1.1 Background of the Study
Prior to the last century, teaching was considered as a rigid, formal and stereotyped process of transmitting knowledge. Education was taken as a bipolar process with teachers at the giving end and students at the receiving end. Teachers were considered to be the only source of knowledge, may be through manuscripts or printed materials. Schools were the knowledge shops and teachers are the information managers. Emphasis was laid on rigid discipline, blind memorization and hard reinforcement. Verbalism was enforced and no audio-visual aids or materials were utilized in the field of education. Recently, learning has assumed more importance than teaching.
It has been rightly observed by the International Commission on the Development of Education that there has been a change in the learning process which is tending to displace the teaching process.
Instructional materials have to now acquire more significance and educational technology has been popularly used for effectiveness (Karthik, 2005).
The interest in an object or activity is aroused as a result of effort to satisfy a felt need. The individual’s need arouses his/ her interest or motivates him/ her to take action or to participate in activities that would lead to the satisfaction of the need, Njoku (2003) in Eriba & Achor (2010). The researcher adds that interest is congruent with motivation and both constructs are action oriented, having originated from need. There is therefore an assumed link between what the integrated science teacher does in the class and how the learner’s are motivated to learn. It may be more appropriate to examine what happens in a classroom currently. Particularly, one would like to know the kind of interaction that takes place in the integrated science class between the teacher and the leaner and the materials. Effective teaching of any subject will not only stimulates student’s interest in the subject but also enhance their achievement in the examination. To achieve effective teaching and learning process, there is the need for use of instructional materials.
Seeing, touching and listening, which are characteristics of instructional materials, are gateways of human learning in this 21st century. Aramide and Bolarinwa (2010) opine that instructional materials have the potential for enhancing students’ learning. Its role in teaching and learning is one of the most important and widely discussed issues in contemporary education policy. Education in this age has become widespread and as such, exclusively oral teaching cannot be the key to successful pedagogy. To make teaching and learning interesting the teacher has to use instructional materials.
Classroom interaction refers to a technique consisting of objective and systematic observation of the classroom events for the study of the teacher’s classroom behaviour and the process of interaction going on inside the classroom (Eriba& Achor, 2010). It can be described as a classroom process in which teachers and students have a reciprocal effect upon each other through what they say and do in the classroom (Matelo, 2006). It is an interpersonal transaction between the teacher and student which occurs at different levels. This encompasses a lesson situation during which the teacher and students through their verbal and non- verbal actions have reciprocal effect on each other. In particular, the relationship between students and their teachers is an essential part of teaching and learning process and it is expected to have a great effect on their lives. Audu & Achor (2003) stated that interaction in the classroom entails an active encounter of the teacher and the student through verbal, gestural and resource instrumentality to bring about effective communication in a teaching learning process. For both parties to be actively involved in the teaching and learning, the method in use ought to create opportunity for the required interaction to take place.
Instructional materials refer to any device used to assist the instructor in the preparation of a lesson, teaching of the lesson and facilitate students’ learning of the subject matter.
The term availability relates to how much instructional materials are on hand, to which teachers and learners have access to. As a concept, it is an umbrella term that denotes the serviceability, resilience, reliability and maintainability of a component instrument. This summarily tells of the ability of the component to perform its required functions at a stated instance or over a stated period of time. Meanwhile, utilization tells of the usage degree of a given material in the execution of a given task. In sum, the use of instructional materials for teaching integrated science is the instance of utilization in this study. As an expression, teaching can be used in various ways, but specific to this study, teaching refers to ways of making something known to others particularly in the routine work of the classroom. So, an instructional material is the same as teaching material. Some common instructional materials include chalk, boards, charts, graphs, diagrams, exhibits, flat pictures, photographs, maps, models, objects, motion pictures, textbooks, reference books, computer, etc. (Mundi and Alfred,
2006). Yet, teaching with instructional materials, especially with the newer technologies that suit today’s information technological society, is the trend in the contemporary society.