Perceptions Of Students On Difficult Topics In Agricultural Science In Tai LGA Of Rivers State

Agricultural Education Project and Seminar Material

Perceptions Of Students On Difficult Topics In Agricultural Science In Tai LGA Of Rivers State


Abstract


The study examined some areas of students’ perceived difficult topics in the Senior Secondary School Agricultural Science which teachers find difficult to teach and students find difficult to understand. One hundred students and twenty teachers constituted the sample of the study while all the students and teachers in the Tai LGA served as the population. A 35 item questionnaire served as instrument for collecting data while mean and t-test were employed in the analysis of data. Findings include that there was significant difference between the areas teachers find difficult to teach and areas students find difficult to understand, that sex of the students had significant effect in learning the identified difficult areas of and that level of qualification affects the ability of the teachers to teach the perceived difficult areas. Recommendations amongst others include the recruitment of qualified teachers in the Agricultural Science; government should boost and sustain the interests of these students through the provision of the requisite instructional materials need for the subject, improvising and use instructional materials to reduce the degree of difficulty concepts in teaching of the students, designing interactions and identifying pedagogical techniques that help students overcome the underlying sources of difficulty that impede quality learning.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the study
  • 1.2 Statement of the problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the study
  • 1.4 Research questions
  • 1.5 Significance of the study
  • 1.6 Scope of the study
  • 1.7 Limitation of the study
  • 1.8 Definition of terms
  • 1.9 Organizations of the study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the study
  • 3.3 Sample size determination
  • 3.4 Sample size selection technique and procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of data collection
  • 3.7 Method of data analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the study
  • 3.10 Ethical consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Interpretation of Result

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

The teaching of agricultural science in Nigeria in senior secondary schools needs to be more properly handled and Agricultural science should be emphasized at the senior secondary schools in terms of its teaching and learning. This is because agriculture as an academic discipline plays a very significant role in unifying other science subjects. However, there have been consistent decreases in the performance of students in public examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC 2012) and the National Examination Council (NECO, 2007). Moreover, these has been a general perception of Agricultural science by an average Nigerian students that is a course for students that are intellectually incapacitated (Adah,O.C. 2011). There are however difficult levels of concept experienced by agricultural students (Agogo, P. O. 2003) and these concept perceived difficult are experienced by both boys and girls. It should be stressed that the sex role stereotyping has affected the type of education provided for the female in Nigeria and in many part of Africa, according to Olikpe, I. and Amadi, O. (2001). Sex role stereotyping also influence, then classroom interaction patterns of students and teachers. Gender stereotyping in agricultural science therefore arise from different social roles, which ultimately affect the way they perceive Agricultural concepts. The ability of the agricultural science teacher to comprehend and internalised concepts and skills are determined not only by individuals differences, but also by the teachers effectiveness in forms of his/her teaching experiences and qualification. Many educators therefore emphasized on the qualification of teachers in the proper executions of their professional mandate, such teachers are expected to perform academics roles as well as leadership role, that are related to the successful and meaning of teaching and learning of their specialize subject. The qualifications of the agricultural science teacher will therefore enable them to be competently handling all concepts in agricultural science as a subject (Mailumo, 2007). Perception is one the mental processes or skills human beings engage in, it is cognitive activity in learning which is seen as the process of making sense out of something Ikpa (2013). However, Ikpa (2013)affirmed that learner perception is often affected by a given number of factors, such as interest, motivation, attention, self- concept as well as thinking and creativity. This is why Amadi, O. (2001) observed that what may appear difficult to someone, may be easy to another person because the concepts of easiness or difficulty as perceived by somebody are dynamic whatever is the case, concept difficulty invariably affects students’ performance in such as subject.


1.2. Statement of the Problem

Some of the reasons attribute to the observed difficult levels of concepts experienced difficult in agricultural science as submitted by scholars include shortage of agricultural teachers, lack of competent teachers and teacher qualification for effective teaching and learning. Many authors in their separate researches confirmed that students in senior secondary schools usually perceive some agricultural concepts difficult to learn. This means that students may not perform well in their final year examination if the sources of difficulties are not removed. Therefore, to reduce this argument, this study seeks to identify the students perceived difficult topics in agricultural science in selected senior secondary schools, the perceived difficult as a factor on students’ performance of male and female students so as to provide tangible suggestions and recommendation for future use.


1.3. Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to investigate into the perceptions of students on difficult topics in agricultural science in Tai LGA of Rivers state. The specific difficulties are to:

  1. Identify the concepts in senior secondary III students perceive difficult to learn.
  2. Find out if influences students’ perceptions of difficult topics in senior secondary school III agricultural science.
  3. Find out if the teachers qualification influences the concepts senior secondary III students perceive difficult in agricultural science.
  4. Find out the cause of concept difficulties by senior secondary III agricultural science in Tai LGA of Rivers state.

1.4. Research Questions

The following questions were asked by the researches in order to arrive at a tangible and well accepted conclusion:

  1. What agricultural concepts do senior secondary III students perceived as difficult?
  2. To what extent is gender a factor in the agricultural concepts in senior secondary school III students perceive difficult to learn?
  3. To what extent does qualification of the teacher’s influences senior secondary III student’s perception of difficult concept in agricultural science?
  4. What are the causes of the difficulties experience by the senior secondary III students in agricultural science?

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study would be significant to students, teachers, school authority and the Ministry of Education

This study would help students to understand better the reasons for their attitudes towards and perceptions about the subject. It will help them to identify the different factors that shaped their attitude towards mathematics such as learning environment, instructional materials and teachers and the steps they need to take in order to improve their performance.

This study would reveal to the teachers how students perceive mathematics as a subject, and hence the steps they need to take to help the students improve those perceptions e.g through improved teaching methods. It will also reveal to teachers the reasons for students’ current perceptions and the teaching methods they need to adopt.
Through the empirical findings of this study, the Ministry of Education would be able to get more information about the perceptions of students on the teaching and learning of mathematics among secondary school students.

Curriculum: The designers of the curriculum would be made aware of the changes they need to implement in the classroom teaching of Agricultural science and also what changes need to be made in recommended textbooks as a way to improve teaching, learning and performance.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This scope of this study covered the perceptions of students on difficult topics in agricultural science in Tai LGA of Rivers state. It also covers teachers and students of Agric science in Tai LGA and the descriptive survey research design.


1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

Teacher:

The secondary school mathematics teacher

Student:

The secondary school mathematics student

Learning Environment:

The location in which mathematics is taught in terms of factors such as classroom size, noise level and teacher-student ratio.

Learning Materials:

This refers to the textbooks, instructional materials, teaching aids etc. used to teach mathematics.

Learning Environment:

This refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts and cultures in which students learn.

Instructional Materials:

This refers to the human and non-human materials and facilities that can be used to ease, encourage, improve and promote teaching and learning activities. They are whatever materials used in the process of instruction


1.9 Organizations of the study

The chapter one consist of the introductory part of the study which includes the study background, the statement of the research problem, the study objective and scope of the study.

The second chapter is a critical review of other literatures relevant to the study and its objectives including the theoretical framework for the study. While the third chapter is methods of data collection, sampling and data analysis used in conducting the study. The fourth chapter centres around the research findings including an analysis of how it relates to previous findings. The fifth chapter consists of the summary of findings, conclusion and recommendations base on the study objectives.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the perceptions of students on difficult topics in agricultural science in Tai LGA of Rivers state. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the perceptions of students on difficult topics in agricultural science in Tai LGA of Rivers state. The study is was specifically focused on examining the concepts in senior secondary III students perceive difficult to learn, finding out if influences students’ perceptions of difficult topics in senior secondary school III agricultural science, finding out if the teachers qualification influences the concepts senior secondary III students perceive difficult in agricultural science and finding out the cause of concept difficulties by senior secondary III agricultural science in Tai LGA.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 300 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are agricultural science Teachers and students in Tai LGA.


5.3 Conclusion

The current findings noticed unpleasant level of Agricultural Science teaching and learning in many secondary schools around the study area. This may be due to the fact that some students find some concepts in Agricultural Science difficult to understand. This has therefore affected the outward performance of the students in the subject. However, gender differences as well as the Agricultural Science teacher’s qualification are the major perception of concept difficulty in the subject. Moreso, there were significant relationship between teachers’ qualification and the student’s perceived difficult topics in SS III Agricultural science. Meanwhile, it is an essential for the Agricultural Science teachers to be professionally qualified to teach the subject, as this will positively affect the students.


5.4 Recommendation

Base on the findings of the current study, the following recommendation were made:

  1. Government should boost and sustain the interests of these students through the provision of the requisite instructional materials need for the subject.
  2. Teachers should therefore be encouraged to improvise and use instructional materials to reduce the degree of difficulty concepts in teaching of the students.
  3. The recruitment of qualified and well experienced teachers was also advocated in order to sustain the interests in agricultural science subject.
  4. Designing interactions and identifying pedagogical techniques that help students overcome the underlying sources of difficulty that impede quality learning.
  5. Sponsorship of Agricultural Science teachers to seminars, workshops and in-service training.

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