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| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|


Study Level: BTech, BSc, BEng, BA, HND, ND or NCE

Amount: ₦5,000.00

Account Details

Technicians Supporting Biology Practical Work for A Level | IOE - Faculty of Education and Society - UCL – University College London



1.1 Background to the study

Biology is a field of science that studies both living and non-living entities (Sarojini, 2001). Abugu (2007) defines biology as a natural science in which we study live organisms. Sarojini (2001) cites the following examples of biology’s usefulness: It contributes to scientific research and the development of new tools and techniques that, invariably, improve the quality of our lives, with applications in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science, agriculture, and horticulture, as well as the resolution of ecological issues such as overpopulation, food scarcity, and disease. Secondary school biology, like other science topics, consists of practical tasks. Practical activities are science-related activities or skills carried out in the school laboratory to improve understanding of the theory side of the content areas. They can take the form of learning through charts, demonstrations using specific chemicals, and so on. Practical work could also be done outside the laboratory in the form of fieldwork. When students are required to participate in beneficial activities, practical activity increases their interest in the science subject they are studying. Biology is one of the science areas that cannot be properly taught or learned without practical experience (Onah 2004). Practical biology activities give pupils the opportunity to learn biology, particularly at the secondary school level. According to Nzewi (2008), practical exercises can be viewed as a way for making a teacher’s (teaching) task more tangible to students than abstract or theoretical presentation of facts, ideas, and concepts of subject matter. Nzewi believed that practical exercises should engage students in hands-on, mind-on activities, utilizing a variety of teaching materials/equipment to reinforce the lesson. Biology practical work assists students in applying their information and abilities gained in the actual world outside of the classroom.

Unfortunately, recent studies have found that students’ lack of exposure to practical activities in our secondary schools relates to their persistently poor performance in biology. According to Oluwole (2008), only slightly more than half (50%) of secondary school leavers pass the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) Biology at the credit level. The typical student’s biology performance in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and the National Examination Council (NECO) is not very impressive. According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, teaching is defined as showing someone how to do something so that they may do it themselves, providing someone with information about a specific subject, or assisting someone in learning something. According to Farrell and Oliveira (2003), teaching can be defined as the logical and strategic acts that occur between the teacher and the students as they interact on a subject topic. Teaching entails teaching verified information and beliefs; it encourages student participation and the expressing of their own opinions. At all levels of education in Nigeria, there is evidence that girls are substantially underrepresented in terms of enrollment, engagement, and accomplishment in science, technology, and mathematics education. The same surveys clearly show the state of affairs at the secondary level of education in Nigeria, with a bigger number of males enrolling and performing better than their female peers. Okoro (2002) and Obua (2006) found that male students outperformed their female counterparts in the physical sciences. Man’s (2001) research focused mostly on students’ knowledge of scientific process abilities in science learning. The findings show that female students had a significantly better understanding of science process skills than male students, and there was a significant difference in their ability to solve problems that required their understanding of the process skills as prerequisites for achievement in Biology. Offiong (2009) discovered that time of training, rather than sex or school location, was a key factor in influencing academic achievement among pupils. A cursory examination of them reveals a disagreement among students about the role of sex and school location in determining academic performance. The researcher decided to look into how sex and school location affect students’ academic progress in biology, specifically in practical activities in secondary schools, with the goal of maybe bridging these boundaries and causing some directed flow of opinions.

Because biology is a practical science, it involves a lot of hands-on work with biology lab equipment. According to Man (2001), a lot of emphasis has also been placed on practical work because there is no other way to understand biology except through practical experimentation. Therefore, it is crucial to ascertain the academic attainment of biology students at SSJI who receive theory-only instruction versus those who receive practical instruction.  The incapacity of school administrators to supply supplies and tools for practical work, as well as instructors’ unwillingness to acknowledge the value of practical work in science instruction, have been cited as reasons for the neglect of the practicum component of biology education in schools. In addition to being sufficiently supplied in schools, biology laboratory equipment needs to be used to its fullest potential in order for biology professors to teach the subject effectively and for students to learn biology in a meaningful way. In their study, Dahar and Faize (2011) pointed out that the management of our natural resources, the provision of high-quality healthcare, a sufficient supply of food, and a favorable living environment all depend on having a solid theoretical and practical understanding of biology. As a result, biology education needs to be promoted in schools. He also underlined that practical activity is an important element of biology education and should be combined with theoretical knowledge. To support this position, Dahar and Faize noted that most biology teachers do not expose their pupils to practical work; instead, they choose to teach just theoretical elements of biology concepts while ignoring the practical activities that are needed to follow the theory courses. Theoretical knowledge or teaching can help you comprehend why one strategy works while another fails. It frequently leads to a deeper comprehension of a topic by placing it within the context of a larger whole and seeing the why behind it.

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) placed a strong emphasis on the practical application of biology in secondary education in their syllabus from 1998 to 2003. This includes teaching students how to understand the structure and functions of living organisms and to value nature, as well as how to acquire the necessary laboratory and field skills to conduct and assess biological experiments and projects. Additionally, students must learn the scientific skills necessary for data classification, interpretation, and observation. As was already mentioned, the goal of education is to provide students with the practical skills they need to improve their own development in addition to the fundamental biological information. The pedagogical approach, which is focused on teachers’ ways of communicating subject-matter facts and concepts, is crucial to achieving this.  Utilizing biology lab equipment to teach biology is beneficial because it allows students to engage in hands-on encounters with objects, which facilitates meaningful learning of concepts and improves academic performance. The degree to which an individual has learned specific information or mastered specific skills—typically as a consequence of organized instruction or training—is measured as their achievement. Retention of knowledge is directly linked to academic success. According to Gatlin (2008), teachers must employ successful teaching strategies in the classroom if they want the students to retain the material for a long time. An effective teaching strategy, in his opinion, is one that motivates pupils to actively engage in the teaching and learning process. The use of practical skills by scientific teachers in the classroom is crucial to the retention of biology and other science disciplines. This study is based on Bruner’s hypothesis, which demonstrates that learning is an active process. According to Bruner’s theory, process elements include choosing and transforming information, making decisions, coming up with hypotheses, and deriving meaning from data and experiences (Bruner, 2000). Bruner’s theories highlight how important categorization is to learning. Perceiving entails categorizing, and learning entails creating categories; interpreting data and experiences is a fundamental idea.  According to Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013), the federal government has recognized education as a tool for successful national development. This has motivated the recent building of schools in rural areas. Thus, the concept is to provide education at the rural population’s doorstep. One of the biggest issues with rural development initiatives in several federation states is education, which is the result of a number of interrelated causes. The distribution of income, the availability of infrastructure, and the distribution of labor force are the three main factors that define rural-urban disparity. There has been a widespread belief for a while now that rural schools are inferior to urban ones. According to this perspective, there are academic achievement gaps between kids in rural and urban areas. Too many other socially desirable outcomes, such aptitude, intelligence, and aspiration, are also widely perceived to differ between rural and urban areas (DeYoung and Lawrence, 2005). Little empirical data has been available up until lately to refute this theory. The deficit model of rural community and lifestyle can be used to explain the main causes of the situation where kids in rural areas receive a lower quality of education than their counterparts in metropolitan areas. There could be a few reasons for the possible disparities between rural and urban areas. The accessibility of materials such as books, computers, science and art supplies, and course offers may be one of them.  Many rural schools have fewer resources than urban schools, which can lead to more constrained curricula (DE Young and Lawrence, 2005).Another issue could be that rural communities have a more narrower vision of current occupational roles for rural youngsters, who understandably limit themselves when entering the job market and pursuing higher education. Mofon (2001) conducted a study of the difference in academic performance between urban and rural students in the senior school certificate examination in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State and discovered a significant difference in academic performance between urban and rural students in English and Biology.

Poor academic achievement has been the norm in Nigeria’s school system. Inheritance, the nature of the school location, school amenities, and the parents’ social economic standing can all contribute to either strong or bad academic success. It becomes evident that positive actions must be taken to improve the situation of our secondary schools. Based on the aforesaid, it is necessary to research the effects of biology practical activities on academic achievement among senior secondary school students in the Ikwuano Local Government Area.

1.2 Statement of Problem

Biology, the study of living things, should be useful for pupils because it incorporates the lives of plants and animals. It should not be studied abstractly because biology is necessary and important in the training of nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other related areas. As a result, when they are educated in abstract terms, they are unable to apply them in real-world situations. The poor performance of biology students in senior secondary schools, particularly in the practical aspect, appears to have received little attention, with blame placed on the school authorities’ inability to provide materials and equipment for practical work, as well as teachers’ failure to recognize the importance of practical work in science teaching. Because biology is a practical subject, there’s a proverb that goes, “You remember what you see, but you never forget what you touch.” Perhaps if biology is taught with a practical focus, students’ performance would improve with each passing year. However, data shows that every year, student performance continues to deteriorate. Nnamonu (2003) asserts that students’ subpar performance in the biology practical results in their failure on the exam. Examining the 2010–2015 SSCE result records closely reveals that students’ performance has been awful overall, with the biology practical being especially bad.  Could the low performance of biology students be attributed to either the lack of laboratory equipment being used to teach biology during these practical classes, or the fact that senior secondary school students are not exposed to enough biology before taking an external examination? Based on this, the researcher want to look into how senior secondary school pupils in Ikwuano Local Government perform academically in relation to biology practical activities.

13 Purpose of the Study

The primary goal of this study is to determine the impact of biology practical activities on the academic performance of senior high school students in Ikwuano Local Government. Specifically, the study aims at finding out:

1, Difference in the mean achievement scores of rural and urban school students taught biology using theory with practical and theory respectively.

  1. Difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught biology using theory with practical.