THE EFFECT OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
THE STUDY’S BACKGROUND
Many people erroneously interpret the term “science.” While some regard it as “white man’s juju,” others regard it as a type of magic, similar to the tero blind men who went to see the elephant, and many people who attempt to define science provide valid but fragmentary definitions. Many people are unaware that many of man’s daily activities involve science. For example, when you wake up in the morning and drink water rather than kerosene, you are engaging in science.
Your mother is doing science when she strikes a match, lights a candle, and watches it melt. When the baker adds yeast to the floor to make it rise, he is also engaging in science. When the barber in your village applies soap solution to his customer’s hair to make it soft, he is applying scientific knowledge. As a result, science is not as magical as some believe. Science surrounds us.
Science, according to Ofuebe (2007), is a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of our world. According to Ali (2002), the term science refers to a wide range of information, abilities, and operations concerning the natural environment. He believes that science is more concerned with various investigative processes and activities related to developing, acquiring, and controlling knowledge, skills, and capabilities attitudes about natural environmental factors.
These processes generate reliable and verifiable data for use in science and other disciplines. Aniodoh (1991) defined science as “a body of knowledge obtained through systematic and procedural processes based on tentative observations and experimentation.” In light of the foregoing, science can be defined as a way of thinking about nature, a method of investigation, and a body of established knowledge.
As a result, science is both a product and a process. According to Ambuno, Egunifomi, and Osakwe (2008), without science, the world today would not be what it is. The world has been completely transformed by technological advancement. This has permeated all aspects of our lives, including communications, health, agriculture, and construction.
Exploration of the universe, as well as improvements in living conditions in our homes, schools, and roads, are all based on science in the form of modern equipment and materials. Indeed, with the world changing at such a rapid pace as a result of human activities and population growth, scientific research into current and future problems may be what saves our planet. Scientists have conducted some biological research, which has resulted in numerous discoveries in medicine, technology, agriculture, and genetics.
Aniodoh (2001) supported the preceding viewpoint by stating that through science and the use of technological know-how, man is able to construct various types of shelter such as dwellings, markets, schools, and hospitals.
One of the science subjects is biology, which is defined as the study of life and the structure of living things. Biology is the study of living things and is concerned with the structure, behavior, distribution, origin, and relationship of plants and animals to their environments. According to Abugu (2007), biology is a natural science that studies living organisms such as plants and animals.
Furthermore, Iloeje (1981) defined biology as the science of studying living things. According to the preceding statement, man lives in a novel world, surrounded by animals, plants, rivers, oceans, deserts, mountains, and so on. Man, being a curious being, delights in exploring his world; he seeks to have a world view of the universe;
he strives to investigate all matter around him – its origin, nature, characteristics, and other features; he inquires in his inquiry; he asks a lot of questions; and in his search for answers to such questions, he must be systematic and unbiased. He uses experimentation and observation, which are fundamental to science, to achieve his goal.
Biology, like other science subjects, is taught in secondary schools through hands-on activities. Biology, like all sciences, strives to simplify theoretical content in order to improve effective instruction and learning of the subject. According to Allan, Rob, and Jonathan (2000), the reason for emphasizing practical activities in biology is to realize practical; work as a precursor to real science knowledge.
Practical work stimulates learner interest in the science subject they are studying when they are made to personally engage in useful activities; knowledge obtained through practical; work and experience promote long term memory that theory alone cannot do; as a result, it is obvious that a learner acquired more in any science lesson if given the opportunity to do activities ranging from manipulating apparatus, classifying, designing, experimenting, hypothesizing, and hypothesis testing.
As a result, there is an urgent and serious need to justify the exposition of students’ biology practical activities, as well as study its effect on students’ biology achievement. Unfortunately, the majority of our secondary schools and students are in a bad situation due to a lack of exposure to practical activities. This contributes to persistently poor biological performance.
According to Eze (1995), biology, as one of the science subjects in all fields of study, develops human thinking faculty to accurate observation. He also stated that practical are very important in teaching biology, but some teachers deliberately refuse to use practical in teaching.
Their justification is that using laboratory materials wastes a lot of time. Biology education should be based on the skills, knowledge, and experiences gained by students through participation in practicals; biology practical work assists students in applying their knowledge and skills gained in the classroom to real-world situations.
According to Opul, Ezeh, and Ezemagu (2008), much emphasis has been placed on practical work because there is no substitute for it, and practical experimentation must be the foundation of knowledge in biology. As a result, it is now necessary to determine the level of academic achievement in biology practical activities taught to biology students in Enugu, East Government Area.
Eya, Eze, and Ani (2003), and lament the declining quality of science education in Nigeria over the years, Researchers have pointed accusing fingers at several factors, the most prominent of which is the teacher factor. The failure of school authorities to provide materials and equipment for practical work, as well as teachers’ failure to recognize the importance of practical work in science teaching, have been blamed for the neglect of the practical aspect of biology in schools.
In his study, Aniodoh (2001) stated that a solid theoretical and practical knowledge of biology is required for the management of our natural resources, the provision of good health care, an adequate food supply, and a favorable living environment. Thus, biology education and learning must be promoted in schools.
In light of the foregoing, it should be a general concern of all Nigerians, including researchers, to take this backwardness seriously. There is an urgent need to investigate the issue of core science teaching and learning – biology, for example. Biologists typically study all forms of life, including humans, other animals, plants, and microscopic living things like bacteria, which are too small to see with our naked eyes. Biology is required in fields such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy, food technology, and so on.
Aniodoh (2001) observed that accurate and exact observations, carefulness and thoroughness of technique, and logical interpretation of data are required for effective teaching and learning. He emphasized that practical work is an important part of biology education and should go hand in hand with theory. Biology should be taught in secondary school, according to the National Policy on Education (1981). In accordance with the policy goals, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) developed the following aims and objectives in the teaching of biology in secondary schools in their syllabus (1998-2003):
v To comprehend the structure and functions of living organisms while also appreciating nature.
v Acquire adequate laboratory and field skills in order to conduct and evaluate biological experiments and projects.
v Acquire the necessary scientific skills, such as observations, classification, and interpretation of biological data.
v To impart relevant biology knowledge required for future advanced biology studies.
v To develop a scientific mindset for problem solving
v The ability to apply biological principles in everyday situations involving personal, social, environmental, community health, and economic issues. It is critical that effective teaching and learning take place in order to achieve the aforementioned goals.
Students’ performance in senior secondary school subjects, particularly biology and biology, has received little attention. The practical aspect of biology in schools has been blamed on factors such as the school administration’s inability to provide materials and equipment for practical work, as well as teachers’ failure to recognize the importance of practical work in science teaching.
‘According to Anidodoh (2001), a solid theoretical and practical knowledge of biology is required for the management of our natural resources, provision of good health facilities, adequate food supply, and a favorable life environment.
Thus, biology education and learning must be promoted in schools. Furthermore, this neglect has undoubtedly pushed these subjects to the margins of our senior secondary certificate examination. A close examination of the 2008-2010 SSCE result records confirms that student performance has been very poor overall, particularly in biology practical, where failure is a major issue.
will have an impact on students’ performance in science senior secondary school; as a result, researchers have decided to investigate the causes and effects of biology practical; The increasing number of dropouts in the study area is a clear indicator of the theme.
In light of the foregoing, it should be a general concern of all Nigerians, including researchers, to take this backwardness seriously. There is an urgent need to investigate the issue of science teaching and learning – biology, for example. Biologists typically study all forms of life, including humans, other animals, plants, and microscopic living things such as bacteria, which are too small for us to see with our naked eyes. Biology is required in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, food technology, and other fields.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary goal of this research is to determine the impact of biology practical on academic achievement of male and female senior secondary school biology students in Enugu East Local Government. The study’s specific goal is to discover
1. Whether there is a statistically significant difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using practical methods versus theory methods.
2. Whether there is a statistically significant difference in the mean scores of male and female students taught biology using practical methods.
3. Whether there is a significant difference in the mean scores of students taught biology in urban and rural schools using practical methods.
Teachers: This will help classroom teachers organize practicals that will help students develop skills and knowledge. It will also allow trained teachers to use teaching and learning methods that will help them organize their subject matter for the students.
Students: When students understand the importance of biology practical skills, they are better prepared to find work, which in turn allows them to contribute meaningfully to the development of society. Practical methods of teaching can also increase students’ interest in practical work.
QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
The study was guided by the three research questions listed below.
1. Is there a difference in mean scores between students taught biology using practical and theory methods?
2. Is there a difference in the mean scores of male and female students taught biology using practical methods?
3. Is there a difference in the mean scores of rural and urban students taught biology using the practical method?
HYPOTHESIS OF RESEARCH
There is no statistically significant difference between students taught biology using the practical method and those taught using the theoretical method.
THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVE
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THE EFFECT OF BIOLOGY PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT