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ABSTRACT

This study tends to ascertain the effects of instructional materials on achievement and retention of physics concepts among secondary schools students in Akamkpa Local Government Area in Cross River State. Five research questions and four hypotheses guided the study. This study adopted a descriptive survey design, which was carried out in four secondary schools in Cross River State. The schools were selected through simple random sampling. All the physics students of SS II in the selected schools were used for the study, including teachers in the field of physics. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The interpretation of the data was based on real limit number of mean score. Based on the data analyzed the following major findings were made, adequate instructional materials needed for effective teaching of physics concepts were not available. Physics students taught with instructional materials achieved higher and better than those taught without instructional materials. There is no gender bias in terms of student’s achievement in physics. Necessary recommendations were made by the researcher based on the findings of the study.

 

                                      CHAPTER ONE

                                    INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 

The influence of instructional materials in promoting student’s academic achievement and retaining a particular subject’s concept in educational sector cannot be over emphasized. The mastery of physics concepts might not be fully achieved without the use of instructional material. The teaching of physics without instructional material may certainly result in poor academic achievement. According to Onasanya and Omosewa (2011), a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained, would lack the means to put his ideas into practice if the school lacks equipment and instructional material for him to translate his competence into reality.

Sciences especially physics is capital intensive, and it may be very difficult to lay hands on some of the instructional materials for the teaching of physic in secondary schools adequately.

Instructional materials according to Wiki (1998), are kind of tools or equipment that can help the instructor effectively in theory teaching classroom or in practical assessment. They are also materials that aid in the transference of information from one to another. Also Ilori (2000) pin-pointed that instructional material are aids the teacher uses to arouse the interest of the learner there by enabling the learner to gain direct experience. Instructional materials are assumed to have being in place right from the primary school level but if not properly utilized, enhancement of learning is thwarted. The neglect of the use of instructional materials by teachers poses negative effect in the process of teaching and learning of physics concepts. Merrrel (1993) (p.37) pointed out that at present, schools are continually faced with financial problem and this could increase the likelihood that teachers will make more use of free or cheap teaching materials to supplement their own ageing resources. It is therefore important that teachers remain vigilant and exercise sound judgment on approaching what is available to help them teach and their pupils to learn.
The extent to which instructional materials are made available also determines the extent to which they are being utilized in teaching and retaining of physics concepts. Onwuka (1981) indicated that instructional materials help the teacher to convey the intended message effectively and meaningfully to the learners so that the learner receive, understand, retain and apply the experience gained to reach an educational goal.
Instructional materials are some of the most important devices which both teachers and learners can use to enhance the quality of instruction. They are good sources of acquiring factual information and help to make learning permanent. Man is naturally endowed with five senses: smell, touch, sight, hearing and taste. Learning or change in behavior is through these senses. In effect, these senses should come into play for effective learning. In the classroom the teacher therefore, must sensitize the sense of the learner through the use of instructional materials.

There are approximately 124 physics concepts included in the Senior Secondary School Physics curriculum, and SS2 physics curriculum appears to be very essential in the students’ three years of learning physics in secondary school. This is because it contains about 42% of the senior secondary school physics concepts and it is the penultimate year to their final exam (WASSCE). The challenge of students understanding physics concepts is a global one. (Fisher, N. J. (2009), discovered that within the providence of British Colombia, for 11th grade level students, the most difficult physics concepts were vectors in three dimension, projectile motion and diffraction of light. For the 12th grade level students however, the most difficult concepts were centre-of-mass reference frame and simple harmonic motion. (Streveler, R. n etal (2006) found that students lack deep understanding of many fundamental concepts in engineering (which are physics concepts) such as charges, voltage, current, force, friction, moments, stress and strain. In the same vein, (Reiner, M. n etal (2000), posited that fundamental concepts such as force, voltage and current may be difficult for students to learn because students view those processes as if they were substances. (Fisher, N. J. (2009), found that difficulties of students about physics concepts were related to textbooks.

The various physics concepts in senior secondary schools require the use of instructional materials by the teacher from the preparation and delivery of their lessons to student. These instructional materials include all terms of information carriers that can be used to promote and encourage effective teaching and learning activities. They could be in form of power point, reference books, journals, posters, chart, programmed text, non-print materials, such as films, tapes and Cd, models, picture, recorders etc. furthermore instructional materials are anything the teacher turns for help in his goal-seeking activities. The help may be in form of information, idea, formulae, generalization or experiences (Saylor and Alexander (1966).

Tremendous changes have taken place in the development of science and technology. This moved the researcher into a project of this nature, with the sole aim of addressing the challenges that will be discuss in the course of the study.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Lack of proper understanding of physics concepts, among other factors; have been reported to account for students’ low performance in the subject at test and examinations. According to, 2008 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination Chief Examiner’s report showed that lack of understanding of the fundamental concepts of physics contributed to the abysmal performance of students in physics examinations. In the same vein, (Nkwo, N. I., Akinbobola, A. O (2008) stated that most physics concepts are perceived difficult as students and teachers are unable to construct understanding of the concepts. In spite of the crucial role physics plays in the technological advancement of the nation, research has shown that students find it difficult to understanding physics concepts.

Evidence from the studies reviewed shows that failure rate physics at senior certificate examinations is high. This could be attributed to a number of factors; one of such factors is lack or total absence of instructional materials. In teaching and learning, since instructional materials plays a key role towards concretizing learning. Instructional materials make learning meaningful and help to improve students’ academic achievement. However these advantages of instructional materials have not reflected in the education system because of the dearth of these instructional materials in our schools. Hence, the need for alternative instructional materials for the retention of physics concepts among secondary school students.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main aim of this study is to investigate the effect of instructional materials on achievement and retention of physics concepts among secondary schools students in Akamkpa Local Government Area In Cross River State. Specifically, the study sought the achieve the following sub objectives;

  1. To identify the availability of instructional materials at secondary schools in Akamkpa Local Government Area.
  2. To assess the effect of instructional materials on students’ achievement in physics concepts in secondary schools.
  3. To ascertain the factors affecting utilization of instructional materials in teaching and retaining of physics concepts in Cross River State.
  4. To determine the interaction effect of instructional materials and gender on students’ achievement in physic in Akamkpa Local Government Area.
  5. To find out the relationship (association) between the availability and the effect of using instructional materials.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. Is there any significant difference between the achievement of male and female physics students taught with instructional materials?
  2. Are there physics concepts considered most difficult by students and teachers?
  3. Is there a significant interaction effect of the application of instructional materials and gender on mean achievement scores of students in physics?
  4. Are there possible solutions or strategies by which the use of instructional materials can be fully increased?
  5. Are there factors affecting the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of physics concepts in secondary schools in Akamkpa L.G.A?
    1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

H0: there is no significant difference between the achievement of male and female physics students taught with instructional materials

H1: there is a significant difference between the achievement of male and female physics students taught with instructional materials

H0: there are no physics concepts considered most difficult by students and teachers

H2: there are physics concepts considered most difficult by students and teachers

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 
It is intended that findings from this research will be of help to the students, teachers, school and the government.
It exposes the importance of instructional materials which would make students have more understanding on physics concepts. The information from this research will help teacher to carry out their task with ease unlike the chalk and talk method where the teacher spend the whole time trying to make the student to understand what is being taught. The information from this research will enable the school administrators to ascertain the availability of instructional materials for teaching both general physics concepts and practical and the extent to which they are being utilized in promoting the new emphases on teaching and retaining physics concepts in senior secondary schools in Nigeria. The information from the research will also help the bodies, whose duty is to lay educational policies and monitor the progress of the planned educational evolution to ensure that instructional materials are supplied and bottle necks removed in time to facilitate the effective implementation of this National policy on education with reference to teaching and learning physics concepts.

1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is on effects of instructional materials on achievement and retention of physics concepts among secondary schools students. Because of the large size of population of student in the secondary sector in the state, the study is narrowed to focus on some selected secondary schools in Akamkpa Local Government Area in Cross River State. However, there were some constraints that tend to interrupt the flow of the study which include;

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Effect: is defined as a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

Instructional materials; instructional materials are the tools used in educational lessons, which includes active learning and assessment. Basically, any resource a teacher uses to help him teach his students is an instructional material.

Teaching: A teacher is a person who helps others to acquire knowledge, competences or values. Informally the role of teacher may be taken on by anyone.

Academic Achievement: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

Physics concepts: Physics can be either experimental or theoretical. In experimental physics, physicists address a scientific problem using techniques such as the scientific method in an attempt to prove a hypothesis. Theoretical physics is often more conceptual in that physicists are focused on developing scientific laws, such as the theory of quantum mechanics.

Retention: the continued possession, use, or control of something or the action of absorbing and continuing to hold a substance.

 

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