Background to the study
The enviable position which science education system of most countries of the world, is enjoying including Nigeria is perhaps justifiable. The reason is that science can exert a dominant, if not decisive influence on the life of individual as well as on the developmental effort of a nation. (Emovon, 1985). The universal recognition of the above submission is responsible for the prime position that has been accorded science and in particular, Chemistry world wide, within the context of science education, chemistry has been identified, as a very important school subject and its importance in scientific and technological development of any nation has been widely reported. It was as a result of this recognition that it is made a core – subject among the natural sciences and other science – related courses in the Nigerian education system. Its inclusion as a core subject in science in the secondary school calls for the need to teach it effectively. This is because effective science teaching can lead to the attainment of scientific and technological greatness. (Adesoji, & Olatunbosun, 2008).
This is a period of science and technology, it is a period of great global expectations in term of scientific and technological advancement. But science the maker of technology, because there cannot be technology without science.
Science and technology are often considered together as they are often very closely related. In many fields of science, practical skills precede theoretical understanding and some cases provide the urge to find practical applications. Thus knowledge, which is often associated with science and practical skills and often associated with technology frequently go together.
This follows that while science deals with pursuit of organized knowledge, technology deals with the use of organized knowledge to solve practical problems.
According to Abdullahi (2002), science when defined in terms of its product, it is an ordered body of knowledge inform of laws, theories and concepts, and when defined in terms of its processes, it is a method of investigating about universe.
Science is more noted by its activities than by its form. Science as a body of knowledge is not static. It is ever changing, not that facts are disproved but rather they are added to or modified, the body of scientific knowledge is cumulative, it grows and each one leads to another. It is the way in which knowledge is obtained that serves as an important unifying factor to classify certain body of knowledge as science.
The advanced learners dictionary of current English defines science as the “knowledge arranged in an orderly manner” especially knowledge attained by observation and testing of facts.
Technology is concerned with finding solution to practical problems e.g. How to send messages faster to produce more food. Technology is at times referred to as applied science.
Technology deals with inventions, factories and industries, which help men to produce goods and services in larger quantities without technology men could not have the various machines and tools, which they use to produce goods, and services, which help to satisfy the multifarious, needs and desires of millions of human beings that are scattered in all part of the world. Technological advancement has been a gradual development right from the period of the early man, to the middle ages and down to the modern period.
However, when we talk of science subjects, the three – core science subject (Chemistry, Physics and Biology) come to mind.
In fact, without chemistry, scientific growth remains an illusion and technological growth, a mirage. This is why chemistry has been described as the “central science” and the mother of all science (Ahiakwo 2000).
Science in the twentieth century has without a doubt become a necessary aid to good living and good citizenship, to health, agriculture, home making and leisure. For these reasons, science and technology must necessarily play a vital part or role in African education and the new school curricula. Every child and every future adult need to be enlightened. In fact, it becomes imperative to investigate the attitude of learners towards this discipline as such attitudes might affect their academic achievement in the discipline.
The study of students’ attitudes in the rural – urban differences has been the focus of attention of few researchers for some years now. This is due to increase courses in some science subjects.
The need to reconsider the scientific attitudes has been reemphasized by Richard Harvey “curiosity open – mindedness, honesty, rationality, suspension judgment and humility, directly govern the intellectual behaviour of scientist and science students.
Therefore, to be scientific means to have these performances, which must be planned for and not simply accepted as concomitants to cognitive outcome, science supposedly moulds the character of its practitioner.
Hence, attitudes emerge first at the level of willingness to respond. Due to the contribution of chemistry to technical development in the world, much emphasis has been placed on its study in our secondary schools. The attitude of students to the subjects is as important factor to be reckoned with in student’s performance. The non – challant attitudes of the students themselves is usually the causes of their poor performance in the subjects, Usua (1994) analyzing students weakness in West African School Certificate Chemistry theory examination opined that the major factor contributing to the poor performances by the greater majority of the candidates can be categorized into:
- The students themselves,
- The teachers,
- The Administrator.
Statement of the Problems
It has been observed generally that performance of students in chemistry is very low in their terminals examination, this leads to their woeful performance in science at the secondary certificate examination. The students in urban areas are exposed to modern science and technology that are meant to promote the knowledge and skills of the students. While the students in rural areas have no access to do so. This has always prevented the students to gain admission into higher institution of learning to pursue their desired course of study.
The above phenomenon has led this study to compare the student’s attitude in rural and urban areas. In chemistry in four – selected secondary school of Ekiti State.