AN INVESTIGATION INTO COMMON ERRORS IN BASIC SCIENCE

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Nigeria as a developing nation works to achieve fast development and growth in science and technology to boost its economy. Investments are made in various fields including science education, which can be actualized by giving quality education to its citizens. Shaibu (2014) defines science as a complex human activity that leads to the production of a body of universal statements called laws, theories, or hypothesis which serve to explain the observable behavior of the universe or part of it and which in themselves have predictive characteristics. Also, Sulaiman (2014) sees science as a product (a body of knowledge) a process (a way of conducting enquiry) and an enterprise (the institutionalized pursuit of knowledge of the material world). Alao(2010) suggests that science teachers should be aware of certain rules which facilitate the selection of approaches of imparting knowledge to pupils. Thus, Alao (2010) observed that in selecting the methodology for a science lesson the science teachers should consider among other things innovative teaching strategies to enhance pupils‟ academic performance in the subject. General Science was introduced to Nigerian schools between 1957 and 1969.The Russians lunched their space ship, the Sputnik in 1957, while the Americans put the first man on the moon in 1969.According to Balogun (1990) science was taught in Nigerian schools as Nature Study or Rural Science. At the junior secondary school, science was taught in an uncoordinated manner with various parts of Nigeria operating at different levels, some used Hygiene, Health Education or Nature Study. The first publication of the Nigerian Integrated 2 Science Project (NISP) was in 1970. This however faced many problems because there were no qualified teachers to teach science. In recognition of such inadequacies, the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2014) stressed that the aims of Basic Science Education should include among others, laying a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking, developing in the pupils the ability to adapt to his/her environment and giving the pupils opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable him/her to function effectively in the society. Balogun (1990) stated that as a result of the world wide curriculum reforms and in recognition of the changing needs of the Nigerian students, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) invited Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to review science curriculum. This led to the setting up of subject panels that developed curriculum in various science subjects which came up with the unified curriculum of subjects called Integrated Science which was offered at Junior Secondary Schools level. It is worth noting that the teaching of Integrated Science as a subject, after the curriculum reform of 1969 continued until the decision of the Federal Government to introduce the 9-year Basic Education in 2005 (FRN, 2004) for which the Basic Science curriculum was developed. Integrated Science curriculum is now a revised curriculum for science which is now called Basic Science,it is the grassroots science pupils come in contact with at their first 3 years in secondary school. Basic Science by conception and definition emphasized on the content as well as the process of science, development of mental skill, acquisition of appropriate motor capabilities and the evolution of positive attitude among others. According to Oludipe (2014), Basic Science is the foundation that prepares pupils for future learning and study of science subjects like Chemistry, Physics and Biology at the Senior Secondary 3 School level. This means, for a student to be able to study single science subjects at the senior class, such a student must perform well in Basic Science at the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE). In addition, Basic Science lays emphasis on inquiry into nature in the environment through the use of activity based method of teaching. Therefore, the use of guided inquiry/ demonstration method of teaching and learning are applied in the activities prescribed under each topic in the textbook

AN INVESTIGATION INTO COMMON ERRORS IN BAhttps://jollertexcomputer.com.ng/index.php/2019/12/20/trend-of-students-enrolment-in-agricultural-science-in-colleges-of-education/SIC SCIENCE

Statement of the Problem

Basic science is the first three years‟ foundation science at the Upper Basic level of the secondary school meant to prepare students for subsequent learning of science at the senior secondary school level and future courses in science. It is an important basis for the success or failure of the science core subjects at the senior secondary level. For instance, Inekwe (1984) in Error Analysis in the Solution Process of Literal Equations in Mathematics; Falalu (2015) on Identification of Errors in Physics and Efficacy of a Remediation Package andLawal (1995) Error analysis in Practical Biology. Also, Abdulkarim (2011) on Remediation of Errors in the Presentation and Interpretation of Topographical Maps in Geography and Melle (1996) in Chemistry. These researchers concentrated on identifying error- types and determination of possible relation between error frequency and students‟ performance in their various fields of study. There was no attempt to design a remediation to reduce the frequency and types of errors committed by students more especially in upper Basic Science except for Abdulkarim (2011) and Falalu (2015) who designed remediation package on their field of study. The problem of failure to identify types of errors and misconceptions by Science educators and Basic Science teachers at Upper Basic level and designing its remediation to address the errors could still keep the level of students‟ understanding of Basic Science concepts at a low level and thus increase the chance of committing errors in Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

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Updated: 21st December 2019 — 7:05 pm

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