The Effect Of Class Size And Availability Of Laboratory Facility Of Student Performance In Chemistry

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

The Effect Of Class Size And Availability Of Laboratory Facility Of Student Performance In Chemistry


Abstract


This study focused on the effect of class size and availability of laboratory facility of student performance in chemistry using secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state as case study. The study is was specifically focused on investigating if there is any significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in chemistry, determining the effect of laboratory facility on students academic achievement in chemistry and find out if small class size have effect on students’ academic performance in chemistry. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff and students in a selected secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state.


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

Chemistry has always been regarded as the language of science. It is an important discipline in the training of logical reasoning and it is an important instrument used in attaining practical goals. Concepts in chemistry are useful in solving problems in applied engineering (Andre, 1985). Chemistry has an important role to play in the task of national development. It is an instrument for effecting economical, social, political, scientific and technological changes. In order to achieve these goals of education, the teachers are required to perform their duties efficiently, need to be given controllable and adequate class size of 35 students to teach for effective learning in chemistry, (Balogun, 2002). The history of development of knowledge and much of the development in science and technology has been greatly facilitated by applications of CAThematical knowledge and procedures.

The role chemistry plays in the realization of scientific skill is well known that any society that is serious in its quest to develop its technology, must be serious in the teaching and learning of chemistry. Chemistry is always overlooked by many students even when they know that they need it for solution to problems in area of science. They claim that if it was possible not to take chemistry at all, they would have preferred it but would continue their study of science. Hence they put up negative attitude towards the learning of chemistry which consequently appears to affect their performance in the sciences. Because students have already conditioned their minds on the impossibility of learning chemistry, they therefore fail to get a grasp of the subject CATter, no CATter how hard they persevere (Uhumuavbi and Umoru, 2005). The researcher is of the view that something has to be done to change students‟ negative attitude towards the learning of chemistry. There is need to arouse the interest of students towards the learning of chemistry.

This study attempts to expose some of the numerous problems facing chemistry that prevents the effective teaching and learning of chemistry in Nigerian secondary schools. The issue of class size is one important area of this study as it relates to teaching/learning of chemistry in junior secondary school level. Alio (2003) attributes students’ development of negative attitude towards chemistry teachers to what is called “idiosyncrasy” of chemistry instruction. The usual way some chemistry teachers approach the teaching of chemistry contributes to the students’ development of negative attitudes to both the subject and the teachers. Effective and good chemistry performance cannot be possible when students’ attitude towards the teachers and the subject is negative.

The need for development of science and technology in this nation will not be successfully achieved without solving the problem of poor performance in chemistry (Betiku, 2002). According to Onu (2003), the usefulness, power and place of chemistry in the field of human endeavor continue to be recognized. In trying to develop science and technology in a nation, chemistry is the key. It is seriously needed to gain access into the world of scientific knowledge and understanding. The importance of chemistry is not a doubt, that is why in the first ordinance enacted by Fredrick Lord Luggard (1914), enforcing western education, Arithmetic, writing and reading were the three areas in which the pioneers of formal education in Nigeria were trained. The need to identify suitable class size by which students, especially with medium and low ability can be made to receive teachers’ attention to grasp the content of the subject easily and intelligibly is the focus of this study.

Education (FRN, 2007) recommended an average class size of 30. Anikweze (2004) recommends teachers/pupils ratio to be 1:35 in order to be more effective to, cope with an over-crowded classroom in our schools. The present study considers class size as the total number of students in a class at a given time to a teacher. That is students/teacher ratio of 20 students to a teacher, which constitutes a small class size; 40 students to a teacher as average class and 90 students to a teacher as a large class. These are to be tested in this study to see the effectiveness. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2007) recommends an average class size of 40 students to a teacher, but hardly is this attained in Nigerian schools. Duyilemi (2004) observed that in most Nigerian schools what exists in the class ranges from 50 to a large number of 120 students to a teacher in many secondary schools. Oakes (1992) and Lynch (1994) defined ability grouping as dividing students into separate classes of high, average and low achievers, that is classifying students according to their academic performance. This can best deal with individual differences in the classroom. Feldhusen (1992) noted that students of lower and average ability often flourish or become better students when the high ability level students are present and leading to competition. High ability or gifted students are needed in all classrooms in order to stimulate, motivate and inspire other students. Salau (1996) concluded that the achievement profile of high achievers declines as the class size becomes larger. This means that increase in class size tends to reduce the performance of students generally, despite the level.

The researcher is of the view that the use of heterogeneous class could be of more advantage since low and average groups would gain more knowledge from their interactions and sharing with the high achievers whether the class is large or small. The major objective of this study is to determine the adequacy and effectiveness of class size and availability of laboratory on the academic achievement of different group of students in chemistry, when taught with chemistry concepts in junior secondary schools in Yaba LGA. This is with the view to establishing what might be considered appropriate class size that will promote teaching and learning in schools. This is then the rationale for this study.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The roles of school facility in enhancing students academic performance cannot be over emphasized. Therefore this study has the problem of the influence of school facilities on student performance. The problem of availability, adequacy, management and utilization of school facilities is also examined.

The lack of education financing in most third-world nations prevents school systems from having manageable class sizes, proper classroom space, and suitable class utilisation rates. Because these factors have the potential to influence teacher productivity and student academic performance, this study sought to determine the extent to which class factors such as class size, large or small class size, student-classroom space, and classroom utilisation rate influenced secondary school students’ academic performance in Yaba LGA in Lagos state.

Many causes have been cited as being responsible for the deteriorating grade of education where it is recognised and established in an attempt to bring sound education on the ground worldwide. One of these factors is the problem of class size. According to Fabunmi et al. (2007), classroom overcrowding and low utilisation rates are prevalent elements of secondary schools in Nigeria. They have a detrimental influence on secondary school teacher productivity as well as student learning and, as a result, secondary school student academic success.
Following the pattern of the country’s educational system, notably in Lagos State, population growth without a proportional rise in facilities in our schools has created a major challenge that has jeopardised the essence of learning. This situation got so severe that over 100 pupils were crammed into a classroom with insufficient infrastructure; as a result, many students received their courses while standing. One may therefore ask how kids might learn best in such a setting, as well as the impact of such an environment on students’ academic achievement.

Overcrowding in classrooms has been identified as one of the primary causes of deteriorating educational standards in Nigeria, particularly at the elementary and secondary levels. There has been debate over the relative effects of class size and students’ academic performance. Eke (1991) discovered that class size had no effect on students’ accomplishment. Keil and Partell (2009), on the other hand, discovered that increasing class size had a detrimental influence on student accomplishment, lowering students’ achievement at a decreasing pace. The empirical question of whether class size has a negative or beneficial influence on students’ academic achievement remains unresolved. Against this context, this study aims to provide a critical assessment of the link between class size and students’ academic achievement, with a focus on certain chosen secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the effect of class size and availability of laboratory facility of student performance in chemistry.

The specific objectives of this study are to:

  1. To investigate if there is any significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in chemistry.
  2. To determine the effect of laboratory facility on students academic achievement in chemistry.
  3. To find out if small class size have effect on students’ academic performance in chemistry.

1.4 Research Questions

In an attempt to come up with relevant findings in this study, the following questions were raised to guide and give focus to the study:

  1. Is there any significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in chemistry?
  2. Does availability of laboratory facility have an effect on students academic achievement in chemistry?
  3. What is the difference in the mean scores of female students in large and small classes?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The research tested the following hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance:

  • Ho1: There is no significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in chemistry.
  • Ho2: There is no significant relationship between availability of laboratory facility and students’ academic performance in chemistry.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will hopefully provide the following benefits:

It is hoped that this study would contribute in enhancing the standard of teaching/learning of chemistry in any given class size and the students’ availability of laboratory. This study would encourage chemistry teachers particularly in junior secondary schools to acquire skills and appropriate teaching methods so as to encourage interest and comprehension of the principles and concepts taught in any given class size and varying availability of laboratory of the students.

Education planners, chemistry educators and curriculum designers would hopefully benefit from the findings of this study through the evolution of teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools with the aim of improving students’ performance in any given class size.
This study would provide chemistry teachers with a guide on how to control various class size at any given time in order to improve students’ performance in chemistry.

Education authorities and state ministry of education would be alerted to the extent to which various class size effects can contribute to the achievement of various availability of laboratory in teaching/learning of chemistry in junior secondary schools.

This study would hopefully enable other researchers to identify areas for further studies in relation to the effects of class size and students’ availability of laboratory for the improvement of teaching/learning.

The findings would be useful in educational policy making and finding may arouse instructional educational agencies such as Federal Ministry of Education, Facilities or

Schools of Education, National Teachers’ Institute as well as professional bodies such as Chemistry Association of Nigeria (MAN), Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to formulate educational policies which would be useful in implementation of chemistry curriculum.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study is basically on the effects of class size and availability of laboratory on students‟ performance in Chemistry among Junior Secondary School Students in Yaba LGA. The study sought to expose some of the numerous factors responsible for poor performance in Chemistry. It was therefore restricted in its coverage to all students in the Government Secondary Schools in Yaba LGA with total students‟ population of three hundred and two thousand, one hundred and sixty-one (302,161).


1.8 Limitation of the Study

During the course of the study challenges encountered were exclusively but not delimited to the following numerous. These are

  • Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends 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)
  • Time constraint: time factor pose another constraint since having to cope in this research which went simultaneously within the time schedule of other academic work making it impossible to undertake this study in large more representative skill.

1.9 Definition of Concepts

Class Size:

Class size refers to the number of students a teacher faces during a given period of instruction.

Learning Environment:

The term learning environment can refer to an educational approach, cultural context, or physical setting in which teaching and learning occur.

Academic Performance:

Academic performance is the extent to which a student has attained their short or long-term 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 the effect of class size and availability of laboratory facility of student performance in chemistry using secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the effect of class size and availability of laboratory facility of student performance in chemistry using secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state as case study. The study is was specifically focused on investigating if there is any significant relationship between class size and students’ academic performance in chemistry, determining the effect of laboratory facility on students academic achievement in chemistry and find out if small class size have effect on students’ academic performance in chemistry.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 100 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are staff and students in a selected secondary schools in Yaba LGA, Lagos state.


5.3 Conclusion

Class size reduction is an issue in education of significance as it is a strategy that is currently being used within many school districts at the elementary school level in an attempt to increase achievement for students. Increased accountability is being placed upon schools to make to use their limited funding efficiently and effectively increasing student academic performance. It is vital that some schools especially private ones have contemporary research to use in the hiring of additional teachers to create smaller learning environments. While there are numerous studies on smaller class sizes and their affect on academic performance, the results of the studies are inconsistent in their findings, leaving educational leaders with no definitive answer regarding the relationship between class size and student academic achievement. Confounding the data is the varied methodology of the studies, making the generalizability of results arduous.

This in-depth study analyzed the relationship between class size and academic performance within . The findings of this study provide educational leaders with data regarding class size and academic achievement, resulting in the continuation of class size reduction.

The study also reveals that:

  1. Smaller classes result in increased teacher-student contact. 
  2. Students in smaller classes show more appreciation for one another and more desire to participate in classroom activities. 
  3. In smaller classes, more learning activities take place. 
  4. Smaller classes foster greater interaction among students, helping them understand one another and increasing their desire to assist one another. Smaller classes allow for potential disciplinary problems to be identified and resolved more quickly. 
  5. Smaller classes result in higher teacher morale and reduced stress.  Less retention, fewer referrals to special education, and fewer dropouts are the ultimate rewards of class-size reduction.

5.4 Recommendation

From the findings of the study It is therefore recommended that our educational policy makers should formulate policies that will ensure that the number of students in a class should not exceed 30 students. This in turn will make the government to provide enough classrooms for the schools. The Parent Teacher Association (PTA), philanthropist and other charitable organizations are also implored to compliment the effort of the government to boost the performance of students in Computer studies by building more classes.


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