INFLUENCE OF SPECIMEN IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BASIC SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL IN ORUMBA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

            Basic Science is one of the foundational science subject in the junior secondary classes. The word “basic” refers to something that is necessary and most important to all people while science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence. Basis science as an integral course is a subject that deals with the study of living things and non-living things. It also combines all other subjects such as physics, biology, health science, agricultural science, geography.etc. The subject requires an expert in the field of science for easy dissemination of the skills and knowledge to these younger generations.

Therefore, basic science as a discipline is oriented towards equipping man with tools with which to service and comprehend the realities and problems of his existence. (Osakwe, 2007). It is fascinating study of the nature and behaviour of natural things and the knowledge that we obtain about them which ranges from microscopic cellular molecules to the biosphere encompassing the earth’s surface and it’s living organism (Sarojni and Ramalingam, 2008) It helps us to know the shape, structure and functions of various parts of living things, explains how living things relate to one another and their surroundings.

Some scientists devote their lives to understanding and describing key experimental phenomena in their fields of study: that is to engage in “basic science” physicists may want to understand how matter and forces interact and to describe the fundamental laws that govern their interactions. It is obvious that without an understanding of how something works, it is rather difficult to fix it when it fails. Firstly, this applies to your cell phone as well as to the human body. That does not mean we should not make efforts to our capacity. As a result, many of the treatments available today have been developed by trial and error. Secondly, history has shown that the building blocks of basic science can provide unexpected answers and tools that find important applications in medicine and engineering.

Nevertheless, the main objectives of the basic science programme according to the National Policy on Education (2000) include:

  • To prepare students to acquire adequate laboratory and field skills.
  • Inculcation of meaningful and relevant knowledge in basic science.
  • The ability to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; reasonable and functional scientific attitudes.

According to the National Integrated science project, Integrated principles are intended to produce among other things a course which:

  • Is relevant to student-needs and experiences.
  • Stresses the fundamental unity of science.
  • Lays adequate foundation of subsequent specialist study.
  • Adds a cultural dimension to science education.
  • Based on these objectives and the tenets of integrated science discussed earlier, students should be made to master the following skills;
  • Observing carefully and thoroughly.
  • Reporting completely and accurately what is observed.
  • Organizing information acquired by the above processes.
  • Generalizing on the basis of acquired information.
  • Predicting as a result of these generalizations.
  • Designing experiments including controls where necessary to check their predictions.
  • Using models to explain phenomena where appropriate.
  • Continuing the process of inquiry when new data do not conform with predictions.

Basic science enhances pupils understanding of scientific concepts. It also develops children’s capacity to understand scientific procedures. Berkeley (2008) noted that scientific knowledge allows us to develop new technologies, solve practical problems and make informed decisions. Science involves observations and experimentation as important integral parts of learning, progressive and systematized body of knowledge achieved by observation. For junior secondary schools, to conduct an effective teaching and learning of basic science, instructional material must be available.

Instructional materials are educational resources used to improve students knowledge, abilities and skills, to monitor their assimilation of information and contribute to their overall development and upbringing. Instructional materials are those things which the teacher uses to facilitate learning. Wendy (2017) defined instructional material as any collection of materials including animate and inanimate objects and human and non-human resources that a teacher may use in teaching and learning situations to help achieve desired learning objectives. Instructional materials aid students in concretizing a learning experience so as to make learning more exciting, interesting and interactive.

Agusiobo and Udegbe (2002) stated instructional materials are those materials teacher uses during the teaching and learning process to enable the students benefit maximally from the learning experience. Instructional materials are apparatus used in teaching so as to enable that the learners see, feel, hear, recognized and appreciate as they learn thereby utilizing almost all the senses at once, they include objects, special textbook, graphs, charts and all the programmed materials that carry the entire messages.

Ike (2004) stated that instructional materials reduce verbalism because they supply concrete bases for conceptual teaching. According to Farant (2002) students learn easier by seeing what the teacher is teaching them. Instructional materials help to reduce the level of abstraction involved in teaching and learning experience concept. The use of instructional materials to supplement teaching and learning of basic science will no doubt enhance teaching and learning.

Uchey (2000) revealed that the use of instructional materials which where stated many years ago and today from the basic learning aids. He insisted that oral presentation of instructional materials should be accomplished by pictorial illustration by teachers as a positive means toward understanding them. Instructional materials develop a continuity of thought, this is especially true of motion pictures as they provide experiences easily obtained through other materials and contribute to the efficiency, department and variety of learning. It also gives learners background on the topics as well as how the topics relate to other pertinent information on the subject. Instructional materials are used to facilitate the teaching learning process. The essence is not to use such instructional materials as objects of decoration in our classroom or as objects to be presented during wining national exhibitions on improved instructional materials.

Instructional materials are of different forms namely; Graphic materials, three dimensional materials, motion pictures and chart.

According to Achuonye (2004) graphic materials are arts by which we express ideas in lines, pictures, sketches and diagrams. It also consists of materials which communicate facts and ideas clearly and succinctly through a combination of drawings and picture words. Graphic materials include; drawings, charts, graphs, sketches, pictures, posters, cartoons and globes.etc.

Goggle search//help@splash learn.com 2021. Three-dimensional material is a picture, image, objects, solid figure or shape which is solid rather than flat because it can be measured in three different directions, usually the height, length and width. It have thickness or depth. Three-dimensional materials including; cube, rectangle, prism, sphere, cone, cylinder.etc.

Merriam Webster defined motion pictures as series of pictures projected on a screen in rapid succession with objects shown in successive positions slightly changed so as to produce the optical effect of a continuous picture in which the objects move. Motion pictures include; shadows of Iran, expressive voice culture, pastors free side.etc.

According to the World Book Encyclopedia (2007) a chart is a map drawing or graph that shows a selected information quickly and accurately. It also states that a chart is a sheet giving any kind of information in lists, pictures, tables or diagrams. Chart include; alphabet chart, consonant chart, number chart, punctuation chart, song chart, vowel chart.etc.

Lewis (2018) noted some examples of instructional materials which are; diagrams, charts, television, tables, flow charts, graphs, textbooks, pamphlets, handouts, slides, real objects, video, photographs, specimen, tapes, films, cassettes, computers.etc. The example of instructional material that is of great interest to this study is specimen.

Lexico (2021) described specimen as an individual animal, plant, piece of a mineral, etc. used as an example of its species or type for scientific study or display. According to Merriam Webster, specimen is a part or some aspect of some item that is typical sample of the character of others in the same class or group. Also, specimen can be defined as a part of a whole or one individual of a class or group used as sample or example of the whole, class or group. It is an example of something which gives an idea of what whole of it is like.

Encyclopedia Britannica (2019) stated the examples of specimen which includes: blood, urine, saliva, faeces, semen, fluids, tissue, plants, insects.eg. tse-tsefly, butterfly, ant, mosquitoes, housefly, dragonfly, moth, cockroach, animals and reptiles such as crocodiles, snails, millipedes, crabs, fish, spider, lizard, grasshopper, etc. According to Goggle search//help@splash learn.com (2021) using specimen enables student to easily memorize or recall the concept, it also help them to represent an idea, specimen are less abstract and more concrete, it attracts students’ attention, it helps student to be more familiar with object or specimen, it body active participation among students.etc.

Despite the use of specimen, Goggle search//help@splashlearn.com (2021) it also have limitations which are; some of the specimen are scarce which will make the teacher unable to see them, some of the teachers don’t know how to use the specimen in teaching and learning so as to make the lesson more effective, the lesson will just focus on that particular specimen, inadequate power supply, The teachers know how to use them but some of them don’t know how to maximize it during teaching and the subject area where it should be applied, lack of preservative for the specimen, the student can’t determine the main idea, they are costly, lack of time to prepare the specimen for effective teaching.etc. Some people’s ideas on problem of use of specimen in teaching can be seen on Goggle search//help@journal.com (2021) which include; lack of resources for teaching and learning, time management, deficiency in content knowledge, their students’ inability to understand the lessons taught, student indiscipline, lack of resources to complete the specimen, etc.

In view of the following, instructional materials aid in teaching and learning of basic science in which specimens has a vital role to play in making basic science teaching more concrete irrespective of some problems encountered in its use. Therefore, the study investigates the influence of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science in juior secondary school in Orumba South Local Government Area.

Statement of the Problem

Basic science covers vast area of study. It involves both theory and practicals. There are lots of difficulties encountered in the teaching and learning of basic science. Many atimes some teachers emphasize much on theoretical aspect and giving little or no attention to practical aspect. These teachers prefer lecture method of learning to other hands-on-method.

Some of the problems encountered would be lack of teaching pedagogy, large class size, non-availability of basic science laboratory, unqualified teachers, insufficient instructional materials.etc. This leads to poor performance of students in junior Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE). The problem of this study is what is the influence of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science in junior secondary schools in Orumba South Local Government Area?

Purpose of the Study

           The purpose of the study is to find out the influence of use of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science. Specifically, the study find out:

  • The influence of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science.
  • The problems basic science teachers encounter in using specimen in teaching and learning of basic science.
  • The strategies that can be used to improve the effective use of specimen in teaching basic science.

Significance of the Study

        The findings of the study would be beneficial to the teachers, students and government. The findings would be beneficial to the teachers in the sense that the teachers learn how to use the specimens and by using it could enhance the teaching and learning of basic science and also improve students’ academic performance.

Also, the findings would also help the students in the sense that it would make learning easier for them with the use of specimen and the academic performance could be improved.

Government would also benefit from this findings, it would help them in curriculum planning and also in making informed budgetary decisions for provision of specimen.

 

Scope of the Study

           The scope of this study is to find out the influence of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science in junior secondary schools and possible means to solve the problems. It was limited to only public secondary schools in Orumba South Local Government Area.

 

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study;

  • What is the influence of specimens in teaching and learning of basic science?
  • What are the problems encountered in the use of specimens in teaching and learning of basic science?
  • What strategies can be used to improve the effective use of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science in junior secondary schools?

 

Hypothesis

One hypothesis was formulated to guide the study and was tested at 0.05 level of significance. Ho:  There is no significant difference between the  mean response of basic science teachers and  students on the influence of specimen in teaching and learning of basic science.