1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The development of any nation depends largely on the level of education attained by her citizens especially in the area of science and technology. Science subjects constitute a major part of the subjects being offered in most secondary school institutions in Nigeria today. These subjects are so important that the Federal Government National Policy on Education (2012), Section 5, Item 22(c) states in specific terms that “The Secondary School Education shall provide trained manpower in the applied science and technology. The National Policy on Education (2012) further states that science subjects constitute part of the core subjects at both Junior and Senior Secondary School levels. The importance of chemistry in the development of any nation cannot be underrated especially in Nigeria where the national income rests on petroleum and petrochemical industries. The performance of chemistry students at the secondary and tertiary levels has been poor and deplorable over the years (Jimoh, 2012 & Umoren et al, 2014). Low achievement and negative attitudes of secondary school students are basic problems of chemical education. Analysis of students’ performance in the science at SSCE level as noted by Njoku (2014) revealed that between 2014 and 2014, the annual average pass rate at credit level (senior secondary 1 to 3) in chemistry was 15.41%, while the absolute failure rate (grade 9) was 61.82%. Methodology is very vital in any teaching-learning situation. It may promote, hinder learning or sharpen mental activities which are the bases of social power or may discourage initiatives and curiosity thus making self-reliance and survival difficult. There are different types of methods for efficient and effective teaching. These methods include: Lecture, demonstration, laboratory, field trip, assignment, peer-teaching method, etc. The adoption of lecture method by most teachers in order to overcome the bulky chemistry syllabus before the SSCE affects students’ performance. On the other hand, it has been discovered that chemistry teachers predominantly use conventional instructional strategies in teaching chemistry (Oyelekan, Olorundare and Anyimigbo, 2013; Achimugu, 2016). It was further discovered that lecture and demonstration instructional strategies are the most popularly used conventional teaching strategies (Ibe and Nwosu, 2015; Ernest, 2010; Alfa 2012; Atusa and Abdullahi, 2015). The lecture teaching method, otherwise known as the “chalk and talk” method is one in which the teacher verbally present ideas, concepts and facts to learners. Anaekwe, Nzelum, Olisakwe and Okpala (2010) defined lecture method as a process of delivering verbally a body of knowledge according to pre-planned scheme. The lecture method is the easiest, cheapest and can be used to cover the syllabus and teach large groups of students. However, using this method reduces students to passive listeners and does not encourage the acquisition of critical thinking skills and students’ active participation in the lessons. This traditional lecture strategy was used as a control in this study. Although traditional lecture strategy is heavily criticised, it can be improved upon or enriched by proper planning and encouraging students to ask and answer questions to assure their participation or even combining it with other methods such as questioning and discussion strategies. Therefore, lecture method refers to the strategy that is used in conjunction with other strategies such as questioning skills that will ensure active participation of students in the classroom interaction pattern. In this strategy a good chemistry teacher should ensure a two-way communication pattern and shared responsibility by asking questions and encouraging students to ask their own questions. A good teacher should direct questions to volunteers and non-volunteers of the class and should also reward good answers to ensure full participation of all the students in the class. Demonstration teaching strategy is the process involving displaying, showing and doing activity for the benefit of the students. The demonstration teaching method is characterised by doing and observing; showing and listening; using teaching materials and deducing; questioning and answering questions, etc. Demonstration can be carried out by invited guest or class teacher or students. Demonstration method helps students to develop listening skills, observation skills, manipulative skills, interest, and enthusiasm. It also stimulates thinking and concept formation. Demonstration strategy can be enriched or improved upon if demonstration is experimental and involves problem-solving. It can also be combined with other modes of instruction such as discussion strategy. Therefore, enriched demonstration instructional strategy entails structuring traditional demonstration in the classroom in such a way that the students are at the centre of learning while the teacher acts as a facilitator. In this strategy students are encouraged to carry out the demonstration themselves, while the teacher ensured active participation through questioning, brainstorming and debates during the lesson. By so doing, a good chemistry teacher ensures that students’ interest and attention span are captured during the lesson. Researchers believe that in the lecture method, theory is taught as an absolute knowledge; hence students-centred activities for developing scientific reasoning skills and processes are lacking. The lecture method is also known to cause lack of interest and poor performance in science as opined by Njoku (2014). Aghadinano (2013) contended that science teaching limited exclusively to telling, reciting and testing of information is sterile as it does not convey either the meaning or intent of science. Akpan (2014) specifically stated that this is the method dominating science teaching in Nigerian Secondary Schools. Mari (2012) and Okebukola (2013) have called for a change from lecture method in teaching Chemistry. This is because of its disadvantages in the learning of science in science classrooms. The demonstration method has the advantage of being a good way of motivating students to learn and also believed to save time and materials as well as shows how to avoid breakages and accidents. However, it does not allow students to develop manipulation demands for carrying out activities on their own. Also, the scope covered in demonstration seeing details of objects being demonstrated is less. It is in view of the foregoing, that this study was initiated to examine the effect of lecture and demonstration methods on students’ academic achievement and interest in secondary schools inorganic chemistry in Edo state, Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Chemistry being a core subject in the study of sciences and engineering should be given a special consideration. Many students find inorganic chemistry to be a hindrance in attaining their aims and objectives (Donald, 2017). Students’ persistent poor performance has been partly ascribed to inadequate teaching and instructional methods adopted by science teachers (Erickson et al, 2015). Derek (2014) in supporting this view reported the seriousness of the deplorable performance of secondary school students in science subjects and identified persistent use of the traditional mode of instruction as one of the major short-coming affecting the learning and higher achievement in science subjects. Chemistry as a science subject is bulky in nature. The subject teachers usually adopt lecture method in teaching in order to cover the syllabus within the stipulated time and this do not give room for proper understanding of the subject. The Chief WAEC Examiner Report (2014) noted that the rush over the topics to cover could be responsible for the poor performance in chemistry. In view of the foregoing, this study examined the acquisition of inorganic chemistry knowledge in the classroom using two instructional strategies: lecture and demonstration methods with the aim of determining the effect of each method on the academic achievement and interest of students in Secondary School.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the effect of lecture and demonstration method on achievement and interest in secondary school inorganic chemistry. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the importance of lecture and demonstration method of teaching and learning of inorganic chemistry.
2. To examine the causes of poor academic achievement and interest of students in inorganic chemistry.
3. To examine the effects of lecture method and demonstration on the achievement and interest of inorganic chemistry students in secondary schools.
4. To examine the influence of gender on academic achievement and interest of students taught using demonstration and lecture method.
5. To examine the relationship between Lecture and demonstration method of teaching on academic achievement in secondary school inorganic chemistry.
6. To identify solutions to the problems that hinder student’s performance in inorganic chemistry in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the importance of lecture and demonstration method of teaching and learning of inorganic chemistry?
2. What are the causes of poor academic achievement and interest of students in inorganic chemistry?
3. What are the effects of lecture method and demonstration on the achievement and interest of inorganic chemistry students in secondary schools?
4. What is the influence of gender on academic achievement and interest of students taught using demonstration and lecture method?
5. What is the relationship between lecture and demonstration method of teaching on academic achievement and interest in secondary school inorganic chemistry?
6. What are the solutions to the problems that hinder student’s performance in inorganic chemistry in secondary schools?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The search for innovations in industrial strategy is a continuous process in an educational system. The need to choose suitable instructional strategies in the teaching and learning of science has been of great importance. Akpan (2014) and Akinleye (2013) in separate findings have stated that the prevailing teaching method in most Nigerian schools is lecture method. This method according to them does not allow active student’s participation in science lessons. Student memorizes and regurgitates facts and concepts. Recent researches in science education have been geared towards improving the method of teaching science so as to improve students’ performance in science subject. This research work aims at finding out the effects of lecture and demonstration methods on the academic performance of students in inorganic Chemistry as a way of searching for more effective methods for teaching the subject and enhancing meaningful learning. The findings might also influence the curriculum innovation programmes in Chemistry. The findings from this study would therefore shed light on the instructional strategy that is suitable for both sexes. The findings from this research work is also hoped to provide a teaching/learning strategy that teachers’ of inorganic Chemistry could adopt so that students in their classes will benefit maximally, thereby meeting the needs of individual students in the class.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to effect of lecture and demonstration method on achievement and interest in secondary school inorganic chemistry, a case study of selected secondary schools in Abia state.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
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.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Achievement: This is performance of a student measured by the school through test and national examinations.
Chemistry: The branch of science that deals with the study of matter.
Chemistry achievement: The competency level attained in chemistry including mastery of basic skills (observation, recording, reporting), knowledge and concepts measured in terms of grades a student scores at secondary school level.
Science: A vast body of connected knowledge of theories, concepts and facts developed by scientists through scientific methods.
Inorganic Chemistry: The branch of the general chemistry that deals with inorganic compounds, synthesis and behaviour of inorganic and organometallic compounds. This field covers all chemical compounds except the myriad organic compounds, which are the subjects of organic chemistry.
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