Factors Influencing the Choice of Chemistry Education as A Course of Study Among Secondary School Students in Ikwuano L.G.A Abia State
Purpose of the Study.
The overall aim of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the Factors Influencing The Choice Of Chemistry Education As A Course Of Study Among Secondary School Students In Ikwuano L.G.A Abia State. The research’s findings were achieved by assessing a number of indicators deemed best for the study and also more importantly through the following specific research objectives;
Specific Objectives of the Study.
The study was guided by the following specific objectives:
- To determine the effects of the value of the Chemistry subject on students’ choices of the subject in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State
- To find out the influence of the subject teacher on students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State
- To find out the influence of gender differences on students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State.
- To investigate the role of parents and teachers in students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State
Attitude of Students towards Chemistry
A number of studies have been carried out on attitude of students towards various subjects in different parts of the world. Attitude of students towards different subjects differ from one country to another even from one community to another. In Kenya this is very prevalent in many subjects. Some of the research that has been done in this area includes, Wong, Young and Fraser (1997) who investigated relationships between students’ attitudes toward chemistry and their perceived laboratory environments in Singapore high schools. This study concluded that there is a positive association between the nature of the laboratory classroom environment and students’ attitude. The ongoing study does not look at relationship between the nature of the laboratory classroom environm ent and students’ attitude, but aims at determining factors that influence performance o f chemistry at secondary school level. Cousins (2007) carried out a study on gender inclusivity in secondary school Chemistry on male and female participation in the secondary schools in Australia. The study analyzed the participations’ rates in Chemistry by developing the “story” behind national trends and subject selection patterns within an independent school located in a large Australian city. It supplemented the documented quantitative data by presenting a casestudy of 30 chemistry students who were interviewed about what motivated them to enroll in secondary school Chemistry. The students’ comments indicated that, despite the quantitative transformations that demonstrate increasing female success over the past few decades, Chemistry is not totally gender inclusive. Cousin further observed that secondary school Chemistry has not yet reached total gender inclusion due to the common gender differences that still occur in the students’ motivation to select Chemistry and the influence that gender stereotypes still have on students’ subject selection. Nevertheless, this study did not address the attitude issues and how attitude of students towards Chemistry as a subject in secondary schools in Kenya, specifically in Kajiado North District. In fact, this study by Cousins was engaged more on the gender perspective than on attitude. It was even carried out in Australia which is actually different in terms of context from this intended study. Moreover Cousins study 14 used a case study methodological approach while in this study a quantitative approach that mainly involves a survey design approach has been used. Further. Cousins findings do not seem to be relevant in terms of addressing the student attitude towards performance of Chemistry in the district under focus. Information in this area is wanting and scanty which raises concern. This study therefore is an attempt to close this knowledge gap. Okebukola (1986) examined factors affecting attitudes toward laboratory Chemistry. The study involved a sample population of 1638 of grade II Chemistry students in 78 schools in rural, suburb, and urban Oyo State, Nigeria. The finding of this study was that student’s attitude toward Chemistry as a subject is the most important determinant of the attitude toward the laboratory. However this study mainly focused on factors affecting attitude towards laboratory Chemistry other than Chemistry as a subject. The extent of this study therefore is meant to fill in the knowledge gap on factors influencing performance of Chemistry. In another study Okebukola (1987) examined the influence of selected factors on secondary students’ performance in practical Chemistry for a sample of students and teachers from Nigerian schools. This study identified that participation in laboratory activities and students attitudes to Chemistry are the most important factors affecting performance in Chemistry. However relevant this study may be, its finding may not directly be generalized to Kenya more especially Kajiado North District as they are under different environment. In another study carried out by Kamau (2006) on investigation of factors leading to poor performance in Chemistry in Kenya. The study involved three secondary schools in Naivasha Division. Kamau argued that one of major M illennium Goals o f the Republic o f Kenya is to be industrialized by year 2020. This can only be achieved by promoting science subjects in our schools. The three major science subjects taught in our secondary schools are Chemistry. Physics and Biology. The new move of science and technology has drawn a lot of attention to the performance of learners in the academic institutions especially on the performance of science. Unfortunately in Kenya the science subject have not been performed well for a long time. This means that there is a need to look at the reasons or factors that lead to these poor performances in Kenyan schools. This survey study looked at the factors that lead to poor Chemistry performance in schools and hence tried to suggest the possible solution that can be used to benefit the students, parent and Kenyan society at large. This was done by using the survey method where by three secondary schools were randomly sampled. In each school 6/20 of the form three students were sampled using the stratified random sampling technique from each school. The random sampling was then done to get the individual student respondents. The questionnaires were used and dispatched to these students, two teachers from each school and the head teachers were interviewed. In the study the questionnaires contained questions which were answered by each of the groups of respondents to generate and extract more knowledge about the problems encountered in the subject. However, this study by Kamau (2006) focused its attention on factors leading to poor performance in Chemistry as opposed to the factors influencing performance of Chemistry in secondary schools of Kajiado North District. This study engaged only three schools which is a relatively small sample size which is increasingly unrepresentative of the country’s secondary schools and therefore cannot be generalized. This study focused on factors influencing performance of Chemistry in public secondary schools in order to fill the knowledge gap where information remained elusive.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine factors influencing the choice of chemistry education as a course of study among secondary school students. Selected secondary schools Ikwuanl local government, Abia state forms the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain factors Influencing the Choice of Chemistry Education as a Course of Study among Secondary School Students in Ikwuano L.G.A Abia State. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of factors Influencing the Choice of Chemistry Education as a Course of Study among Secondary School Students
This study was on factors Influencing the Choice of Chemistry Education as a Course of Study among Secondary School Students in Ikwuano L.G.A Abia State. Four objectives were raised which included; To determine the effects of the value of the Chemistry subject on students’ choices of the subject in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State, to find out the influence of the subject teacher on students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State, to find out the influence of gender differences on students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State and to investigate the role of parents and teachers in students’ choices of Chemistry subjects in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected secondary school in Ikwuano L.G.A of Abia State. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
The study concludes that when students are allowed to choose which classes to enroll in increased motivation and independence which in turn increased a student’s performance. Chemistry was selected by students who had knowledge of its mathematical concepts and symbols. Students view interdependence of science subjects with mathematics as an obstacle to excellence in these science subjects. This had made them to perceive physics and chemistry negatively. They perceived as fairly positive. The study concludes that negative attitude towards a subject led to lack of interest. Quality of a subject has tremendous effect on whether a student chooses to enroll in a class. Students had developed a career path that they strived to achieve/attain in life. Students’ enrollment of subjects was to a moderate extent based on its relevancy to their future career aspirations. The study concludes that students were averagely satisfied with teacher’s methodology of handling biology and agricultural science and less satisfied with teacher’s methodology of handling chemistry. A student’s attitude about a teacher has a large impact on their attitude toward a class. Subject teachers play a crucial role in taming students’ choices over the science subject. The study concludes that there existed gender differences in high school aged students. Gender influenced choice of subject to some extent. Different perceptions men and women have in regards to their ability and competency in those certain classes influenced choice of subject. The study concludes that parents and teachers influenced students’ choice of science subjects’. School has a great role to play in influencing students’ choice of science subjects.
The study recommends students to have good attitude towards science subjects. They need to consider their interests, personal academic goals while choosing subjects. Teachers need to adapt their classes to better meet the needs of students. Curriculum developers need to ensure that science subjects contain quality content and the workload be reduced. Students should be encouraged to develop a positive commitment to science at a tender age. Schools should have well equipped laboratories. Competent and qualified teachers should teach science subjects. Examination council need to ensure that science subjects are assessed fairly. Science teachers need to develop good relationship with students. Science teachers should strive to be enthusiastic, well spoken, knowledgeable, caring, and helpful. Subject teachers need to try to tame students choices over the science subject.
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