THE IMPACT OF INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGY IN INCORPORATING LOCAL PRACTICES ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ INTEREST AND ACHIEVEMENT IN CHEMISTRY
Background of the study
Chemistry as a course of study is perceived generally to be very interesting, vast, mathematical and experimental Almost all aspect of life science, both living and nonliving has something to do with chemistry, ranging from engineering to mathematics, biology, physics. Chemistry is one of the pre-requisite subjects for the study of engineering, technological, medical and other applied science courses in the university the study of chemistry has been and will remain of tremendous importance to mankind because it is capable of explaining natural phenomenon and everyday occurrences. The implication of this is that Nigeria cannot develop technologically if the subject Chemistry is not taught effectively in our secondary schools. In spite of the Federal Government’s efforts in trying to promote the teaching of chemistry in our secondary schools by providing science equipment, employing chemistry teachers and even sending chemistry teachers on in-service training, Chemistry achievement still remains deplorable. This has resulted in poor performance of students in the subject. The poor performance of students in the West African School Certificate Examination as confirmed by the West African Examination Council Chief Examiners report (2000-2009) has caused concern to many well-informed Nigerians. This has led many researchers in chemistry education to search for the cause of this poor achievement in the subject and possible solutions to this problem. One of the objectives of science education is to develop students’ interest towards science and technology. The development of any nation today depends on its technological and scientific advancement. Teachers are expected to device ways of motivating their students to develop positive attitudes towards science and science related disciplines (Sola and Ojo, 2007). Instructional strategies are techniques teachers use to help students become independent, strategic learners. These strategies become learning strategies when students independently select the appropriate ones and use them effectively to accomplish tasks or meet goals.
Bello, et al (2002) opined that interest has a lot to do, if there is going to be a meaningful improvement in the teaching and learning process of chemistry. Together with many other authors it is believed that developing interest in a topic is an important pre-condition for self-directed learning as well as an important goal for school learning with regard to life-long learning, out-of-school behaviour and choice of profession. Since 1965, Herbert modern pedagogy has emphasized the value of interest not only as a means, but as an educational end in itself. Modern interest research has confirmed Herbart conception, and that interest-based motivation to learn has positive influence both on the studying process and on the quantity and quality of learning outcomes (Hidi, & Renningerand Krapp, 2004).
Chemistry is the science that systematically studies compositions, properties of organic and inorganic substance and various elementary forms of matter (Nnoli,2011). Chemistry education has been identified to be one of the major bedrock for the transformation of national economy and hence must be given adequate attention due to the gains of learning and advancement of science education (Lawrence and Abraham, 2011). According to Sunday, (2009) opined that it is also an international enterprise which plays a key role in the future progress of mankind. Asiyai (2015) reported that chemistry has helped in the development of modern technology through the application of its principle in modern invention. Generally, science is a powerful tool for nation development, it is this realization that chemistry curriculum had to adjust her academic knowledge, technical and vocational skills (Ikwanusi, 2011). Anioh (2012) defined science as a way of investigating and a body of established knowledge.
Identifying the best teaching method remains a challenge for most teachers today. Teachers desire to seek out effective and efficient ways of teaching: this has continued to derive researchers towards finding techniques to facilitate teaching especially Chemistry because most of the concepts are complex and abstract in nature. These views suggest that the mastery of Chemistry might not be fully achieved without the use of materials appeal to senses.
Shymansky and Kyle (2008) were of the view that instructional strategy includes the materials, media, setting and behaviour the teacher uses to create an environment to produce an influence. As a result, the achievement of the instructional goals and the choice of suitable teaching strategies are not separate. Erdem (2012) emphasizes four features of teaching strategies. First, teaching strategies should improve a student’s predisposition to learning by increasing the desire for studying and understanding new situation. Second teaching strategies should be structured to help learners rapidly capture the information distributed through the instruction, and develop learner’s abilities in assimilating and using knowledge possessed. Third, teaching strategies should be sequenced in the most effective manner so that students can comprehend new knowledge by applying their prior experiences.
Different teaching strategies will lead to varied instructional outcomes and an instructor can choose for himself or herself strategies which are appropriate to his or her intension in teaching. A particular strategy may be better than another one for a given purpose. Yet a single strategy may not be applicable for all students and all types of subject matter. Consequently, the selection of strategies should be in accord with an individual population of students and the particular subject matter. The choice of strategies and tactics relies upon the selected learning activities and thus “the key to (teaching) method is to bring about the desired learning in students by selecting the proper strategies and tactics and consequently the proper content and techniques”. According to Nbina and Obamamu (2011) teachers should match how to teach with what and to whom to teach, in developing a variety of methods for facilitating student achievement of determined outcomes. Agboola and Oloyede (2007) also emphasizes that for effective instruction, a science teacher must able to use several science teaching methods and to implement them where they are applicable and most effective.
Statement of the Problem
There was a great deviation by the Chemistry teachers for using instructional strategies in teaching Chemistry. Several factors are known to have negatively impacted the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in Schools. It was observed that many students at this level perceives Chemistry as a difficult subject and hence run away from.
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