Effectiveness Of Photography As A Teaching Method For Science Subjects In Secondary Schools In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Secondary Schools In Egor LGA, Edo State)

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Effectiveness Of Photography As A Teaching Method For Science Subjects In Secondary Schools In Nigeria (A Case Study Of Selected Secondary Schools In Egor LGA, Edo State)


In spite of the fact that most teachers of science have been trained in the use of photography, learning science is a challenge as seen in performance indicators in Egor L.G.A. The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe secondary school science teachers’ use of photography for purposes of enhancing the teaching of science and the extent to which these media are used. The objectives of the study were to identify the photography materials available for teaching science in the secondary schools in Egor L.G.A., identify the different types of photography materials available in secondary schools in Egor L.G.A.

The purpose was to pre-test the research instruments for reliability and validity as well as establish the feasibility of the study. It involved the use of questionnaires as the research instruments. Stratified random sampling was used for the two classes and finally simple random sampling for the student respondents. The sample size was 406 respondents comprising 346 students, 30 teachers of science and 30 library personnel. Questionnaires were used to elicit information from students, teachers and library personnel on the availability and use of photography. Only one library personnel for each school was involved. Data analysis was done using the Excel computer program as a tool in order to produce data which was presented in frequencies, means and percentages.

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

The foundational history of the use of photography could be traced to 1950’s when the photo type block for copying line subjects, engraving manuscripts and photographic reproduction into books was invented. Ogedengbe (2002) reports that colour photo prints can be a source of help to students in Secondary Schools to develop the ability to compose effectively and increase the performance level in their studies. Rheinhold Thiele’s (2000) supports the adoption of photograph unto teaching and learning. She was a press photographer who made photo prints of six hundred and eleven (611) subjects of the Natal Campaign for the Navy and the Army. She also covered the Russo-Japanese war and the Boer war. And many of the documented photographs that were left over were later adopted for educational purpose with more research works into the uses of photography especially for teaching and learning purposes. Learners’ academic performances have been increased through the use of photography. Bower and Spaulding (2000) in a research study on simple reading materials concluded that a sequence of picture can be effectively used for communicating new idea and to increase learners’ performance if the pictures are used together with verbal face to face explanation.

Fonsesca and Karle (1960) explained that recognizable and familiar objects presented in a sequence of photo prints enhance comprehension and better performance. Travers (2003) shows that photographic prints can be used to improve the performance of a lawn tennis player. According to Hudson and Hector (1963) photography and pictorial illustration accompanied with verbal explanation have increased the level of performance of cocoa farmer in Ghana. Sofowora (1994) contributes that the comprehension of a process involving series of actions is possible if photographs are used.

Chaplain (1960) working on a science education research project contributes that instruction when given largely with numerous sequence of photo prints helps to convey adequate scientific information and instruction. Photographic study thus offers an excellent opportunity for learning the challenge of accurate description.

Arundale (2005) reports from his study that learners were able to retain a great part of the lesson content when oral teaching are linked with a sequence of photographs. It also shows that the students in the experimental group performed better and were able to recall the various experiences they acquired in their projects than those in the control group. Spaulding (1955) was of the opinion that colour photo prints are real life situation that help the retention of what has been learnt. Adeosun (1986) explained that students that were exposed to pictures were able to retain and recall a greater part of the lesson content than those that were taught without the use of picture.

Franden (1961) showed that a sequence of pictures and pictorial illustration make learning real, more meaningful and reinforces the learning materials for easy assimilation and retention. John and Litcher (2000) in their experiment concluded that four months after exposing the students to multi-racial pictures the attitude of the students changed towards other races.

Working with photographs also adds another layer of complexity to the lessons, because every photograph was created at one point in time, in a particular place, of a chosen subject, by a particular photographer, for a specific purpose, and using a particular technology. All these elements has made learning an unforgettable experience when adopting the photography teaching method.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Several secondary schools in Nigeria are facing serious problems in the area of teaching and learning. Among the problems are poor methods of teaching, lack of relevant instructional materials; negative attitude of the parents and the students towards the subject and shortage of qualified teachers. Several other studies conducted outside Nigeria revealed that the use of photography teaching method will enhance teaching and learning. The researcher is of the believe that photography teaching method can be used as a panacea to the problem of poor performance in secondary school.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the secondary school science teachers’ use of photography in enhancing the teaching of science in Egor L.G.A.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

  1. Identify the photography materials available for teaching science in secondary schools in Egor L.G.A..
  2. Identify the different types of photography materials available in secondary schools in Egor L.G.A..
  3. Find out the frequency to which photography is used in teaching science in secondary schools in Egor L.G.A.
  4. Find out the contribution that photography has in learning science.

1.5 Research Questions

  1. What instructional resources are available for teaching science in secondary schools in Egor L.G.A.
  2. What type of photography do teachers of science use inteaching?
  3. Are there challenges facing teachers when using the available photography?
  4. In what way does the use of photography affectlearning?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The following are the significance of this study:

The results from this study will enlighten the administrators in the education sector and the general public on the benefits of photography teaching method and its impact on performance and effectiveness.

This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.

1.7 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. It will also cover the effectiveness of photography as a teaching method as reflected in the academic performance of secondary school students.

1.8 Limitation of 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

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

Photography Use in Teaching Science

The study revealed that majority of students at 80.4% (N: 278) stated that their teachers generally use photography while teaching science subject in class. However on particular types of media, less than a sixth at 14.4% (N: 50) indicated that their teachers use hand-outs and pictures. Another at 27.8% (N: 96) of the students further indicated that their teachers of science use charts while teaching in class as the majority at 94.8% (N: 328) indicated that their teachers use the chalk wall. Only 3.1% (N: 11) indicated that teachers use radio cassettes, the OHP and films. Students also indicated that teachers never use: video, TV or slides in teaching. The study also found out that the frequency of use of photography by their teachers was very often at a mean standard error of less than 1 for all materials. However the use varied depending on the type and availability of particular media.

The study also established that the use of photography by their science teachers enhances students’ learning. Well over four fifths at 86.6% (N: 300) of the students felt that if their teachers of science use teaching resources, then their learning is enhanced.

This study furthermore, established the difference that the use of resources makes on students’ learning. Over half at 53.6% (N: 185) of the students felt photography make them to understand science and also, to perform well.
On photography most used in teaching science nearly all schools at 90% (N: 27) primarily used printed material and only a very minimal number at 10% (N: 3) of schools used 3 Dimentional objects.

Very few teachers at 10% (N: 3) gave difficulty in understanding audio materials, time, materials not being operational and unavailability as reasons for not using photography of the audio nature.

Photography Availability in Secondary Schools in Egor L.G.A.

The study established from students that a majority of schools at 85.6% (N: 296) have a library or book store for storage of their photography. Only a minimal number at 5.2% (N: 18) do not have a library or book store. Such a situation probably makes it difficult for students in those schools to learn optimally. On the kind of materials available and stored by these libraries and book stores, the study established that most schools at 94.8% (N: 325) stored text books as their most essential teaching material their libraries. The other types of materials were quite dismal for example film projectors at 2.1% (N: 7) and record players at 1% (N: 3), radio cassettes at 2.1% (N: 7), and TV sets at 13.4% (N: 46). Nearly half at 48.5% (N: 168) had charts, photo copiers and duplicating machines and computers. Very few at 16.5% (N: 57) had models while none had slide projectors.

5.2 Conclusions of the Study

The main objective of this study was to investigate the utilization of photography in enhancing students’ learning of science. The study was anchored on the Cognitive Load theory by John Sweller (2005). Its objectives were on: identifying the Instructional resources available in schools for teaching science, identify the types of photography materials available for teaching science, find out the frequency to which teachers use photography while teaching their students and the contribution that photography has on learning science.

It was established that material availability varied according to types of these materials. Text books are the most available teaching and learning resource in schools at exceptionally commendable rates. Computers, charts, photo copiers and the duplicating machine follow at fair rates respectively. Essential materials such as the projectors, record player and its accessories are the least available in the schools all at dismal The study established that apart from text books other materials such as computers and other print machines and the rest of the very essential materials are not adequate like the handouts, pictures models and cameras. On frequency of use, the study established that generally, students often use the available materials in the library especially printed material like books and charts at a descriptive statistic mean of 1.6804, however visual aids, audios and 3D objects were least used.

On the relationship between use of photography and learning, the study established most students experienced enhanced learning if teachers used teaching resources. The study further established that resources motivate and make learners understand concepts better, perform well, and improve their reading, writing and listening skills. photography also improve their attention and helpful in research and exercises.

The study therefore shows that photography in overall have a positive influence in the learning of science at 22% in variability of enhancing learning of science.

5.3 Recommendations of the Study

The study recommends improvement in the following areas:

  1. Regular science teaching workshops need to be organized by the ministry of Education for teachers to equip themselves with skills of coping with the demands of science teaching particularly in the use of photography.
  2. Teachers should be encouraged by their supervisors to make more use of other types of materials besides text books. Internal school inspection mechanisms should be established to ensure that these important materials are integrated in teaching.
  3. Schools should also endeavour to avail more and replace the obsolete equipment with more technologically modern equipment.
  4. Preparation and use of photography by science teachers need to be encouraged through the syllabus and teachers’ guides.
  5. Suggestions on appropriate photography are missing in the current syllabus and KIE approved class texts. To make this possible, the ministry of Education should provide guidance on procurement of other photography besides books.
  6. Science teachers should advise their schools on the need of purchasing and availing more diversified types of photography. School managers need to purchase diversified science readers for learners. This will enhance reading which will promote writing.
  7. Science lessons need to have an hour where given prescribed media will be used in teaching. The additional lesson should be a double lesson to give more time to allow media set-up and operation.
  8. Heads of department and heads of institutions on teachers’ use of photography.

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