The purpose of this study was to investigate the issues affecting the effective teaching of physics practicals in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State and, if possible, to suggest ways to improve the teaching of physics practicals.
The following hypotheses were developed for the study:
i. There will be no significant difference in performance between students who have access to adequate laboratory facilities and those who do not.
ii. There will be no significant difference in physics performance between students taught by professionally qualified teachers and those taught by non-qualified teachers.
iii. There will be no significant difference in the performance of students exposed to more practical than those exposed only during the advertisement of examinations.
iv. There will be no significant difference in performance between students who have a laboratory and those who do not.
v. There will be no statistically significant difference in performance between motivated and unmotivated students.
According to the research findings, hypotheses 1, 2, 3, and 5 were accepted, while hypothesis 4 was rejected.
Appropriate recommendations were made based on these findings.
1.1 THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Man was able to advance to a high level of civilization by carefully studying the causes of natural phenomena. These investigations resulted in the accumulation of a large body of information, which is embodied in quantitative laws and theories, which in turn resulted in new discoveries. From these scientific discoveries, man’s inventive mind created machines and industrial processes that are directly proportional to the degree of civilization.
The study of science cannot thus be complete without experiment work, but if we look back a few years, we will see that physics has always been taught as a body of theoretical knowledge in most of our secondary schools, with little or no attempt to approach the teaching and learning of physics in a practically oriented way.
“As far as science is concerned, experimentation is always exploratory, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say information seeking,” writes Searl (1972). Experiments are carried out to gain new knowledge, confirm predictions, and test the validity of others’ assertions.
Because course, materials, equipment, laboratory facilities, and appropriate experiments are required for effective teaching of physics practicals and learning of physics as a whole, it is not surprising that students in Ovia South West Local Government Area have lower percentage passes in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in physics than others.
Based on these facts, it is possible to conclude that science laboratories and experiments are success determinants in school physics practicals, and thus the importance of laboratory equipment cannot be overstated.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Are these secondary schools equipped with laboratories?
Do these laboratories have the necessary equipment to effectively teach physics practicals?
Is the laboratory managed by qualified and trained teachers?
Is there any practical experience for the students?
Do the students have a positive attitude because they are interested in physics practicals?
1.3 THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The goal of this research is to identify some of the major issues associated with the teaching of physics practicals in some secondary schools in Edo State’s Ovia South West Local Government Area. After identifying such issues, the researcher hopes to propose potential solutions that will help to reduce the number of such issues to a bare minimum. It is hoped that the study will help future researchers who may be interested in conducting a study in this field.
The researcher hopes that the work will familiarize physics teachers with the problems of physics practicals teaching. Aside from that, it will be extremely useful to other teachers in Chemistry, Biology, and Agricultural Science who are dealing with similar issues. Furthermore, it will inform physics students as to where emphasis should be placed in order to enrich their physics study and learning.
In order to investigate the factors influencing the teaching of physics practicals to students in some selected secondary schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State, the following hypotheses are proposed:
1. There will be no significant difference in performance between students who have adequate laboratory facilities and those who do not.
2. There will be no statistically significant difference in physics performance between students taught by professionally qualified teachers and those taught by non-qualified teachers.
3. There will be no significant difference in performance between students who are exposed to more practicals and those who are only taught during the advertisement of examinations.
4. There will be no significant difference in performance between students who have a laboratory and those who do not.
5. There will be no statistically significant difference in performance between motivated and unmotivated students.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
NCE, B.Ed, M.Ed teachers with Physics as a major discipline are qualified.
LABORATORY: A place that allows for experimentation and observation of practicals in the field of physics.
SECONDARY SCHOOL: A post-primary institution where students take the WAEC examination.
WAEC stands for West African Examination Council. It is an examination for all eligible final year secondary school students in Nigeria and some other West African countries.
POINTER: A teacher’s guide