- Background To The Study
Practical is essential to the understanding of chemistry concepts. It motivates the learner, promotes easy concept learning and also imbibes appropriate scientific attitudes into the learner. Chemistry practical involves qualitative or quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis provides information on the composition of a substance while the quantitative answers the question of ‘how much’. Quantitative analysis can be undertaken through the measurement of the mass of the analyte (gravimetric technique) or by volume measurement (volumetric technique). The volumetric technique is preferred to the gravimetric owing to its simplicity and fastness (Alam et al., 2010) hence commonly utilized in the secondary school practical.
The fall in the standard of science education in Nigeria as evidenced by the mass failures recorded in science subjects in national examinations in recent years is very worrisome. According to Nwagbo (2001), factors such as the use of inappropriate and non – effective teaching methods, unqualified teachers, lack of science laboratories, among others are responsible. Oludipe (2004) argued that the primary factor in the educational system responsible for the present downward trend in the understanding and performance of secondary school students in science examinations is the theoretical approach adopted in most schools for the teaching of the subjects. This cause several science concepts to be twisted thereby making students to have difficulty in relating science concepts to the real life situations. The prevalent method of teaching science subjects including the practical sections in secondary schools in Nigeria is the ‘talk and chalk’ (descriptive) method instead of the hands – on approach (practical approach). One would wonder how the concept of quantification can be achieved through the descriptive teaching approach. A possible reason for the use of descriptive method in the teaching of science subjects in secondary schools in Nigeria might be the non existence science of facilities and probably the inability of the teacher to know how to use science apparatus.
Educators have continued to emphasize on the use of participatory laboratory teaching method in the teaching of chemistry concepts to secondary school students in order to improve student learning in chemistry (Demircioğlu and Yadigaroğlu, 2011;Sola and Ojo, 2007). This project is therefore designed to assess the effect of practical demonstration method on students’ understanding of the concept of acid-base reactions using the volumetric technique.
- Statement of The Problem
There is serious concern in Nigeria today regarding the unprecedented decline in the performance of secondary school science students in chemistry in particular in national examinations. This unpleasant development has been blamed on a number of factors, such as inappropriate and non effective teaching techniques, inadequacy of instructional materials, poor teacher’s qualification etc. Considering the detrimental effect of this decline in students’ performance in science subject on the country’s economy and the world at large, the situation requires urgent attention. Among this factors listed, It would appear that the situation can be remedied if it is adopted. It is essential that the effective methods or techniques in teaching chemistry concepts in the classrooms is examined.
- Objectives of The Study
The main objective of this study is to ascertain whether or not practical method would influence on students understanding of the concept of volumetric analysis. Specifically, this objective will focus on :
- The effects of the use of lecture and practical approaches on senior secondary school students performance when taught volumetric analysis.
- The effects of the use of practical approach on boys and girls (gender) When taught volumetric analysis.
- The effects of the use of practical approach on high and low achiever when taught volumetric analysis.
- The interaction effect of method and ability level on students performance when taught volumetric analysis using practical method.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions are formulated to guide the study.
- What is the mean performance score of Secondary chemistry students when taught volumetric analysis using lecture and practical methods?
- What is the performance score of senior secondary school students by gender when taught volumetric analysis using practical method?
- What is the performance score of senior secondary school students by ability level when taught volumetric analysis using practical method?
- What is the interaction effect of method and ability level on senior secondary school students performance when taught volumetric analysis using practical approach.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses are formulated to help answer the research.
- There is no significant difference between students mean performance scores when taught volumetric analysis using lecture and practical methods.
- There is no significant difference between students mean performance scores by gender when taught volumetric analysis using practical method.
- There is no significant difference between students mean performance scores by ability level when taught volumetric analysis using practical method.
- There is no significant interaction effect between method and ability level on students mean performance scores when taught volumetric analysis using practical method.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research work will add to information in the data base and will be helpful to teachers, counselors, curriculum planners, school administrators, and the government in tackling the challenge of decline of science education standard in the country.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
Different types of reactions are used in volumetric analysis. These include acid-base, precipitation, complexation, and redox reactions. In acid-base reaction also known as neutralization reaction, acid is neutralize by base to form salt and water as the only product. Precipitation reaction entails the reaction of a reagent with analyte to form insoluble compound. In complexation reaction, the reagent combines analyte to form a coordination compound. Similarly, redox reaction involves electron transfer. Of all the reactions used in volumetric analysis, neutralization is the commonly used in secondary school volumetric analysis. This project is thus restricted to acid-base reaction.
1.8 Limitations of the Study
The study did not record any impediment which might affect the generalisability of the result of the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Volumetric analysis: This has to do with the measurement of volume of a solution of known concentration to determine the concentration of the analyte.
Practical approach: This is a teaching method in which students observe or manipulate real objects or materials or they witness a teacher demonstration.
Performance: This means the accomplishment of a given task measured against preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost, and speed.