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The study deals with student attitude towards laboratory work and its impact on academic performance in chemistry in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. Eight schools were involved in the study. Attention was paid to a close examination of three selected factors which are assumed, affected students attitude towards chemistry laboratory work.
Chemistry student quality and availability of the chemistry laboratory equipment.
The teachers quality, qualification and experience and personality.
The amount of time or period spent on laboratory work.
The main instrument used for the research was mainly student’s questionnaire the questionnaire were administered by the investigator.
Also from the study, student attitude towards laboratory work has influence on their academic programme. Teachers and parents are advised by the investigator to make it a matter of duty to encourage and direct their children towards development of positive attitude in laboratory work in particular and chemistry in general.
Background of the study
In the rapid changing technological age that we are in, the importance of science and technology to nation like Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Consequently great attention is been given to the teaching and learning of science so as to yield the desired results and achieved the national goals on science education. The promotion of social and economic development through science and technology has been vigorously pursued by countries such as USA and Japan. The importance of science and technology to socio-economic development was eluded by Fafunwa in his keynote address in (1971) when he stated that we in the underdeveloped countries must use our human and natural resources to solve our economic problem. He added that we need to improve our diet, develop our mineral resources, introduce modern scientific farming and improve our health programme. Chemical knowledge is a part of science and technology. The contribution of chemical knowledge and skills have made to economic and industrial progress of our modern society are too obvious to be underestimated. A sufficient experimental training is believed to have been provided as long as the students has been introduced to the laboratory in the preparation and determination of the various properties of a compound or substance. Therefore, the nature and type of the laboratory play an important role in influencing students attitude towards chemistry laboratory works. In spite of the reaffirmation by science teachers association of the use of the laboratory in the 1980, most laboratories are skill in a deplorable situation. This has made laboratory work uninteresting so much that many of the students now view chemistry laboratory work as unpleasant waste of time and energy. Beside, administration which bent on cutting cost even display lukewarm attitude towards the supply equipment needed in the laboratory and in providing opportunities for students to measure, observe, perform experiments and use scientific method of problem solving.
Shulman and Tamir (1973) stressed that with the advent of the new curriculum which emphasizes on the process of higher cognitive skills, the laboratory has acquired a central role not just as a place for demonstration but as a place for real practical exercise in the teaching and learning of chemistry as a science subject. Laboratory activities are very essential and indispensable in the effective teaching and learning of chemistry. To facilitate the use of chemistry to advance the understanding of how science operates, the instructor we have to identify the behavioural indices by trying to promote and design objectives that we meet this end. Underscores the central role of laboratory in chemistry teaching and learning.
Laboratory activities in chemistry may include the following:
Carrying out experiment
Planning and executing experiment as a project
Field trips and excursion for investigation
Students that show positive attitude to laboratory activities learning and understanding what they can do in solving problems in their environment. The various study conducted by Thomas (1974) and Anderson (1970), as well as Morrison (1964) stressed the importance of laboratory activities of students in chemistry. In the same vein, Kreitter and Krietter (1974) observed that laboratory work providing opportunity for student to develop manipulation skills, empirical abilities and creativity. It is true that student do better when involves in personal observation of experience rather than reading about it in textbooks. Anderson (1970) stated that a good chemistry student should be able to ask questions after an experiment to gain a better understanding of the issue. By going through series of the laboratory activities, the student is able to observe communicate and predict. Therefore, laboratory work is of immense importance in seeking to facilitate better understanding of the basic concepts in the subject. However, one major problem that is seemingly obstructing the realization of government intension in science education was highlighted in the report of conference for problems of teaching practical science in Nigeria secondary schools and college. In the report, a Senugu (1981) stated that, if any science subject is to be taught well, the student should be able to perform necessary experiments use certain tools, have access to some equipment and make record accurate observations. This is the laboratory method of teaching which helps to promote positive attitude of students to the learning of science based courses required the use of laboratory. Therefore, for the inculcation of scientific attitude in students laboratory activities are indispensable and besides, this has become very important in view of the growing application of science and technology to industries and societal growth or development. As an aspect of psychomotor domain of learning, laboratory activities emphasis. The use of hand in coordination with other part of the body particularly the brain in the acquisition stimulate students to carry out further inquiry which eventually enable them to develop some necessary scientific concepts. Hence laboratory work is seen as being immense of importance to both the teacher and the student in the teaching and learning of science. In the world of Thomas (1972), practical work is carried out in conjunction with the programme in association with the innovative and well constructed syllabus. For Ndu (1980) if student are to be educated to become capable of finding new facts, it is then imperative that they should be given a chance to develop the habit of inquiry or that of practical investigation. It has been observed that the teaching of chemistry has not been easy in all aspect. This is because most secondary school in Nigeria have had to teach chemistry under condition that are far from the expectation most student depend largely on reading instead of “doing” chemistry. This is a situation whereby student go through secondary school without proper exposure to chemistry practical activities required to provide adequate background for the better understanding of concept, acquisition of skills and development of scientific attitudes. The overall laboratory work in chemistry makes the student to become more inquiry oriented. However, since various forms of activities are embedded in laboratory work. The progress made will be influenced by the attitude of students the presence or absence of quality teachers who understand the need and problem of students among other things. Even their maximum benefit can only be derived when student have positive attitude towards laboratory work. Hence it will be proper to work at what the attitude of student is
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many professional educators beloved that student attitude concerning laboratory work and its impact on academic performance has much to do with student’s achievement in chemistry. They believe that positive attitude about a subject may lead student to further explore the subject thereby actualizing their full potential in the area. It is against this backdrop that, this research project seeks for examine the students attitude towards laboratory work and its impact on academic performance in chemistry in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. The problem of this study therefore, is what the attitude of students towards laboratory work is and what impact has it on academic achievement.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The cordial objective of this study is to find out the present attitude of students to laboratory in chemistry and its impact on academic performance in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
Specifically, the study also sought to:
Find out if the quality of the teacher influence student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work?
Ascertain if the quality of the chemistry laboratory equipments influences student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work?
Find out if the time spent on laboratory activities influences students attitude towards chemistry laboratory works?
This will be done with the view of identifying laboratory work that would enhance the performance of positive attitude towards chemistry. Also, the purpose of this study is to find out if there are differences in attitude of students towards laboratory work in chemistry between boys and girls in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: the quality of teacher does not influence student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work.
H1: the quality of teacher does influence student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work
H02: the quality of the chemistry laboratory equipment’s does not influences student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work
H2: the quality chemistry laboratory equipment’s does influences student’s attitude towards chemistry laboratory work
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDENT
The present study is significant because its findings can influence the decision of the teacher, the school principal and the educational administrator. This study will provide objective information in laboratory activities that enable planner take decision that will lead to better performance of students in chemistry practical work at senior school level. It will be also help to highlight the need to provide material from writing work book and text for use of students in laboratory work.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is meant to work at the student’s attitude towards laboratory work in chemistry and its impact on academic performance. In chemistry in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State. The secondary schools level involved are the SS II and SS III. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following words have been defined to prevent misconception of their use in the concept of this work.
Attitude: A settled manner of reaching as representation peeling or opinion in a given sits or statement.
Chemistry: Scientific study of matter.
Laboratory Work: for this purpose of study the term laboratory work mean teacher experimentation demonstration and students individualized instruction programme and drawing sound conclusion from then activities.
Science Equipment: It is a scientific tools apparatus or chemical use for e experimentation.
Positive Attitude: This is a behaviour or feeling that is desirable and beneficial in the process of scientific task.
Negative Attitude: Behvaiour which tend to be expressed as feelings of undesirable.
Teacher Personality: The nature and behaviour of our teacher as regards his role and expectation.
Secondary School: A non-professional institution of six year duration. Three years of junior secondary school and three years of senior secondary school.
Method of Teaching: Ways of teaching.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study
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