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1.1 Background to the Study
The influence of instructional materials in promoting students’ teaching and learning in educational development is indisputable. Teaching at any level requires that the students be exposed to some form of simulation. Adekunle (2008) noted that an instructional material in Integrated Science means anything that can assist the teacher in promoting teaching and learning. When the students are given the chance to learn through more senses than one, they can learn faster and easier. The use of instructional materials provides the teacher with interesting and compelling platforms for conveying information since they motivate learners to learn more. Furthermore the teacher is assisted in overcoming physical difficulties that could have hindered his effective presentation of a given topic.
Integrated Science was introduced into the Nigerian school system to achieve one of the philosophies of Nigerian education as indicated in the National Policy on Education which is “the development of the individual into a sound and effective citizen” (FGN, 2004). The realization of this objective through Integrated Science is possible since the subject is an integrated programme which are taught and learnt in Integrated Science looks at all aspects of the life of the child in the society. It is further stated in the National Policy on Education (2004) that education is to achieve the inculcation of national consciousness and national unity; the inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society. Therefore, Integrated Science teaching has been a factor in determining whether a society will have democratic attitudes, values, problem-solving and decision-making skills and whether the society will consist of productive and participatory individuals (Ozturk and Otluoglu, 2002; Keeler, 2008). In Integrated Science teaching, which is given such an important mission; it is possible to make the learning process easy, enduring and meaningful through the use of instructional materials. Orakwe (2000) refers to instructional materials as information repositories from the society sourced to transfer the desired information to the learners during classroom instruction. Agwu (2001) views Instructional Materials as those apparatus of teaching which may include textbooks, workbooks, charts, audio visual aids, chemicals, specimens and other relevant things that will attract students’ attention, and which should only be introduced at the appropriate time by the teacher.
Instructional materials are software and hardware that are used to make lessons more meaningful and clearer to learners. They are devises that appeal to multi model senses which help the learners conceive, perceive, internalize, interpret and transfer the experiences gained to similar or different learning situations. These materials and equipment, could be those that appeal to the sense of hearing-known as audio material/ equipment those of seeing called visual materials/equipment and those that combine the two senses called audio-visual materials.
The teacher alone cannot provide all the needed condition for an effective teaching and learning process, other supporting materials should be provided. The students learn better when most of the senses are appealed to the instruction and use of instructional materials in Integrated Science education has added a new dimension in the positive promotion of the teaching and learning process. It provides the much need sensory experiences needed by the learners for an effective and meaningful behavioural change. Instructional materials are meant to improve the quality of education for effective learning of students in schools. The performance of the students on the intended learning outcome provide the validation – loop on the success other interaction and instruction (Bakare1986).
In making use of any instructional materials factors that influence it must be considered, such materials must be previewed that is, having full knowledge of the material; prepare the environment where it will be used; prepare audience by means of making sure that the materials to be used will attract attention, arouse, motivate and provide the rationale that could be used in the beginning, middle or end. The effectiveness of utilizing appropriate instructional materials in teaching and learning of Integrated Science is not void of quality instructor. In order to give quality education to the younger generation, there is need for employment of more competent, experienced and qualified Integrated Science teachers. The need to identify the suitable instructional materials, by which students can be made to comprehend the extent of the subject easily and intelligibly, is the focus of this study. An in depth look at the secondary schools Integrated Science programmes revealed that there is the need for improving all phases of the programmes (IMAA, 2004). For example, there is need for the introduction and use of instructional materials and equipments for use in both the classrooms and Integrated Science Museum. The broad aim of any good training materials are to induce and support the learning process that leads to improve on-the-job performance through affecting changes in the knowledge, attitudes, skills and practices of the learners. With the above reasons, it is worth investigating the influence of instructional materials in the teaching and learning of Integrated Science in our Secondary Schools, for better performance of students in their examination and chosen career in any field of life. If instructional materials are used in Secondary Schools, it would help improving the teaching and learning and hence the learning of students in Integrated Science effectively.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Poor performance of Students in Integrated Science Public Junior Secondary Schools in Apa local government area, Benue State may partly be attributed to poor usage or lack of sufficient instructional materials to teach Integrated Science. Lemchi (2001) noted that some students are losing interest in the subject due to the attitudes of teachers towards teaching Integrated Science without the use of instructional materials which tends to affect students’ performance in the subject. Research consistently shows that teacher usage of instructional materials is a powerful determinant of student achievement gains.
Many of the school authorities have very lukewarm attitudes over the provision of needed tools, equipments or materials required for effective Integrated Science teaching. This non-challant attitude tends to retard genuine efforts of some teachers of Integrated Science in the secondary schools (Bello, 2010). Inspite of the emphasis being placed on Integrated Science as one of the integrated subjects in secondary schools. Hence, the prosecution of a functional education in relation to Integrated Science in secondary schools still leaves much to be desired. In view of this difficulties, (Omeiza, 2011) opined that most teachers of Integrated Science still resort to the theoretical method of teaching the subject (i.e explaining without an object to make learning real) which makes learning not interesting to learners. This undoubtedly, is contrary to the improvement of Integrated Science education, which is greatly needed at this period of our development with emphasis on practical oriented learning (Mammudu, 1996). It is therefore imperative to carry out a study on the factors influencing the use of instructional materials on learning of Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The major objective of this study is to determine the factors influencing the use of instructional materials on learning of Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State. The specific objectives are to:
1. Identify the level of availability of instructional materials being used for teaching Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State;
2. Examine the adequacy of the instructional materials used in teaching of Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State;
3. Determine the attitude of teachers towards the use of instructional materials in teaching of Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State;
4. Examine the environmental factors influencing the use of instructional materials in teaching of Integrated Science in secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State;
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were answered in the course of the study.
1. What are the available instructional materials used in the teaching of Integrated Science in Junior secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State?
2. How adequate are the instructional materials used in teaching of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State?
3. What is the attitude of teachers towards the use of instructional materials in the teaching of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State?
4. What are the environmental factors influencing the use of instructional materials in teaching of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study is aimed at explaining the factors influencing the use of instructional materials for learning of Integrated Science in junior secondary schools in Apa local government area, Benue State, availability of instructional materials influencing learning of Integrated Science, teachers attitudes towards the use of instructional materials, and environmental influencing instructional materials usage.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research work “Factors influencing the use of Instructional Material on the learning of Integrated Science in Junior Secondary School, Apa local government area, Benue State is significant and useful in the teaching and learning of Integrated Science. Subsequently, the findings from the study will help Integrated Science teachers in choosing an appropriate instructional material(s) capable of releasing students’ tension towards the subject thus improving students’ learning in Integrated Science. It will motivate Integrated Science teachers to develop interest towards utilizing suitable teaching materials that will be a possible means towards reducing failure in the teaching and learning of Integrated Science. Findings of this study will also help clarify among the teachers the need for continuous and regular improvisation of suitable instructional materials for teaching and learning of Integrated Science.
Moreover, the results of this study will be of great significance to the Integrated Science curriculum planners. The curriculum developers will find the work useful in reviewing the Integrated Science curriculum by seriously laying emphasis on utilization of instructional materials so as to meet up with emerging needs of the society. This study will be of immense benefit to researchers in the field of Integrated Science by forming a basis for further studies on the usage of instructional materials and teachers’ quality.
This study will also be of benefit to principal as they would understand more on where their Integrated Science teachers’ ineffectiveness comes from in the area of instructional material usage and this would set the base for what they can do in order to help the teachers and hence improve their effectiveness toward influencing learners with the use of instructional materials.
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FGN: - Federal Government of Nigeria.
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