Problems Of Teaching Chemistry In Nigeria Secondary Schools (A Case Study Of Egor Local Government Area In Benin)

Project and Seminar Material for Chemistry Education

Problems Of Teaching Chemistry In Nigeria Secondary Schools (A Case Study Of Egor Local Government Area In Benin)


Abstract


The study examines problems of teaching Chemistry in secondary school level with reference to secondary schools in Egor L.G.A.. A survey method was used for the study, the population consisted of all the male and female teacher of secondary schools in Egor L.G.A. out of 65 academic staff, 35 were involved in the study. A questionnaire developed by the researchers based on likert 5 –point scale was used for the study mean scores and frequencies were used to analyze the data based on the research questions. Research result show that the prospect of teaching Chemistry lies on the modification and improvement of the traditional lecture method used in teaching. The study also identified negative attitude of students in secondary school level towards learning Chemistry as a problem that affect their ability to learn the subject furthermore, the teaching techniques applicable in teaching Chemistry is secondary school are the traditional lecture method used from time-immemorial, lecture-demonstration technique and cooperative group teaching technique, the problem militating against teaching of Chemistry in secondary school level include unavailability of qualified teachers, teachers lack of competencies, constraint of complex scientific language used in teaching Chemistry in secondary school level, lack of modern laboratory apparatus as well as lack of effective teaching techniques and inconsistency in government policies.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The attitude towards Chemistry in secondary schools in Nigeria is unsatisfactory sequel to the wrong perception that the subject is difficult to assimilate, inspite of the benefit student stand to gain by learning Chemistry most student nonchalantly chose to study other subjects in place of physic (Okoh, 2002). Students attitude towards Chemistry to a large extent have an impact on their interest in leaning Chemistry. As such Cupdag (1989) opined that the attitude of students reveals their level of learning toward a particular subject, thus, makes them enthusiastic to learn than those who have unfavorable attitude towards its. In this regard, Cheng (2004), in a study conducted regarding students learning in Chemistry, found out that in the student’s evaluation, consistent with their notion that Chemistry is complex to learn have unfavorable attitude towards learning it. This also have a negative consequence on teaching the subject, because the negative perception of students becomes a barrier to teaching.

Furthermore, Edward (2006) asserts that research in a similar area which was targeted at assessing students’ beliefs and perception about the nature of Chemistry learning and evaluation of teaching practices that would help students develop more expert-like beliefs and positive attitude; observed that inspite of the benefit the student would derive from learning Chemistry their perception about Chemistry being a difficult subject cannot be easily changed thus affecting the teaching of the subject in secondary schools in Nigeria. However, Torres (1997) opined that in present time, the emphasis on science teaching has shied from teaching of science as a body of established knowledge towards science as a human activity. Instead of teaching students to think critically and independently; science teaching to a large extent, has taught students to accept scientific knowledge without questions, learn existing theories and present alternative explanations. As such, Chemistry as a dynamic branch of science is difficult to describe, thus, in learning Chemistry, this should not be taught as a series of formulas to be memorized and applied just for “cultural” purposes but be taught as a dynamic branch of science which should provide questions and explanations on how the world works (Jense, 1995). It is against this background that the researchers see the subject matter of this research “problems of teaching Chemistry in secondary school level” as an issue worthy of investigation.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

A lot of studies shows the poor performance of students in Chemistry this is attributed to the notion that Chemistry is complex to learn thus making students to develop an unfavorable altitude towards learning the subject. On the part of teachers, Chemistry is taught as a series of formulas to be memorized and applied just for the sake of learning as against teaching students to think critically and independently instead of accepting such knowledge without questions. This issue has become a serious concern to education planners and policy makers in Nigeria. As such the subject matter of this research is considered an empirical problem worthy of investigation.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to find out the problems affecting the process of teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area of Edo state. Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Find out instructional material problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools
  2. Determine teacher-related problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools
  3. Ascertain time-related problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools and finally
  4. Find out the prospects in minimize these problems.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the instructional material related problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools in Edo state?
  2. What are the teacher-related problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools in Edo state?
  3. What are the time-related problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Edo state?
  4. What are the prospects of minimizing these problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Edo state?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The present study is of great relevance to many. Beneficiaries of the findings of this work include teachers, students, curriculum planners, parents and other stake holders in education.

The findings of the study will improve the teaching styles of teachers. They will be made aware of the importance of effective ways to reach different types of learners and assess student understanding through multiple means. Chemistry teachers will understand the importance of training and re-training themselves in order to enhance competency in the subject area. The training could be geared towards enhancement of relationship between teachers and students. Through this, teachers could become better advisers, content experts and coach and through such means, make teaching more meaningful. (Eyibe, 2017)

The findings of the study will help students to appreciate the importance of technology, deepen their interest in the subject, and help them to understand what skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge based economy. Being aware of the challenges confronting teaching of Chemistry, students will be better enabled to learn and easily refine their analysis and problem-solving skills. Also experiment and observe phenomenon and to view results in graphic ways that aid in understanding. And, as an added benefit, findings will help students with technology tools and a project-learning approach. With these, students are more likely to stay engaged and on task, reducing behavioral problems in the classroom.

Curriculum Planners like the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) will benefit from this study.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is delimited to the problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in the Public Secondary schools in Edo state. The study investigated instructional-related, time-related and teacher-related challenges. It also focused on strategies that could be employed to ameliorate the problems affecting the teaching of Chemistry in Secondary schools in Edo state.


1.7 Limitation Of The Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Cognitive Process

Are ways in which students can actively engage in the process of constructing meaning towards learning in chemistry.

Learning Environment

Refers to social, psychological and pedagogical contexts in which learning occurs and which affects students’ achievement and attitude.

Chemical Models

Are tools used to explain, describe and predict chemical concepts, process and phenomenon.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was on the problems of teaching chemistry in Nigeria secondary schools using selected secondary schools in Egor Local Government Area In Benin as a case study. The study is was specifically carried out to find out whether negative attitude of students towards learning Chemistry affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools, find out whether unavailability of qualified teachers, and teachers lack of competencies affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools, find out whether complex scientific language used in teaching Chemistry affect the teaching of the subject in Nigerian Secondary schools, find out whether lack of modern laboratory apparatus, and inconsistency in government policies affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools, and find out the prospects in minimize these problems.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 35 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were teacher of selected senior secondary schools in Egor L.G.A. Edo State.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher concluded that;

  1. The negative attitude of students towards learning Chemistry affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools.
  2. Unavailability of qualified teachers, and teachers lack of competencies affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools.
  3. The use of complex scientific language in teaching Chemistry affect the teaching of the subject in Nigerian Secondary schools.
  4. Lack of conducive and well equipped school environment affect the teaching of Chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools.
  5. Lack of modern laboratory apparatus, and inconsistency in government policies affect the teaching of chemistry in Nigerian Secondary schools.
  6. The prospect of teaching Chemistry lies on the modification and improvement of the traditional lecture method used in teaching.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. Teachers should be encouraged to go for workshop training in their area of specialization so that they can have knowledge of current ideas and innovations that have taken place in the educational field. Especially in their area of specialization.
  2. Teachers teaching chemistry in the secondary schools should be qualified/professional teachers who specialize in chemistry education.
  3. When chemistry teachers are faced with unfamiliar content areas, inability to meaningfully interpret the performance objectives, inability to organize activities for pupils and inability to organize activities for pupils and inability to organize activities for pupils and inability identifying sources of teaching aids, they should do a lot of reading to become familiar with the content areas or seek the assistance of more experienced teachers.
  4. When chemistry teachers are faced with the problem of non-availability of materials/equipment for practical purposes, they should improvise.
  5. To avoid rushing students to finish the chemistry science of work, teachers should be dedicated to their work and by so doing they can plan their lessons thoroughly and start on time.

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