EFFECTS OF APPARATUS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
Background to the Study
Biology is an incredibly fascinating field of study, because it is so fundamental to our world. Biology plays a role in everyone’s lives and touches almost every aspect of our existence in some way. Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus is essential for meeting our basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, energy, clean air, water and soil. Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus enrich the quality of life in numerous ways by providing new solutions to problems in health and materials and energy usage. Biology as one of the major sciences is concerned with the composition, structure and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergo during chemical reactions in the human body. The reason is that science can exert a dominant, if not decisive influence on the life of individuals as well as on the developmental effort of a nation. (Emoron, 1958) the universal recognition of the above submission is responsible for the prime position that has been accorded since and in particular, Biology worldwide. If biology is so important to the life of individuals and the nation, then the input into teaching and learning of Biology to enhance greater performance by the students should be of great concern but in the real sense reverse is the case. The Government policy that admission into the universities should be 60% of sciences and applied sciences and 40% arts and social sciences are often times not accomplished because there are not enough students opting for science related courses. Despite the importance of Biology to mankind and the efforts of researchers to improve its teaching and learning using Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus, the achievement of students in the subject remain low in Nigeria. Among the factors that have been identified as responsible for the observed trend and relevant to this study are laboratory inadequacies. (Okegbile, 1996, Raimi, 1998; Bajah, 1999 and Adeyegbe, 2005)The National Policy on Education (NPE, 2004) devoted section 11 of the policy on educational services which according to the document is meant to “facilitate the implementation of education policy…and make learning experiences more meaningful for the students”. The policy goes on to specify measures in achieving the above objectives through the establishment of teachers resource centers, educational resource centers, science and mathematics centers and workshops. More so, modern Science curricula stress students’ involvement in Science activity and teachers’ use of pedagogy that moves away from teacher-dominated to student-centered. Empirical studies within and outside Nigeria have established that students achieve greater learning both in cognitive and psychomotor domain when resources are used for instructional purposes, (Ifeakor, 2006).
The indispensability of the Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus to the teaching of biology cannot be over emphasized. Science laboratory is an important component in the learning of science subjects but it depends upon the degree to which it is efficiently used, only the availability of Science laboratory is not a guarantee of students’ performance until both the students and teachers actually use Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus facilities efficiently (Lewin, 2000).
The proper use of laboratory and demonstration of experiments are the indicators of student performance. Science laboratories are important only when they are used in the school setting. If Science laboratories are provided to schools, there are three possibilities that they remain unused, used inefficiently and used efficiently. Furthermore, Science laboratories are provided to schools with deficient quality and less quantity of equipments, apparatus, materials, and chemicals owing to limited funds. However, Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus may contribute to higher level of academic achievement if used effectively and properly with national commitment. Hofstein and Mamlok-Naaman (2007) described the concept of the use of science laboratory in these words: “Over the years, many have argued that science cannot be meaningful to students without worthwhile practical experiences in the school laboratory”. Unfortunately, the terms ‘school laboratory or lab and practical’have been used, too often without precise definition, to embrace a wide array of activities. Typically, the terms have meant experiences in school settings where students interact with materials to observe and understand the natural world. Some laboratory activities have been designed and conducted to engage students individually, while others have sought to engage students in small groups and in large-group demonstration settings.
Teacher guidance and instructions have ranged from highly structured and teacher centered to open inquiry. The terms have sometimes been used to include investigations or projects that are pursued for several weeks, sometimes outside the school, while on other occasions they have referred to experiences lasting 20 minutes or less. Sometimes laboratory activities have incorporated a high level of instrumentation, and at other times the use of any instrumentation has been meticulously avoided.
According to Raimi (2002) and Adeyegbe (2005), laboratory adequacy was reported to affect the performance of students in biology. Likewise, about the use of laboratory, Farounbi (1998) argued that students tend to understand and recall what they see more than what they hear. Students see when they actually use laboratories in the teaching and learning of science. Similarly, Adesoji and Olatunbosun (2008) found that laboratory adequacy was also found to enhanced achievement through attendance at Biology workshop.
Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus is a very important resource input for teaching science and is an important predictor of academic achievement. Throwing more light on school facilities and moral guiding provision, Fabunmi (1997) asserted that school facilities when provided will aid teaching learning programme and consequently improve academic achievement of students while the models guiding their provision to schools could take any form as rational bureaucratic and or political model. Whichever model is adopted, according to him, there is always a common feature of differing allocation of facilities to schools. In his words, Ojoawo (1990), however, noted that certain schools are favoured.
The teaching and learning of Biology demand lots of time, and a lot of hard work in the area of practical and experimentation. Hence, there is need to carried out an investigation on The Importance of Biological Science Laboratory Apparatus in the Teaching of Biology in Senior Secondary Schools; A Study of Selected Secondary Schools in Ijebu Ode, Ogun Statein order to determine their effects on students achievement in Senior Secondary School Biology
1.2 Statement of the problem
The study and mastery of Biology is a major objective of Nigeria education. The achievement of this objectives requires the concern of both the government and private owners of schools in collaboration with classroom teachers. There is a great need for proper provision and Biology science Laboratory Apparatus in the Teaching of Biology also utilization of instructional materials in order to achieve the objective of the emphasis laid on theimportance of biological science laboratory apparatus in the teaching of biology in senior secondary schoolsat all levels of our educational system.
Provision and improvisation of Biology science Laboratory Apparatus and their proper utilization in delivering instructional on biology lesson, undoubtedly will improve the teaching and learning outcome of the subject and the learners.
Despite the consensus on the importance and place of biology in teaching of Biology, there is a glaring absence of these materials and poor utilization by teachers. The resultant effects of the absence of these Biology science Laboratory Apparatus and their poor utilization on students include mass failure in Biology examination in most schools.
The problem of this study therefore is the extent of the importance of biological science laboratory apparatus in the teaching of biology in senior secondary schools; a study of selected secondary schools in ijebu ode, ogun state. In other words, are the biological science laboratory apparatus in the teaching of biology in public secondary schools availability and utilized?
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