1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The primary purpose of teaching at any level of education is to bring a fundamental change in the learner (Tebabal & Kahssay, 2011). To
facilitate the process of knowledge transmission, teachers should apply appropriate teaching methods that best suit specific objectives and
level exit outcomes. In the traditional epoch, many teaching practitioners widely applied teacher-centered methods to impart knowledge to
learners comparative to student-centered methods. Until today, questions about the effectiveness of teaching methods on student learning
have consistently raised considerable interest in the thematic field of educational research (High tower et al., 2011).
Moreover, research on teaching and learning constantly endeavor to examine the extent to which different teaching methods enhance
growth in student learning. Quite remarkably, regular poor academic performance by the majority students is fundamentally linked to
application of ineffective teaching methods by teachers to impact knowledge to learners (Adunola, 2011). Substantial research on the
effectiveness of teaching methods indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected by the achievements of learners. According to
Ayeni (2011), teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners so as to achieve specific outcomes. In order for
the method used for teaching to be effective, Adunola (2011) maintains that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching
strategies that take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered.
As an educator, the researcher has always been fascinated by the relationship between teaching methods and students’ academic
performance; especially when it comes to applications in the context of 21st century education. It seems that there is something in teaching
that opens the gate of learning. It is true that successful learning depends on various factors that are not all teacher-related, but the
methods that a teacher uses continue to play an important role in student learning and in their academic achievement. The challenges that
educators face in the 21st century are so diverse that using better teaching methods is more crucial now than ever before.
Gibbs and Jenkins (1992) bring the argument that the context of class and society has changed, but the teaching methods have remained
unchanged. Various recent studies attempting to address the issues that affect teaching methods and student learning today include
educational technology integration (Abbitt, 2011), teachers’ roles (Webb, 2009), the class environment (Doll et al., 2010), understanding the
adult learner (Kisamore, Aldridge, Alexander, & White, 2008), length of the class session (Coskun, 2011), increasing class size in schools
(Gibbs & Jenkins, 1992), students’ attitudes (Akkuzu & Akcay, 2011), as well as the increased interdependence of society today (Schul, 2011).
Studies on teaching methods are not something new in educational research. A large number of studies have been done on this area.
Pascarella and Trenzini (2005) have written a compendium of research studies conducted in this area over the past three decades. Even
before that, Feldman and Newcomb (1973) mentioned decades of similar research studies in the area of teaching methods. These show
both increased interest and knowledge in the area of teaching strategies and learning theories. Svinicki (2000) suggests that these studies
on teaching methods conducted in the past decades are so overwhelming that it would be impossible to go over them all in detail. For many
decades, the search for better teaching methods to provide the best learning has been the goal of education. However, teaching method is
not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Flexibility is crucial in adapting teaching methods in the class. Since all teachers are different, the
strategies they use, and the way they use them will depend on the context and situation of their class (McCornac & Phan Thuy, 2005), as well
as their own personality and biases.
The effect of teaching methods on students’ learning should be the interest of every teacher and student. In the field of education, there
have been various studies done in an attempt to measure teaching methods. Robinson and colleagues (1990) conducted a case study on
several teaching methods in schools to explore the reasons for their use, and perceptions of effectiveness. The result of their study
suggested that various methods do influence teaching effectiveness.
According to Keene (2008), each student learns best using strategies and objectives that reflect his experiences, abilities, aptitudes and
interest. Similarly, there is no standard teaching method. The various teaching methods overlap in definition and application; none being
mutually exclusive although researchers often delineate several teaching strategies. Demonstration technique is one of the many teaching
learning style under the investigative or activity based. It is a method which is capable of improving learning through its diversity effect
activity. It has the prerequisite characteristics for individualized instruction and therefore has high potential for making teaching-learning
process challenging and rewarding. There is a radical departure from the direct teaching model in which the teacher engages student to
learn. Students are encouraged to ask questions. In short, the student is viewed as an inquirer, a seeker of information and a problem solver. These attributes are crucial to problem-solving and are at the heart of demonstration model of teaching. Consequently, there is now
a growing concern for the use of demonstration technique in the teaching of Government in Nigerian secondary schools.
In recent times, much research attention has been focused on teaching of government in Nigerian Secondary Schools with a view to
ascertaining the adequacy and appropriateness of the teachers’ method of teaching and indeed the effectiveness of instruction.
Investigation into the use of demonstration instructional technique in the teaching of government in Nigerian Secondary Schools seem to
have focused mainly on teachers’ frequency of the use of this technique and sparingly on the application of important variables influencing
its effective use. In a sense, no research attention has yet been paid to the effectiveness of teaching government using demonstration
technique. The use of demonstration instructional technique as an innovative instructional practice can only be effectively implemented if
the teachers possess the appropriate knowledge, skills and abilities related to its use in the classroom situation. Competence is learnt
attitudes and aptitudes shown as capacities for controlling, actively struggling with and mastering life problems through the use of
cognitive, social and scientific skills. Thus, as a learnt characteristic, the amount of it possessed by individuals can be measured and
development through appropriate and constant involvements in activities. Skills for the demonstration technique of government consist of
the teachers’ awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding demonstration teaching. These include knowledge of questioning,
identification of events that are suited to demonstration. Others are how to demonstrate curiosity and independent thoughts in students
(Brown, 1999). They also include ability to elicit students’ questions (Kona, 2000). The present concern for Nigerian government teachers
with regard to acquisition of these qualities is born out of the fear that since most of these teachers have been used to expository teaching
approach and considering the existing inadequacies in teacher education in Nigeria, their awareness, equipment, orientation and
willingness to embrace and effectively use the demonstration technique as a mode of teaching are bound to be questionable. This activity
technique is at times misconstrued and hence wrongly applied.
This paper attempts to elucidate the concept of activity vis-à-vis demonstration method of teaching, and empirically establish its
effectiveness on SS 2 students’ achievement in Secondary School
The discussion method has been widely accepted and recommended by some educators as the good method of teaching in secondary
schools (Phipps & Osborne, 1988). The discussion method is the method of teaching where the central and essential characteristic is
interaction (Binkley and Tulloch, 1981). During discussion session students participate in the learning process by contributing problems,
analyzing the factors associated with the problems, developing possible solutions to the problems, placing the solution(s) into action, and
evaluating the results of the solution.
Nowak, Watt and Walther (2004), articulated this position and present evidence that, demonstration method is generally effective in
teaching sciences, mathematics and mechanics as well as subject areas within vocational and technical education. As stated by Gokhale
(1996), the professional success of a technologist is directly related to his/her ability to transfer knowledge gained in the academic
environment to real-world situations. Much student learning occurs through observing others. A demonstration provides the link between
“knowing about” and “being able to do.” Research reveals that demonstrations are most effective when they are accurate, when learners
are able to see clearly and understand what is going on, and when brief explanations occur during the demonstration (Saskatchewan, 1988).
Since good teaching among other factors play significant role in enhancing performance, this study attempted to find out which method of
instruction better facilitate learning in secondary schools by beaming light on the different methods of teaching in secondary schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Given the high value placed on government at the Nigerian Senior Secondary School Curriculum, and the nature of the subject, the need to
teach it effectively through an effective method is indisputable. A few of the problems affecting the teaching and learning of government are
the meaningfulness of the content, the sustainability of the methods and probably, the teacher who handles both the content and method.
There is scarcity of published works on the use of demonstration in teaching government particularly in Ibiono Ibom Local Government
Area of Akwa Ibom state where this study is carried out that is known to the researcher. The incidence of ineffective teaching of government
in Senior Secondary School has resulted in poor achievement in examination. This necessitated the need for a more effective and result oriented.
What a teacher does in the classroom depends to some degree upon his approach to learning situations. However, students’ negative
attitudes toward learning may be related to the method of instruction (Dyer, 1995).
Though teachers with high morale, motivation and a mastery of knowledge, learner difficulties and capacity to facilitate learning are
important (Zadra, 2000), correct use of an appropriate teaching method is critical to successful teaching and learning. Knowledge of how
teaching methods affect students’ learning may help educators to select methods that improve teaching quality, effectiveness, and
accountability to learners and the public. It may also help them keep up with information technology, globalization and to avoid the status
quo (Foster, Pinkest and Husman, 1991).
Organizing for effective teaching in vocational education is centered on certain factors such as what to teach, when to teach and how to
teach. The teacher does not only teach the most relevant, meaningful and useful materials for specific students, he must also recognize and
adopt a good and well-researched method of teaching that guarantees better understanding and also stimulates and motivate the students.
Several methods of instruction have been employed for students’ interest depending on the situation. Varying factors ranging from socio-economic background, intelligence, attitude of students to teaching methods employed by teachers have been attributed to this poor
achievement. Tawari (1986) observed that teaching methods that encourages students centered activities for developing reasoning and
process slides through scientific approach are conspicuously lacking.
For effective teaching to take place, the teacher must stimulate, encourage and maintain active participation of the students, through the
selection of appropriate teaching methods. This would require a balance between what is taught and how it is taught.
Thus, successful teaching in vocational education does not depend only on the teachers’ mastery of the subject matter but also the
teaching method employed. Hence, Ogbonna (2000) opines that one of the most influential factors in teaching is the teacher’s method of
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
To assess the relationship between the use of discussion method and academic performance of students.
To examine the relationship between the use of demonstration method and academic performance of students
To ascertain the relationship between the use of lecture method and academic performance of students
To determine the relationship between the use of questioning method and the academic performance of students.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study may be considered significant in a number of ways: it will help to increase the teachers’ level of awareness and understanding of
the use of most of the instructional technique. Findings may also provide the teachers with a feedback on the teaching competences in
most commonly used teaching methods as a basis for improvement in their instructional practice so that they can enhance performance.
Curriculum planners and educators as well as government and educational administrators need empirical data on the overall teaching
method and activity teaching competence of government teachers in Senior Secondary Schools to facilitate proper curricular policies and
programmes for effective teaching and learning.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS
The focus of this research is on the effect of activity techniques (i.e. discussion, demonstration, lecture and questioning approach) of
teaching on Senior Secondary School Students performance in government. The educational level of focus is SS 2 students. It is believed
that these groups of students have been exposed to the knowledge, attitude and skills of the subject. The work covers performance using all
the commonly used method of teaching.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or
information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the
time devoted for the research work.
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