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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Man was able to progress to a high degree of civilization through the careful study of the causes of natural phenomena. These studies led to the accumulation of a large body of information, which is embodied in quantitative laws and theories, which in turn led to further discoveries. From these scientific discoveries, the inventive mind of man developed the machine and industrial processes which are in direct proportion to the degree of civilization.
The study of science cannot thus be complete without experiment work, but if we recall some few years back, we would see that physics has always been taught in most of our secondary schools, as a body of theoretical knowledge and little or no attempt has been made to approach the teaching and learning of physics in a practically oriented way.
According to Searl (1972) “As far as science is concerned, experimentation is always exploratory or perhaps it would be more accurate to say information seeking. Experiments are undertaken to obtain new knowledge, to confirm predictions and to test the validity of assertion of others.
Since course, materials, equipment, laboratory facilities and appropriate experiments are necessary for the effective teaching of physics practicals and learning of physics as a whole; one is not astonished to find students within Ovia South West Local Government Area records low percentage passes than others in the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in physics.
Judging from these facts, it could be stated that science laboratory and experiments are success determinants in the school physics practicals and therefore the importance of laboratory equipment cannot be over emphasized.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The effective teaching of physics practicals in secondary schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area is the concern of this study. This problem is looked at from various perspectives, which are;
- Are there laboratories in these secondary schools?
- Do these laboratories have adequate facilities for the effective teaching of physics practicals?
- Are there qualified and trained teachers to mange the laboratory?
- Are the students exposed to any form of practical?
- Do the students show positive attitude as these been motivated towards physics practicals?
1.3. PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of this study is to identify some of the major problems that are associated with the teaching of physics practicals in some secondary schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State. Having identified such problems, the researcher hopes to suggest possible solutions, which might help to reduce to the barest minimum the number of such problems. And it is hoped that the study would assists in future other researcher who might be interested in conducting a study in this field.
1.4. SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
It is the hope of the researcher that the work will acquaint the physics teachers with the problems of physics practicals teaching. Apart from this, it will also be of immense use to other teachers in Chemistry, Biology and Agricultural Science who are faced with similar problems. Furthermore, it will make the physics students know where emphasis should be laid to further enrich the study and learning of physics.
Finally, this study will serve as a pointer to school administrators and educational planners as to what must be done to give students a progressive education.
In other to study the factors affecting the teaching of physics practicals of the students in some selected in some selected secondary schools in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State; the following hypothesis are formulated as:
1. There will be no significant difference between the performance of students with adequate laboratory facilities and those with no laboratory facilities.
2. There will be no significance difference between the performance of students taught by professionally qualified teachers in physics and those taught by non-qualified teachers.
3. There will be no significant difference between the performances of students exposed to more practicals than those who are taught only during the advert of examinations.
4. There will be no significant difference between the performances of students with laboratory and those with no laboratory.
5. There will be no significant difference between the performance of students motivated and those who are not motivated.
1.6. LIMITATION AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research study is limited to Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State only. It is important to know that there are many secondary schools in this are, hence the reason for narrowing down the study to some selected schools preferably those, which have taken physics in WAEC for at least three years. This study focuses on the factors affecting the effective teaching of physics practicals.
The factors being examined are: absence of physics laboratory, inadequate science equipments, inadequate qualified teachers and lack of motivation.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS USED
QUALIFIED: Teachers who posses NCE, B.Ed, M.Ed with Physics as a major discipline
LABORATORY: It is a place providing opportunities for experimentation, observation of practicals in the filed of physics.
SECONDARY SCHOOL: This refers to post primary institution in which students take WAEC examination.
WAEC: It means West African Examination Council. It is an examination set for every eligible final year students of secondary school in Nigeria and some other West African Countries.
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