IMPACT OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SS2 BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS

IMPACT OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN SS2 BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background of the study

According to Oxford Advance Learners dictionary (2001), “impact” means (1) A change produced by an action or cause a result or an outcome. (2) An act of one object hitting another or noticeable effect (3) An impression created in the mind of a spectator, reader etc while watching a play, listening to music or looking at a painting, impact as used in this research topic can then be defined as a positive change produced by an action, a described outcome or a result.Laboratory is experienced as a well-equipped room for scientific experimentation (Opera mini Dictionary 2007). Whereas the oxford Dictionary (2000), defined laboratory as a building used for scientific research.The word” Practical” means connection with real situation rather than with ideas or theories (oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2001). Similarly, Opera mini Dictionary (2008), Defined practical as knowledge acquired through practical or action rather than theory. Opuh, Eze and Ezemagu (2008), explained practical as a scientific study or an experimental set-up rather than dwelling in the theory and ideas on the introduction to the international senior secondary School certificate examination syllabus. West African Examination council (1998-2003) emphasized the necessity of practicals in learning science courses. (Under study in secondary schools.)The Syllabus was designed to assess students in,(1) Acquisition of adequate laboratory and field skill in laboratory practical(2) Acquisition of important scientific skills, such as observation, stating of problems in the science subjects under study, great importance should be attached to experimental work and that whenever there is need for practical on any science course under study, students should be properly informed, get involved and they should apply it to what they are studying.
The national policy on education (2004), Defined secondary school or secondary education as the education received after primary education and before the tertiary stage. According to the post primary School management Board (PPSMB) Statistical records (2009) there are nine Government Secondary School in Enugu North Local Government Area.
Academic connected with education especially studying in school (oxford Dictionary 2000). According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (2001) “achievement is defined as a thing that somebody has done successfully especially using his/her own effort and skill, web site Opera mini Dictionary (2008) defined academic achievement as something one does or achieve at school, college or university, in a laboratory class or field work.From the foregoing, we can understand that academic achievement of student depends on the effect of laboratory practical. By providing student with practical laboratory lesson that are academically stimulating, student are more likely to engage meaningfully with tasks and subsequently may achieve higher in assessment grades (Karen et al 2009). Opuh, Eze and Ezemagu (2008), Observed in line with Addeye that “Schools which are involved in practical classes perform better in examination than those that neglect practical work’. In a nutshell, it can be understood that Biology, Chemistry, and mathematics practical have a positive effect on academic performance of student in ss2.
Okolo (2008), Defined science as the study of natural things around us which simply means the investigation of nature. Biology being a branch of science involves the study of living things (sarogini 2001). This can be proven with its following usefulness; (i) it helps scientific research and development of new tools and techniques which invariably improve the quality of our lives. (ii) Finding application in medicine, agriculture,veterinary science and horticulture.iii biotechnology, which include field, like genetic engineering and hybridism technology. (iv) Dealing with ecology problems such as overpopulation, food storage, erosion etc the study of Biology has a lot impact of reference to the b building of our nation for example, (i) the use of animal in scientific research had solved many family problems, childlessness by production of test tube babies. 
(ii). It also stimulate our interest in the lives of living organisms and increased the enjoyment of our surroundings etc (Okolo, 2008). 
Chemistry is a branch of science concerns with nature of substances and how they react with each other (Opera mini Dictionary 1997). Attraction or interaction between two people traditionally, chemistry is divided into four branches, which includes; physical chemistry, industrial chemistry, organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry (Idah. N 2008). The reference of chemistry to the building of our nation includes; (i) development of new tools and techniques to improve the quality of life through the production of vaccines, new drugs, new food storage system etc. (ii) development of scientific weapons which serves as agents destroying crop pests and diseases.
Mathematic is the study of number quantities and space.According to Nnamonu, (2003)Students perform poorly in laboratory practicalLeading to their failure in examination similarlyWACE Chief Examiner (2005) report that Performance of candidate in Biology, chemistry and 
Mathematics fell below expectation The report attributed candidate weakness under the following sub-heading (i) Poor spelling (ii) Poor mathematical skills (iii) Poor dedication reasoning (iv) Poor observation (v) Misinterpretation of question and (vi) poor knowledge of biology,chemistry and mathematics. The examiner lamented that “there were many candidates who could not answer correctly a single question in section A in most cases, they have mild guesses and quite unrelated answer that were sometimes unscientific based on the poor academic achievement, Obidiwe (2005), stated that the objectives of laboratory practical are not being realized to a satisfactory extent. He pointed out that the poor academic achievement are caused by lack of well equipped laboratory, lack of qualified teachers, limited time table hours, poor observation, poor clearing and poor comparison of specimen etc. This poor state of affairs is disturbing.From the website (2010), opined that chemistry and mathematics practical have impacts on the academic achievement of SS2 students because they help: (i) In harnessing the power of numbers, which makes life easier. (ii) to know that everything they see around in a matter. (iii) To be creative since mathematics involves a creative process (Steven Strogatz, 2010). (iv) In the use of variety of strategies in problem solving including calculation. Measurement of term and analysation of figures (website. 2010). In this research work, there are two variables, which are to be noted. The academic achievement of students is dependent variables, which depends or relies on laboratory practical, which is the independent variable for support.Enugu North Local government Area is in Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State, Nigeria. The area is predominantly on urban settlement with a few rural communities. Some of the communities in Enugu North Local Government Area includes; Enugu Ngwo, GRA, Coal Camp, lva-Valley, independent Layout, Ogui and Asata.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM       

This study intends to examine the impact of biology practical, chemistry practical and mathematics practical on the academic achievement of SS2 students in Enugu north local government area of Enugu state. Specifically, one would like to ask, what impact has biology, chemistry and mathematics practical on the academic achievement of:

(i)                  Senior Secondary biology, Chemistry and mathematics students.

(ii)              Male biology chemistry and mathematics student?

(iii)            Female biology chemistry and mathematics student?

(iv)             Student from urban area?

(v)               Student from rural area?

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

Based on the background and problems of the study, the main objective underlying the project is to investigate the impact of laboratory practical on the senior secondary student academic achievement in SS2 biology, chemistry and mathematics in Enugu north local government area of Enugu State.
Specially, the research set out to find whether;
(i) Laboratory practical affect or impact the academic achievement of SS2 student in biology, Chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise.
(ii) Laboratory practical have positive impact on SS2 students academic achievement in biology, chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise.
(iii) Girls achieve more academically than boys after laboratory practical lesson/ experience in biology, chemistry and mathematics.
(iv) Student knows the scientific skills they ought to acquire from practical lesson in the three science subject under study.
(v) How academic lesson achievement of student from rural school compare with those of their counterparts from urban schools following practical lesson / experience in biology, chemistry and mathematics respectively.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher; 

H0: Laboratory practical do not affect or impact the academic achievement of SS2 student in biology, Chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise.

H1: Laboratory practical affect or impact the academic achievement of SS2 student in biology, Chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise

H02:Student do not knows the scientific skills they ought to acquire from practical lesson in the three science subject under study

H2:Student knows the scientific skills they ought to acquire from practical lesson in the three science subject under study

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research work will benefit to Parents, teachers, government and the entire society. If the result of this research is properly utilized, it will.

(i) Promote the idea that science is both a product and a process in student by arousing interest in practical work.

(ii) Motivate the parents to provide basic requirements of practical lesson for their children in secondary schools.

(iii) Convince the laboratory teachers that practical lessons are mostly essential for effective teaching and learning of science subjects like biology, chemistry and mathematics.

(iv) Make the government through the ministry of education to realize the need for provision of science equipment to school and posting of qualified laboratory teachers and technologist to secondary schools, it is not the issue of jack-of all-trades master of none because practical has attained professionalism and specialization.

(vi)               Help Nigeria society in the quest for improved technology and industrialization and economic development

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is targeted at the senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The scope is also delimited on SS2 biology, Chemistry and mathematics student and their practical achievement on the following contents of SS2 biology, Chemistry and mathematics scheme of work. The contents of SS2 biology scheme of work are Excretion, Reproduction and Digestion while those of chemistry are separation technique and titration. The mathematics contents from SS2 work are Geometry (circle, triangles, quadrilaterals etc.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

LABORATORY: Aroom or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching, or for the manufacture of drugs or chemicals

PRACTICAL: an examination or lesson in which theories and procedures learned are applied to the actual making or doing of something.

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their short or long-term educational goals.

BIOLOGY: Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical and chemical structure, function, development and evolution. Modern biology is a vast field, composed of many branches

CHEMISTRY:Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with compounds composed of atoms, i.e. elements, and molecules, i.e. combinations of atoms: their composition, structure, properties, behavior

MATHEMATICS: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics.

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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