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Background of Study
Basic science and technology as fulcrum for sustainable national development can simply be seen as the bedrock for man’s systematic way of acquiring scientific knowledge and skills for understanding and explaining of natural phenomena such as albinism, rainbow, diffusion, eclipse, mirage, surface tension, capillarity, adhesion and cohesion forces among others as well as application of the acquired scientific knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the contemporary societies (Ezeudu, 2011; Ityokaa, 2013). Basic Science and Technology as a subject come in existence as a result of curriculum reform movement in Nigeria to make science education (teaching about science) more functional for sustainable national development.
The curriculum of Basic Science and Technology is a product of the restructuring and integration of four primary and junior secondary school science curricula namely; Basic Science, Basic Technology, Physical and Health Education and Computer Studies/Information Communication Technology (FRN, 2012). Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) (2012) posit that the need for integration of these science curricula became necessary for the following reasons:
The recommendation of the presidential summit on education (2010) to reduce the number of subjects offered in primary and junior secondary schools; feedback from the implementation of the curricula in schools that identified repetition and duplication of concepts as the major cause of curriculum loaded; need to encourage innovative teaching and learning approaches and techniques that promotes creativity and critical thinking in learners; need to promote the holistic view of science at the Basic Education level for better understanding of contemporary and changing world and need to infuse emergent issues that are of national and global concern such as gender sensitivity, globalization and entrepreneurship.
The main objectives of teaching and learning of Basic Science and Technology in Nigeria schools as stipulated by NERDC (2012) is that learners are expected to; develop interest in science and technology; acquire basic knowledge and skills in science and technology; apply scientific and technological knowledge and skills to meet contemporary societal needs; take advantage of the numerous career opportunities provided by science and technology; become prepared for further studies in science and technology; avoid drug abuse and related vices; and to be safety and security conscious.
In order to achieve the objectives of Basic Science Technology, the thematic approach to content organization was adopted by NERDC for the holistic presentation of scientific and technological concepts, knowledge and skills to learners. While selecting the contents by NERDC (2012), major issues shaping contemporary growth and development of the nations and influencing knowledge driven societies were identified and infused into the curriculum content at various levels of Basic Education system, from basic 1-9 with a progression in infusion of concepts as class advances. These include; environmental education; climate change; drug abuse education; food and drugs safety education; disaster risk reduction education; consumer education; safety and security as well as entrepreneurship.
The topics in each theme are spirally sequenced, from simple to complex across 9 years of schooling in order to sustain the interest of students in science and promote meaningful learning and skills development. The content, context and methodology of Basic Science and Technology curriculum places emphasis on guided inquiry, field studies, guided discovery, laboratory techniques and activity-based teaching and learning using locally made sourced materials (FGN, 2013). This means that teaching and learning of Basic Science and Technology is expected to be culturally and environmentally oriented to provide students with adequate foundations, which are capable of solving their problems and of the contemporary society. Obiekwe (2008) reported that all is not well with science instruction, which Basic Science and Technology is a foundation. The author maintains that teaching of science today lays extreme emphasis on content and the use of conventional methods by the science teachers neglecting the cultural based approach which enhances teaching and learning. The negligence attitude of science teachers from cultural oriented approach of teaching led to poor achievement and lack of students’ interest in science (Ugwuanyi, 2015). In line with this, Atran (2007), earlier suggested that the development of culturally relevant activities as part of science curriculum would help the students make sense out of what they learn both in their culture and science classes which will improve their achievement and interest in pure science (Biology, Physics and Chemistry).
Achievement in opinion of Ogundukun and Adeyemo (2010), is the exhibition of knowledge attained or skills developed by students in a subject as determined by test scores of students, assigned by teachers. Achievement according Abakpa (2011) is the measure of accomplishment in a specific field of study. The authors argue that achievement of students is the demonstration of their abilities to attain certain levels of instructional objectives outcome of their classroom instructions and experiences. The achievement of students in Basic Science and Technology cannot be compromised, because it is essential for the productive economic sector of our nation, for the production of labour force that is scientifically and technologically literate to bring about the desired changes for sustainable national development (Adejoh, 2008).
Atadoga and Lakpini (2013) report that the persistent poor achievement of students and their lack of interest in science subjects are attribute to their poor foundation and instructional methods used by the science teachers. Adesoji (2008) agrees that instructional method used by science teachers has a significant influence on achievement and interest of students. That is why NERDC (2012) recommended child-centered and culturally oriented instructional approaches for the teaching and learning of Basic Science and Technology. According to James (2006) the study of cultural values and perception of students on science and technology, the appropriate alternative approaches to science education and technology practice can have a positive effect on students’ achievement and interest. One of the approaches for teaching and learning of Basic Science and Technology that relates to the cultural heritage of students environment and their culture is ethno-science. In this study, the researchers investigate the effects of indigenous technology model on Upper Basic II (UBII) students’ achievement and interest in Basic Science and Technology, as one of the cultural oriented approaches using demonstration teaching method as a control variable to determine its effectiveness.
The ethno-science refers to the materials, ideas, beliefs and technology in a given society or environment, that derived from the past and present cultural practice and traditions of students. These evolved from myth, supernatural, and mystical realities as well as ongoing acculturation in the environment (Ugwuanyi, 2015). Sanga (2004) posits that ethno-science is the knowledge that is of indigenous to particular groups of people, their language, beliefs, technologies and cultures. In other words ethno-science is the study of humans’ interaction with the natural environment and the construction of realities that link culture with advance scientific knowledge. Speaking on the rationale of ethno-science Aderson (2009), explains that western science is like a smoke screen, while its force is direct at the resolution of Nigerian most urgent problems, it makes those problems more numerous because it covers up the root of the technical problem. In the rhetoric of harmony it enshrouds the reality of imperialism and in so doing it traps our traditional scientific growth. Anderson further revealed that dominance of the capitalists’ technology and constant relegation of our ethnoscientific process deforms most attempts of our society and indigenous science to create in our cultural ways. This means that Basic Science and Technology as a fulcrum for sustainable national development, if taught using indigenous technology approach will improve students creativity, critical thinking, achievement and interest in science for sustainable national development.
Demonstration teaching method deals with demonstrating and doing for the students to watch, observe and learn. Cyril (2013) asserts that demonstration involves arranging materials, tools and equipment by the teacher to show students how an operation is performed or a practical is being carried out. The method is effective in introducing lesson and new skills to students; however it has numbers of limitations when there is a need for making lesson activity-based that students should actively participate in the teaching-learning process. This necessitated the researchers to determine the effectiveness of indigenous technology model on UBII students’ achievement and interest in Basic Science and technology.
Interest can be defined as persistent tendency to pay attention and enjoy some activities or contents (Nworgu 2006). Interest in Basic Science and Technology refers to students’ reactions, feeling and impression about Basic Science and Technology contents and concepts as well as related tasks. Abakpa (2011) asserted that interest is an energized power of learning, without which meaningful learning cannot take place. Achinugu in Ugwuanyi (2015) pointed out that the type of interest a student brings into the classroom is a very important factor for his/her achievement or otherwise in science. This implies that, if students have positive interest towards Basic Science and Technology they will not only enjoy studying it but would also derive satisfaction from the knowledge and skills acquire from it. Students’ achievement and interest in science have direct link with instructional methods. This means that methods of instruction are functions of students’ achievement and interest in science.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The objectives of teaching Basic Science and Technology is for students to develop interest in science and technology, acquire basic knowledge and skills in science and technology and apply scientific and technological knowledge and skills acquired to solve contemporary societal problems. These objectives have hardly been achieved over the years. This has been attributed to methods of instruction used by the science teachers which do not take care of the cultural background and the needs of the students. As a result, students have been viewing science taught to them in schools as foreign, abstract, unreal and meaningless. As a result, students merely memorize the contents and concepts taught, to pass their examinations with little or no interest which results in persistent poor achievement.
Various studies revealed that the effective utilization of indigenous technology approach influences students’ achievement and interest in science. Most of these research works focused in other areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Much is yet to be done on Basic Science and Technology which is considered as foundation for students’ acquisition of scientific and technological knowledge and skills for sustainable national development. The foregoing in mind necessitated the researchers to investigate effects of indigenous technology approach on students’ achievement and interest of Upper Basic II students in Basic Science and Technology.
Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is
To determine the effects of indigenous technology approach on students’ achievement and interest in Basic Science and Technology in Benue State, Nigeria.
To find out the differences in the mean achievement scores of students taught, Basic Science and Technology using indigenous technology approach and those taught, using demonstration teaching method.
To find out the mean interest scores of students taught Basic Science and technology, using Indigenous technology approach and those taught using demonstration teaching method.
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
1.What is the difference between the mean achievement scores of students taught Basic Science and Technology using indigenous technology approach and those taught using demonstration teaching method?
2.What is the difference in the mean interest scores of students taught Basic Science and Technology using indigenous technology approach and those taught using demonstration teaching method?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 alpha levels of significance:
1.HO1: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught Basic Science and Technology using indigenous technology approach and those taught using demonstration teaching method.
2.HO2: There is no significant difference in the mean interest scores of students taught Basic Science and Technology using indigenous technology approach and those taught using demonstration teaching method.
Significance of Study
The study will be of benefit to the Nigeria education, education curriculum planners, this will enable them see the usefulness of inculcating indigenous as the best approach to science education in Nigeria educational system.
This will help teachers enhance their knowledge on vocational subject as see indigenous technology as a means of enhancing technology in Nigeria.
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