IMPORTANCE OF IMPROVISATION IN TEACHING BIOLOGY TO SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN SOKOTO METROPOLIS. A REASEARCH PROJECT TOPIC ON SCIENCE EDUCATION

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ABSTRACT

The aim of this research was to find out the importance of improvisation in teaching Biology in senior secondary school students in Sokoto metropolis. Total numbers of 31 teachers were used in this study; the instrument used for data collection was questionnaires which were administered personally by the researchers to ten randomly selected secondary schools in Sokoto metropolis. The method used for data analysis was simple percentages to examine the findings. Among the major findings for this is that, there is an adequate instructional materials for teaching Biology in secondary schools in Sokoto State. Also there is a great difference between the performance of the students taught with improvised materials and without any instructional aid. With these findings, we recommend the teachers to be resourceful so as to improvise when the original materials are not available.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Improvisation is a technique of creating a new tool, materials, instrument, or modifying existing ones for serving a specific purpose. Improvisation of instructional materials in secondary schools for teaching and learning purposes cannot be overemphasized. To be able to upgrade quality instruction in our school system, there is the need to focus attention on improvisation of instructional materials/model in the teaching and learning process.

 (Esu, 2004) however noted that improvisation demands creativity, attention, curiosity and perseverance on the part of the teacher, such skills are only realizable through well planned training program on improvisation.

 (Fajola, 2008) views improvisation from the point of creativity involved.

 This creativity is substitution and construction. Substitution in improvisation implies the techniques whereby an already local material is used in place of a piece of equipment that is not readily available whereas construction involves making of a new instrument to serve in place of the unavailable original one, where substitution is not possible.

(Esu, 2004), however observed that improvisation provides connectivity between students abstract and real experience of teaching and learning. Improvisation is a teacher-oriented activity used to facilitate the process of teaching/learning successfully.

(Bassey, 2002) identified two main difficulties against the successful improvisation of Science equipment’s. These are the technical and the human factors respectively. The technical factors relate to the question of degree of accuracy and precision that is possible with the improvised equipment, the human factor relates to the teachers’ skill and the technical know-how in developing the resources while providing the appropriate learning experience to the learners.

In addition, (Mbajiorgu, 2003) reported lack of adequate professional training as a major problem militating against the proper use and implementation of local resources for Science teaching.

(Isola, 2010) then stressed the need for a definite well-planned training program of improvisation for teachers.

(Isola, 2010) suggested regular meaningful workshops, seminars, and conferences on improvisation techniques for Science teachers to improve and update their competence and knowledge.

The use of teacher produced improvised instructional materials/model and exposure of students to resources available in their immediate environment for instruction at this level brings students to real world of activities and may help students gain specific scientific skills and knowledge.

The environment of the school as well as the homes of teachers provide rich sources of materials and a resourceful teacher can on his/her own with the help of the students and other members of the society, improvise these materials for teaching/learning purpose.

The use of improvised instructional materials for Biology teaching has been long advocated for (Olumorin, 2004), the production of instructional materials had undergone several reviews and processes by experts from various fields. Improvisation serves the following purposes in the education system; It reduces the money spent on the purchase of equipment in educational institutions, ensures the realization of lesson objectives; helps in solving the problems relating to lack of equipment in educational institutions; provides room for a teacher to demonstrate his creative skills and gives room for the use of cheap local materials as alternatives to the expensive ones (Olumorin, 2004).

Improvisation encourages students towards the development of creative abilities, strengthen enquiry, discovery and investigative method in sciences, it provides a frame of reference on which students can focus their attention during classroom activities, enable teachers to think of cheaper and faster means of making teaching learning process easier for students, provide students with the opportunity of becoming familiar with resources in their environment.

(Owolabi, 2003) suggested that students should be given opportunity to discover and develop/invent things on their own; hence the teachers should allow the students to acquire sound skills that will enable them learn on their own at their own pace. It must be noted that learners achieved more when they are allowed to manipulate apparatus rather than mere listeners. In a case, for instance where there is an inadequate standard or universally accepted material or equipment for teaching the students with the assistance of the teacher will have to produce a local substitute of the standard material. This will help in teaching and learning of science.