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This study investigated perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers’ Attitude and Competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State, Nigeria. A descriptive survey method was employed in the study. The population consists of 4,823 JS III students and sample consists of 342 JS III students drawn from nine (9) secondary schools within Sokoto State. Stratified sampling technique was used to select the schools where respondents were drawn. Four research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study. The instruments for data collection was 40 items questionnaire designed by the researcher. The instrument was validated by experts including my supervisors. The reliability index for attitude is 0.74 while that of competence is 0.78. Analysis of data was done using simple percentage and Chi- square statistical tools were used to analyze the data collected from the field. The major findings of the study are, Majority of Junior secondary schools students in Sokoto State perceived that their Basic science teachers’ have positive attitude in dis-charging their duties i.e teaching. There is no significant difference in the perception of male and female JS III students on the Attitude of Teachers Teaching Basic Science as a subject in junior secondary schools located in Sokoto State. The study recommended among others that teachers of Basic science should try as much as possible to show positive attitude to the teaching of the subject.
1.1 Background to the Study
Science in modern time becomes critical factor in the determination of the economic well being of any nation. Science is acknowledged as an important part of every child’s education. The role of science in a society cannot be overemphasized; it is explicitly clear that classification of countries according to their status reflect levels of science and technology advancement (Soyibo, 1983). Wasagu (2007) observed that the present demarcation where some countries are referred to as developed, developing and underdeveloped is nothing but enmeshing bluntant truth in obscured language. The classification is rather scientific or technological. It simply refers to scientific and technologically literate societies or nations and scientifically illiterate ones of which Nigeria is third ranked after Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Ajiboye (2005) stated that education in its entirety has a lot of influence on its recipient such as modification in outlook, sharpened in consciousness, refined in personality, widened in horizon, cultured in mind and also fine-tuned in attitude. Science education can be seen as learning of science by acquiring and developing conceptual and theoretical knowledge through scientific inquiry and problem solving. Olarinloye (2007) saw science education as the identification, development and use of talents, processes and skills for societal progress. Science education is one of the areas in the wider world, which shaped and molded the character of the 21st century especially in technologies which have revolutionized the way we live and think. Science is taught in interdisciplinary approach so as to provide an integrated background to
secondary school children who will become leaders of tomorrow so as to make them scientifically literate. Science has long been recognized as an instrument par excellence for nation building and wealth creation.
This makes every country today crave for advancement in science and technology. Struggle for advancement in science and technology has led to the promotion of scientific literacy for decades. For instance , scientific literacy has been a major reform goal of the United States Education, articulated in a document-Science for all Americans, termed project 2061 (AAAS, 1989). In Nigeria, the goal of science as stated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) emphasizes acquisition of scientific literacy. The foundation for achieving this goal is laid at the Basic Education levels where the holistic view of natural phenomena is in line with the philosophy of science. Nigeria responded to worldwide change replacing general science learnt first two years of secondary school by integrated science (Odunusi, 1982) when secondary education recently separated into two component namely junior and senior secondary school, integrate science was made a core subject of the science curriculum.
Richmond (1999) pointed out that if we want to train students to become functional in the society, they must learn science as an integrated discipline. He also said that Integrated Science helps students understand possibilities and limitation of science, also to understand the natural phenomena. Introduction of Integrated Science into Secondary School curriculum led to the development of a new science curriculum. Nigeria Integrated Science project curriculum was first developed by science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN, 1970). This development is outline in STAN News letter No (1) one. The curriculum prepared by STAN drew up syllabus with approaches of teaching recommended. It emphasized inquiry activities; change from teacher centered
approach to student centered approach. The child centered approach involves students actively in open- ended laboratory activities just like being a scientist. The content revolves around six (6) Different themes namely:
i. You as a living thing
ii. You and your home
iii. Living components of the environment
iv. Non- living components of the environment
v. Saving your energy
vi. Controlling the environment
The teacher is expected to provide a conducive atmosphere for the children to
observe, ask questions and be involved in problem-solving activities and open-ended field or laboratory exercises. Teachers are the controllers of learning experience that goes on in the classroom. The teachers are the instructors of the students in the course of carrying out their duties. This depends on the professional training he or she acquired during his pre-service years.
No adequate training at whatever level of education can take place without positive attitude and competence of the teacher that handles the programme. There have been low performances in integrated science all over the country (Akale,1993). The major factor responsible for low performance could be incompetence of integrated science teachers, teachers’ attitude to the subject and students’ attitude to the subject. However, the integrated science curriculum witnessed a change recently into what is now called Basic Science by Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in Nigeria. The 9-year Basic Science curriculum provides re-alignment and restricting of the revised curriculum for junior secondary school integrated science in
order to meet the target of 9-year Basic Science Education in National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS).
The Basic Science curriculum is a spiral curriculum which revisits themes so as to enable students understands basic concepts and their interrelationship. The major focus is learner readiness to learn. The integrated science (Basic Science) curriculum consists of contents that revolve around four (4) different themes namely:
i. You and Environment
ii. Living and non –Living things
iii. You and Technology
iv. You and Energy
At the upper level however, theme “3” You and Technology was changed to “Science and Development”. The topics under each theme were sequenced in spiral form beginning with the simple to the complex across the 9- years of Basic Education in order to sustain the interest of learners and promote meaningful learning. The use of guided inquiry method of teaching and learning is implied in the activities. The teachers facilitate and provide a conducive learning environment to the students. Inquiry method is to be applied when the lesson begins with a problem that is to be solved. So as to develop the students to have interest to observe and have the skill of investigation and gathering scientific data. This research intends to find out perception of junior secondary school students on teachers’ attitude and competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In spite of the strategic position of science teachers’ evidence exist to show that
many secondary schools in Nigeria lack qualified Basic Science teachers (Okeke, 1999). Most Basic science teachers’ in Nigerian secondary school are poorly trained in either content or pedagogy. over decades some secondary school students do not perform well in Basic Science subjects it was confirmed by an analysis of Basic Science result in junior secondary school in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State for five consecutive years, which show poor performance with most students scoring less than 50% (Ozoji,2008). According to Akale (1993) basic science teaching is being handled by incompetent teachers and they are confronted with pedagogical difficulties as a result of their professional background.
The study is aimed at finding out perception of junior secondary school students on teachers’ attitude and competence in Basic science teaching in Sokoto State, Nigeria. A lot of factors have hindered the success of teaching of Basic science over the years. Among these problems are availability of qualified teachers, teachers’ attitude, skills and competence for the teaching of Basic Science. Teachers are the agents of implementation of the curriculum and their quality become important. There is a short – fall in the number of science teachers in schools. Only few secondary school teachers have training in Basic Science and so the task of a few teachers handling Basic Science teaching is quite tedious. Basic Science is taught by unqualified teachers who are biology, physics and chemistry specialists .They tend to concentrate on the components that directly relate to their science subject specialization. The problem of this study therefore is to find out the perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers attitude and competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The aims of this study are to find out the perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers attitude and competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State, Nigeria. The Specific objectives were to:
1. Find out the perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers’
2 Find out the perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers’ competence in Basic science teaching in Sokoto State.
3. Find out if there is any difference in the perception of male and female junior secondary school students on Teachers’ Attitude to Basic Science subject in Sokoto State.
4. Find out if there is any difference in the perception of male and female junior secondary school students on Teachers’ competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions guided the conduct of the study.
1. What is the perception of junior secondary students on Teachers’ Attitude to Basic science subject in Sokoto State?
2. What is the perception of junior secondary school students on Teachers’ competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State?
3. Is the perception of male junior secondary school students different from that of female junior secondary school students on Teachers’ Attitude to Basic Science
subject in Sokoto State?
4. Is the perception of male junior secondary school students different from that of the female students on teachers’ competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated for testing:
H01: There is no significant difference between perception of male and female junior secondary schools students on teachers Attitude to Basic Science subject in Sokoto State.
H02 There is no significant difference between the perception of male and female junior secondary school students on teachers competence in Basic Science teaching in Sokoto State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is of great benefit to several sets of people. Teachers would come to know how students feel about their teaching and they would be able to correct any wrong impression so created. It also assists Curriculum Planners to develop new policies on education which affect the teaching and learning Basic Science in schools and to see the urgent need for training teachers specifically to teach Basic Science the need for teachers to gain appropriate competence through training and experience. Students would also have the opportunity to contribute in explaining the competence of their teachers. Battle (1958) observed that, students with high achievement and attitude have values that resemble those of their teachers. Teachers have been shown to have an important influence on student’s academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating
policy into action and principles based on practice during interaction with the students (Afe, 2001). Ajao (2001) observed that students’ academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching
1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The study intended to cover the whole of (71) seventy one public Junior Secondary Schools in Sokoto State. Because of time and financial constraint the researcher has limited herself to nine (9) public junior secondary schools in Sokoto State. Similarly the study is limited to only JS III students, in the same vein, only 342 out of 4823 students were used as sample.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
i. Basic Science: Teaching of science as unified subject, holistic way of knowingabout world. Emphasize the fundamental unity of science and lead toward understanding of the place of Science in contemporary society.
ii. Attitude: The way that you think and feel about something. Or the way that youbehave toward thing.
iii. Competence: Ability to do well or skillful.
iv. Qualified integrated science Teacher: This is a teacher who is specificallytrained in higher institution to teach integrated science. He is a holder of NCE, B.SC in integrated science.
v. Perception: Perception may be defined from physical, psychological andphysiological perspectives. (Eggen, & Kauchak 2001) gave cognitive dimension
of perception; they see perception as the process by which people attach
meaning to experience.
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