An Investigation Of The School Factors Contributing To Poor Teaching And Learning Of Chemistry In Secondary School

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

An Investigation Of The School Factors Contributing To Poor Teaching And Learning Of Chemistry In Secondary School


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

To the layman, the physical world around us is a collection of “mysteries.” Nonetheless, these enigmas are being solved via science teaching. Science is defined strictly in this sense as an organized body of knowledge obtained from observation and experimentation. Ugochiwu (2009) asserts that science is primarily employed to explain, predict, and govern the physical environment. Thus, science as a discipline (particularly the fundamentals) is critical for man’s development if he is to comprehend his environment and harness the principles buried in it. This leads Ugochiwu (2009) to believe that science education is critical across the globe.

However, in the debate over science education, chemistry, which is the branch of natural science that deals with the composition and structure of substances and the changes that occur as a result of changes in the structure of their molecules, has been identified as a critical science subject, with its significance in both the scientific and technological development of any nation widely reported. According to Dosmond (2005), it was because of the education placed on chemistry in the development of the person and the country that it was elevated to a major subject in the Nigerian educational system alongside natural sciences and other science-related courses. Thus, “it is worth noting that the deplorable status of chemistry education in secondary schools has been a source of concern for everybody interested in our nation’s scientific and technological growth” (Inyang 2006).

Additionally, chemistry teaching should be outcome-driven and student-centered. This can be accomplished only if students develop an interest in teaching and teachers effectively spread knowledge to students via the use of suitable teaching techniques and resources, aware that the brain is not a passive consumer of information (Robertson 2002). However, chemistry is being assimilated in Nigeria. The sluggishness of chemistry absorption is affected by certain school variables and conditions, and the primary objective of this research is to provide remedies.

Additionally, school variables have been shown to influence learning outcomes to a degree. This is because educational resources and facilities are accessible to affect teaching and learning in a particular school. Rhene (2014) identifies school variables as educational infrastructures, facilities, personnel, learning space, learners involved, class size, school size, teacher professionalism in their area, school management system, teacher personal attitude, and laboratory inadequacies. Chinek (2015) asserted that children are motivated to study in a favorable learning environment to guarantee that secondary school teaching and learning are as effective as possible. As such, the nature of the aforementioned school variables has a considerable impact on students’ learning and overall success.

As a result of the above, this research work is being conducted to analyze school variables and students’ academic performance in chemistry in Kebbi State’s Arewa Dandi local government region.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Chemistry teaching is intended to be outcome-driven and student-centered. This was assumed to be accomplished only if students developed a want to learn and teachers spread themselves advantageously, using proper teaching techniques and resources in teaching the students, cognizant of the fact that the brain is not a passive consumer of knowledge (Robertson 2002). However, knowledge of chemistry has been harmed, notably in Nigeria, by the bad attitude of both teachers and students of chemistry, which has been exacerbated by environmental variables such as class size and school location. On the basis of the above, the present research seeks to identify the school-related variables that contribute to inadequate chemistry teaching and learning in secondary schools.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The overall aim of this study is to critically investigate the school factors contributing to poor teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary school. Hence, the study will be channeled to the following specific objectives;

  1. Determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between availability of educational facilities, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.
  2. Determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between teacher’s level of professionalism, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.
  3. Determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between class size, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The following statements will be validated in the course of this study;

  • H01: There is no significant positive relationship between availability of educational facilities, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.
  • H02: There is no significant positive relationship between teacher’s level of professionalism, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.
  • H03: There is no significant positive relationship exist between class size, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study expounds the causal relationship among the students and the teachers’ variable under investigation and achievement of students in chemistry. The outcome of the study assist all stakeholders in the teaching of chemistry particularly at the senior secondary school level, to fashion out appropriate strategies that would enhance teaching and learning of the subjects.

Hence, the consideration of school variable and student academic achievement are important criteria in development and implementation of both curricula in instructional performance.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is structured to generally investigate the school factors contributing to poor teaching and learning of chemistry in secondary school. However, the study will further determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between availability of educational facilities, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools, determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between teacher’s level of professionalism, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools, and determine whether a significant positive relationship exist between class size, and effective teaching/learning of chemistry in secondary schools.

This study will be delimited to some selected secondary schools in Arewa Dandi local government Area of Kebbi State.


1.7. Limitations of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Class Size

This is the number of students in a given classroom, especially either the number of students being taught by individual teachers in a classroom or the average number of students being taught by teachers in school.

School Location

A school location is referred to the community or geographical environment in which a school is located. it may be a village, rural area, small town, city or even a territory.

Learning

Learning is a relative permanent change on behavior resulting from experience. It is a step-by-step process in which an individual experiences permanent, lasting charges in knowledge, behavours, or ways of processing the would.

Academic Performance

Academic performance is defined as a raw information obtained by teachers from examination and test to use as means of accessing the level of students response to teacher’s variables. It is a raw score obtain from school recorded by teachers from various forms of achievement test he administer to a student.


An Investigation Of The School Factors Contributing To Poor Teaching And Learning Of Chemistry In Secondary School


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An Investigation Of The School Factors Contributing To Poor Teaching And Learning Of Chemistry In Secondary School


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Frequently Asked Questions


Why do students fail in chemistry?

Students’ performance in chemistry and sciences in general are still low. Some of the reasons identified for this failure are laboratory inadequacy, teachers’ attitude, examination malpractice, time constraint for conduction of practice’s, non-coverage of syllabus, class size, non-professionalism and environment.

What are the factors that affect student performance in chemistry?

Also reported to have a negative impact on students’ performance in chemistry is laboratory adequacy, which is an environmental factor [7]. From this study it was observed that some students really felt they would have performed better if exposed to practical lessons in good time.

What factors contribute to poor performance in science subjects?

Teacher variables, student variables and environment-related variables were investigated and the findings showed that these all contribute greatly to the poor performances of students in science subjects and chemistry in particular.

What factors contribute to poor performance in mathematics at KCSE?

Students’ personal factors contributing to poor performance in Mathematics at KCSE were found to be gender, economic factors and attitude towards mathematics. Students’ attitude towards mathematics was measured using likert scale and the results obtained indicated that they have a positive attitude towards mathematics. 

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