An Investigation Into The Influence Of The Use Of Local Practices On Secondary School Chemistry Students Interest
This study is an investigation into the influence of the use of local practices on secondary school chemistry students interest. Two out of six classes of Senior Secondary One were sampled using simple random sampling technique. 104 students were sampled from 320 students. The study adopted quasi experimental research design. Validated Senior Secondary chemistry achievement test (SSCAT) with a reliability and stability indices of 0.90 and 0.83, respectively, was used to collect data. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer two research questions while the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 alpha level using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The findings revealed that students’ achievement was enhanced with the use of locally available instructional materials. Also, gender had no significant effect on students’ achievement. Teachers should, therefore, be encouraged to source and use locally instructional materials so as to motivate, encourage active participation and generally improve chemistry students’ academic achievement.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background to the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Research Objectives
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypotheses
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitations of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organization of the Study
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.1.1 Attitude Toward Science
- 2.1.2 Students’ Attitudes toward Chemistry
- 2.1.3 Importance of Developing Positive Attitudes toward Chemistry
- 2.1.4 Instructional Materials, Teaching and Learning of Chemistry
- 2.1.5 Retention and Performance in Chemistry
- 2.1.6 Gender and the Retention of Chemistry
- 2.1.7 Impact of the Population of Chemistry Students on Teaching and Learning
- 2.1.8 Influence of Exposure
- To Laboratory Facilities on Students’ Performance in Both Adequately and Inadequately Equipped Laboratories
- 2.1.9 Efficient Utilization of Existing Laboratory Facilities By Science Teachers for Effective Teaching Of Science Subjects
- 2.2 Theoretical Review
- 2.2.1 Instructional Material Theories
- 2.2.2 Sociocultural Theory of Teaching, Learning, and Development
- 2.3 Review of related Empirical Studies
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample and Sampling Technique
- 3.4 Instrument for Data Collection
- 3.5 Validation of the Instrument
- 3.6 Reliability of the Instrument
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.2 Hypotheses Testing
- 4.3 Discussion of Findings
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
- 5.1 Summary of Findings
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendations
1.1 Background to the Study
Chemistry is one of the science subjects that play a significant role in society. It prepares students for the real world of work through carrier opportunities such as chemical engineering, medicine, pharmacy, food science, and environmental studies (Mahdi, 2014). These provide job opportunities in numerous sectors of the economy, namely in petroleum industries, Metallurgy, ceramics, glass, plastics, cement, pharmaceuticals, food, and drinks, fertilizers, transportation, educational industries, etc.
Students’ achievement in chemistry has been a crucial area of great concern to chemistry educators and other stake holders. Students’ achievement in every discipline is manifested in their performance in assessments and external examination results after being exposed to functional teaching and learning processes that has taken place over a stated period of time in both formal and informal educational settings. Chemistry students are expected to exhibit some level of competence and understanding after being exposed to the Senior Secondary chemistry curriculum for three years in their various schools.
Chemistry prepares students for the real world of work through carrier opportunities such as chemical engineering, medicine, pharmacy, food science, and environmental studies (Mahdi, 2014). These provide job opportunities in numerous sectors of the economy, namely in petroleum industries, Metallurgy, ceramics, glass, plastics, cement, pharmaceuticals, food, and drinks, fertilizers, transportation, educational industries, etc.t role in the production of many technologies, from life-saving pharmaceuticals to computers and other information technologies. The author observed that because of the central role it plays in the successful study of science-based courses such as medicine, pharmacy, biochemistry, engineering, agriculture and several others, chemistry is regarded as a ‘central science’ and this underlines the importance and need to study it. Anugwo and Asogwa (2015) argue that chemistry has contributed greatly towards providing our basic needs and improving the quality of life. The knowledge of chemistry has been used in production of fertilizers and insecticides, which have aided greatly to ensure increased food production, preservation and storage for the teaming population. Man-made textile fibers are produced as a result of research in chemistry and chemical technology. Many high-rise buildings need materials like cement, concrete, steel, bricks and tiles produced by chemical industries. The improved mechanical properties of these materials are because of research in chemistry. Bleaches, disinfectants and soaps are various chemical products from the knowledge of chemistry.
Nnachi (2011) had observed that crisis in education system results from teachers’ inability to implement the curriculum. This observation was assumed an indication that teachers were ‘not conversant with the recommended pedagogical approach of the curriculum’ (Okorie and Akubilo, 2013). Consequently, the authors investigated secondary school chemistry teachers’ knowledge of chemistry curriculum that they implement in schools. Okorie and Akubilo (2013) argued that the investigation was necessary because ‘teachers are the drivers of the education system and managers of the classrooms; they control what goes on in classrooms and teach the students based on their knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the curriculum philosophy, objectives, content and the recommended pedagogical approach to its implementation’. The study showed that about 80% of teachers are knowledgeable about the various dimensions of the new chemistry curriculum. The authors asserts that lack of knowledge of the curriculum on the part of teachers, which very often is given as one of the contributing factors to students’ underachievement in chemistry may after all be unfounded.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
Reviewed literatures in science education have revealed that the various instructional methods that have been used in teaching practical chemistry have not improved students’ academic achievements in the subject to any significant extent. This connotes that the most desired scientific and technological knowledge that should be derived from practical chemistry for solving societal problems may not be sustained. The implication of this is that the teaching of practical chemistry does not result in the learners’ understanding of concepts. Attitudes to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases) are very poor and are impeding the desired growth of science and technology that involve and revolve around chemistry. Based on this reason, the researchers are interested in finding the relative effects of two laboratory methods (guided discovery and demonstration against lecture method) that would enhance students’ attitudes in senior secondary schools.
1.3 Objective of the Study
More specifically the study aims to:
- Determine the relative effect of treatment and control on students’ attitude to practical chemistry content (acids and bases).
- Identify the interaction effect of gender and treatment against control on students’ attitude to practical chemistry content (acids and bases).
- Determine the interaction effect of location and treatment against control on students’ attitude to acids and bases in practical chemistry.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to guide this study, the following research questions were posed:
- What are the relative effects of teaching methods on students’ attitude to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases)?
- What are the interaction effects of gender and teaching methods on students’ attitude to practical chemistry (acids and bases)?
- What are the interaction effects of location and teaching methods on students’ attitude to practical chemistry (acids and bases)?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested at 5% level of significance to further answer the research questions.
- H01: Students’ attitude mean scores in practical chemistry (acids and bases) would not depend on the teaching methods used in instruction (P<0.05).
- H02: The interaction effect of gender and teaching methods on students’ attitude mean scores would not be significantly different (P<0.05).
- H02: The interaction effect of gender and teaching methods on students’ attitude mean scores would not be significantly different (P<0.05).
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of huge benefit to the government, curriculum developers and educational policy makers, prospective and practicing chemistry teachers as it will provide vital information on the effectiveness of using laboratory instructional methods (guided discovery and demonstration) against lecture method on students’ attitudes in practical chemistry in senior secondary schools. The application of the findings of this study will be of immense help to the government. It will aid in designing in-service training programmes that will provide benchmarks for comparison and gauging programmes progress. It will also be of help as they are taking decisions on national strategies for science education integration at the senior secondary school level. Thus, the data provided by this study will aid in taking concrete action that will facilitate the recommendation of appropriate instructional methods that will be apt for the teaching of certain concepts in practical chemistry. Both the prospective and the practicing chemistry teachers are bound to stimulate more research interest in this area.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was carried out in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State. The study was delimited to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases). The content scope of the study includes the concepts of acids and bases. This content is found in SS1 chemistry curriculum. The dependent variable includes students’ attitudes in chemistry practical activities.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
This study was limited to the investigation of the interest secondary school students who offer chemistry.
1.9 Definition of Terms
A branch of natural science that deals principally with the properties of substances, the changes they undergo, and the natural laws that describe these changes.
A systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
A person enrolled in a school or other educational institution.
Called a schoolteacher or formally an educator, is a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence, or virtue, via the practice of teaching.
The use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings.
The science and practiceof caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health.
1.10 Organization of the Study
This study is categorised into five chapters and these include chapter one: background to the study, statement of the research problem, research objectives, research question, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study as well as definition of terms. Chapter two is classified into conceptual, theoretical and empirical reviews. Chapter three is the research methodology. This chapter comprises of the research design, population of the study, sample size and sampling technique, source and method of data collection, instrumentation of the study, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
Determining the interactions between the teaching environment and the students’ attitudes toward the practical chemistry material (acids and bases). The findings demonstrated that urban students had greater gain mean ratings (1.75, 1.55, and 0.66, respectively) than their rural counterparts for all treatment categories (guided discovery, demonstration, and control) (1.56, 1.35 and 0.16 respectively). According to the results, urban students were more impacted by teaching strategies on their attitudes about the practical chemistry material (acids and bases) than were rural students.
According to the outcome for location and therapy, the F value is 1.249. At 0.289, this value is significant; at 0.05, it is not. This is due to the fact that P=0.289 is higher than 0.05. As a result, the hypothesis is not disproved. As a result, it is not important that location and teaching strategies interact to affect students’ attitude mean scores. The results are consistent with those of Inyang (1993), who discovered no discernible differences between urban and rural pupils’ performance on an independently developed and verified Integrated Science test.
The following conclusions were made based on the findings of this study.
- Guided discovery and demonstration methods promote students’ attitude to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases).
- Gender and teaching methods have no significant effect on students’ attitude to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases).
- Location and teaching methods have no significant effect on students’ attitude to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases).
The following recommendations were based on the findings of this study.
- Guided discovery and demonstration methods should be used in teaching practical chemistry contents in secondary schools, since they are activity-oriented. Both methods possess the tendency to improve students’ psychomotor skills, problem solving, critical thinking skills, computational skills and cooperative learning.
- Adequate instructional activities should be provided in order to stir up students’ enthusiasms, curiosity and interest, particularly, in the rural areas.
- Ministry of education should organize in-service training programmes and workshops for teachers to acquire knowledge and mastery on the usage of the aforestated (guided discovery and demonstration methods) activity-based methods in practical chemistry laboratory activities.
- Lecture method should not be encouraged in teaching practical chemistry contents in secondary schools, since it is not activity-oriented. It does not possess the tendency to improve students’ psychomotor skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, computational skills and cooperative learning.
- Since the efficacy of guided discovery and demonstration methods in facilitating students’ attitude to practical chemistry contents (acids and bases) has been established in this study, the Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, teacher training institutions supervisory bodies, curriculum developers and text book authors should adopt these methods in order to bring about meaningful teaching and learning of practical chemistry concepts.
- Pre-service chemistry teachers should be given adequate training on how to use the methods. This is necessary, as curriculum developers are expected to include the use of the two methods in the curriculum of secondary schools, colleges of education and universities.
- Also, government should upgrade the infrastructures and equip laboratories adequately for students use. This if done could raise students’ interest and curiosity.
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