Impact of Poor Attitude to Teaching Chemistry by Teachers In Senior Secondary Schools
Background to the study
Chemistry is an important branch of science taught in the Senior Secondary Schools; it enables students to understand what happens in the world they live in and how it contributes to the quality of life on our planet (Ware, 2001). Chemistry curricula commonly incorporate many abstract concepts, which are central to further learning in both Chemistry and other sciences (Taber, 2002). Chemistry topics are generally related to or based on the structure of matter, and proved to be a difficult subject for many students )Sirhan, 2007).
Attitude, motivation, and genuine interest are the most important student characteristics associated with successful studies (Dalgety et al., 2003), (Berg, 2005b).
Attitude towards Chemistry is essential; it denotes interests or feelings towards studying Chemistry. Attitude and academic achievement are important outcomes of science education in secondary schools. Students’ attitude and interest could play substantial role in students decision to study science (Abulude, 2009).
Questions about attitude have been investigated by many educational researchers; Shwartz (2006) mentioned that attitude to learn Chemistry benefits all young students by fostering their chemical perceptive, which is the capability to recognize chemical concepts, define some key-concepts, identify important scientific questions, use their understanding of chemical concepts to explain phenomena, use their knowledge in Chemistry to read a short article, or analyze information provided in commercial ads or internet resources. Oskamp and Schultz (2005) defined attitude as a predisposition to respond in a favorable or unfavorable manner with respect to a given attitude object. Yara’s (2009) definition of attitude in science (Chemistry) however, focuses on scientific approach assumed by an individual for solving problems, assessing ideas and making decisions. He added, it is students’ beliefs and attitudes that have the potential to either facilitate or inhibit learning.
Attitudes, like academic achievement, are important outcomes of science education in secondary school. The development of students’ positive attitudes regarding science as a school subject is one of the major responsibilities of every science teacher. Unfortunately, research has revealed that much of what goes on in science classrooms is not particularly attractive to students across all ages (Cheung, 2009).
An attitude may be defined as a predisposition to respond in a favourable or unfavourable manner with respect to a given attitude object (Oskamp & Schulz, 2005). The focus of this paper is on school students’ attitudes towards Chemistry (both theory and laboratory classes) taught in secondary school classrooms. Thus, the scope of the present study was limited to Chemistry as experienced by students in secondary school rather than out-of-school experiences obtained from external sources such as the media, museums, field trips and friends.
Attitudes towards Chemistry or science denote interests or feelings towards studying Chemistry or science. It is the students’ disposition towards liking or ‘disliking’ science while attitudes in science mean the scientific approach assumed by an individual for solving problems, assessing ideas and making decisions. Student beliefs and attitudes have the potential to either facilitate or inhibit learning (Yara, 2009).
Many factors could contribute to a student’s attitude toward studying science (Chemistry). Studies including Berg (2005) and Adesoji (2008), reported that students’ positive attitudes to science correlate highly with the attitude of Nigerian students towards the basic sciences which tend to decrease in the order, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. Results were obtained by Udousoro (2000) after using computer and text-assisted programmed instruction and Popoola (2002) after exposing students to a self-learning device. Popoola (2008) also reported that students’ attitudes and interests to sciences, especially agricultural science, correlate highly with their science achievement.
Adesoji (2008) has concluded that a number of factors have been identified as related to students’ attitude to science (Chemistry). Such factors include: teaching methods, teacher attitude, influence of parents, gender, age, cognitive styles of pupils, career interest, social view of science and Scientifics, social implicating of science (Chemistry) and achievement.
The studies suggested that there is a relationship between attitude and methods of instruction and also between attitude and achievement and that it is possible to predict achievement from attitude scores. What is needed to complement the results of such studies, however, is a study of the nature of the relationship between students’ attitudes and factors related to teaching and learning of Chemistry. Results of these types of studies are likely to broaden our knowledge as to how we can influence students’ attitudes positively towards Chemistry as a subject in Akure, Nigeria.
Statement of the problem
the poor attitude of Chemistry teachers towards their career in Nigeria has be a major concern in educational sector. It could be observed that most of the teachers have bad attitude towards their job as a result of lack of motivation by school administrator and government as a result of this most teachers find it difficult to put all their effort to impact all the necessary knwoldge to the students. This trend has been more pronounced in rural areas. The poor performance in effect jeopardises learners’ chances for upward social mobility. At the national level poor performance has led to low transition into careers in science and technology. In an effort to reverse the trend, the government adopted a number of interventions targeting pupils, teachers and the overall teaching and learning environment. Despite these interventions, the poor performance in Chemistry in ————— local government area continues with lower mean than the national averages being recorded year after year. The continued poor performance in Chemistry has been attributed to a number of attitudinal factors including students’ attitude towards Chemistry, teachers’ attitude towards students’ abilities and poor teaching methodologies among others. The study therefore sought to isolate the impact of poor attitudeof teaching Chemistry by teachers in senior secondary schools
Objective of the study
The major objective of this study is to investigate Impact of Poor Attitude to Teaching Chemistry by Teachers In Senior Secondary Schools
The specific objective of this study is to
- To determine the positive attitude of Chemistry teachers in teaching Chemistry
- To find out the negative attitude of Chemistry teachers towards the teaching of Chemistry
- To find how Chemistry teachers perceive their learniners ability in Chemistry
- To find out the impact teachers methodology on teachers attitude
The following research questions were raised to guide the study;
- What are the positive attitude of Chemistry teachers in teaching Chemistry
- What are the negative attitude of Chemistry teachers towards the teaching of Chemistry
- To what extent does Chemistry teachers perceive their learniners ability in Chemistry
- Does teachers methodology have impact on teachers attitude in teaching Chemistry
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study .
- There is no significance difference on the positive attitude of Chemistry teachers in teaching Chemistry
- There is no significance difference on the negative attitude of Chemistry teachers towards the teaching of Chemistry
- There is no significance difference on Chemistry teachers perception and their learners ability in Chemistry
- There is no significance difference on the impact teachers methodology on teachers attitude in teaching Chemistry
Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the results of the study will assist Chemistry teachers to develop new learning experiences for the students and to reorganize these learning experiences in ways enough to arouse the interest of the students.
It would be helpful if teachers were to improve on obsolete teaching methods and use adequate, modern and relevant instructional materials and textbooks at their disposed to the fullest.
This study may also assist the students to improve their attitude towards the study of the subject. Finally, the government and parents would benefit from the study of their roles as highlighted in the recommendation column.
Scope of the Study
The study was limited to secondary schools in ————- Local Government of ————— State only. Based on the time frame and financial constraints in covering all the secondary schools in the Local Government, the study was also limited five selected secondary schools also the study is limited to to the students in Senior Secondary Schools (SS Class).
- Definition of Terms
To remove ambiguity and misconceptions of working terms which may be subjected to several interpretation. A precise operational definitions of terms are given below as used in the study.
- Chemistry: Chemistry is a branch of science that involves the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter. Often known as the central science, it is a creative discipline chiefly concerned with atomic and molecular structure and its change, for instance through chemical reactions
- Statistics is concerned with collecting organizing summarizing, presenting and analyzing data
- Table: A table shows the relationship between two or more variables. Table are often used as a summary of events.
- Attitude: According to Longman Dictionary contemporary English “the opinions and feeling that someone usually has bout something.
- Teaching: Teaching according to Van Dalen and Brittei (1959) is a means of guiding students through planned activities so that they may acquire the richest learning possible from their experience.
- Learning: Learning can be defined as relatively performance change in behaviour that occurs as a result of previous experience.
- Achievement according to Longman dictionary something important that someone succeed in doing by his/her own efforts.
- Teacher: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge