EFFECTS OF INQUIRY AND LABORATORY METHODS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY
1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the only wealth which cannot be robbed. It builds both internal and outer
personality and character, strengthens people‟s mind and augments their pool of
knowledge. The process of education aims at the all-round development of individuals,
dispelling ignorance and enhancing the moral values in a society, thus working towards a collective well-being. Science education on the other hand helps students adjust to
technological devices that affect their daily lives.
Science has been defined as the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence (British Science Council (BSC) 2009). Science can be said to be a human endeavour geared towards the development and comfort of the modern world. The foundation of this development is the primary and secondary school where the young scientists are groomed. Science in this way can be seen as the hub unto which development and progress of any nation depends. In general, science contributes towards improving the quality of life. It can therefore be asserted that science makes numerous contributions to healthy living. Therefore, it is important that effective ways are sought to provide for the effective teaching and learning of science in schools both for individual and national scientific development.
Statement of the Problem
This study intends to determine the effects of laboratory and inquiry methods of teaching
compared withthe lecture method on students‟ academic performance in Chemistry in
secondary schools.Poor performance of students in Chemistry is increasing like in other
science subjects. This has been attributed to many reasons and one of the outstanding ones is that poor method of teaching militates against its effective learning by the students.
Chemistry as a subject aims at equipping learners with diverse skills, competencies and
creativity needed to provide opportunities for wealth creation. These aims will remain a
mirage if chemistry teachers do not incorporate the right methodologies needed for an
engaged chemistry interactive classroom that will enhance performance of students in
chemistry. Improvement on the method of teaching Chemistry was looked into in this
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