The Problems Facing The Teaching And Learning Of Integrated Science In Junior Secondary Schools

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The Problems Facing The Teaching And Learning Of Integrated Science In Junior Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study tends to highlight the problems facing the teaching and learning on integrated science in junior secondary school in Nigeria. These include, Quality integrated science teaching, Teacher quality and the five indicators of teacher quality. These include; academic and professional qualification, In-service refresher courses and trainings, teacher experience and teacher salary and quality teaching –learning resources. All these factors affect largely the way science is taught in schools. Regrettably the teaching and learning of integrated science in Nigerian schools cannot be said to be effective because of the poor performance of students resulting from inappropriate teaching methodologies, lack of adequate knowledge of subject matter, competencies, skills, inadequate teacher training and lack of in-service training and refresher courses, and lack of basic teaching-learning resources. The way forward to improving science education in Nigeria is also discussed and recommendations and conclusions made.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Science is an intellectual activity carried on by humans that is designed to discover information about the natural world in which humans live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized into meaningful patterns.

A primary aim of science is to collect facts (data), an ultimate purpose of science is too discern the order that exists between and amongst the various facts.

Ezendu (2002) defined Science is a body of knowledge, which is acquired through observation and systematic experimentation.

Ogbonna B. B. (2000) defined science as complex human activities, which culminate in the production of a body of universal statement, which serve explain the observable behaviour of universe or part of it and which is in them, have predictive characteristics. The Columbia encyclopaedia (1963) defined science as an accumulated and systematized learning in general usage restricted to natural phenomenon.

According to Dr. Sheldon Gottlieb in a lecture series at the university of south Alabama defined science as a consists simply of the formulation and testing of hypotheses based on observational evidence, experiments are important where applicable but their function is merely to simplify observation by imposing controlled conditions.

Khabela (1975) in Bajah (1978) defined Integrated Science as an approach to the teaching of science, of which concepts and principles are presented so as to express to fundamental unity of scientific thought and avoid premature or undue stress on the distinction between the various scientific fields. Also stressing the unified nature of science, Cohen (1977) had this to say. Integrated Science course eliminates the repetition of subject matter from the various sciences and does not recognize the traditional subject boundaries when presenting topics of themes.

Integrated Science came in Nigeria in 1968, West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) asked (STAN) Science Teachers Association of Nigeria to review and improve syllabus.

The written workshop was done at University of Ibadan in 1970. Other workshops were held in 1971 and 1972. Then textbooks 1&2 with workbooks and teachers guide were produces and introduced into the junior secondary schools Comparative Education Study Adaptive Centre (CESAC) and Educational development over seas sponsored the workshop and the working section through the British council in Nigeria.

As the integration of these Science courses, Integrated Science which should be taught as a unified science, not just as Chemistry or Physics or Biology. Because teachers that are not integrated science inclined teach integrated science either as Physics or Chemistry or Biology.

United Nation Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) give material support while Nigeria limited publishers published restricted science teaching to only those in higher classes, however the period from 1968 to 1970 witnessed a series of joint effort by Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Comparative Education Studies and Adaptive Centre (CESAC) to redesign science to meet the need of loss science oriented. Students are to be taught in junior secondary classes, hence the introduction of “Integrated Science”.

Okoli (1978) stated that integrated science program evolved as a rescue operation to replace absolute and un-interesting general science courses.

Chukwuemeka (1981) states that Nigeria Integrated Science is inter-disciplinary, integration as well because Nigeria Integrated Science is an integrated of nature of science. Integrated Science materials development in Nigeria was a deliberate attempt to achieving a specific national design.

Since Integrated Science was introduced into the syllabus in 1970 with proper study, so many problems like incompetent of the teachers, lack of teaching materials, improper teaching approach and the rest of them have evolved leading to non-learning interest by the students.

The integration of these three main sciences courses and some others to bring about Integrated Science, a lot of problems arise during the process. The idea of Physics, Biology and Chemistry has been adapted respectively but to no avail, we therefore have to go into this research to find a possible solution to the many problems.

Therefore, saying that the teaching and learning of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools is very essential no doubt as it regarded as a yard stick in the development of any nation.


1.2 Statement of the Problems

The ultimate aim of education is to provide a knowledge of the world. In effort to do this, knowledge has been divided into a system of studies called subjects with science as one of the elements of the system.

Integrated Science therefore attempts a unified view of the world, thus some of these problems arose as a results of giving birth to Integrated Science in junior secondary classes.

Firstly, the problem of integration of Science courses to help those who may not continue with sciences at a glance or little knowledge about Sciences.

Secondly, the facilities of teachers teaching all this important subject is a matter of importance.

The problems to be solved in Integrated Science are itemized below;

  1. Is the government funding Integrated Science project.
  2. What are teachers” attitude in teaching of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools.
  3. Are student interested in learning Integrated Science.
  4. Is the time allocated to teaching Integrated Science adequate.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to, find lasting solutions to the problem of teaching and learning Integrated Science in junior secondary schools, the study will examine.

  1. To find out some of the factors responsible for the poor performance of students in integrated science in these schools.
  2. Identify and classify these problems
  3. Determine the magnitude of these problems
  4. To know the extent of these problems if they exist
  5. To recommend actions to be taken to prevent or avoid/reduce future problems of teaching and learning integrated science in junior secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Does lack of fund contribute to ineffective teaching and learning of integrated science in the secondary schools?
  2. Is the government funding Integrated Science project?
  3. Does lack of integrated science teachers affect the teaching and learning of integrated science subject?
  4. Are students interested in learning integrated science?
  5. Is the time allocated to teaching integrated science adequate?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study is very essential to the extent that it helps to identify most suggestions, for improving the teaching and learning of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools. Students are future scientists; the need to bring them up with the right attitude is the sole responsibilities of the government, teachers, students, society.

The government, the promises and challenges of Integrated Science leads to greater integration of science and government in the age of rapid information exchange, science could offer the added benefit of integrated science to address natural resource management issues. Integrated Science as a whole picture seen that considers all the relevant issues and of natural resource management that are of major national benefit changes to the way science, government and stakeholders are involved conduct business and do research.

Integrated Science graduates are able to work with private or government employers in their area of and technology. Affiliate program designed to provide economic benefits through research government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

The teacher, the effects of Integrated Science process skill instruction on presented, whole only the benefits of teaching the Integrated Science process skills were mentioned, and investigator to measure prospective elementary teachers attitudes about using Integrated Science unit allow the teacher to assume the role of facilitator which most educators agree is the teaching, salary, benefits, Integrated Science teacher qualifications. Excellent organizational skills and strong interpersonal skills, excellent computer/technology, multimedia skills.

Students, the effect of Integrated Science process skill instruction on students enrolled in three intact elementary science methods classes at a large university presented.

The society, satellite observations to benefit science & society recommended missions for the next decade. An Integrated Science to benefit society by MICHAEL M. Crow scientists has made many great discoveries during the past 100.

Plant papers, the benefits of science & technology thanks to our science, millions of lives been saved from the clutches of these evils. Is the government funding Integrated Science project. What is the teachers’ attitude in teaching of Integrated Science in our junior secondary schools? Are students interested in learning Integrated Science? Is the time allocated to teaching Integrated Science adequate?


1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study will be restricted to the problems facing Integrated Science in teaching and learning. The scope of the study will centre on the following:

Is the government funding Integrated Science project, the teachers attitude in teaching of Integrated Science in our junior secondary schools, are students interest in learning Integrated Science, and the time allocated to teaching integrated science adequate. Gender, teachers, students are the major variables that were looked into in the study.
However, there were some constraints that tend to interrupt the flow of the study which include;

Financial Constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time Constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Problems:

Problem is defined as a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.

Teaching:

A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.

Learning:

Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences

Integrated Science:

Integrated Science is a revolutionary programme provided by many universities of the world. The programme is devoted to providing a wide range of knowledge in various fields of science. There are no exclusive rights for this programme, and every institution can provide its own explanation

Junior Secondary School:

A middle school is an educational stage which exists in some countries, providing education between primary school and high school.


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 (background of the study), statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope of the study etc.
  • Chapter two being the review of the related literature presents the theoretical framework, conceptual framework and other areas concerning the subject matter.
  • Chapter three is a research methodology covers deals on the research design and methods 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 examining the problems militating against the teaching of integrated science in some selected schools in Nigeria, thus the topic “the problems facing the teaching and learning of integrated science in junior secondary school”.

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 associated with the teaching and learning of integrated science in Nigeria.


5.2 Summary

The aim of this research is to identify the problems militating against the teaching of integrated science in some selected schools. The findings of this study showed that though there are teachers with B.Ed., B.Sc. and M.Sc. teaching the subject, there are not enough majoring in Integrated Science.

This study corroborates with the works by Onyeachi (2008), Ololube, Egbezor and Kpolovie (2007), Gwany (2006) and Lawal (2003). This may probably be the cause of poor performance in Integrated Science at the JSS level in the Delta Central Senatorial District.

One of the research question sought to find out the teaching experiences of teachers teaching Integrated Science. The result showed that a majority of the teachers are inexperienced. Those with experience of 0-5 years were 26 in number representing 27.66% which was more than every other teaching experience possessed by the teachers. This again affirms the study by Ogunbowale (2003) that teacher’s preparation in terms of qualification, age and teaching experiences have great influence on teaching effectiveness. Also, the study corroborates with Easton-Brooks and Davis (2009) who assert that teachers of less than five years teaching experience cannot be as effective as teachers with more than ten years teaching experience.

The review of related literatures in the chapter two of this study showed that instructional materials used for teaching Integrated Science were not adequate. Teachers have enough texts and guide but other facilities such as measuring cylinder, test tubes and chemicals were lacking. The study affirms that lack of these materials can lead to poor performance in the subject by students. This study supports the works of Onyeachi (2008) and Maduabum (2009) who assert that lack of instructional materials can affect teaching effectiveness in school subjects.


5.3 Conclusion

The attainment of the goals of integrated science is largely dependent on the quality of the teachers.

The researcher concludes that majority of teachers handling the subject are not professionally qualified to teach Integrated Science hence the low teaching effectiveness in the subject. Integrated Science teachers have not acquired enough teaching experience that may enable them have enough mastery of the subject and hence the reduction in teaching effectiveness. The instructional materials meant for teaching Integrated Science are inadequate and thus affects the teaching effectiveness of the subject.

Therefore there should be quality integrated science teacher development. Opportunities to enrich teachers’ practices and competencies through in-service training, conferences, seminars and workshops should be provided on a regular basis to help them keep abreast with recent developments in the field of integrated science and broaden their knowledge of subject matter. There should be proper staffing of schools in terms of quality and quantity. Good practices for effective implementation of inquiry based science education must be identified and properly implemented.

There should also be provision of modern teaching –learning resources in terms of quality and quantity as students need a variety of science materials to engage in inquiry-centered science learning. Libraries and laboratories should be provided and well equipped. The school administrators, managers, teachers, laboratory assistants, and students should develop good maintenance culture. If science is properly taught from the lower level, this will lay a sound foundation for science at higher levels.


5.4 Recommendations

  1. The Government as a matter of policy must ensure that only professionally qualified Integrated Science teachers should teach the subject for a better teaching effectiveness.
  2. Teachers should encourage their students to improvise local instructional materials in teaching and learning of Integrated Science. Also, the government must see to the provision of adequate instructional materials in schools
  3. The need for more workshops and seminars organized for Integrated Science teachers for them to update their knowledge and professional skills.
  4. More reference textbooks for teaching Integrated Science should be made available to update their knowledge both in content and skills.
  5. Inspectors of school should visit schools more often to monitor and to ensure more seriousness on the part of Integrated Science teachers for greater effectiveness in teaching.

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