Effect of two modes of active learning strategy. Determinant of junior secondary school students' achievement and attitudes to basic science


Master's Thesis, 2021

119 Pages, Grade: 2.1


Excerpt

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CERTIFICATION

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

ABSTRACT

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2. Statement of the Problem
1.3. Objectives of the Study
1.4 Null Hypotheses
1.5 Significance of the Study
1.6 Scope of the Study
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1. Theories on Active learning strategies
2.2. Historical Background of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3. An overview of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.4. Instructional Methods of Teaching Basic Science
2.5. Active Learning Strategies
2.5.1. Examples of Active Learning Strategies
2.6. Effects of Think-pair-share on students’ achievement and Attitudes to Basic Science
2.7. Effects of Minute papers on students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science
2.8. Gender and Students’ Achievement in Basic Science
2.9. Gender and Students’ Attitudes to Basic Science
2.10. Implications of Reviewed Literature on the present study
2.1 Theories on Active learning strategies
2.2 Historical Background of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3 An overview of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3.1 Objectives of the Basic Science Curriculum in Nigeria
2.3.2 Philosophy of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3.3 Strategies of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3.4 The Basic Science Curriculum
2.4 Instructional Methods of Teaching Basic Science
2.4.1 Activity-Based Teaching Method
2.4.2 Lecture Method
2.4.3 Project Method
2.4.4 Discovery Method
2.4.5 Discussion Method
2.4.6 Field Trip
2.4.7 Demonstration Method
2.4.8 Laboratory Method
2.4.9 Problem-Solving Method
2.5. Active learning strategies
2.5.1. Examples of active learning strategies
2.6 Effect of Think-pair-share on students’ achievement and Attitude to Basic Science
2.7 Effects of Minute papers on students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science
2.8 Gender and Students’ Achievement in Basic Science
2.9 Gender and Students’ Attitude to Basic Science
2.10 Implications of Reviewed Literature to the Present Study

CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques
3.4 Instrumentation
3.4.1. Validity of the Instrument
3.4.2 Reliability of the Instrument
3.6 Data Analysis Techniques

CHATPER FOUR
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Data Analysis and Hypothesis Testing
4.1.1 Testing Null Hypothesis 1

CHAPTER FIVE
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary
5.2 Major Finding
5.3 Conclusion
5.4 Recommendations
5.5 Limitations
5.6 Suggestions for Further Studies

REFERENCES

APPENDIX 1

DEDICATION

This dissertation work is highly, specially and wholesomely dedicated to Almighty Allah (SWT) the lord of the Alamin.

I am also dedicating the work to my wife and my lovely children for their roles on me.

Finally, to my late parents Mr Agbaje Bakare and Mrs Omolola Bintu Agbaje. May Almighty Allah (SWT) grant them Al-janat Fridaous.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

My appreciation goes to Almighty Allah (SWT) for His perpetual loving and kindness over my life.

My gratitude goes to my supervisor, Prof. Bamikole O. Ogunleye whom with his support, fatherly understanding and through his unrelated supervision, I was able to do this work.

My gratitude also goes to all the staff of my centre- Model Centre formerly called Agidingbi centre, Lagos.

My sincere gratitude also goes to all the member of staff of Unique Heights Junior and Senior Secondary School both teaching and Non teaching staff.

My appreciation also goes to Mr Owojori Adeyemi Abdul-Akeem, Mr Sunday Mebawondu, Pastor Oyewumi Isaac Oluwadare, Surveyor Ajayi Oladeji Joshua, Mr Olumorin Olutayo, Mr Bodunde Adegboyega and all my friends both home and abroad for their support on me.

I am also indebted to my siblings, Master Warrant Officer Agbaje Raifu O, Agbaje Saliu and Mrs Ajayi Olanike. May the peace and blessings of Almighty God be upon them all.

My acknowledge will be invalid if I fail to appreciate my beloved wife, Mrs Agbaje Afusat Omolara who supported me in kind, materials and cash. I want to say big thanks to you.

Finally, I appreciate my beloved children- Agbaje Abdul-Quayyum Oluwatobiloba, Agbaje Fridaus Oluwaseun and Agbaje Abdulmuiz Oluwatosin.

May Almighty Allah (SWT) bless you all abundantly (Amin)

ABSTRACT

This study examined the effect of two modes of active learning strategy as determinants of Junior Secondary School Students’ achievement and attitudes to Basic Science. It made use of three different schools in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State since it required to compare two modes of active learning which are Think-Pair-Share and Minute Papers with traditional Lecture Method.

Test of students’ achievement in Basic Science and Students’ attitude to Basic Science Questionnaire are the major instruments used for data collection. Four null hypotheses were formulated to find out the effects of two modes of active learning strategy as determinants of Junior Secondary School Students’ achievement and attitudes to Basic Science. Cronbach's Alpha in SPSS v20 was used to test the reliability of the questionnaire.

Descriptive statistics mainly Analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA), paired sample t-test were used to establish if there is different in achievement and attitudes among the three methods involve and the data collected were analyzed.

It was observed that there is a significant difference between students’ academic achievement. There is no significant difference between Think-Pair-Share and Minute Papers, and there is significant difference between Think-Pair-Share and Lecture method, Minute paper and lecture method. Gender will have no significant effect on students’ achievement in Basic Science. The interaction between the methods of teaching and gender will have no effect on students’ achievement. There is significant difference in the attitude of students towards Basic Science after been exposed to the three different methods of teaching. There is no significant difference between the attitude of male and female students to Basic Science after being exposed to the three difference methods of teaching.

Conclusions were drawn and recommendations were made with respect to the finding of the study.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Science is a body of organized knowledge and a process of inquiry that is geared towards understanding nature in order to enhance the living standard of man. Many scientists define science according to their own perception and understanding of the subject matter. Bichi (2002) defines 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. In this respect, the primary focus of science is to collect data and the ultimate purpose is to discern order that exists in natural phenomena and happenings around us. Encarta Reference Library (2005) opines that science consists of the following:

a. The systematic observation of natural events and conditions in order to discover facts about them and to formulate laws and principles based on these facts.

b. An organized body of knowledge that is derived from such observations and that can be verified or tested by further investigation.

c. Any specific branch of this general body of knowledge such as biology, chemistry, physics, geology or astronomy etc

At junior secondary school level integrated science now known as basic science was introduced for the purpose of giving foundation skills and knowledge for subsequent science studies at the higher level (Isa, 2000). The acquisition of appropriate skills and the development of mental, physical and social abilities and competencies for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of the society in which he lives, has been a major concern of Basic science. The subject views nature in a holistic approach and this makes it a discipline in its own right. The above definitions show that science is not just a collection of data and facts neither is it an assembly of sterile body of knowledge but that, it involves engaging in certain activities as well (Isa, 2000). Integrated science (now Basic Science) was introduced to Nigerian secondary schools in 1972 at the junior secondary school level as a result of the outcome of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) Committee set up to look into the three (3) sciences i.e. Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The program has been in existence for forty (40) years.

Recently, there was a trend from Integrated Science to Basic science following the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Councils (2007) decision to re-structure the Basic Education Programme to the 9-year Basic Education Programme in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It became imperative that the existing curricula for primary and JSS should be reviewed, restructured and realigned to fit a 9-year basic education programme and the upper basic education curriculum is for JSS 1-3 level. Basic Science concepts (content is almost the same except for introduction of some basic technological concepts) is generally geared towards technological development and appropriate strategy for the acquisition of relevant skills needed for meaningful learning of science concepts.

Various studies such as those of Akale (1992) and Usman (2007) have shown that teachers of Basic Science are not qualified and this in turn affects academic performance. One major problem of the teachers is their inability to use appropriate modes of active learning strategies. They often resort to traditional, lecture method that has been shown to lead to poor academic performance in both Senior and Junior Secondary Schools (Maduabun, 1990; Akale, 1992; Usman, 2007). Inspite of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s encouragement in the teaching of science in Nigerian schools by providing both moral and financial support, e.g. the establishment of National Science and Technology Fund (1998). Science is still presented to pupils as facts that young people are expected to memorize, thus less emphasis is placed on science processes and practical application of science which makes science more relevant to the needs and aspiration of the society. Fisher (2001) feels that science suffers from pedagogical deficiency as a result of which most people cannot see the connection between the scientific knowledge they learn and daily life. Mari (1994) observed that science subjects are taught in Nigerian schools today predominantly by using the traditional method, commonly known as lecture method. Isa (2000) observed that “most science teachers do not encourage student’s active participation in the teaching process. Bichi (2002) compared the effectiveness of problem solving teaching method with traditional method in promoting students’ academic achievements in evolution concept, and found that the former was more effective than the latter.

The use of inappropriate teaching strategy and lack of adequate instructional materials have been a major challenge to effective teaching of the subject. The poor performance in science subjects is partly as a result of the way in which the teachers teach the subject (Barker, Slingsby & Tilling, 2003). This study investigates why Activity learning Strategies would improve student’s academic achievement in science related subjects. According to Inekwe (2002), active learning Strategy is the method that enables students to learn with the same vigour that marks their natural activity. David (2007) also said, it introduces element of joy, team spirit, respect for each other’s opinions and it reduces the abstractness in science concepts. Mari (2001) said that in this method, the work is carried out in friendly manner, gladly with motivating spirit and activeness throughout the whole lesson, even to an uninteresting topic. Activity learning strategy is in-line with Piagetian tasks as it affords the students a variety of activities and experiences that involve the use of concrete objects. This hastens the learners’ ability to order events through application, knowledge and predict changes. According to Mari (1994) adequate and appropriate use of this method through a rich variety of stimulating experiences, progress from concrete to abstract and then a powerful conceptualization maybe achieved. Thus the learner now will reason or make hypothesis with symbolic or ideas rather than needing objects, in physical world as the basis for thinking. The learner according to him can therefore use a hypothetical, deductive procedure that no longer ties his thought to existing reality but could consider all possible explanations to problem and can evaluate alternative explanations or solution to the problem.

In the Active learning strategies, local resources are effectively utilized in the teaching process. Active learning is a type of research-oriented teaching technique recommended for Science instruction by National Policy on Education, Federal Ministry of Education (2004). Active learning instructional strategy promotes instruction in the three domains of knowledge. Active learning enables students to handle concrete materials which reduce the abstract nature of the concept learned. This makes learning more meaningful and when concepts are meaningfully learned, it enhances retention and heightens student’s performance and achievement. Activities given to students help to widen the mental horizon of the students. Students begin to see that many other matters, besides those of purely scientific interest are involved when scientific knowledge is used to benefit a community. Besides, the Nigerian Integrated Science Project (NISP) is built around activities that are expected to encourage the development of science process skills in the learners (Shaibu & Mari, 2002). The Active learning Strategies of science encourages group interactions among pupil, and if properly used, the spirit of teamwork, exchange of ideas and respect for each other’s point of view will be enhanced at early stages of learning.

Another feature of Active learning strategy is that local resources can be effectively utilized in the learning process. In typical students’ Active, costly scientific equipments are often substituted with locally available teaching aids. Lowenstein (2002) also note that active learning Strategy makes students active participants, aids retention of materials learnt, builds confidence, helps students maximize their potential and favour intrinsic motivation. This according to him is fundamental to academic achievement and effective teaching and learning of sciences in schools. Usman (2000) attributed the poor performance of students in science concepts to rote learning. This according to him is as a result of non-exposure of students to active learning strategies in their classes due to lack of science teaching facilities. However, Adeniyi (1997) and David (2007) agreed that though science teaching facilities are necessary but many teachers of science are ill-equipped and ill-prepared to guide students towards inquiry. They seem to find active-oriented instruction difficult to manage. Gender has attracted the attention of many researchers (Usman, 2000; Bichi, 2002; Stanley, 2008), for this reason, gender and academic achievement were investigated in this study. Oakley (1993) defined gender as the amount of masculinity and feminity found in a person and obviously while there are mixtures of both in most human beings, the normal male has a preponderance of masculinity and the normal female has a preponderance of feminity. For instance based on social expectation and orientation, women are socialized in preparation for their role as wife and mother and they are expected to fulfill this role effectively while males are socialized and oriented in manner that stand them in a good position to fulfill their social and cultural roles as fathers and husbands. Also males are socialized and oriented to take up masculine jobs carrying high prestige, high skills and income. It has been reported by Stanley (2008) that most girls choose to be successful in those subjects considered appropriate for females as a way of being a high achiever while at the same time maintaining their feminity. Several researchers reported gender differences in subject choice and also in achievement within the subjects. School subjects according to investigations are sex–stereotype. For instance, Mathematics, Physical sciences, Computer and Engineering are regarded as masculine subjects, while humanities, languages; domestic subjects (English, Home Economics etc) are regarded as feminine. However, in other studies carried out by Mari (1994) revealed that female students are academically superior in Mathematics and the sciences. They showed that despite the discrimination that the female child faced, they were able to navigate successfully academically through maintaining a positive definition of themselves.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

Review confirms that Basic science and other science subjects are not being taught the way it should in Nigerian schools (Usman, 2008). Brent (2005) revealed that Basic science and other science subjects need to be viewed and practiced in a practical way, instead teachers teach students to memorize facts and give them no room to do science. This has affected the performance of students in the subject. They do not only perform poorly, but have very low interest for it. The researcher further said that Active learning strategies allow students to independently plan, investigate, collect data, analyze them, and draw conclusions and generalizations. Use of active learning makes learning learners’ centered and could lead to meaningful learning and acquisition of science process skills. The students also have ample opportunity to make plausible hypotheses and test them to generate ideas, which are expected in their own language (Mari, 2008). Literature also shows that 70% of scientific information or principles are passed to students via lecture methods (talk and chalk method) by science teachers (Bichi, 2002). This has been observed to be responsible for low achievement and attitudes of Senior Secondary School to science and Basic Science in Junior Secondary School over the years (Bichi, 2002). Though, lecture method makes coverage of syllabus easy and lesson planning for a wide audience easier, it is however viewed by majority of science educators as inadequate in promoting meaningful learning among all categories of learners (Bichi, 2002). This general call for teaching/learning strategies could radically enhance meaningful learning and acquisition of science skills. The Active learning strategy is being suggested in this study.

Science is a universal vehicle for human development and civilization world-wide. Science subjects teaching/learning is best carried out by the involvement of students while the teacher serves as a facilitator. Stanley (2007) says several researches carried out for the improvement of students’ academic achievement in science did not solve the problem as a result of teacher’s persistence in the lecture method in teaching of Basic Science in Junior Secondary School and Science subjects in Senior Secondary School. Usman (2000), Barker, Slingsby & Tilling, (2003) observed that indiscriminate use of lecture method still persists. This study investigated effects of two modes of Active learning strategy on gender as it affects students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science. It also moderates students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The concern of the study is to investigate the effect of two modes of active learning strategies as determinants of senior secondary school students’ achievement and attitudes to Basic science. Specifically, the study has the following objectives to:

1. Determine effects of using Think-pair-share and Minute papers methods on students’ achievement in Basic science in Junior Secondary Schools.

2. Determine effects of using Think-pair-share and Minute papers methods on students’ attitudes to Basic science in Junior Secondary Schools.

3. Determine effects of gender on students’ achievement and attitudes to Basic science in Junior Secondary Schools.

1.4 Null Hypotheses

The study tested the following null hypotheses:

H01: There is no significant difference between students’ achievement in Basic Science after exposure to the Think-pair-share method, Minute papers and Lecture method.

H02: There is no significant difference between male and female students’ achievement in Basic science after exposure to the Think-pair-share method, Minute papers and Lecture method.

H03: There is no significant difference between students’ attitudes to Basic Science after exposure to the Think-pair-share method, Minute papers and Lecture method.

H04: There is no significant difference between male and female students’ attitudes to Basic science after exposure to the Think-pair-share method, Minute papers and Lecture method.

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research investigated the effect of Active learning strategies as determinants of junior secondary school students’ achievement and attitude to Basic science. The findings of the study provide empirical evidence for further research in the area of the study.

Besides, teachers of Science subjects would have insight and awareness of the effectiveness of active learning strategies.

Basic Science students’ would benefit from the study as they are going to be exposed to the different methods of teaching that would increase their retention capacity.

Parents of Basic Science students’ would benefit from the findings as their children would be introduced to active learning strategies that would enhance the study of their children thereby adding values to what they are investing on their children.

Government would benefit from the study through tremendous increasing in the technology of her country which would definitely increase the Gross Domestic Product of the country.

Curriculum designers/developers would hopefully benefit from the findings of this study, fitting in activities to topics that require active learning. Such findings may be developed in future curriculum. Textbook writers would hopefully find this study relevant to their profession in view of the fact that the effectiveness of active learning strategies in Science subjects would be incorporated into their publications for effective teaching and learning.

Stakeholders in education would hopefully benefit from this study in that teachers, lecturers will be aware of the topic that required active learning strategies.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study investigates two modes of active learning strategies as determinants of Junior Secondary School Students’ achievement and attitudes to Basic Science. It covers all school in Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State where the following schools and their addresses are located:

i. Unique Height Junior and Senior Secondary School, Plot 5B, Julius Gbigbi Street, Magodo-Isheri, Lagos.
ii. Isheri Junior and Senior Secondary School, 10 Bankole Street, Isheri-Ojodu, Lagos.
iii. Well Spring College, 15, Ojedokun Drive, Omole Phase 2, Ikeja, Lagos.
iv. Daily Light College, 12, Church Street, Olowora, Ojodu-Berger.

1.7 Operational Definition of Terms

Students’ Achievement in Basic Science: This is the overall performance of students in a given test after series of instruction and training.

Active Learning Strategy: This is the learning strategy where students learn by carrying out activities planned, guided and supervised by the teacher.

Think-pair-share: This is the act of briefly pause your lecture and ask students to pair up and discuss the material that was just presented, and then tell them to prepare to ask questions or share observations with the entire class

Minute papers: During a brief pause for reflection, students alone or in pairs are asked to answer a question in writing about the day’s teaching. The submitted responses can be used to gauge student learning and student comprehension of the material.

Lecture Method: A talk to a group of people about a particular subject like Basic Science especially at a college or university

Basic Science Concepts: Elementary Science Topics taught at Junior Secondary School Level.

Students’ Attitudes to Basic Science: Students’ opinions or feelings about Basic Science as shown by their behaviour towards the subject.

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

This chapter reviews literature on the following subheadings.

2.1. Theories on Active learning strategies
2.2. Historical Background of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.3. An overview of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria
2.4. Instructional Methods of Teaching Basic Science
2.5. Active Learning Strategies
2.5.1. Examples of Active Learning Strategies
2.6. Effects of Think-pair-share on students’ achievement and Attitudes to Basic Science
2.7. Effects of Minute papers on students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science
2.8. Gender and Students’ Achievement in Basic Science
2.9. Gender and Students’ Attitudes to Basic Science
2.10. Implications of Reviewed Literature on the present study

2.1 Theories on Active learning strategies

According to Piaget’s theory of Assimilation and Accommodation; aspects of the nature of active learning can also be identified. Like Dewey, Piaget also rejected traditional methods of learning. Piaget posits that it is not realistic to expect a mutual communication to occur between a teacher and a student in the traditional method of learning when a teacher is telling and the student is listening. Piaget argued that a student heard what he perceived and that might not be the same things as what the teacher was saying (Piaget, 1990).What teachers taught therefore, was not always what the students learned.

Another reason for his rejection of the traditional method as cited by Labinowicz (1990) was that he disagreed with the associated behaviorist that knowledge originated outside of the learner.

Piaget was also interested in mental activity in learning. In particular, he was interested in what an individual does in his interaction with the world. Piaget (1953) argues that life is a continuous creation of increasingly complex forms and a progressive balancing of these forms with the environment. Thus, according to Piaget, all organisms are born with a tendency to adapt to the environment through a biological adaptation process. Piaget’s adaptation process is similar to active learning principles proposed by Dewey.

In the context of human learning, the basic mechanism of adaptation that leads to cognitive advancement, according to Piaget, is composed of two complementary processes: Assimilation and Accommodation. “Assimilation is the process by which an individual understands an experience in terms of his or her present stage of cognitive development’’ (Royer & Feldman, 1984).Therefore, assimilation is an intellectual process whereby the individual deals with the environment in terms of his present.

Lev Vygotsky's work elucidated the relationship between cognitive processes and social activities and led to the socio cultural theory of development, which suggests that learning takes place when students solve problems beyond their current developmental level with the support of their instructor or their peers.

Constructivism, which emphasizes the fact that learners construct or build their own understanding. Learning is a process of making meaning. Learners replace or adapt their existing knowledge and understanding (based on their prior knowledge) with deeper and more skill levels of understanding. There are many constructivist inspired teaching methods. Some of the prominent ones are Driver and Oldham (1986), Schecker and Niedderer (1982) just to mention a few. Constructivist methods emphasize the engagement of the students in the learning process and the importance of prior knowledge on conceptualization for new learning. Constructivists’ view of learning has been summarized by Driver and Bell as follows:

Learning outcomes depend not only on the learning environment but also on the knowledge of the learner.

Learning involves the construction of meanings. Meaning constructed by Students from what they see or hear May not be those intended construction of a meaning is influenced to a large extent by our existing knowledge. The construction of meaning is a continuous and active process.

Meaning once constructed, are evaluated and can be accepted or rejected. Learners have the final responsibility for their learning.

There are patterns in the type of meaning Students construct due to shared experiences with the physical world and through natural language.

It is necessary to point out that most of the constructivist teaching techniques and understanding of learning are not unique to constructivism, much of the best constructivist technique-with its emphasis on activity engaging the learner in their own learning and paying attention to their own learning and paying attention to their prior beliefs and conceptualization of students have been in existence for a very long time.

2.2 Historical Background of Basic Science in Nigeria

Formally, general science was taught in schools before Science Teachers’ Association (STAN) set up a 3 member committee to look into science curriculum under the 3 respective disciplines of Biology Chemistry and Physics. The committee came out with a unified discipline called integrated science between late sixties and early seventies. Integrated science existed for over 40 years and played a tremendous role in the scientific and technological improvement of mankind till 2007 when the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has the mandate to develop curricula for use at all level of the educational system in Nigeria. In line with government declaration for a 9 – year Basic education programme the NERDC was directed by the National Council on Education (NCE) to re-structure and re-align the existing primary and junior secondary school curricula to meet the targets of the 9 – year Basic Education in the context of National Economic Empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS) and the millennium development goals (MDGS). There came Basic Science formerly called Integrated Science, (NERDC, 2007). This research investigated the effectiveness of Active learning strategies as determinants of senior secondary school students’ achievement and attitude to Basic science. Thus, in subsequent chapters, Basic Science would be freely used in place of Integrated Science.

2.3 An overview of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria

2.3.1 Objectives of the Basic Science Curriculum in Nigeria

The objectives of the new Basic Education curriculum in Science and Technology are also spelt out thus to enable the learner:

a. Develop interest in science and technology.
b. Apply their basic knowledge and skills in science and technology to meet societal needs.
c. To meet both national and international goals.

2.3.2 Philosophy of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria

Basic science is basic training in scientific skills which are required for human survival, sustainable development and societal transformation (Chukwuneke & Chinkwenze, 2012). Basic science is expected to make Nigerians scientifically literate. It is taught in Nigerian upper basic level. As an integrated learning, Basic Science and clinical sciences are treated as a tool for students who would be doctors capable of working in any part of Nigeria in the nearest future. The Philosophy of the nine(9) year Basic Education curriculum as stipulated by the Nigeria Educational and Development council is that every learner who has gone through the nine years of basic education should have acquired appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life-skills as well as the other knowledge that require the use of scientific principles.

Historical perspective analyzes the science curriculum in Nigeria, the new approaches of and there are certainly as many as there are philosophers of Science Education are a basic social and human need. According to (Ekefre et al., 2014) precisely 3rd of May, 2014, Journal of Educational and Social Research MCSER, philosophy provides the starting point in curriculum development as it is when this is applied to education.

2.3.3 Strategies of the curriculum of Basic Science in Nigeria

Using available sources and literature, this article identified the philosophy and structure of the nine year and the Revised 9-year Basic Education curricula in Nigeria categorized into Lower Basic (Primaries 1-3), Middle Basic (Primaries 4-6) and Upper Basic (Junior Secondaries 1-3). The Philosophy of the 9 year Basis Education Curriculum as stipulated by the Nigeria Educational and Development Council is that every learner who has gone through the nine years of basic education should have acquired appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative, communicative and life-skills. Teachers need to adopt more students centered teaching strategies and approaches to Primary science were included in the curriculum of Primary education so as to achieve some specified objectives. Basic Science curriculum is a review of the integrated science curriculum in Junior Nigeria education system in 2007.

According to Agbidye (2015) found that Science at the upper basic level in Nigeria, curriculum of Basic Science specifies ’’hands on’’ competence and teaching strategies is very important. Stanley (2007) is of the view that the essence of a beginning course in science is to begin to teach students what science is and how scientists work. Thus, Basic science can be regarded as a form of unified science. Also science is concerned with the understanding of natural phenomena and creating conceptual framework for its explanation. The role of science and technology in modern world cannot be overemphasized. Many factors have been identified in earlier studies as responsible for the poor achievement of students in science especially at senior secondary schools. After the definitions and statements of Basic Science, it became clear that the proponents of the supposedly new brand of science hold the view that the several sciences are characterized by a common methodology and that their contents present a whole and become more meaningful when integrated. Bajah and Isa (2000) believed that integration may then be regarded as the removal of boundaries between subject subdivisions. Furthermore, philosophical view of inductivism claims that individuals attain meaningful knowledge only from experience with physical environment, (Isa, 2000). There are many reasons for teaching Basic Science to students especially in lower secondary education. One of these reasons may be the long term of preparing them to pass a prescribed examination. However, while we do appreciate an examination oriented goal, we would also like to draw our attention to some objectives which are equally important in the teaching of Basic science to our pupils, they are:

i. To teach the students how to tackle some of the questions that arises from observations of his own environment.
ii. To sharpen the power of observation of the students.
iii. To direct the attention of the students toward matters which are significant to him, and to the society to which he is a member.
iv. To continue the process of science concept building for acquiring a science vocabulary, not only by definition but by experience.
v. To prepare student for a takeoff into the exciting world of science later in his career
vi. To offer diversified science (curriculum) to cater for the difference in talents, opportunities and future roles.
vii. To provide trained manpower in the applied sciences, technology and commerce at sub-professional grades.
For useful living within the society and obtain higher education (National Policy on Education, 2004). Objectives of Basic science cannot be overemphasized; Basic science course eliminates the repetition of subject matter from the various sciences and does not recognize the traditional subject boundaries when presenting topics or themes.

2.3.4 The Basic Science Curriculum

Science as a concept is a body of organized knowledge and a process of inquiry. It is geared towards problem solving in order to enhance the living standard of man. Gottlieb (2005) also reveal that science is intellectual activity carried on by human that is designed to discover information about the natural world in which we live and to discover the way in which this information can be organized to benefit human race. Curriculum refers to the total experiences that are given to students via the agency of the school. The Basic Science Curriculum is spiral in nature in which the same concepts are developed from Jss1 through JSS3 in increasing scope and details with advancing years. The JSS Basic Science curriculum is also thematic in approach i.e. themes that cut across all the sciences are used as major topics of study etc. The Science Teachers Association of Nigeria in 2004 stressed that ‘you and your home” is one of the six themes on which Junior Basic Science core curriculum is based. It continued that the objectives of the themes as outlined in the curriculum include showing students (pupils) constant interaction with biological and physical components of science in their homes. That it focuses on these interactions and the parts the pupils can play with a view to giving the child a deeper and clearer understanding of science in the home (FME, 2004) the theme covers the following content area. The purpose of teaching is to ensure that students learn or practice what they are taught.

Teachers teach to impart knowledge and skill to students. Knowledge however is a complex issue, which can be conveniently broken down into three (3) areas or domain according to Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives namely:

Cognitive domain: this deals with the recall and remembering of information, understanding and re-organization of information, the use and application of learnt information to other situations

Affective domain: which deals with attitudes and feelings? For example, honesty, co-operation, neatness and openness are positive attitude, which fall in this area of knowledge.

Psychomotor domain: this deals with the skills of manipulation, the use of hands, especially in practical work e.g. the Ability to use burette to measure volume, view microorganism from the microscope, reading of different measuring instruments like Stop watch, Stop clock, Ammeter, Voltmeter, Galvanometer, Potentiometer, Lever balance, Beam balance, Spring balance etc and the practical demonstration of various experiment like Simple harmonic motion, Equilibrium, Verification of Ohm’s law, Qualitative and Volumetric analysis . The findings of this study are on the relevant teaching and learning strategy for the achievement of these purposes.

2.4 Instructional Methods of Teaching Basic Science

There are various methods of teaching Basic science, they are:

2.4.1 Activity-Based Teaching Method

Students learn by doing. It is employed when the teacher allows the students to do piece of work and they learn at the same time. Students endeavor to do the work as someone else has done it successfully. Students in doing the work should know the purpose before they become interested in doing it. Students learn little by listening, a little more by watching but learn most by actually doing (i.e. direct contact with actual/natural situation). Inekwe (2002) found that activity Based method is the method that enables students learns with the same vigour that marks their natural activity. David (2007) opines that, activity based method introduces element of joy, team spirit, respects for each other opinions and reduces abstractness in science concepts. Mari (2001) in this method, the work is done in friendly manner, gladly with motivating spirit as active throughout the whole lesson even to an uninteresting topic/work. Activity-Based method is applicable in subjects like Agriculture, Home economics, Basic science (practicals), Physics practicals, Chemistry practicals, Biology practicals etc. There is no single method of teaching that is absolute in meeting the learning needs of every individual learner in the classroom.

Maduabum and David (2007) also revealed that all teaching strategies have their limitation and strength. However, Felder and Brent (2005) assert that a more balance approach that attempts to accommodate the diverse needs of the students in a class and allow for optimum learning is by the direct involvement of students in the teaching-learning process. They further stated that this approach is scientific and conform to the tenets of acquisition of knowledge by doing or direct participation by learners. These leaner-centered or activity oriented approach employs the processes of science in gathering, transforming and interpreting data, a major objective of teaching sciences in the secondary school. Brekke (2005) assert that through such activities, students will not only learn science concepts but that they will also practice and understand the scientist work to acquire knowledge relevant to solve problems that surrounds the world around them.

Contemporary theories of learning indicate that learners get actively involved in the teaching-learning procedure if presented with variety of learning activities (Brennan in David, 2007). Piaget (1967) opined that intelligence is a continuing process of “adaptation” and “organization” as the learner interacts with the physical and social environment. He further shows that when learners are provided with adequate rich experiences and activities, it enhances cognitive development and movement from one level of the domain to another. This experience according to Bakare and David (2007) will cause cognitive stimulation seeing as the availability richness and the use made of various learning materials which are designed to foster such cognitive skills as perception, conception, memory, language, reasoning and creativity. These can only be favoured if consideration is given to appropriate cognitive and effective entry behaviours in science which involve expertise in organized and systematized sequencing of tasks and topics within the syllabus (Bloom, 1976). This way learning will not only be promoted but time taken to accomplish task will be reduced.

Gague and David (2007) also opined that such procedures will provide a firm foundation in acquisition of scientific skills to learn concepts and broad principles. Advantages are that this method is connected with real life as lived outside the school, lesson learnt are real, practical, interesting and meaningful. It develops social living or awareness in students, also self-education is encouraged, it frees the teacher from being termed a “talking teacher”. It leads to cooperation and led to a sense of responsibility, it develops self-discipline although it requires much space, encourages laziness in the teacher, plenty money is required and encroaches upon the leisure of the teacher (David, 2007).

2.4.2 Lecture Method

This is the method of teaching that emphasizes “talk and chalk” to the teaching of Basic science subject. More than 70% of scientific information and principles are delivered as lectures. Science teachers embraced this method for easy coverage of the school syllabus. This method is sometimes referred to as the “talk and chalk” method. It is characterized by the one-way flow of information. From the teacher who is always active, to the students will always be passive. In its true nature, the lecture approach is not effective for science teaching (Abdullahi, 2005; Usman, 2000). Lecture method is not effective for the following reasons:

i. It does not promote much meaningful learning of science as it appeals to hearing only.
ii. The differences in student’s ability are not considered because it cannot satisfy the differences in individuals such as slow learner and fast learner.
iii. The students easily become restless and disruptive since their attention span is very limited.
iv. It promotes rote learning and regurgitation of information (Abdullahi, 2005).

2.4.3 Project Method

This method is used by teachers to individualize instructions; usually it is given to individuals or small groups. Here, students are required to look for topics of special interest to them and investigate solutions using projects. Project is one of the activity-based of science teaching strategies which local resources can be effectively utilized in teaching process. Project method is derived from the educational idea of one of the great educators John Dewey, an American, Dewey argued that education should not prepare a child for future that is unknown, but rather that it should fit him rightly into his society. One of the best ways to do this is to allow the child to take full part in the life of community and wider neighbourhood. Later, the followers of Dewey further developed this idea into what we called in schools “the project method: put it in another form, a school projects it is the cooperative study of real life situation over situation by either a class or the whole school, usually under the expert guidance or a teacher (Bello, 1996). Sometimes students obtain topics for the project work from the sources available. The teacher is expected to guide them where necessary. The project method could take a week, month, or even some years, (Abdullahi, 2005).

2.4.4 Discovery Method

This approach in science teaching was postulated by Brunner (1961). The approach enables pupils to get first how experience in getting fact, concepts and principles and processes by using mental processes and manipulating scientific equipment and materials. Brunner believers that a child who is exposed to the heuristics of discoveries gets four (4) benefits these are:

a. There will be increase in intellectual attainment
b. There is a shift from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation
c. The learning of the heuristics of discoveries is valuable to student’s investigative processes.
d. Discovery learning aids memory of the child.

Finally, discovery method is one of the best methods of teaching that involves mental skills for learning by student to observing, measuring, classifying and so on (James, 2001; Usman, 2000). Two modes of active learning were investigated in this study to find their effectiveness as determinants of senior secondary school students’ achievement and attitude to Basic Science among junior and senior secondary school students.

2.4.5 Discussion Method

It is students-centered based on the philosophy that knowledge arising within the person and not horn external sources. The students lack over subject or communicate over knowledge, while teacher moderates the discussion.

Advantages of Discussion Method are:

i. It can be used to introduce a lesson, which provides motivation for student’s activities. Both the teacher and the students discuss procedure- for the activities.
ii. It develops positive understanding between teacher/student and student/student, which motivates a desire to gain more knowledge
iii. It provides the students with the sense of confidence through frequent exchange of idea between their teachers and students.

2.4.6 Field Trip

This is an important component of science teaching. It is trip or excursion taking outside the classroom for observation and obtainance of specific information. If well planned, it affords the students opportunity to become actively engaged in observing, classifying, studying and manipulating objects. From the foregoing discussion on the various methods of teaching science, it must be emphasized here that new approach of science teaching as advocated today is the student-centered approach (Abdullahi & Stanley, 2008).

2.4.7 Demonstration Method

This approach involves showing a particular procedure or skills to the students who after careful teaching and learning and interaction repeat and practice the same process shown to them. The demonstration approach can be used when the available resources, equipment cannot go round for each individual in the class. The teacher or some groups of students usually carry it out. The approach is used to:

a. Motivate the students
b. Teach certain techniques or skills, theory, practice etc.
c. Introduce a lesson
d. It consumes time and materials

The correct use of materials, equipment and the abundance of breakage can be shown

It allows teachers to use activities; it could be harmful to students if carried out by them (Abdullahi & Stanley, 2007).

2.4.8 Laboratory Method

This is an activity performed by an individual or a group of students for the purpose of making personal observations or processes, products or event. It has been used in teaching science as:

i. A means of verifying principles, laws or theories.
ii. Practising one or more cognitive skills such as ability to observe, classify, measure, interpret data etc.
iii. To determine the relationship between causes and effects, (Abdullahi & Stanley, 2007).

2.4.9 Problem-Solving Method

Olalekan and Jerome (2006) defined problem solving as a skill that requires finding a solution that is unique and novel to identified problems and it is also the ability to adopt relevant techniques from task only marginally related to the task at hand and to generate possible strategies to solve problems that are familiar. It demands strong background knowledge of concept, facts, structures, principles and computational skills that enable them to tackle problem in the classroom. Teachers and parents play significant roles in the growth and development of learners in the society to acquire skills for problem solving. This will also enable learners to acquire cognitive styles towards tackling of problems with little or no assistance from fellow students or teachers. Problem solving calls for an initial identification of problem, relation of problem to known idea or a problem earlier solved structure of the problem, carryout necessary computation, obtaining solutions, generalizing and analysis of solution procedure. Inekwe (2002) also note that to teach problem solving skill successfully, Science/Mathematics teachers must provide a more conducive learning atmosphere that will allow students for thinking, analyzing, experimenting and be willing to entertain and answer questions to improve students’ performance in the concept.

2.5. Active learning strategies

The term “active learning” can encompass a broad array of tactics and activities. But the key is that practice matters.

The traditional lecture model is no longer the most efficient way for teachers to impart knowledge to students. With Wi-Fi, Smartphone’s and laptops providing an endless supply of distractions, savvy educators must rely on new teaching methods like active learning for classroom engagement.

Active learning techniques can result in higher student engagement, improved grades and a lower dropout rate. Technological tools normally associated with distraction can be used to benefit the classroom, and provides readers with actionable tips they can use in classes, regardless of the subject they teach.

2.5.1. Examples of active learning strategies

Active learning techniques range from quick-and-simple interventions to semester-long redesigns of course structure and delivery. These teaching strategies can include group work, cooperative learning and peer instruction. This way, the learning process becomes more engaging, enhancing teaching and learning in your class.

The techniques below can be used in your class to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. While some of these ideas work better in specific disciplines, each one can be adapted for use in any context. Active learning strategies can also encompass assignment-setting and evaluation (at least at the stage of formative assessment.)

With active learning, knowledge can take hold in students’ own minds, and classroom time gives students the opportunity to actively work with concepts—not just sitting and listening passively. Here are eight practical examples of active learning techniques for students.

Think-pair-share

In think-pair-share, you briefly pause your lecture and ask students to pair up and discuss the material that was just presented, and then tell them to prepare to ask questions or share observations with the entire class.

University of Queensland’s Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation suggests breaking this down into the three constituent parts and not pairing students straightaway—as well as telling your students before the lecture begins that it’s happening.

First, ask a question you feel will challenge your students, then get them to think for two to three minutes by themselves. Then, pair them in twos or threes to discuss their conclusions for no more than five minutes. After that, you can call on groups to share those conclusions, or ask for volunteers. An active learning technique like this is particularly effective after the first few lectures, if you feel that your class’s attention span for your course material is beginning to dip. This technique can also help to recapture enthusiasm, and remind students that their learning is not taking place in isolation.

Minute papers

During a brief pause for reflection, students alone or in pairs are asked to answer a question in writing about the day’s teaching. The submitted responses can be used to gauge student learning and student comprehension of the material.

Educator James Lang (above), author of Small Changes: Everyday Lessons From the Science of Learning, is a proponent of active learning, particularly the minute paper.

The minute paper comes in many variations, but the simplest involves wrapping up the formal class period a few minutes early and posing two questions to your students:

What was the most important thing you learned today?

What question still remains in your mind?

The first question requires students to remember something from class and articulate it in their own words, as well as making sure they do some quick thinking. Students have to reflect on their learning experience, and decide on the main point of that day’s class.

The second question encourages them to consider what they haven’t truly understood. Most of us are infected by what learning theorists sometimes call “illusions of fluency,” which means that we believe we have obtained mastery over something when we truly have not. To answer the second question, students have to decide where confusion or weaknesses remain in their own comprehension.

One final idea: if your class is structured in a way to make this possible (for example, if you don’t rely on open-ended lab work), you can make the minute paper a ‘ticket out’—namely, all students must complete it before leaving the lecture.

Quick quizzes

This active learning technique can be administered at the start of class or during a pause. It should count as formative assessment: not for a grade, but to assess comprehension.

One way to make this a meaningful exercise, and to scale it across a large classroom, is to use technology to ask a multiple-choice question. You can do this at the beginning of class to challenge or to check an assumption before a lecture begins, and then ask the same question at the end. You can then compare and pair the results of the two questions and get instant feedback about the effectiveness of your lesson. Did people understand, or do they need more clarification?

Muddiest point

In one version of the ‘muddiest point’ exercise, students are given index cards or a field on an app and asked to write down which part of the course material is least understood by them. You can keep this anonymous in order to encourage honest responses.

Armed with this information, you can target and schedule extra instruction time towards those subjects, and get a very good sense of what extra instruction your class needs.

An alternate way to use this active learning technique is in a student review session, where you can find out your class’s muddiest point by process of elimination. Ask your students to send you topics they feel most in need of clarification, and then consolidate them into a list.

Then, you can direct each student to choose a term from the list and explain it to the rest of the class, helping them along as needed. Strike the concept from the list, and go to the next student.

Students will have a tendency to pick the terms that they are most comfortable speaking about and those left untouched will give you a clear assessment of the subjects in which your class is struggling and where comprehension is lacking. You can then transfer this into a more instructor-led review session and fill in the blanks for the last remaining subjects on behalf of your class.

Debates

Having students defend different viewpoints for the class is a means of structuring class discussion and ensuring that even those in the back rows have the opportunity to speak.

Role-playing is one possible route, espoused by Tony Crider, a professor of Astronomy at Elon University, North Carolina.

In his classes, students are assigned roles of historical characters. One of his classes is called the “Pluto Debates,” wherein leading lights of the astronomy world argue over whether or not Pluto should be considered a planet.

Every student has a character sheet, with his or her secret victory conditions, i.e., “You’ll win if the vote turns out this way, or that way.” For Crider, the key was getting his students invested in how astronomers make sense of objects, how they classify them and how they make decisions together. In fact, the simulation aspect of this approach really draws students in, to the point where they’ll often prepare more for Crider’s class than others.

Case studies and problem solving

Here, students work in groups, applying knowledge gained from lectures or reading materials to a given situation. This is more spontaneous than setting your students multi-week formal group projects.

[...]

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Details

Title
Effect of two modes of active learning strategy. Determinant of junior secondary school students' achievement and attitudes to basic science
College
National Open University of Nigeria  (Lagos Study Centre.)
Course
M.Ed Science Education
Grade
2.1
Author
Year
2021
Pages
119
Catalog Number
V1032010
ISBN (eBook)
9783346461315
ISBN (Book)
9783346461322
Language
English
Tags
effect, determinant
Quote paper
Morufu Oluwagbenga Agbaje (Author), 2021, Effect of two modes of active learning strategy. Determinant of junior secondary school students' achievement and attitudes to basic science, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1032010

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