EFFECT INFLUENCE OF IMPROVISATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND EFFECTIVE TEACHING OF BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
1.1 Background of the Study
Science is the bedrock on which modern day technological breakthrough is hinged. Different authors according to their own understanding have defined Science. Igwe (2013) defined science as a systematic study of the nature of the behaviour of the material and physical universe through observation, experimentation, measurement and recording. In addition, Esu (2014) defined science as a systematic, precise, objective way to study the natural world. Science is often an exciting and satisfying enterprise that requires creativity, skill and insight based on this Fape (2007) defined science as rationally structured knowledge about nature, which embraces systematic methods of positive attitudes for its acquisition, teaching, learning and application.
Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools, (FRN, 2004). Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for further learning of a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, agriculture, pharmacy, etc. In contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is placed on science and technological development. As a result, students are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects. Today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavour, and plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. This is seen in all the technological advancement in the world today, which is because of scientific investigations. However, the issue remains that in most secondary schools in Nigeria, there is high rate of failure in the subject.
National policy on Education (2004) further stated that the provision and use of available instructional materials for teaching will lay a sound bases for scientific and reflective thinking among students. The real materials that are the conventional instructional materials are imported or factory made laboratory equipments for science teaching. Examples of conventional instructional materials are: microscope, herbarium, laboratory reagents, laboratory glassware, Bunsen burner, tripod stand.
However, if these conventional Instructional Materials are not available or inadequate, they can be locally made by using resources in the environment as alternative. These will include used electrical bulb for round bottom flask; beverage tins for convex and concave mirror; juices of unripe orange as acid, solution of ash from wood as base, candle or stove as burner, teaspoon for spatula (Okebukola, 2006). Improvised instructional materials may not be identical with the conventional one; therefore teachers should be skilful in their handling and using them (Igwe, 2003). Improvisation requires a considerable development through imaginative planning and good knowledge.
According to Ajayi (2004), improvisation is the provision of alternatives to real things. Improvisation is the making of substitutes when the real equipment or material is not adequate or available (Okebukola, 2002). It is the art of providing and using alternative materials or resources in the absence of the real or factory made one. Oyediran (2010) also defines improvisation as the art of using materials or equipment obtained from local environment or produced by the teacher, and with the assistance of the local personnel to enhance instruction. In other to teach by inquiry method or use activity based instructions, improvisation is required since instructional materials seem not to be adequate (Okebukola, 2012).
Bassey (2012) defined improvisation as the process of making equipment and materials by the students or by engaging the services of others in the absence of real or manufactured ones. Generally, improvisation of instructional materials is an attempt to adapt and make use of local resources in the teaching/learning process when the ready- made materials are not available or are in shortfall or not within the reach of users. The teacher and the students could produce the improvised instructional materials.
Improvisation is a technique of originating a very new tool, instrument, materials, device or modifying existing ones for serving a particular purpose. Improvisation of instructional materials in secondary schools for teaching/learning purposes cannot be over- emphasized. To be able to promote quality instruction in our school system, there is the need to pay attention to improvisation of instructional materials in the teaching/learning process. It is against this background that the study sought to find out the influence of improvisation of instructional materials and effective teaching of biology in secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Evidence from the studies reviewed shows that failure rate in Biology at senior certificate examinations is high. This could be attributed to a number of factors; one of such factors is lack or total absence of instructional materials. In teaching and learning, instructional materials play a key role towards concretizing learning. Instructional materials make learning meaningful and help to improve students’ academic achievement. However these advantages of instructional materials have not reflected in the education system because of the dearth of these instructional materials in our schools. Hence, the need for alternative instructional materials called improvisation.
Biology is resource intensive, and in an era of poor funding or scarcity of resources, it may be very difficult to find some of the original materials and equipment for the teaching of Biology in schools adequately, improvisation becomes the next option. Studies have shown the importance of improvisation in teaching of Biology in schools. All these studies used conventional instructional materials, but there have not been studies specifically on the effect of teaching in school’
This study therefore, is geared towards finding out if the use of students’ improvised instructional materials could bring a solution to the problem of effective teaching of Biology. Hence, the problem of this study is therefore posed as a question; what is the effect of students improvised instructional materials on effective teaching of Biology in Secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area?
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effect influence of improvisation of instructional materials and effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
This study specifically sought to determine:
- The influence of improvised instructional materials and conventional materials on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology
- find out influence of gender on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using improvised instructional materials
- the influence of school location on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using students improvised instructional materials
1.4 Significance of the Study
The result of this finding will be of great benefit to students, teachers and educational stakeholders in the following ways:
The study will be useful to classroom teachers, curriculum planners, students, researchers and parents. For teachers they will be better informed on how to help and guide their students on better way of producing improvised materials with local resources where standardized materials are unavailable or inadequate. The teachers can also engage students to do some of the illustrations during Biology instructions.
This study will help to develop problem solving skill in students and will also help students to be more resourceful during lessons. The study could be beneficial to curriculum planners who would design functional curriculum by taking into considerations students-teachers improvised instructional materials.
The findings of this study, if discussed in workshops and seminars will guide the choice of improvised instructional materials used in the teaching/learning process in Biology and other subject areas. The findings of this study will equally help to alleviate the problem of the scarcity of instructional materials for biology teaching/learning.
The results of the study could provide information to researchers interested in working on student-teachers improvised materials in other subject areas. This may help them to get more information on the efficacy of improvisation, especially researchers in the area of science and technology. Parents will be better informed on how to encourage and help their wards to produce improvised materials. This may be in form of sourcing local materials and providing fund for those that cannot be found in their environment.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide this study:
- What are the mean achievement scores of students taught Biology using improvised instructional materials and those taught using conventional instructional materials?
- What is the influence of gender on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using improvised instructional materials?
- What is the influence of school location on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using student’s improvised instructional
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following research questions will guide this study:
- There is no significant difference between mean achievement scores of students taught Biology using improvised instructional materials and those taught using conventional instructional materials?
- There is no significant difference between genders on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using improvised instructional materials?
- There is no significant difference between school location on students’ mean achievement scores in Biology when taught using student’s improvised instructional
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The researcher encountered some limitation to the scope of the study
- Availability of Research Materials:
The researcher limited the study to ten schools with availability of instructional materials.
- Time: the time frame allocated for the study could not enhance wider courage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
- Finance: there was dearth of finance on the side of the researcher there by limiting the scope of the study to selected primary schools in the study area.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study is on the effect of improvisation of instructional materials and effective teaching of biology in secondary schools in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area.
1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
Instructional Materials: these are tools or devices used by a teacher to motivate learners and for clarity of abstract concept in a lesson.
Teaching: this is a process of helping a person to learn.
I am Prince Stephen. The admin of nairaschool.com.ng. I’m a passionate writer, editor and an experienced educational blogger who writes articles on education, educational research and school news. I based in Afaha Nsit, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.