THE IMPACT OF QUESTIONING PREFERENCE ON STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Chemistry as one of the physical sciences deals with the nature of matter; its properties and its changes in different conditions. Chemistry according to Zohar (2004) should be studied to improve man‘s knowledge and enhance his understanding of his environment for his survival. The subject as shown by Ezeliora (2010) is at the core of every technology that is enjoyed today. According to Ezeliora, (2010) the power of chemical science creates as a whole an enabling infrastructure that delivers food, medicine and materials which are the hallmarks of modern life. Today its significance as a core subject in the study of medicine, several technologically based courses, pharmacy and engineering is indisputably important as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2008). Therefore, Chemistry education has a fundamental role to play in providing solution to several technological and socio-economic issues confronting man as well as improve scientific literacy (Neshitt-Hawes, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010). Chemistry has also been perceived by students at the various level of the educational sector particularly in secondary school as very difficult to understand (Ezeliora 2003). Majority of the students perceived Chemistry as a body of isolated facts to be memorized, lacking relevance to reality which has led to lack of interest in it by students (Ezeliora 2003). For many students, Chemistry is first a classroom affair. Echodain Ezeliora (2010) revealed that very rarely do students know that the acid work in the Chemistry laboratory is found in the farm, at home and at play. This wrong perception of Chemistry by students has resulted in low entrance by students into Chemistry and Chemistry related courses both at the secondary school and tertiary level of studies, and of course performance has not been encouraging either (Zohar, 2004; Aksela, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010). Of the many factors responsible for 2 students attitude and low performance in Chemistry, there are a few that have not attracted much attention. One of this is the inability of the Chemistry teacher to design, determine and enhance students‘ cognitive questioning preference. This was attributed to the constant use of lecture method, which has continued to conceal this basic fact, by emphasizing rote learning (Zoller, 2001 & Zohar, 2004)

Statement of the Problem

Teachers employmethods that enable them cover their syllabuses, in most cases not paying attention to the students, especially in terms of ability of the students. Over the years, performances of students in chemistry have been reported by Abdulhamid, (2010) to be very poor. According to them the high rate of failure in chemistry is most disturbing. Also Zohar (2004) acknowledged that there is general poor performance in the science particularly in chemistry. Anderson and Krathwohl, (2001) and Aksela (2005) revealed a significant high rate of failure in chemistry, reasons given to explain the situation is the method of teaching employed by the teachers which always neglect the learners. Felder and Brent (2005) and Usman (2006), showed that the prevailing method used by most teachers in Nigerian schools is the lecture method. According to them, this method does not allow active participation by the student in the lessons and this leads to memorization and regurgitation of facts and concepts by students without the basic understanding of these concepts

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Updated: 8th January 2020 — 2:27 pm

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