The study investigated the effect of guided inquiry method on students’ academic performance and interest in basic science and technology. Three questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. Quasi-experimental design was adopted for the study, specifically, non-equivalent control group design. The study was carried out in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. The sample for the study comprised of 80 JSS II students from two intact classes in two secondary schools in Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, drawn using multi stage sampling techniques. The experimental group were taught using guided inquiry method, while the control group was taught using conventional lecture method. The treatments lasted for four weeks. Two instruments were used for data collection in the study namely; Basic science Achievement Test (BSAT) and Basic Science Interest Inventory Questionnaire (BSIIQ). Data collected were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). The results revealed that guided inquiry method was superior to expository lecture method in facilitating students’ performance and interest in basic science. There was no significant difference in the mean scores of male and female students in basic science after the treatment, although male students performed slightly better than their female counterpart. Inquiry method was more effective than the conventional method. Based on the findings of the study, the educational implications of the findings were highlighted and the following recommendations were proffered among others. Hence, science teachers, and science teacher educators should adopt guided inquiry instructional method when teaching in order to enhance students’ academic performance and interest in basic science.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Approval Page iii
Table of Contents viii
Lists of Tables xi
Lists of Appendices x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study 1
1.2 Statement of Problem 7
1.3 Purpose of the Study 7
1.4 Research Questions 8
1.5 Hypotheses 8
1.6 Significance of the Study 9
1.7 Scope of the Study 10
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Theoretical Framework 11
2.2 Conceptual Framework 18
2.3 Review of Empirical Studies 40
2.4 Summary of Literature Review 49
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODS
3.1 Design of the Study 51
3.2 Area of the Study 52
3.3 Population of the Study 52
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique 52
3.5 Instrumentation 53
3.5.1 Validation of the Instrument 53
3.6 Procedure for Data Collection 54
3.7 Method of Data Analysis 54
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS
4.1 Answering the Research Questions 55
4.2 Testing the Null hypothesis 57
4.3 Summary of findings 59
4.4 Discussion of findings 59
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary 62
5.2 Educational Implications of the findings 63
5.3 Conclusion 64
5.4 Recommendations 64
5.5 Limitations of the Study 65
5.6 Suggestions for Further Study 65
LISTS OF TABLES
Table Title page
1 Summary of mean and standard deviation of student’s scores exposed
to guided inquiry and lecture methods 55
2 Effect of gender on academic performance of students taught basic
science using guided inquiry method 56
3 Summary of interest mean score of students after treatment 56
4 Summary of independent test and post test score for academic
performance of the students taught basic science using the two methods 57
5 Summary of independent test and post test score of male and
female students taught using guided inquiry method. 58
6 Summary of independent analysis of student’s interest in basic science 58
LISTS OF APPENDICES
Appendix Title page
A: Letter of Introduction 75
B: Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT) 76
C: Marking Guide 79
D: Raw Scores 80
1.1 Background of the Study
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of explanations and predictions about the universe. Science education on its own is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community. The target individual may be children, college students or adult within the general public. The field of science education comprises of science content, some social sciences and some teaching Pedagogy (Berube, 2008). The standard for science education provides exceptions for the development of understanding for students throughout their entire course of the study.
The National Policy on Education encourages all processes geared towards producing educators and scholars that will encourage the spirit of inquiry (FME.2008); One of the objectives of primary and junior secondary school education in Nigeria is to inculcate in children permanent literacy and numeracy and the ability to communicate effectively. The objectives include the need to prepare students to observe and explore the environment to explain simple natural phenomena and to develop scientific attitudes such as curiosity, critical reflection and objectivity. Also to enable students apply the skills and knowledge gained through science to solve everyday problems in the environment, to develop self-confidence and self reliance through problem solving activities in science. To pursue this noble objective, among others, Basic Science was included as one of core subjects in the curriculum. The general objective of Basic Science and Technology education is to enable pupils observe and explore the environment using their senses and their hands. Specifically, the objectives are aimed to enabling the learners develop interest in science and technology, acquire basic knowledge and skill in science and technology, apply the acquired scientific and technological knowledge and skill to meet their societal needs, take advantage of the numerous career opportunities offered by science and technology and become prepared for further studies in science and technology NERDC (2007)
These objectives are enshrined in the basic science and technology curriculum, derived from the National Policy on Education. The design of the curriculum is based on the idea of spirality of themes which are arranged from year one to year six, that is, from the beginning with the simple to the complex across the 9 (nine) years of basic education in order to sustain the interest of learner to promote meaningful learning (NPE, 2008). Thus the above objectives which aimed at the interest of the students bring us to the topic for this study which is the effect of Guided Inquiry and Lecture Teaching Methods on Student’s Performance and Interest in Basic sciences.
Teaching methods are ways used by teachers to create learning environment and to specify the nature of the activity in which the teacher and the learner will be involved during instructional delivery process. It is primarily a description of learning objective oriented activities and the flow of information between the teacher and the learner(s).O’Banon (2002) categorized teaching method into two approaches; namely; student centered approach and teacher centered-approach.
Teacher-centered approach is grounded in behaviourism and include all the teaching methods that see the teacher as possessor of knowledge. These methods include lecture /expository, demonstration, discussion, recitation etc .while student centered approaches are grounded in constructivism and includes all the instructional methods that underscores teachers as decision makers and problem solvers but rather as a guide in the learning process.
The teacher’s role in a student-centred learning environment is, at most, one of facilitator and guide. The students are in control of their own learning and the power and responsibility are the students concern. Learning may be independent, collaborative, cooperative and competitive. The utilization and processing of information is more important than the basic content. Learning takes place in relative contexts and students are engaged in constructing their own knowledge (Theroux, 2001).The teacher that utilizes the student centered method effectively is constantly on the move. The teacher may be engaged with the students as a class collectively, individually or in groups. Their involvement would include questioning, disciplining, guiding, validating, monitoring, motivating, encouraging, suggesting, modeling and clarifying (McKenzie, 2005). This student centered method is in line with the National Policy on Education.
The Inquiry Based Learning Method is described as a range of philosophical, curricular and pedagogical approaches to teaching. It is an instructional method developed during the discovery learning movements of the 1960s. It was developed in response to perceived failure of more traditional forms of instruction, where students are required to simply memorize facts-laden instructional materials (Bruner, 1961). Inquiry learning is a form of active learning where progress is assessed by how well students develop experimental and analytical skills rather than how much knowledge they possess. Inquiry based learning can be guided or unguided. Guided inquiry method provides specifics-data or facts but requires students to make generalization. It is carefully planned, closely supervised, targeted on-going assessment and intervention by an instructional team of a school. It allows students to discover specific information by themselves before they make generalization. There is no prescribed target result which the students have to achieve; rather students are allowed to discover facts for themselves (Okoli, 2001). In contrary, unguided inquiry allows students to discover specifics by themselves before they make generalizations.
Inquiry based learning has been of great influence to science education where it is known as inquiry based science, especially since the publication of US National Science Education standard in 1996. Since this publication, some educators have advocated a return to more traditional method of teaching and assessment. Others feel inquiry method is important in teaching science to student than the lecture method.
Lecture teaching method is concerned with the teacher being the controller of the learning environment. Power and responsibilities are held by the teacher and they play the role of instructor (in the form of lectures) and decision makers (in regards to curriculum content and specific outcome) They regard students as having knowledge gaps that needs to be filled with information. The traditional teacher view is that the teacher causes learning to occur, (Novac, 1998). According to Awodi, (2001), the lecture method is mainly teacher- centered, with students being constantly passive and contents are constantly taught as absolute knowledge irrespective of the above comments on lecture method of teaching. Lecture method is mostly employed by most science teachers because of some of its advantages which include the fact that it can be used to cover a large content area at a time and students are given the same content at the same time. Another major advantage is that it can be used to teach a large class which is a prominent feature in most Nigerian secondary schools. It has been observed that effective teaching may facilitate learning and make it more meaningful. In line with this Sander (2001) stated that effective teaching helps the learner to learn better ,while poor teaching would naturally lead to poor learning and consequently poor achievement. .
The poor achievement in sciences as indicated by various empirical studies ( Ferdinand, 2007; Betiku, 2001; Omole, 2003; Adeniji, 1998; NECO and WAEC Chief Examiner’s reports, (2005,2007) respectively) have attracted the concern of all stakeholders including the researchers. Subsequently many factors have been identified and regarded as being responsible for the dwindling trend in the performance of students. These factors include school- teacher- related characteristics, teaching methods social incentives, and a host of others (Olatoye, 2003; Ogunkola, 2008). This suggests that if the aforelisted factors and others can be taken into consideration, students will excel more in sciences generally and in Basic Science in particular. However the poor achievement in Basic Science according to (Omole, 2003) is due to teacher’s use of ineffective methods and strategies in science teaching which among other factors have contributed to the student’s poor achievement and interest in science at the junior secondary school.