A Survey Of Biology Laboratories And Its Impact On Students Achievement In SSCE NECO Examination
This study was carried out to examine biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO using some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The study was specifically set to find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology, ascertain the factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination, and ascertain the impact of Biology laboratory practicals on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises biology teachers and students of some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho Oyo State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents while 150 were received and validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. The result of the findings reveals that the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology is low. Furthermore, the result of the findings reveals that the factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination includes: negative attitude towards biology, adoption of ineffective teaching method by the biology teachers, academic anxiety, poor study habit, & lack of practical knowledge. In regard to the findings, the study recommends that science teachers should be more resourceful by providing support apparatus for science teaching and learning so that students learn by doing, develop thinking skills, and attempt innovations. To mention but few.
Table of Content
- Title Page
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study
Review of Literature
- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 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
Data Presentation and Analysis
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
1.1 Background to the Study
Science is doing and involves regular hands – on practical work for learners to develop scientific literacy to face global challenges. Aleyideino (2000) opined that sound science education is accepted worldwide as bedrock of human development and progress, and also maintained that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers, and no nation can rise above the level of its teaching staff. For science teachers to play their roles in teaching science, laboratory facilities must be available and must be used appropriately to improve the performance of students. The National Policy on Education (FME, 2004) states that science education shall emphasize the teaching of science process and principle. This will lead to fundamental and applied research in science at all levels of education. When laboratory facilities are appropriately utilized, they bring about more effectiveness in teaching and learning process, but this depends on teachers’ ability to use such facilities effectively (Ughamadu; 1992). In the study of Biology as an integral branch of science, the facilities and equipments which students were exposed to remain crucial to the achievement made by them. The facilities and equipment here referred to infrastructures, manpower and laboratory equipment, all of which make learning fruitful and rewarding. For the past three decades, there has been tremendous increase in the number of students’ enrolment in biology when compared to other science subjects (Milgwa, 2000).
This is because Biology is seen to be directly relevant to students’ everyday life. On the other hand, it could be observed that students performance in both Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and the General Certificate in Education (GCE) have constantly been poor. This poor performance has been attributed to students’ inability to tackle biology practical questions (Nworgu, 1999).
According to Ogunkola and Olatoye (2004) practical work is the back-bone of effective science teaching and learning. It has been repeatedly emphasized that scientific enterprise is an activity packed one, involving continuous exploration and verification of facts. Science is learnt by doing, so the different school curricula should adequately provide biology laboratories for practical work at every stage of learning experiences. Alebiosu cited in Ogunkoya and Olatoye (2004) opined that science is experimentation and its teaching specially focuses on making students learn through the working of hands, brain and the heart. Various studies on the methodology of science teaching such as inquiry, discovery and process approach have shown that students learn more from science lesson by doing rather than by observation. According to Ogunkola and Olatoye (2004) enhancing better understanding of products and process of science cannot be overemphasized and also added that the practical nature of biology is commonly regarded as an important source of pupils’ motivation.
Nworgu (1999) said that teaching of biology involves three major domains of educational objectives namely cognitive, affective and psychomotor. He said teachers of biology mostly emphasize on cognitive domain at the expense of the other two domains. The development of psychomotor domain involves practical activities which require laboratory facilities and equipments. Mustapha (2002) stated that adequate provision of biology laboratories in school provides learners with opportunities to use scientific equipments to develop basic manipulative or inquiry activities and develop problem-solving attitudes needed for future work in science. Etukudo (2004) opined that laboratory method of teaching is presumed to be capable of fully involving the individual learner in the learning and teaching activities as well as helps to remove individual differences and absent mindedness. He added that laboratory offers singular privilege of manipulating apparatus or teaching aids to every student to obtain a desirable result. Also he said that the use of instructional materials which laboratory techniques offer, enhance better understanding of the curriculum content. Kuthnfithing in Etukudo (2004) said that experimentation and laboratory teaching are good pedagogy for discovery learning and mastering of abstract skills as well as building up of low ability learners.
Ige (2000) noted that biology teacher is an indispensable human resource who has a vital role to play in utilization of all other resources and therefore must be aware of various types of facilities available. The teacher must also know to get the equipment/facilities and the situations where they can effectively be put to use. However, Ivowi (1999), observed that lack of science teaching equipments in our laboratories is one of the major problems facing science teaching in Nigeria. Based on the nature of biology and the teaching of the subject. Abdulrahman ( 2009) believes that practicing biology teachers who are not trained within the scientifically rich environments or moderately rich biology environment do not have the capacity to utilize any available resources or improvise in the absence of such resources.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many secondary schools claim to offer science subjects, but a visit to these schools reveals that some of them only offer science subjects but they have no laboratories not to talk of laboratory facilities. In addition to this, the available laboratories in some of these secondary schools are ill-equipped to teach science subjects. According to Abdulrahaman (2009) secondary school laboratories are sparsely furnished and unused by science teachers to the extent that spiders and other insects have taken over the laboratories and their facilities. This may be due to negligence, lack of manpower or unqualified teachers to handle the facilities.
Studies have shown that science laboratories in Nigeria senior secondary schools are poorly or inadequately equipped (Cirfat & Zumyil, 2000; Onipede, 2003; Adeyemi, 2008; Ado 2009; Lakpini & Atadoga, 2012) which are consistent with those of other countries. Jones (1990) surveyed teacher provision in the sciences in many other countries and also found that 45% of the schools indicated insufficient laboratories. Thousands of schools in Nigeria lack the infrastructure necessary to provide learners with the quality education which they are legally entitled to receive. The DBE’s National Education Infrastructure Management System (NEIMS) Report published in May, 2011, which provided detailed statistics on the lack of resources at public schools across the country revealed that of the 24,793 public ordinary schools, 21,021 do not have any laboratory facilities while only 1,231 have stocked laboratories (Equal Education, 2013). These lead to poor performances by the students. Students’ performance in the Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) is one of the criteria for measuring and establishing the effectiveness of Nigerian secondary schools. The poor performance of senior secondary students in sciences including Biology has been persistent over the years. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) and (NECO) reports for May/June 1997 gave the percentage pass at credit level in physics, chemistry and biology as 10.03%, 25% and 16.76% respectively (Abu, 2000). WAEC and NECO Reports (2002) still showed that the performance of students in the SSCE is on the decline. Alimi et al. (2012) further observed that 2009 was another year of poor results across all states of the federation. Okpala (2010) stated that candidates who obtained credit passes in five subjects and above including English and Mathematics between 2005 and 2009 are 8.53%, 13-32%, 27.74%, 10.53% and 1.80% respectively. WAEC reports for May/June 2010 gave the percentage pass with five credits including English and Mathematics as 24-95% and for November/December 2010 as 20.04%, a development which has given the government and all the stakeholders a lot of concern. Thus the focus of this study is to carry out a survey of biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study’s main goal is to examine biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination. The study specifically attempted to:
- Find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology.
- Ascertain the factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination.
- Ascertain the impact of Biology laboratory practicals on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination.
1.4 Research Questions:
- What is the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology?
- What are the factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination?
- What are the impact of Biology laboratory practicals on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- Ho: The use of Biology laboratories for teaching/learning of biology does not enhance students achievement in SSCE NECO examination.
- Ha: The use of Biology laboratories for teaching/learning of biology enhances students achievement in SSCE NECO examination.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings from the study will be relevant to government, teachers, parents and the academia. It will also make the government through the ministry of education to realize the need for provision of laboratory facilities thereby exposing the students to laboratory activities posting of qualified science teachers, technicians and technologists to secondary schools. It will motivate parents to through the avenue of the PTA make requirements of practical lesson(s) for their children in secondary schools and also this convince the science teachers that practical lessons are mostly essential for effective teaching especially in Biology. Finally, the study would contribute empirically to the body of existing literature and it would serve as a reference source to students or other researchers who might want to carry out their research on the similar topic.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study will be focusing on biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination. However, the study will be delimited to some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho.
1.8 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.
Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.
1.9 Definition of Terms
A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.
Of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.
Academic achievement represents performance outcomes that indicate the extent to which a person has accomplished specific goals that were the focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in school, college, and university.
1.10 Organizations of the Study
The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:
This chapter summarizes the findings on biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO using some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.
5.2 Summary of the Study
In this study, our focus was to examine biology laboratories and its impact on students achievement in SSCE NECO using some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho, Oyo State. The study was specifically set to find out the extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology, ascertain the factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination, and ascertain the impact of Biology laboratory practicals on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination.
The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are biology teachers and students of some selected senior secondary schools in Ogbomosho Oyo State.
Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.
- The extent teachers adopt the practical approach during the teaching of Biology is low.
- The factors affecting the academic achievement of Biology students in SSCE NECO examination includes: negative attitude towards biology, adoption of ineffective teaching method by the biology teachers, academic anxiety, poor study habit, & lack of practical knowledge.
- The impact of Biology laboratory practicals on students achievement in SSCE NECO examination includes: stimulates students attitude and interest towards the subject, improves students study habit towards the subjects, equip students with the practical knowledge of the subject, enhance students understanding of the subject, enhance students’ retention ability.
Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:
- It is evident that availability of biology laboratory facilities promote learning of the subjects. Therefore government and all other stakeholders of education should as a matter of priority make available these facilities in the schools.
- It is important that resources are made available for establishing laboratories with adequate facilities in schools. Hence, the Nigerian government should include practical activities in science as a part of the formal assessment procedures and take immediate steps to equip/set up science laboratories for the effective teaching and learning of science.
- Science teachers should be more resourceful by providing support materials for science teaching and learning so that students learn by doing, develop thinking skills, and attempt innovations.
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