The Effect of Biology Practical Activities on Academic Achievement of Senior Secondary School Students (Case Study of Enugu East LGA)
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main purpose of this study is to find out the effect of biology practical on academic achievement of male and female senior secondary school biology students in Enugu East Local Government. Specifically, the study intends to find out
- Whether there is any significant difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using practical methods and theory methods.
- Whether there is any significant difference between the mean scores of male and female students taught biology using practical methods.
- Whether there is any significant difference between the mean scores of urban and rural schools students taught biology using practical methods.
The review was discussed under the following sub – headings
- The need for teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools.
- Effect of biology practical activities on students in secondary schools.
- Factors that affect the academic achievement of secondary school biology students.
NEED FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY IN THE SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The importance of biology in the social and economic development of any nation cannot be over emphasized. Today USA, RUSSIA, and many other countries are regarded as the most highly developed countries, simply because of their knowledge of science, of which biology is one them. For this purpose, the Federal Ministries of Education under the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) vividly stressed that the study of science will provide knowledge and understanding of the complexity of the physical world, the forms and the conduct of life, cultivate inquiring, knowing and democracy, all these are the importance of science of which biology is one of the. Many biology, therefore, innovations are coming up, so that nobody can escape being caught up in the learning of biology. Therefore, the need to acquire new skills, new attitudes and new values for effective teaching of biology in our secondary schools cannot be over – emphasized. Skills should be developed on how to handle practical works on biology.
Okeke (2009) observed that the main hope for the developing countries to attain to rapid rate of economic advancement, to raise the standard of living in the future, lies in our will to enhance or improve the rate of learning in the secondary schools, and to motivate students by giving the high points to the development of science. The increasing demand of service by our biological industries like pharmacological industries, the agro– biological industries etc, can only be met by training capable teachers who will enhance the rate of learning in the secondary schools, and motivate students to specialize in the subject.
Most students participate actually in some science subjects like biology and they assume that other science subjects are not easy to handle, such ideas should be discouraged as the science subjects work hand in hand when handling any scientific innovation.
The new trend towards social, ethical and humanistic values of biology, demands that the government should equip laboratories for practical purpose and create the right attitudes of teaching the subject, so that the students can inject their experiences into the scientific practices. Iloeje (2002), in his report for success in practical works in biology, stated that students must be giving opportunities to participate in what ever practice that is going on in the laboratory. He said that, teachers should expose the students to the rudiments of practical activities in biology. They should encourage the need to equip the laboratory for the practical purpose. These will help students to understand and assimilate some of the biology terms, and theories will be made easy to them, so that they will have interest in the study of biology and will wish to continue with it in future.
EFFECT OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES ON STUDENTS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
Onah (1994) emphasized that teaching g involves more than talking all time time. Resources such as diagrams, field works and real objects, when effectively used to explain the subject matter very well of better than lecture. The proper place for effective practical activities is the laboratory. Biology being one of the science subjects can not be taught or learnt effectively in the absence of practical. Iloeje (2005), in his lesson for effective biology practical activities stated that, of all the five sense organs used, the sense of sight is the highest of them. Kildare and Okoro (2007), established that students understand better when they involve themselves in practical experiment during practical and obtain their results such students can not only remember the procedure involved but also feel proud of themselves of obtaining the correct results, thus stressing the need match theory with practical.
obidiwe (2005), while discussing science curriculum in Nigeria said that, whatever project is selected, theory and practical should go hand in hand. According to him, a practical aspect of biology is neglected so much and when taught at all, the students are almost preparing for their senior secondary certificate examination. As a result, students fail biology in their S.S.C.E. Confirming the above situation Chukwu (2009), observed that practical periods, which are very necessary for successful study of biology are not enough. He highlights the need for the students to be exposed to series of practical activities. The theory and practical aspects of biology need not to be separated but taught as component parts of a subject and not as a separate entity.
This chapter discussed the procedures used by the researchers in collecting data for the study was presented under the following subheadings:
Research design, Area of the study, Population of the study, Sample and sampling techniques, Instrument for data collection, Validation of the instrument, Reliability of the instrument, Method of data collection, Method of data analysis
The research work is descriptive survey research or design. Descriptive survey research or design is a scientific method which involves observing and describing the behaviour of a subject with influencing it in any way. Martyn Shuttleworth (2008), pointed out that descriptive survey design is used to obtain a general over view of the subject, the subject is being observed in a completely and unchanged natural environment.
Area of the Study
The study was conducted or carried out in Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State. Enugu East Local Government Area in Enugu comprises of thirteen (13) secondary school in that area.
Population of the Study
The population comprises thirteen (13) secondary schools spread along the Enugu East Local Government Area in Enugu. The target population includes all the SS1 biology students in all the thirteen secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government, numbering 13575 students in all, see Appendix ш for details.
Source: PPSMB Zonal Office Enugu. Year 2011
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
The purpose of this chapter is to present and analyse the data from the test administered to four senior secondary schools in Enugu East Local Government Area. The research question and hypothesis were stated relevant result of the analysis of the presented.
DISCUSSION, IMPLICATIONS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
This chapter, discussion of findings, Educational Implications, Recommendations, Suggestions for further studies and summary of the project were all presented.
Discussion of Findings
The results of this study are discussed below:
Discussion on research question 1
The effect of practical biology on academic performance of senior secondary school biology students. The result from table 1 shows that biology practical has positive effect in academic of senior secondary school biology students. The mean score of the experimental (practical) group was higher than control (theory) group by 17.00 in the post-test. The standard deviation of the experimental group shows better value of 31.90 against 14.90 calculated derivation of the control group. This finding is in line with the view of Onah (1994); He stated that practical
accounts for effective hearing of biology. Effective teaching and learning of biology demands practical works and cannot be done only theoretically. The study also revealed that girls performed better than boys in a test of practical biology. This result is in disagreement with the result of the study conducted by Chukwu (2002) who noted that males perform better than females in science. However, the result agrees with the finding of Samatha and Dominque (2009) who found that females performed better than males in a test of biology practical.
Discussion on Hypothesis
On testing hypothesis 1, the difference between mean academic performance of senior secondary school biology students taught biology contents with practical and their counterparts taught the same biology contents theoretically only was found to be significant at p≤ 0.05. From the data presented in table 4, it was observed that the z-test calculated was greater than the critical z-test value. Going by the decision rule, the null hypothesis was rejected. This implies that there is a significant difference between the males academic performance of experimental and control group. It showed that the practical method teaching biology is superior to the theoretical method. Lunetta (2008) had a similar view, he said that practical contribute to greater success and retention in science based courses. Several authors agreed that schools which are involved in practical classes perform better and subsequently achievement higher assessment.
On testing hypothesis 2,
it was observed that the calculated value of the z-test is greater than the critical value (table 4). Hence, null hypothesis is rejected. It implies that there is significant difference between the male senior secondary school biology students and their female counterparts, the females were found to perform better then their male counterpart. The finding were on agreement with the previous research done by Samathan and Dominique (2009), who declared that there is a significant difference between the effects of biology practical on the gender. Chukwu (2002) noted that males perform better than females in science. The present researchers equally believe that the outcome of the result seems to be true.
The result above showed that the problem of inadequate use of practical and laboratory method of teaching made students to learn biology with difficulty. This is because the teachers depend on the theory method for teaching biology. Onah (2009) had a similar view; he stated that practical accounts for effective learning of biology.
Moreover, students encounter problems in biology practical as a result of inadequate of qualified biology teachers. There is neglect of science laboratories by the relevant authorities all these while and it seems curriculum developers disregard time constrain in practical.
Based on the finding the following recommendations were made.
- For the fact that biology is a practical oriented subject, the government should help in equipping biology laboratories in all schools so as to make the teaching of biology more comprehensive. The teachers should try to improve that equipment that are difficult to get and should not wait for the government to provide everything.
- Government should lift embargo on employment of teacher and post enough qualified science teachers to schools in rural and urban area.
- Government and communities should help to provide buildings in schools, so that there will be separate classes for art and science students as this will create room for sufficient time for practical.
- The ministry of Education should organize seminars for science teachers to up-date their knowledge.
- More financial incentives should be given to science teachers and their condition of services improved, this would encourage them to teach the subject very well.
Suggestion to further studies
For purpose of further studies, the researchers suggest that since the study covered only Enugu East Local Government Area, other areas in the state should be studied to find out whether the results would be co-relating. Further research should change in design, statistical tool or widen the scope. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) can be used.
The study evaluated the effect of biology practical on academic achievement of senior secondary school students, in Enugu East Local Government Area.
The researchers formulated three research questions and three hypotheses to guide the study. Related literature were reviewed, data was collected by pre-test and post-test from a sample of two hundred (200) respondents. Data analysis was made using mean and standard deviation for the research questions; z-test was used for the hypotheses test. From the result, it was found that practical biology has a positive effect on the teaching and learning of biology. Government should help in equipping biology laboratories for effective practical work, which is the core of all sciences. Government should also empower and post more qualified science teachers to the school.
- Abugu, E.C (2007). Intermediate Practical biology with alternative to practical: Volume 2, COUNT PUBLISHERS LIMITED Enugu Nigeria
- Ali, A (2002), science, technology and mathematics education as tools for poverty alleviation. The science teacher today. Journal of the school of science, federal college of education, Eha-Amufu vol. No 2
- Allan, J. Rob and Jonathan .W (2000) Practical Skills Education in Biology: Longman limited: England:
- Aniodoh, H.C.O (2002) History and Philosophy of Science: Enugu Nigeria: Hacofam Educational Books.
- Aniodoh, H.C.O (1991), Modern Aspects of Integrated Science Education: Enugu Nigeria. Hacofam Educational Books. 25 AWKUZU/Adelabu Street, Uwanai, Enugu. First Edition
- Aniodoh, H.C.O (2007), Modern Aspects of Integrated Science Education: Enugu Nigeria. Hacofam Educational Books. 25 AWKUZU/Adelabu Street, Uwanai, Enugu. Second Edition
- Bacombe, J. (2002). The use of Animals in higher Education. Problems Alternative and Recommendations. The human Society of the United: Washington.
- Bargess, A.B. (2003). Inquiry-Bases Laboratory Course Improves students Ability to Design Experiments and Interpret Data: Advances in Physiological: 27 (1) 26-23
- Chukwu, C. N. (2002) Comparative Study of Male and Female Performance in Junior Secondary school examination in Enugu Education Zone. Unpublished B.sc thesis; Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). Second Edition