IMPACT OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study investigated the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State. The study adopted a descriptive research design. The sample size of one hundred and fifty (150) respondents were used for the study using random sampling technique. The respondents were drawn from five (5) secondary schools in Ilaje local government. The instrument for data collection for the study was a closed ended questionnaire. Percentages were used to answer the research questions of the study. The study revealed that instructional materials had impact on the teaching and learning process of Biology students and also on their academic performance. Hence, the researcher concluded that there is need for availability of instructional materials for the teaching and learning of Biology in the secondary schools. The available instructional materials were frequently being used by teachers to teach Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. There were problems hindering effective use of instructional materials during Biology teaching and learning in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. Instructional materials have impact on the attitude of Biology students towards the teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. The researcher recommended that the government to ensure adequate provision of funds to schools in order to expand biological facilities most especially the rural areas. Biology teachers must make use of instructional materials frequently so as to bring taught closer to their student. Also, teachers should be ready to improvise some of the needed materials for the teaching of science, particularly biology. The parent teacher association must be ready to give helping hands to the government in the provision of materials for the teaching of biology in secondary schools. Also textbooks on biology should be provided for the student by each of the parents.
1.1 Background of the Study
Science has made numerous and unalloyed contribution to the realization and advancement of the contemporary world and it has been attributed as the foundation for technological breakthrough in this modern world. It is not surprising seeing government of many developing counties like Nigeria fighting making all efforts to develop science and technology. According to Ogunleye (2002), he defined science as a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of the world we live in. This understanding helps man to know more about the universe. Without the application of science, it would have been difficult for man to explore his environment. Science comprises the basic subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Agriculture and Biology.
Biology is one of the science subjects offered at the senior secondary school levels in Nigerian Secondary Schools (NPE, 2004). Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for higher learning in a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, agriculture, pharmacy. Biology is a natural science that deals with the living world: How the world is structured, how it functions and what these functions are, how it develops, how living things came into existence, and how they interact to one another and with their environment (Umar, 2011). It is a prerequisite subject for many fields of learning that contributes immensely to the technological growth of the nation (Ahmed, 2008). This includes medicines, pharmacy, nursing, agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and many other areas (Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011). According to Ofoegbu (2003), biology is a science subject offered in secondary schools by majority of the students and in most schools, it is optional for students in that, it is one of the core subjects. It is therefore, a science subject that enables students to acquire the knowledge to live effectively in the modern age of science and technology.
In contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is placed on science and technological development. As a result students are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects and one subject that most students opt for is Biology. Today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavour and it plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. Nigeria’s need for an effective scientific and technological development appears to be overwhelming as she is going through hard times in her history especially with regard to her economy. This hard condition has partly resulted to a poor living standard of the people. Agommuoh and Nzewi (2003) acknowledged that science and technology have always been recognized as critical factors in the process of development. Science and Technology can provide the basis for Nigeria’s social, economic and political well-being. Therefore, many people in Nigeria have come to realize that science (Biology) can be applied to solve many problems facing the nation, especially as a result of the technological breakthrough in the advanced countries. Eno (2005) predicted that in a short time to come, only people with appropriate and appreciable knowledge and skills in science and technology disciplines would be required in the job market.
The implication of this is that economic survival, relevance and social mobility will depend considerably on the level and appropriateness of the knowledge and skills an individual has acquired through science education. Science education is needed to dispel ignorance, poor cultural practices and beliefs in the society. Nigerians are still enslaved by diseases, poverty and ignorance and these calls for effective science education that is relevant to the improvement of the society. Instructional materials are essential and significant tools needed for teaching and learning of school subjects topromote teachers’efficiency and improve students’ performance. They make learning more interesting, practical,realistic and appealing. They also enable both the teachers and students to participate actively and effectively inlesson sessions. They give room for acquisition of skills and knowledge and development of self- confidence andself- actualization. Ibeneme (2000) defined instructional materials as those materials used for practical and demonstration inthe class situation by students and teachers. Ikerionwu (2000) saw instructional materials as objects or devices thatassist the teacher to present a lesson to the learners in a logical and manner.
Biology as a science subject is practical based. Therefore, to effectively implement the new curriculum it requires that both the teachers and students should extensively carry out many activities using modern, current, and suitable instructional materials. The importance of instructional materials to the successful implementation of the new Biology curriculum cannot be overemphasized. This is because the use of instructional materials is essential for effective behaviour change in learners (Jimoh, 2009). Okobia (2011), noted that when the students are given the chance to learn through more senses than one, they can learn faster and easier. Iherionwu (2000) referred to instructional materials as objects or devices which help the teacher make learning meaningful to the learner. They are materials used to aid the transfering of information from one person to another (Adeoye, 2012).
Poor achievement in Biology can be attributed to many factors such as: poor method of teaching, unavailability oflaboratory facilities, lack of instructional materials, inadequate time allocation and large class size. According to Etukudo (2009), poor achievement in biology is incontrovertibly attributed to poor instructional delivery approachadopted by teachers in schools. To support this assertion, Salau (2009) submitted that manyresearchers have adduced that poor achievement in public examinations is traceable to instructionaldelivery approaches adopted by teachers. The resultant effect is the low achievement and lowretention level in students outcome both in internal and external examinations. This implies that themastery of biology concept might not be fully achieved without the use of a good instructionaldelivery approach that utilizes instructional materials. West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s report (2005-2010) stated that the persistent poor achievement of students inbiology at Senior Schools Certificate Examination leaves one in doubt about the effectiveness ofinstructional materials and instructional delivery approaches popularly used by the biology teachersfor the teaching and learning of biology.
Poor teaching methods adopted by teachers at senior secondary school level in Nigeria have been identified as one of the major factors contributing to poor performance of students in biology (Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011; Kareem, 2003; Umar, 2011). The conventional teaching method is classroom-based and consists of lectures and direct instructions conducted by the teacher. This teacher-centered method emphasizes learning through the teacher’s guidance at all times. Students are expected to listen to lectures and learn from them. The persistent use of this method makes students passive rather than active learners. It does not promote insightful learning and long–term retention of some abstract concepts in biology (Ahmed, 2008; Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011; Kareem, 2003; Umar, 2011). And the only way out of this ugly situation is for the teacher to make the teaching of Biology concept relevant through the use of necessary and adequate instructional materials in the teaching and learning process of Biology in senior secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Biology as one the major and pivot of science subject in Nigeria school is more of activity based subject than mere talking by the teacher in the class. If objective of Biology is to be achieved in Nigeria secondary schools and Ilaje Local Government there need to be availability and utilization of instructional materials in the teaching and learning of Biology. Without any doubt the impact that can be derived by instructional materials are too numerous to overlook. These include improving teacher-students interaction in the classroom, making learning a real sense than abstract, allow student to learn at their own pace, make the teaching easier, enhance learning, helps to adopt more of students centered method rather than teacher centered, making learning permanent and improve students, academic performance in Biology.
Having considered all these possible benefits tothe teaching and learning of Biology through the use of instructional materials, hence, this propel the researcher to investigate the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State.
Specifically, this study sought to:
- Investigate the availabilityof instructional materials for the teaching and learningof Biology in the secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
- Determine how often Biology teachers use instructional materials to teach Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
- Investigate the reason why instructional materials are not effectively used during Biology teaching and learning in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
- To determine the impact of instructional materials on the attitude of Biology students towards the teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study which is concerned with investigating the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State is bound to be of immense benefits to students, teachers, school authorities, curriculum planner, educational stakeholders and Ministries of Education at different level of government.
The finding from this study will be of immense benefit because it will enhance the learning processes of the students and thereby improve on their overall academic performance, since it will increase the motivation of the students, add clarity to the topics taught and make learning more interesting.
Also, the result from this study will help to re-emphasis the needfor Biology teachers of secondary schools on importance of making the use of instructional materials a factor to be considered in promoting teaching and learning of Biology. And this in no small measure provides a basis that compliments and supports the use of teaching skills and enhances effectiveness.
The findings will further help to reveal and create awareness among the school authorities of the importance or otherwise of the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools.
Furthermore, finding from this study has much significance on the ministries of education at all government level in Nigeria. This is because it will serve as a source of information to the government that the non-provision of instructional materials to teaching and learning of Biology is one of the problems leading topoor academic performance in the subject.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study will be delimited toinvestigate the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Biology secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State. The study will cover all the Biology students in five (5) secondary schools within Ilaje Local Government.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions are to guide this study:
- Are instructional materials available for the teaching and learning of Biology in the secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
- How often do Biologyteachers use instructional materials to teach Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
- What are the problems hindering effective use of instructional materials during Biology teaching and learning in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
- Do instructional materials have impact on the attitude of Biology students towards the teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Academic performance: Is defined as successful completion, through effort, of the acquisition of academic content and skills mostly determined by the grades or scores that the student gets in a test.
Effective learning– is learning which develops understanding of learning in the changing world. Effective learning involves individuals moving beyond making connections of new ideas to old ones into restructuring their thinking radically by changing the connections among the things they already know or even discard some long-held beliefs about the world.
Learning– is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information.
Teaching: Teaching is the concerted sharing of knowledge and experience, which is usually organized within a discipline and more generally, the provision of stimulus to the psychological and intellectual growth of students by teachers.
Assumptions of the study
The researcher assumes that there is lack of use of instructional material in teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. Also, the researcher assumed that if instructional materials are properly used in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State, the academic performance of the students will become better and improved.
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