EFFECTS OF LABORATORY EXERCISES ON SCIENCE SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ PERFORMANCE IN CHEMISTRY, IN KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON SCIENCE EDUCATION
This research work investigated the effects of laboratory exercises on science secondary school students’ performance in chemistry, in Kaduna State, Nigeria. In most of the literature reviewed, the final outcome favoured laboratory exercises. Quasi experimental and descriptive survey research were employed in this study. In quasi experimental design the researcher selected six (6) schools out of 372 science schools across the state. Similarly, 31 schools were selected for survey research, questionnaire was used to collect data. The six sample schools are from the central educational zone selected through stratified sampling technique. Four research questions and two hypotheses were formulated in conformity with the stated objectives. The reliability of the twenty test items were obtained through pilot study, using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Co-efficient r=0.78. While Cronbach Alpha was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire r=0.55. The two null hypotheses were analyzed using T-test with α = 0.05. The researcher recommended among others that, chemistry teachers should see laboratory exercises as a need that cannot be avoided.
1.1 Background to the Study
Laboratory is a focal point for all scientific activities. It is usually equipped with tools that facilitate effective teaching and learning of science. Science is experimental in nature and the laboratory helps to enhance scientific knowledge through the process of science (observing, classifying, measuring and interaction with objects and events of scientific interest). Abdullahi, (1982), emphasizes that science is not science unless it is accompanied by laboratory exercises i.e putting theories into practice. Laboratory provides ideal setting for skill development, discovery learning, inquiry and problem solving activities. Laboratory work is a range of activities from true experimental investigation to confirmatory exercises and skill acquisition. Since science is experimental in nature, any course in science should reflect this by introducing laboratory work. This is because, it is in the laboratory that learners learn science through precise measurement, accurate observation and clarity in Communication (Muhammad, 2010).