The Utilization Of Inquiry Method For Effective Basic Science Instruction In Primary Schools (A Case Study Of Bayelsa State)

Primary Education Project and Semina Material

The Utilization Of Inquiry Method For Effective Basic Science Instruction In Primary Schools (A Case Study Of Bayelsa State)


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

In today’s information and technology age, when scientific knowledge grows by the day and technological innovations advance at a breakneck pace, it is clear that science and technology education is critical for the future of society, and the effects of science and technology can be seen in every aspect of our lives (Karamustafaoglu, 2010). The primary aim of science education, according to Rubba and Andersen (1978), Hurd (1970), and Klopfer (1971), should be to improve students’ “scientific literacy.” There is a connection between the technique of teaching and the achievement of goals, since the aim of scientific education is connected to extremely significant issues such as “why teach science to who is educated in science and at what level” (Baez, 1971). The inquiry technique has a significant position among these many methods. The research-based understanding of the learning process underpins the inquiry-based teaching method (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). Children participate in many of the activities and thought processes that scientists use to generate new knowledge in inquiry-based scientific education. Science educators encourage teachers to replace traditional teacher-centered instructional practices like textbooks, lectures, and scientific facts with inquiry-oriented approaches that (a) engage student interest in science, (b) provide opportunities for students to use appropriate laboratory techniques to collect evidence, (c) require students to solve problems using logic, and (e) provide opportunities for students to use appropriate laboratory techniques to collect evidence (Secker, 2002). According to Sandoval and Reiser (2004), in order to create an inquiry-based classroom atmosphere, it is necessary to create a community of practice similar to how scientists operate. In genuine inquiry-based activities, students experience the process of knowing and justification of knowledge in the same way as scientists do. The conventional classroom, on the other hand, often resembles a one-person performance with a mostly uninvolved student. Direct and unilateral teaching is generally the norm in traditional courses. Followers of the traditional method believe that the learner must learn a set corpus of information. Students are expected to take the instructor’s information at its value without challenging it (Stofflett, 1998). The teacher tries to transmit his or her ideas and meanings to the passive student, allowing little opportunity for student-initiated questions, independent thinking, or student involvement (VAST, 1998). Even activity-based topics do not promote debate or investigation of the ideas involved, despite the fact that the activities are done in a group. This neglects the critical thinking and unifying ideas that are necessary for genuine scientific literacy and enjoyment (Yore, 2001). This teacher-centered teaching also presupposes that all students have the same amount of prior knowledge of the topic and can absorb information at the same rate (Lord, 1999).


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The continuous low performance of students in fundamental science has been attributed in part to instructors’ ineffective teaching and instructional techniques. The severity of secondary school pupils’ poor performance in fundamental science influences learning and greater success in basic science supports this viewpoint. As a result, pupils must be appropriately groomed beginning in high school in order to enhance their academic performance in fundamental science. According to the West African Examination Council (1991), the poor performance of pupils in scientific courses, especially chemistry, has reached a critical level. As a result, science instructors must find appropriate methods to address the present enormous failure in science, if they are to prevent scientific students from drifting to art and social science courses.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The objectives of this study are to:

  1. Determine the effects of the guided inquiry method on the performance of basic science students in senior secondary schools in Bayelsa state.
  2. Determine the effects of the guided inquiry method on the performance of male and female students in basic science in Bayelsa state.
  3. Determine the difference in performance between urban and rural students in basic science taught with the guided inquiry teaching method in Bayelsa.

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What is the effect of the guided inquiry method on the performance of basic science students in senior secondary schools in Bayelsa state?
  2. What is the effect of the guided inquiry method on the performance of male and female students in basic science in Bayelsa state?
  3. What is the difference in performance between urban and rural students in basic science taught with the guided inquiry teaching method in Bayelsa?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

Teachers will use the results of this research in their classrooms, using a guided inquiry teaching approach to help students grasp fundamental scientific topics. The research will offer data to the Federal Ministry of Education’s educational planners and curriculum designers. They would promote the use of inquiry teaching methods in senior secondary schools by conducting effective quality assurance for teachers in order to enhance the present teaching/learning situation in Bayelsa state’s senior secondary schools.


1.6 Scope Of The Study

This research work concentrates on the utilization of inquiry methods for effective basic science instruction in primary schools. The study was limited to schools in Bayelsa state, Nigeria’s Brass local government area.


1.7 Limitation Of Study

The study was limited to schools in the Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria, due to time and budget limitations.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Inquiry:

Inquiry is an approach to learning that involves a process of exploring the natural or material world, and that leads to asking questions, making discoveries, and testing those discoveries in the search for new understanding.

Basic Science:

The basic sciences are defined as the scientific disciplines of mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. They are called basic sciences because they provide a fundamental understanding of natural phenomena and the processes by which natural resources are transformed.

Primary Schools:

Primary schools are institutions where children receive their first stage of academic learning, also known as elementary or primary education.


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