Bachelor Thesis, 2009, 37 Pages
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We are daily confronted by science and technology, be it in the home, office, workplace or farm (Ameh 1991). Science offers a lot of possibilities for experimentation which helps to learn about and interpret the environment. It is a powerful tool for the fulfillment of the human potential of all. Scientific attitudes embrace all scientific processes of gathering information with no subjectivity, skepticism or prejudice for the advancement of science. These processes can only be objectively and confidently carried out by skillful individuals. A skill, in this sense, means a proficiency process of carrying out a task with ease, precision and speed (Busari 1995). Various literature were reviewed on the relevance of science with the view of comparing the ideas, opinions, suggestions and assertions of experts under the following areas: scientific literacy, science process skills, scientific attitude, the environment, life coping skills and exposure to science. The research work makes an attempt to determine the level of scientific skills and attitude inherent in the practices of the market women. The research was a survey research where three research questions were formulated and addressed. The work focused on twenty market women gotten through stratified random sampling of three markets in Lagos State. Data were collected using interview and observation schedule and analyze using simple percentages. Consequent upon the findings of the data collected, the study shows that truly there are scientific skills and attitudes inherent in the activities of the market women such as communication skills, use of measuring devices skills, organizational skills, negotiation and adequacy skills, advocacy skills, personal skills such as time management, anger management, teamwork and cooperation. All these shows the relevance of scientific skills and attitudes to market women. The study finally ended with recommendations for improvement where necessary, suggestions were made on the measures that can be adopted to improve science teaching and learning.
In most West Africa, in Nigeria, internal trade and part of the import and export trade is to a great extent performed by women. Women traditionally had economically important positions in interregional trade and the markets, worked on farms as major labor sources, and had influential positions in traditional systems of local organization. Trading is the oldest type of commercial distribution existing throughout the country. First there were markets from them villages and towns developed. The total number of people active in trading is estimated to be around three million. Trading is therefore a small-scale and very labour-intensive sector.
We are daily confronted by science and technology, be it in the home, office, workplace or farm (Ameh 1991). Science offers a lot of possibilities for experimentation which helps to learn about and interpret the environment. It is a powerful tool for the fulfillment of the human potential of all. Science knowledge is required and cannot be neglected. Science knowledge is important to man and his environment. Science is closely associated with our lives. It is closely linked with every aspect of society and the studies and developments in science are essential for the overall progress of society.
In the field of science, many things have been manufactured e.g. television, computer, phone etc. Medically, some apparatus like thermometer, Barometer, and lots more have been produced for use. It is useful in many areas such as industries for producing some chemicals, laboratories etc. Hence the summary given by Mitchell (1977) of its application does not only underpin the complementarily concept that vividly highlights its profound importance to mankind. Science have provided mankind with many benefits; improved health, longer lives and relief from pain; shorter working days under safer and easier condition. More and better food, clothes and housing greater opportunities for education, entertainment and travel (Mitchell 1977). Recent science policy debates have emphasized a growing role of science in helping to address some of society’s most pressing challenges such as global environmental change, caring for the needs of the ageing populations, and competitiveness in a global age.
Women constitute a substantial proportion of the total population of Nigeria. Majority of these women between the ages of 20-50 years are illiterate (Nwagbara A. C. 1997). Substantial gains will only be achieved with the contribution of both sexes, for women play a vital role in contributing to the development of their countries. If women do not share fully in the development process, the broad objectives of development will not be attained.(Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 1983). These women are expected to be part and parcel of the efficient and effective running machinery of the country. The roles of women in development programmes cannot be overemphasized. It is a gone era when women tend to be inactive about the goings in their surrounding especially, relating to the programmes meant for the betterment of the society. The activities of women cut across all agricultural stages; from land preparation to marketing of agricultural produce.(Olaniyan 1994). Hence, participation of women is very crucial to the success of any development project and achievement of sustainable rural development characterized by food security in Nigeria.
In a gendered society like Nigeria, women’s role can be grouped into three. They are reproductive, productive, and community managing activities (Moser 1993).
Reproductive role: This role encapsulates child bearing and upbringing responsibilities as well as domestic chores.
Productive role: Women work for pay either in cash or in kind. It includes both market production with an exchange value and home production with actual use value.
Community managing role: These are activities undertaken by women at the community level as an extension of their reproductive role. This is to ensure the provision and maintenance of scarce resources of collective consumption such as water, health care and education
In Nigeria, in spite of the inestimable value placed on education, illiteracy has been reported to be relatively high and the women are more disadvantaged (Fabiyi, 2002). A great majority of Nigerian women are engaged in self-employment, either as unpaid family workers or as own-account workers in agriculture (Subsistence) production mainly from households self-provisioning, or in micro-scale non-agricultural tracks and crafts which are largely seasonal and part-time. Continuous sustenance of this condition in the 21st century will not only affect negatively these women but also constitute a setback to the African Continent as a whole since it limits the contributions of women to development.
Market is a traditional form of shopping and still an important distribution channel. Though a small-scale and very labor-intensive sector, it stimulates other businesses in towns and cities and attract people to the area. It is the oldest type of commercial distribution existing throughout the country. There is a variety in types of markets, especially in our environment (food/non-food, outdoor/indoor, daily/weekly etc.). Consumers and inhabitants of market towns appreciate markets for their variety and quality in (fresh) goods, their prices and as social meeting places - "fun shopping" besides the distributive role of markets, they also create employment, supply the population, develop the local economy.
The importance of science cannot be over emphasized. Science knowledge is required and cannot be neglected. It is important to Man and his environment. It is associated with our lives and closely linked aspects of society and the studies and developments in science are essential for the overall progress of society. However, in this study, an attempt is made to determine the level of scientific skills and attitudes inherent in the market women and management of their coping skills as well as how these practices have been of benefit to the environment. The study will look at of what benefit is science knowledge to the market women. There are some practices engaged in by the market women without their knowledge which this study wants to investigate to know whether they are science related or not.
The study will be carried out to:
Investigate the extent of market women’s attitude towards science.
examine how science has changed their perspective to their practices.
Examine the life skills of the market women and how it is being managed effectively.
The objective of this project is to take a critical look at the relevance of science to the market women and how this has help to change or improve their economic practices. The study will reveal the importance of science in our everyday living and the significance of the knowledge. The study will enable us to understand the need for scientific knowledge in man and how scientific literacy has contributed to development. However, one of its most powerful, long-lasting effects may be the use of science for all citizens to be able to appreciate the world around them and the study will also enrich the chemistry curriculum.
The following research questions shall be answered in the course of the study:
What skills and attitudes are inherent in the market women?
How do the market women utilize coping skills in their activities?
In what ways do their activities affect the environment?
This research work is limited in scope to three markets, they are, Yaba market, Oyingbo market and Bariga market due to time and financial constraint. These markets were randomly selected in Lagos State with a total of 20 women.
Science Education is a must for all citizens to be able to live in this modern world.
There is therefore need to first examine the meaning of Science.
Moronkola (1993) defined science as a process of description and classification of all
forms and processes of life and matter. She explained further that it is man’s continuous search for explanations of phenomena in nature. It is thus the study of the order in nature. Also, Aminu (1979) defined science as the product of human thoughts nurtured
by experimentations and applications. In the world book (Encyclopedia), cited by Taiwo
(1981), ’science comes from the Latin word Scientia meaning “knowledge”, the nominal form of the verb Scire “to know”. It covers the broad field of knowledge that deals with observed facts and the relationships among those facts.
The meaning of science is explained in two ways:
1. Science is what the scientists does.
2. Science is knowledge obtained by observation and testing of facts.
Thus, science is made up of knowledge and the method or process of acquiring it.
Opong (1981).Science refers to any systematic knowledge-base or prescriptive practice that is capable of resulting in a prediction or predictable type of outcome. Science is a continuing effort to discover and increase human knowledge and understanding through disciplined research.
Science is important. It discovers fundamental properties of complex systems and it provides us with new tools for human benefit. As David A. Hamburg, President of the Carnegie Corporation, explains: Science is not a separate entity, remote from the lives of people. Indeed, science provides the basis for most of the requirements of modern living: the world has been transformed by science and technology and this transformation is continuing, even accelerating. (1993)
All these definitions shows that science as a discipline involves acquisition of content matter (knowledge) and the process of acquiring it as well as inculcating the values.
We live in an age of constant scientific literacy discovery - a world shaped by revolutionary new technologies. According to the United States National Center for Statistics, Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs and economic productivity. Scientific literacy commonly implies an appreciation of the nature, aims and general limitations of science, coupled with some understanding of the more important scientific ideas. Scientific literacy means that a person can ask, find or determine answers to questions derived from curiosity about everyday experiences, a person has the ability to describe, explain and predict natural phenomena.
Scientific literacy, quite simply, is a mix of concepts, history and philosophy that helps one understand the scientific issues of our time (Robert M. Hazen and James). It also means a broad understanding of basic concepts. It thus becomes possible to acknowledge scientific literacy concerned with health and safety at work, domestic energy management, health care, diet or waste disposal, for instance, it helps understand the scientific and technological issues that dominate national discourse from environmental debates to economic threats. All citizens need to be scientifically literate to appreciate the world around them and make informed personal choices.
It is the responsibility of scientists and educators to provide everyone with the background knowledge to help people cope with the first- paced changes of today and tomorrow. Scientific literacy is rooted in most general scientific principles and broad knowledge of science. A scientific literate citizen possesses facts and vocabulary sufficient to comprehend the context of the daily news (Robert M. Hazen and James).
Understanding science enriches our appreciation of everyday activities. The argument from aesthetics is less concrete, but is closely related to principles that are often made to support liberal education. According to this view, our world operates according to few natural laws. Everything you do conforms to these laws or laws of nature. Our scientific vision of the universe is exceedingly beautiful and elegant and it represents a crowning achievement of human civilization (Robert M. Hazen and James). The intellectual and aesthetic satisfaction can be shared to be gained from appreciating the unity between boiling pot of water on a stove and the show of march of the continents, between indescent colors of butterfly’s wing and the behavior of the fundamental constituents of matter. A scientifically literate person is effectively cut off from an immensely enriching part of life, just as surely as a person who cant read.
The intellectual climate of our era is influenced by our understanding of science. The society is inextricably tied to the discoveries of science so much so that they often play a crucial role in setting the intellectual climate of an era (Robert M. Hazen and James). For example, Charles Darwin ’s discovery of the mechanism of natural selection at once made understanding of nature easier. In this century, the work of Freud and the development of quantum mechanics has made our natural world seem (at least superficially) less rational. The general intellectual tenor of the times – what Germans call the Zeitgeist was influenced by developments in science.
Science Educators over the world have spent the last decades in all out assault on how to make people scientifically literate. A number of solutions are at hand. They include:
1. Making the school chemistry curriculum inquiry based instead of United States National Science Education Standards emphasize the learning of concepts and principles through inquiry.
2. For those who can no longer go to school, reading up scientific journals and articles.
According to Opong (1981), the scientific process involves some steps or a series of operations undergone by scientists during their investigation. They are observation, problem identification, communication, formulating hypothesis, experimenting and classification. One significant characteristic of science process skills is the selection of activities that are designed to meet the individual needs of people as related to science.
Friedl (1995), scientific process skills is how a scientist works, thinks, and studies problems. A way of investigation that involves specific skills which require the following steps:
Carrying out activities
Planning course of actions
Organizing and interpreting data
Reaching a conclusion
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