AN ASSESSMENT OF BASIC SCIENCE TEACHERS CLASSROOM PRACTICES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PUPILS ACHIEVEMENT (A CASE STUDY OF SELECTED PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN IFO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF OGUN STATE)
This study actually assessed the Basic Science teachers classroom practices and implications for pupils achievement in Ifo Local Government Education district. A sample of One hundred pupils was used from five selected primary schools in Ifo Local Government Education District. Self construction and administered questionnaire were used, the pupil’s questionnaire had a total fourteen questions. The questionnaires were used to collect the information on observation of pupils and teachers in Basic Science. Data collections were analyzed using experimental research method. It was observed that teachers do not use the laboratory equipment to teach the pupils Basic Science. Finally, based on findings, some recommendations were made to hopefully help and sustain the teaching of Basic Science.
- BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Basic Science was introduced into Nigeria Schools by Christian Missionaries who brought the Western type of education.
Ajewole (2004) explained that the establishment of the church Missionary society in 1859 was the significant step which resulted in the introduction of rudiments of science in the school curriculum. This involved the teachers and the pupils about the environment in a form of out door observations of plants and animals as living things. Apart from Nature Study, science was also introduced as science of common things, Hygiene, Rural sciences and general science. (Abdullahi, 1982).
The effects of the World war II and U.S.S.R launching of sperknik I into the orbit in October 4, as well as vanguard I by the United States in March, 1953 made people, government education, industries and mass media aware of the importance of science and its application. This brought about a world of science and science education. Various programmes were out for the development of science by the government while others were developed by philanthropic organization to help science. Nigeria as well as African countries sought assistance from others areas of the world where reliable efforts at primary and secondary schools were almost well established like United State of America and British, that have considerable progress in the teaching of science.
With this world changes in the area of science development, Nigeria could not be left behind. With this new development, Nature study gave no more satisfaction for a modern science programme and it was no longer consistent with the psychology and methodology of the time. Therefore, the enthusiasm for Nature study started to die down.
In Nigeria, before independence, dove had been a lot of inquiry into the type of education that was in existence, among there as Pohelps stroke (1923) commission, immediately after independence in 1960, the Federal Government realised the crucial role of science in Nature development. Therefore took several steps to improve the teaching of Basic Science throughout the whole Federation. As a result, various commissions were set up to i.e. examine the conduct of both teaching and learning in the country, thus the Ashby commission (1960) for the Federation, Dike commission (1968) for the west, Oldham were to look into the progress of universal quarters.
In September 1969, the Nigeria Educational Research council (NERC) sponsored a National curriculum conference in Lagos to discuss what should be the ideal curriculum for Nigeria Schools and Colleges.
The outcome of its deliberation led to the formulation of the Nation policy of Education system. 1969 curriculum conference led to various educational activities in the 70s and 80s.
Thus, a wide range of Educational programmes were developed for the progress of Basic Science education. All these were able to take care of text materials for the pupils at all primary schools level as well as their corresponding teaching guide.
Some of these programmes are listed below:
- Science Education Programme for Africa (SEPA) which came up in Kano 2000, was sponsored by UASID foundation Educational centre Newton.
- Bendel PRIMARY SCIENCE programme (BPSP) established in Benin City in Edo State in 1966. UNESCO and UNICEF sponsored it.
- Primary Education improvement project (PEIP) which was incepted at institute of Education Ahmadu Bello University in 2000, it was sponsored by UNICEF and UNESCO.
- Science Ife six year PRIMARY SCIENCE project was incepted at university of Ile – Ife institute of Education 1970 it was sponsored by ford Foundation in United state of America.
- Lagos states Basic Science programme 2000, sponsored by Lagos State Ministry of education.
For further development, most of the Basic Science programmes have been influenced by international programme and conferences.
For example Nuffield School Council project whole objectives were to assist teachers achieve their aims and objectives Abo, Science a process Approach (SAPA).
A detailed examination of these programme led to the production of Basic Science curriculum with the unifying general aims and objectives, which its effective teaching will give the Nigeria child, opportunities to:
- Have a solid foundation in science at the primary school level, by introducing the basic processes.
- Develop spatial (three dimensional perspective) in the cause his/her intellectual development.
- Develop manipulative and psychomotor skills through practical experience by doing.
- Develop and sustain the interest to make him/her confident and self reliant.
- Develop and sustain interest in science through appreciation of orderliness and beauty in nature.
With some of the above stated objectives which is abundantly reflected in the National policy of Education with the guidelines to the fourth National Development plan. The curriculum has been so designed that it could encourage pupils to as questions, to explore the world around them and to realize that science involves imagination and creative. To achieve the above required objectives the Basic Science teacher should make the teaching child centred, should introduce activities, relevant questions and experiments during Basic Science lessons. Also, the teacher must have a good mastery of the subject and must involve pupils in most of the talking.
With the effectiveness of the Basic Science teaching, the children should be able to achieve a lot from Basic Science. To mention a few, the child should be able
- To develop interest in practicing science
- To have a better understanding of the world around him.
- To learn scientific processes, skills and attitude through which he can build concepts.
Although since introduction of Basic Science syllabus, facilities other innovations for teaching science grants for provision of science equipment during the period.
Also, organized induction courses, seminars, in – serve training for teachers. Despite the fact that the curriculum places emphasis on development of science process skills in pupils; it is a pity that these have not been well implemented. The subject has not been well taught by using the right approach which is the child centred method. The teachers have always seen as one with a bag of information that spins out facts to be learnt rather than a facilitation.
The reasons for such observation during learning and teaching of Basic Science and its implications is the focus of this study.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
It has been found that not all the teachers are qualified to teach Basic Science, because most of them have little or no formal education in the content and methodology of science.
There is no subject specialization in Basic Science teaching and primary school teachers do a lot of teaching one is therefore uncertain about the type of science taught to our children in schools. It is the teemed necessary by the research to look at the way and manner primary school teachers teaches Basic Science to a point of affecting learning either positively or negatively.
- PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to:
- Observe the teaching practices of the Basic Science classroom teachers and learning practices of their pupils.
- To find out the implication of these practices on the pupils performances for effective Basic Science teaching and learning.
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
For the purpose of this study the following research questions were raised.
- How do Basic Science teachers teach in the classroom?
- Do Basic Science teachers carry out activities that will involve pupils in the teaching.
- To what extent do Basic Science teachers utilize instructional materials in teaching of science?
- What are the problems encounter during teaching and learning of Basic Science?
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be useful to the teacher, government curriculum designers and pupils.
- For the teachers, the study will encourage them to make their teachings; child centred and thereby develops scientific
- For the government, it will help them by realising the need for Basic Science teachers to update their knowledge and skills thereby organising seminars and workshops for Basic Science teachers.
- For the curriculum and programme designers, it will help them in developing what to do be included and they are expected to be carried out.
- Finally, it will be beneficial to Basic Science students. Due to the fact that teacher’s effectiveness will encourage them to learn and understand science better, thereby gaining more skills and knowledge.
1.5 SCOPE AND THE LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was limited to use of 100 primary 6 pupils (boys and girls) and 10 Basic Science teachers in primary six (6); which was randomly selected from 5 schools in Ifo Local Government Education district of Ogun state. The study could have been extended but due to lack of time and financial constraint which constituted some limitation factors.
1.6 DEFINITIONS OF TERMS
- Instructional Materials:
Are those relevant materials which the teachers uses to make the lessons clear and self explanatory to the pupils. This may be visual or audiovisual, they carry in for materials that facilitate the student to participate fully during the process of teaching learning.
- Scientific Attitude: The attribute that a scientist has and usually would while carrying out the processes of science.
- Curiosity: The eagerness to find out about a phenomena leads to advancement in knowledge.
- Empiricism: That is finding out by doing
- Open Mindedness: When investigations are carried out it personal bias or prejudice and the results obtained ever pre – determined.
- Science Process Skills: These are various mental and motor processes which the scientists use to arrive at a new knowledge.
These process skills are:
- Counting number relationship
- Raising questions
- Manipulative skills
- Formulating hypothesis
- Controlling and manipulating variables.
- Formulating Mental models
- Interfering Data
- Making operational Definitions
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