The Influence of Instructional Materials in the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools
- Determine the instructional materials for teaching and learning Biology in secondary schools in Koko Local Government.
- Ascertain the extent to which Secondary School students learning Biology are influenced by the use of instructional materials.
- Evaluate the state of instructional materials available for the teaching of Biology in Koko Local Government.
- Determine whether there is any difference in the academic performance of secondary schools students in Biology due to the availability and use of instructional materials.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
The concept of instructional materials
Teaching at any level requires that students be exposed to some form of simulation. Ikerionwu, (2000), refers to instructional materials as objects or devises that help the teacher to make learning meaningful to the learners. Instructional materials, which are educational inputs, are of vital importance to the teaching of any subject in the school curriculum. Wales (1975), opined that the use of instructional materials would make discovered facts glued firmly to the memory of students. A teacher who makes use of appropriate instructional materials to supplement his teaching will help enhance student‟s innovative and creative thinking as well as help them become enthusiastic, Ekwueme and Igwe ( 2001).
Instructional materials refer to objects or devises which help the teacher to make learning meaningful to the learners, (Ikenionwu, 2000). Ezegbe, (1994), classified them into two; visual materials made up of reading and non reading materials, and audio visual materials comprising electrically operated and none electrically operated materials. According to Aduwa Et Al, (2005), these materials and instructional materials include, audio tapes recorders, video tape recorders, slide projectors, still pictures, programmed instructional film strips, maps, chart, graphs and many more; offer a variety of learning experience individually or in combination to meet different teaching and learning experiences. Ngaroga, (2007), talks of teaching and learning materials as those that are accessed in the School environment, collected and brought. They can be three dimensional, two dimensional real objects and others are electronic. The “term chemical instructional resource” is defined as any form of specific chemical apparatus (Structured or unstructured), image, ICT game, tool, paper, or everyday material which could be utilized to provide a chemical teaching or learning (Dorine, Et. Al, 2007).
Instructional materials can be improvised,(SMASE Project, 2010). Onasanya et al: (2008), Adebimpe (1997) and Aguisiobo (1998) noted that improvisation demands adventure, creativity, curiosity and perseverance on the part of teachers. Such skills are only realized through well-planned training program on improvisation. Odii F, (1990) asserts that improvised instructional materials may be used as practice devices with which the students build accuracy, understanding and efficiency. According to Dada (2006), improvised instructional materials involve the fact of producing and using alternative instructional materials aimed at facilitating instruction. Again, Ikwuas and Onwiodiket (2006) state that improvised materials involve selection and deployment of relevant instructional elements of teaching and learning processes in absence or shortage of standard teaching and learning materials, for meaningful realization of specified educational goals and objectives. Abimbade (2004) had earlier noted that the approach of using improvised materials in Biology classroom assist in proper introduction of new skills, develop understanding as well as show the appropriate way of doing things.
Instructional strategies need to be identified where the use of manipulative are often suggested as some of the effective approaches to improve student Biology achievement (Gurbuz, 2010; Sherman & Bisanz, 2009). Biology manipulative-based instructional techniques are approaches that include opportunities for students to physically interact with the objects to learn target information (Carbonneau & Marley, 2012). For example, at the elementary level, teachers use play money to help students learn basic arithmetic functions. The use of manipulative in Biology instruction has been cited as a strategy to allow students draw on their practical knowledge (Burns, 1996). Concrete objects that resemble everyday items should assist students in making connections between abstract chemical concepts and the real world (Brown, Neil, & Glernberg, 2009).
Brudett and Smith, (2003) in their study based on 57 schools in England and Wales concluded that those learning institutions with abundant learning and teaching instructional materials, favorable student-teacher ratio, commendable workload and good reward and incentives for teachers perform better than the institutions that do not provide the same. However in a clear departure from the above views, Orji (2012) and Ekpe (2010) in their independent studiesagreed that instructional materials are not necessarily important if the learners are intelligent and the teacher has good mastery of the subject matter. Egbu (2012) argued that involving learners in classroom activities is what matters most as it makes teaching learner centered.
Biology is one of the formal disciplines that help man lay a solid foundation for future survival. Scientific and technological developments are dependent on Biology. Ginsburg, (2002), defines Biology as a fundamental human activity-a way of making sense of the world. Fapohunda, (2002), sees Biology as essential tool in the formation of the educated man. Because of its importance, Kenya has made Biology compulsory in both primary and secondary School curriculum (Mutunga and Breakel, 1992; Republic of Kenya 1992) in order to give a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking, and prepare students for the next level of education. Its application in other disciplines, mostly in sciences, is appreciative and without it, knowledge of the sciences remains superficial. However, a considerable number of students have inadequate understanding of Biology and chemical concepts and skills (KNEC, 2000, MOEST, 2001.
According to data released by the Ministry Of Education Science and Technology on December 31st, 2014of the 839,759 of standard eight pupils took the 2013 KCPE, which serves as the form one entrance examination, 467,353 scored below the average, receiving scores 250 out of possible 500 marks. Uwezo Kenya‟s report findings of 2012 showed little progress on children‟s learning capabilities.
Biology is used as a basic entry requirement into any of the prestigious courses such as medicine, architecture and engineering among other degree programs. Despite the important role that Biology plays in the society, there has been poor performance in Biology in Kenyan national examinations (Aduda 2003). Several factors have been attributed to poor performance in Biology among which are poor methods of teaching (Harbour-peters, 2001), poor interest in Biology (Badimus, 2002&Bodo, 2004), Lack of appropriate instructional materials for teaching Biology at all levels of education (Gambari, 2010).
Several studies have shown other indices that could affect pupils‟ Biology achievement. Stringfield and Teddie(1991). In their study of rural education in the U.S showed that classes and Schools differ in terms of their learning environment and School instructional materials. Okoyeocha (2005) in a comparative study of public and private Schools were better equipped than their private counterparts.
TIMSS report of 2011 on Biology result analysis showed that Biology achievement is improving over the years in some member Countries, Kenya is not one though. The percentage of high level and low level students increased in both 4th and 8thgrades. The Governments of many countries are struggling in considering how to provide best Biology education for their students. According to the report, students‟ ability in Biology is deteriorating over their school years, as a student grows older, Biology competencies decrease. A country such as Chinese Taipei showed bimodal distribution on Biology achievement with 2 peaks of high performance and high peak of low performance. This signifies that educational opportunities or instructional materials are not equally distributed to all students (Ker W.2013).
The research design adopted for this study is descriptive survey; the office of human research protection (OHRP) defined a descriptive survey as any study that is not truly experimental. The research study is set out to evaluate Biology instructional materials in teaching and learning in secondary school in Koko Local Government.
Population of the Study
The populations for this study were all the Biology teachers in the secondary schools in Koko Local Government. There are twenty-six (26) junior secondary schools in Kebbi with the total population of seventy-eight (78) teachers.
PRESENTATION OF DATA ANALYSIS
Research Question One: What instructional materials are available for teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools?
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This study examined the evaluation of Biology instructional materials for teaching and learning in secondary schools in Koko Local Government. The research work was guild through four research questions and three research hypotheses. All seventy-eight (78) teachers from twenty six (26) secondary schools in the study area were selected due to the small population size. The research work was guided through four research questions and three research hypotheses which form the basis the administered questionnaire. A well structured questionnaire was used is greater necessary information from the sample respondents while all information collected was subjected to frequency counts and percentage with all hypothesis tested at 0.05 level of significance using t-test statistic.
Based on the analysis of data collected from administered questionnaire, it was gathered that most of the instructional materials for teaching and learning Biology are not available in secondary schools in Koko Local Government. Educational instructional materials influence the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
The result of the study seems to imply that teacher experience and qualification influence the level of assessment and utilization of instructional materials material in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Moro L.G.A, Koko Local Government, based on the findings of the study. The study also revealed that most of the instructional materials for teaching and learning Biology are not available in secondary schools in Koko Local Government. This means that most of the instructional materials identified for teaching of business subjects are not made available in the schools
Instructional materials materials are important materials needed for the realization of instructional objectives and education goals, thus the level of use of these instructional materials in teaching and learning should be improved upon in view of the conclusion drawn. However, it was recommended that;
- Curriculum planners and implementation and educational policy makers should sensitize the school and teachers on the need to put more emphasis on utilization and improvision of instructional materials materials in teaching and learning of Biology.
- The government as a matter of policy should recruit more qualified graduate teachers to teach at junior secondary school level most especially Business studies.
- Adequate instructional materials should be provided for effective teaching and learning process.
- Criteria for instructional materials selection should be based on its suitability to function for the purpose it is designed for.
- Finally since the study encourage the use of instructional materials materials for more practical teaching and learning process the graduate of Biology like. Other areas will be people who are well prepared for their job performance and this will ease the employers’ problem of on job training of workers thus enhancing production.
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