IMPACT OF PROCESS APPROACH ON QUESTIONING PREFERENCE, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND RETENTION SPAN AMONG CHEMISTRY STUDENTS

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1.1 Introduction

Chemistry as one of the physical sciences deals with the nature of matter; its properties and its changes in dierent conditions. Chemistry according to Zohar (2004) should be studied to improve man‘s knowledge and enhance his understanding of his environment for his survival. The subject as shown by Ezeliora (2010) is at the core of every technology that is enjoyed today. According to Ezeliora, (2010) the power of chemical science creates as a whole an enabling infrastructure that delivers food, medicine and materials which are the hallmarks of modern life. Today its significance as a core subject in the study of medicine, several technologically based courses, pharmacy and engineering is indisputably important as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2008).

Therefore, Chemistry education has a fundamental role to play in providing solution to several technological and socio-economic issues confronting man as well as improve scientific literacy (Neshitt-Hawes, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010). Chemistry has also been perceived by students at the various level of the educational sector particularly in secondary school as very diicult to understand (Ezeliora 2003). Majority of the students perceived Chemistry as a body of isolated facts to be memorized, lacking relevance to reality which has led to lack of interest in it by students (Ezeliora 2003). For many students, Chemistry is first a classroom aair. Echodain Ezeliora (2010) revealed that very rarely do students know that the acid work in the Chemistry laboratory is found in the farm, at home and at play.

This wrong perception of Chemistry by students has resulted in low entrance by students into Chemistry and Chemistry related courses both at the secondary school and tertiary level of studies, and of course performance has not been encouraging either (Zohar, 2004; Aksela, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010). Of the many factors responsible for students attitude and low performance in Chemistry, there are a few that have not attracted much attention. One of this is the inability of the Chemistry teacher to design, determine and enhance students‘ cognitive questioning preference. This was attributed to the constant use of lecture method, which has continued to conceal this basic fact, by emphasizing rote learning (Zoller, 2001 & Zohar, 2004).

IMPACT OF PROCESS APPROACH ON QUESTIONING PREFERENCE, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND RETENTION SPAN AMONG CHEMISTRY STUDENTS