1.1 Background of the study
Biology is one of the subjects studied in Secondary schools in Nigeria. The study is imperative because it is required in the preparation of the workforce for the medical paramedical, agricultural and other related professions. The senior secondary is the starting point for the preparation of the school biologist for the important role in the nation building. However, available report show that the result of student performance at public examination have not been encouraging. Inquiry method or discovery method as a method of teaching is a process through which student’s find facts or knowledge through the understanding of concepts. With the use of these methods, students are provided the opportunities to discover truths, new rules and new methods of tackling problems as well as new values for themselves. The lectures method also known as the chalk and talk method or expository method of teaching is one of the oldest approaches to teaching. It is a process whereby the teacher verbally delivers a pre-planned body of knowledge to his students. The teacher talks while the students listen and jot down points. In some cases, the teacher may not take questions either to emphasize some points or to make some point clear. This method which is teacher centered is often used in upper classes of secondary school and in the tertiary institutions. The lecture method is viewed as spoon feeding the students, thus making it an unchallenging method. With the use of inquiry method students are provided the opportunity to discover new truths, new rules and new methods of tackling problems as well new ideas for themselves. WAEC reports (2011) reported abysmally low percentage of passes for student that sat for biology between 2006 and 2011. In Ekiti West Local Government which is the study of this work, available statistics indicated that 17.2% of 12.926 candidates who sat for biology in National Examination Council (NECO) SSCE in 2006 passed at credit level. The problem of students’ poor performance in biology over the years has been linked to the method of teaching adopted by teachers. sLow performance of students in biology therefore gave me a big concern which made me to select Ekiti West Local Government Area of Ekiti State as a case study under which the research will be carried out. Therefore the effects of inquiry method rather than lecture method on our secondary school students in Ekiti West Local Government Area need to be investigated and considered necessary to the student.
1.2 Statement of the problem
In spite of the importance of biology, it has been noticed that it is not properly taught in schools because some teachers failed to use the proper method of teaching in the teaching of biology. The teachers rather use the lecture method of teaching. The problem of student poor performance in biology over the years has been linked to the method of teaching adopted by teachers.
Idowu (1998) and Osokoya (2002) reported poor teaching method, lack of qualified teachers, inadequate facilities and textbook, poor communication skills and dearth of knowledge of certain concepts as contributing factors to poor performance of students in biology.