effects of the factors militating against teaching and learning biology on academic performance of students in some selected senior secondary schools

 EFFECTS OF THE FACTORS MILITATING AGAINST TEACHING AND LEARNING BIOLOGY ON ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN SOME SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ONDO WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT

 CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Biology as a branch of science plays a vital role in providing knowledge of relevant concepts, scientific skills, environment and natural phenomena. It helps to develop science process skills and scientific attitude. Education on the other hand is a designed process for training an individual by which knowledge is acquired (Eya, 2010). He opined that it is a vital developmental process which is directly related to the effectiveness of trained manpower. Biology Education is a process of imparting knowledge, skills and attitudes in Biologyto a learners at any level. It gives the learner a sound academic knowledge, skills and ample opportunity to apply this knowledge. According to Okenyi (2012), Biology Education is an application of principles of education in teaching and learning of Biology. It is also the act of teaching and training in order to inculcate or transfer the knowledge of Biology to students

Biology is the study of natural phenomena and environment which results from curiosity of man (Nlewem, 2012). Biology is also a branch of science which has been structured to equip the students with the knowledge of relevant concepts and scientific skills (Adepoju (2016). Biology is all the knowledge of living things that has come to us from the past. It is therefore the science of life. Biologyeducation is the act of teaching and learning in order to inculcate or transfer the knowledge of Biology to the student (Okenyi, 2012). Educating people in science especially Biology has been widely acknowledged as a way of promoting economic development, eliminating poverty and introducing social welfare (Nwagbo, 2005).

Over the years, science education in Nigeria has faced various Problems. The school curriculum offers a child-centered teaching-learning approach as students are encouraged to take up the science related subjects including biology, which occupies a unique position in the school curriculum and is central to many science  related courses (Aina 2012). In Nigeria, the inclusion of science subjects in the school curriculum is to promote national development as the nation adopts more science oriented policies and programmes in education (Oriahi et al., 2010). Poor performance of students is mainly due to lack of motivation for teachers; poor infrastructural facilities; attitude of students to learning; lack of teaching skills and competence by science teachers; and lack of opportunities for professional development of science teachers (Braimoh and Okadeyi, 2001; Olaleye, 2002). Other factors include syllabus, teacher’s qualifications, workload, experience and disposition, general lack of teaching skills and ineffective style of delivery of subject matter are also identified as some of the causes (Adepoju, 2016). Scientific issues involve the teaching of biological concepts through technology so as to develop science through interesting contexts. The inclusion of science-technology-society (S-T-S) issues in the school curriculum (Osborne and Collins, 2000) will achieve the engagement of students in problem solving activities. Ideal teaching refers to the teaching and learning process as it is expected to take place in a classroom in an ideal situation. Actual teaching is the teaching and learning process that actually takes place in the classroom in relation to the prevailing academic and environmental conditions. Quality teaching is the process of continuously improving teaching and learning in order to bring desirable education goals in the school system. It is the principal measure of the effectiveness of education and the most attribute to suffer. Teaching and learning are improved continuously and maintained to bring the desired goals (Aminu, 2015). Quality teaching in biology is crucial for developing scientifically literate citizens and improving economic productivity for sustainable development. It enhances students achievement and strengthens public confidence in schools. Quality teaching helps students to attain a deep conceptual understanding (AAAS, 1989). Quality teaching is characterized by an adequate knowledge of subject matter; encouraging inquiry and hands-on approach to learning for students; and recognizing individual students as learners as the teacher builds on learner’s strengths rather than trying to stamp out their weaknesses. Quality teaching helps teachers to focus on the educational improvement of learners through the integration of adequate knowledge of the curriculum content areas, functional pedagogic skills, critical reflective teaching, empathy and commitment to the educational process and the acquisition of managerial competencies within and outside the school context. Quality teachers of biology are knowledgeable about biology, learning and science teaching and they create an environment in which students are regarded and treated as active learners. Teaching and learning of biology involves teachers’ knowledge of subject matter and teaching pedagogy (Ball and McDiarmids, 2010).

Biology as one of the science subject is bent in making one to be conversation with the environment he/she lives in appreciate the meaning of scientific life, to develop unbiased mind and to be intellectually homes with serve as ideal to the future citizen. Fortunately, it is a fact that Biology is the commonly chosen science subject of most secondary pupils are confirmed by the west Africa Examination council (WAEC) record.

The term Biology is derived from two Greek words “bios” and “logos” which mean life and study respectively. Biology therefore means the study of life or study of living things, Biology as a science is defined as a scientific study of living organisms. It is therefore a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and taxonomy. It have several branches; including the two big branches of Biology which are botany (the study of plants) and zoology (the study of animals), morphology (the study if external structure of living things) physiology (the study of how living things function), Ecology (the study of relationship between living things and their environments), Genetics (the study of how living things inherits characters from their parents) Cell Biology (the study of cell structure and functions).

According to Okeke (2000). Students who did well in Biology could have prospects of becoming: Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Biology teachers, Medical technologist, Food technologists, Genetic Engineers, Microbiologists, Biochemists, and other science subject.

Biology has its origin from Europe but today all the nations of the world accord priority attention to science and technology in development efforts. The reason for according such priority attention to science and technology being that it carries the promises of great economic improvement and equally serve as a gateway to national development in the age of fast developing technology, has become necessary for all countries of the world especially the developing ones to organize and improve the teaching of science throughout the school stage. It is through science that we get the fundamental bases to develop technology.

Biology often overlaps with other sciences, for example biochemistry with Biology and chemistry, AstroBiology with Biology and astronomy. Social science such as geography, philosophy, psychology and sociology can also interact with Biology, for example in administration of biological resources, developmental Biology etc. it is a vast subject containing many subdivisions topics which are five unifying principle that can be said to be fundamental of modern Biology.

  1. Cells are the basic unit of life
  2. Living Organisms consumes and transforms energy
  3. Organisms regulate the internal environment to maintain a suitable and constant condition.
  4. Genes and the basic unit of heredity
  5. New species and inherited characters are the product of evolution.

Sub-discipline of Biology are recognized on the basis of the scale at which organisms are studied and methods used to study them, Biochemistry examines the rudimentary chemistry of life, molecular Biology studies the complex interactions systems of biological molecules; then cellular Biology examines the basic building block of all life, which is the cell, physiology examines the physical and chemical functions of the tissue, organs, organ of facts and presentation of information about the natural world. The pace of the development of a given country is always determined by the type of education which operates in that country. What is needed in Biology is students involvement in the exploration of important ideas of Biology.

Effective teaching of Biology is a process by which a Biology teacher adopt all the possible method used in teaching in the classroom to make sure that students understand Biology and be able to respond positively during assessment or to produce a good result. Teachers’ effectiveness is exhibited in the teaching method, classroom managements, the material as well as the way students are being handled, a good teacher always bear in mind the individual differences of the students while presenting the lesson and frequently check the student’s understanding of his or her points to make sure that they are getting of understanding his lesson. This also includes the ability of the teacher to answer question asked by the students, having knowledge about his or her subject matter and ability to show students how to conduct appropriate research.

Effective teaching is crucial, in order for students to reach educational success in and outside classroom setting, therefore, there has been some factors militating against effective teaching of Biology in senior secondary school Ondo Local Government Area, which some of them are as follows:

  1. Unqualified Biology teacher: Inappropriate training background of science teachers especially Biology teachers and qualification of Biology teachers are the major factor that militate against effective teaching of Biology because some Biology teachers in some senior secondary school did not undergo enough training to enable them get skills, qualities and enough knowledge of the subject matter and how to impact the knowledge to the students.
  2. Poor method of teaching Biology in senior secondary school: For teaching to be effectives one must use different methods of teaching. According to Eke (2001), teaching is effective if only it produces or yields the desired results, the ability of the teacher to adapt to different situations and produce a desired result in the classroom is a mark of teaching effectiveness. Vennier and Faith (2001) are of the opinion that all the teaching activities are supposed to produce learning, so that test of effective teaching will be amount of learning that occurs.

When the following methods are used, teaching of Biology can be effective. According to Bigmen (2009), activity method, inquiry method, and discovery method which elicit student’s interests and enhance their level of attainment or comprehension of Biology. Activity method the methods that encourage students to participate actively during the lesion while teaching at the same time. Oforkansi (2008) defined activity method as a method whereby the students learn through active involvement rather than being passive or being at the receiving end.

According to Ofokansi (2008), discovery means finding out. Exploration, manipulation and experimentation are components scientific enquiry that help one to discover. This approach demand that the teacher create the problem and allow the pupil/students to find answer for themselves. The author also said that enquiry involve active participation by the student/pupil rather than transmit a preconceived notion about situations.

3.Inadequte supply of Biology equipment: In some schools, many laboratories equipments like microscope, glass tube, Beaker, slide, Bones of vertebrates etc. charts of different animals development, systems, organs, etc, work book for practical and textbooks are not adequate for the students in learning of Biology. Biology is a science subject which is all about practical and also when combined with other science subject one will be able to study courses like medicine, nursing, pharmacy etc in higher institution. Beaty and Woolnough (2010) are of the opinion that the obsolete and insufficient teaching of Biology in senior secondary schools. They stressed that the teacher may be competent enough and have all the qualities to impact the knowledge to the students but to the obsolete and insufficient availability of biological equipment the aim is defeated.

Teachers attitude towards the teaching of Biology: the teachers personalities such as the way the teacher walks, talks, reacts to issues, his/her code of conduct and dressing code has become the major factors which leads to the ineffective teaching of Biology. It goes with the saying that the personality of such teacher affect the effective teaching of Biology in a great way. Enwieme(2001) continuous to stressed that teachers personality invariably affect the effectiveness of teaching of Biology. Oforkansi(2008)opinion that personal qualities do not only enhance teaching and learning but also promotes the tone of the school as well as the profession.

In summary, effect of teaching of Biology in ??????????????? Government Area could be due to the several  factors such as classroom management, communication, teachers qualification, supply of Biology equipment, teachers personality, negligence of seminars, and workshop by the teachers of Biology, inadequate illustration and practical aspect of Biology is another factors, infrastructural facilities and absences of laboratories etc.

Statement Of The Problem

Generally, secondary schools students find the study of biology very hard to cope with, many of them drop the subject for other simpler subjects. This is of course the reason for poor performance in biology in WAEC and other examination.

Most often, the student are very interested and eager to learn but either due to inefficiency of laboratory or the attitude of the master handling the subject may discourage them from continuing.

At times students complain that the subject is very fast and the periods allocated for it is not enough to do the theory and the practical aspect. This situation that makes coverage difficult, it is at the expense on in-depth attention some of the secondary schools do not have biology laboratories and in some cases where biology laboratories are available they are not properly equipped, the absence of trained laboratory attendants hinder the effective use of the laboratories.

In the recent times there has been an explosion in the number of schools and students and enrolment has risen astronomically especially in biology without a corresponding increase in the number of teachers.

This makes class management and individuals attention difficult most time, students attribute the cause of their continuous failure in biology to their teachers, who may not have relevant teaching experiment most of these unqualified teachers engage in teaching activities which eventually turn out to be a jumble of unrelated activities and an expensive waste of time thus impairing the performance of students.  It has been discovered that the effective teaching of Biology has been very important. But the rate at which students fails Biology in result time’s shows that effective learning has not been attained by these students.  It could be revealed that many secondary schools, especially the public schools have insufficient competent teachers as well as biological equipment in their different schools. Therefore, there is the need to answer certain questions to re-enforce their effectiveness in teaching.

Purpose Of Study

The purpose of the study is to find out the effects of the factors militating against teaching and learning biology on academic performance of students in some selected senior secondary schools in  Ondo West local government area in Ondo State.

Specifically the study aims at finding out.

  1. the factors confronting  teaching and learning of Biology in Ondo west
  2. to determine if teachers’ attitude towards the teaching  and learning of Biology affect students performance
  3. to find out if teacher qualification affect  the teaching and learning of Biologyhave effect on students performance
  4. To determine if the use of instructional materialsis one of the factors affect students academic performance in Biology

 Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated for the stud

  • What are the  factorsconfronting effective teaching and learning of  Biology in Ondo West Local Government Area?
  • does teachers’ attitude towards the teaching  and learning of Biology affect students performance
  • To what extent does teacher qualification affect  the teaching and learning of Biology?
  • Does the use of instructional materials affect students academic performance in Biology

Research Hypothesis

The following null hypothesis would be tested at 0.05 level of significance

  1. Factors affecting teaching Biology does have significant different in teaching Biology
  2. Teachers attitude does not have significant different on students academic performacnce in  Biology
  3. Teachers qualification does not have significant effect on the teaching and learning of  Biology

Significant of the Study

This research will be beneficial to:

  1. Teachers: The result of this research will enable teachers to use different teaching methods in teaching Biology
  2. The result of this study will enable educational supervisors (government officials)  to check the activities of schools and show that qualified teachers are used.
  3. To provide adequate information in the availability of the scientific specific Biology equipment in senior secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area.

Scope Of Study  

The study is aimed at investigating the effects of the factors militating against teaching and learning biology on academic performance of students in some selected senior secondary schools in Ondo west  local government. Five selected secondary schools were randomly selected in the study area

Definition Of The Basic Concepts

Factors: Are one of the element contributing to a particular result or situation.

Militate against: This is a process of making something less likely to happen or succeed. According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary militate against is to prevent something or to make it difficult for something to happen or exist.

Teaching: this means to impart knowledge to or to instruct someone as to do something. Okonkwo (2005) in Oforkansi (2008) defined teaching as a deliberate effort by a mature or experienced person to impart information, knowledge, values skills, norms (standard behavior) more (moral values) attitude language and so on to an immature or less experienced person through the process that is morally and pedagogically acceptable.

Effective teaching: is a process by which a teacher adopt all the possible skills or method used in teaching in the classroom to make sure that students understand the lesson and be able to respond positively during evaluation and produce a good result.

Biology: Biology is the study of life and living things. It is also a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms including their structure, function, growth, evolution distribution and taxonomy.

Senior secondary school: This is a period of study from senior secondary school one to senior secondary school three.

 

 

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