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1.1 Background to Study
A shift from traditional to progressive model of education has led to an increased interest in learners‟ individual differences. The new paradigm is student-centre based on inclusiveness, cooperative learning, and encourages diversity (Zywno, & Waalen 2002). Global trends in teaching and class room management have reflected significant increase in student population, which in turn made modern class rooms more diverse. This creates a challenge that is not only with oversized classes; but with students of varying abilities who differ in the ways they prefer to acquire information. It has been observed that the inclusion of students from diverse cultural background, varying interest, learning styles, experiences, strengths and needs compel educators to re-look at their instructional practices with a view to devising a better approach to teaching and learning that would give students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas (Subban, 2006).
Throughout the ages, societies educate their young and adults in order to be active and functional members of their society. Sequel to that Nigerian philosophy of Education believes that education is an instrument for National development [FRN, 2013]. This study opined that with increasing scientific advancement, there is increased demand for educated individuals. It has been observed that individuals with competences, skills and sensibilities to proactively, logically and critically engage new situation will have a higher advantage over those without them (Abanihe et al., 2010). Therefore for a country to survive in current global competition, science education needs to be taught effectively in schools. To achieve that there is need to prepare competent class room teachers in science subjects to educate the citizens for national development. In this regard, it has been suggested that Science Education is a fundamental component of basic education that prepares children to live in a world increasingly defined by science and technology (Jiya, 2011). Therefore Science education is required to build democracy, establish a system of lifelong Education for national development.
Ogbenevwede ( 2010) opined that as we entered the 21st century and expect better health for all, abundant food for all, better knowledge of man, animals, and plants, and less polluted environment with sulphur and radioactive chemicals, the need to effectively teach and learn biology to meet these challenges cannot be over emphasised. Ecology is a unit in biology that focuses on studying the relationship between biological organisms and their physical and chemical environment. Environmental education is thus part of the basic education greatly encouraged in the 21st century. Excellence in ecology education creates more awareness on the increasing level of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, Sulphur dioxide, heavy metals and other chlorofluorocarbons (CFC‟s) as well as the more recent form of electronic pollution in our environment. It also facilitates the understanding of the trend of biodiversity loss which is the result of increased human activities such as industrialization, mechanized agriculture which are threatening the survival of the planet earth.
Students have different learning styles and capabilities, hence their diversity. Researchers like Vaishnav (2013) and Oluwatumi and Ogbo (2014) have reported that learning style enhances academic performance in science, at secondary school level, but its effect has not been adequately investigated in academic performance in Nigeria particularly in Colleges of Educations as shown by the reviewed literature. Similarly, its effect on scientific attitude and emotional intelligence is yet to be ascertained in Nigeria particularly in the North-West Zone. This study was not able to access adequate literature on the effect of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning styles on scientific attitude. Nevertheless, researchers such as Akporehwe and Onwioduokit (2010) used activity based approach to develop scientific attitude and found positive results. John and Ademola (2014) also investigated the link between attitude towards science and scientific attitude, and reported that attitudes towards science do not significantly predict academic performance. Similarly, Kaur (2013) reported that, critical thinking enhances scientific attitude. From the above, a valid conclusion on the effect of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style on scientific attitude among tertiary institution students cannot be out rightly drawn. Thus this study investigated the effects of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning on emotional intelligence, scientific attitude and academic performance in ecology among colleges of education students in North-West Nigeria Research indicated that positive versus negative mood can promote different styles of information perception and processing (Lewis & Haviland-Jones, 2000). Other studies (Onyiloye, 2005; Jaeger 2005 & Nwadinigwe & Azuka-Obieke, 2012) suggest that, emotional intelligence enhance academic performance. In particular, the only empirical study accessible by this research (Mahasne, 2013) reported that, learning style significantly explain emotional intelligence. Farooq (2003) buttressed this by arguing that academic intelligence (IQ) contributes only 20% of success in life including academic performance, while emotional intelligence (EI) contributes about 80%. These studies did not provide sufficient evidence that learning style enhances emotional intelligence. Hence this study investigated the relationship between learning styles and emotional-intelligence in Adult Education students in Nigerian universities, a case study University of Benin.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Increasing demand for modern education which in turn magnified students‟ population in modern classrooms makes teachers to face diversity in their classrooms every day. Students with different learning styles are registered in Nigerian schools with the expectation of being given equal opportunity for reaching their intellectual potential. Teachers are expected to teach the same curriculum to all students irrespective of their differences. Student diversity is an emerging challenge to teachers (Tomlinson, 2000; Friend & Pope, 2005; Alison & Rehm, 2007; Valli & Buese, 2007; Levy, 2008; Lopez & Schroeder, 2008; Rock et al., 2008). It is therefore not an easy task for teachers to meet the needs of all students in their classrooms.
Researchers such as Usman (2008), Olorukooba, Lawal and Jiya (2012), Umar and Usman (2012) and Usman and Dabana (2012) observed that the poor performance in university levels still persists. Fluctuation in students‟ academic performance has been attributed to over use of lecture method and lack of consideration of students‟ characteristics (Adeyemi 2011; Oluwatomi & Angela, 2014). Teachers and researchers are aware of learners‟ individual differences for decades but little was done to address the situation. Instead, cooperative learning or flexible groupings were used with uniform instruction. Therefore the need to conduct research to address students‟ instructional preferences cannot be over emphasized. Hence this study investigated the relationship between learning styles and emotional-intelligence in Adult Education students in Nigerian universities, a case study University of Benin.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The following are the objectives of the study which are to:
1. Determine the effects of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style on students
2. Investigate the effect of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style on students’ attitude in University of Benin.
3. Find the effect of visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style on students‟ emotional intelligence at University of Benin
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were formulated for answering:
1. Is there is any difference in the mean scores in the academic performance between students taught using visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style instruction and those taught with lecture method?
2. What is the difference in the mean scores of attitude between students taught with visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style and those taught with lecture method?.
3. Is there is any difference in the mean scores of emotional-intelligence between students taught with visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style and those taught with lecture method?
The following null hypotheses were formulated for testing at; 0.05 level of significance
HO1: There is no significant difference between mean scores of students’ Academic Performance taught using visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style and those taught with lecture method.
HO2: There is no significant difference between mean scores of students’ Attitude taught with visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style and those taught with lecture method.
HO3: There is no significant difference between mean scores of students’ Emotional intelligence taught with visual, audio, and kinesthetic learning style and those taught with lecture method.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research would be helpful to:
Teachers: Accommodation of Visual, audio and kinesthetic learning style provides students‟ concentration, classroom management, and students‟ engagement. Teachers would also be able to handle large classes that characteristically present attention problems. This study offers a good hand for implementing constructivists and inclusive education. This study is anticipated to provide instruction and guidance for teachers on how constructivist approach using learning styles can be used to improve performance in ecology concepts, scientific attitude and emotional intelligence.
Students: Students would benefit more because their varying differences are adequately considered. This would provide support for facing difficult and challenging biology concepts. Students would also take advantage of their learning strengths to take risk in learning for making independent discovery. It is believed that use of VAK learning style tools would be good for effective teaching and learning in biology.
Curriculum planners: Planners could support the policy of inclusiveness in mainstream education, and as well deficiencies of uniform instruction could be recognized. Planners can use the study to design a curriculum that considers learners‟ diversity in preference to instruction within constructivist method of instruction namely differentiated learning.
Educational administrators: Awareness of its benefits may guide administrators in encouraging teachers to implement visual, audio and kinesthetic leaning, so that effective and disciplined learning environment could be established.
Researchers: findings from the study would add to the existing literature for the researchers and also stimulates future studies.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study was delimited to students in University of Benin in Edo state. There are different types of learning style indicators, but this study adopts Fleming (2006) VAK learning style model due to its simplicity and immediate practical relevance in class room as stressed by (Khamal, Shah & Koirala, 2014).
Attitude investigated was adopted from Gauld, and Hukins, (2002) in Olatoye and Aderogba, (2012) which include: curiosity, honesty, aversion to superstition, objectivity, suspended judgment and open mindedness.
The study adopted Goleman (1999) model of emotional intelligence, which consider the following as component of emotional intelligence: Empathy, Mood regulation, Interpersonal skills, internal motivation and self-awareness.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Differentiated Learning: Organising instruction around individual differences to accommodate the need of all learners
Lecture Method: Is a one way verbal presentation of pre-planned lesson to the students
Learning Style: As complementary to the cognitive style which processes information; learning style is the way each individual prefers to attend and internalize new and challenging information.
Emotional Intelligence: Is the ability to regulate our own and others' feelings and emotions in pleasant and unpleasant moments.
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