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1.1 Background of the Study
Nigerian Educational System has gone through various developments and changes viz-a-viz curriculum issues. The dynamic nature of the curriculum process informs the concept of effective planning of integrated science curriculum in secondary schools.
This is so because science education plays a vital role in the lives of individuals and the development of a nation scientifically and technologically (Aleboisu and Ifamuyiwa, 2008). It is widely and generally acknowledged that the gateway to the survival of a nation scientifically and technologically is scientific literacy which can only be achieved through science education. This starts from giving students a good foundation in integrated science from junior secondary level.
But government in this direction can not be said to have yielded much fruits given the dwindling nature of student’s performance in integrated science in junior secondary school and the low rate of students offering science in senior secondary school as well as their performance in core science subjects.
Disturbed by this ugly development, researchers in the field of science education in Nigeria embarked on series of studies to find the logic behind this ugly development. They found that the problem stemmed from the first form of science a child comes across at the junior secondary school level that is integrated science. Integrated science provide students sound basis for further science education study, hence a child that is not well grounded in integrated science at this level would not show interest in offering core science subject (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at Senior Secondary Schol level which are pre-requisites for studying science oriented courses at the Nation’s tertiary institutions.
They also found that lack of qualified teachers, lack of practical work as well as lack of equipments and facilities for teaching, insufficient allotment of time for integrated science on the school time table and poor methods of teaching are the major factors militating against the successive implementation of the core curriculum in integrated science (Ajuwape and Olatoye, 2004).
It is against this background that the researcher seeks to investigate the subject matter of this research: The impact of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary school.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Integrated Science have been taught in Junior Secondary Schools since 1972 in order to inculcate science knowledge and encourage students to offer science subjects in Senior Secondary School (Ifamuyiwa, 2008).
But inspite of this, government effort cannot be said to have yielded much fruits given the dwindling nature of students’ performance in integrated science which has a negative effect on the future performance of those offering core science and consequently poor performance inc ore subjects in WAEC and NECO examination which are prerequisites for studying in the Nation’s tertiary institutions. This has been attributed to myriad of problems ranging from lack of qualified teachers, lack of equipments and facilities for teaching, lack of practical works, insufficient allotment of time for integrated science on the school time table and poor teaching methods.
Disturbed by this trend, the subject matter of this research: the impact of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary school becomes an empirical problem worthy of investigation. As such the researcher seeks to find out if the integrated science curriculum is effectively planned to enhance effective teaching and learning of integrated science from JSS I to JSS III in sequential order of simple to complex topics.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The overall objective of this study is to determine the impact of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools. To this end, the study seeks to accomplish the following specific objectives:
i) To determine the effect of planning on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary school.
ii) To examine the effect of National Integrated Science Curriculum on teaching and learning in secondary schools.
iii) To identify the problems militating against the teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools.
iv) To proffer workable solutions to the identified problems.
1.4 Significance of Study
The study will add to the body of knowledge that already exists on the impact of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools. The study can also be used as a basis for further academic research on the topic.
The study will provide insight to school management as well as education planner and policy makers on what need to be done to enhance effective teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools and also to provide a basis on which future planning can be guided.
1.5 Research Questions
This study is guided by the following research questions:
i) What is the effect of planning on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools?
ii) How does the National integrated science curriculum affect the teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools?
iii) What are the problems militating against the teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools?
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study covers an empirical examination of the impact of effective planning curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in secondary schools. To this end, the study will include the examination of the effect of planning on teaching and learning as well as the effect of Nigerian integrated science in secondary school.
The study will equally cover the investigation of the methods used in teaching integrated science as well as the problems militating against integrated science in secondary school. The collection of empirical data would be restricted to Government Day Junior secondary School, Kaduna. The study will cover a time from 2010 to 2011.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
This study is limited to Government Junior Secondary School, Sabon Tasha, Kaduna. For the fact that the study is restricted to this school, it will be difficult to generalize the finding to other secondary schools.
For the fact that a survey method was used as a research design as well as Questionnaire as the instrument, it is not really certain if the same results could be achieved if other designs and instrument can yield the same results. Besides, another limitation is that the respondents could have either over exaggerated or understated their responses while scoring the items in the questionnaire. Also the non-chalant attitude of some of the respondents could affect the validity of their responses to the questionnaire. These limitations should be taken cognizance of by other researchers conducting similar studies.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Planning: The process of setting objectives and the means of attain educational goals in integrated science.
Curriculum: Sequence of teaching and learning in form of plans and intentions.
Lesson Plan: Setting specific objective in order to effectively teach what is in a scheme of work.
Policy: Framework formulated in order to actualize educational attainment in a state.
Forecast: Project into future goal attainment in school.
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