The Impact Of Instructional Resources And Materials In The Teaching Of Chemistry In Secondary Schools

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

The Impact Of Instructional Resources And Materials In The Teaching Of Chemistry In Secondary Schools


Abstract


The aim of this study is to examine the impact of instructional Resources/ materials for teaching chemistry in secondary schools in Awka, Anambra State. A researcher designed questionnaire was used in the study and was designed for the chemistry teachers only in the ten selected senior secondary schools at Awka. Hypothesis was tested from the data generated using the chi square X2 test. From the results, it was discovered that instructional resources and materials significantly impacts on the teaching of chemistry in secondary schools of the assessment show that basic laboratory instructional resources were inadequate for chemistry instruction in Awka secondary schools. It also shows that recommended textbook were not enough and that recent textbook are not used at all. From the assessment made, it’s also observed that there were no enough teachers to teach chemistry and to make use of the little instructional resources that are available.

Based on these problems, due to the assessment made, recommendations for possible solution were made and these include:

More fund should be released by the authority of the school for the purchase of chemistry instructional resources, The school teachers should recommend to the school authority on the current textbook and rely less on the old once because new concept ideas are coming up on daily books, School authority should provide enough ICT resources for teaching the chemistry and to train the teachers.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Chemistry is an exact and a core science subject in Nigerian secondary schools. Its teaching often requires creativity and improvisation. To make chemistry concepts comprehensible to students, chemistry teachers must employ creative teaching methods and be prepared to respond to queries and explain concepts in an atypical manner (Nbina, 2012). The author further pointed out that the widespread poor performance and the negative attitude towards chemistry from secondary school students have largely been ascribed to lack of proper teaching methods. Teachers who adapt appropriate improvisation materials in teaching chemistry will likely be more successful in imparting chemistry knowledge to the novice chemists in their classes. Samba and Eriba (2011) see improvisation as the act of using alternative materials and resources to facilitate instructions whenever there is lack or shortage of specific first hand teaching aids. The authors see improvisation as the choice of the best instructional material which enables the teacher to achieve some carefully specified educational objectives. Stiggins (2008) added that there are various methods used to increase class participation and performance among students. The researchers hope that improvisation of instructional teaching materials could be one of them. Recent models of teaching and learning view learning as a social activity in which children construct knowledge with the teacher and other children (Kerry, 2002). Chemistry is a branch of physical science, and it is the study of the composition, properties and behaviour of matter. Since it’s a physical science, its teaching has to be physical and real (Baja, 1988). The teaching of chemistry is made interesting with the use of teaching aids which include flash cards, pointer, computers, improvised materials and overhead projectors among others. The knowledge of this subject is control to vocations in health services, pharmaceuticals, petroleum and petrochemical industries, food processing, teaching services and extractive industries, which is relevant for economic development. The teaching of this subject should aim at developing in the students those manipulative and experimental skills necessary to make them competent and confident in the investigations of the material resources around them. However, as important as this subject is to all science related vocations, the performance of students in it at the senior secondary school certificate levels has not met the desired needs of the nation hence the need for this investigation. The present digital age of human existence had brought about changes in every aspect of human life such as the way we work, the way we live, the way we eat, the way we communicate, the way we transfer or carry money and the way we teach and learn. In the education sector, many new teaching materials are being provided in addition to the old ones. In many schools these teaching materials are not always available in the right quantity, but teaching and learning must go on in the school. Thus, there is need to look at the classroom practices of the chemistry or science teachers which would help them to perform their duties effectively in a situation where the teaching materials are in short supply or not available.

Effective teaching and learning is done with instructional materials; Nachias (2000), Owo (2009) and Nwagbo and Ugwuanyi (2015) observed that innovative pedagogical practices using technology and improvisation enhance teachers effectiveness chemistry concepts cannot be fully achieved without the use of instructional materials. The teaching of chemistry without instructional materials will certainly result to poor performance in the course. Franzer et al. (1992) stressed that;a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained would be unable to put his ideas into practice if the school setting lacks the equipments and materials necessary for him or her to translate his competence into reality. Basssey (2002) described instructional materials media as system component that may be used as part of instructional process which are used to disseminate informative message and ideas or which make possible communication in the teaching-learning process. Experience over the years has shown that teachers have been depending on excessive use of words to express, convey ideas or facts in the teaching-learning process. This process is termed the ‘chalk-talk’ method. Today advances in technology have made it possible to produce materials and devices that could be used to minimize the teachers’ talking and at the same time, make the message clearer, more interesting and easier for the learner to assimilate (Onasanya, et al. (2008). According to Soetan et al. (2010), graphics including charts, posters, sketches, cartoons, graphs and drawings. Graphics communicate facts and ideas clearly through combination of drawings, words and pictures.

The use of graphics in teaching creates definitiveness to the materials being studied. They help to visualize the whole concepts learned and their relationships with one another. Hands-on instructional materials show, rather than tell, which increase information retention. A truism often heard in teaching is that if you have not learnt, I have not taught. A reasonable conclusion then is that the importance of instructional materials in teaching and learning science is most efficient illustrated through student achievement result. The Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) (2011) asserts that students come to the science classroom with many misconceptions to correct for proper scientific learning to progress. Schools should base instructional material on fundamental scientific concepts and principles, which help to align students understanding with current knowledge and teach them to monitor and control their own thoughts process to facilitate learning. When science is integrated with other inter-disciplinary courses, the teacher should give careful attention to designing ”a logical and coherent structure” for ensuring that they clearly communicate and ensure contextual understanding of embedded scientific concepts, as recommended by the Long Beach Unified School District(LBUSD)(2010).The LBUSD recommends the use hand-on science activities.

The BSCS advocates group work and inquiry based activities. Such explorations encourage students to engage in science, which promote problem-solving thoughts patterns and correct students’ mistaken notion of science and the world. Teachers who take time to provide instructional materials and option that take into consideration or account the different ways students receive and express knowledge are more likely to see their students’ success. Science classroom should provide a variety of audio, visual and print input methods depending on students need, allow students the flexibility to communicate their true learning. According to BSCS, students or teachers who must closely follow their 5Es instructional model….engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate…achieve a high rate of success. Taylor, Scotter and Coulson (2007) conclude, “that there is a statistical link between superior student achievements and basic or extensive of strategies and learning sequences consistent with the 5Es”.Research study has shown that where instructional materials are used the learning environments are highly stimulating and the students appear to take greater interest in learning.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The transmission of facts, ideas and information from the teacher to the students in a systematic order or procedure is refereed to as teaching. During this process instructional material other wise known as teaching aids meant to make instruction more meaningful, clear and much more interesting to students are brought in display. There is a general impression that science education is not achieving the desired objectives especially with high incidence of students’ poor performance in chemistry and other science subjects at senior secondary certificate examination. This situation has assumed a precarious dimension in all secondary schools in Cross River State and particularly in Yakurr Local Government Area. The failure of educational system to provide adequate and appropriate teaching-learning aids in order to improve academic performance of students is of a great concern to government, educational institutions and other concern citizens. It is believed that if adequate instructional materials are made available to school and are used appropriately in teaching-learning process, a better performance could be achieved. Hence, the motivation of this study which seeks to find out the influence of instructional materials on academic performance of senior secondary schools students in chemistry.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The purpose of this study is to:

  1. Find out the influence of instructional materials on academic performance of senior secondary school students in chemistry.
  2. To examine the relationship between instructional materials and student academic performance in chemistry
  3. To examine the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary school
  4. Determine the effect of teaching experience on the chemistry teachers’ effort at improvisation of instructional materials

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher:

  1. H0: There is no statistical significant relationship between the academic performance of chemistry students and the use of instructional materials in Teaching-learning
    H1: There is a statistical significant relationship between the academic performance of chemistry students and the use of instructional materials in Teaching-learning
  2. H0: instructional materials does not have any impact in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary school
    H2: instructional materials does have an impact in teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary school

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will help to:

  1. Steer Government and Proprietors of schools to recognize the need to adequately equip their schools with current and appropriate instructional materials.
  2. Prove the worth of instruction materials in teaching learning processes.
  3. Inculcate in teachers the habits of using instructional materials appropriately in teaching learning process to arouse interest and determination among students.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the impact of instructional material and resources in the teaching of chemistry in secondary schools; but in the cause of the study, there are some factors that limited the scope of the study;

(a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

(b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

(c) Finance:

The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover


1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Instructional Materials

Instructional materials are the tools used in educational lessons, which includes active learning and assessment. Basically, any resource a teacher uses to help him teach his students is an instructional material

Chemistry

Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with elements and compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a reaction with other substances.

Secondary School

A secondary school is both an organization that provides secondary education and the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools can provide both lower secondary education and upper secondary education, but these can also be provided in separate schools, as in the American middle school- high school system.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is pertinent to note that this research was aimed at finding out the impact of instructional material and resources in the teaching of chemistry in secondary schools.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges teaching resources and instructional materials in chemistry classes in secondary schools.


5.2 Summary

In this study the aim was to examine the influence of instructional materials (teaching aids) on student’s academic performance of senior secondary schools in Chemistry, in summary;

  1. The students taught with instructional materials perform better and higher than those taught without instructional materials
  2. There is a statistical relationship between the academic performance of chemistry students and the use of instructional materials in Teaching learning

5.3 Conclusion

The aim of this study was to examine the ability of the chemistry teachers in utilization of available teaching materials and their ability also to improvise non-available ones for teaching of chemistry. The results of the data analysis suggested that the use of the instructional materials in teaching chemistry is low. This generally implies that learning-by doing is not being done by many teachers in our secondary schools. The government and school authorities should encourage the science teachers to improvise those instructional materials that are not available in their laboratories by providing the teachers with money to buy some of the raw materials and transport them to the schools where the actual improvisation will take place.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are hereby made to achieve desired and better results in chemistry instructional delivery and learning outcomes at the secondary school level.

  1. Training and re-training programmes should be embarked upon by the government to assist and foster positive teachers’ attitude towards making improvisation as part of their duty.
  2. The curriculum of Teacher Education Programme (TEP) at any level should be made to build in practical courses in material construction and utilization for the number of years the students-teacher will be in the school. Science, particularly chemistry teachers need to be exposed to practical aspects of the subject at any level of their study. This will enhance science process skills acquisition by the learners.
  3. Advocacy for learning-by – doing as an integration into teaching methodology particularly for the sciences and technology courses is important in teacher training programmes. This is very necessary because skill based education has become more needed than ever to sustain the effort of translating theory to practice.
  4. The school administrators: The PTA and the Government should go into counterpart funding for the provision of instructional materials to the schools. Science teachers can always hire some local experts to help them to teach some of the science concepts which the local people know very willin their environment. Their good relationship with the community would help them to tap the wealth of knowledge of these local experts to their own advantage.

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