impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in Chemistry

IMPACT OF DISCUSSION AND INQUIRY TEACHING STRATEGIES ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN CHEMISTRY IN UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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ABSTRACT

This research was conducted to examine impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in Chemistry. The research design adopted for this study was a survey research design. A review of the related literature was used as a guide in establishing principles for the study. The population for this study was two thousand, eight hundred and ninety-seven (2,897) Chemistry Students from SS2 classes in the study area.

The sample size of two hundred (200) Chemistry students was randomly selected for the study. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT) was the main instrument for data collection. The data generated from the instruments were analyzed using independent t-test statistics.

The findings of the study revealed that there is a significant difference in academic performance of students taught Chemistry using inquiry teaching strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategies. It also revealed that there is a significant difference between academic performances of male students taught Chemistry using inquiry teaching strategy from that of female students.

 

Impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in Chemistry

CHAPTER ONE 

INTRODUCTION 

1.1 Background to the Study 

Chemistry as one of the science disciplines is indispensable to the scientific and technological development of any nation. The study of Chemistry has been and will remain of enormous benefit to man-kind because of the vivid explanation it gives on natural phenomena and everyday life occurrences. The role of Chemistry in technological and national development has been acknowledged the world-over. (Udofia & Udo, 2016). The teaching of Chemistry helps the students to comprehend the world around them and also better prepare them to improve on it.

Chemistry has been a very important science subject whose role in the development of a nation like Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. However, as important and significant as this subject is among its other likes of science subjects including Physics, Mathematics and Biology in the senior secondary school level of the nation, students have persistently, like in the aforementioned courses or subjects above, continued to perform poorly, considering the evaluations carried out by both internal and external examination bodies like WAEC and NECO.

The selection and usage of proper teaching strategies ensures the achievement of any instructional objective. Effective teaching strategies use in the presentation of lesson to help the students learn by ensuring the smooth delivery of the instructional phase or an entire course delivered. The various teaching methods used by the integrated science teachers have a major rule in class, particularly in the dissemination of information to students.

Robert (2014) pointed out that teaching methods comprises the principles and method used for instruction. The choice of teaching methods or strategies to be used depends largely on the information of skill that is being taught and it may also be influenced by the style, aptitude, skills and enthusiasm of the students.

Students’ poor performance has partly been ascribed to poor teaching strategies adopted by teachers (Jepketer, 2017; Jolif, 2018; Nghambi, 2014). For instance, in the delivery of the curriculum content in secondary schools, studies have revealed that secondary teachers including Chemistry teachers mostly rely on the conventional methods that are mainly lectures, and sometimes few demonstrations to convey ideas and facts in the teaching and learning process (Blyth, 2010; King’arru, 2014). In these methods, it was observed that teachers dominated the class during the instruction process by transferring the knowledge with little or without inputs from the students.

According to Essien (2012) teaching strategy is the method used to help students learn the desire course contents and be able to develop achievable goals in the future. Teaching strategies identify the different available learning methods to enable them develop the right strategies to deal with the target group.

Therefore, instructional strategy is the way an instructor chooses to convey information and facilitate learning. This as Unwaneiye (2014) explained, implies that instructional strategy comprises the principles and method used for instruction. The choice of using instruction strategy depends largely on the information or skills that is being taught and it may also be influenced by the learning style, aptitude, skills ability and enthusiasm of the students.

According to Stephens and Stephens (2015), discussion as a process of giving and talking, speaking and listening, describing and witnessing which helps expand horizons and foster mutual understanding. They explained further that it is only through discussion that Biology students can be exposed to new points of view and exposure increases understanding and renews motivation to continue learning.

Bridges (2013) noted that discussion method of teaching promotes academic performance of students in Biology, since it concerned with the development of knowledge, understanding or judgment among those students taking part in it. He believes that discussion is more serious than conversation because it requires to be both “mutually responsive” to the different views expressed by learners.

Dillion (2014) saw discussion method of teaching as an important way for students to affiliate with one another to develop the sympathies and skills that make participatory democracy possible. Abdu-Raheem (2010) recommended that as a matter of urgency, teachers of Chemistry should explore and use discussion method of teaching to promote knowledge to secondary school students.

Inquiry teaching strategy according to Aina, Adedoyin, Obilo and Ahmadu (2012), is a method of teaching in which the students find answers to questions, problems or riddles raised during the learning processes. It involves probing, finding out, investigating, analyzing, synthesizing, discovering, evaluating, questioning and thinking. They further stated that, for students to be meaningfully engaged in the inquiry, there is need for the teacher to practically involve them from the planning stage to the evaluative stage. This can be done by the students and the teacher by locating and gathering information from many sources like reading materials, audio materials, and specimen and community resources.

Similarly, Mezieobi, Fubara and Mezieobi (2008), describes inquiry method as an activity-oriented, thought- provoking creative method in which students, out of curiosity and on their own, or under the guidance of the teacher, probe, investigate, and interpret relevant issues and problems with a view to providing solution through reflective thinking and rational decision making which the method develops in the inquirer. They further asserts that the inquiry method involves the scientific method of identifying problems, formulating hypotheses, collecting relevant data to authenticate the data, drawing conclusions even if tentatively and developing generalizations, in the utilization of the inquiry method, the teacher or student may introduce a problem which may be difficult, controversial and investigation-oriented.

In order to guide inquiry through a clear definition of the problem, students are made to ask a number of questions related to the identified problem. Alternatively, the teacher should pose questions that would elicit answer or statements from the students and guide the inquiry.

According to Essien (2012) inquiry teaching methods is the method used to help students learn the desire course contents and be able to develop achievable goals in the future.

Adunola (2011) maintain that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching strategy hat take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered since good teaching among others factors play significant roles in enhancing performance, this study therefore attempt to find out the impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in chemistry.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The poor academic performance of student in Chemistry has become a serious problem to teachers, parents and educational stakeholders. The problem of student’s failure in the subject is attributed to number of factors among which include teacher’s method of teaching, student’s attitudes to learning, socio-economic background of parents, and peer influence among others.

Fadella (2010) opined that in determining student’s academic performance, the students themselves, the teachers, the school authorities, parents and the learning environment constitute to the academic performance of the students.

Unfortunately, it has been observed that students in the study area have performed poorly in chemistry in recent times. This dismal performance in the subject has arose series of question as to what could be the cause of the problem.

Consequently, the research study is carried out to investigate the impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in chemistry in the study area in order to ascertain whether the strategies of teaching used in teaching can contribute to student’s poor performance in the Chemistry.

Effect of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in Chemistry

1.3 Purpose of the Study 

The general purpose of the study was to investigate impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in chemistry in Uyo Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study is designed to:

1. Investigate the difference in the performance of Chemistry students between those taught with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy of teaching.

2. Examine the difference in the performance of male and students female students taught Chemistry with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy.

 

1.4 Significance of the Study 

The finding of the study will be of high significant to Chemistry teachers by enabling them to adopt good and effective teaching strategies that will enhance teaching and learning of the Chemistry in schools.

The finding of the study and its recommendations will also help the government to see the need of sensitizing the chemistry teacher on the good and effective teaching strategies to be used in teaching Chemistry in the classroom.

It will also help school administrators, stakeholder and the appropriate authority to see the need of organizing seminars workshop, and in-service training for the teachers to be acquainted with relevant changes and ideas during teaching delivery.

 

1.5 Research Questions 

The following research questions were raised to guide the study:

1. What is the difference in the performance of Chemistry students between those taught with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy?

2. What is the difference in the performance of male and female students when taught chemistry with inquiry teaching strategy and when taught with discussion teaching strategy?

Discussion and inquiry teaching strategies and academic performance of secondary school students in Chemistry

1.6 Research Hypotheses 

The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

i. There is no significant difference in the performance of Chemistry students between those taught with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy.

ii. There is no significant difference in the performance of male and female students when taught chemistry with inquiry teaching strategy and when taught with discussion teaching strategy.

 

1.7 Limitation of the Study

The study was faced with difficulties which include:

Time factor: the period for the completion of the study was short and the researcher could not cover all the secondary schools in the study area.

Financial constraint: Finance available for the study was not enough to support the research in the process of data acquisition.

 

1.7 Delimitation of the Study 

The study was delimited to selected secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The study was also delimited to impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in chemistry.

 

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms 

Academic Performance: This is the level of achievement of student in a particular subject area in schools.

Discussion strategy: this refers to a method of teaching where the teacher has a didactic talk with the learner during instructional process.

Inquiry: Is any process used for finding the solution to problems by learners with assistance from the teacher. Inquiry teaching strategy engages our natural curiosity and desire to make sense of the world. It encourages the asking of questions and the seeking of answers to those questions through investigation and exploration.

Teaching: teaching as used in the study refers to the process of delivering instruction to the learners in a pristine way which helps to improve the overall performance of students academically.

Chemistry: This is a core science subject offered in senior secondary schools and deals with the scientific study of the composition, structure, properties and change of matter in which Students must have a credit in order to get admitted into the higher institutions of learning.

Secondary school: is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place. It follows elementary or primary education, and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.

Student: A student can be defined primarily as a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution and who is under learning with goals of acquiring knowledge, developing professions and achieving employment at desired field.

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