Models Utilization and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools
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ABSTRACT: This study examines Models Utilization and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools. Survey research design was used for the research with the population of one thousand and twenty two (1022) Biology students from five public secondary schools in the study area. Data was obtained from one hundred (100) Biology students from all the six schools which accepted to participate in the study using Biology Achievement Test (BAT). The data were subjected to analysis using independent t-test statistical tool. The analysis revealed that on the whole, models are in abundance with a few exceptions but not all of the available models were maximally utilized in the teaching of Biology. Teachers were therefore recommended to make conscious effort to use models for effective delivery of Biology lessons.
1.1 Background to the Study
Teaching and learning processes are very crucial at all levels of educational development. If well planned and directed, they are the keys to success and progress of individual. Therefore, best methods couple with the right instructional materials has to be used in order to enhance effective teaching and learning. Models according to Dike (2009) do not only increase the motivation of the teachers and learners; they add clarity to the topic taught and make learning more interesting. Permanent learning is the goal of education in that the learners should be able to retain what is taught and make learning more permanent since they appeal to more than one sense.
Ode and Omokaro (2012) revealed that learners retain most of what they hear, see and feel than what they merely hear. This concept bears credence to the old chines adage which says ‘what I hear I forget what, what I see I remember and what I do I know Arnett (2010, as cited in Claiborne and Drewery, 2013). A visual instruction encourages the use of models to make abstract ideas more concrete to the learners. Therefore, the teacher’s duty is to make learning live, not just something to remember but part of living experience. This can be done effectively by employing the use of models in teaching and learning of biology as a mean of imparting knowledge to learners. Educators have come to realize that the most effective teaching and learning take place when an individual has direct experience with the subject under study, in order word, learners learn best by doing Agibe (2010).
A model is a representation of a system (for instance, the human respiratory system, thyroid, cardiovascular etc) or a phenomenon (such as the changing seasons, the oxidation of body, or human’s maintaining their body temperature etc). These representations can take the form of drawings, diagrams, simulation or even physical replicas. According to Okobia (2011), teachers frequently use models in the classroom; in fact, textbooks are full of these representations: unfortunately, most teachers rarely make use of models.
Models are used as props to show, point out, or provide examples of a system or phenomenon. Visual resources are books, charts, motion pictures, posters, diagrams, and photographs. Models play a great role in clarifying nonverbal symbols and promote interaction among our students and their subject teachers. Mavida (2008) state that, the utilization of models in the classroom make students participate effectively in the teaching process hence enhancing quality education that enables them to suit in the current society in relation to technological changes. Models used enhanced visual imagery, stimulate learning and assist the teacher to properly convey the topic content to the learner, to achieve better understanding and to perform well.
According to Mabel (2009) models are categorized into different types. Based on the degree of abstraction, models are grouped into symbolic and analogue. Symbolic model is the representation of the entities of a system through symbols. This model includes Biological and conceptual models. Symbolic model is the most abstract among the three categories of models. Some examples of symbolic models include cyclical model, rainfall-runoff relationship model and regression model. Analogue model is the next category of model which is the representation of entities of a system by analogue entities pertaining to the model.
Analogue model can be built through two dimension visualization. For example, charts, graphs, maps and diagrams. It can also be built through three dimension visualization, for example, the flow of water in pipe to represent flow of blood in vein. The third category of model is the iconic model.
The importance of instructional resources to the successful implementation of the new Biology curriculum cannot be overemphasized. This is because the use of instructional resources such as model is a sine-qua-non for effective behavioural change in learners (Jimon, 2009). This is why Adekunle (2008) in Okobia (2011), noted that when students are given one opportunity to learn through more sense, they learn faster and easier.
Therionwu (2010) referred to models as objects or devices which help the teacher to make learning meaningful to the learner. They are materials used to assist the transference of information from one person to another. In other words, models are learning materials. It offers a variety of learning experiences individually or in combination with different teaching and learning experiences as well as encourages learners to become skilled technicians with an endless passion for learning.
Okobia (2011) summarized the importance of using model on the classroom to include: making the subject matter more real; explicating difficult concepts; making the learner experience what is being thought; helping to improve upon the imagination of the learners and preventing misconceptions. It is against this background that the study sought to find out the utilization of models and academic performance in Biology in Nsit Atai Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In spite of the accompanying gains and the clarion call for the provision and utilization of models facilities in the school system, in Nsit Atai Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State there are still serious inhibiting factors encountered in the attempt to revolution Nigeria education. The current educational situation in Nigeria only portrays models in science related subjects and therefore not beneficial to other educational units.
There are many challenges that hinder the process of using models in the classroom. However, when effectively used, models have a dramatic effect on teachers and learners. But, where models are not used effectively, they do not add value to teaching and learning. The problem of this study therefore is to find out how the provision of models and utilization influence academic performance of students in secondary schools.
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