of argument-base enquiry approach for the maximum students‟ acquisition of skills and interest.


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

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

Science has developed as a very influential branch of study that has greatly enhanced the quality of human existence. Technology has significantly altered the way in which humans interact with their surroundings. Through the application of scientific knowledge, illnesses may be treated and, in some instances, completely eliminated. Additionally, the understanding of the environment resulting from scientific advancements has led to a more logical utilisation of resources, ultimately improving the quality of life. Oyekan (1993) argued that science plays a crucial role in the contemporary world by providing the necessary instruments for industrialization and national development. Governments worldwide, including Nigeria, prioritise scientific education due to this very reason. Therefore, the Nigerian government has consistently prioritised expanding the enrollment of students pursuing scientific subjects above those studying arts in its higher education institutions. Biology is one of the subjects taught in Nigerian secondary schools. By acquiring information in biology, students get the ability to comprehend the architecture and functions of various bodily components, as well as the environment they inhabit and the most appropriate ways to navigate it. Combining the study of biology with other courses offers several professional opportunities, such as research, medical and pharmaceutical services, agriculture, environmental science, and conservation, among others (CESAC, 2004). Thus, in order for learners to become proficient future biologists and scientists, they are required to develop their reasoning ability and scientific abilities as outlined in the National Policy of Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). The science process skills are also known as scientific skills, as stated by the America Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS, 1990). AAAS states that one of the process skills encompasses communication skills. Communication skills involve the use of language or visual symbols to describe an action or event.

When students acquire these skills effectively, they enhance the learning process in scientific subjects. They promote active participation, foster a sense of personal responsibility in learning, improve the retention of knowledge, and encourage students to think and act like scientists (AAAS, 1990). Chinn and Malhotra (2002) observed that scientific students had a limited ability to build effective communication skills. This course focuses on written communication abilities. The components of written communication abilities may be improved according to Morreale and Michael (2003). The following factors are: content, organisation, support for explanation, observation, and measurement. Content refers to the capacity to effectively articulate the subject under investigation, outline the methodology, and present the findings using accurate scientific terminology. Organisation refers to the skill of effectively structuring paragraphs around a key idea. Support for explanation involves providing relevant evidence, such as drawings or graphs, to substantiate statements. Observation is the act of using our senses to collect information about an item or event and then properly documenting it in writing. Measurement, on the other hand, involves using both standard and non-standard estimations to precisely characterise the dimensions of an object or event. The biology results from the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) issued by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) between 2009 and 2014 showed a downward trend. The decrease in the students’ academic performance was largely ascribed to inadequate communication skills and subpar use of the English language among a significant number of scientific students. Furthermore, the WAEC Chief examiners’ report in biology (2007 – 2009 and 2013/2014) disclosed certain deficiencies shown by the pupils, including: The individual exhibits a lack of proficiency in comprehending and responding to questions, as well as in constructing logical, systematic, and persuasive answers. Additionally, there is a deficiency in drawing skills, a limited understanding of various biological concepts, and a weak ability to effectively communicate using language. Furthermore, there is an inability to accurately spell numerous biological terms and establish connections between features and functions (WAEC, 2010; 2013/2014). It is crucial to guarantee that scientific education enables students to develop proficient written communication skills, since this is an essential component of language and plays a significant role in the formation and interpretation of knowledge (Ford, 2008). Therefore, it is necessary to investigate potential methods for improving students’ development of communication skills via effective teaching strategies. This may be accomplished via the use of several teaching techniques and approaches, including field trips, demonstrations, discoveries, project-based learning, and inquiry-based approaches. Nevertheless, a few of these strategies are seldom used (Onyegegbu, 2008). Research has shown that the instruction of science, especially biology, has been characterised by a conventional and teacher-centered approach. (Folaranmi, 2002; Nwagbo, 2006). The instructional approach used here is mostly lecture-based, with a strong emphasis on teacher-centered instruction. The lecture technique designates the instructor as the only active participant in the class, while the students assume the role of passive observers or ‘admirers’ for the whole of the session. This approach not only fosters indolence and mechanical learning, but also engenders reliance and diminishes enthusiasm for the field of science. Additionally, it results in a decrease in both the quality and quantity of scientific reasoning among science students. Consequently, the pupils exhibit subpar performance in acquiring information and communication abilities in the field of biology. Various alternative teaching styles or approaches have been recommended for science classes. The methods mentioned include co-operative learning, analogies, field excursions, problem solving, constructivist instructional model, and inquiry (Osisioma, 2005). An inquiry may be defined as any systematic procedure that seeks to enhance knowledge, resolve uncertainty, or address an issue. An inquiry is the act of seeking knowledge, information, or truth by asking questions. An inquiry is a formal procedure used to ascertain the root cause of an event or to gather specific facts on a particular matter (Hornby, 2006).

Inquiry encompasses the endeavours of students to acquire knowledge and comprehension of scientific concepts, as well as an appreciation of the methodologies used by scientists in investigating the natural world. Studies have shown that even at an early age, toddlers acquire conceptual comprehension by engaging in curiosity, asking inquiries, and constructing rudimentary ideas about their surroundings (Kuhn, 2000). This research utilises inquiry as a pedagogical strategy that integrates students’ curiosity with the scientific method to promote the acquisition of science process skills in the context of biology education. By using an efficient inquiry strategy, students are anticipated to enhance their learning of scientific process abilities and have a more favourable disposition towards science. The pupils are required to assume accountability for their learning and start to engage in scientific thinking. Although inquiry has been recognised for its virtues and its potential to be a key component in scientific classrooms, it has not been effectively implemented to get the intended results in science students (Sampson, Groom & Walker, 2011). The primary issue at hand is the lack of suitable instructional methods for facilitating inquiry-based learning or teaching in educational institutions. In addition, scientific students exhibit a reluctance towards the additional effort needed to independently analyse and solve issues (Loughran & Derry, 1997). In addition, Watters and Watters (2007) discovered that scientific students exhibited a propensity for memorising and recitation, rather than attaining a profound comprehension of the subject matter. In addition to these issues, Chinn and Malhotra (2002) found that the present inquiry activities in high school do not closely resemble true scientific thinking. Instead, they may be more accurately classified as basic inquiry tasks, such as simple observations, drawings, or experiments. In addition to variations in the implementation of inquiry-based education, Norris, Phillips, and Corpan (2003) contended that, at most, the use of inquiry as an instructional approach just facilitated the attainment of scientific literacy, which is considered to be of utmost importance. According to Norris, Phillips, and Corpan (2003), this particular type of inquiry is referred to as the conventional inquiry. Merely participating in conventional inquiry, as Lederman, Wade, and Bell (1998) argue, is insufficient for fostering students’ understanding of the essence of science. Students persist in conducting laboratory verification activities by adhering closely to instructions and committing to memory the information presented in biology textbooks or by teachers as factual knowledge about the natural world. However, it is important to note that true inquiry-based scientific investigations differ significantly from mere verification experiments (National Research Council, 1996). Therefore, the latest proposal suggests using enhanced inquiry approaches for teaching science. Supporters of inquiry-based reform argue that it is important to align the methods scientists use to generate and validate knowledge with the epistemological principles that define scientific knowledge. Additionally, they aim to address the issue of science students’ limited ability to effectively communicate and participate in scientific activities. (Hand, 2008). Given that efficient productivity and cooperation in the 21st century workplace demand strong communication skills, both verbal and written, it is necessary to include the concepts and requirements of excellent language use into the classical inquiry approach. The children should be given opportunity to combine reading, writing, speaking, and logical thinking with other activities, such as observing, experimenting, and measuring. The Argument-Based Inquiry (ABI) educational technique aims to facilitate students’ acquisition of skills in formulating, substantiating, assessing, and modifying ideas via constructive discourse and written expression. Furthermore, the development of skills and accomplishments has been shown to have a positive correlation with interest. Interest refers to the favourable emotions or attraction that one has towards a certain thing or event. According to Webster (2006), interest may be defined as the emotional state of someone whose attention, worry, or curiosity is specifically captivated by something. It is the subject matter that captures, engages, attracts, and stimulates a person’s interest. Njoku (1997) argued that the continuation of an activity or the existence of an item is determined by the potential benefits or drawbacks that the person involved stands to experience. This entails fostering students’ receptiveness to biology and assisting them in identifying the specific regions and subjects that ignite their enthusiasm and that they want to independently explore.

While extensive research has been conducted on the factors that influence Nigerian students’ interest in science, including biology, there is no agreement on whether their lack of interest in biology is primarily caused by the challenging nature of the subject or the instructional methods employed. The ambiguous findings about the correlation between interest and scientific education highlight the need of identifying techniques to augment students’ engagement in biology classes. This need becomes necessary due to advancements in technical developments and the growing impact of globalisation. It applies to all students in the 21st century, irrespective of their gender. They must be able to effectively manage extensive and sometimes intricate information from many sources. Regardless of their topic specialisation, these students are expected to possess the ability to assess information, participate in reasoning, and make evidence-based judgements, independent of their gender (Jimenez and Erduran, as quoted by McDonald, 2013). Therefore, the study looked into effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Science is crucial for the progress and development of any country. It offers the resources for the advancement of technology and the development of human resources. Efficient instruction of science is therefore anticipated. Nevertheless, the academic performance of biology students, both in internal and external assessments such as the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria, is consistently subpar throughout the geographical scope of this research. The significant usage of the lecture technique in teaching biology by the science instructors is held responsible for this scenario. While the lecture technique enables a broad range of subjects to be covered and accommodates large classroom sizes, it does not facilitate the development of specific abilities, such as written communication skills. The male and female students continue to engage in laboratory verification activities, diligently according to instructions and committing to memory the information presented in biology textbooks or by their professors, which is considered to be factual knowledge about the natural world. Given the high need for these abilities in modern employment, educators see the necessity of implementing more effective approaches, such as the inquiry method. Given the limited literature available on the use of ABI for acquiring skills and interest in biology, as well as the inconclusive findings on the impact of gender on science education outcomes, it is necessary to examine the effectiveness of the ABI approach in acquiring biology skills. These skills are crucial for 21st century employment. Hence the problem of this study is to examine effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to examine effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology. The specific objectives is as follows

  1. Determine the extent argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills.
  2. Determine whether there is a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology
  3. Determine whether the adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills.
  4. Determine whether there is gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

  1. What is the extent argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills?
  2. Is there a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology?
  3. Does the adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills?
  4. Is there a gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to further guide the study

  • H0: Argument-base enquiry approach does not have an effect on acquisition of skills and interest in biology
  • Ha: Argument-base enquiry approach have an effect on acquisition of skills and interest in biology.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be significant to Biology teachers as they would know the value of using the argument base inquiry method of teaching Biology concepts apart from the numerous methods or approaches of teaching Biology to enhance acquisition of science process skills. It would also be made clear to teachers that different methods could be used in teaching different concept in Biology instead of the traditional methods.

The findings of the study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology. Hence, the study will determine the extent argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills, determine whether there is a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology, determine whether the adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills and determine whether there is gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction. Therefore, the study is delimited to selected secondary schools in Oshogbo, Osun State


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers 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 (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Argument-Base Enquiry Approach:

The approach that enables students to make claims or explanations on scientific questions, discuss them with their peers, collect data and use evidence to support these claims or explanations.

Acquisition of Skills:

To put it simply, skill acquisition refers to learning a new skill


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on the effect of argument-base enquiry approach on acquisition of skills and interest in biology using selected secondary schools in Oshogbo, Osun State as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at highlighting determine the extent argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills, determine whether there is a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology,determine whether the adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills and determine whether there is gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from biology teachers in the selected schools in Oshogbo.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Argument-based instructional approach enhances biology students acquisition of scientific skills.
  2. There is a significant relationship between argument-base enquiry approach and students interest in learning of biology.
  3. The adoption of argument-base enquiry approach boost students retention ability for effective acquisition of skills.
  4. There is a gender related differences in the acquisition of science process skills when exposed to inquiry-based instruction.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. The use of argument-base enquiry approach should be encouraged among teachers of biology to improve student‟s acquisition of skills and interest.
  2. Both male and female senior secondary school students should be taught Biology with argument-base enquiry approach as both acquire science process skills when used.
  3. Teachers of Biology should be sponsored by government/private school owners to attend regular courses, workshops, seminars and in-house training on the use of argument-base enquiry approach for the maximum students‟ acquisition of skills and interest.

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