THE PROBLEMS AND PROSPECT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF COMPUTER SCIENCE IN NIGERIA
This study investigated the problems and prospects of teaching and learning of computer science in Nigeria. Data were collected from 50 respondents comprising of 10 instructors and 40 students randomly selected from the Edo State institute of management and technology. The analysis of data collected revealed that inadequate professionally trained teachers, inadequate computers, inadequate instructional resources, inadequate instructional resources, lack of motivation, and incentive for teachers, lack of encouragement… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Background of the Study
Computer education technically in schools has become one of the most fast-growing and far-reaching developments in Nigeria (Okebukola and Ajewole, 1990). The transmission of information and instruction is now bending towards Computer technology. According to Okebukola (1990), the idea of using and studying computers in schools and its gradual acceptance started in late 1960 even though computers have been around much earlier. The computer is conceived as a device or machine designed specially to perform calculations, process data, and store information that can be easily retrieved when required (Aghadino, 1990; Adamu and Bello, 2002).
To Ahore (1990), a computer refers to a device for executing precisely stated rules with accuracy, rapidity, and with great reliability. On his part Adamu (1994), described computer as a machine used by human beings to solve problems. This probably explains the role of computers in processing information for dealing with certain problems confronting humankind. From the foregoing, it is obvious that the computer is a device or machine designed to help process information or data and for storing such information for future use in dealing with problems of daily living. Computer education, on the other hand, Okebukola (1990) described as the learning that can lead to computer literacy.
This implies that the aim of learning and teaching computer science is to make an individual develop the knowledge and skills of computer application or use. Computer science is a learning process in which the individual is taken through the rudiments of using the computer to store and process data/ information accurately and efficiently. The process seeks to equip the individual with skills and knowledge that can make him/her use the computer effectively (Adamu and Bello, 2002).
Anyone who is literate in computer or has received computer education and instruction is expected to tell the computer what he wants it to do and, this according to Gboboniyi (1989), Aghedino (1990), and Adamu and Bello (2002), including the ability to understand what the computer says. They add that to be literate in computer science amounts to be able to read, write, and speak the language of the computer. In the modern world, the computer is being gradually applied in all aspects of human endeavor…. (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The first challenge in teaching and learning Computer Science in Nigeria is the problem caused by a lack of interaction between the teacher and the student/s that is a feature of face-to-face classroom teaching (Hentea, Shea, & Pennington, 2003). For technical subjects in Computer Science such as computer programming, database design, and AI, this lack of interaction is exacerbated. In Computer Science subjects, the teaching requires a high level of communication between students and the teacher… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The objective of the study is listed below:
- To understand the problem in learning and teaching of computer science… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- Cognitivism (Psychology)
Cognitive theories grew out of Gestalt psychology. In Germany in the early 1900s, it was transplanted to America in the 1920s. Gestalt is roughly translated as “configuration,” or “pattern,” and emphasizes “the whole” of human experience. Over the years, the Gestalt psychologist provided compelling demonstrations and described principles by which we organize our sensations into perceptions. Gestalt views of learning have been incorporated into what has come to be labeled cognitive theories. Two key assumptions underlie this cognitive approach:
(1) That the memory system is an active organized processor of information and
(2) That prior knowledge plays an important role in learning. Cognitive theories look beyond behavior to explain brain-based learning. Cognitivists consider how human memory works to promote learning… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- Constructivism (Learning Theory)
Constructivism is a revolution in educational psychology. Built on the work of Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner, constructivism emphasizes the importance of the active involvement of learners in constructing knowledge for themselves. Constructivism emphasizes top-down processing: begin with complex problems and teach basic skills while solving these problems. Constructivism explains why students do not learn deeply by listening to a teacher or reading from a textbook.
Learning sciences research is revealing the deeper underlying basis of how knowledge construction works. To design effective environments, one needs a very good understanding of what children know when they come to the classroom. This requires sophisticated research into children‟s cognitive development. The learning theories of John Dewey, Marie Montessori, and David Kolb serve as the foundation of the constructivist learning theory… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Conceptual Framework Demonstration Teaching Method
Omosewo (2004) defined the demonstration method as a process of presenting or establishing facts or principles. A procedure of doing or performing something in the presence of others either as a means of showing them how to do it themselves or illustrate a principle. For the purpose of this study, the Demonstration Teaching method is defined as doing activities immediately after the teacher.
Assignment Teaching Method: Douglas in Aggarwal (2006) defined the Assignment method as an instructional technique that comprises guided information, self-learning, writing skills, and report preparation among the learners… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
Historical Development of Computer Science
In the past sixty years or so, computers have migrated from room-size mega boxes to desktops to laptops to our pockets. But the real history of machine-assisted human computation (“computer” originally referred to the person, not the machine) goes back even further. This week is Computer Science Education Week, and to kick things off the World Science Festival celebrates the long history of man’s best friend, the computer.
First in the historical record was the abacus, helping the ancient technorati gain an edge over trading partners still counting cows and amphorae by hand. The oldest known complex computing device, called the Antikythera mechanism, dates back to 87 B.C; it’s surmised the Greeks used this gear-operated contraption (found in a shipwreck in the Aegean Sea early in the 20th century, though its significance wasn’t realized until 2006) to calculate astronomical positions and help them navigate through the seas.
Computing took another leap in 1843, when English mathematician Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer algorithm, in collaboration with Charles Babbage, who devised a theory of the first programmable computer… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The study of Anukan (2004) on a comparison of the achievement of students taught Computer science by Experimental and those taught Computer science by Traditional approaches such as the Conventional used of lecture methods. The purpose of the study was to determine the level of awareness of senior secondary school students on double-entry principles of computer science, the effect of teaching double-entry principles of computer science by experimental instructional approach, and the traditional approach to student retention ability.
It was also to compare male and female student’s achievement in double-entry principles of computer science based on experimental instructional approach. The population for that study was 100 Computer science students in four (4) public secondary schools and the same number of students were taken as sample size and they were of the same social-economic background, admission and promotion policy, and the same public secondary schools.
The study took four (4) weeks of treatment using 160 minutes per week, a test was conducted and the results analyzed at the alpha level of 0.05 using the t-test statistical method… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
The population of the study consisted of the senior computer science teachers in all the secondary schools in Benin LGA of Edo State where students offer computer science and are registered for the SSE Examination for at least the immediate past five years. The study population was estimated at 140 senior computer science teachers… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
- Sample and Sampling
A total of 50 senior computer science teachers were sampled from at least four secondary schools and at most eight secondary schools in Eight Benin LGA of Edo State. A purposive sampling technique was used in some local government areas, with few schools taking computer science and registering students for the SSE Examinations. The same technique is applicable to selecting private schools and Public schools with boys only or girls only. The samples from the sixteen Local Government areas are Edo south, Igbo Eze South, Edo North, Nsukka, and Edo east… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
A descriptive method was adopted in order to observe, with the use of a scale, the perception/rating of the respondents towards the problems facing teaching and learning of computer science in secondary schools. The dependent variable in the study was the problems facing teaching and learning computer science in secondary schools. Independent variables were the type of school, the mode of school, and the location of the school. Independent group and factorial design were used… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
Table 1 indicates that most parents have been affected by their misconceptions about the operation of free education. Free education has not covered the costs of secondary education at 100 percent. Parents/guardians still need to provide textbooks, study materials, writing materials, uniforms, and boarding to mention a few. Eight problems are ranked as “Highly Accepted”, six as “Accepted” and four as “Rejected”.
The respondents’ perception/rating of the problem tends to be uniform; since there is a significantly positive relationship between the mean response ranking and coefficient of homogeneity ranking. Another problem of attention is that students are not adequately prepared for examinations. This problem implied that there are inadequate qualified and experience teachers and neglect of responsibility on the part of teachers.
The rating of inadequate and qualified teachers and neglect of responsibility on the part of teachers were very low and probably out of sentiments. The low rating of inadequate qualified and experienced teachers is not in agreement with Olodi (2000) that reported NCE teaching the SSS classes because of the inadequacy of qualified and experienced teachers in vocational education.
Also, the result does not lend any credence to Azikiwe (1993) and Dosumu (1982) who supported the inadequacy of vocational education teachers as a serious problem confronting vocational education in Nigeria… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The study has successfully identified some problems encountered in teaching and learning computer science in secondary schools. The goals of vocational education at this level via the knowledge of computer science and the competencies required for successful entrepreneurship and self-reliance may not be met if these problems are not well addressed by the concerned-the government, parents, teachers, and the students. The solutions proffered in this study are the basis of the conclusion made:
- The government should do everything possible to discourage strikes, academic crisis irregular calendar which consequence, inadequately preparing students for examination, neglect of responsibility on the part of teachers with the incidence of students engaging in cheating in examination in computer science… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
In line with the findings of this study, the researcher recommends the following:
Schools should provide enough audio and visuals to enable teachers to clarify their lessons. Adequate infrastructure facilities and conclusive atmosphere are Sine Qua Non for effective learning and retention of what is learned.
- Schools should send their Computer science language teachers to seminars and workshops in order to update their knowledge.
- Teachers should be encouraged by the school by paying incentives. They should be upgraded when necessary. This will enable them to improvise audio and visuals for teaching… (Scroll down for the link to get the Complete Chapter One to Five Project Material)
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