This study determined the effect of two modes of improvised instructional materials on secondary school students’ achievement in Obollo-Afor Education Zone. Five research questions and five hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The design was quasi-experimental pre-test – post test non-randomized, non-equivalent group. The population for the study comprised all the 3,758 senior secondary two (SS II) students of the 37 co-educational schools in Obollo Afor education zone. The sample consisted of 149 (71 males and 78 females) students drawn randomly from four comparable schools. Students in two schools, one urban and the other rural were taught government using teacher-improvised instructional materials while students from the other two schools were guided in improvising instructional materials that were used to teach them. A researcher- made Government Achievement Test (GAT) was the instrument used for the study. The instrument was tested for reliability yielding a reliability coefficient of 0.65 using the Kudder Richardson (KR20). Mean, standard deviation and ANCOVA were used to analyze data. Results of the study showed that there was no significant difference in the achievement of students exposed to teacher improvised materials and those exposed to student improvised materials although students exposed to teacher improvised materials had a slightly higher adjusted mean score than their counterparts exposed to students improvised materials. Students’ mean achievement scores did not differ significantly due to gender although the females had a slightly higher adjusted mean score than their male counterparts. In addition, students mean achievement scores did not differ significantly as a result of school location although students in the rural schools had a slightly higher adjusted mean score than their urban counterparts. Furthermore, there was no significant interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender on students’ mean achievement scores in government, and there was no significant interaction effect of mode of improvisation and school location on students’ mean achievement scores in Government. The educational implication of the findings is that the emphasis placed on teacher improvisation in curriculum design and implementation is misplaced. Students’ improvisation is also effective. Both teachers and students should engage in improvisation as a way to facilitate the achievement of educational objectives. The two modes of improvised instructional materials must be emphasized in the design and implementation of the curriculum by the ministry of education if the educational Objectives are to be realised in secondary schools. Government should, therefore, set up regular programmes for teachers on improvisation. Moreso, students’ improvisation should always be encouraged. Government should, through the ministry of Education, strengthen its supervision in schools to ensure that both urban and rural schools improvise instructional materials.
Background of the Study
The main purpose of learning is to effect change in behaviour of the learners. This is achieved through effective instructional delivery by the teacher. The success or otherwise of teaching – learning activities depends to a large extent, on how well the teacher communicates and to what extent the teacher is able to involve the learners in activities during and after instruction (Offorma, 1994). This is because the desired changes in learning behaviour can only come not merely through teachers’ instructional activities but also, learners active and meaningful participation. Learners’ participation can be promoted through the use of instructional materials. Abdullahi cited in Oladejo, Olosunde, Ojebisi & Isola (2011), defined instructional materials as materials or tools locally made or imported that could make tremendous enhancement of learning of a lesson if intelligently used.
Learning has been found to be optimally enhanced by adequate and appropriate selection and use of instructional materials by the teacher as well as the learner. Teaching and learning can only be effective when adequate and suitable instructional materials are used (Afolabi, Adeyanju, Adedapo & Falade, 2006). It is also believed that instructional materials affect the attitude, interest and motivation of the learners (Offorma, 1990). It is, therefore, very essential that teachers are acquainted with the knowledge with which to select and use learning materials effectively for the attainment of set goals (Offorma, 1994). Agun (1982) observed that availability of suitable instructional materials or learning resources, in good supply and rich variety and range, is essential in education and especially crucial for the achievement of curriculum objectives. Instructional materials are materials applied during the course of instruction to facilitate learning. These materials are either imported or locally made.
There are different types of instructional materials that teachers can use. These include real objects or representations of real objects. For example, models, display boards, still pictures, motion pictures, graphic, arts etc are used as representations of real objects. Depending on how instructional materials appeal to the senses, they could also be classified into three, namely: Audio, Visual and Audio – visual materials. Audio materials are materials that appeal to the sense of hearing while visual materials are materials that appeal to the sense of sight. Audio-visual materials are materials that appeal to both the sense of hearing and the sense of sight at the same time (Nwoji 2002). Different studies (e.g Johnson 2006, Njoku 2000 and Olayiwola 1996) have shown that instructional materials are not readily available in secondary schools. In view of this, teachers are left with no other alternative than to source materials from the local environment to design and produce alternative materials for instruction. This process of producing alternative materials for instruction is known as improvisation. and the materials produced in this process are known as improvised materials.
Improvisation is the act of designing and producing instructional materials from locally available resources by the teacher and or learners and utilizing such materials to facilitate effective instruction in the classroom. According to Eniaiyeju (1983), improvisation is the act of using alternative materials and resources to facilitate instruction wherever there is lack or shortage of specific first-hand teaching materials. The designing and production of such instructional materials may be successfully accomplished through the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the teacher or in co-operation with the students (Njoku, 2000). Improvisation, therefore, implies using simple and inexpensive materials which may be sourced locally to produce alternative instructional materials where first hand instructional materials are lacking.
Njoku (2000) justifying the need for improvisation of instructional materials observed that the dwindling economic fortunes of the country makes it imperative that teachers should improvise instructional materials, using resources available within the local environment. Olayiwola (1996) observed that the prevailing economic situation of a nation has its own effects on the provision of educational facilities and instructional materials. The present economic predicament in Nigeria has resulted in a situation whereby simple instructional materials have become luxury items in schools. Olayiwola (1996) added that some resource centres established in states and some universities for the purpose of producing, procuring and presentation of instructional materials are going moribund. The effect is that teachers, as well as the students, have to improvise instructional materials if they are going to attain the goals of education.
It is observed that teachers do not show serious commitment to improvisation. Marjiorie and Brown cited in Njoku (2000) noted teachers’ lack of commitment to improvisation when they warned that teachers should not use lack of instructional materials as an excuse to resort to poor teaching. Rather, teachers should ensure quality instruction by improvising the needed materials from the available local materials for their classroom instruction. The need for improvisation of instructional materials cannot be over emphasized. Jekeyinfa (2012) stated that the use of these materials would make discovered facts glue firmly to the memory of the students. Momoh (1980) found out that instructional material have significant effect on students’ academic achievement in different school subjects of which Government is one.
Government as a school subject or academic field of study is the study of agencies, political institutions and dynamics of the state (Anyaele, 2005). Government as a subject looks into the functions and relationship between the institutions involved in steering the affairs of the state. It studies international organizations of which the state has membership and the relationship between the state and other states. At the secondary school level it is called Government and is taught at the senior secondary school level (SS1-SS3).At the tertiary school level Government is called Political Science and is taught under several units. These include public administration, international relations, political theory, comparative politics, political thought, local Government and so on. Government equips the students with the knowledge of the processes of governance of their state and prepares them as citizens to be able to partake in the affairs of their state. According to the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC, 2012), the main focus of Government as a field of study is to help students understand the institution of the state and the process of governance so as to be able as citizens to actively participate in the process of national development and the political processes of the societies. In addition, Government as a field of study enables the citizens to understand and be able to defend their fundamental human rights (Anyaele, 2005). Knowledge of Government equally opens the eyes of the citizens and enables them to partake in the politics of their country. This perhaps accounts for the popularity of Government as a subject among Arts inclined students in Secondary Schools in Enugu State, Nigeria. Yet performance of students in the subject has not been encouraging.(see Appendix A page 111).
The various school curricula including that of Government are reviewed periodically. The NERDC (2012) in its reviewed Government curriculum, stated that in the last two decades, Nigeria’s socio-political terrain has undergone landmark changes. At the international level, new organizations have been formed and old ones have changed their names. Political boundaries, the NERDC continued, have also had great adjustments and as such if school curriculum must keep pace with these changes there is urgent need for it to become responsive. This is because there is a dysfunction between these changes and the old Government Curriculum. The aim of the periodic review of the various curricula is for students’ achievement in the various subjects including Government to be enhanced.
Government as a subject, however, has continued to record poor performance in spite of the interest of students in the subject. The National West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s report (2013) decried mass failure of students in various school subjects including Government in both May/June and November/December West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) over the years. Taking the weaknesses of the students in the various subjects one after the other, it explained that poor performance of students in Government result from quite a number of factors. These factors include: poor understanding of the questions, inability to discuss answers well, illegibility of hand writing, disobedience to basic rubrics among other reasons. Students of Obollo Afor education zone have been observed to record poor performance in Government. A close look at the WASSCE summary result of academic achievement of Students of Obollo Afor education zone will show an evidence of this poor performance (see Appendix A page 111).
The NERDC (2012) recommended that in addition to the use of interactive and participatory approaches to make learning active, robust and interesting, documentaries, video clips, newspapers, materials from National Museums and Archives must be procured in order to realize the objectives of the new Government curriculum. However, it is unfortunate that these instructional materials mentioned are not readily available in many public schools in Enugu State. The teacher in this situation will be left with no other alternative than to improvise the materials for classroom instruction in Government. Offorma((1990) observed that most teachers fail to improvise instructional materials and also fail to ask the students to do so. The result is always poor instruction. This is so because positive learning outcomes will ensue if there are adequate human and material resources and they are effectively utilized during instruction.
The effect of improvised materials on students’ achievement in government may have some relationship with factors such as mode of improvisation, gender of students, and school location. Mode of improvisation refers to whether these materials are improvised by the teacher or the students. These two modes of improvisation of instructional materials involved in the study may influence students’ achievement differently. When they are improvised by the teacher, it helps the teacher to become more versatile in knowledge of his lesson and eases the delivery of the lesson. It further enables the teacher to explore the environment, harness local materials and use same in the design or production of materials. On the part of the students, improvisation enables them to engage in the exploration of their environment and as such brings about discovery learning. Improvisation by the students increases the rate at which they learn or assimilate facts during lessons (Johnson, 2006). This is because having been involved in the process of improvisation of materials for use during a particular instruction the students are in a better position to relate their experience with new knowledge they gain from the lesson thereby learning faster. Therefore, the mode of improvisation of instructional materials could affect students’ academic achievement in all subjects including Government. Gender of the students involved in improvisation may affect the academic achievement of the students.
Gender is a range of physical, mental and behavioural characteristics distinguishing masculinity and feminity. According to World Health Organisation (2003), gender refers to socially constructed roles, behaviours and activities a particular society considers appropriate for men and women. The distinct roles may give rise to gender inequality between men and women which may systematically favour one group. In turn, such inequality can lead to inequality between men and women in other spheres of life such as health status and access to medicare. This inequality as a result of gender may also have some effect on the performance of students in academic tasks. Certain academic fields for example, mathematics, physical science and engineering are generally perceived as predominantly men’s fields while such areas like Arts subjects which include Government and in the sciences, subjects like Biology are presumably dominated by females. American Association of University Women, (1992) corroborated this view when it stated that among the core academic subjects, some are considered typically “male” and others “female”. It noted that in spite of increased female enrolment in mathematics and science courses, ideas persist that these subjects are for boys, while the humanities and social sciences are for girls. The gender of the students, therefore, may influence students’ academic achievement in government.
Since the education zone is made up of urban and rural schools, school location is another factor that may influence academic achievement of students in government. School location refers to the site of the school and the nature of the environment where the school is built. Based on where a school is built, Owoeye and Olatunde (2011) classified schools into urban school or rural school. Urban schools are those schools in areas known to have more population and more amenities like good roads, pipe borne water, access to good medicare, more number of schools, high students’ population and good transportation system than the rural areas. This situation, for example, may affect the supply of teachers to both urban and rural areas and as such affect the academic achievement of students. Experience has shown that most teachers would always want to remain in the urban schools. The result is that some schools in the rural areas continue to lack teachers in some subject areas, and this lack of teachers in turn may likely affect teaching and learning in most subjects including government in secondary schools in Enugu State.
However, students in rural areas engage in more exploration of the environment than the counterpart in urban areas. This is so because the rural children are less restricted than the urban children who live in flats and congested yards. This may affect the improvisation behaviour of the teachers and students and may in turn affect students’ academic achievement. Location may, therefore, have relationship with improvisation and with the academic achievement of students in government.
Parker (2013) and Sule (2013) have shown that improvised instructional materials enhance students’ learning. Whenever there is shortage of first hand instructional materials teachers and students are to improvise or construct alternative materials for use during instruction. Depending on who improvises-teacher or students-two modes of improvisation of instructional materials are emphasized in this study. The effects of these two modes of improvisation of instructional materials need to be examined to determine their effects on secondary school students’ achievement in Government in Obollo Afor education zone. It is equally important to determine the influence of gender and school location as variables on the students’ academic achievement in Obollo Afor education zone.
Statement of the Problem
With the popularity of Government among arts inclined students in secondary schools in Obollo Afor education zone, One would expect high performance of students in the subject area. However, it is surprising to note that students’ performance in the subject is not encouraging. Available WASSCE summary result from Obollo Afor education zone shows evidence of poor performance of students in Government in the zone .
Studies have shown that appropriate selection and use of instructional materials during instruction enhance students’ learning. Teachers of Government are expected to ensure proper selection and use of these instructional materials. However, it has been observed that these instructional materials are no longer supplied to schools. It becomes imperative that the instructional materials be improvised. Conventionally, teachers are expected to improvise instructional materials; but the new thinking is that both teachers and students are to engage in improvisation of instructional materials. Therefore, two modes of improvisation- teachers’ mode and students’ mode are involved in this study. Studies have been done to compare the effect of the use of teacher-improvised materials and the use of standard materials or use of no materials during instruction on students’ achievement. However, no study to the best knowledge of the researcher has examined the effect of the two modes of improvisation of instructional materials, on secondary school students’ achievement in government.
Therefore, the problem of the study becomes: what are the effects of mode of improvisation (teacher and student improvised materials), gender and school location on secondary school students’ achievement in Government?
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the effect of two modes of improvisation of instructional materials on students’ achievement in Government in secondary schools in Obollo Afor Education Zone.
Specifically, the study intends to find out the;
- Effect of teacher and student improvised materials on the achievement of students in government.
- influence of gender on students’ achievement in government.
- influence of school location on the achievement of students in government.
- interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender on students’ achievement in Government.
- interaction effect of mode of improvisation and school location on students achievement in government.
Significance of Study
This study is anchored on Jerome Bruner’s theory of instruction. This theory emphasizes exploration of the environment by learners as technique for teaching and learning and as a key to discovery learning. When students and teachers are involved in improvisation, they experience discovery learning. This can be transferred into the classroom to improve achievement of the students. Therefore, this study provides the opportunity to verify the extent improvisation by teachers and students improves learning.
The findings of the study could also be of benefit to researchers, Ministry of Education officials, teachers, students and curriculum planners. It could furnish researchers with relevant information on the effect of improvisation of instructional materials on students achievement in government. If this work is published in magazines or journals researchers can have access to the findings and make use of it in enriching their research work. This could be useful should they opt to take up research issues relating to improvisation of instructional resources.
The findings of this study, when published, could be of help to the Ministry of Education in planning conferences, workshops and seminars for capacity building of the teachers and students in improvisation of instructional materials. This is because findings from this study would indicate whether teachers or students improvised instructional materials would be more effective.
The findings of the study could be of immense help to the teachers and school authorities. The school authorities could based on how effective the two modes of improvisation are in enhancing learning, which mode was more effective, mount workshops for teachers and students on improvisation of instructional materials. Through these workshops, the teachers acquire more skills in improvisation and experience discovery learning through exploration of the environment during improvisation.
The findings of this study could also assist curriculum planners. This is because the findings could guide them in curriculum development, instructional design, implementation and evaluation. It could guide them in integrating the improvised materials topic by topic in curriculum and instructional design.
Textbook authors/publishers are also hopefully going to benefit from the findings of this study. This is because the publications of the findings of the study could supply them with relevant information that would help in enriching their textbooks by integrating the appropriate modes of improvisation in them.
The findings of the study could also be of immense help to the students as it would encourage students to develop instructional materials that would enhance teaching and learning. This would equally encourage students to explore their own environment thereby gaining more knowledge through discovery. This boosts students’ learning ability and as such enhances their academic performance.
Scope of the Study
This comparative study was carried out in Obollo Afor education Zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. It compared the effect of teacher and student improvised instructional materials on secondary school students’ achievement in Government in Obollo Afor education zone of Enugu State, Nigeria. Secondary variables of interest include: gender, school location, and their interaction effects with mode of improvisation of instructional materials on learners’ achievement in government in secondary schools in Obollo Afor education zone of Enugu state, Nigeria. The contents of the lessons are delimited to six (6) SS II third term topics, namely:
- pre-colonial Administration in Yorubaland
- pre-colonial Administration in Hausa/Fulani land
- pre-colonial Administration in Igboland.
- British colonial policy of indirect rule
- French colonial policy of Assimilation and Association.
- Nationalism: Rise, Growth and Effects.
Experience has shown that students see the third term scheme of SS 2 as difficult topics. This is probably because the topics are more of history and less of elements of government they studied in SS 1. The first six topics were selected in order not to disrupt normal school teaching sequence. Third term is of 12 to 13 weeks duration. Moreso, mid-term test normally comes in the middle of each term. The first six weeks were, therefore, chosen so as not to disrupt the mid-term tests that come between the seventh and eight weeks of the term.
The following research questions guided the study.
- What are the mean achievement scores of students exposed to teacher and student improvised materials?
- What is the influence of gender on mean achievement scores of students in Government?
- What is the influence of school location on mean achievement scores of students in Government?
- What is the interaction effect of mode of improvisation and gender of students on the mean achievement scores of students in Government?
- What is the interaction effect of mode of improvisation and location of school on the mean achievement scores in Government?
These null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho1 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught with teacher improvised materials and those taught with student- improvised materials.
Ho2 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students in Government due to gender.
Ho3 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students in Government due to school location.
Ho4 There is no significant interaction effect of the mode of improvisation and gender on the mean achievement scores of students in Government.
Ho5 There is no significant interaction effect of the mode of improvisation and school location on mean achievement scores of the students in Government.