Effect Of Students Improvised Instructional Materials On Senior Secondary School Students’ Achievement In Biology

Biology Education Project Material

Effect Of Students Improvised Instructional Materials On Senior Secondary School Students’ Achievement In Biology


Abstract


The study investigated the effects of students improvised instructional materials on students? achievement in Biology. This study became necessary because of the unavailability of instructional materials for teaching biology in the secondary schools. The study employed a quasi experimental design, specifically the pretest ?posttest non equivalent group design. One hundred and forty SSI students from potiskum Education Zone from 2 schools randomly drawn from public primary schools in Potiskum education zone of Yobe State formed sample of the study. Three experts validated the instrument Biology Achievement Test (BAT). Five research questions were answered and five hypotheses were tested. The data were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and ANCOVA. The results revealed that students taught using improvised instructional materials performed better than students taught using conventional material; male students did not perform better than their female counterparts in Biology; rural students performed better than urban students in biology; The results do not suggest ordinal interaction effect between mode of method and gender on students? achievement in biology. This was because at all the levels of gender, the mean scores were higher for student?s improvised instructional material; the result suggests ordinal interaction effects between modes of method and location on students? achievement in Biology; this was because at all the levels of location, the mean scores were higher for student?s improvised instructional material compared to conventional materials with lower mean scores; there was significant difference in the mean score of students taught using students improvised instructional material and those taught using conventional instructional materials; there was no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students in biology; there was significant difference in the mean achievement scores of urban and rural students in biology; The interaction effect of method and gender on students mean achievement scores in Biology was, not statistically significant. The interaction effect of method and location on students? mean achievement scores in Biology was, not statistically significant. Based on the findings and implications, it was recommended that teaching of Biology in secondary school should be conducted in a manner that students will effectively understand and learn the concept taught. It was suggested that further research could be carried out on this topic using true experimental research.


Chapter One


Introduction

Background of the Study

Science is the bedrock on which modern day technological breakthrough is hinged. Different authors according to their own understanding have defined Science. Igwe (2003) defined science as a systematic study of the nature of the behaviour of the material and physical universe through observation, experimentation, measurement and recording. In addition, Esu (2004) defined science as a systematic, precise, objective way to study the natural world. Science is often an exciting and satisfying enterprise that requires creativity, skill and insight based on this Fape (2007) defined science as rationally structured knowledge about nature, which embraces systematic methods of positive attitudes for its acquisition, teaching, learning and application.

The major goal of science education is to develop scientifically literate individuals that are concerned with high competence for rational thoughts and actions. The objectives of science education in this country according to Maduekwe (2006) include the need to prepare students to observe and explore the environment, explain simple natural phenomena, develop scientific attitudes including curiosity, critical reflection and objectivity, apply the skills and knowledge gained through science to solve everyday problems in the environment, develop self-confidence and self-reliance through problem solving activities in science.

In recent times, countries all over the world, especially the developing ones like Nigeria, are striving hard to develop technologically and scientifically, since the world is turning Scientific and all proper functioning of lives depend greatly on Science. According to Ogunleye (2006), Science is a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of our world. This understanding helps man to know more about the universe. Without the application of science, it would have been difficult for man to explore the other planets of the universe. Science comprises the basic disciplines such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology.

Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools, (FRN, 2004). Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for further learning of a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, etc. In contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is placed on science and technological development. As a result, students are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects. Today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavour, and plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. This is seen in all the technological advancement in the world today, which is because of scientific investigations. However, the issue remains that in most secondary schools in Nigeria, there is high rate of failure in the subject.

Studies have shown that secondary school students are exhibiting low interest in Biology (Esiobu, 2005). This low interest of students in biology has been traced to poor achievement in examinations. In our match towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of good achievement in biology at all levels of schooling. Unfortunately, achievement of students in biology at the end of the secondary school has not improved in the last decade (Umoinyang, 1999). Folorunso (2004) has linked poor achievement trend in biology particularly to the lack of instructional resources in schools due to poor funding of schools. The poor funding of schools has hindered the principals from providing the teachers with adequate instructional resources. The National Policy on Education (FME, 2004) emphasizes the need for teaching and learning of science processes and principles. The policy recommends practical, exploratory and experimental methods of teaching. In this regards, Okebukola (2004) stated that the basic tools that science uses in the learning of science processes are the instructional materials.

Studies have shown that the use of instructional materials have improved achievement (George, 2008) and Nwagbo (2006). Instructional materials are wide varieties of equipment and materials use for teaching and learning by teachers to stimulate self-activity on the part of the students. The teaching of Biology without instructional materials may certainly result in poor academic achievement. Poor academic achievement in Biology could also be attributed to many factors such as, low interest of students in biology, inadequate motivation from teacher, poor incentives to biology teachers, lack of adequate supply of instructional material, lack of qualified teachers, and use of teacher centered instructional strategies, inadequate use of instructional materials and use of abstract standardized materials. Among these factors, teacher?s use of abstract standardized instructional strategy is considered as an important factor in this study.

This implies that the mastery of Biology concepts might not be fully achieved without the use of instructional resources that the students are abreast with. The teaching of Biology without instructional materials may certainly result in poor academic achievement. Folorunso (2004) observed that there is lack of adequate and appropriate instructional resources for effective teaching of Biology in schools. For Ibitoye and Fape (2007), the poor achievement in biology was traced to poor usage of instructional resources for biology teaching and learning, poor state of infrastructure facilities, large class size, poor teaching, use of faulty assessment practice, and inadequacy of quality teachers. According to Okebukola (2004), the poor state of laboratory facilities and inadequate use of instructional materials has constituted a cog in the wheel of students? achievement in Biology in the Senior School Examination. The verbal exposition does not promote skill acquisition, objectivity, and critical thinking abilities that will enable the child to function effectively in the society. This according to the researcher leads to poor achievement of students in the subject. Okebukola and Jegede (1986) stressed that a professionally qualified Biology teacher no matter how well trained, would be unable to put his ideas into practice if the school setting lacks the equipment and material resources necessary for him or her to translate his competence into reality.

The report of West African Examination Council (WAEC) on the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) (2011) on student enrolment and performance in Nigeria by subject, grade, and sex revealed low enrolment of girls for science subjects as well as low academic achievement in biology and other science subjects and the persistent poor achievement of students in biology.


Statement of the Problem

With the popularity of Biology among science inclined students in secondary schools in Potiskum education zone, One would expect high performance of students in the subject area. However, it is surprising to note that students’ performance in the subject is not encouraging. Available WASSCE summary result from Potiskum education zone shows evidence of poor performance of students in Biology in the zone .

Studies have shown that appropriate selection and use of instructional materials during instruction enhance students’ learning. Teachers of Biology are expected to ensure proper selection and use of these instructional materials. However, it has been observed that these instructional materials are no longer supplied to schools. It becomes imperative that the instructional materials be improvised. Conventionally, teachers are expected to improvise instructional materials; but the new thinking is that both teachers and students are to engage in improvisation of instructional materials. Therefore, two modes of improvisation- teachers’ mode and students’ mode are involved in this study. Studies have been done to compare the effect of the use of teacher-improvised materials and the use of standard materials or use of no materials during instruction on students’ achievement. However, no study to the best knowledge of the researcher has examined the effect of the two modes of improvisation of instructional materials, on secondary school students’ achievement in biology.

Therefore, the problem of the study becomes: what are the effects of mode of improvisation (teacher and student improvised materials), gender and school location on secondary school students’ achievement in Biology?


Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to determine the effect of two modes of improvisation of instructional materials on students’ achievement in Biology in secondary schools in Potiskum Education Zone.

Specifically, the study intends to find out the;

  1. Effect of teacher and student improvised materials on the achievement of students in biology.
  2. Influence of gender on students’ achievement in biology.
  3. Influence of school location on the achievement of students in biology.
  4. Interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender on students’ achievement in Biology.
  5. Interaction effect of mode of improvisation and school location on students achievement in biology.

Significance of Study

The findings of the study could be of immense help to the teachers and school authorities. The school authorities could based on how effective the two modes of improvisation are in enhancing learning, which mode was more effective, mount workshops for teachers and students on improvisation of instructional materials. Through these workshops, the teachers acquire more skills in improvisation and experience discovery learning through exploration of the environment during improvisation.

The findings of this study could also assist curriculum planners. This is because the findings could guide them in curriculum development, instructional design, implementation and evaluation. It could guide them in integrating the improvised materials topic by topic in curriculum and instructional design.

Textbook authors/publishers are also hopefully going to benefit from the findings of this study. This is because the publications of the findings of the study could supply them with relevant information that would help in enriching their textbooks by integrating the appropriate modes of improvisation in them.

The findings of the study could also be of immense help to the students as it would encourage students to develop instructional materials that would enhance teaching and learning. This would equally encourage students to explore their own environment thereby gaining more knowledge through discovery. This boosts students’ learning ability and as such enhances their academic performance.


Scope of the Study

This comparative study was carried out in Potiskum education Zone of Yobe State, Nigeria. It compared the effect of teacher and student improvised instructional materials on secondary school students’ achievement in Biology in Potiskum education zone of Yobe State, Nigeria.


Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study.

  1. What are the mean achievement scores of students exposed to teacher and student improvised materials?
  2. What is the influence of gender on mean achievement scores of students in Biology?
  3. What is the influence of school location on mean achievement scores of students in Biology?
  4. What is the interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender of students on the mean achievement scores of students in Biology?
  5. What is the interaction effect of mode of improvisation and location of school on the mean achievement scores in Biology?

Hypotheses

These null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho1 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught with teacher improvised materials and those taught with student- improvised materials.

Ho2 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students in Biology due to gender.

Ho3 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students in Biology due to school location.

Ho4 There is no significant interaction effect of the mode of improvisation and gender on the mean achievement scores of students in Biology.

Ho5 There is no significant interaction effect of the mode of improvisation and school location on mean achievement scores of the students in Biology.


Chapter Five


Discussion, Conclusion, Implications and Recommendation

In this chapter, the findings of the study, based on the five research questions and five null hypotheses that guided the study are discussed. The conclusion, educational implications, recommendations, limitations, suggestions for further research and the summary of the study are also presented.


Discussion of the Results

The results of this study have been discussed under the following sub-headings:

  1. Effect of teacher and student improvised instructional resources on students’ achievement
  2. Influence of Gender on students’ achievement
  3. Influence of school location on students’ achievement
  4. Interaction of mode of improvisation and gender on achievement
  5. Interaction of mode of improvisation and location on achievement.
Effect of Teacher and Student Improvised Instructional Resources on Students’ Achievement

Results of this study show that students exposed to teacher improvised instructional resources did not significantly perform better than their counterpscience exposed to student improvised resources. This result might have been due to the fact that both groups used improvised materials which facilitated instruction, irrespective of the mode of improvisation. This shows that both teacher and student improvised materials enhance students’ achievement. Studies have shown that improvised instructional resources enhance the achievement of students. For example, Parker (2013), Sule (2013), and Oladejo, Olosunde, Ojebisi and Isola (2011) all reported that improvised instructional resources enhance students’ achievement. The present study has shown that, both teachers’ and students’ improvised instructional materials have comparative effectiveness in enhancing students’ achievement in Biology.

Instruction cannot be successful without reasonable supply and proper selection of instructional resources. However, it is very impossible to purchase all the instructional resources needed for instruction in this part of the world. This makes it imperative for teachers and students to improvise so as to achieve their lesson objectives (Ajewole,1998, Njoku,2000). Student improvisation enables the students to interact with their environment and this improves their understanding of Biology. According to Osho (2011), improvisation is very imperative because children learn through various senses. Moreso, as students and teachers improvise they explore and exploit their environment thereby engaging in discovery learning (Njoku, 2000). Buttressing this point, Adeniran (2006) reported that when learners participate in improvisation of instructional resources, they are exposed to creativity, innovation and curiosity, all of which are fundamental to teaching and learning. There is no gain saying that since teacher mode of improvisation of instructional materials did not prove to be superior to student mode, the importance of student mode of improvisation of instructional resources cannot be diminished.

Our environment is rich in materials that can be used for improvisation and since students gain when such improvised instructional resources are used the teacher should endeavour to involve the students in improvisation. According to Aina (2012), students learn more when they work with materials they can manipulate by themselves and this will make them pay more attention than when they use objects that are entirely foreign to them. Moreso, Aina continued, the involvement of students in improvisation enables them to explore their immediate environment and design instructional resources with familiar objects within the environment. This enables them to study their environment more and increase the likelihood of better academic achievement.

The findings of this study agree with that of Ibingha (2011) which reported that there is no significant difference in the mean score of those taught with teacher improvised and student improvised materials.

Influence of gender on Students’ Achievement

Results of this study showed that although female students recorded a higher performance than the male students the difference was not significant. The result could be explained considering the nature of biology which is neither art nor science but at best a social science. Being a social science may mean that neither males nor females are beig expected to do better in it. . For instance, Evans (1999) found that there were gender differences in academic achievement, choice of subjects and choice of careers. Zembar and Blume (2009) supported this position when they reported that most studies show that girls do better in high schools than boys. According to them girls perform better in verbal tests spelling, writing and general knowledge. However, boys tend to excel in sciences over girls who shy away from sciences and embrace art subjects.

The results of this study is in agreement with the findings of Sule (2013) Ibingha (2011), and Bello and Ambimbola (1997) that gender has no significant effect on students’ achievement. However it disagreed with that of Okoye (2009) and Evans (1999) that showed gender to have significant difference in academic achievement of students.

Influence of School Location on Students’ Achievement

The results of this study show that difference exists between students in the rural school and those in the urban school in their achievement scores in Biology. Students in the rural schools performed better than students in the urban schools although the difference in achievement was not significant. The result of this study might have been due to the fact that both the teachers and students in the urban schools and rural schools have access to the materials in their environment from where they can access materials for use in improvisation of instructional resources. Biology is a social science subject and improvisation in such subjects involves materials that could be sourced within the environment be it urban or rural. This is as opposed to the sciences where materials like chemicals may not be within reach and must be supplied to the schools by the Biology. It has been observed that Biology’s supply of these materials, more often than not, favour urban schools more than rural schools with the result that achievement is affected.

The result of this study contradicted that of Osokoya and Akuche (2012), Jekayinfa (2011), Obasi (2011), and Owoeye and Olantunde (2011) who reported that school location has significant effect on academic achievement of students. It agreed with the findings of Josiah (2012) that location did not have significant effect on academic achievement of students.

Interaction of Mode of Improvisation and Gender on Students’ Achievement

The results of this study showed that there was no significant interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender on student achievement in Biology. Although, the females had higher adjusted mean for both teacher and student mode of improvisation than the males the difference was negligible at all levels of mode and does not suggest ordinal interaction effect. There was a slight difference in the adjusted mean of the male and female students but this difference was negligible and cannot be attributed to any form of interaction between the mode of improvisation of instructional materials and the gender of the students.

This result might have been due to the ability of the students irrespective of gender to learn effectively from improvised materials. The results of this study had shown that both teacher mode of improvisation and student mode of improvisation of instructional materials had comparative effect on male and female students’ achievement in Biology. The results agreed with that of Sule (2013) who reported that there was no interaction effect of improvised materials and gender on students’ achievement in mathematics.

Interaction of Mode of Improvisation and School Location on Students’ Achievement

The results of this study showed that there was no significant interaction effect of mode of improvisation and school location on students’ achievement in Biology. The students in the rural schools had higher adjusted mean for both teacher improvised and student improvised instructional materials. However, in both cases, these adjusted means were negligible. This showed that the results do not suggest ordinal interaction effect of mode of improvisation and school location on students’ achievement in Biology. School location did not affect the improvisation behaviour of both the teachers and the students. It has been noted that the availability of local materials helps in improvisation. Therefore, students in the rural environment did not have more access to local materials needed for improvisation than their counterpscience in the urban area. Consequently students’ performance when teacher and students improvised instructional resources are applied in the course of instruction did not differ according to location. This result might have been due to the ability of the students irrespective of their schools’ location to learn from improvised material.


Conclusions

Teacher’s improvised materials were found to have comparative effectiveness with student improvised materials. Students taught with teacher improvised materials did not significantly perform better than students taught with student improvised materials although they had higher adjusted mean score. Gender and school location showed no significant effect on the achievement scores of students in Biology although the females and those in rural areas had slightly higher adjusted mean score than their male and urban counterpscience respectively. There was no significant interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender and mode improvisation and location on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology.


Educational Implications

The results of this study have implications for Ministry of Education, Curriculum Planners, Teachers and Students. Emphasis should not be placed on teachers’ improvisation alone in the design and implementation of the curriculum by the ministry of education and other agencies. Student improvisation is equally effective. Therefore the two modes of improvisation must be emphasized in the design and implementation of the curriculum by the ministry of education if the country’s educational objectives are to be realised in secondary schools. Poor academic achievement of the students should not be blamed on non supply of instructional materials in schools by the Biology. It is established that improvised instructional materials are equally effective in enhancing students’ learning. Teachers and students have a duty to be engaged in improvisation of instructional materials, as a means of facilitating the achievement of educational objectives.

Although the female students performed slightly higher than their male counterpscience, the difference was not significant. Therefore, both male and female students benefit from the use of improvised materials in classroom instruction. Both male and female students should be involved in improvisation of materials for Biology instruction.
School location is no barrier to improvisation as far as Biology instruction is concerned. This is because the nature of what is to be improvised is such that can be accessed both in the urban and rural areas. For example, Cardboard papers, Magazines, Almanacs etc could be bought in both locations.


Recommendations

Based on the results of this study and the educational implications the following recommendations were made:

  1. The Biology, through the Ministry of Education should set up regular programmes of training for teachers on improvisation of instructional resources.
  2. Students’ mode of improvisation should be encouraged in secondary schools by principals and the Post Primary Schools Management Board as it has been found to be equally effective in enhancing learning.
  3. Both male and female students should be involved in improvisation of instructional materials in secondary schools.
  4. Biology through the ministry of Education, should strengthen its supervision on schools to ensure that both rural and urban schools improvise instructional materials.
  5. Each set of students should be made to take part in the improvisation of the instructional materials to be used in teaching them instead of using only the ones improvised by the other students. This will enable the students acquire skills in improvisation and even help them learn more, and acquire entrepreneurial skills..

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