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THE USE OF DIGITAL TOOLS IN LEARNING BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study was carried out to find out the effects of instructional resources on the academic achievement of secondary school students in BIOLOGY. For the purpose of the study, data were collected from five hundred and five (505) form IV BIOLOGY students, eleven (11) BIOLOGY teachers and seven (7) principals in eleven (11) selected
Junior secondary schools in Akoko south west LGA. Teachers and students in the sampled schools were administered, an investigator – constructed questionnaire. BIOLOGY Achievement Test was also administered on the students in the selected schools. Results of the study indicated that adequate supply of instructional resources have significant effects on students’ performance in BIOLOGY. Furthermore, the results revealed that schools with adequate teacher quality and material resources in BIOLOGY showed superiority in achievements on the BIOLOGY test than schools without adequate teacher quality and material resources.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A number of studies have shown that many school systems, particularly those in urban and high-poverty areas, are plagued by decaying buildings that threaten the health, safety, and learning opportunities of students. Good facilities appear to be an important precondition for student learning, provided that other conditions are present that support a strong academic program in the school. A growing body of research has linked student achievement and behavior to the physical building conditions and overcrowding. A study of the District of Columbia school system found, after controlling for other variables such as a student’s socioeconomic status, that students’ standardized achievement scores were lower in schools with poor building conditions. Students in school buildings in poor condition had achievement that was 6% below schools in fair condition and 11% below schools in excellent condition. (Edwards, 1991)
Cash (1993) examined the relationship between building condition and student achievement in small, rural Virginia high schools. Student scores on achievement tests, adjusted for socioeconomic status, was found to be up to 5 percentile points lower in buildings with lower quality ratings. Achievement also appeared to be more directly related to cosmetic factors than to structural ones. Poorer achievement was associated with specific building condition factors such as substandard science facilities, air conditioning, locker conditions, classroom furniture, more graffiti, and noisy external environments.
Similarly, Hines’ (1996) study of large, urban high schools in Virginia also found a relationship between building condition and student achievement. Indeed, Hines found that student achievement was as much as 11 percentile points lower in substandard buildings as compared to above-standard buildings.
A study of North Dakota high schools, a state selected in part because of its relatively homogeneous, rural population, also found a positive relationship between school condition (as measured by principals’ survey responses) and both student achievement and student behavior. (Earthman, 1995)
McGuffey (1982) concluded that heating and air conditioning systems appeared to be very important, along with special instructional facilities (i.e., science laboratories or equipment) and color and interior painting, in contributing to student achievement. Proper building maintenance was also found to be related to better attitudes and fewer disciplinary problems in one cited study.
Research indicates that the quality of air inside public school facilities may significantly affect students’ ability to concentrate. The evidence suggests that youth, especially those under ten years of age, are more vulnerable than adults to the types of contaminants (asbestos, radon, and formaldehyde) found in some school facilities (Andrews and Neuroth, 1988). Lowe (1988) interviewed State Teachers of the Year to determine which aspects of the physical environment affected their teaching the most, and these teachers pointed to the availability and quality of classroom equipment and furnishings, as well as ambient features such as climate control and acoustics as the most important environmental factors. In particular, the teachers emphasized that the ability to control classroom temperature is crucial to the effective performance of both students and teachers.
A study of working conditions in urban schools concluded that “physical conditions have direct positive and negative effects on teacher morale, sense of personal safety, feelings of effectiveness in the classroom, and on the general learning environment.” Building renovations in one district led teachers to feel “a renewed sense of hope, of commitment, a belief that the district cared about what went on that building.” In dilapidated buildings in another district, the atmosphere was punctuated more by despair and frustration, with teachers reporting that leaking roofs, burned out lights, and broken toilets were the typical backdrop for teaching and learning.” (Corcoran et al., 1988)
Corcoran et al. (1988) also found that “where the problems with working conditions are serious enough to impinge on the work of teachers, they result in higher absenteeism, reduced levels of effort, lower effectiveness in the classroom, low morale, and reduced job satisfaction. Where working conditions are good, they result in enthusiasm, high morale, cooperation, and acceptance of responsibility.” A Carnegie Foundation (1988) report on urban schools concluded that “the tacit message of the physical indignities in many urban schools is not lost on students. It bespeaks neglect, and students’ conduct seems simply an extension of the physical environment that surrounds them.” Similarly, Poplin and Weeres (1992) reported that, based on an intensive study of teachers, administrators, and students in four schools, “the depressed physical environment of many schools… is believed to reflect society’s lack of priority for these children and their education.” With reference to the importance of learning resources, the Education for All programme stresses that attention to certain areas leads to substantial increase in school effectiveness: (a) relevance of curricula and their regular overhaul to ensure coherence . . . ; (b) adequacy of learning resources, such as textbooks for BIOLOGY, learning aids and teachers’ guides; (c) better use of instructional time; (d) improvements in the quality of teaching, mainly through in-service teacher training; and (e) making primary education child-centred. [. . .] Education programmes today must be of high quality and relevant if they are to meet the complex needs of individuals, employers and society as a whole. Improving quality in education requires adequate resources, competent teachers, appropriate facilities, and modern textbooks for BIOLOGY, resources and methods. Efficient planning and management, both at system and local-site levels, and a commitment to the idea of quality are needed if quality education is to be achieved and maintained (4).
The learning resources required to help the teacher are not just textbooks for BIOLOGY. The availability of textbooks for BIOLOGY has long been recognized as an important factor in educational attainment and governments and agencies have, to the exclusion of other aspects of the problem, focused on projects and programmes for textbook provision. However, books other than textbooks for BIOLOGY and instructional resources that are not books (such as boards and chalk, maps and flip charts, scissors, pencils, notebooks and writing pads, equipment and tools needed for science instruction, radio and television, computers and so on), are equally important for improving educational achievement.
The choice of cost-effective resources varies and depends on many factors.
Educational achievement is determined by the teacher’s knowledge of the subject and pedagogical skills, the availability of textbooks for BIOLOGY and other learning resources, and the time spent by pupils in learning. The levels and range of instructional resources available to teachers and students determine what goes on in a classroom. Where there is money for books and other learning resources, teachers are, in general, better qualified and the tuition provided is more diversified and more efficient than it is when there are few textbooks for BIOLOGY and when the teachers have no greater access to supplementary reading resources than do their students.
But when textbooks for BIOLOGY are available, the importance of training teachers in the use of new curriculum resources must not be ignored. The effectiveness of whatever learning resources are available depends on the ability of the teacher to use them as intended. Any efficient curriculum and textbook development programme should include the development of teachers’ manuals and additional teaching resources, and these resources should be introduced to the teachers by means of in-service training courses.
The scarcity of educational resources is a problem because of a shortage of copies of textbooks for BIOLOGY and the small range of those available. Students do not learn at the same pace. The poor quality and uneven development of instructional resources for different levels of learning increase the teachers’ difficulties in teaching. Different approaches require different learning resources. Double-shift and multigrade classrooms, for example, require more instructional resources than single-grade classrooms do.
In poor countries where books are scarce and teachers are often untrained, textbooks for BIOLOGY assume wider importance than they do in more developed countries. Then the textbook becomes the most important, if not the only means of teaching. Without the textbook, the skills, concepts and content required by the curriculum cannot be taught. In the absence of other sources of information, the textbook becomes the most important and often the only source of content for the teacher and the sole basis for testing and assessment. The importance of textbooks for BIOLOGY when teachers are untrained is illustrated in a study (5) made in north-eastern Brazil, in which the teachers were asked to sit a general, multidisciplinary examination with their students. The students did better than the teachers, which is explained by the fact that the students had learned more from their textbooks for BIOLOGY than from what the teachers had taught them. The role played by textbooks for BIOLOGY in the education process needs to be evaluated with regard to financial, social and cultural conditions. If textbook provision schemes originally developed to suit formal education programmes do not correspond to the economic, social and cultural realities of a developing country, then it may be more realistic to revise the concept of the textbook, not just the text itself. More research is needed into the relevance and effectiveness of learning resources in a particular context and into the effectiveness of simple guides, lesson plans and workbooks. The integration of examination requirements and other aspects of the learning process need to be given more attention. In many classrooms, the examination requirements, not the syllabus, determine what is taught.
Where textbooks for BIOLOGY are scarce or available only when the student is at school, alternative forms of instructional resources may be both more important and more effective. In cases where there are few books in schools and where the financial realities are such that only limited funds are available for learning resources, the most cost-effective teaching aid may be teachers’ workbooks based on the curriculum. Textbook content and the educational approach also need to be considered. In spite of the gains made in the development of curriculum resources, much more needs to be done. The content of instructional material needs to be seen as an ongoing activity. In general, curriculum resources are oriented towards people who live in cities, with a bias towards the norms and values of the often conservative upper classes of society. Educational resources, in more ways than one, often speak a language different from that of the students.
Readability and presentation are important. Poor presentation and inappropriate levels of reading difficulty can mean that an otherwise good textbook fails in its purpose. Education is still dominated by rote learning. The emphasis of the Education for All programme on the objects of education – the horizons of learning, the humanizing effect of education, learning to learn and learning to care – needs to be reflected in programmes designed to improve the provision of learning resources. Education, according to Coombs (1970) consists of two components. He classified these two components into inputs and outputs. According to him, inputs consist of human and material resources and outputs are the goals and outcomes of the educational process. Both the inputs and outputs form a dynamic organic whole and if one wants to investigate and assess the educational system in order to improve its performance, effects of one component on the other must be examined.
Instructional resources which are educational inputs are of vital importance to the teaching of any subject in the school curriculum. Wales (1975) was of the opinion that the use of instructional resources would make discovered facts glued firmly to the memory of students. Savoury (1958) also added that, a well planned and imaginative use of visual aids in lessons should do much to banish aparthy, supplement inadequacy of books as well as arouse students interest by giving them something practical to see and do, and at the same time helping to train them to think things out themselves. Savoury (1958) suggested a catalogue of useful visual aids that are good for teaching BIOLOGY i.e pictures, post cards, diagrams, maps, filmstrips and models.
He said that selection of resources which are related to the basic contents of a course or a lesson, helps indepth understanding of such a lesson by the students in that they make the lesson attractive to them, thereby arresting their attention and thus, motivating them to learn. He suggested a catalogue of aids which could be used to teach BIOLOGY. He advocated the use of pictures which will help children in grounding their thoughts and feelings. He said that pictures are used as alternatives to real objects where it is impossible to show students the real objects, and they do serve effectively in tan imagined activities.
It is also very vital to have sufficient and adequate human resources in terms of teacher quality for the teaching of all subjects in the school curriculum. Without the teachers as implementing factors, the goals of education can never be achieved. In order to achieve a just and egalitarian society as spelt out in the Nigerian National Policy of Education (1981), schools should be properly and uniformly equipped to promote sound and effective teaching. Suitable textbooks for BIOLOGY, qualified teachers, libraries which are adequate should also be provided for schools. Scarcity of these, according to Coombs (1970), will constraint educational system from responding more fully to new demands. In order to raise the quality of education, its efficiency and productivity, better learning resources are needed. Knezewich (1975) also stressed the importance of having appropriate personnel plan and adequate physical facilities to support educational effort.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. To introduce functions and types of learning and teaching resources for BIOLOGY.
2. To introduce strategies for effective resources development especially in field of BIOLOGY.
3. To provide guidance on how resources like textbook can be effectively used with examples of good practice.
4. Also, the purpose of learning and teaching resources is to provide a source of learning experiences for students.
5. To find out if there can be differences in the scores, on the test of BIOLOGY, of students in schools with adequate supply of qualified BIOLOGY teachers and the scores of students in schools with inadequate supply of qualified teachers.
6. To find out if there can be differences in the scores, on the test of BIOLOGY, of students in schools with adequate material resources in BIOLOGY and scores of student in schools with inadequate material resources in BIOLOGY.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Is possible to introduce functions and types of learning and teaching resources for BIOLOGY?
2. What are the strategies introduced for effective resources development especially in field of BIOLOGY?
3. How can this study provide guidance on how resources like textbook can be effectively used with examples of good practice?
4. Is the purpose of learning and teaching resources is to provide a source of learning experiences for students?
5. How can one find out if there can be differences in the scores, on the test of BIOLOGY, of students in schools with adequate supply of qualified BIOLOGY teachers and the scores of students in schools with inadequate supply of qualified teachers?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
In order to identify the variables and to accomplish the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses were tested.
H0: There is no significant difference in the scores, on the test of BIOLOGY, of students in schools with adequate supply of qualified BIOLOGY teachers and the scores of students in schools with inadequate supply of qualified teachers.
H1: There is a significant difference in the scores, on the test of BIOLOGY of students in schools with adequate resources and the scores of students in schools with inadequate material resources.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The major concern of the study is teaching resources and effective teaching
and learning of BIOLOGY in the Junior secondary school usingselected Junior secondary schools in Akoko south west LGAand Central Local Government areas of Oyo as a case study. This study should lend to awareness of studying problems of student of the school and prefer corrective measures. It is hoped that the students would be made to realize that learning involves skills perhaps better understanding of what learning is, may shape a learning attitude towards his fellow friends, schools, parents also provide knowledge and general interest for further studies in this area to the need to examine the learning comprehension skills of students with a view to identify the factors responsible for their academic performance. The study is also aimed at making the government realize that their efforts to improve the standard of education will continue to be a mirage if the teaching of learning among other learning skill is neglected in the school course outline. The study is delimited to the cause of poor study habits of high school student and its implication to teaching effectiveness. The investigation include the specific problem such as the profile of respondents the poor study habits of high school student: The effect of their poor study in teaching and learning process. What is the teaching could do to change or improve the student
poor study habits and any suggestion of teacher to improve the students poor study habits There are reason to consider that makes this study important to some groups of people like the teacher, school administrator the parents and education. Student this is because this investigation
may give them in sight concerning the cause and effect of the poor study habits of the student to the teaching and learning process to the result of this study may be very important to teaching
not only in the public school but even those in private sector the result may give these teacher some significant ideas on what they must in case they find some student having poor study habits What teachers should do is to find out the cause of such poor study habits of the pupils and then find for the mass necessary solution to the problems. The teacher after knowing they must talked to the parents about it so their parents could suppressive their weakness on their lessons at home
similarly the result of the study may have be significant to parents because through this they may known what to do to help improve or correct the poor study habits of their student to study their lesson in the night after supper instead of watching television or playing video games. The researchers believes that students, particularly Community primary school Nkwerre will be benefited from the findings of this study since the study provides basis for awareness and better understanding of how their current study habits affected their academic performance. Likewise gives them a more focused and clear perspective on how the specific behaviours related to their studies influenced study habits. Consequently, this awareness also gives a much deeper understanding of their selves as students considering that the college life is typically beset of developmental adjustment demands. School administrators like subject area coordinators, may also be guided in the formulation of future modification of educational policies, curriculum and strategies toward a more effective delivery of learning.
Teachers will also be help in understanding better the diversity of learning of their students. As such, it is hoped that they could develop more effective methodologies in teaching their subject matter.
Guidance and Counseling Centre will also be help by this study through providing a more focused and factual knowledge on the factors affecting students study habits. This increased the understanding of the Guidance Counselors on the interplay of the variables studied in this research. Such knowledge is hoped to help the Guidance and Counseling practitioners towards the development and implementation of more effective programs in consideration of these variables. Students will be given information on how study affects their academic performance. The result of the study will make them aware of the common study habits among their co- education students.
- SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is centered on teaching resources and effective teaching and learning of business
studies in the Junior secondary school usingselected Junior secondary schools in Akoko south west LGAand Central Local Government areas of Oyo as a case study.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Despite the limited scope of this study certain constraints were encountered during the research of this project. Some of the constraints experienced by the researcher were given below:
i. TIME: This was a major constraint on the researcher during the period of the work. Considering the limited time given for this study, there was not much time to give this research the needed attention.
ii. FINANCE: Owing to the financial difficulty prevalent in the country and it’s resultant prices of commodities, transportation fares, research materials etc. The researcher did not find it easy meeting all his financial obligations.
iii. INFORMATION CONSTRAINTS: Nigerian researchers have never had it easy when it comes to obtaining necessary information relevant to their area of study from private business organization and even government agencies. selected Junior secondary schools in Akoko south west LGAand Central Local Government areas of Oyo as acase study. finds it difficult to reveal their internal operations. The primary information was collected through face-to-face interview getting the published materials on this topic meant going from one library to other which was not easy.
Although these problems placed limitations on the study, but it did not prevent the researcher from carrying out a detailed and comprehensive research work on the subject matter.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Main idea: The is the key or point that dominates the passage.
Word to word: Reading of every word of the passage one by one without any transition skill from one phrase to another.
Diagnosis: This is the investigation of the nature of the course and extent of the nature of the students’ strength and weakness.
Literal meaning: This involves ordinary meaning of words basic or usual meaning of a word or phrase.
Evaluation: This is the ability to read beyond the line. It involves critical assessment of the reader what he is reading.
Cognitive: Ability of knowing how to, knowing what and the ability of the reader to use experience.
Affective reading: Good reading and caring for materials.
Languages: A systematic means of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meaning.
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• Factors- one that actively contributes to an accomplishments,results, or process
• Develop- to bring out the capabilities or possibilities of
• Study Habits- manner which you consistently use to study for school or college or even for the next day lesson.
• Students- describe as one who directs zeal at a subject. Student isused for anyone who is learning.
• Factors- these refers to anything that affects study habits
• Develop- refers to fast or gradual changes in a range of time
• Study Habits- refers to the ways of studying on a particular subject
• XU Students- referring to all officially enrolled students of Community primary school Nkwerre.
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