Background to the Study
Individualized instruction refers to those classroom practices of teaching which recognize the uniqueness of each student learner and thus provide for adequate tutorial guidance, and other support services suited to bring about a wholesome development in the person (mind, body, and spirit).
Individualized instruction is about using teaching strategies that connect with individual student’s learning strategies. The ultimate goal is to provide a learning environment that will maximize the potential for student success.
Differentiated instruction is an instructional theory that allows teachers to face this challenge by taking diverse student factors into account when planning and delivering instruction. Based on this theory, teachers can structure learning environments that address the variety of learning styles, interests, and abilities found within a classroom.
Many educators (Mbakwem, 2001; Oleabhiele, 2011; Oyibe and Nnamani, 2014) support the effectiveness of individualized instructional method in teaching and learning of Social Studies. Oleabhiele (2011) for example is of the view that proper use of individualized instructional method in teaching and learning of Social Studies will encourage skills acquisition and development of values. Oyibe and Nnamani (2014) on their own view held that the use of individualized instruction in teaching Social Studies in secondary schools enables the teachers to see each learner as a unique being that possesses certain peculiar traits, potentials and abilities.
Mbakwem (2001) opined that individualized instruction is an instructional mode that is tailored to the need and ability of individual learners. It s an individual-oriented method which seeks to identify the needs of individual, be it physical, social, emotional or intellectual. Individualized instruction means giving suitable instruction to each student. It is not teacher centered, and different students-centered and the purpose is helping students learn what they need using their own learning style and at their own pace (Altman, 1972). Individualized instructional method promotes maximum interaction between and among Social Studies students to enhance efficient decision making while discussing and analyzing social issues.
Oyibe and Nnamani (2014: 14) stated that “the method encourages the development of critical thinking and inquiry spirit through interaction, negotiations and clarifications of basic content or ideas because through individualized learning, students enjoy the liberty to advance their own ideas and to benefit from the ideas and views of others”. The use of individualized instruction in teaching Social Studies in secondary schools enables the teachers to see each learner as a unique being that possesses certain peculiar traits, potentials, and abilities.
Therefore, it is expected that the teacher should ensure that the unique qualities are carefully put into consideration in the teaching/learning process Instructional materials are print and non-print items that are rested to impact information to students in the educational process. Instructional materials include items such as: kits, textbooks, magazines, newspapers, pictures, recording videos etc.
Instructional materials play a very important role in the teaching and learning process. It enhances the memory level of the students. At this time that education has spread wide and entirely, oral teaching cannot be the key to successful pedagogy; therefore the teacher has to use Instructional materials to make teaching and learning process interesting (NIC hulls, 2003; Raw 2006) . According to Abdullahhi (2010), Instructional materials are tools locally made or imported that help to facilitate the teaching/learning process. Obanga (2005) view them as materials things which are use to composed ported that could make tremendous enhancement of intellectual use impact the Instructional materials
The use of Instructional materials can enhance the learning achievement. Cronbach (2009) states the important elements of behaviour that provides the base for learning theory situation which consists of all the objects, persons and symbols in the learning environment Practical experience in any science for that matter is crucial for proper understanding of any principle and application of the knowledge in that subject for cognitive growth and technological orientation and advancement. In appreciation of this fact, Lee (2013) emphasized that if biology is to perform the above role of improving the society, then the biology teacher must do the following: Choose the best materials to present to students, Try new roles, materials and strategies, Make use of individual instruction.
Therefore activities such as collecting of materials, observing, recording observations, classifying and carrying out field work should be well encouraged. The method for achieving this is through visual instruction. It was the original method in biological science when the naturalist devoted his study to organisms as he found them in nature. The result of his work, he wrote down to be passed on to others. The knowledge was finally put in form of books.
As the study of biology becomes more popular in schools, and number of students increased, it becomes more difficult to study original materials. Part of this difficulty comes by the use of laboratory, preserved materials, charts and models. But the pressure of larger number of students and increasing cost caused this situation to be abandoned most times. Miller and Blaydes (2011) asserted that the result has been that an increasing proportion of biology teaching has been done from books and lecture notes. This situation to a large extent is responsible for the poor performance in the senior secondary school certificate examinations conducted by West African Examination Council. In Nigeria, the educational system has been facing a lot of critical problems amongst which are increasing enrolment, shortage of qualified teachers, absence of laboratories and in many cases presence of laboratories but acute shortage of necessary teaching and learning materials.
The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Education with the assistance of UNESCO in 1998 established a science equipment centre to provide course for science teachers and laboratory assistants. The provision of this centre though laudable has been inadequate. Teachers of biology and other sciences therefore have to acquire and develop skills of producing teaching materials. This is what improvisation is all about. It is the process of providing quickly in time of need, using whatever happens to be available, the materials and equipment for facilitating the teaching of biology. Otitoju (2000) opined that in biology teaching nature presents a rich laboratory because specimens of plants and animals are abundant around us, however equipment needed for capturing animals. Performing physiological experiment, timing experiment or processes as well as some specimens which are available have to be improvised using locally available materials. The essential qualities of any improvised teaching aid are accuracy, realism, comprehensibility and interest.
There is need for adequate Instructional resources especially a well equipped laboratory to enable the various activities planned in textbooks to be adequately carried out laboratory and equipment of biology teaching are essential features in the new biology teaching are essential features in the new biology curriculum because it is child centered and activity oriented (Ogunniyi 1978, Ango, 1983 and Asun, 1981). Studied the importance of practical work in biology teaching. They observed that. student’s interest is stimulated whenever they come in content with biology equipment and materials during practical or project work. It offers them an opportunity to put theory into practice, studies in education urge that children should begin their work on a topic with concrete experience using ordinary things which they can handle and common things which they can become familiar with. It could enable them to discover some of the object or class to another. The first experience should be concrete not verbal for the student to be able to ‘understand the concept being illustrated. Various senses are involved and the resultant understanding is beyond verbal explanation. The more human sense employed.
Statement Of The Problem
It was observed at the time of this study that, effective application of individualized instructional method were hampered by some certain factors such as location of schools and teachers’ teaching experiences; the aggregated by number of years in job. It is the number of years in service that determines the experience and inexperience teachers. In most cases, the application of certain instructional method (s) depend wooly on the availability of instructional materials to be used and the availability of such depend on the location of the school which is narrowed to urban and rural schools. It was also noticed that effective application of such instructional methods as individualized method is affect by location of school and the learning environment, which has to do with space as concerning classroom space, seat arrangement and
number of students in each classroom. Most schools in the urban areas are characterized by overcrowded classroom that did not permit effective interaction while the schools located at rural areas lack competent teachers, school library and learning materials that make classroom interaction interesting, concrete and participatory.
Human factors are problems associated with the teacher’s professional commitments, creative ability technical skill, ingenuity and competence. The questions here according to Balogun (1982) include is the teacher readily willing to abandon all practical work if the ready made equipment is not available?