EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING AND ANALOGY ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN CHEMISTRY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page                                                                                                                     i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Approval page                                                                                                            iii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iv

Acknowledgments                                                                                                      v

Table of contents                                                                                                        vi

List of appendices                                                                                                       ix   

List of Tables                                        x                                                               Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                               1

Background of the Study                                                                                   1

Statement of the Problem                                                                          10

Purpose of the Study                                                                                                10

Significance of the Study                                                                                         11

Scope of the Study                                                                                            13

Research Questions                                                                                           13

Hypotheses                                                                                                       14

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW               15 

Conceptual Framework                                                                                    16

Chemistry                                                                                                          17

Achievement                                                                                                      21

Interest                                                                                                               23

Teaching Methods                                                                                               26

The Concept of Cooperative Learning                                                                   31

The Concept of Analogy                                                                                       41

Gender                                                                                                                 47

Theoretical Framework                                                                                        48

Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory        49

Wolfgang Kohler Cognitive Field Theory                                 49

Empirical Studies 51

Studies on Achievement and Interest                                  51

Studies on Cooperative Learning                                              52

Studies on Analogy                                                                                                    55

Studies on Gender                                                                        57

Summary of Literature Review 59

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHOD      61 

Design of the Study                                                                   61

Area of the Study                                                                                                       62

Population of the Study                                                               62

Sample and Sampling Techniques                                                   63

Instruments for data Collection                                                                  63

Validation of Instruments                                                                    63

Reliability of the Instruments                                                             64

Experimental Procedure                                                                      65

Method of data Analysis                                                                               65

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS                                                                    67

Research Question one                                                                                   67

Hypothesis one                                                                                             67

Research Question two                                                                          68

Hypothesis two                                                                                              69

Research Question Three                                                                             70

Hypothesis Three                                                                                       71

Research Question four                                                                          71

Hypothesis four                                                                                           73

Hypothesis five                                                                                  73

Hypothesis six                                                                                        74

Summary of Findings                                                                                   74

CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION, AND SUMMARY                  76

Effect of Teaching Methods on Students’ Achievement Chemistry      76

Effect of Gender on Students’ Achievement in Chemistry                77

Effect of Teaching Methods on Students’ Interest in Chemistry           77

Effect of Gender on Students’ Interest in Chemistry                         78

Interaction Effects Between Gender and Instructional Strategy on Students’ mean   Achievement Score in Chemistry                                                        78

Interaction Effects Between Gender and Instructional Strategy onStudents’ mean Interest Score in Chemistry                                                                   79

Conclusions                                                                        79

Educational Implications of the Study                                                           80

Limitations                                                                                                81

Recommendations                                                                       81

Suggestions for Further Study                                                                      82

Summary of the Study                                                                        83

REFERENCES                                                                                                            86                                                                                                                

 APPENDICES                                                                                  95

  A: Scheme of work                                                                                              95

 B: Table of Specification                                                                 96

 C: Chemistry Achievement test After Validation                                   97

 D: Marking Scheme for the Chemistry Achievement tes     100

 E: Chemistry Interest Scale After Validation          101

 F: Computation of Reliability test                               103

  G: Validity Result of Factor Analysis                                                                 105

 H: Sample size of SSS 2 Students                                            108

  I: Request for Validation                                                                                     109

 J: Lesson plan                                                                                                      110

 K: Results of Data Analyzed                                                      132

LIST OF TABLES

1: Mean and Standard Deviation of Pre-test and Post-test Achievement’s

Score of Students Taught Chemistry Using Cooperative Learning and

Those Taught Using Analogy.                                                                  67

2: Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students’ Achievement

 in Chemistry.                                                                                                            68

3: Mean and Standard Deviation of Pre-test and Post-test Achievement Score of male and Female Students’ Taught Chemistry Using Cooperative Learning and Those Taught Using Analogy.                          68

4: Mean and Standard Deviation of Pre-test and Post-test Interest Scores of Students Taught Using Cooperative Learning and Those Taught Using Analogy.                                                                                            70

5: Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students’ Interest in Chemistry.                                                                                                                 71

6: Mean and Standard Deviation of Pre-test and Post-test Interest Scores of male and Female Students’ Taught Chemistry Using Cooperative Learning and Those Taught Using Analogy.                                           72

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effects of Cooperative learning and Analogy Methods on Secondary School Students achievement and interest in chemistry. The study which adopted a quasi-experimental design was conducted in four secondary schools in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State. Out of these schools, two schools were exposed to the use of Cooperative learning (experimental 1) while the remaining two used Analogy method (experimental 2). One experiment was meant to control the other. The sample comprised 253 senior secondary school two (SSS2) chemistry students. The instruments used were chemistry achievement test (CAT) and chemistry interest scale (CIS) which were developed by the researcher and subjected to face, content and construct validation. While the reliability of the (CAT) was established using Kudder – Richardson formula 20 (K-R) 20 and 0.83 was obtained, the (CIS) reliability was calculated using Cronbach’s Alpha method and 0.84 was obtained. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used in testing the hypotheses at P<0.05. The result of the study revealed that both cooperative learning and analogy methods brought about significant shift in achievement and interest of SSS2 chemistry students. The researcher therefore recommended that chemistry teachers should employ cooperative learning and analogy methods of teaching in teaching their students for better understanding and achievement. In addition, other constructivist based teaching methods should be introduced in the pre-service teachers’ programme while the teachers in service should be upgraded through workshops and seminars on the effective use of these methods for the improvement of chemistry education and chemistry related courses in the Nigeria institution of higher learning.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

              Science holds a great potential for mankind in terms of providing him with the means of reducing life’s burden on earth. Science plays profound roles in the life of individuals and the nation. Broadly, science can be defined as a body of knowledge, which is acquired through observation and systematic experimentation (Ezeudu, 2011). Science is an important enterprise. It is a way of using human intelligence to achieve better understanding of nature and natural phenomena. Science is a systematized co-ordinated knowledge based upon the accurate observation of facts and the relation of these to the general principles of laws. According to Aniodoh (2002), Science enables man as an individual to take rational decision, create a just society and understand the environment. It helps to improve an individual’s life expectancy and provides him means of tackling problems of existence such as disease and hunger. The author also emphasized that contributions of science could be seen in the area of our modern health, automation, genetic engineering; gene cloning, agriculture, transportation, building and construction. The positive overall impacts of science on the life of individuals and national economy explain why most countries including Nigeria are making huge investment in the field of science today.

             Science is divided into two main branches viz Biological sciences and physical sciences. The biological sciences deal with living things, while the physical sciences are concerned with properties of non-living matter. Chemistry being a physical science is one of the main branches of pure science. These branches of science are being taught by science educators using scientific processes and educational principles.

              Science Education is the study of interrelationship between science as a discipline and application of educational principles to its understanding, teaching and learning (Gbamanja1991). Science education involves the teaching of science concepts, method of teaching and addressing misconceptions held by learners regarding science concepts. Okeke (2007) defined Science Education as an integrated field of study which considers both the subject matter of science discipline such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture etc. as well as the process involved in the learning and teaching of science. In other words, science education implies exposing learners, usually prospective teachers of science, to scientific attitude as well as equipping them with professional skills of a science teacher. Science Education is very important to the development of any nation. That is why every nation must take it very seriously in all institutions of learning. Science Education comprises three subjects namely: Biology, Chemistry and Physics which are combined with education.  Over the years there has been low enrolment of these courses, especially chemistry, in the tertiary institutions which can be attributed to the interest and achievement of students in these subjects in secondary schools (Kola, 2013).

              Nigeria, recognizing the need for science education in human and natural development, advocates for citizen’s acquisition of scientific and technological education. Science Education has been introduced in Nigerian schools from primary to tertiary level. However, the level of achievement in terms of acquisition of scientific skills is now the problem due to methods of teaching science subjects, especially chemistry. 

              Chemistry deals with the composition, properties and the uses of matter. It probes into the principles governing the changes that matter undergoes (Osei, 2013). Chemistry forms a major part of the manpower needs of a nation- doctors, engineers, pharmacists agriculturists and science teachers.  All at their secondary school level offered Chemistry. Nigeria today is in need of such manpower in order to gain economic independence, technological know-how and other desirable social amenities and infrastructures. Today, people are aware of the fact that there is a subject known as Chemistry and its importance is widely known. Hence, the increasing weight on the need for proper teaching of chemistry in our secondary schools.

              In spite of the importance of chemistry and the need to teach the subjects in schools, there are a number of problems confronting the teaching and learning of the subject. Some of the problems include:

  1. Shortage of qualified teachers
  1. Inappropriate teaching methods
  2. Inadequate teaching and learning facilities
  3. Lack of favourable attitude of the students to the subject (Obodo1999).

            Learning Chemistry involves two important aspects: the theoretical and the practical aspects. The theoretical aspect deals with critical thinking, logical reasoning and ability to transfer knowledge from one concept to another. The practical aspect deals with performing activities, which have indirectly or directly lead to the generation of ideas, concept and principles. Practical activities involve process of science, which includes the formulation of hypothesis, testing of hypothesis, learning of concepts, exploration, fact finding, and the application of basic skill and knowledge of Chemistry.

             The teaching and learning of chemistry is very important to man and for social development. Chemistry is taught in Nigerian secondary schools. The offering of Chemistry in secondary schools starts from senior secondary school one. However, the students are taught Basic science in their junior secondary school classes, part of which includes some aspects of basic chemistry, which are: elements and symbols, compounds, mixtures, atoms and molecules. Though, the teaching of chemistry needs teachers with high morale, motivation and a mastery of knowledge, ability to understand learner’s difficulties and capacity to facilitate learning, correct use of   appropriate teaching methods are critical to the successful teaching and learning of chemistry. Students may learn names and definitions of chemical substances theoretically. But to master chemical reactions, they need to mix the chemicals and observe subsequent reactions. Knowledge of how teaching methods affect students’ learning may help teachers to select methods that improve teaching quality, effectiveness, and accountability to learners. It may also help them keep up with information technology and globalisation (Zadra 2000). The knowledge and application of Chemistry have led to tremendous changes and development in society. The development in chemical industry, the provision of good food and drugs are traceable to the development in Chemistry and other fields of knowledge that have chemistry as their foundation.

              Over the years, curriculum planners have been trying to see how achievement of students offering Chemistry as a subject can be affected positively through the teaching of the subject. The chemistry curriculum is aimed at satisfying the Chemistry requirements of the senior secondary school programme in the new National Policy on Education (FRN, 2009).The objectives of the curriculum are to:

  1. develop interest in the subject of chemistry;
  2. acquire basic theoretical and practical knowledge and skills;
  3. develop interest in science, technology and mathematics;
  4. acquire basic STM knowledge and skills;
  5. develop reasonable level of competence in ICT applications that will engender       entrepreneurial skills;
  6. apply skills to meet societal needs of creating employment and wealth;
  7. be positioned to take advantage of the numerous career opportunity offered by     

       chemistry;

  • be adequately prepared for further studies in chemistry.

        In addition the reviewed curriculum:

  • Will facilitate a smooth transition in the use of scientific concepts and techniques       acquire in the new Basic  Science and Technology curriculum with chemistry;
  •     Provide students with the basic knowledge in chemical concepts and principles through efficient selection of contents and sequencing;
  •     Show chemistry and its interrelationship with other subjects;
  •     Show chemistry and its links with industry, everyday life activities and hazards;
  •     Provide a course which is complete for students not proceeding to higher education            while at the same time provides a reasonably adequate foundation for a post-  secondary school chemistry course.

           In our secondary schools, many students always complain about the teaching of chemistry as a subject. Some see chemistry as being abstract. The academic achievement of students in Chemistry is in a sorry state. WAEC examiners report has shown that in the result of May/June 2011 the Mean score in chemistry was 32 with Standard Deviation 18.39. In the year 2012, the Mean score was 30 and a Standard Deviation of 13.39. This indicates that the achievement of students in 2012 was poorer than that of 2011. So, we often find a situation where by students do not want to offer the subject and those who do, eventually get poor grades. One would say therefore that the teaching of chemistry so far in our secondary schools is causing a “psychological imbalance” on the part of the students since their performance does not qualify them to go for the courses of their choice in higher institutions.

             Chemistry is seen  as one of the core subjects in the science curriculum of secondary school education  and various teaching methods have been put together to ensure effective teaching and achievement on the part of the  teachers and students respectively.

In this study, the focus will be on the methods of teaching chemistry in schools. A number of teaching methods can easily be identified (Nworgu, 2009). These include: lecture method, discussion method, problem- solving method, team teaching method, inquiry method, guided discovery method, demonstration method, project method, field trip method, analogy method, cooperative learning and constructivist-based method.

             The teaching of chemistry has been didactic traditional approach (Nworgu, 2009). This is dominated by lecture method where the teacher gives out all the facts he/she wants the students to acquire and master without caring whether or not the students are actively participating in and contributing to the success of the lesson .The discussion method involves intelligent exchange of opinions between a whole class or a small group on a topic or an object. Inquiry method is termed “student centred” and some teachers advocate its use because it involves unstructured exploration by the students through their own process such as observing, measuring, classifying and from this investigation, generalization or conclusion can be made. Since some of these methods have failed to bring about improvement in students’ achievement in chemistry (WAEC, 2012), the question now is – How do we handle the teaching of chemistry in the present age for effective learning? An attempt to answer this question calls for the need to try other methods of teaching for students’ better interest and achievement in the subject.  Most of the convectional or traditional methods such as lecture method, team teaching method, and discussion method encourage rote learning and memorization of concepts without actually exposing students to challenges that will make them to be actively engaged in learning process (Nworgu, 2009). The over reliance on these methods do not really encourage students’ interest and achievement in Chemistry (Sanni and Ochepa, 2002).  In view of this, the present study will want to investigate the effects of Cooperative learning and Analogy method on secondary school students’ interest and achievement in chemistry.

             Kagan (2001) defined Cooperative learning as a successful teaching strategy in which small team (each with students of different level of ability) use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Cooperative learning on the other hand is a method that encourages team spirit. Students are placed in groups and intelligent students can assist the less intelligent ones (Ezeudu, 2011). Cooperative learning is a teaching strategy in which the goals of the separate individuals are so linked together that there is positive correlation among the group members for the attainment of their goal i.e., an individual obtains his or her goals only if the other members can obtain their goals. Hence, a person seeks an outcome that is beneficial to all those with whom he or she is cooperatively linked. Cooperative learning can also be defined as the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and one another’s learning. In cooperative learning situations, there is positive interdependence among students’ goal attainments. Students perceive that they can reach their teaching- learning goals only if the other students in their learning group also reach their goals (Johnson and Johnson, 1999). Cooperative learning is an innovative teaching –learning strategy. Cooperative efforts result in participants striving for mutual benefit so that all group members share a common fate, knowing that one’s performance is mutually caused by oneself and colleagues and jointly celebrating when a group member is recognized for achievement. All the members of the group believe that they have common goal and they have the tendency to become absorbed in an experience.

            There are different techniques in Cooperative learning which are: think-pair- share-round-table, sequential form, simultaneous form and jigsaw. This study is using jigsaw technique in Cooperative learning since is a Cooperative learning technique that requires everyone’s cooperative effort to produce the final product. The name jigsaw comes from the method in which students are organized like pieces in a jigsaw to form different kind of groups, where each student (piece) must be part of the jigsaw puzzle. Jigsaw technique helps students create their own learning. Teachers arrange students in groups. Each group member is assigned a different piece of information. Group members then join with members of other groups assigned the same piece of information, research and share ideas about the information. Eventually students return to their original groups to try to “piece together” a clear picture of the topic at hand.   

Analogy method is an innovative modern method of teaching. Analogies are important thinking tools used as a teaching strategy that helps the teacher to relate the old ideas he/she already has to new ones he/she is yet to know (Nworgu, 2009). It is the cognitive process of transferring information from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another subject (the target). Analogue can be defined as an inference or an argument from one particular area to another particular area where at least one of the premises or the conclusion is general (Treagust, 2007). Analogy as a method of teaching is one of the constructivists based teaching approaches designed to provide a powerful means of bringing about change in students’ interest and achievement in Chemistry. This involves the use of familiar situation (analogue/source) to explain a similar unfamiliar phenomenon (target). Students must therefore be familiar with analogue if it is to be fruitful. This fact was stressed by Treagust (2007) who said that in using analogies teachers must consider the knowledge base of the students. To be an effective tool in teaching science (especially Chemistry) in Nigeria secondary schools, Analogy method must be able to prove its competence in bringing about higher levels of interest and achievement in Chemistry concepts. This change will be seen in students’ attitude towards Chemistry in secondary school.

              Analogies are essential in human cognition, reasoning, learning, communication, and problem solving. They can have a profound and broad effect on how we view and understand our world (Foxwell and Menasce, 2004).The effect of Analogy on the achievement and interest of students in chemistry will be compared with cooperative learning. The researcher will want to know which of the two produces more effects than the other.

              Interest has been defined differently by different authors. Interest is described as the attraction which forces or compels a child to responds to a particular stimulus (Obodo, 2002). This implies that any particular stimulus that is attractive or stimulating will make the learner develop interest in it. That is, in a classroom situation, a student will be attentive during lesson if he/she is very much interested in that particular lesson. Students’ interest is closely associated with achievement and one’s success in a subject is influenced by his/her interest in it, which might be due to the type of approach used in teaching the subject.

             Achievement is a term used to indicate the degree of success attained in some general or specific area. Achievement in a task is an act of attainment or accomplishment of a task. Achievement according to Obodo(1999) is defined  as the extent or degree of attainment of students in tasks, courses or programmes to which they were sufficiently exposed. Some research attributed the poor achievement by students in science to the methods adopted by science teachers in teaching the subject (Obodo, 1999), (Harbor- Peters, 2002) and (Sanni and Ochepa, 2002). Interestingly, as important as these courses are, students’ achievement has not been encouraging and this is worrisome and called for investigation (WAEC 2011). It therefore becomes expedient to explore the efficacy of Cooperative learning and Analogy methods to check if Chemistry learning outcome could be improved as well as the interest and achievement of students in Chemistry. Despite the fact that researchers attribute poor scientific achievement to poor teaching methods, majority of science educators are also of the view that gender is one of the determining factors of the students’ poor achievement in science.

              Gender refers to the many socially and culturally constructed characteristics, qualities, behaviours and roles which different societies ascribe to females and males (Nnamani and Audu, 2005). The issue of gender as it relates to academic achievement has attracted the attention of many national and international researchers. According to Mitchell and Hoff, (2006), in the study of the relationship between gender and achievement, there is a gender gap between male and female students who study science related subjects. The number seems to favour boys more than girls. Nwosu (2003) is of the opinion that cognitive ability and type of exposure may relate more strongly to the general achievement level in science than gender. Olagunju (2001), investigated sex, age and performance in mathematics, the result showed that there is no significant difference in the performance of male and female counterparts. This is in line with Asumugha (1994). The researcher carried out a study on the relationship between students’ attitude to chemistry and their achievement in chemistry. Results showed that there is no significant difference in the achievement scores of boys and girls taught chemistry using the same teaching method. The need for this study is to find out the effect of some innovative methods of teaching such as Cooperative learning and Analogy method on the achievement and interest of students in chemistry.

Statement of the Problem

EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING AND ANALOGY ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN CHEMISTRY