The Effectiveness Of Instructional Materials In Teaching And Learning Of Biology In Senior Secondary School

Biology Education Project Material

The Effectiveness Of Instructional Materials In Teaching And Learning Of Biology In Senior Secondary School


Abstract


The purpose of the study is to examine the effectiveness of instructional material in teaching and learning of biology in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State. The population of the study consisted of the entire 15 principals and 29 biology teachers, within the 15 public secondary in Enugu South L.G.A. of Enugu State. The estimated population of the principals and biology teachers in the study areas was 44 and therefore, there was no sampling. Three structured research questions were used. The questionnaires were administered to the principals and biology teachers and were collected by the researcher. The data collected was analyzed using mean, standard deviation, and frequency percentage. The result from the analysis showed that, the availability of instructional materials in these schools is poor, including the most important ones. Biology teachers do not have much access to the available instructional materials. It is also revealed that the extent of use of instructional material for effective teaching and learning of Biology is very low. Some solutions include: the Government /Ministry of Education should provide adequate qualified Biology teachers, and the ministry of education should regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard. Hence, there is much need for sufficient qualified and competent biology teachers, adequate availability and utilization of instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of Biology in all the secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Biology as a subject of life and living things needs to be taught not just theoretically but practically for it be functional and to lay the base foundation needed for science and technological development. Erickson (2005) noted that for a science teaching and learning to be effective every student must be given an opportunity to handle the materials of science and experience science personally. Biology is the study of life and living things, so a resourceful teacher does not have any reason for teaching biology, supporting him Asiabaka (2010:266) education is the key to national development, it provides the intellectual capability needed by man to enhance the human and material resource for scientific and technological advancement.

To address the objectives of senior secondary education, the teaching and learning process have to be in order. Thus, Curriculum is planted at different levels of education system by different people. The curriculum of any school is carried out for the purpose of bringing about a change in the behavior of students, it is part of the school academic programme which the school presents to the student in response to societal demand. According to onyedikachi (2011), in educational setting it is impossible to teach without tools. We use new tools to spice up the teaching and learning process to make it possible for students to teach themselves. This is why Ezekoka (2008) states that instructional materials constitute an important component in the teaching and learning environment. She viewed it as the vehicles that carry messages or information from a transmitting source (teacher) to the receiver (learner).

Since the objectives of any biology teaching determines the content, materials and materials needed for achieving such: objectives. The materials use for enhancing instructional effectiveness are aspect of media employed for achieving the instructional objectives recent emphasis on teaching and learning method is on that in which learners are made to have active  participation. Active participation of learners will increase motivation and also minimize abstraction associated with learning. Thus, increasing learning experiences (Afokloi and Adeleke, 2010:406). This can be facilitated by making use of instructional materials and resources which can minimize abstraction associated with learning. Teaching can only be effective when adequate and relevant instructional materials in teaching.

To this end, Onasanwa and Omosewo(2011) defined instructional materials as a system components that may be used as part of instructional process which are used to disseminate information message and idea or which make possible communicable in the teaching process.

Teaching aids are important catalyst of social re-engineering and change in learners. The role of instructional materials or teaching aid to enhance teaching for desired social and behavioral changes cannot be fully accomplished without the use of instructional materials. In modern teaching and learning situation, the utilization of instructional materials have become prominent because several experts and scholars are of the view that teaching will be better done if teaching aids or audio-visual aids are used and skill, students learn better if they are exposed to use the teaching materials no matter how prototype it would be.

It is against this background that the researcher deemed it necessary to investigate the effect of using instructional materials to teach biology in senior secondary schools in Enugu South local government area of Enugu-state.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The ultimate goal of any instructional activity is to facilitate effective teaching and meaningful learning and the teacher is responsible for the translation, and implementation of educational policies, curriculum, instructional materials package and assessment of a school outcome. When a curriculum is developed without adequate support by appropriate and sufficient materials and information technology support, there is a waste and when teachers are inadequately trained to interpret the curriculum and to create and use learning materials there is also a waste (Amoo, 2002). It has been observed that public schools lack basic instructional facilities, in some cases students are achieved to buy chalks and other instructional materials for the teaching and learning process. Consequently, students academic performance have been poor as it can be seen over the years through public examination and other examinations. In our senior secondary schools, teaching materials needed for teaching biology subjects are not made available to teachers and at affordable price to students where necessary, the teachers and students are therefore denied of the requisite exposure to such materials. This study therefore pose as a question, what are the effect of using instructional materials to teach  biology in senior secondary school in Enugu South local government area of Enugu-state.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of use of instructional materials in teaching biology in senior secondary schools in Enugu South local government Area of Enugu-state, but specifically the study will attempt to:

  1. To ascertain if teachers use instructional materials in teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools in Enugu South.
  2. Ascertain the extent to which instructional material help to facilitate effective teaching and learning and understanding concepts.
  3. To ascertain the challenges hindering teachers from using instructional materials in teaching and learning process.
  4. To ascertain how effective teaching and learning can be achieved in the classroom situation by using instructional materials.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This study is significant in many way as I will be beneficial to educational management, policy makers, teachers and students, through the following ways:

To the educational managers, state government and federal government, it will enable them to organize seminars and workshops for teachers soars to improve their quality of secondary school education. The study will serve as a feed back to the education sector especially the department of teachers training and development, curriculum and evaluation.

The findings of this study if discussed at seminars and workshops in the area of this study, it will enable teachers have a clear knowledge on effectiveness use of instructional materials and also learn to take appropriate measure to improve the situation.

To the students, the study will help them if adequate instructional materials are provided, it will help them to reach learning and understanding classroom instruction very well.

Finally, the findings of this study will be beneficial to scholars and researchers since it will serve as reference materials on the related topics and also show case ways of improving students academic performance and to achieve better learning.


1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covers all the public secondary schools in Enugu South local government area of Enugu-state, thus, investigating the effects or the effectiveness use of instructional materials to teach biology in senior secondary schools in Enugu South local government area of Enugu-state(source: Semb2012). The study will cover the utilization, functions and constraints, types of Instructional materials.


1.6 Research Questions:

The following research questions guided the study:

The researcher formulated the following research questions to guide the study:

  1. Do teachers use instructional materials in teaching and learning process in secondary schools in Enugu South L.G.A?
  2. To what extent do instructional materials help to facilitate effective teaching and learning and understanding concepts?
  3. What are the challenges hindering teachers from using instructional materials in teaching and learning process in secondary schools.
  4. How can effective teaching and learning be achieved in the classroom situation by using instructional materials?
  5. To what extent are instructional materials made available to biology teachers in secondary schools?
  6. To what extent do teachers have access to the instructional materials in teaching of biologyin secondary schools?
  7. To what extent do teachers utilize the instructional materials in teaching and learning of biologyin secondary schools?

Chapter Five


Discussion, Conclusions, Recommendation and Summary

In this chapter, the researcher discussed the results of findings, conclusion, implication of the study, recommendations of the study, limitations of the study, suggestions for further studies, and summary.


5.1 Discussion of the Study

The three research questions that guided this study were the themes around which the major findings of the study were organized and discussed.

Research question 1:To what extent are instructional materials made available to biology teachers in secondary schools?

The result shows that few instructional materials were available, such as microscopes, preserved animal and plant specimens, test tubes, indicators etc. this makes it difficult for students to identify them especially during external examination. The poor performance in biology at secondary school level is as a result of insufficiency and ineffective use of instructional materials and laboratory facilities in the teaching of biology in secondary schools (Aduba, 1990). Consequently, Akudolu (2002) submitted that ICT tools are not always available to teachers in secondary schools. While Mmaka (2002) stated that for teaching of biology to be more meaningful and effective, there should be modern technology. The low or poor availability of instructional materials will create room for abstract lesson rather than concrete lesson in biology.

Research question 2:To what extent do teachers have access to the instructional materials in teaching of biology in secondary schools?

The findings show that teachers’ access to instructional materials is not adequate enough. It is true that the available instructional materials are not sufficient, but still, teachers do not have full access to some of the available ones. For instance, microscopes and thermometers are available but not accessible by teachers. Some factors like; Poor security, Principals’ and teachers’ attitude, Incompetent teachers, Insufficient qualified teachers, Poor maintenance, and Inadequate time assigned for biology lessons,can deny biology teachers access to instructional materials. This will negatively affect the academic performance of biology students. It is because of this that Chike-Okoli (1997) in line with Ikediashi (2002) have pointed out that poor teaching experience, inadequate or poor physical infrastructure, unsatisfactory building design are likely to cause some physical discomfort for the students and are therefore bound to influence their academic achievement.

Research question 3: To what extent do teachers utilize the instructional materials in teaching and learning of biologyin secondary schools?

According to the result, the utilization of the available instructional materials in teaching and learning of biology is very low; only seven out of twenty listed items were utilized by teachers. Teachers do not have interest in using the available instructional materials because of incompetency, or it is often “time consuming”. This is not a healthy development because it does not make the teaching of biology real, effective and productive. Similarly, Igwe (2005) asserted that passive learning through lectures and textbook reading may not provide a long lasting interest or understanding in any field of study. This problem can be attributed to insufficient qualified teachers, poor funding, inadequate time assigned for biology lessons, lack of power supply, and lack of seminars/workshops for teachers are the factors that militate against the use of instructional materials. Thus, is then important that the school authority and curriculum planners should map out adequate time for especially biology practical.

Non-utilization of biology instructional materials will not make learning permanent, provide concrete and realistic experiences, stimulate imaginations, develop a continuity of thought, promote longer retention of factual knowledge as well as not stimulate the students’ interest in the learning of biology. Therefore, for effective teaching and learning of biology to take place, the resourceful biology teachers should utilize properly the available instructional materials in biology, together with the necessary skills.


5.2 Conclusion

The purpose of the study is to examine the availability, accessibility and utilization of instructional material in teaching and learning of biology in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Findings made from the analysis showed that the availability of instructional materials in these schools is poor, including the most important ones.

Biology teachers do not have much access to the available instructional materials.

It is also revealed that the extent of use of instructional material for effective teaching and learning of Biology is very low.

However, the causative factors were narrowed to incompetent teachers, poor supervision, poor funding, inadequate time assigned for Biology lessons, lack of power supply, and lack of seminars/workshops for teachers. The government /ministry of education should also provide adequate qualified Biology teachers, regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard, provide fund for schools in order to create conducive environment for effective teaching and learning, and there should be good maintenance of available school facilities in all secondary schools, especially in Enugu South Local Government Area.


5.3 Implication of the Study

The result of this study has obvious implications to the teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools.
It is recognized that there is need to make the instructional materials available and effectively utilized in all the secondary schools within Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, so as to enhance effective teaching and learning of Biology. The acquisition of the knowledge for effective mastery can only take place when teachers combine theoretical knowledge with practical especially for some Biology concepts which are abstract in nature.

The irregular supervision of most Biology teachers by the education board has led to most teachers neglecting their duties such as improvisation of some instructional materials that are readily available in the school.

It has been observed that there is an increased rate of poor academic performance of biology students in secondary schools, together with some responsible factors.

It implies that there should be competent teachers, sufficient qualified teachers, funding, adequate time assigned for biology lessons, parents/guardians support, and seminars/workshops for teachers.

Therefore, it is very necessary that regular supervision of secondary schools (especially Biology Teachers) should be carried out by the relevant school inspectors to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard in Enugu South.


5.4 Recommendations of the Study

The following recommendations were made in line with the results of the study:

  1. The government /ministry of education should provide more adequate qualified Biology teachers to all the public secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area.
  2. The Biology teachers in public secondary schools in Enugu South should be sponsored to attend workshops where they will be taught how to improve and upgrade their competency in improvisation and utilization of Biology instructional materials. Such workshops could be held by the state government in collaboration with the state branch of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN).
  3. The government should provide fund for schools so as to enable them procure the relevant resources for effective teaching and learning of Biology.
  4. Considering the high cost of some institutional materials, appropriate management techniques should be adopted for good maintenance of available school facilities.
  5. Finally, the ministry of education should regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard.

5.5 Limitations of the Study

The limitations of the study include: some teachers were adamant and felt reluctant to respond to the questionnaire items, transportation to most of the schools posed limitation to the study, regarding to the road congestion, complex routes and expenses.


5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies

This is a small-scale study; a countrywide study with a larger population is suggested. It is believed that such a study could better inform practitioners, teachers, educators and policy makers about the phenomenon.
Also, other researchers should carry out this study in other geographical or institutional settings.


5.7 Summary

The main purpose of the study is to examine the availability, accessibility and utilization of instructional material in teaching and learning of biology in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The population of the study consisted of the entire 15 principals and 29 biology teachers, within the 15 public secondary in Enugu South L.G.A. of Enugu State. The estimated population of the principals and biology teachers in the study areas was 44 and therefore, there was no sampling.

Three structured research questions were used. The instrument was validated by two experts in test and measurement, and one specialist in Science and Vocational Education Department of Godfrey Okoye University Enugu. The questionnaires were administered to the principals and biology teachers and were collected by the researcher. The data collected was analyzed using mean, standard deviation, and frequency percentage.

The result from the analysis showed that, the availability of instructional materials in these schools is poor, including the most important ones. Biology teachers do not have much access to the available instructional materials. It is also revealed that the extent of use of instructional material for effective teaching and learning of Biology is very low.

Some solutions include: the government /ministry of education should provide adequate qualified Biology teachers, and the ministry of education should regularly supervise schools to make sure that they always meet up the appropriate standard.

Hence, there is much need for sufficient qualified and competent biology teachers, adequate availability and utilization of instructional materials for effective teaching and learning of Biology in all the secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government Area.

According to Ajao (2001), the quality of education not only depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties, but also in the effective coordination of the school environment. The Federal Republic of Nigeria in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2006) also recognized the importance of teachers by stating that no nation’s education system can be greater than the standard of their teachers.


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