The Effect Of Laboratory In Secondary Schools On Students Performance In Science Subjects

Science Education Project And Seminar Material

The Effect Of Laboratory In Secondary Schools On Students Performance In Science Subjects


Abstract


This study aimed to investigate the effect of laboratories in secondary schools on students’ performance in science subjects in Alimosho LGA. A mixed approach was employed in connection with survey design and a sample comprised of ninety five (95) respondents. The data was collected using questionnaire, interview and observation. A SPSS programme was used for processing and analysis of data. The findings of the study revealed that, performance of science subject students have been affected by lack of practical lessons, lack of science subject teachers and scarcity of laboratory facilities. The study suggest that, the uses of science subject laboratories in secondary schools are vital tool to bring positive impact to students performance. The study recommends that, there should be an extensive study on various factors influencing the academic performance of secondary schools in general and deep insight of the necessary interactions for improvements, the need to have a thorough research on the progress of the remaining 10 secondary schools in Alimosho LGA and there is the need for the government authorities (local and central government authorities) through participatory planning and implementation of secondary schools development programmes to build science subject laboratory in every schools in order to have a sustainable and bright future of existing secondary schools instead of adding more and more secondary schools.

Table of Contents


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title
  • Declaration
  • Approval
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of Content

Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives 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 Delimitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Characteristics of a Good Science Subject Laboratory in Secondary Schools
  • 2.3 The Uses of Science Subjects Laboratories for Science Students in Secondary Schools
  • 2.4 Teaching and Learning of Science Subjects in Secondary Schools in Nigeria
  • 2.5 Drop Rates and Pass rates in Science Subjects for Secondary School Students’
  • 2.6 Summary of Knowledge Gap

Chapter Three

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Research Approach
  • 3.3 Research Design
  • 3. 4 Population
  • 3.6. Sampling Techniques and Sample Size
  • 3.7 Research Instruments

Chapter Four

Data Presentation, Analysis And Discussion

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • Equipments in Secondary Schools

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

  • 5.1 Introduction
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations for Further Research
  • References
  • Appendices

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Science had been of great importance worldwide for suitable and socio-economic development as well as for technological advancement of the nations. Knowledge of science education is therefore required in all countries globally due to the numerous challenges that are facing them.

The emphasis on teaching and learning of science is on ensuring that teachers not only teach the process of science but also are able to subject scientific concepts to the sensory experience of the learners. By this, the ‘hands’ and ‘minds’ of learners must be on scientific activities such that learners will be able to learn actively and thereby participate in knowledge construction. In essence, the focus is on activity based science lesson which entails both best classroom and laboratory practices.

This direction of teaching and learning of science subjects in schools is viewed to lead students to acquiring the required science process skills, life skills and competence as enshrined in the revised edition of (National Policy on Education (NPE) (FRN, 2013) National core curricular for Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics etc. However, the efforts of teaching in achieving the goals of NPE 2013, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), EFA, Science Education for all, NEEDS, Vision 20:2020 faces great challenges. The challenges facing science teaching and learning includes the use of teacher-centred approaches to teaching, lack of adequate and relevant instructional materials, inadequate classroom and laboratories and laboratory equipment etc.

Laboratory is at the centre of scientific studies and/or sciencing so long as science remains both a product and process. The availability of laboratory equipment, facilities and materials play a vital role in determining the extent of best laboratory practices that will ensure acquisition of science process skills and competence in science concepts by the learners. According to Abimbola (2001) one major aspect of Science education that is of great concern is in the area of availability and effectiveness of use of specialized and relevant science equipment, facilities and instructional materials. The school laboratories that are well designed, stocked and safe for teaching and learning of science ensure active practical exercises (Katcha, 2005).

Science laboratory equipment allows students to interact directly with the data gathered. It is also found that school science laboratory equipment and supplies make teaching and learning easy both for the teachers, as well as for the students. There are several scientific theories and concepts that are difficult to explain directly from the books. Anatomy models, physics science kits, and chemistry science kits for instance make it easy to understand the otherwise complex theories of science. There are different scales which assess classroom environment. Each scale has been classified according to Moos’s (1974) scheme for classifying human environments. The dimensions of human environments include relationships, personal development, and system maintenance/change (Moos, 1987). Fraser (1998) later refined Moos’s (1974) work to make it more appropriate, initially to describe classroom learning environments and then science learning environments.

Laboratory teaching assumes that first-hand experience in observation and manipulation of the materials of science is superior to other methods of developing understanding and appreciation. Laboratory training is also frequently used to develop skills necessary for more advanced study or research. One major difference between elementary and middle or high schools are the nature of the classroom. Most elementary school classes are “self-contained,” and a single teacher is responsible for teaching all or most of the academic subjects to a single group of students. Thus, science is usually taught in the regular classroom, as opposed to specialized science laboratories, as is usually the case in middle and high schools; however, it is not unheard of for elementary schools to have separate laboratory facilities for science (Beihle, Motz, & West, 1999; Fehlig, 1996; Fox, 1994; Harbeck, 1985; Vorsino, 1992). Forty percent of schools nationwide reported that their facilities could not meet the functional requirements of laboratory science. More recent data from the 2000 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education suggests that along with lack of content preparation, inadequate facilities and equipment and lack of money to purchase consumable supplies are barriers to the effective and equitable teaching of science (Weiss et al., 2002).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The dwindling students’ performance in science especially has been a source of concern to all stakeholders – the parents, teachers, students, science education researchers, government and the general public. Despite the efforts by science educators the performance of many students in science is still at abysmal level. In essence there are still gaps in the efforts and results available.

This situation is easily attributed to factors of laboratory equipment supplied, gender factors and attitudes of students to science teaching and learning among others. With laboratory equipment, the modern trend emphasizes laboratory practical’s as an integral part of classroom instruction in science with pre-and-post laboratory discussion if students have to learn Science as a process and product, and achieve to expectations of all the stakeholders and meet the demands of the vision 20:2020, NEEDS, EFA, and MDGS etc. As a result of conflicting research reports and its inadequacy, there is need to provide data on gender related differences in students’ achievement.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objectives of this study is to find out the effect of laboratory in secondary schools on student s academic performance in science subjects, specifically the study intends to;

  1. Find out the availability of laboratory facilities in secondary schools.
  2. Find out the level in which secondary schools use laboratory in secondary school
  3. Examine the effect of laboratory on student’s performance in science subject
  4. Find out science teachers’ perceptions on effects of availability or non-availability of laboratories on students’ performance

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Is there availability of laboratory facilities in secondary schools?
  2. What is the level in which secondary schools use laboratory in secondary school?
  3. Is there any significant effect of laboratory on student’s performance in science subject?
  4. What is the perceptions of science teacher’s on effects of availability or non-availability of laboratories on students’ performance?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

Ho: there is no significant effect of laboratory on student’s performance in science subject

Hi: there is significant effect of laboratory on student’s performance in science subject


1.6 Significance of the Study

Finding of this study are expected to be useful since science teaching and learning is essential for success of any nation, as there is a direct relationship between achievement in science and technology on one hand and economic growth of any given country on the other.

Findings of these study will also benefit education stakeholders in planning and budgeting so as to provide enough funds to support science subjects in schools, building laboratories, train more science teachers, purchase adequate teaching and learning resources including books, teaching model, laboratory equipment, apparatus and chemicals. Furthermore, findings will hopefully influence further research on how use of laboratories may promote learning of science for development of the nation.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This research work will be conducted in Lagos state, teachers and students in two private school and two public schools in Alimosho LGA will be sampled for this research.


1.8 Delimitation of the Study

Finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Correspondents also might not be able to complete or willing to submit the questionnaires given to them.

However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly believed that despite these constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Effect:

Cause (something) to happen; bring about an action or a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Laboratory:

A room or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching, or for the manufacture of drugs or chemicals.

Science:

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

The core of this chapter is to give the overall implication of the study and the findings already discussed in the prior chapter. The chapter also provides a brief conclusion about the whole study and it suggests some recommendations to the study.

5.2 Conclusion

The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of laboratories in secondary schools on students’ performance in science subjects in Alimosho LGA. The study reveals that, a total of 60 students who participated in this research showed that 50% had not done any science subject practical which is equal to 30 students and 50% had done one to two practical lessons since they inter SS 1. Also the findings reveal that, from six sampled secondary schools in this study only one school has three rooms of science subject laboratories which are Physics, Chemistry and Biology while the remaining schools have no science subject laboratories in which some schools conducted their practical lessons in their normal classroom or travel nearby secondary schools which have laboratory. The study also shows that there is the scarcity of laboratory facilities in secondary schools which hinder the process of learning and teaching science subject to students and teachers.

Therefore, the uses of science subject laboratories in secondary schools are the vital tool to bring positive effect to students’ academic performance. Thus, there is the need to increase much effort on building more science subject laboratories with full facilities so as to increase performance to students and create conducive environment for teachers during teaching and learning process.


5.3 Recommendations for Further Research

Basing on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are made:-

The findings in this study allow an extensive study on various factors influencing the academic performance of Tanzanian secondary schools in general and deep insight of the necessary interactions for improvements. However, there is a need to collect more information in order to have a good generalization and better understanding of the factors affecting the academic performance of secondary schools in Nigeria.

The findings have explained that among the total number of 60 students who are SS 1 from six surveyed schools, only 30 students had the opportunity to conduct practical lessons and the rest which is 30 students did not get the chance to do practical works. This suggests the need to have a thorough research on the progress of the remaining number of secondary schools in Alimosho LGA, but, if possible, the government should fund this kind of a survey all over the country so as to come into a conclusion on the socioeconomic impacts of the established secondary schools.

Also, there is a need for the government authorities (local and central government authorities) through participatory planning and implementation of secondary schools development programmes to build science subject laboratories in every school in order to have a sustainable and bright future of existing secondary school instead of adding more and more secondary schools.


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