Background of the Study
Science is a body of organized knowledge and a process of inquiry that is geared towards understanding natural phenomenon in order to enhance the living standard of man. (Bichi,2012) defines science as intellectual activities carried out by scientists designed to discover information about the natural world in which we live and to discover ways in which this information can be organized to benefit human race. In this respect, the primary focus of science is to collect data and the ultimate purpose is to discern order that exists in natural phenomena and happenings around us.
Integrated science (now Basic Science and Technology)was introduced in Nigerian secondary schools in 1972 at the junior secondary school level as a result of the outcome of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) Committee set up to look into the three (3)sciences that is .Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The program has been in existence for forty (40) years. Recently, there was a trend from Integrated science to Basic science and Technology following the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Councils(2007) decision to re-structure the Basic Education Programme to the 9-year Basic Education Programme in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015. It became imperative that the existing curricula for primary and JSS should be reviewed, re-structured and realigned to fit a 9-year basic education programme and the upper basic education curriculum is for JSS 1-3level.Basic Science and Technology concepts(content is almost the same except for introduction of some basic technological concepts) is generally geared towards technological development and appropriate strategy for the acquisition of relevant skills needed for meaningful learning of science concepts. Studies such as Usman, (2007) have shown that teachers of Basic Scienceand Technology are not qualified and this in turn affects academic performance. One major problem of the teachers is their inability to use appropriate activity based teaching strategy. They often resort to traditional, lecture method that has been shown to lead to poor academic performance in Junior Secondary Schools, (Usman, 2007). [Inspite of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s encouragement in the teaching of science in Nigerian schools by providing both moral and financial support, e.g. the establishment of National Science and Technology Fund(1998).National Policy on Education Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN,2008).Science is still presented to pupils as facts that young people are expected to memorize, thus less emphasis is placed on science processes and practical application of science which makes science more relevant to the needs and aspiration of the society]. Fisher (2012) feels that science suffers from pedagogical deficiency as a result of which most people cannot see the connection between the scientific knowledge they learn and daily life. Mari (2014) observed that science subjects are taught in Nigerian schools today predominantly by using the traditional method, commonly known as lecture method. Isa (2009) observed that “most science teachers do not encourage student’s active participation in the teaching process. Bichi (2012) compared the effectiveness of problem solving teaching method with traditional method in promoting students’ academic achievements in evolution concept, and found that the former was more effective than the latter. The use of inappropriate teaching strategy and lack of adequate instructional materials have been a major challenge to effective teaching of the subject.
Basic Science and Technology is the foundation upon which the bulk of present technological breakthrough is built. It is through the application of Basic Science and Technology that man ensures the longevity of his existence (Ewesor 2015). According to Ukpai, Gabriel, Okechukwu and Ugama (2016). Basic science and technology is the basic subject that lays foundation for the take – off of the science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) in secondary classes. Basic science and technology as a school discipline is relatively new in the Nigeria context and has a lot of activities, and as such the methods used in teaching and learning of basic science and technology should be in a way that it will allow the learner to learn through activity based instructional strategy.
Basic science and technology is a subject that introduces students at the junior secondary school in Nigeria to the basic rudiment of technology. At the inception of the 6-3-3 system of Education, it was called “integrated science” but currently in the 9-3-4 system of Education it is called “Basic Science and Technology”. The National Policy on Education, define it as the aspect of education which leads to acquisition of practical and applied skills as well as basic scientific knowledge. It is also a subject that deals with fundaments of engineering and technology and its components include: Woodwork, Metalwork, building construction electrical/electronics, computer, mechanics, technical drawing. It is important to note that science and technology are the bed rock of growth and development of any nation. Integration of Basic Science and Technology as a pre-vocational subject into the junior secondary curriculum in Nigeria is to train student for the purpose of initiating, facilitating, implementing technical literacy. The major significance of Basic science and technology as documented in the JSS Curriculum are to encourage and enable student to:
Develop inquiring minds and curiosity about science and the natural world
Devise skills for problem solving
Apply previous knowledge to novel situation and to relate his experience in each subject area to another area and also relate same to life in his society.
Develop basic scientific inquiry to design and carry out scientific investigations and evaluate scientific evidence to draw conclusion.
The primary purpose of teaching at any level of education is to bring a fundamental change in the learner (Tebabal & Kahssay, 2011). To facilitate the process of knowledge transmission, teachers should apply appropriate teaching methods that best suit specific objectives and level exit outcomes. In the traditional epoch, many teaching practitioners widely applied teacher-centered methods to impart knowledge to learners comparative to student-centered methods. Until today, questions about the effectiveness of teaching methods on student learning have consistently raised considerable interest in the thematic field of educational research (Hightower 2011). Moreover, research on teaching and learning constantly endeavor to examine the extent to which different teaching methods enhance growth in student learning. Quite remarkably, regular poor academic performance by the majority of students is fundamentally linked to application of ineffective teaching methods by teachers to impact knowledge to learners (Adunola, 2011). Substantial research on the effectiveness of teaching methods indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected by the achievements of learners. According to Ayeni (2011), teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners so as to achieve specific outcomes. In order for the method used for teaching to be effective, Adunola (2011) maintains that teachers need to be conversant with numerous teaching strategies that take recognition of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered.
To address such short falls, Zakaria, Chin and Daud (2010) specified that teaching should not merely focus on dispensing rules, definitions and procedures for students to memorize, but should also actively engage students as primary participants.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Review confirms that Basic science and Technology is not being taught the way it should in Nigerian schools (Usman, 2008). According to Brent (2015), it is to be viewed and practiced in a practical way, instead teachers teach students to memorize facts and give them no room to do science. This has affected the performance of students in the subject. They do not only perform poorly, but have very low interest for it. The researcher further said that Activity-Based teaching strategy allows students to independently plan, investigate, collect data, analyze them, draw conclusions and generalizations. Use of activity makes learning learner ‘centered and could lead to meaningful learning and acquisition of science process skills. The students also have ample opportunity to make plausible hypotheses and test them to generate ideas, which are expected in their own language (Mari, 2008). Suboptimal academic performance by the majority of students at higher education level has largely been cited to be the result of ineffective teaching methods by teachers’
The Nigeria vision of 21st century will be a mirage if the poor academic performance of students in Basic Science and Technology is not addressed. The researcher observed that memorization of facts has replaced experimentation in some of the Nigeria schools. Hence, technological advancement and breakthrough remain a hope of many decades to come. Dependency on ineffective teaching strategies which make students to view Basic Science and Technology as a foreign concept that be memorized rather than understood is reasons of this research. The present study therefore investigated the effect of activity and conventional teaching strategies and students’ academic performance in Essien Udim Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of the use of activity and conventional teaching strategies and students’ academic performance in Basic Science and Technology. Specifically, the study sought to:
Determine the effect of activity and conventional teaching strategies on students’ academic performance in Basic Science and Technology.
Asses the difference in academic performance of male and female students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies in Basic Science and Technology.
Compare the retention ability of students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies in Basic Science and Technology.
1.4 Research Questions
This research work investigates the following
What is the difference between the academic performance mean score of students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies in Basic science and technology?
What is the difference between the academic performance means scores of male and female students taught the concept of rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies?
What difference exists in the retention ability of students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies?
1.5 Statement of Hypotheses
The following null hypothesis, were formulated for this study.
Ho1 There is no significant difference the academic performance mean scores of students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies in Basic Science and Technology.
Ho2 There is no significant difference in academic performance mean scores of male and female students taught the concept of rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies.
Ho3 There is no significant difference in the retention ability of students taught rotation and revolution of the earth using activity and conventional teaching strategies.