The Effect Of Practical Work On Students Understanding Of Physics

Physics Education Project Material

The Effect Of Practical Work On Students Understanding Of Physics


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect of practical work on students understanding of physics using some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State as a case study. The study was carried out to find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools, ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students study habit towards physics in secondary school, ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on the level students’ comprehension of physics subject in secondary school, and ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students’ retention of physics concepts in secondary school. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of students of some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State. The researcher conveniently selected 175 respondents and 100 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools is low. Furthermore, the result of the findings reveals that practical work has an effect on students understanding of physics. Therefore, it is recommended that it would be necessary for physics teachers to adopt the use of practical work as a technique in teaching so as to solve the problem of many students under-performing in Physics at the senior high school level. Since the use of practical work in teaching has the ability to raise and maintain students’ interest, develop their science process skills and improve their academic achievement, teachers are encouraged to teach concepts alongside with practical activities. Students should be given the chance to practice the science process skills acquired through practical work regularly to enable them carry out practical work successfully on their own. To mention but a few.


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
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

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

Mankilik (2011) explains that practical approach means any teaching and learning activity which involves at some point the students in observing or manipulating real objects and materials. It then means that learning of Physics is incomplete without the acquisition of practical knowledge. Physics, according to Josiah (2013), is a practical subject. While students of Physics in secondary schools have found it extremely difficult to perform well in the subject (Al-Rawi, 2013), the development of any nation, which depends on science and technology, hinges on science education.

Olubu (2005) opined that lack of appropriate apparatus and inability of teachers to improvise hinder effective teaching of science. Many Physics teachers tend to resort to theoretical teaching of the subject, neglecting the practical approach, leading to students having negative perceptions and attitude towards the subject and hence disliking it. According to Masingila and Gathumbi (2012), many science teachers in developing countries are mainly trained in theoretical content aspects, hence their poor handling of Physics practical lessons. The researchers’ own experiences with teaching Physics at the senior high school level in Ghana reveal that many students in senior high schools carry out practical work in Physics only towards the end of their studies, that is, in final class(SS3). Therefore, these students tend to lack the needed basic experimental techniques, which can only be acquired through regular practical work from the beginning of the senior high school course to the end. It was in the light of this background that the researchers delved into finding out the effect of practical work on student’s understanding of physics.

The importance of practical work in science is widely accepted and it is acknowledged that good quality practical work promotes the engagement, interest of students and develops a range of skills, science knowledge and academic achievement. However, it appears Physics teachers at the senior secondary school level have not been able to perform adequate practical work with their students in mostof the Physics concepts because they consider it as time-consuming. There is also the problem of lack of equipment and facilities, teacher incompetency and inadequate time allocation, making these teachers resort to the lecture method rather than practical work. In the light of the above, this study seek to examine the effect of practical work on students understanding of physics.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Appropriate practical work can be effective in helping teachers construct their knowledge, develop logical and inquiry-skills, problem-solving abilities, and can also assist in the development of manipulative and observational skills. Physics practical has a great potential in promoting positive attitudes and in providing students with opportunities to develop skills. In this respect the science laboratory is a unique learning environment as it would provide science teachers with opportunities to vary their instructional techniques. Ahiakwo (2002) suggested that practical works as a unique social setting has great potential in enhancing social interactions that can contribute positively to developing attitudes cognition in students. Nzewi (2008) asserted that practical activities can be regarded as a strategy that could be adopted to make the task of a teacher more real to the student as oppressed to abstract on theoretical presentation of facts, principle and concept of subject matters. It is of important that the use of practical approach to the teaching of physics should be implemented in schools if we hope to produce students that will be able to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and competence needed to meet the scientific and technological demands of the nation.

According to the teaching syllabus of Physics (MoESS, 2010), the organization of practical activities is supposed to be carried out continuously and alongside the theory from the beginning of the subject throughout the entire period of study. However, it appears that physics teachers at the senior secondary school level have not been able to perform adequate practical work with their students in mostof the Physics concepts because they consider it as time-consuming. There is also the problem of lack of equipment and facilities, teacher incompetency and inadequate time allocation, making these teachers resort to the lecture method rather than practical work. Due to the aforementioned factors, practical work in most schools is limited to the SS3 students who are preparing for their final external examinations. Thus, students are virtually not adequately prepared to carry out laboratory experiments before the commencement of their final practical examinations. Consequently, most students are not able to perform competently in the practical paper which is mainly based on skills for practical work. This persistent and alarming development, if not curbed, may lead to decline in scientific and technological manpower needs of the nation. The above forms the backdrop for this study.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

Generally, this study seek to examine the effect of practical work on students understanding of physics. The study will specifically;

  1. Find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools.
  2. Ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students study habit towards physics in secondary school.
  3. Ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on the level students’ comprehension of physics subject in secondary school.
  4. Ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students’ retention of physics concepts in secondary school.

1.4 Research Question

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. What is the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools?
  2. Does the practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on students study habit towards physics in secondary school?
  3. Does the practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on the level students’ comprehension of physics subject in secondary school?
  4. Does the practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on students’ retention of physics concepts in secondary school?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Practical work has no effect on students understanding of physics.
  • Ha: Practical work has an effect on students understanding of physics.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The result of this study is aimed at the provision of basis for effective guidance to modify students understanding, view or perspective toward physics as a science subject. It is believed that hopefully, the outcome or result of this study will improve the problems of teaching and practicals in senior secondary schools in Nigeria.


1.7 Scope of Study

This study is structured to focus on the effect of practical work on students understanding of physics. The study will also figure out the factors affecting the effective teaching of physics in secondary school level. Hence, this study will be carried out in some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

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

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

1. Physics:

The study of matter, energy, their relationship and measurement.

2. Science:

A body of knowledge which is acquired through careful observation and experiment.

3. Teaching:

To impact knowledge or social and moral values.

4. Modify:

To slightly change something especially in order to make it more suitable for a particular purpose.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the effect of practical work on students understanding of physics using some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State as a 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 practical work on students understanding of physics using some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State as a case study. The study is was specifically focused to find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools, ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students study habit towards physics in secondary school, ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on the level students’ comprehension of physics subject in secondary school, and ascertain the impact of practicals teaching strategy on students’ retention of physics concepts in secondary school.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are students of some selected senior secondary schools in Ojodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. The extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of physics in secondary schools is low.
  2. The practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on students study habit towards physics in secondary school.
  3. The practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on the level students’ comprehension of physics subject in secondary school.
  4. The practicals teaching strategy have a positive impact on students’ retention of physics concepts in secondary school.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. It would be necessary for physics teachers to adopt the use of practical work as a technique in teaching so as to solve the problem of many students under-performing in Physics at the senior high school level. Since the use of practical work in teaching has the ability to raise and maintain students’ interest, develop their science process skills and improve their academic achievement, teachers are encouraged to teach concepts alongside with practical activities. Students should be given the chance to practice the science process skills acquired through practical work regularly to enable them carry out practical work successfully on their own.
  2. Teachers should be adequately sensitized on the importance of physics practical.
  3. Government should make available Instructional aides.
  4. Regular supervision should be carried out in schools to ensure practical work is implemented.

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