The Effect Of Teachers Qualification And Instructional Materials On Basic Science Students’ Academic Performance

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The Effect Of Teachers Qualification And Instructional Materials On Basic Science Students’ Academic Performance


Abstract


This project work is design to investigate the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science students’ academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. On the basis of this, four research hypotheses were formulated and tested. A total of one hundred (100) copies of questionnaire were distributed to one hundred (100) sampled students from five (5) different schools to elicit their responses. The instrument used in the study was questionnaire, the Chi-Square statistics was used to analyze the data collected from respondents. The findings include the following; it is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ qualification / experience and students’ performance in basic science, it is evident there is a significant relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science, it is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ method of teaching basic science and students’ performance, it is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ gender in teaching basic science and students’ performance. Moreover, in all findings; the table shows that there are relationships in all. Based on these findings, recommendations were made.


Chapter One


Introduction

Background to the Study

Formal Education was introduced into our country (Nigeria), by the white Missionaries in 1842 Baja in Omiko (1987). At this period, the curriculum emphasized three main things; Reading, writing and Arithmetic. Survey studies carried out by Taiwo (1975), Abdullahi (1982) and Ukpai (1985), showed that teaching and learning of science in Nigerian schools started as far back as 1878. According to them, science was taught as general science to classes one and two in the secondary schools and as biology, chemistry and physics to upper classes of three, four and five. However, according to the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN 1970) in Omiko (2015), this general science continued until 1970 when Integrated Science, now Basic Science, was introduced as a base to express the fundamental unity of scientific thought. The teaching and learning of integrated science replaced the general science and was taught in Nigerian schools up to 1980 when the Federal Government restructured the 5-years secondary school system into 6-3-3-4 system. That is 6 years primary Education, 3-years junior secondary school (JSS) Education, 3-years Senior Secondary School (SSS) Education and 4-years tertiary education (FRN, 1981). The teaching and learning of integrated science in Nigerian schools especially at the Junior Secondary school level continued till 2009 when the Federal Government of Nigeria restructured the 6-year secondary school system into 9-3-4 system. The reform Agenda in Education in Nigeria brought a change in integrated science both in content and name. The content was broadened and the name changed from integrated science to basic science. Oka (2015) and Nwafor (2012) observed that basic science formally known as integrated science is a subject taught at both public and private schools at the Junior Secondary school level. Basic Science is an introductory course to the study of the sciences in the senior secondary school. The definition of integrated science (Basic Science) as was given by UNESCO (1973), and Omiko (2005) is a science in which concepts and principles are presented so as to express the fundamental unit of scientific taught and avoiding premature or undue stress on the distinction between various scientific fields. Ukpabi (1985) in Omiko (2005) defined Basic Science as a science in undifferentiated form which stresses the fundamental unity of science. Basic science involves the study of elementary biology, anatomy, earth/solar system, ecology, genetics, chemistry and physics as a single science subject in the Junior Secondary school. It offers the basic training in scientific skills required for human survival, sustainable development and societal transformation. Basic science studies also involve bringing together traditionally separate science subjects so that students grasp a more authentic understanding of science.

The alarming rate of poor performance in science subjects coupled with the low educational standard in the country are parts of the major reasons why most students shy away from the study of science. This negative attitude has encouraged poor performance and low participation of students in the higher science subjects like physics, chemistry and biology. All these problems mentioned above have been conclusively blamed on basic science and its teaching. Basic science serves as foundation for meaningful understanding of advanced scientific theories and principles because the bulk of content of the basic science curricular is descriptive, where the student is meant to learn many basic concepts like energy, matter, force and measurement. Previous studies have revealed that science teaching has been facing problems from different angles ranging from the learner, the teacher, the school, the government and even the parents.

The study of Basic science (Integrated science) is a new way of studying science, according to Omiko (2012) and Anaekwe et al (2010), Basic Science was introduced into this country Nigeria a few decades ago. It started with few schools, and now all the junior secondary schools in the country have adopted it. According to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) the aims of Basic Science (Formerly Integrated Science) should be directed at enabling students who are exposed in it, to acquire the following skills:

  1. Observe carefully and thoroughly
  2. Report completely and accurately what is observed.
  3. Organise information acquired
  4. Generalizing on the basis of the acquired information
  5. Predicting as a result of the generalization
  6. Designing experiments (including control where necessary) to check predictions.
  7. Using models to explain phenomena where appropriate; and
  8. Continuing the process of inquiry when new data do not conform to predictions.

To achieve these objectives, it is suggested that the teaching and learning of Basic science should involve the use of innovative methods of teaching like discovery, problem-solving, open-ended field trips and laboratory methods and among others. Omebe and Omiko (2015) observed that these suggested methods of teaching Basic science have been utilized for several years by the integrated science teachers and yet the results of the students in the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE) has not been encouraging. This status may be attributed to lack of trained teachers, lack of proper teaching materials, absence of conducive teaching and learning environment, inadequate evaluation or probably, inadequate teaching methods.

Idoko (2008) revealed that unprofessional and inexperienced basic science teachers using inappropriate teaching methods in conveying practical skills to students are responsible for lack of interest and poor performance of students in basic science practical. This indicates that teacher qualification and nature of skills in conveying practical skills among the factors affecting performance of students in basic science.

Instructional materials are essential and significant tools needed for teaching and learning of basic science to promote teacher’s efficiency and improve students’ performance in basic science. Instructional materials make learning more interesting, practical, realistic and appealing. They also enable both the teachers and students participate actively and effectively in lesson sessions. Ibeneme (2000) defined teaching aids as those materials used for practical demonstration in the classroom situation by students and teachers. However, this study will assess the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science students’ academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State.


Statement of the Problem

It is surprising that despite the efforts of Delta State government, to improve the standard of education by providing the required human and material resources for the implementation of education at all levels, students’ performance in basic science in internal and external examination is very poor in recent years. This situation makes one to wonder what could be the causes of this persistent failure of students in basic science examination. Some scholars attributed this high failure rate in science and basic science to various factors which could be institutional and non- institutional. In support Okolie, Elom and Inyiagu (2014), observed that poor performance of students in basic science has been so high in many Nigerian public schools in the recent years due to the unavailability of qualified basic science teachers. If this is not checkmated, our Science and Technology related subject graduates from the post-primary schools may not be employable and those who may further in their University Education may experience difficulties because of their background. Consequently, our educational system will not attain its objective of producing qualified and competent product in science education.

The problem which this study intends to solve: what then is the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science students’ academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State?


Research Questions

The following research questions have been raised to guide the study;

  1. Is there any relationship between teachers’ qualification/experience and students’ performance in basic Science?
  2. Is there any relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science?
  3. Is there a relationship between teacher’s method of teaching Basic Science and students’ performance?
  4. Is there any relationship between teachers’ gender in teaching Basic Science?

Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ qualification/experience and students’ performance in basic science.
  2. There is no significant relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science.
  3. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ teaching method and students’ performance in basic science.
  4. There is no significant relationship between teachers’ gender in the teaching of basic science and students’ performance.

Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science students’ academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. However, the specific purpose of this study is stated as follows;

  1. To investigate the relationship between teachers’ qualification/experience and students’ performance in Basic Science.
  2. To find out the relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science.
  3. To ascertain the relationship between teacher’s style of teaching Basic Science and students’ performance.
  4. To identify the relationship between teachers’ gender in teaching Basic Science and students’ performance in the subject.

Significance of the study

The result of this research will be beneficial to the following; students, teachers, educational administrators, curriculum planners and future researchers.

The outcome of this study will enable the students to understand the influence of teachers’ qualification, experience, techniques, and method of teaching and equipment for teaching and learning of basic science.

However, basic science teachers will be armed with the requisite information about the various factors that influence students’ academic performance and foster ways to enhance students’ interest in the teaching and learning process. Also to improvised adequate teaching and learning equipment for the effective teaching and learning of basic science.

Again, findings from this study maybe of uttermost importance to educational and curriculum planners because it would act as a feedback or evaluation to the curriculum implemented, to ascertain if the required experience, expertise, qualification stated for entry into secondary teaching, meets the educational needs of the learners, to make further prescription or better analyze the effects of teachers attitudes on students’ academic performance.
Lastly, it will be of great importance to future researchers who would seek reference on recent literature review and to give an up to date analysis on the basic science teacher qualification and equipment for teaching and learning of basic science.


Scopes and Delimitation of the Study

The study will cover the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science student’s academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. The study is limited to five (5) selected secondary schools in Local Government Area of Delta State.


Operational Definition of Terms

The terms and concept commonly used in this study are hereby defined operationally;

Effect:

The result or outcome of a cause.

Teachers’ Qualification:

This is the certification, experience, formal education, professional development, and years of training and licensing of a teacher before they can teach.

Academic Performance:

The level of attainment of a student in his subject of study. The grade or score in their respective subject of study.

Instructional Materials:

The things that are needed for a particular purpose of activity.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

This chapter focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations


Summary

This research work was designed to investigate the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science students’ academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. In order to achieve this aim, four research questions and four null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.

The major instrument used for the study was the questionnaire and one hundred (100) respondents were randomly selected as sample. The Chi-Square statistic was used in testing the four hypotheses stated in the study.

Based on the analysis, all the hypotheses were rejected. Thus, the analysis revealed that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ qualification/experience and students’ performance in basic science.

Secondly, that there is a significant relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science.

Thirdly, that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ method of teaching basic science and students’ performance.

Finally, that there is a significant relationship between teachers’ gender in teaching basic science and students’ performance.

Based on these findings, recommendations were made and suggestions for further studies were proffered.


Conclusion

Based on the findings, the following conclusions were made on the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science student’s academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. The researcher made the following conclusion that;

  1. It is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ qualification/experience and students’ performance in basic science.
  2. It is evident there is a significant relationship between laboratory facilities and the effective teaching and learning of basic science.
  3. It is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ method of teaching basic science and students’ performance.
  4. It is evident there is a significant relationship between teachers’ gender in teaching basic science and students’ performance.

Recommendations

Based on the findings on the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science student’s academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State, the following recommendations have been made;

  1. Government through the Ministry of Education should ensure that qualified and experienced teachers be employed into the school system. According to Abe (2014) teacher’s qualification can be quantified into the following; level of education, years of experience in preparation of subject matter and pedagogy and; certification in their expertise area and their ongoing professional development.
  2. Again, laboratory facilities in schools are inadequate and this has hitherto hindered the process of teaching and learning. Thus the federal and state government should ensure they renovate existing and build new laboratory facilities to further consolidates the process of teaching and learning. Oyetunde (2008), was of the view that the problem of lack of school facilities or inadequate school facilities is affecting all state secondary schools in the federation. Abdulralman (2009) believes that laboratories facilities are the materials resources that facilitate effective teaching and learning in schools.
  3. Teachers should improve on their teaching methods or styles; it has been validated by this research that there is a direct link between teaching method of teacher and students’ performance in the subject. Therefore, teachers’ in education should endeavour to explore all methods of teaching that will bring overall development to the students. As Danmole and Femi-Adeoye (2004) opined that no single method is best for the teaching of basic science, teaching styles that would permit students’ active participation such as field work, laboratory work (practical activities) , group work, concept mapping and inquiry methods should always be used. These methods are most likely to ensure higher performance and promote students’ interest in basic science.
  4. The gender of a teacher is very important in the teaching and learning environment, thus the ministry of education, should ensure in their recruitment of teacher be done across gender. As Beilock, Gunderson, Ramirez, & Levine, (2010) puts it, same-gender teachers can act as role models, enhancing students’ motivation and learning outcomes. Secondly, teachers play an important role in creating a classroom environment that either fosters gender equality or discrimination. Studies show that traditional academic gender stereotypes such as ‘males are good at math and females are good at reading’ can lead to female anxiety towards math and to biased evaluation of teachers.
  5. Educational administrators should ensure that school teachers are given appropriate orientation on the various uses and importance of laboratory facilities and instructional materials during teaching and learning. They should be made to go for periodic seminars, conferences, workshops and in – service training to help improve their teaching skills.

Limitation of the Study

The researcher faced some challenges during the period of the research.

  1. Finance: This was a major problem to the researcher because of the size of the local Government Area the research is being conducted.
  2. Difficulties in finding materials for this project work.
  3. The largeness and size of the research area.

Suggestions for Further Studies

Based on the above findings and conclusion, the following suggestions are made; the study investigated the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science student’s academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. The same study should be replicated in other Local Government Areas of the State in order to carry out a proper generalization of the findings.


Contribution to Knowledge

Though a lot of research has been carried out on the effect of teachers’ qualification and instructional materials on Basic science student’s academic performance in Ukwuani LGA of Delta State. This is what this study has contributed to knowledge.


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