1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The development of any nation depends largely on the level of education attained by her citizens especially in the area of science and technology. Science subjects constitute a major part of the subjects being offered in most secondary school institutions in Nigeria today. These subjects are so important that the Federal Government National Policy on Education (2012), Section 5, Item 22(c) states in specific terms that “The Secondary School Education shall provide trained manpower in the applied science and technology. The National Policy on Education (2012) further states that science subjects constitute part of the core subjects at both Junior and Senior Secondary School levels. The importance of chemistry in the development of any nation cannot be underrated especially in Nigeria where the national income rests on petroleum and petrochemical industries. The performance of chemistry students at the secondary and tertiary levels has been poor and deplorable over the years (Jimoh, 2012 & Umoren et al, 2014). Low achievement and negative attitudes of secondary school students are basic problems of chemical education. Analysis of students’ performance in the science at SSCE level as noted by Njoku (2014) revealed that between 2014 and 2014, the annual average pass rate at credit level (senior secondary 1 to 3) in chemistry was 15.41%, while the absolute failure rate (grade 9) was 61.82%. Methodology is very vital in any teaching-learning situation. It may promote, hinder learning or sharpen mental activities which are the bases of social power or may discourage initiatives and curiosity thus making self-reliance and survival difficult. There are different types of methods for efficient and effective teaching. These methods include: Lecture, demonstration, laboratory, field trip, assignment, peer-teaching method, etc. The adoption of lecture method by most teachers in order to overcome the bulky chemistry syllabus before the SSCE affects students’ performance. On the other hand, it has been discovered that chemistry teachers predominantly use conventional instructional strategies in teaching chemistry (Oyelekan, Olorundare and Anyimigbo, 2013; Achimugu, 2016).
It was further discovered that lecture and demonstration instructional strategies are the most popularly used conventional teaching strategies (Ibe and Nwosu, 2015; Ernest, 2010; Alfa 2012; Atusa and Abdullahi, 2015). The lecture teaching method, otherwise known as the “chalk and talk” method is one in which the teacher verbally present ideas, concepts and facts to learners. Anaekwe, Nzelum, Olisakwe and Okpala (2010) defined lecture method as a process of delivering verbally a body of knowledge according to pre-planned scheme. The lecture method is the easiest, cheapest and can be used to cover the syllabus and teach large groups of students. However, using this method reduces students to passive listeners and does not encourage the acquisition of critical thinking skills and students’ active participation in the lessons. This traditional lecture strategy was used as a control in this study. Although traditional lecture strategy is heavily criticized, it can be improved upon or enriched by proper planning and encouraging students to ask and answer questions to assure their participation or even combining it with other methods such as questioning and discussion strategies.
Therefore, lecture method refers to the strategy that is used in conjunction with other strategies such as questioning skills that will ensure active participation of students in the classroom interaction pattern. In this strategy a good chemistry teacher should ensure a two-way communication pattern and shared responsibility by asking questions and encouraging students to ask their own questions. A good teacher should direct questions to volunteers and non-volunteers of the class and should also reward good answers to ensure full participation of all the students in the class. Demonstration teaching strategy is the process involving displaying, showing and doing activity for the benefit of the students. The demonstration teaching method is characterized by doing and observing; showing and listening; using teaching materials and deducing; questioning and answering questions, etc. Demonstration can be carried out by invited guest or class teacher or students. Demonstration method helps students to develop listening skills, observation skills, manipulative skills, interest, and enthusiasm. It also stimulates thinking and concept formation. Demonstration strategy can be enriched or improved upon if demonstration is experimental and involves problem-solving. It can also be combined with other modes of instruction such as discussion strategy. Therefore, enriched demonstration instructional strategy entails structuring traditional demonstration in the classroom in such a way that the students are at the centre of learning while the teacher acts as a facilitator. In this strategy students are encouraged to carry out the demonstration themselves, while the teacher ensured active participation through questioning, brainstorming and debates during the lesson. By so doing, a good chemistry teacher ensures that students’ interest and attention span are captured during the lesson.
Researchers believe that in the lecture method, theory is taught as an absolute knowledge; hence students-centred activities for developing scientific reasoning skills and processes are lacking. The lecture method is also known to cause lack of interest and poor performance in science as opined by Njoku (2014). Aghadinano (2013) contended that science teaching limited exclusively to telling, reciting and testing of information is sterile as it does not convey either the meaning or intent of science. Akpan (2014) specifically stated that this is the method dominating science teaching in Nigerian Secondary Schools. Mari (2012) and Okebukola (2013) have called for a change from lecture method in teaching Chemistry. This is because of its disadvantages in the learning of science in science classrooms. The demonstration method has the advantage of being a good way of motivating students to learn and also believed to save time and materials as well as shows how to avoid breakages and accidents. However, it does not allow students to develop manipulation demands for carrying out activities on their own. Also, the scope covered in demonstration seeing details of objects being demonstrated is less. It is in view of the foregoing, that this study was initiated to examine the effect of lecture and demonstration methods on students’ academic achievement and interest in secondary schools inorganic chemistry in Edo state, Nigeria.