PROBLEMS AFFECTING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
Background to the study
The term science has to do with nature; it is derived from the latin word scientia which means knowledge. It is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanation and predictions about the universe. It can equally be defined as the field of study which tries to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or part. According to Hyacinth (2004) science in its broadest scene refers to all human activities involving organized knowledge of natural phenomena. It also refers to a system of acquiring knowledge here system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.
Available literatures have shown that performance of students in Integrated Science as a subject is low (Adetayo, 2008). Also, the Delta State Ministry of Education Chief Examiners Report (2008) revealed students abysmal performance in Integrated Science at the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination. Problems such as poor school infrastructure, lack of qualified Integrated Science teachers, poorly equipped science workshops and laboratories just to mention a few affects the teaching of Integrated Science. Despite these problems, the subject is still being taught in schools. Over the years, Educational researchers have investigated problems affecting students learning of Integrated Science in schools. At the heart of the inquiry, is the teacher’s factor. Studies have established relationship between teachers’ factors and students’ achievement in school (Olatoye, 2006 and Adekola, 2006).
Effective teaching and learning of Integrated Science is an activity which will bring about the most productive and beneficial learning experience for students and promote their development as learners. Effective teaching and learning of Integrated Science goes beyond just imparting knowledge but it is a purposeful activity carried out by somebody with a specialized knowledge in Integrated Science in a skillful way to enhance cognitive, affective and psychomotor development of a person or group of persons.
For the teaching and learning of Integrated Science to be effective, the Integrated Science teacher must have an extensive knowledge of the subject, knowledge of the curriculum, knowledge and understanding of how children develop and how they learn. This includes knowledge of the context in which learning occurs (home, community, school factor) and knowledge of assessment techniques. An Integrated Science teacher should possess some teaching skills and be able to plan lessons, manage a classroom, engage students in active learning, present challenging situations to encourage problem solving, collect and monitor information on achievement, maintain good students record, provide motivation for students and support cooperative group work.
The teaching and learning of Integrated Science requires various teaching approaches and meaningful learning (Ayodele and Adegbite, 2003). The use of inappropriate methods could make students dread science education in later life.
In another development, Ololube, Egbezor and Kpolovie (2008) argued that the falling educational standards can be attributed to the use of teachers who are unqualified for instructional purposes, including those with general education (academic) qualifications such as Bachelors of Science (B.Sc.), Bachelors of Arts (B.A), Master of Science (M.Sc.) and Masters of Arts (M.A) degrees without teaching qualifications. It must be noted that without a professional teaching qualification, no meaningful progress can be achieved in the teaching profession. Lawal (2003) indicated that skilled and effective teaching and learning are expected from professionally trained teachers.
Integrated Science teachers are expected to employ the use of teaching aids to supplement other methods and manage and control their classes for effective learning of Integrated Science. The use of inappropriate methods could affect students’ performance in Integrated Science. Many of the Integrated Science teachers do not have a clear insight about the appropriate pedagogies to enhance Integrated Science teaching and learning. Most of the teachers resort to teaching with only one major teaching method which is the lecture or “chalk and talk” method in our Integrated Science classroom. Sometimes, classes are too large for teachers to manage for effective teaching and learning. This has greatly affected Integrated Science teaching and learning ranging from methodology and techniques of teaching (Okoye, 2004).
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
Integrated Science is one of the core science subjects, which is supposed to be the most interesting subject to students in junior secondary schools. It has been discovered that the effective teaching of Integrated Science has been very important. But the rate at which students fails Integrated Science in recent 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 science equipment in their different schools.
In view of all the problems mentioned already, this study is being undertaken with a view of finding out the extent to which teachers qualification, years of teaching experience and the availability of instructional materials in Integrated Science classrooms affecting their teaching.
The problem this study sought to find is the extent to which some of the known characteristics of teaching effectiveness are employed in Integrated Science classroom to promote learning. It is upon this background that this study was aimed at finding out the problems affecting teaching and learning of Integrated Science in some selected secondary schools using Ado local Government Area of Ekiti State.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to find out the problems affecting teaching and learning of Integrated Science in secondary schools using Ado Local Government Area of Ekiti State as a case study
The specific objective are;
- To find out the factors militating against effecting teaching of Integrated Science in Secondary Schools
- To investigate the extent to which teachers attitude affect the teaching and learning of Integrated Science in Ado Local Government Area.
- To determine if teachers qualification affect the teaching and learning of Integrated Science
- To find out if the use of instructional material affect effective teaching and learning of Integrated Science
In the course of this work, specific research questions to be answered are:
- What are the problems militating against teaching and learning of Integrated Science?
- To what extent do the attitude of teachers affect the teaching and learning of Integrated Science Ado Local Government Area?
- To what extent does teacher qualification affect the teaching and learning of Integrated Science?
- Does the use of instructional materials affect the teaching and learning of Integrated Science
The following null hypothesis would be tested at 0.05 level of significance
- Problems encounter in teaching Integrated Science does not have significant different in teaching Integrated Science
- Teachers attitude does not have significant different in teaching and learning Integrated Science
- Teachers qualification does not have significant effect on the teaching and learning of Integrated Science
1.5 Significant of the Study
This research will be beneficial to teachers. The result of this research will enable teachers to use different teaching methods in teaching Integrated Science. The result of this study will enable educational supervisors (government officials) to check the activities of schools and show that qualified teachers are used.
The study would provide adequate information in the availability of the scientific specific Integrated Science equipment in senior secondary schools in Ado Local Government Area.
1.6 Scope Of Study
The study is aimed at evaluating the problems militating against effective teaching and learning of Integrated Science in selected secondary schools in Ado local government. Five selected secondary schools were randomly selected in the study area
1.7 Definition f Term
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.
Integrated Science:. Integrated Science brings together many inclusive aspects of science that students will encounter in the high school science core curriculum. Students need an edge to facilitate achievement when facing subjects of this magnitude.
Learning: Is a process whereby a students or learner acquire knowledge or skills.
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