A Survey Of Laboratory Facilities For Teaching Biology In Senior Secondary Schools

Biology Education Project Material

A Survey Of Laboratory Facilities For Teaching Biology In Senior Secondary Schools


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine on a survey of laboratory facilities for teaching biology in senior secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. The study was set to find out if laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools, find out if laboratory facilities are adequate in senior secondary schools based on Nigerian minimum standard, find out if teachers have a positive attitude towards the utilization of laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools and find out if laboratory facilities promotes students academic performance in biology. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of biology teachers and students of selected senior secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools. Furthermore the result of the findings reveals that laboratory facilities are inadequate in senior secondary schools based on Nigerian minimum standard. Therefore, it is recommended that 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. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

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 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

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 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

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

Within the science education community and beyond practical work is carried out by students as an essential component of science education program (Bajah, 2004). Questions have, however, been raised by some science educators about its effectiveness as a teaching and learning strategy. Practical work was generally effective in getting students to do what is intended with physical objects, but much less effective in getting them to use the intended scientific ideas to guide their actions and reflect upon the data they collect.

According to Abimbola (2008), the use of the laboratory method of teaching science in general, Biology in particular has become a dogma among science educators and teachers. On the one hand, they extolled the importance of the use of the laboratory method in science teaching while on the other hand, they only pay “lip service” to its use in practice. Science teachers do not usually find it convenient to make laboratory work the centre of their instruction. They usually complain of lack of materials and equipment to carry out practical work. At the same time, it is possible that some of these materials and equipment may be locked up in the school laboratory store without teachers being aware of their existence.

The conditions under which many teachers function do not engender any enthusiasm to use the laboratory method of teaching science even where they know that these materials and equipment are available. Class size in urban schools is getting larger and this does not usually encourage teachers to use the laboratory method to teach Biology. In some states of the country, teachers go for months without salary owing to shortage of funds (Daramola, 2004). Biology teachers who fall in this category cannot reasonably be expected to give off their best to their students (Ndu, 2008).

Higher institutions in Nigeria charged with the responsibility of training science teachers at all levels, are increasingly turning out teachers without requisite laboratory experience. In the view of Abimbola (2008), a common reason usually given is shortage of laboratory facilities. Such trained science teachers especially the Biology teachers usually lack the necessary confidence to conduct practical classes with their students. Peirce (2008) opines that government seems to have given up on their capacity to equip all school laboratories. They have therefore resorted to designating selected schools as “science schools” that they equipped with their meager resources. They usually use the traditional help received from the Federal Government in equipping school laboratories for these science schools.

According to international standard, science laboratory for junior secondary science labs should provide a minimum of 1,000 net square feet, while secondary school labs should provide a minimum of 1,100 net square feet. Each laboratory and each science classroom should be provided with an instructor’s or demonstration desk with acid resistant top, sink and utility connections; however, when a science classroom is provided and laboratory work only is planned for the laboratory, the instructor’s or demonstration desk may be omitted from the science classroom.
Fume hoods should be installed in all laboratories where flammable or toxic vapors or airborne particulates are generated. Eye wash facilities, fire blanket, and safety deluge shower, portable ABC rated fire extinguishers, and master shutoff controls for gas and electricity should be provided in all laboratories.

Gas outlets should be placed in science rooms where required by the program. Middle and high science rooms should provide gas only to the demonstration table.

Each science laboratory should have at least one fixed or portable work station that provides access to students in wheelchairs and all areas should be adequately ventilated so that exposure to hazardous or toxic materials is eliminated. Hoods shall exhaust directly to the outside and should be located away from building air intake or other openings.

In Nigeria settings, the white paper on science laboratory requires secondary school laboratory to have a standard room size /dimension Lab size-36.5ft.x20ft with capacity to accommodate a group of 25 students in a practical class with entrance hydrolytic door. Laboratory stools at least 25 Stackable seminar chairs should be of suitable height to provide ample leg space under the table and should have broad leg area for stability. Floor with non-skid tiling resist strong acid and alkali, but also resist scratch, fading, ageing, and strain resistant. It is free from solvent and non-toxic. Teacher’s table and chair must be slightly higher in height than routine school furniture for better monitoring and demonstrations. Marble plate and ceramic plate not only resist strong acid and alkali but also resist starch, fading, ageing, high temperature(below1200c) and stain resistant. Proper drainage with covered dustbins below the table with proper electric points, fitted with water supply. Water supply Lab must have at least four outlets and four wash basins. Fire Extinguisher at least one meant for all types of fires. White boards and magnetic white boards located at suitable height to be easily visible.

In 1988, a report published in the Florida Science Teachers Magazine, Spring Edition, 1988, by Phillip Horton entitled “Class Size and Lab Safety in Florida” documented that over 55% of the science classes had enrollments teachers considered to be “potentially unsafe” for lab work. The average class size in these “unsafe” classrooms was 31 students. Of the 45% of the science classrooms teachers considered to be “safe”, the average class size was 23 students. One high school teacher surveyed had two classes where the number of students was within the designed enrollment capacity and three classes where enrollments exceeded the room capacity.

Contrasting the number of accidents between the first two periods and the last three class size does make a significant difference in traffic flow, individual monitoring, and understanding of the students!” The facts are clear, increasing the number of students in a science laboratory increases the likelihood of accidents. A high pupil/teacher ratio constitutes a threat to laboratory safety.

There was little evidence that the cognitive challenge of linking observables to ideas is recognized by those who design practical activities for science lessons.

Tasks rarely incorporated explicit strategies to help students to make such links, or were presented in class in ways that reflected the size of the learning demand. The analytical framework used in this study offers a means of assessing the learning demand of practical tasks, and the effects on students’ academic performance.


1.2 Statement of Problem

The roles of practical class in science subjects during teaching and learning process are often been overlooked in secondary education. The attitude of schools towards science practical have not been positive in the recent times as a lot of schools have science equipment which have never been used or are hardly used. In some cases, school laboratories are underequipped while some schools do not even have science laboratories and this may be the reason for general poor performance in science related courses (Esan, 2005).

Practical work follows the basic principle of Learning by doing. Students get opportunity to actively participate in the learning process. But difficulties in organizing practical classes for students have made the learning abstract (Ojo, 2009). Some teachers have been discovered to be good in theoretical aspect of teaching but they often fall short of expectation when it comes to practical aspect due to their unfamiliarity with nature of the work.


1.3 Objective of Study

The purpose of this study is to find out if:

  1. Laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools.
  2. Laboratory facilities are adequate in senior secondary schools based on Nigerian minimum standard.
  3. Teachers have a positive attitude towards the utilization of laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools.
  4. Laboratory facilities promotes students academic performance in biology.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions guided the study:

  1. Does laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools?
  2. Are laboratory facilities adequate in senior secondary schools based on Nigerian minimum standard?
  3. Does teachers’ have positive attitude towards the utilization of laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools?
  4. Does the use of laboratory facilities promote students academic performance in biology?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses guided the study:

  • Ho: There are inadequate laboratory facilities in senior secondary schools.
  • Ha: There are adequate laboratory facilities in senior secondary schools.

1.6 Significance of Study

The finding of this study should be taking as positive contribution to plant planning in secondary school. The study will also encourage the state ministry of education, state primary education board, the Heads of private schools and school managers in provision of science facilities that will stimulate a high level of participation in the students in practicals and increase their knowledge of the subject matter since knowledge is better appreciated from active participation.

This study will also allow students know the importance of practicals in biology and this will help to improve their participation in the class.

The curriculum planners will use the result of this study to evaluate the existing curriculum in line with the available facilities in the biology laboratory, with a view of reviewing same to meet the realities on ground and setting obtainable curriculum for biology practicals in senior secondary school.

This study will bring to fore the attitude (positive or negative) of teachers towards the conduct of biology practicals in senior secondary schools.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study covered senior secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. Both secondary and primary source of data were available for use.


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.


1.9 Definition of Terms

The following terms have been defined operationally as follows:

Perception:

The way you think about or understand something

Laboratory:

Has to do with performing experiment

Attitude:

A state of mind or disposition

Practical:

Of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.


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.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the survey of laboratory facilities for teaching biology in senior secondary schoolsin Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos 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 on the survey of laboratory facilities for teaching biology in senior secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. The study is was specifically set to find out if laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools, find out if laboratory facilities are adequate in senior secondary schools based on Nigerian minimum standard, find out if teachers have a positive attitude towards the utilization of laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools and find out if laboratory facilities promotes students academic performance in biology.

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 arebiology teachers and students of selected senior secondary schools in Orile Agege Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. Laboratory facilities facilitate the effective teaching of biology in secondary schools.
  2. The laboratory facilities in the senior secondary schoolsare inadequate based on Nigerian minimum standard.
  3. Teachers does not have a positive attitude towards the utilization of laboratory facilities for the teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools.
  4. Laboratory facilities promotes students academic performance in biology.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. 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.
  2. It is important that resources are made available for establishing laboratories with adequate facilities in schools. Hence, the Nigerian government should includepractical 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.
  3. 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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