EFFECT OF AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES ON STUDENT’S PERFORMANCE ON SCIENCE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background to the Study
Scienceeducationimparts a method of inquiry and a systematic way of processing knowledge about the physical world to the learners. For this reason, science education provides part of the foundation for any knowledge-based effort to improve health, nutrition, family planning, environmental, agriculture, and industry.
Science education has two broad purposes. The first purpose is to promote scientific literacy among citizens on matters directly affecting their own lives and the society so that they can make decisions based on information and understanding. This is essential for thesustainable developmentof a modern, technological society. The second purpose is to build up technological capability by equipping the future workforce with essential science-based knowledge and skills, and by preparing students for scientific disciplines in higher education and science-related careers. Given the potential benefits, the provision of quality science education to all children will have far reaching consequences on a country's development prospect.
Practical activities in science education are regarded as one of the necessary elements to promote understanding of scientific principles. To accomplish this goal, the equipment and experiment have to be carefully selected to give students the relevant experiences that they may need. The understanding is enhanced if the examples are coming from the daily life of the students.
Provision of relevant equipment is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for successful science teaching. Other factors such as pre-service and in-service teacher training, technical and educational suitability of equipment, distribution, maintenance and supply of consumable instructional materials influence the quality of practical activities.
Science teaching and learning requires the intensive application of resources that would appeal to all the senses of perception to improve the effectiveness of instruction as well as maximize learning. Ige, (2000) stated that science teaching and learning can only be meaningful and effective if backed up by the necessary resources to enrich instruction. Other researchers have revealed that resources are potent tools, which could be used to effectively communicate science, while enriching the learning experiences of the learners (Ango 2002, & Ngoka, 2000).
School environment has been described as an organization where resources are produced, managed and organized in such a way that enables the students to acquire desirable learning competencies. The process of managing and organizing resources is called resource utilization. The utilization of resources brings about fruitful learning since it stimulates senses as well as motivating them. Denyer (2005) in his study on science games in the United Kingdom reported that games when used as a resource enable less able children to stay on task and remain motivated for longer period.
The instructional resource brings desired improvement in teaching and learning processes by making it effective to the maximum, for cognitive, affective and psychomotor aspects of the learners. It also makes the classroom teaching easy, clear, interesting and scientific. But unfortunately these resources are not available in many secondary schools and those schools where they are available; the teachers are not interested in proper utilization of the available resources (Adetayo 2008). It is presumed that availability and proper utilization of instruction resource materials improved the performance and the output of the educational institutions. This is the reason why science teaching can only be effective when adequate and relevant instructional resources are used (Afolabi, Adeyanju, Adedapo & Falade, 2006).
Akpochafo (2003) defined resources to include “man, machine, students, materials, brains and money” which are to be planned, organized, directed, controlled and coordinated to achieve better teaching. While Achimugu (2005) categorized instructional resources into two categories- Human and Non human. He referred human resources as human beings who directly or indirectly contribute to the achievement of STM educational objectives. These include; the learner/student, laboratory technicians/assistants and the teachers. While non human instructional resources includes pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, chalkboard, sketches, atlas and painting, textbooks, encyclopedias, magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.
According to Adedayo (2000), and Afolabi (2006) resources for teaching and learning science are not available in most of the secondary schools in Nigeria. Nakashima (2000) reported that, where the materials are available, selection and organization becomes a problem.
There are persisting problems of unqualified and inexperience science teachers and lack of proper funding of schools and improper motivation of teachers by the government. This may probably have contributed to the poor performance of teachers in the discharge of their duties. It has therefore become necessary to find out the effect of the availability and utilization of instructional resources on secondary school students performance in science in Sokoto state.
The main goals of science education are to develop understanding of scientific principles by applying method of scientific inquiry, prepare students to make responsible decision concerning science related issues and inform students about possible science careers (Bybee, Carlson Powell & Trownbridge, 2007). To reach these goals, different learning environment, teaching approaches and methods are important factors to consider. In many studies, attitudes have been found to play an important role in learning such as enjoyment of science, belief on the utility of science and self esteem at science are factors that influence students academic performance.
Many research reports attributed poor performance of students in science to one of the following-
1. Untrained teachers are employed to teach
2. Lack of laboratories in schools.
3. Inadequacy of instructional resources or
4. Lack of knowledge and skills of using instructional resources while teaching etc..
The researcher believe that when adequate instructional resources are supplied to schools and the teachers have the knowledge and skills of selecting and using the appropriate instructional resources during teaching and learning process, the student’s academic performance will be enhanced. This is because teaching and learning science is a practical course requires the use of laboratory and equipment, therefore when learner come face to face with the teacher through the proper use of instructional resources the lesson is always effective. The abstract concepts will be clear to the students, the lesson will be interesting and meaningful at the same time students will retain what they have learnt. These would influence student’s academic performance positively (Anene, 2002). Also Ugwo (2005), stressing on the problems of effective utilization of instructional resources reported that untrained teachers are employed to teach in our secondary schools and colleges and due to insufficient training, many teachers do not recognize the potential of many simple teaching aids available or how to use them. This may cause poor performance of students in science, because students will not be able to acquire the necessary skills and attitude expected of them and also causes students having negative attitude toward science.
School science laboratory is considered a very important resource for science teaching. This is because the ultimate goal of any instructional activity includes the use of laboratory in order to facilitate effective teaching and meaningful learning through practicals. Therefore, laboratory is a paramount importance for proper translation and implementation of educational policies, curriculum, instructional resources and assessment of school outcomes. To this end, it has been a major reason why science curriculum objectives cannot be achieved unless and until practical activities are carried out in science teaching and learning. This is in line with the findings of Kamar (2007) who stated that, at its early days, the laboratory was used mainly to demonstrate or confirm some previously learnt information. With the shift of emphasis on science education from the acquisition of knowledge to the development of inquiry skills, however, this earlier accepted role of the laboratory in science teaching and learning was challenge and effectiveness of laboratory activities questioned. He asserted that laboratory is now regarded as the core of the science teaching and learning process inquiry oriented activities that enable students to learn the accepted body of knowledge. Indeed, laboratory helps students to carryout practical work, in using their mind and hands.
Practical work is the backbone of effective science teaching and learning. Alebiosu, (2003) emphasized that scientific enterprise is an activity packed one, involving continuous exploration and verification of facts, which is in line with the findings of Ogunkola and Olatoye, (2004) who opined that practical work should be based on investigations, which pupils plan and carry out. He further pointed out three elements of investigation as: (1) asking questions, predicting and hypothesizing, (2) observing, measuring and manipulating variables and (3) interpreting results and evaluating scientific evidences. Hence practical work in science, promote long term memory in students, enhances pupil development of the ethical dimension of science, instill the spirit of collaboration and active participation among learners, exposes learners to scientific experiences that could ultimately help them in developing scientific skills and attitudes, inculcate in the students the spirit of inquiry and scientific mode of thinking (Ogunkola & Olatoye, 2004).
Every school which runs a science laboratory is expected to set up an active committee which should manage the science laboratory effectively. The laboratory requires a competent personnel which included the laboratory technologists/technicians/assistant etc for the management and organization of laboratory effectively.
The functions of laboratory technologists/attendants are as follows:
1. Keeping benches and laboratory clean and tidy: cleaning and drying glass-wire, cleaning out the sink and drainage systems, and emptying main waste boxes daily.
2. Drafting orders for chemicals and apparatus. Checking supplies as they arrive
3. Oiling benches with linseed oil and turpentine or polishing benches.
4. Preparation of stock solutions for reagent bottles and standard solutions.
5. Keeping reagent bottles clean and setting up apparatus for demonstration and class experiments..
6. Replacing loosed or damaged levels on shelves, cardboards, and bottles and covering levels with burnish or wax.
7. Keeping of reagent bottles and chemicals in their correct places, periodic cleaning of metal stands, balance-fans, tungs, painting of retort etc.
8. Keeping the first aid box replenished and keeping record of accidents and treatment.
9. Assisting with visual aid preparation such as charts, diagrams etc and projection of film strips of films.
10. Looking after plants and the animals in the laboratory.
11. Ensuring all Bunsen turners are turned out, electricity and gas turned off and water tap left dropping.
12. Assist in duplicating of materials
According to Agwu (2002) Improvisation is the making or inventing of a piece of science teaching equipment in emergency. It is an essential part of laboratory management for the purpose of maximizing the use of the available resources.
Improvisation is describable in the following instances:
1. When the improvised material would improve the lesson effectiveness.
2. When the locally available materials are available for use.
3. When the improvised materials would serve the same function as the standardized one.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years, secondary school teachers attributed poor performance of students to non-availability of instructional resources for effective science teaching (Ivowi, 2000). The summary of the West African Examination Council (Waec) result for five (5) years (2009 – 2013) of the sampled schools indicated poor performance of students in physics, chemistry and biology (see appendix 10.). There are varieties of resources which the science teacher can use to enrich learning. These resources should be provided in quality and quantity in the classroom for effective teaching-learning process (Umeoduagu, 2000). Furthermore, research reports have shown that these materials are grossly unavailable in most schools. Few available ones are either inadequate or underutilized (Achimugu, 2005; Okebukola and Jegede, 2002). Teaching and learning could not be effective without adequate and relevant use of instructional resource materials (Grant, 2000). The instructional resources assist students in acquiring clear concept of subject matter, but the unavailability of instructional resources in teaching/learning science may lead to poor performance in science by school children. This is the reason why many teachers cite the unavailability of instructional resources in their schools as reason for not teaching the subject practically. The unavailability of instructional resources in most Nigerian schools have made science teachers not demonstrating phenomena let alone allow pupils to have the opportunity of finding out things for themselves (Ayodele,2000).
It has been noticed that less emphasis is placed on the provision and utilization of instructional resources for teaching and learning science in most secondary schools in Sokoto State. There is the problem of inadequate instructional resources in most of the secondary schools and also there is lack of knowledge and manipulative skills by most of the teachers on how to utilize instructional resources during teaching. These made the subjects very difficult to learn and also causes poor performance in science by the school children The main thrust of this study is to investigate effect of availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance on science in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are to:
i. find out the level of availability of instructional resources in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
ii. find out the degree to which science teachers utilize the available instructional resources in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
iii. find out the difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources between the schools with and those without available instructional resources on student’s performance in science in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
iv. find out the differences in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between male and female public senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
v. find out the differences in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between public and private senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
1.4 Research Questions
This study investigated the following research questions:
i. At what level are instructional resources available in Senior Secondary Schools in
ii. To what degree science teachers utilize the available instructional resources in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
iii. Is there any difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources between schools with and without adequate instructional resources on student’s
performance in science?
iv. Is there any difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between male and female students in public senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
v. Is there any difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between public and private senior secondary schools in Sokoto State?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested in this study:
1. There is no significant difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources between schools with and without adequate instructional resources on student’s performance in science.
2. There is no significant difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between male and female public senior secondary schools.
3. There is no significant difference in the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science between public and private senior secondary schools.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is of great significance to the teachers, students, curriculum planners, educational system and the society at large in so many respects which includes:
i. The study would help enhance teachers’ teaching effectiveness and productivity. This is in line with assertion of Ekwueme and Igwe (2001) who noted that it is only the teachers who will guarantee effective and adequate usage of instructional materials and thereby facilitate success. Consequently a teacher who makes use of appropriate instructional materials to supplement his teaching will help enhance students’ innovative and creative thinking as well as help them become plausibly spontaneous and enthusiastic. Oremeji (2002) supportively asserts that any teacher who takes advantage of these resources and learns how to use them correctly will find that they make almost an incalculable contribution to instruction. He further says that instructional materials are of high value in importing information, clarifying difficult and abstract concepts, stimulating thought, sharpening observation, creating interest and satisfying individual difference.
ii. To the students, the effective use of instructional materials would enable them to effectively learn and retain what they have learnt and thereby advancing their performance in the subject in question. This is because according to Nwadinigwe (2000), learning is a process through which knowledge, skills, habits, facts, ideas and principles are acquired, retained and utilized; and the only means of achieving this is through the use of instructional materials.
iii. The study is also significant to the educational system and society at large. This is because when teachers solidify their teaching with instructional materials and the learners learn effectively, the knowledge acquired will reflect in the society positively.
iv. The study helps examination bodies such as WAEC and NECO to understand that:
(a) Most of the Senior Secondary Schools have inadequate instructional resources for practical lessons. So, less emphasis should be given on topics with insufficient instructional resources when setting examination questions.
(b) It would enable the examination bodies to set practical questions on alternative basis.
v. The study helps the curriculum planners to know that the curriculum is not being implemented effectively and efficiently. The planners should endeavour to ensure that the teaching students receive is appropriate to their needs.
vi. The study is also significant to science based organizations such as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN). As it would enable them to organize seminars and workshops in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Inspectorate Department on the need to supply sufficient laboratory equipment as well as their utilization by science teachers.
1.7 Scope and Delimitations of the Study
This study is focused to determine the effect of the availability and utilization of instructional resources on student’s performance in science in senior secondary schools in Sokoto State. The study involves all SS2 students, science teachers, Laboratory facilities and the supply and utilization of instructional materials in Sokoto State Secondary Schools.
1.8 Operational Definition of Key Terms
The relevant terms below were operationally defined relative to their usage in this study.
§ Effect: This is the change (outcome) that is brought about in a person (s) or something by another person (s) or thing; that is the way in which an event, action or person changes someone or something.
§ Performance: This is regarded as the display of knowledge attained or skills, shown in the school subjects such achievements are indicated by test scores or by marks assigned by teachers. It is the school evaluation of students’ classroom work as quantified on the basis of marks or grades.
§ Utilization: The act of using something to achieve a purpose
§ Instructional Material: What the teacher uses to make the lesson more interesting and understandable.
§ Availability: Something that is ready to be used at any given time..