EFFECTS OF CONCEPT MAPPING AND EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN TEACHING BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ABUJA, NIGERIA
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The study was aimed at determining the Effect of Using Concept Mapping and Experimental Techniques in Teaching Biology in Senior Secondary Schools in Federal Capital Territory. The design of the study was quasi experimental pretest posttest control group design. The population consisted of 6,208 SS2 Biology students of the Federal Capital Territory, from which 192 were selected from three schools within Karshi zone of Abuja Municipal Area Council. Intact classes of 64 students each of SS2A & SS2B students of Government Secondary School Nyanya were used for the experimental group which consisted of students taught Biology using concept maps and experiments and 64 SS2A students of Government Day Secondary School Karu were used for the control group respectively. The choice of the schools were because they shared similar characteristics like student types (co-educational), number of students per class and presence of competent and experienced Biology teachers. To guide the study, five research questions were raised and five hypotheses stated and test at 0.05 level of significance. The major instruments used for data collection were Biology Achievement Test pretest and posttest (BAT), Biology Achievement Retention Test (BART) used after 2 weeks of instruction and Concept Mapping Attitude Scale Towards Biology Questionnaire (CMASTBQ) and Experiment Attitude Scale Towards Biology Questionnaire (EASTBQ).The treatment package included Concept Mapping Instructional Package (CMIP), Lesson Plan for Experiments and Lesson Plan for Control Group. The items used for the pretest, posttest and retention test were adopted from Educational Resource Centre (ERC) Abuja. The items were lifted based on the topics used for the study. The reliability of these instruments used was 0.65 for concept mapping and 0.78 for experimental techniques. The data collected was analyzed using comparative mean and standard deviation for research questions while the null hypotheses were analyzed using Two sample t-test, Covariance Analysis(ANCOVA) and Pairwise comparison tested at 0.05 alpha level of significance. The findings of the study showed a significantly better academic performance of students who were taught using experiments than those taught using concept mapping; students taught using experiments performed significantly higher in retention of Biology knowledge than those taught using concept mapping and lecture method, no significant difference was observed between students taught using concept mapping and lecture method on retention of these concepts; Students showed positive attitude towards the use of concept mapping over the use of experiments Based on the findings, experiments are indispensable if the teaching and learning of Biology is be effective and meaningful. Recommendations were made to this effect that Science Teachers Association of Nigeria in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education should liaise with stakeholders in the FCT and the Nation in general to provide well equipped Biology laboratory in all senior secondary schools. Teachers should also be encouraged to use Concept mapping alongside lecture method in teaching Biology in Senior Secondary Schools.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Appendices
Operational Definition of Terms
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objective of the Study
|1.7||Significance of the Study||10|
|1.8||Scope of the Study||11|
|CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE|
|2.2.2||Using Concept Mapping for Instruction||16|
|2.2.3||The use of Concept Mapping and Experiment in the teaching of Biology||18|
|2.3||Origin of Experimental Science||23|
|2.3.1||Importance of Science Practical Work||25|
|2.3.2||Experimentation in Biology Teaching||27|
|2.4||Biology as a Subject in Senior Secondary School||29|
|2.5||Conventional Teaching Method of Biology in Senior Secondary School||31|
|2.6||Influence of Teaching Methods on Students‟ Attitude towards Biology||38|
|2.6.1||Influence of Lecture Method on Students‟ Attitude towards Biology||39|
|2.6.2||Influence of Lecture Method on Students‟ Achievement in Biology||40|
|2.6.3||Influence of Concept Mapping on Students‟ Attitude towards Biology||41|
|2.6.4||Influence of Concept Mapping on Students‟ Achievement in Biology||42|
|2.7||The Need for a Change in Teaching Strategy in Biology||45|
|2.8.1||The Operant Conditioning Model and Stimulus Response Associated|
|2.8.2||Jean Piaget‟s Development Theory||47|
|2.8.3||Bruner‟s Theory of Cognitive Learning||48|
|2.8.4||John Dewey‟s Theory||48|
|2.8.5 Ausubel‟s Theory of Subsumption||49|
|CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY|
|3.4||Sample and Sampling Technique||66|
|3.5.1||Validity of the Instrument||69|
|3.5.3||Reliability of the Instrument||70|
|3.6||Method of Data Collection||72|
|3.6.1||Treatment of Experimental Group||73|
|3.7||Method of Data Analysis||74|
|CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS, RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS|
|4.2||Response to the Research Questions||74|
|4.4||Summary of Major Findings||86|
|4.5||Discussion of Results||86|
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
|5.4||Suggestions for Further Studies||96|
|5.5||Contribution to Knowledge||97|
1.1 Background to the Study
The subjects at the Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria are divided into Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences depending on the course each individual intends to offer after the secondary education. In Nigeria, the sciences are taught in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. As a biology teacher of many years, experience has shown that even though a large populace of students show interest in offering biology as a subject and think it to be the simplest of the sciences, there have been a consistent poor achievement in both internal and external examinations. On the order hand even though biology lessons are supposed to be taught with practical lessons I have observed over the years that most biology teachers do not teach their lessons with praticals. The National Curriculum for Senior Secondary Schools Volume Three (3) Science in (Ajaja 2009) stated the specific objectives to be achieved by each subject (curriculum).
The cardinal objectives for biology include:
Adequate laboratory and field skills in Biology; Meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology;
Ability to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; and
Reasonable and functional scientific attitudes. (Ajaja, 2009)
Biology occupies a unique position in the school curriculum; this is because Biology is central to many sciences related professional courses such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Nursing, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Microbiology, Laboratory Technology and all other related courses. It therefore becomes binding on anyone wishing to offer any of the courses listed above or any related to such to offer Biology as one of the prerequisite subjects in the secondary school to gain admission into the University.
Although Biology is a prerequisite to these courses, poor achievement in Biology is alarming according to reports from Okebukola (1998), Ajaja (2002), Ahmed (2008) and randomly collated WAEC results by the researcher from 10 schools in six area councils of Federal Capital Territory, between 2006 – 2010 in 2011 and also my experience in students poor performance in biology internal examinations. These consistent poor performances in Biology external examinations among Senior Secondary Schools students have given a lot of concern to educators, curriculum planners and students themselves Okoye (2004). Various teaching methods are used for instruction in the teaching of Biology. These teaching methods have been summarized into Expository, Practical or Activity Oriented and Constructivism. Okoye and Okechukwu (2006), Nwokenna (2010). Expository methods according to Nwokenna (2010) which include lecture method, demonstration, project, field trip and discussion methods. They concentrate on presentation of concepts, facts and principles by the teacher while the students are merely asked to listen and take notes.
These facts and principles are drawn from textbooks based on stipulated contents and cognitive levels within the unit of instruction. The foregoing presents a picture of the use of poor teaching methods used during Biology instruction, which according to Nwokenna (2010), may not improve the performance of students in their academic pursuit. The above scenario tends to suggest that the conventional teaching methods used among others have accounted for the persistent poor performance of students in internal and external examinations.
Scientists and science educators have however come to a conclusive agreement as many researches have been on going on how to involve students in the learning process and science educators have come up with concept maps as one of such teaching learning techniques. Okoye and Okechukwu (2006), Kinechin (2000a,b), Markow and Lenning (1998). According to Canas and Novak (IHMC 2009) concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclossed in circles or boxes of some type and relationships between concepts are indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases specify the relationship between two concepts. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defined concept map as a diagram that depicts suggested relationships between concepts. It is a graphical tool that designers, engineers, technical writers and others use to organize and structure knowledge. Giving an overview, the Wikipedia encyclopedia describes concept map as a way of representing relationship between ideas, images or words in the same way that a sentence diagram represents the grammar of a sentence, a road map represents the locations of highways and towns and a circuit diagram represents the workings of an electrical appliance. In concept map, each word or phrase connects to another, and links back to the original idea, word or phrase. Concept maps are means of developing logical thinking and study skills by revealing connections and helping students see how individual ideas form a larger whole.
The technique of concept mapping according to Wikipedia encyclopedia was developed by Joseph D. Novak as a means of representing the emerging science of knowledge of student by his research team at Cornell University in the 1970s s. It has subsequently been used as a tool to increase meaningful learning in the sciences and other subjects as well as to represent the expert knowledge of individuals and teams in education,
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study was inspired in response to the deteriorating performance of students in internal and external Biology examinations. Chief WAEC examiner‟s report 2004, 2005, 2006,2007 and randomly selected WAEC results from ten schools within the six Area councils of FCT Abuja and the researcher‟s experience as a biology of many years experience of attest to this . These poor performances according to Ajaja (2011) were occasioned by the very poor state of resources for teaching and learning Biology and the unchallenging environment under which the teaching of Biology takes place. The state of the Biology laboratories Ajaja (2011) opines range from total absence to ill-equipped ones. (Nwagbo 2001 in Nwagbo and Chukelu, 2011) among other researchers identified the teacher variable, that is the teacher‟s teaching strategy as being responsible for students‟ poor performance in science and Biology in particular. WAEC chief examiner‟s report (2002 &2003) in Egolum &Nwafor (2012) showed that the traditional teaching methods have not yielded expected results.
Researchers like Nwagbo and Chikelu (2011), Nwagbo (2008) and Nzewi (2008) have also observed that experimental techniques help students to acquire basic scientific skills which helps to improve performance because students are involved in process skills and not only the theories behind them. This is because, the acquisitions of science process skills are the basis for scientific inquiry and the development of intellectual skills and attitudes that are needed to learn concepts. It therefore becomes necessary in a quest to finding a solution to the persistent poor performance of students in biology to substantiate these claims empirically. This situation therefore calls for a search for
alternative teaching methods or a combination of methods that will guarantee effective learning by students. The notion that concept mapping makes students to remember information longer and enables them to use this knowledge effectively because it is moved to a long term memory Novak & Canas (2006),makes it a possible alternative. Also the use of experiments have been shown to give rise to effective learning .The statement of the problem therefore is to determine the effects of using concept mapping and experimental(experiments in Biology) techniques for the teaching of selected topics in Biology in Senior Secondary Schools in Karshi zone of the federal Capital Territory Abuja.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study sought to achieve the following objectives:
- Compare the mean performance of students taught biology using concept maps and experiments in the Federal Capital Territory.
- Compare the mean performance of students taught biology using concept map, experiments and lecture method Federal Capital Territory.
- Determine the level of retention of biology knowledge between students taught using concept maps and experiments in the Federal Capital Territory.
- Determine the level of retention of biology knowledge between students taught using concept maps, experiments and lecture method in the Federal Capital Territory.
- Compare the attitude of students to the teaching of biology when concept maps and experiments are used in the teaching of biology in the Federal Capital Territory.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is the difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using concept map and experiments in the Federal Capital Territory?
- What is the difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using concept maps, experiments and lecture method in the Federal Capital Territory?
- What is the mean score of students taught using concept maps and experiments in the retention of biology concepts used for the study in the Federal Capital Territory?
- What are the mean scores of students taught using concept maps, experiments and lecture method in the retention of biology concepts used for the study in the Federal Capital Territory?
- What is the difference in attitude of students towards Biology when concept maps and experiments are used for teaching biology in the Federal Capital Territory?
1.5 Hypotheses Testing
H01: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using concept map and those taught using experiments in the Federal Capital Territory.
H02: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of students taught biology using concept map, experiments and those taught using lecture method in the Federal Capital Territory.
H03: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of students taught using concept map and those taught using experiments in the test of retention of selected biology concepts in the Federal Capital Territory.
H04: There is no significant difference in the mean scores of students taught using concept map and experimental techniques and those taught with lecture method in the test of retention of selected biology concepts in the Federal Capital Territory.
H05: There is no significant difference in students‟ attitude towards biology when concept map and experiments are used for teaching in the Federal Capital Territory.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
The study is based on the following assumptions:
- That most biology teachers are not conversant with learning theories that are best suited for biology teaching and learning.
- That in schools where laboratories are well equipped biology teachers do not make out time to teach their students using experiments.
- That most biology teachers do not take time to analyze their teaching methods to find out how appropriate it is to the topics they teach at a particular time, as not all topics in biology can be taught using only one particular teaching method.
- That most biology teachers do not make attempt at finding out if other methods can be added to the lecture method for effective teaching.
- That most biology teachers are not concerned about students‟ negative attitude towards the teaching and learning Biology as a result of their teaching method.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of benefit to biology students, teachers, curriculum planners/ developers, textbook writers, ministry of education and future researchers. Biology students will benefit from the findings of this study as the use of concept maps and the use of experiments in the teaching of biology will boost their achievement and
help to increase their retention of biology concepts. It will also help them to develop more interest in Biology and acquire and develop scientific skills which will help them in their career choice particularly those careers geared towards Biological sciences.
The findings of this study will be of benefit to biology teachers as it will help teachers in choosing appropriate instructional methods and materials capable of releasing students‟ tension toward the subject. It will motivate teachers to develop interest in utilizing modern instructional material like using experiments in teaching topics that are experimental in nature and selecting suitable teaching methods that will be a possible means towards reducing failure in the teaching and learning of biology. The findings of this study will also sensitize Biology teachers on the benefits of the use of concept maps and experimental techniques for teaching as it will have a great effect on the academic achievement and retention of the students. The research will also form another dimension of innovations in the teaching and learning of Biology.
The findings of this study will also benefit curriculum planners in curriculum planning, as using concept maps in planning a curriculum on a specific topic helps to make the instruction conceptually “transparent” to students. (Bascones and Novak 1985 ; Novak 1991, 1998). Concept mapping can be utilized in appropriate strategies of curriculum planning such as modification and revision.
The Federal Ministry of Education can also benefit by using the findings of this study to engage teachers and administrators in training programmes that can model this new educational approaches.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study was on effects of concept mapping and experimental techniques in the teaching of Biology. The study covered two (2) schools in the Karshi Zone of the Abuja Municipal Council Area.
The senior secondary two (SS2) students were used. The reason, been that they are more exposed to the teaching of biology and can be used as a research sample because they are not preparing for any external examination. The study focused on using concept mapping and experiments in the teaching of selected Biology topics.
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