The Effect Of Incorporating Local Practices On Secondary School Students Interest And Achievement In Chemistry

Project And Seminar Material For Chemistry Education

The Effect Of Incorporating Local Practices On Secondary School Students Interest And Achievement In Chemistry


Abstract


This study explores the impact of incorporating local practices and environmental sustainability into the chemistry curriculum in secondary schools. The research investigates how this pedagogical approach influences students’ interest in chemistry, their academic achievement, and their motivation to engage with environmental issues. The study was conducted among 240 secondary school students and 60 teachers, with data collected through questionnaires and classroom observations. The findings reveal that integrating local practices into the chemistry curriculum positively affects students’ interest in the subject. Students showed increased engagement, motivation, and a deeper understanding of chemistry concepts when learning within the context of their local environment. Furthermore, the study highlights the significant improvement in students’ academic achievement when local practices and environmental sustainability are integrated into chemistry lessons. This approach not only enhances subject knowledge but also equips students with practical problem-solving skills relevant to their communities. The research also underscores the influence of this pedagogical approach on students’ motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom. Students exhibited a heightened sense of environmental awareness and a commitment to addressing local environmental challenges, aligning with the principles of sustainability. In conclusion, incorporating local practices and environmental sustainability into the chemistry curriculum in secondary schools has a substantial positive impact on students’ interest, achievement, and motivation. The findings emphasize the importance of contextualized learning experiences and the potential for education to contribute to environmental sustainability. The study recommends curriculum integration, teacher training, interdisciplinary collaboration, practical application, and community engagement as key strategies to enhance chemistry education and promote environmental consciousness among students.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Chemistry education in secondary schools often presents challenges to students due to its abstract nature and complex theories. To enhance students’ interest and achievement in chemistry, educators have explored innovative pedagogical approaches, such as incorporating local practices into the curriculum. This approach recognizes the importance of connecting classroom learning with students’ everyday experiences and cultural backgrounds. The integration of local practices allows students to relate chemical concepts to their own lives, making the subject more relevant and engaging.Bakhshi, A., & Leach (2010)

In recent years, there has been growing interest in incorporating local practices into the teaching of chemistry. This approach aims to bridge the gap between abstract scientific concepts and students’ familiar contexts, making the subject more relatable and accessible. According to Kori et al. (2015), students who were exposed to local practices as part of their chemistry education demonstrated increased interest and motivation in the subject. By integrating local examples and contexts into the curriculum, educators can provide students with a meaningful and culturally relevant learning experience.Another research study conducted by Martinez et al. (2017) explored the impact of integrating local practices on students’ achievement in chemistry. The researchers implemented a culturally responsive teaching approach that incorporated local practices into chemistry lessons. The findings of the study indicated that students who experienced this integration showed improved understanding of chemistry concepts and higher levels of achievement. By relating chemical principles to local practices, students were able to make connections and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.

In a study conducted by Zhang and Wang (2018), the effect of incorporating local practices on students’ interest in chemistry was investigated. The researchers incorporated local cultural practices and examples into the chemistry curriculum. The findings revealed that students’ interest in chemistry significantly increased when local practices were integrated. The students felt more connected to the subject matter, which enhanced their engagement and motivation to learn.

In a more recent study, Li et al. (2021) examined the impact of incorporating local environmental issues into chemistry education. The researchers incorporated local environmental challenges and solutions into the curriculum to make the subject more relevant and meaningful to students. The study found that students who were exposed to local environmental practices demonstrated increased interest in chemistry and a better understanding of how chemistry could be applied to address real-world problems.

In conclusion, the incorporation of local practices in secondary school chemistry education has emerged as a promising approach to enhance students’ interest and achievement in the subject. By connecting abstract chemical concepts to students’ familiar contexts and cultural backgrounds, educators can create a more relevant and engaging learning experience. The studies conducted by Kori et al. (2015), Martinez et al. (2017), Zhang and Wang (2018), and Li et al. (2021) provide evidence of the positive effects of integrating local practices on students’ interest, motivation, understanding, and achievement in chemistry. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating local examples, contexts, and environmental issues into the curriculum to foster a deeper connection between students and the subject matter. By embracing the cultural diversity and everyday experiences of students, educators can create a more inclusive and effective learning environment that empowers students to develop a lifelong interest in chemistry and apply their knowledge to real-world situations.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Chemistry education in secondary schools often poses challenges to students due to its abstract nature and complex theories. To address this issue and enhance students’ interest and achievement in chemistry, educators have explored innovative pedagogical approaches, such as incorporating local practices into the curriculum. This approach aims to bridge the gap between abstract scientific concepts and students’ familiar contexts, making the subject more relatable and engaging.

The study conducted by Kori et al. (2015) titled “The Impact of Incorporating Local Practices on Chemistry Learning” highlights the need to address the issue of student disengagement and lack of interest in chemistry. The researchers observed that students often struggle to understand the relevance and real-life applications of chemical concepts. By incorporating local practices, such as examples from students’ cultural backgrounds or everyday experiences, educators can make the subject matter more accessible and meaningful. The problem, therefore, lies in the disconnect between students’ experiences and the abstract nature of chemistry, leading to decreased interest and achievement in the subject.

Martinez et al. (2017) in their study “Culturally Responsive Chemistry Education: Integrating Local Practices” shed light on the problem of students’ low achievement in chemistry. The researchers emphasize the importance of addressing this issue by integrating local practices into the curriculum. Traditional teaching methods often fail to engage students effectively, resulting in limited understanding and poor performance. By incorporating local practices, educators can tap into students’ cultural knowledge and experiences, making the learning process more meaningful and relevant. The problem, therefore, lies in the inadequacy of conventional teaching methods to capture students’ interest and foster deep understanding of chemistry concepts.

Another problem identified in chemistry education is the lack of motivation among students to pursue the subject beyond the classroom. Zhang and Wang (2018) explore this issue in their study titled “The Impact of Incorporating Local Practices on Students’ Interest in Chemistry.” The researchers highlight that students often fail to see the connection between chemistry and their everyday lives, leading to a lack of interest and motivation to explore the subject further. By incorporating local practices, educators can demonstrate the practical applications of chemistry in students’ immediate surroundings. This integration can help students develop a genuine interest in the subject, leading to higher motivation levels and a desire to pursue chemistry-related careers or further studies.Additionally, the problem of limited understanding of environmental issues and their connection to chemistry concepts can hinder students’ engagement and achievement in the subject. Hammersley (2018) examine this problem in their study titled “Incorporating Local Environmental Issues into Chemistry Education.” The researchers argue that traditional chemistry education often fails to address the relevance of chemistry in addressing environmental challenges. By incorporating local environmental issues into the curriculum, educators can foster a deeper understanding of the interplay between chemistry and environmental sustainability. This integration can help students develop a sense of responsibility towards their local environment and encourage them to apply chemistry knowledge to address real-world problems.

In summary, the problem lies in the disconnect between students’ experiences and the abstract nature of chemistry, leading to decreased interest and achievement in the subject. Conventional teaching methods often fail to engage students effectively, resulting in limited understanding and poor performance. Moreover, the lack of motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom and the limited understanding of environmental issues further contribute to the challenges in chemistry education. Integrating local practices into the curriculum can address these problems by making the subject more relevant, engaging, and connected to students’ everyday lives.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of incorporating local practices on secondary school students’ interest and achievement in chemistry.

The following objectives will guide the research:

  1. To examine the impact of incorporating local practices on students’ interest in chemistry.
  2. To assess the effect of integrating local practices on students’ achievement in chemistry.
  3. To investigate the influence of incorporating local practices on students’ motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom.
  4. To explore the effect of incorporating local environmental issues on students’ understanding of chemistry and their commitment to environmental sustainability.

1.4 Research Question

  1. How does incorporating local practices affect students’ interest in chemistry?
  2. What is the effect of integrating local practices on students’ achievement in chemistry?
  3. How does incorporating local practices influence students’ motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom?
  4. What is the impact of incorporating local environmental issues on students’ understanding of chemistry and their commitment to environmental sustainability?

By addressing these research questions, the study aims to explore the effects and implications of incorporating local practices in chemistry education for secondary school students.


1.5 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study lies in its potential to contribute to the field of chemistry education by exploring the effect of incorporating local practices on secondary school students’ interest and achievement in the subject. The findings of this study have several implications for educational practice and policy, as well as for the broader understanding of effective teaching strategies. Firstly, the study will provide valuable insights into how the integration of local practices can enhance students’ interest in chemistry. By connecting abstract chemical concepts to students’ familiar contexts and cultural backgrounds, educators can make the subject more relatable and engaging.

Understanding the impact of this approach can help inform curriculum development and instructional practices, leading to more meaningful and effective chemistry education. Secondly, the study will shed light on the effect of incorporating local practices on students’ achievement in chemistry. By exploring the relationship between the integration of local examples, contexts, and environmental issues, and students’ understanding of chemistry concepts, the research can provide evidence of the effectiveness of this approach. This knowledge can guide educators in designing instructional strategies that promote deeper learning and improved academic performance. Additionally, the study will contribute to the understanding of how incorporating local practices influences students’ motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom. By examining the connection between the integration of local practices and students’ motivation to explore chemistry-related careers or further studies, the research can inform efforts to inspire and engage students in the subject. This can have long-term implications for the recruitment and retention of students in STEM fields.

Ultimately, the significance of this study lies in its potential to inform educational policies and practices that enhance students’ interest, achievement, and motivation in chemistry. By recognizing the value of incorporating local practices in chemistry education, educators can create more meaningful and engaging learning experiences for students, thereby promoting their overall success and fostering a lifelong interest in the subject.


1.6 Delimitation of the Study

The study is delimited to the following:

  1. Senior secondary school students in Airforce Secondary School Kaduna.
  2. Survey research design to be adopted for the study.
  3. Simple random sampling will be adopted in selecting the participant for the study.
  4. A self developed questionnaire will be used to collect data from the participants.

1.6 Operational Definition of Terms

Incorporating:

In the context of this study, incorporating refers to the deliberate integration or inclusion of local practices into the secondary school chemistry education curriculum. It involves incorporating local examples, contexts, and environmental issues to make the subject matter more relevant and relatable to students’ everyday lives and cultural backgrounds.

Local Practice:

Local practice refers to the customs, traditions, knowledge, and activities that are specific to a particular region, community, or cultural group. In this study, local practices are the specific examples, contexts, and environmental issues that are drawn from students’ immediate surroundings and cultural backgrounds and are incorporated into the chemistry curriculum to enhance students’ interest and achievement.

Chemistry:

A branch of science that deals with the composition, properties, structure, and reactions of substances. It involves the study of matter, energy, and the transformations that occur between different substances. In the context of this study, chemistry refers to the subject that is taught in secondary schools, focusing on fundamental concepts, principles, and applications of chemistry.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The study explored the impact of incorporating local practices on the interest and achievement of secondary school students in chemistry. The findings were presented through demographic data and a series of tables analyzing students’ responses to various aspects of their chemistry learning experiences.

The study began by examining the demographic data of the students, highlighting the gender distribution and class representation among the participants. It revealed that a diverse group of students from different classes and genders took part in the study.

The research questions focused on the influence of incorporating local practices on students’ interest in chemistry, their achievement in the subject, and their motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom. Each question was analyzed through chi-square tests, comparing students’ responses to the incorporation of local practices.

The results showed that incorporating local practices significantly affected students’ interest in chemistry, as evidenced by a chi-square value exceeding the critical threshold. Additionally, the study indicated that integrating local practices had a noteworthy impact on students’ achievement in chemistry, as demonstrated by another significant chi-square value.

In conclusion, the study demonstrated that incorporating local practices in chemistry education positively influenced students’ interest and achievement in the subject. It also emphasized the significance of incorporating local environmental issues to enhance students’ understanding of chemistry and promote their commitment to environmental sustainability. These findings underscore the value of context-based and environmentally conscious approaches to teaching chemistry in secondary schools. The results reveals that:

  1. The study explored the impact of incorporating local practices on the interest and achievement of secondary school students in chemistry. The findings were presented through demographic data and a series of tables analyzing students’ responses to various aspects of their chemistry learning experiences.
  2. The study began by examining the demographic data of the students, highlighting the gender distribution and class representation among the participants. It revealed that a diverse group of students from different classes and genders took part in the study.
  3. The research questions focused on the influence of incorporating local practices on students’ interest in chemistry, their achievement in the subject, and their motivation to pursue chemistry beyond the classroom. Each question was analyzed through chi-square tests, comparing students’ responses to the incorporation of local practices.

5.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, this study shed light on the profound impact of incorporating local practices into secondary school chemistry education. It addressed critical aspects of students’ experiences, including interest, achievement, motivation, and environmental awareness. The findings unequivocally demonstrated the positive effects of integrating local practices, both in terms of students’ engagement with the subject and their broader commitment to environmental sustainability.

The study revealed that when local practices were woven into the chemistry curriculum, students exhibited heightened interest in the subject. They were more motivated to actively participate in classroom activities, embrace challenges, and adopt active learning strategies.

This newfound enthusiasm translated into improved academic achievement, as students demonstrated a deeper understanding of chemistry concepts and performed better in assessments and examinations.

Furthermore, the incorporation of local environmental issues emerged as a powerful catalyst for enhancing students’ understanding of chemistry. It provided real-world context for their studies, enabling them to connect theoretical knowledge to practical applications. This, in turn, cultivated a sense of responsibility and commitment to environmental sustainability among students. They were more inclined to apply their chemistry knowledge to address pressing environmental challenges, contributing to a more environmentally conscious and informed citizenry.

In essence, this study underscores the significance of tailoring chemistry education to local contexts and concerns. By integrating local practices and environmental issues into the curriculum, educators can inspire students, improve their academic outcomes, and nurture a generation of environmentally aware individuals poised to tackle global challenges. The implications of this research extend beyond the realm of chemistry education, advocating for a holistic approach to science education that empowers students to make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world at large.


5.3 Recommendations

Based on the findings and insights garnered from this study, several recommendations are made to enhance chemistry education in secondary schools and promote environmental sustainability:

Curriculum Integration:

Educational authorities should consider the integration of local practices and environmental issues into the chemistry curriculum. This integration can be achieved through the development of relevant teaching materials, modules, and practical exercises that align with local contexts. Such an approach will make chemistry more relatable and engaging for students.

Teacher Training:

Teachers should receive training and professional development opportunities that enable them to effectively incorporate local practices and environmental topics into their chemistry lessons. Equipping educators with the necessary knowledge and pedagogical skills will ensure the successful implementation of this approach.

Interdisciplinary Collaboration:

Collaboration between chemistry educators, environmental scientists, and local communities is essential. Interdisciplinary partnerships can help identify relevant local environmental issues and develop educational materials that address these concerns. This collaboration can also involve local experts and community members as guest speakers or mentors.

Practical Application:

Emphasize practical applications of chemistry in addressing local environmental challenges. Encourage students to undertake projects and initiatives that have a positive impact on their immediate environment. This hands-on approach can foster a sense of agency and responsibility among students.

Environmental Clubs and Activities:

Schools should establish environmental clubs and activities that allow students to explore and address environmental issues in their communities. These clubs can serve as platforms for students to develop practical solutions and engage in environmental advocacy.

Monitoring and Evaluation:

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the impact of incorporating local practices and environmental topics in chemistry education are essential. Regular assessments of students’ interest, achievement, and environmental awareness can provide insights for ongoing improvement.

Resources Allocation:

Adequate resources, including funding and materials, should be allocated to support the integration of local practices and environmental content into the chemistry curriculum. Schools should prioritize the provision of laboratories, equipment, and tools needed for practical experiments related to local environmental issues.

Community Engagement:

Foster stronger ties between schools and local communities. Encourage community members to actively participate in environmental education initiatives and provide insights into relevant local practices. This collaborative approach can enhance the authenticity and effectiveness of environmental education.

Teacher Empowerment:

Empower teachers to adapt and customize their teaching materials to align with local practices and environmental concerns. Encourage educators to explore innovative teaching methods and technology to make lessons more engaging and interactive.

Research and Sharing Best Practices:

Promote research in the field of local practices and environmental education in chemistry. Encourage educators to document and share their best practices, successes, and challenges to facilitate knowledge sharing among schools and regions.

By implementing these recommendations, educational institutions can foster a more engaging and effective chemistry education that not only improves students’ interest and achievement but also contributes to their understanding of environmental sustainability and their role in addressing environmental challenges.


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