Science is a household name in the world today. It has made rapid progress and completely transformed outwardly the manner of human existence. Science has revolutionized man’s thinking and behaviour so much that its meaning and the roles it plays in human development has to be made clear. Gottlieb, (2004) defined science as intellectual activities carried out by scientists designed to discover information about the natural world in which we live and to discover ways in which this information can be organized to benefit human race. Michael, (2007) identified science as a body of knowledge which is acquired through observation and systematic experimentation. On their part, Mogbo, Gana, & Alabi (2012) defined science as a way of knowing, a systematic method of learning about nature, based on observation and testing leading to the formulation of hypothesis, facts, laws, and theories.
From the foregoing, science is said to provide a way of exploring the world to offer humanity a meaningful and realistic life. It is a method by which man develops an understanding of why things happen the way they do. Science thus is seen as a product of knowledge as well as a process of generating knowledge. The content is the knowledge that we accumulate about our environment while the process skills deal with ways in which scientists go about gathering knowledge about the environment. Such process skills include: observation, measurement, classification, communication, inference, and formulation of hypotheses to mention a few. Science functions to make man knowledgeable and be able to use the knowledge acquired. It is important to note that all scientific knowledge must be testable. It must be consistent with what we know about the world, therefore scientific knowledge has to be systematic and verifiable.
Science in the Junior Secondary School (J.S.S) or Upper Basic is taught as Basic Science. The idea of the Nigeria Integrated Science Project (NISP) now Basic Science was borne by Science Teachers Association of Nigeria in the 1970s which is an attempt to teach science as a unified whole to achieve science knowledge. Basic Science is the study of the easy and uncomplicated most important part of life and physical sciences (Spohn, 2012). Basic Science underlies all other science. According to Bernard, (2000) Basic Science is established to aid understanding of the world.
Also UNESCO in Mogbo, et at (2012) sees Basic Science as the approach in which concepts and principles of nature are presented so as to express the fundamental unity of science, to avoid premature or undue stress on the distinction between the various disciplines. Basic science which is an innovation of Integrated Science came about as a result of Federal Government’s mandate to Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC, 2007) to develop a curricula for use at all levels of education in Nigeria in line with the declaration for a 9 – Year Basic Education Programme. The National Council on Education also approved a new curriculum structure namely: Lower Basic Education Curriculum (primary 1-3); Middle Basic Education Curriculum (primary 4-6); and Upper Basic Education Curriculum (JSS 1-3) listing relevant subjects for each level. The 9- Year Basic Education Curriculum (FGN, 2007) has the overall objectives to enable the learners to develop interest in science and technology by acquiring basic knowledge and skills which can be applied for societal needs.
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