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1.1 Background to the Study
The cry to improve effective teaching and learning of Integrated Science in most junior secondary schools has proved abortive, possibly because the curriculum planners are different from the curriculum implementers. Educators should understand that change in students must be supported by parallel changes in curriculum and instruction. However, it is apparent that many of today’s teachers are caught in the midst of a change for which they may not have been prepared for professionally (Dogru and Kalender, 2007). More so, no special emphasis has been placed on the method of teaching and learning of the science by school supervisors despite the suggested method of the use of guided inquiry method of teaching and learning that is meant to promote learning by doing by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (2007) as such, what the researcher has been observing in the past two decades of teaching Integrated Science at the junior secondary school level is usage of Traditional Teaching Method which is mainly
Talk and Chalk. This could be the cause of the poor performance in the Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE) results. The performance in science by the students has continued to decline over the years as indicated by JSCE results as shown from 2000-2010 NECO JSCE results. This could be attributed to the fact that students are not getting the concepts due to inadequate teaching and instructional methods adopted by science teachers. Studies by Usman and Shuaibu (2001) point out that most science teachers use traditional method and copying of notes by students. These methods according to them do not allow active students participation in science lessons rather, students memorize, regurgitate facts and concepts without the basic understanding of what it is.
The teaching and learning of integrated science in Kaduna North local Government area is not an exception to the rule, there has also been failure in performance of students in Junior Secondary School Certificate in JSC Integrated Science result from 2000 to 2010. There might be other causes such as unqualified teachers and inexperienced ones and over population of classes. This study intends to investigate two methods of teaching with the aim of determining which one is more effective in teaching and learning of Integrated Science. Therefore, the study is aimed at determining the effect of Activity-Based Instructional Strategy and the Traditional Methods on students’ academic performance in integrated science at the junior secondary school level. Activity-Based Instructional Strategy, which is StudentCentered in nature, invites the student to participate actively in his or her own learning experiences (discussion, debate, role-play & simulation and scientific process skills which involve manipulation of materials and equipment). The greater the range of decision that pupils can be involved in, the greater the degree of personal responsibility which they are encouraged to develop, the more likely it is that progression in learning will occur (Nayak & Rao, 2002). In this method of teaching, all pupils regardless of their ages must be active, either mentally or physically or both during the entire lesson (Rowland & Birkett, 1992). It encourages hands on discovery, which enhances the development of valuable learning skills through direct experiences (Tolman, 1999). During activity based teaching, classroom environment is authentic because it is based on activities planned with the child’s interest in mind. Teacher respects children by upholding children’s rights to their feelings, ideas and opinions. It gives the children the opportunity to develop personalities characterized by self-confidence, respect for self and others and active, inquiring, creative minds. It is clear that when children are allowed to inquire, classrooms become alive with human interaction (Hendricks 1997). In activity-based classroom, students are at the position of inquirer, not just a receptor of facts and procedures. Pupils have the opportunity to make significant decisions about their learning (Nayak & Rao, 2002).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The teaching and learning of Integrated Science in most classrooms face a lot of problems. Most of the teachers use the Traditional Teaching Method that comprises Talk and Chalk, Note Taking and Memorization. They do not make use of ActivityBased Teaching Strategies, where the learners play an active role in the learning process. This inability of the Integrated Science Teachers in the use of ActivityBased Instructional Strategies might be the cause of poor performance in the subject at both teacher made examinations and Junior Secondary Certificate Examinations (JSCE). Since Integrated Science is the foundation of sciences in the senior secondary school subjects, such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, it has been argued that Junior Secondary School (J.S.S.) Students, must be well grounded in Integrated Science at the J.S.S. level for them to be able to study the Core Science subjects (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc) at the Senior Secondary School level (Olarewaju,1994).
Studies by Alake (2007), Odubunmi & Balagun (1991) have shown that Activity Based which is child centered is effective in teaching and learning science. Over the last three decades, the framework for understanding the psychological basis of teaching and learning has shifted from teacher-centred to child-centred teaching and learning where the responsibility is rested on learners for their own learning of science but most teachers prefer to use the Traditional Method and this might have caused the failure in performance. Thus this study is aimed at comparing the mean performance of students taught using the Activity-Based Instructional Strategy and
Traditional Method in order to determine which one is more effective in teaching
Integrated Science in Junior Secondary Schools.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study is designed to achieve the following objectives:
To investigate the effect of Activity-Based Instructional Strategy on the academic performance of male students in Integrated Science.
To examine the effect of activity based instructional strategy on the academic performance of female students in integrated science
To compare the academic performance of male and female Students taught using activity based and traditional method in Integrated Science
1.4 Research Questions
This research was set to find answers to the following questions:
i. What is the effect of the Activity-Based Instructional Strategy on the academic performance of male students in Integrated Science?
ii. What is the effect of Activity-Based instructional strategy on academic performances of female students in Integrated Science?
iii. What is the effect of the Activity-Based Instructional Strategy on male and female students’ academic performance in Integrated Science?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested in the course of the study.
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the performance of male students taught Integrated Science using Activity-Based Instructional
Strategy and those taught using Traditional Method.
Ho2: There is no significant difference between the mean performance of female students taught Integrated Science using Activity-Based Instructional
Strategy and those taught using Traditional Method
Ho3; There is no significant difference in the performance of male and Female students taught Integrated Science using Activity-Based Instructional Strategy.
1.6 Basic Assumptions
i. The Schools used for the study are representatives of Junior Secondary
Schools in Kaduna State. ii. The selected topics are appropriate for the level of the students in the schools selected for the study.
iii. The Activity-Based Instructional Strategy and Traditional Method of teaching are appropriate for teaching the topics listed in the scheme of work.
iv. Learning by doing could enhance and motivate Students to improve on their performances in Integrated Science.
v. The teachers teaching in the schools are qualified to teach the subject.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will help in the following ways:
The Integrated Science teachers will find the findings useful in their science classrooms; helping students’ understanding in Integrated Science concepts through Activity-Based Instructional Strategies.
The study finding is expected to provide bases for help educational planners and curriculum designers to recommend among other, Activity-Based Instructional
Strategy in the schools to improve teaching/learning situations currently existing in Junior Secondary Schools.
1.8 Scope and Delimitation of the Study
The scope is limited to junior secondary schools in Kaduna North local Government. The study involved junior secondary one (JSS 1) Integrated Science students only. The study is also limited to four randomly selected schools in Kaduna North Local government, two being the experimental group while two serve as the control group, the Kaduna north local government do not run co-education thus the two boys’ schools and two girl’s schools are used.
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