Use Of Instructional Materials By Teachers In Agricultural Science

Agricultural Education Project and Seminar Material

Use Of Instructional Materials By Teachers In Agricultural Science


Abstract


The study examined the use of instructional materials by teachers in agricultural science, using public secondary schools OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo state as case study.

The study employed the survey design and the Simple random sampling technique to select 120 teachers from public secondary schools in OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo state. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained through the administration of the questionnaires was analyzed using the frequency table.

The results showed that instructional materials has an important role to play in the teaching process of agriculture.
The study concluded that instructional materials have a positive effect in the teaching process of agriculture; instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture effectively and efficiently and Instructional materials also aid in teaching practical concepts of agriculture.

The study suggested that; the government should strive and set aside a reasonable amount of education budget which will be directed to improve and construct libraries and provide instructional materials in schools; More seminars/workshops on the use of diverse instructional materials available should be organized at least bi-annually to acquaint teachers on how to use them in teaching Agriculture and a state organized committee should be set up, to monitor the teacher’s use of instructional materials during teaching of Agriculture.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

Searching for more effective ways to engage students during learning as well as to increase their learning outcomes is of paramount important to every educational system. This may lead to an urgent need to improve the quality of education through the use of appropriate instructional modes that can motivate interest. It may induce concentration of the learner on what is put forward to be mastered particularly when it comes to practical oriented subjects like agricultural science which demands skill acquisition. The knowledge acquired therefore, will make an individual to undertake any farming operation with a high sense of professionalism, hence leading to maximum agricultural productions.

Agriculture is the mainstay of economic growth and development of many developing countries including Nigeria. English adapted the word agriculture from Latin. Hornby (2012) viewed agriculture as simply a science, art or practice of farming. Livinus (2008) defined Agriculture as the human activity of cultivating crops and plantations for production of food and goods such as fibers, biofuels and animal feed. Osinem (2008) opined that agriculture is a science and systems which involve the cultivation of crops and rearing of animals for man’s use. The researcher described agriculture as the science and systems which involve the cultivation of crops, rearing of animals, raising poultry birds and aquatics for both man and industrial use. This science and systems of crop cultivation can be achieved through agricultural education. Agricultural practices have been the main activity of Nigerians, employing about 70 percent of the population before the oil boom. Today, about 60 percent of the Nigerian population is employed in agriculture in one form or the other (Alkali, 2010). This fact has influenced the educational policy and practice of the country. In order to achieve this policy objective, agricultural science has been made compulsory at senior secondary school level. Federal ministry of education (FME, 2007) stated that the objectives of agricultural science are to stimulate and sustain students’ interest, to enable students acquire useful knowledge and practical skills, to prepare students for studies and occupations in agriculture.

These objectives might not be realized with the current traditional approach of teaching and learning in operation. Alkali (2010) noted that with the current approach of teaching and learning which is mainly lecture method; only 3% of those who were trained in agricultural institutions take to agriculture after leaving school. Alkali attributed this to ill preparation of the products whose training does not equip them with the necessary skills. In their contributions on the present state of secondary school in Nigeria, Olaniyan and Ojo (2008) reported that the increase in students’ enrolment has created large classes that make it difficult for a single teacher to manage. The overloading of the available teachers with teaching load, extra curricula activities among others will invariably affect the coverage of the curriculum content. Effective organization of learning experiences, continuity, sequences, integration and the scope of the curriculum elements affects the ultimate achievement of the educational objectives.

Mezieobi (2009) reported that traditional classroom has the characteristics of: teachers’ domination, learners are passive, methods of instructions are largely expository, the teacher makes little, if any use of curriculum resources and the classroom setting is neither creative nor congenial for teaching and learning. Based on the above nature of traditional classroom, the teaching and learning of practical agricultural science cannot be effective. Samuel (2012) said that in secondary schools all over Nigeria, students offer Agricultural Science for six years as part of the curriculum but much of this is geared towards theory or memorizing the concepts and replicating them in exams.

Aroh (2006) reported that in conventional approach, teacher communicates ideas to learners by direct verbal discourse. In support, Mabekoje (2006) lamented that the method of teaching in Nigerian classrooms is talk and chalk and that the teachers parade themselves as central figure. The author further noted that the implication is that learners become discouraged and passive, teachers often use questions and answers technique, read from textbooks, copy notes on the chalkboard for students to copy when teaching. The above type of approach is a teacher centered, hence encourages rote learning and fails to motivate students’ interest and increase academic achievement.

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s Reports (2006-2010) revealed that the candidates’ achievement in practical agricultural science for the years 2006-2010 has been impressive. The Chief examiner’s further observed that there was a wide variation in the range of scores of the candidates. In the face of these problems identified by the WAEC reports above, it is necessary that the teachers of practical agricultural science should use a practical approach to the teaching of the subject in school.

However, the teachers are not adopting appropriate application of technology in teaching practical agriculture to increase the academic achievement of the students. In line with this assertion, Muhammed (2010) reported that the pedagogical skills of teachers have remained unchanged, stagnant or static with stereotype methods of teaching which does not meet learners need for career development and academic achievement. The above situations lead to poor performance of students in the subject.

Agriculture is a practical oriented subject and therefore requires practical activities and experiences in the field. Practical can be considered as a physical activity an individual engages in to master a specific task or to attain a specific objective. Aggarwal (2007) viewed practical work as a type of work aimed at providing direct experience to students and equally enable the students to fully understand principles, phenomena and processes by investigation. These practical activities include land preparation, planting, weeding, fertilizer application, pests and diseases control, harvesting, processing, packaging and storage. For the purpose of this study, only land preparation is considered.

Land preparation is the development of land with potentials for agricultural use. Olabanji (2008) defined land preparation as the removal of native cover, including trees, bushes and boulders from the land surface. According to Uguru(2011), early land preparation in the year is important to enable farmers’ plant with the first few rains. The students are expected therefore, to identify some components of practical land preparation such as slashing, raking, burning, ploughing, harrowing and ridging to prepare the land for planting with the first rains.

Slashing is the process of cutting down grasses, weeds, shrubs and debrisin order to provide a grass free land for agricultural production (Mamudo, 2012).According to Peter (2012), raking is the act of moving farmer’s legs; rake leaves&straight back and move with the rake as he/she walk toward the back to make heaps. Burning is used to clear available grasses existing in the concerned area by setting fire on the raked grasses (Peter, 2012). Ogaraku and Ovono (2008) stated that ploughing is turning over the upper layer of the soil, bringing fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds, the remains of previous crops with both crop and weed seeds, allowing them to break down. In a modern system of crop production, tractor is used to perform primary tillage (ploughing) (Epa, 2012). A ploughed field is left to dry out, and then harrowed. Harrowing is the breaking up and smoothening out of the surface of the soil. Harrowing is often carried out onfields to further break the rough soil particles left by ploughing operations(Mamudo, 2012). Farmers make ridges with a tractor on the harrowed land which aids in draining excess water from accumulating at the base of the planted crop.Farmers equally make ridges with manually-operated hoes or with equipment(usually mould board plough) drawn by draught animals to dig and turn the soil over, with an effort placed to break the clods and leave a fine tilth (Aina, 2010).

These farm operations cannot be learnt effectively with the use of traditional approaches of teaching which is mostly lecture method. According to Shimave (2007) most secondary schools do not have school farms, and where they exist at all, they fail to meet the standard and are thus ill-prepared to achieve what school farms are set to achieve. As a result of these inadequacies, the objective of National Policy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, FGN,2004) of having trained manpower who can impact necessary skills leading to the’production of trained young farmers and other skilled personnel who will been terprising is defeated. Samuel (2012) lamented that students who participated in nurturing school farm are bound to appreciate the subject more and even become stakeholders in agriculture. In secondary schools, the familiarization of students with up-to-date methods for improved sustainable production of food that are applicable to their homesteads or farms is a potentially powerful tool for improving the household food security (Food and Agriculture Organization,2012). The attainment of improved sustainable agricultural production could beachieved by direct experience or the use of media.

Aroh (2006) stated that in classrooms, learning could be made easier through the use of instructional materials like media by both the teachers and the students to facilitate teaching and learning. Livinus (2008) wrote that instructional materials could be referred to as the wide varieties of equipment andmaterials used to enhance teaching and learning. Isola (2011) viewed them as didactic materials or things which are supposed to make teaching and learning possible. Instructional materials are also described as concrete and physical objects which provide sound, visual or both to the sense organs during teaching (Agina-Obu, 2005). Ojebisi (2011) in his contribution asserted that these learning materials refer to objects or devices which the teacher uses to make lesson much clearer and interesting to the learner.

Classroom resources are in various classes: they are audio or aural, visual or audio-visual. According to Aggarwal (2007), audio – visual materials are(educational devices by which the teacher through the utilization of more than one sensory channel is able to clarify, establish, correlate, interpret and appreciate concept. The use of instructional materials facilitates retention of what is learnt; stimulates physical and mental activity by both students and teachers, it simplifies and gives vividness to explanations than talking; provides a cognitive bridge between abstraction and reality to students, it helps students to develop skills, scientific attitude and creativity (Ehimere, Bonjoru, & Tsojon, 2010).According to Ogbondah (2008), instructional materials are said to be part of the instructional procedure. This study described instructional materials as any resource that enhances the effective understanding of concept in teaching and learning process. The resources that can be used by the teacher to achieve the effective understanding of concept are the type that can present the content to be learnt in an organized and sequential manner.


1.2 Statement of Problem

Educators continually search for more effective ways to engage their students during learning as well as to increase student learning outcomes. This has led to an urgent need to improve the quality of education through the use of appropriate instructional modes. According to Alkali (2010), agricultural science which is one of the compulsory subjects offered in secondary schools in Nigeria, seems not to have yielded a positive outcome in the way it is being delivered to students. In Nigerian educational system, agricultural science is mostly taught and learned conventionally, using mainly the “talk and chalk” method. Students offer Agricultural Science for six years as a secondary school subject but much of this is geared towards theory or memorizing the concepts and duplicating them in exams which is contrary to the objectives of the curriculum Samuel, 2012).

These may have led a general poor interest and achievement of students in both internal and external agricultural science examinations as pointed out by the WAEC Chief Examiner’s Report (2006-2010) that students were unable to identify simple farm tools and farm machineries such as matchet, Gunter’s chain, rake, Theodolite, tractor and its implements. The students are equally unable to state the farm operations for which these equipment’s are generally used for. Based on these facts, the researcher decided to determine whether instructional materials have a positive effect on teaching and leaning agriculture.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study is to investigate the effect of instructional materials by agriculture teachers in teaching agriculture. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Determine if instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture effectively and efficiently.
  2. Investigate the extent to which instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture.
  3. Identify the types of instructional materials
  4. Determine the relationship between teachers effectiveness in teaching and instructional materials.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the effect of instructional materials in teaching agriculture?
  2. Does instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture effectively and efficiently.
  3. To what extent do instructional materials aid teachers in teaching of agriculture?
  4. Do instructional materials aid in teaching practical concepts of agriculture?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The result of this study will provide evidence for teachers to incorporate instructional materials in teaching agriculture in order to improve their teaching abilities and effectiveness. The study provided an insight to teachers and learners so that they may not rely on the Government for production of instructional materials but find a way of producing the materials locally. It will help to improve on careful usage of the existing materials and even their maintenance and sustainability. The study will change teachers’ attitude towards the use of instructional materials during teaching and learning periods to make the lessons very interesting.


1.6 Scope of the Study

The study is limited to public secondary schools OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo state and all the selected schools whether.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Instructional Materials:

These are materials that can be used to Illustrate the content of instruction so as to make teaching and learning more effective and efficient.

Teacher:

A professional individual who possess the skills and knowledge to communicate same to students for an effective human life.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings into the “use of instructional materials by teachers in agricultural science, using public secondary schools OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo stateas case study”. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the use of instructional materials by teachers in agricultural science, using public secondary schools OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo state as case study. The study specifically was aimed at examining the effect of the use of instructional materials by agriculture teachers in teaching agriculture; determining if instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture effectively and efficiently; Investigate the extent to which instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture; determine the relationship between teachers effectiveness in teaching and instructional materials.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 120 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are active teachers in the publc secondary schools in OKITIPUPA local government area of Edo state


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Instructional materials have a positive effect in the teaching process of agriculture
  2. Instructional materials aid teachers in teaching agriculture effectively and efficiently.
  3. Instructional materials also aid in teaching practical concepts of agriculture

5.4 Recommendations

  1. The government should strive and set aside a reasonable amount of education budget which will be directed to improve and construct libraries and provide instructional materials in schools.
  2. More seminars/workshops on the use of diverse instructional materials available should be organized at least bi-annually to acquaint teachers on how to use them in teaching Agriculture.
  3. A state organized committee should be set up, to monitor the teacher’s use of instructional materials during teaching of Agriculture.
  4. Schools should be adequately stocked with required resources before they are given permission to prepare the students in such subject’s area.

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