1.1 Introduction

Science has been defined by various authors Pindar and Sale (2002) define science as Product theories, laws, principles concepts. Process of science-involving observation, classification measurement, inference, prediction, experimentation, hypothesizing as well as attitude humility, honesty and curiosity. Science consists of Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. Biology as a Science subject according to Anene (1999) is a life science that deals with plants and animals, their structure, function, growth, and their relationships with environment. It is a subject that permeates all other sciences and explains the fundamentals of every living organism. The knowledge of biology enables students to understand the structure and function of the different parts of the body, the environment in which they live in and how best to conduct themselves therein (Ramalingam, 1999). Osisioma (2005) observes that biology education establishes the fundamental relationship between man and his environment and best working relation. For instance, biology can best solve the problems associated with population growth resource depletion, pollution, food shortages, desertification, and all forms of technological impact on the environment. Biology is very important at all levels of education. The role of biology has been identified as enshrined in the National Policy of Education (FME, 2004} for all levels of education. According to Esiobu and Soyibo, (1995), and Umeh, (2002) teaching/learning of biology must be relevant to the child’s environment such as problem of biodiversity conservation and desertification among others. It is dynamic with new elements like desertification, biodiversity conservation, pollution, erosion global warming. Desertification encroaches at an alarming rate at the frontiers of Northern Nigeria particularly at the North Eastern zone where this research 2 is carried out (Gbamanja, 1999). Environmental sustainability is threatened for both the flora and fauna within this area. Despite this, teachers do not seem to bother by way of effectively impacting environmental education relating to desertification and biodiversity conservation (Gbamaja 1999). According to Gbamaja (1999) Nigeria environmental problems include soil degradation, water pollution, soil waste disposal and desertification. According to Anene (2009) the population of students, offering biology in most cases are disproportionate to the number of teachers handling them. Many researchers including Balogun (1982) in Soyibo and Ezeiroma (1987) have shown that student’s academic achievement to a large extent is affected by the quality, inadequacy and dedication of teachers and the negative attitude of students towards biology. Ndu (1999) opines that the science laboratories are inadequately equipped and the facilities for teaching and learning are inadequate, even though the present condition of large classes can hardly be implicated for adverse effect on students academic performance (Alonge, 1995, Haddad 1990), yet they are difficult to manage and limit students practical activities because the materials cannot go round. Based on this, teachers resort to the use of lecture method leading to poor performance as observed by (Jegede & Okebukola 1991, Obe 1998, Kibikiwa, 1998). Teachers have used conventional methods to teach ecological concepts like biodiversity conservation and densification over the years. However, a lot of other methods like inquiry, discovery, demonstration, collaborative learning, field trip strategy, concept mapping etc abound with teachers taking no advantage of them. Lecture method cannot bridge the lacuna existing between the abstract concept of biodiversity conservation and desertification discussed in the classroom and the reality of life in the deserts. Collaborative constructivism on the other hand has the potential of providing the necessary experience and 3 interaction with the environment in an outdoor laboratory to enhance effective and meaningful learning (Ausubel, 1967). According to (Haruna, 1992, Okebukola 1997) and Environmental Consultancy and Projects Management (ECPM 2006), in spite of the numerous teaching strategies propounded to cope with the in various curriculum structure for schools, most teachers still adopt the traditional chalk and talk approach. According to Dallatu (2008), lecture method does not give students opportunity to participate in lesson process by learning of science Nwagbo (2005) opines that effectiveness in biology teaching is necessary in order to cope with the large number of students offering the course at the various level of education.

Statement of the Problem

Several studies such as that of Akpan (1993), Okoye and Sam, (2010) have been carried out in order to improve the teaching and learning of biology. Despite this, the inadequacy of laboratories facilitates, – teaching materials, inadequately trained teachers and poor teaching methods have impacted on the educational enterprises resulting in persistent failure in biology at various examinations such as Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE).It was particularly noted by Ivowi and Soyibo (1984. The Chief EFFECTS OF COLLABORATIVhttps://jollertexcomputer.com.ng/index.php/2019/07/13/the-effects-of-unqualified-teachers-in-teaching-biology-in-secondary-school/E TEACHING METHOD ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGYexaminer of WAEC reported in 2009 that performances of biology students were poor and recommended that activity based method of instruction be used for teaching biology. In addition, the WASC biology examination results are poor and appear to be on the decline WACE Chief report (2009, 2010 & 2011) and have called for attention to this issue of poor performance to be addressing using actively child Centred method of instruction such as collaborative constructivism teaching method advocated by (Nwachukwu& Nwosu, 2010). Therefore, this study intends to investigate the effect of collaborative constructivism on the academic achievement of NCE Biology students with different cognitive styles. This is with a view to enhancing meaningful learning and teaching of biology to enhance and improve their performance.

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Updated: 23rd December 2019 — 5:34 am

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