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1.1 Background of the study
Science is a means of solving human problems (Abimbola 2010). He further emphasized that the progress of science is not marked only by accumulation of facts but by the emergence of scientific methods, translated in practical terms, into technology. (Onyeso et al 2009) posits that the ultimate way of teaching and learning sciences is by evidence based, practical methods. Sciences in this regards is with particular reference to integrated and computer sciences. Computer education is a field of study that consists of the teaching and learning of computer. Okolo (2007) had defined computer as an electronic gadget or device that accepts to produce the desired output or information with the aid of a set of instructions. On the other hand, Perez (2002) described integrated science as an encomposing all the fundamental sciences, package into relevant sets of instruction for building foundations of sciences in Junior Secondary School Students. Practicals can be described as the aspect of education which is concerned with the incorporation of the relevant technical skill in a particular field of study. It is the method of education, training or retraining which is directed towards developing the learner to become productive in that area of study as well as equipping the students with in-dept knowledge of that area of study. It is therefore the bedrock in which a country’s socio economic, technological and cultural advancement must be built. We value science (as a product, as an enquiry process and as a social institution) because of its success in explaining phenomena in elegant and parsimonious ways, which are intellectually satisfying and which often facilitate the purposeful manipulation of objects materials and events. The aims of science practical’s might then be summarized (Encyclopadia ikipodia 2009) as:
i. To help students to gain an understanding of as much of the established body of scientific knowledge as an appropriate to their needs, interests and capacities.
ii. To develop student’s understanding of the methods by which this knowledge has been gained and our grounds for confidence in it (knowledge about science).
iii. To improving student’s scientific knowledge as theories are integrated into practice. The idea is that students are taught out to carry their on scientific enquiries and so acquire scientific knowledge for themselves. Clearly practical work has a central role in any such vision of science education.
The primary objectives of integrated science are as follows:
i. It provides students with the ability to participate in activities designed to arrest their interest and lay solid foundation for their study of science of higher levels of education.
ii. To stimulate creativity and reflexive thinking
iii. To creative on attitude to life.
iv. To continue the process of concepts building for acquiring a science.
During the ministerial council meeting of the National Council on Education in 1987, the federal government decided to introduce Computer Education into the nations secondary schools system with the following objectives:
i. Bring about a computer literate society in Nigeria.
ii. Enables the present children to appreciate and use the computer in various aspects of life.
iii. Enable the present children meet up with the requirement of employment as every office is getting computerized.
In its previous edition WAEC syllabus 2000 stated that great importance should be attached to experimental work and use of control experimental. It was recommended that, whenever possible, throughout the whole courses. Candidates should be taught with practical application of what is being studied. From the foregoing, we can understand that science practical lesson is most essential for effective teaching and learning of integrated and computer science in junior secondary school.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Science as a core subject in the junior secondary school is designed to equip students with the knowledge of relevant concepts and scientific skills. The main center for the study of sciences in junior secondary schools is science laboratory. Anionu (2005) observed that most science laboratories exist in names only. They are generally used as ordinary classroom. The reason is due to lack of facilities for science laboratory in junior secondary school or in school in general. Similarly Offiah (2003) noted that many students perform poorly in practical related subject not only because of lack of laboratory equipment and materials but also poor usage of laboratory equipment and materials but also poor usage of laboratory by the science teachers.This study therefore intent to examine the effect of science practical in effective teaching and learning of junior secondary school sciences in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Based on the background and problems of this study, the main purpose underlying the project is to investigate the effects of sciences practical on the effective teaching and learning of junior secondary school sciences in Enugu North Local Government Area. The study specifically seeks to determine;
i. The effects of sciences practical on student’s achievement in integrated and computer science examination.
ii. The presence or the availability of science laboratories basically the integrated and computer sciences laboratories in the junior secondary school.
iii. The interest of students in participating in the science practical at their junior secondary level.
1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: There are no effects of sciences practical on student’s achievement in integrated and computer science examination
H1: There are effects of sciences practical on student’s achievement in integrated and computer science examination
H02:There is no interest of students in participating in the science practical at their junior secondary level
H2:There is no interest of students in participating in the science practical at
their junior secondary level
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The practical activities in sciences are designed to help students acquired basic scientific skills and improve their performance and achievement as well.The study tends to uncover the benefits of practical to the; students, parents, teachers, government and the entire society.If the result of this research is properly utilized: it will,
i. Promote the ideas that science is both a product and progress in students by arousing their interest in practical work;
ii. Motivate the parents to provide basic requirement of practical lessons for their children;
iii. Convince the science teachers that practical lesson is mostly essential tools for effective teaching and learning of integrated and computer sciences;
iv. Make the government, through the ministry of education to realize the need for provision of science equipment to schools and posting of qualified science teachers to secondary schools, it is not the issue of jack of all trade masters of none. Teaching has attained professionalism and specialization;
v. Help the Nigeria society in their request for improved technology and
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is targeted on the junior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State (A case study of integrated and computer sciences). The scope is also delimited on JSS II integrated and computer science students. 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
SCIENCE: Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and one of the world's top academic journals.
PRACTICAL: An examination or lesson in which theories and procedures learned are applied to the actual making or doing of something
TEACHING: Definition of teaching for English Language Learners. : the job or profession of a teacher. : Something that is taught: the ideas and beliefs that are taught by a person, religion, etc
LEARNING: Learning is the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences.
JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL:Education in Nigeria is overseen by the Ministry of Education. Local authorities take. Students spend six years in Secondary School that is 3 years of JSS (Junior Secondary School), and 3 years of SSS (Senior Secondary School). By Senior
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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