This study investigated effects of instructional materials on the academic achievement and retention of SS 2 biology students in Delta State. The study sample consisted of 86 SS2 biology students randomly selected from a population of 5,626 students drawn from 18 public schools. An instrument designed and developed from past WAEC questions by the researcher known as Biology Achievement Test (BAT) was validated by some senior lecturers in science, English and statistic from Ahmadu Bello University and senior biology teachers in Delta State. The instrument used was tested and certified to be reliable at 0.65 coefficient. Quasi-experimental design was adopted which involves two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental group was subjected to treatment using instructional materials but the control group was taught without any instructional materials. Four null hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics. The following major findings were made: There is a significant difference between the mean academic achievement scores of students taught using instructional materials (EG) and those taught without the use of instructional materials (CG).There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught biology concepts using instructional materials. There is significant difference in the mean retention scores of students taught with instructional materials and those taught without instructional materials. There is significant difference in the retention ability of male and female students exposed to the use of instructional materials. On the basis of these findings some recommendations were made, one of which is teachers should make use of instructional materials to facilitate the teaching of biology at secondary school level.
Science explains the natural existence of man and his activities. Science could be seen as problem solving in order to improve the living standard of man. There are different definitions of science by different schools of thought; Owolabi (2004) defines science as an integrated part of human activities. It is seen as a dynamic human activity concerned with manipulating spherical world. It is seen as “knowledge covering general truths and laws, obtained and tested through scientific methods as concerned laws with the physical world”. Science can be seen as the bedrock of national development. A nation that is not scientifically advanced is termed a backward nation. Science is used by humans to solve daily problems and control the environment.
The usefulness of science cannot be under-rated. There are many areas of life that science has contributed such as in medicine, geophysics, hydrology, agriculture, communication, technology, education, transportation, healthcare to mention a few. Agriculture has improved greatly through the introduction of high yield improved agricultural seeds. Science has led to breakthrough in medical care. Diagnostic machine for checking different ailments and diseases are now controlled and diseases cured through science. The usefulness of science to humanity cannot be over emphasized.
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