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This study was designed to determine the effect of self instructional package in students’ achievement and interest in agricultural science in Senior Secondary Schools. The study adopted a pre-test, post test, non –equivalent control group, quasi experimental design which involved groups of students in their intact classes assigned to experimental and control groups. The population for the study was 6,014 senior secondary one students in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State; out of which 376 students were sampled using purposive sampling technique. 14 research questions and 14 null hypotheses guided the study. The instruments used for data collection were Agricultural Science Achievement Test (ASAT) and Interest Inventory Test (IIT). To ensure content validity of the ASAT, a table of specification was built for the test. The lesson plans, ASAT and IIT were subjected to face validation by five experts. The ASAT and IIT were trial tested to determine their reliability co-efficients. The trial test for determining coefficient of stability of the ASAT was carried out using test re-test reliability method. Pearson product moment correlation coefficient of the ASAT was found to be 0.80. Interest Inventory reliability index of 0.76 was obtained using Cronbach’s alpha. Data were analyzed using mean to answer the research questions, while Analysis of Covariance was used to test the null hypotheses. The study found out that self instructional package is more effective in improving students’ achievement and interest in Agricultural science than conventional lecture approach. The study also found out that self-instructional package is effective in improving students’ achievement and interest in Agricultural science in schools located in both rural and urban areas. There was an effect of gender on the students’ achievement and interest in crop production favouring boys. However, the effect on interest was not found significant at 0.05 level. The study also found out that there was a significant difference among school types in favour of coeducational schools, but the effect on interest was not significant. The study found out that there was significant interaction effect of method and gender on students’ achievement and interest in crop production in favour of male students. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction effect of the approach and school types and locations, but effect on interest was not found significant in both school types and locations. Consequently, it was recommended that curriculum planners should include self instructional package in the school curriculum. Ministry of Education should provide teaching materials and qualified teachers to both rural and urban schools and that policies that enforce academic standard and discipline should be implemented by the School Administrators in all school types for improvement of students’ achievement and interest in Agricultural science in Enugu state.
Background of the Study
Agriculture deals with the production of food and fibre for the benefit of man. It involves several activities that transform the environment for the production of animals and plants for human use. Agriculture embraces health, nutrition and food consumption, the use of conservation of land, water resources and environmental characteristics of food and other fiber systems for man’s use. Iwena (2008) defined agriculture as a deliberate effort made by man to till the soil, cultivate crops and rear animals for food and other purposes, for the benefit of man. Agriculture has different branches which directly or indirectly help in making food available for man. Ekemode (2002) listed the different branches of agriculture to include; soil science, crop science, animal science, forestry, horticulture, fishery, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics and extension among others. Agriculture is also studied as an important branch of applied science relating to plants, animals and soil, which deal directly with food production in agriculture.
Agriculture is of great importance to individuals, industries and for national development. Agriculture supplies mankind with the basic necessities of life such as food, shelter and clothing. The human body needs food to stay healthy and productive. Yusuf (2005), stated that lack of food for man means low production in every sector of the economy and every career; be it law, medicine, engineering, pharmacy and others, Industries are supplied with raw materials from agriculture for the production of goods utilized by man and also provides employment opportunities to people, Agriculture is also important for the technological development of a country.
Agricultural knowledge has contributed much technologically. According to Manyong and Ikpi (2005) agricultural knowledge provides scientists with basic nature of each agricultural product and how to handle it. They explained that modern facilities in harvesting, processing, grading and sorting some agricultural products which largely depend on the nature of the product have been invented by agriculturists using different technological means. Agricultural knowledge has also contributed to the development of the Nation by tackling the problems of storage and preservation of perishable farm produce through processing, refrigeration, freezing and chemical treatment for stored produce, all in a bid to make food available for man, as the body without food cannot function effectively. Okoruwa (2005) therefore stated that the economic prosperity of a nation depends to a large extent on its ability to feed the population. The inclusion of agriculture in school curriculum as a school subject in Nigeria was therefore a welcome development as it helps to train and produce people who will eventually take up occupations in agriculture, thereby producing more food for the people and more materials for the industries.
Agriculture as a school subject is taught at different levels of education in Nigeria, one of which is Secondary School education level. Secondary school is the third level of formal education, after Pre – Primary and Primary School levels. The Federal Government of Nigeria (2004), explained that secondary school education is the education offered to children aged 11 to 15 years plus. It is at this level of education that youths are prepared for employment in agriculture and to take up agricultural courses at the tertiary level of education. Agriculture is taught at the Junior Secondary School as basic agriculture and at senior secondary school as Agricultural Science.
Agricultural Science, according to Worell (2009) deals with the study of science and management of biological systems for the sustainable production of food and fibre. It involves training of people to teach, conduct research or provide information to advance the field of agriculture and food science. Agricultural Science is taught at the senior secondary school level with some objectives to achieve. The objectives of teaching Agricultural Science at senior school level include: to stimulate and sustain students interest in agriculture; to inculcate farming skills in students; to enable students acquire basic knowledge and practical skills in agriculture; to enable students integrate knowledge and practical skills in agriculture; to prepare students for the future studies in agriculture; to prepare and expose students to occupations and opportunities in the field of agriculture and to produce prospective future farmers (FRN, 2004). According to Obioma (2008) the achievement of the goals of teaching Agricultural Science in schools has not been quite successful as most students show no interest towards agriculture and every activity connected to it in schools. The author stated that if nothing is done to stimulate the interest of students in agriculture, it might spell doom for the country’s effort at achieving food security for the citizens.
Interest is a show of like or dislike towards something or somebody. Ezema (2002) referred to interest as an individual’s reaction, feelings and impressions about something and its related tasks or situation . According to Okoro (2006) interest simply refers to the act of showing favorable curiosity or concern about something. Worker in Ofoha (2007) defined interest as a social construction developing within the dynamic relationship between the individual and the situation. Students’ interest in learning is associated with their anxiety to learn. In education, interest means a state of wanting to learn or know something. It is a strong desire for knowledge or quality that arouses concern, curiosity or power to hold students’ attention. Interest may be in the positive or negative form. Abonyi (2005) explained that when interest is in the positive form, it leads to likeness and curiosity to the learning task while negative interest leads to hatred to the learning task or subject matter, truancy and total dropout from school. Students’ interest in this study entails a show of like or dislike towards the study of agricultural science demonstrated through responses on an interest inventory. Interest is a driving force in education. Nwangwu in Ofoha (2007) stated that in most positive interest correlates positively with high performance in school subject while negative interest correlates with low performance. Similarly,, high performance in a subject could stimulate positive interest while low performance produces hatred to learning task. It therefore implies that such teaching strategies which could enhance students’ achievement in school subjects at senior secondary school level should be evolved.
Achievement means to accomplish or attain a level successfully by making some efforts. Achievement as defined by Akale (2001) is the level of knowledge, skills or accomplishment in an area of endeavour especially by making an effort for a period of time. Students’ achievement therefore connotes the level of knowledge or skills attained in school subject which is ascertained through the scores on achievement tests. Students’ achievement is defined in this study as the level of knowledge attained or acquired by the students in agricultural science subject, which are ascertained using the students’ scores on achievement tests in agriculture. The students’ achievement in agricultural science has been a matter of great concern to many researchers, parents and educationists. It has been observed that in spite of the importance of agricultural science as the key to food security, students continue to achieve below expectation in the subject in school examinations. Poor students’ achievement has been observed in prescribed examinations like Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) of both West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). Evidence from WAEC results in Agricultural Science between 2008 and 2014 in Enugu state showed that the number of students who passed at distinction and credit levels, to enable them proceed for further studies at the tertiary education level were on the decline; while those that had ordinary passes and failure were on the increase Appendix A, page 130. Thus, students’ achievement have been unsatisfactory and a source of major concern to schools, parents and public examination bodies.
Many authors have tried to give reasons for the continued poor students’ achievement in agricultural science over the years. Olaitan in Ofoha (2007) attributed the poor performance to inadequate competent teachers of agriculture in schools. Obi (2006) stated that the poor achievement of the student in agriculture is mainly due to the inadequate equipment and facilities for teaching agriculture in the school while, Ibitoye (2007) attributed it to the teachers who find it difficult to teach some agricultural concepts. The author further remarked that ineffective and inefficient way the subject is taught in schools leads to poor students achievement. There are also indications that the conventional lecture approach of instruction is predominantly used in teaching of Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools (Adah & Ameh, 2002). Students are mostly known to memorize and regurgitate facts and concepts without carrying out the activities on which these facts and concepts are based. Nwosu (2001) and Musa (2007) observed that there is poor teaching of science subjects in Secondary Schools, including agricultural science. The author further indicated that lesson periods are mostly teacher centered and as a result students adopt rote learning, making this approach ineffective in learning difficult manipulative tasks. It is imperative for the teacher to give proper attention in choice of appropriate approaches for the inculcation of facts and concepts in students to facilitate a better understanding of the subject matter (Adah & Ameh, 2002).
There are many approaches that a teacher may use in lesson delivery. According to Olaitan in Daluba (2003) these approaches are lecture, demonstration, discussion, problem solving, explanation and expository approaches. These approaches used in the teaching of Agricultural Science in order to bring about a meaningful learning are teacher centered approaches, as the teacher does more of the talking and activities involved in the teaching and learning processes. According to Ogbonna (2003) curricular activity in the lecture approach relies heavily on textbooks and workbooks. Students are viewed as “blank slates” unto which information is entrenched by the teacher. In this setting, the teacher seeks the correct answer to validate students’ learning rather than assessing processes involved in the learning activities. This approach had failed to recognize the unique features of the inquiry based nature of vocational subjects and the learners’ individuality, thus failed to encourage creative thinking in the learners leading to poor achievement and interest of the subject (Awotua-Efebo, 2001). Most teachers in secondary schools in Nigeria predominantly use conventional lecture method in teaching, leading to poor achievement and interest (Freedman, 2002, Omoniyi, 2006). It becomes important to investigate learner centered activity approach like Self Instructionl Package and its effect on students’ achievement and interest. This calls for individualization of instruction.
Individualized instruction means the tailoring of instruction to the particular needs and ability of each learner, making the learner work at his or her own pace. Individualized instruction, according to Chauhan (2004), is that in which the teacher attends to the learning needs and problems of each learner separately. In other words, it means the tailoring of instruction to the particular needs and ability of each learner. The teacher acts more as a facilitator to the students learning and not as the prime provider of instruction or knowledge. The individualized instruction approach can be achieved through different techniques such as Programmed Instruction (PI), Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), Independent Study (IS), Audio Tutorial Training Models (ATTM), Learner Controlled Instruction (LCI), Personalized System of Instruction (PSI), Protocol Package (PP), Self Instruction Package (SIP), among others. Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) had been so much advocated and had been established by research findings to be good for individualized instruction. Its use in Secondary Schools had been hampered by non-availability of computer in most public schools and frequent power outrage in Nigeria (Eze, 2004). The researcher advocates the trial of other individualized methods of instruction, such as Self Instructional Package (SIP).
Self Instructional Package is a student centered Activity, an oriented teaching strategy where the teacher acts as a facilitator of learning guiding the students through series of activities and problem solving for greater achievement (Abu,2001). In SIP, learning materials are broken into small steps that are arranged sequentially from known to the unknown and in an increasing order of difficulty. Abu further noted that each student is expected to work at his own pace, thus accommodating both the fast and slow learners. This suggests that SIP calls for individualized student attention. In solving the students problem of poor achievement and interest in Agricultural science, there is the need to shift from the conventional approaches in teaching to a more innovative approach – an approach that seeks a way of making teaching more precise, while at the same time adjusting both the steps and methods of learning to the needs and characteristics of the individual learners. In this approach, the objectives of the subject matter are spelt out very well that students can arrive at the same objectives independently.
The SIP consists of the following components: Topic and subtopic, Instructional objectives, Content, Instructional strategies, Instructional materials, Evaluation, Pretest and Post-test. The activities in which learners can acquire experience in agriculture could be in area of (1) crop production such as land preparation, tillage, planting, post-planting and post harvesting operations (2) animal production such as cattle, poultry, goat, sheep, rabbit and pig rearing and (3) agricultural engineering such as surveying, irrigation, farm machinery and farm power or any other branch of agriculture. This study focuses on crop production with special reference to cassava, maize and orange. Crop production is used as a result of its activities or practical skill orientedness and as one of the topics in the scheme of work in senior secondary school class one (SS1).
Crop production refers to the cultural practices involved in growing crops in the farm. These practices include; land preparation, selection of crop varieties, consideration of climatic and soil requirements, method of propagation, planting date and planting, spacing, supplying, thinning, fertilizer application, weeding, control of pests and diseases, harvesting, processing, uses and storage. Different crops grown in crop production include groundnut, cassava, cowpea, tomato, okra, yam, maize, rice, wheat, vegetables and fruits among others. With reference to this study; cassava, maize and orange were used to expose the students to Self Instructional Package in all the cultural practices involved, which were evaluated by the researcher at the end of the exposure. Cassava, maize and orange were used because they embrace almost all the cultural practices or practical skills involved in crop production, and also because of their common and popular use in Secondary Schools in Enugu State, Nigeria. One of the related factors that is confronting the use of learner centered approaches of learning is its ability to have same impact on both male and female students equally. It is worthy of note that opinions and findings about the issue on gender have been diverse, According to Okoro (2006) disparities usually exist in the levels of achievement between male and female students’ achievement in vocational education.
Gender is seen as a learned socially constructed conditions ascribed to males and females (Offorma 2004). Expectations from males and females are dependent on their cultural milieus. Offorma further remarked that the type of training and exposure given to males and females were dependent on people’s understanding and beliefs on the influence of gender. Gender in relation to achievement has been an issue of concern to researchers in education. The effect of gender on students’ achievement and interest in agricultural science has been particularly an area of focus by researchers. There are divergent opinions on which either male or female achieves better than the other. Ibitoye (2006) had remarked that there were those that claimed that females achieve higher or better than their male counterparts in sciences. Following Ibitoy’s review of studies on the effects of gender on agricultural science achievement in Nigeria, the author concluded that there was no consensus on which gender achieved higher than the other in agricultural science. Another important concern of this study is the relationship between gender and learning outcomes. In the past, there has been a general view that males performed better than females in sciences including agricultural science but Ibitoye (2006) found a high achievement in favour of females in agricultural science. This shows that sex could still be a variable of study in agricultural science using self-instructional package
The issues of gender become pertinent in this present study because the schools in the study area are made up of either males or females; hence, the need to see what effect gender has on students’ achievement in Agricultural Science using Self Instructional Package. Again, in this study, some secondary schools admit single sex female students (all female), single sex male students (all males) or both in form of co-educational school (both males and females). It is therefore, pertinent to determine the effect of school type on the students’ achievement and interest using Self Instructional Package. Also in this study, many secondary schools are located in both the urban and rural areas and may have effect on students achievement and interest when interacted with SIP. Urban area is characterized by good and accessible roads, good drinkable water, health care centres, steady power supply, good schools and churches,while rural area is made up of poor and inadequate social amenities. There is therefore, the need to see what effect the school location in combination with SIP has on agricultural science achievement and interest hence, the need for location variable in the study.
Self Instructional Package will provide opportunity for students to carry out activities by themselves, permit time to accommodate and assimilate information, present learning materials step by step in an increasing order of difficulties and opportunity for self pace learning. It is against this background that the study is set to determine the effect of Self Instructional Package on students achievement and interest in agricultural science in secondary schools in Enugu State.
Statement of the Problem
Despite the various teaching methods employed in teaching agricultural science in Secondary Schools, the achievement of the students in Agricultural Science has not been encouraging in Enugu state. This is evident by the performance of Enugu state students in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSSCE) conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). WAEC results from Enugu state show the average percentage passes and total failure for 2008, 2009, 2010 to 2014 as 54.14%, 41.81%, 49.81%, 46.21%, 45.38%, 24.13%, and 35.88% respectively (Appendix A on Pg.131). The West African Examination Council (WAEC) (2014) chief examiners’ report Appendix N on p. 215 showed a decline in students’ achievement in Agricultural Science. The decline could be traceable to Agricultural Science teachers’ approach to teaching the subject.
The teaching of Agricultural Science requires appropriate instructional methods, as their proper application is essential for facilitating the achievement of the set objectives. The adoption of appropriate teaching approaches in teaching greatly help to promote effectiveness and students’ achievement. The most commonly used teaching approach presently is teacher centered approach. This has resulted in students’ poor achievement in examinations, lack of interest in the subject and low enrolment in tertiary institutions to read agriculture and its related courses. The need for teaching and learning of Agricultural Science by exploring the use of some innovative learner centered teaching approaches is advocated, since meaningful learning maybe as a result of active participation of the students. There are many approaches that involve active participation of the students but large nature of class sizes has made their practicability nearly impossible.
Therefore, there is the need to investigate other innovative child-centered approach that is affordable, readily available as well as flexible, combining both learning instruction and practical activities. Such an approach should enable the teacher to easily diagnose the problem of the individual learner and allows the learners to evaluate themselves, receiving immediate knowledge of result. This calls for the trial of another individualized approach such as Self Instructional Package (SIP), which has been found to be effective in subject like Biology (Neboh, 2009). Hence the study is set to find answer to the question. What is the effect of SIP on student achievement and interest in Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Enugu State?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to determine the effect of Self Instructional Package (SIP) on Students’ achievement and interest in Agricultural Science in Secondary Schools in Enugu State. Specifically the study sought to determine:
1 the difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught crop production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
2 the influence of gender on mean achievement scores of students taught crop
Production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
3 the influence of school location on mean achievement scores of students
taught crop production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
4 the influence of school type (single sex male, single sex female and co-
educational school) on mean achievement scores of students taught crop
production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
5 the interaction effect of the method and the school location on students’ achievement in crop production
6 the interaction effect of the method and school type on students’ achievement in
7 the interaction effect of the method and gender on students’ achievement in crop
8 the difference in mean interest scores of students taught crop production with SIP
and those taught with conventional approach
9 the influence of gender on mean interest scores of students taught crop production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
10 the influence of school location (urban and rural) on mean interest scores of students taught crop production with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
11 the influence of school type (single sex male, single sex female and co-
educational school) on mean interest scores of students taught crop production
with SIP and those taught with conventional approach.
12 the interaction effect of the method and school location on students’ interest in
13 the interaction effect of the method and school type on students’ interest in crop
14 the interaction effect of the method and gender on students’ interest in crop
Significance of the Study
The results of this study have both theoretical and practical significance. This study is theoretically justified by the fact that cognitive development takes place from the active interaction of the child with his environment. This means that the basis of learning is the child’s own ability as he interacts with physical and social environment. The Piagetian theory of intellectual development holds that cognitive development takes place from active interaction of the child with the environment. This theory has a close relationship with the Self Instructional Package (SIP), which is student-centered. In other words, the SIP as a teaching approach in conformity with the theory emphasize active interaction of the learner with his environment while the teacher guides to facilitate the interaction. The result of this study therefore has helped in authenticating the tenets of Piagets theory in the use of SIP.
Apart from the theoretical significance, the result of this study also has practical benefits. The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to teachers of Agricultural Science, students, authors of text books curriculum planners, government and the society at large.
The findings would reveal the efficacy of SIP to the Agricultural Science teachers, based on which they would see it as a more effective approach of teaching the subject. In line with this, it is hoped that the teaching and learning of Agricultural Science would become more interesting, effective, meaningful and less tedious on part of the teachers. The study would reveal to the students all the step by step activities they should be involved in while studying Agricultural Science. This would stimulate their interest in the subject.
The findings of the study would also equip the students of Agricultural Science with better and adequate knowledge of how best to study Agricultural Science better. From the findings of the study the students would learn to make better use of their leisure times by engaging in useful Agricultural Science activities. It would also provide them with self-assessment guides. The study will provide information to Curriculum Planners on the best choice of expository teaching approach as the technique used in teaching.
The findings of this study would hopefully furnish authors of secondary school Agricultural Science textbooks with vital information that would enable the textbooks appeal to the interest, experience and abilities of the students. Specifically, the findings of the study would among other things, specify the type of approaches that are learner-centered and of interest to students and which if included in the texts they use, will make such texts more beneficial to them.
Also the establishment of the efficacy of SIP in enhancing students’ achievement in Agricultural Science could trigger off more researches and innovations in teaching. Based on findings, workshops and seminars on how to use the Self Instructional Package (SIP) in teaching different topics in Agricultural Science to enhance better performance in the subject could then be sponsored and organized by relevant governments and such professional bodies like Science Teacher Association of Nigeria (STAN).
The benefits of effective teaching and learning of Agricultural Science in schools manifest in the society in a number of ways. For instance, the application of the knowledge of the subject would boost interest of the students towards agricultural activities.. The students can apply the knowledge only when they learn the subject well due to better teaching approach like SIP being used to teach them.
The following research questions guided the study:
1 What are the mean achievement scores of students taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approach?
2 What are the mean differences in the students’ achievement of male and female students taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approach?
3 What are the mean differences in the achievement scores of students in different locations (rural and urban) when taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approach?
4 What are the effects of school type (single sex male, single sex female and co-educational) on the mean achievement scores of students taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approach?
5 What is the interaction effect of the approach and school location on students’ achievements?
6 what is the interaction effect of the approach and school type on students achievement?
7 What is the interaction effect of the approach and gender on students’ achievement?
8 What are the mean interest scores of students’ taught crop production with SIP and conventional teaching approaches?
9 What is the effect of gender on students’ interest taught crop production using SIP and conventional teaching approaches?
10 What is the effect of location on students interest taught crop production with SIP and conventional teaching approaches?
11 What is the effect of school type on students’ interest taught crop production with SIP and conventional teaching approaches?
12 What is the interaction effect of the method and school type on students’ interest?
13 What is the interaction effect of the method and school location on students’ interest?
14 What is the interaction effect of the method and gender on students’ interest?
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested at.05 level of significance:
Ho 1: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approaches.
Ho 2: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and
Female students’ taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approaches.
Ho 3: There is no significant difference between the mean achievement scores of rural and urban students taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approaches.
Ho 4: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores among the students of different school type taught crop production with self instructional package and conventional lecture approaches.
Ho 5: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and school location on students’ achievement in crop production.
Ho6: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and school type on students’ achievement in crop production.
Ho7: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and gender on students’ achievement in crop production.
Ho8: There is no significant difference on the mean interest scores of students’ taught crop production with SIP and conventional lecture approach.
Ho9: There is no significant mean difference between the effect of gender (male and female) on students’ interest in crop production.
Ho10: There is no significant difference on the mean interest scores on the urban and rural students’ taught crop production with SIP and conventional lecture approach.
Ho11: There is no significant mean different effect among the school type (single sex male, single sex female, coeducational) on students’ interest in crop production.
Ho12: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and gender on students’ mean interest in crop production.
Ho13: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and school location on students’ mean interest in crop production.
Ho14: There is no significant interaction effect of approaches and school type on students mean interest in crop production.
Scope of the Study
The study is concerned with determining the effect of Self Instructional Package on students’ achievement and interest in Agricultural Science. The investigation was restricted only to cassava, maize and orange production as found in the Senior Secondary School Agricultural Science curriculum for SSI students Appendix P on page 242. Students were exposed to the activities required in growing of cassava, maize and orange. Any other crop is not covered in this study.
The study was carried out with only SSI Agricultural Science students in two co-educational, two single sex female and two single sex male secondary schools drawn from three Local Government Areas (Nsukka, Igbo-Etiti and Uzo-Uwani), all from public schools of Nsukka education zone of Enugu State.