Background of the Study
Numerous studies on the value of laboratory work in science education have been done to date. At the moment, scientific educators and instructors concur that laboratory work is essential to comprehending science (Ottander&Grelsson, 2006). Some researchers have described the significance of laboratory activity in science education (Lazarowitz& Tamir, 2014; Lunetta, 2018). The major goal of laboratory work in science education is to give students conceptual and theoretical knowledge to aid in their learning of scientific concepts and to better understand the nature of science through the use of scientific methods.Students have the chance to experience science through laboratory work by utilizing scientific research techniques. Students should encounter scientific theories and the ways in which they are applied in order to learn in a meaningful way. Additionally, laboratory activity ought to promote the growth of analytical and critical thinking abilities as well as interest in science (Ottander&Grelsson, 2006).
One of the main goals of natural and applied science is to assist students in understanding scientific concepts over the long term. Natural and applied science is the combination of disciplines that analyzes living and non-living things as well as the relationship between these two through causal investigation (Cepni, 1995). There are many different approaches utilized in scientific education, but the courses that take into consideration natural and practical science (physics, chemistry, and biology) are the ones that over abstract notions and demand implementation (Ozemen&Yigit 2006).It is well known that these procedures heavily rely on laboratory work (Cepni, 1995). According to Ozemen and Yigit (2006), a laboratory is a place where students design activities based on practical application and receive hands-on experience. Tamir (1978) presents four broad factors that can also be taken into consideration to ensure that laboratories can be widely utilized.Among them is assisting students in gaining practical knowledge through concrete materials because natural and applied sciences frequently deal with difficult and abstract concepts, Encourage students to develop and improve their work habits, problem-solving, investigation, and generalization skills necessary to understand the nature of science, to develop their unique abilities through practical experience so they can use these skills in a greater number of fields, and to positively influence their attitudes toward natural and applied science through practical activities. The only course that gives elementary school kids access to a lab is technology.
Science and technology teachers are said to encounter a variety of issues, as indicated in some studies (Demir, 2011), so it is necessary to conduct laboratory activities in the science and technology course in which first-hand experience is provided, abstract concepts are made concrete, and learning occurs through addressing students' five senses while conducting these activities (Er-Demir, 2007). There are questions concerning how well laboratory work teaches students about the different facets of scientific inquiry (Schwartz et al., 2004). It is common for teachers to want to foster in their pupils higher order thinking abilities through laboratory work, although it is debatable to what extent they can do this (Ottander&Grelsson, 2006). As a result, it's crucial to examine the goals of laboratory work because they must be clearly understood by both professors and students if practical work in the lab is to be successful. In their 1980 study, Johnstone and Mahmoud sought out the opinions of students on the challenging biological topics. They concentrated on students because they thought that a student's understanding of a subject was more crucial to learning than a teacher's understanding of it.Research has demonstrated that despite efforts to more clearly describe the goals and functions of laboratory work in science education, teachers still perceive these activities as artificial (Tan, 2008). In general, teachers do not think of laboratory work as conceptually integrating with lectures in theoretical science. Teachers also don't realize that laboratory activities might give pupils the chance to do scientific research and come up with fresh knowledge.
Researchers Kang and Wallace (2005) discovered that teachers only view laboratory work as a verification-focused activity. Researchers have also found that teachers do not consider the laboratory to be a setting where discussions of scientific knowledge claims take place. Numerous causes have been identified for the issues with laboratory work (Tan, 2008). Bencze and Hodson (1999) assert that when students slavishly adhere to their lecturers' instructions, issues in laboratory work result. On the other hand, some academics contend that the laboratory has changed from being a place for science and experimentation to a place where students complete duties assigned by the teacher.During laboratory work, just the predetermined tasks are completed; neither the techniques nor the purposes are given any thought (Hart et al., 2000; Jimenez-Aleixandre et al., 2000). A poor assessment of the goals of the tasks performed in the laboratory has been linked by Wilkinson and Ward (1997) to issues with laboratory work. For many years, various uses of laboratory work have been a topic of debate across the globe. These goals have been organized into various lists at various educational levels. Many of these lists place a strong emphasis on conducting tests using technical know-how and scientific techniques.While some people place a heavy emphasis on productive goals, others have focused on different causes (Johnstone & Al-Shuaili, 2001; Reid & Shah, 2007). When secondary school biology labs are taken into consideration, the general goals of laboratory work may include: enhancing or bolstering theoretical knowledge, experiencing the thrill of discovery and developing their psycho-motor skills, teaching how scientific knowledge may be applied in daily life, increasing creative thinking skills, gains in scientific working methods and higher order thinking skills, developing communication skills, and developing manual dexterity(Bayraktar et al., 2006).
The achievement of the aforementioned aims is, however, impacted by a number of circumstances. These include student communications, laboratory manuals, and the methods utilized in laboratory training, as well as the attitudes of the teacher and the students toward the lab. Numerous studies have revealed that teachers are unaware of the diverse goals of the laboratory's practical operations (Nott & Wellington, 1997; Wilkinson & Ward, 1997). Without thoroughly understanding what the true goal of the practical activity is, the professors concur that performing a standard laboratory work is a good thing(Ergin et al., 2005). Abanikannda (2003) underlined that while there had been much said and written over the years about how to teach and how students learn, in actuality, many of these theories had not resulted in any improvement in the classroom performance of the practical teachers. Observations and experience have indicated that the majority of the issues preventing the efficient teaching of biology practical are related to the way biology teachers learn, the setting in the lab, a lack of funding for lab supplies, and a shortage of teachers qualified to handle practical. There is a gap in the literature that needs to be addressed because earlier researchers were more focused on the value of biology labs for studying students and less on the difficulties in the lab and how students view these difficulties. It is based on this backdrop that the present study is aim at examining the perception of biology students on the problems of laboratory management in SecondarySchools in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
Due to the lack of professional teachers in secondary schools and because there aren't enough resources for competent and experienced teachers to devote their full time, attention, and resources to biology practicals, in some cases students aren't allowed to use biology laboratories. This is because teachers are afraid that students will steal valuable lab materials and lose them. The majority of biology labs are in poor condition. Since the 1970s, several biology labs have been constructed with a maximum occupancy limit of twenty students in mind. However, at this time, these labs are occupied by more than 200 students, making it impossible to manage them for practical education. Researchers' testimony demonstrates that the majority of biology laboratories lack science equipment, seating, and demonstration tables.Even when these resources are accessible, how they are managed is in doubt. There is no question that these abnormalities have an impact on pupils' performance in biology exams. The majority of research studies focus on changing teaching strategies without exploring the impact that management of material resources could have on students' academic performance. Additionally, academics have studied the physical infrastructure and equipment in secondary schools without considering how much teachers make use of the resources at their disposal. This study was motivated by the problem of enhancing biology teaching and learning in secondary schools through proper provision and efficient usage of biology laboratory resources in secondary schools. This study is aim at investigating the perception of biology students on the problems of laboratory management in SecondarySchools in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to examine the perception of biology students on the problems of laboratory management in SecondarySchools in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
The following questions derived from the objectives of the study were form to give the study a direction;
The following were hypothesized;
H0: There is no significant effect of the perception of biology students on the problems of laboratory managementin SecondarySchools in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant effect of the perception of biology students on the problems of laboratory managementin SecondarySchools in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship between the problems of biology laboratory and the academic performance of SecondarySchool students in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between the problems of biology laboratory and the academic performance of SecondarySchool students in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria
Significance of the Study
The theoretical and practical implications of this investigation are significant. The social constructivist learning theory of Vygotsky and the cognitive constructivist learning theory of Piaget serve as the theoretical foundation for this work. Piaget highlighted the importance of hands-on learning for kids. The present study, which is a survey on the availability and use of laboratory resources in teaching and learning biology, is related to Piaget's cognitive constructivist learning theory since laboratory activities need students' active participation in practical tasks.
Group laboratory activities are related to Vygotsky's emphasis on learning in a social setting in the social constructivist theory. Vygotsky's theory is relevant to the current study because it supports the idea that during practical work in the lab, students interact with the materials or with one another. The present study is a survey on the availability and utilization of laboratory resources in teaching and learning biology. As a result, the findings of this investigation will support the theories.
The following people will gain something from the study's results practically: biology instructors, biology students, education administrators, policy makers, researchers, curriculum planners, and textbook authors. The study's findings may help biology teachers understand the need of making good and efficient use of the lab facilities that are offered to schools. Students will also understand the value of managing and improvising laboratory resources in secondary schools.
Students of biology would understand the value of both group and lone laboratory work conditions in the quest to study biology principles. Additionally, it might aid the kids' development of their communication, problem-solving, confidence, and critical thinking skills. These are skills they should pick up from engaging in practical tasks, which could help pupils improve their academic performance.
administrators of educational institutions, as the suggestions will promote educational advancement. Additionally, it will show students how many and what kind of laboratory materials are offered in secondary schools, as well as how effectively and efficiently they are put to use for class delivery. In order to achieve national educational goals, they will also understand the necessity of planning, directing, controlling, coordinating, and supervising higher education institutions.
The results of this study will assist policy makers in devising practical ways to supply and manage resources in secondary school biology labs. This may be accomplished by setting up resource centers where laboratory resources could be purchased, watched, and tested at discounted prices.
It would be helpful for researchers who are evaluating this study because it would give them documents and resources.
According to curriculum experts, the study's findings could serve as a springboard for implementing laboratory innovations in instruction at all levels in order to support practical learning in classrooms.
After considering the results of this study, the textbook authors would change the content of the books to include fifty percent (50%) practical work and fifty percent (50%) theoretical work on every subject connected to science.
The study would be able to shed more ight on the management issues in several tertiary institutions' science labs. The study's findings are thus anticipated to inspire the participants to enhance the single isolated variables that have been identified as the solutions to issues related to the management of space instructional equipment and laboratory electricity.
Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is to investigate the availability and utilization of laboratory human and material resource in some secondary schools. The study will determine the extent to which-to-which available resources in biology laboratories in secondary schools are being utilised. The study will be limited to senior secondary schools’ biology teachers in Isi- Uzo LocalGovernment area of Enugu State, Nigeria.
Operational Definition of Terms
Perception: Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the presented information or environment. For this study, perception refers to how student sees the problems of laboratory management in relation to their academic performance.
Biology: Biology is defined as the study of living organisms, their origins, anatomy, morphology, physiology, behaviour, and distribution.
Laboratory: A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed.
Management: Management can be defined as the process of administering and controlling the affairs of the organization, irrespective of its nature, type, structure and size. For this study, management refers to how the equipment in the laboratory are being serviced and arranged and how the rules guiding the laboratory are being implemented.
Organization of the Study
This research work is classified into five main sections. chapter one contains the introduction of the study, chapter two contains the literature review, chapter three contains the methodology, chapter four covers analysis of data and interpretation of result, and chapter five covers the summary, recommendations and conclusion of the study.
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