EFFECTIVENESS OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF ECONOMICS IN PUBLIC SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instructional materials in teaching and learning of economics in public secondary schools in Onitsha. Four research questions and one hypothesis were formulated. 100 respondents composed of 10 permanent economics teachers and 90 students SS2 (Science classes) were selected through simple random sampling technique. Questionnaire and teacher-made test achievement were used to collect relevant data Simple percentage was used to analyze the research questions while T-test was used to test the null hypothesis. The study revealed that there is a positive significant difference between the mean performance of students taught with instructional materials and the mean performance of students taught without instructional materials. It was recommended that all players in the educational system should make ceaseless efforts towards encouraging and sustaining the procurement, production, storage and utilization of educational media in teaching and learning of economics in our secondary schools.
Chapter One Introduction
Background of the Study
Generally speaking, every human activity has certain targets which it ought to pursue, and possibly achieve. Becker (2001) observed that 'economic education focuses on two main themes or ideals:
a. current state of, and effort to improve the economics curriculum, materials and pedagogical techniques used to teach economics at all educational level;
b. research into the effectiveness of alternative instructional techniques in economics, the level of economic literacy of various groups, and factors that influence the level of economic literacy.
In Nigeria, however, a fundamental framework of economics has been-laid at the secondary school, not just for those intending to pursue a career in economics, but more generally as a part of educational foundation which every student should posses before leaving school. Kene (2006) indicated that economics education in secondary schools is expected to equip the students in fundamental areas of intellectual training, vocational skills, cultural values, citizenship training, tools for the analysis of situation, and national interest for development. But, the optimal achievement of the above \ goals or even objectives, depend largely on the appropriate application of teaching methods, techniques, materials and relevant skills. The place of instructional
materials among other teaching resources cannot be over emphasized. This is because it dictates the method, techniques or even skills to be adopted, in order to facilitate the achievement of instructional objectives. In the same way, Meze (2003) posited that as more, economics deals with concepts and abstract ideas, the use of appropriate instructional materials go a long way to up-grade the learners' experience and facilitate understanding and internalization.
On the contrary, inappropriate administration of instructional materials is capable of jeopardizing the entire instructional objectives. Onyejekwe (2006) argued that the set goals may not be reached by the teacher, if he fails to choose and correctly use appropriate resources in teaching. This is interpreted to mean that any economics teacher, who chooses wrong teaching aids for a particular lesson, has failed completely in achieving the set objectives. However, the question that strikes the mind at this juncture is what does it profit the teaching learning process, if its instructional objectives are not achieved, as a result of wrong choice of teaching tools by the teacher?
However, taking cognizance of the fact that the targeted instructional objectives of a particular lesson is capable of being derailed by inappropriate use or even non- use of instructional materials in teaching-learning processes, it becomes relevant that this kind of research topic be properly brought to book. Hence, adequate analysis on how to appropriately choose, adopt, improve, and apply the available teaching-learning resources towards realizing set instructional objectives, becomes invaluable.
Based on the foregoing issues, the thrust of this research work is to study how appropriate application of relevant instructional materials could result
into effectiveness in the teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools, especially in Onitsha as a facet of Nigeria's Educational System.
Statement of the Problem
Teaching and Learning of economics have been seriously frustrated in recent time (Mbionwu, Onioniwu and Udekaigbo, 2007). This is attributed to the fact that it is difficult to translate the ideas of some economics concept and theories into visual practical realities. Teachers are being accused of not teaching with the use of instructional tools which has culminated in poor performance of students, especially in external examinations. Due to this, most students now rely so much on examination malpractices to succeed in such examinations as: West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO), National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) and Universal Tertiary and Matriculation Examination (UTME). This problem is compounded by the use of unsuitable teaching aids such as out-dated textbooks, parroting in place of improvisation or even emphasis on teaching - learning resources that need electricity. The inadequate supply of teaching aids by government cum the poor supervision of teachers' compliance to instructional materials usage, especially during teaching-learning encounter has degenerated the situation, that is, poor performance of students in Onitsha Educational Zone. More so, most teachers who are not well acquainted with the skills on how to use the instructional aids end-up making the lesson more abstract, than reality. For instance, some teachers in our secondary schools who have Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) at the expense of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) might not have acquired relevant skills on how to appropriately use the instructional materials in teaching-learning process, even at students' jeopardy. It becomes obvious; they are capable of degrading the quality of
our educational system. However, one begins to wonder, whether the educational authorities, and teacher in Onitsha are not aware of the perceived questions posed by the poor standard of students performance in economics. Based on the above problems,
1. Do teacher not know that they could source for relevant teaching-learning materials from their immediate environment?
2. What factors are responsible for the choice of instructional materials needed to achieve instructional Objectives?
3. Do instructional materials usages help to improve students' performance in economics, especially in Onitsha Educational Zone?
4. Does any difference exist between students taught with instructional materials and students taught without instructional materials?
The above questions are what this study tends to provide modest answers for.
Purposes of the Study
The purposes of this study included the following:
a. To determine the extent of economics teachers' involvement in the improvisation of economics teaching-learning resources;
b. To determine the factors that influences the choice of instructional materials in teaching and learning of economics;
c. To investigate the effectiveness of instructional materials teaching and learning of economics in secondary schools Onitsha;
a. To determine the impact of use or non-use of instructional materials on the performance of economics students.
Significance of the Study
Undoubtedly, this investigation is going to be of immense benefit in the following ways:
⦁ Teachers in the field of economics would be acquainted with the \ prerequisites for the selection of instructional materials for teaching - learning encounter;
⦁ Teachers would be exposed to those topics in economics which instructional materials could be provided using locally sourced materials;
⦁ Students stand to benefit, as their performance is expected to improve, if economics teachers start using teaching-learning resources appropriately;
⦁ Government is provided with a more reliable information, which would enable her formulate economics curriculum that is well rooted in the use of instructional materials;
⦁ Moreover, it will provide an avenue for further researches, which most educational institutions would fine indispensible, especially the Nigeria Educational Research Development Commission (NERDC).
Scope of the Study
This study was carried out within Onitsha North Local Government Area, and did not go beyond it.
To guide our focus on this study, the following research questions were formulated:
1. To what extent do economics teachers get involved in improvisation of instructional materials in teaching and learning of economics in Onitsha North Local Government School?
2. What are the factors that determine the choice of instructional materials in teaching and learning of economics?
3. Is the use of instructional materials in teaching and' learning of \ economics effective in achieving the desired instructional objectives, i.e., improved performance of students in economics?
4. What differences exist between the performance of students taught with instructional materials and students' performance taught without instructional materials?
This study is further guided by this hypothesis, in relation to the number four (4) purpose of this research work:
Ho1: The mean score of students' performance taught with instructional materials is equal to the mean score of students' performance taught without instructional materials..