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What are the states of physics laboratories in secondary schools? Are there laboratory factors constituting constraints to effective teaching and learning of physics? Does laboratory works influence students' physics achievements and general attitudes? To seek answers to these questions is the aim of the present research. Along the line of survey research method, structured questionnaire were administered to the teachers and students of physics in secondary schools in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State.The total population for the study is 200 staff of selected secondary schools in Onitsha, Anambra state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made principals,vice principals administration, senior staffs and junior staffs were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
1.1 Background of the study
It can be realized with the help of researchers in physics education that students at secondary and even university levels continue to hold fundamental misunderstanding of the world around them. Science learning remains within the classroom context and just a small percentage of the students are able to use the knowledge gained at school for solvingvarious problems of larger physical world. In most cases, students hear lectures without strong connections to their everyday experiences. Students do not usually have opportunity to form their own ideas; they rarely get a chance to work in a way to be engaged in discovery, building and testing models to explain the world around them. Results from research in cognitive science and physics education shows that activities in laboratories increase students’ learning, positive attitudes towards physics and permanence of knowledge. The one of the main goals of using laboratories in physics education is to teach students the philosophy, branches, topics, theories, laws of physics, the other one is to gain steps of the scientific method namely science process skills while learning the philosophy, branches, topics, theories, laws of physics. One of the researchers listed the aims of widely using laboratories in science education as follows laboratories provides:
- To get students to comprehend abstract and complex scientific concepts by using concrete materials.
- To gain students problem solving and analyzing skills by comprehending the nature of science.
- To develop practical experiences and special talents of students
- To enjoy students with laboratory activities and by this way to develop positive attitude towards scientifically working.
To many researchers, laboratory in physics education has not achieved its main goal, not provided meaningful learning and not developed positive attitudes towards science in recent years. As a result, it has been stated that more essential resources and time have to be allocated in order to enhance the effectiveness of laboratories in science teaching both in primary and secondary education. It was emphasized that the laboratory activities in science teaching were put into effect in 1960s, however, students could not reach the desired levels by using these activities. Yager and Engen concluded that laboratory experiences are not meaningfully adequate for students and therefore they do not make a significant contribution to their conceptual understanding. Teacher’s provision in the sciences were examined in many countries and found that 45% of the schools surveyed indicated insufficient laboratories. This finding agreed with the finding in Saudi Arabia which indicated inadequacy in the provision of laboratory facilities in schools. The findings were also consistent with those found in Uganda which indicated that science education is faced with the problem of lack of resources with half the schools having no real laboratory. Few opportunities are provided for the students to discuss both experiment and its results, make and test hypothesis or design an experiment and finally perform them. Beside, these some physics experiments in secondary level are very difficult to be performed due to the time consuming, being harmful and expensive, deficiency of laboratory equipments, not representing the related concept or event precisely, teacher’s anxiety about the complexity of the curriculum. In hopes of improving student learning, research questionnaires have been administered to both physics students and teachers which will help elicit information on the state of physics laboratories in secondary schools and their influence on the students’ achievement.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Common observation shows that secondary schools in Onitsha North of Anambra state have varied problems associated with their physics laboratories. Some having only one multipurpose science laboratory for all the science subjects others do not have well equipped laboratories. The implication of this is that many students seem not to be exposed to practical work in physics which is core subject in secondary school science curriculum. The problem of this study therefore, was “what influence does laboratory works have on the students’ achievement?” and its implication in teaching and learning of physics in Onitsha North Local Government Area of Anambra State. In addressing these problems, the following research questions were raised. What is the state of physics laboratory in Secondary Schools in Onitsha North? What are the laboratory factors that constitute constraints to effective teaching and learning of physics in Onitsha North?
What influence does laboratory works have on students’ achievement in physics in Onitsha North of Anambra State
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
1. To investigate the availability of physics laboratory equipment for the teaching and learning of Physics in senior secondary schools in Onitsha
2. To determine the extent of utilizing the available Physics Laboratory equipment for the teaching and learning of Physics in senior secondary schools in Onitsha
3. To ascertain the effectiveness of laboratory and resources in the teaching learning of physics in secondary school
4. To ascertain the relationship between physics laboratory equipment and academic performance of student
1.3 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there are no availability of physics laboratory equipment for the teaching and learning of Physics in senior secondary schools in Onitsha
H1:there are availability of physics laboratory equipment for the teaching and learning of Physics in senior secondary schools in Onitsha
H02:there is no relationship between physics laboratory equipment and academic performance of student
H2: there is relationship between physics laboratory equipment and academic performance of student
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study, which is primarily aimed at explaining the effectiveness of laboratory and resources in the teaching learning of physics in Onitsha, will provide an insight into the problems associated with laboratory and resources in the teaching learning of physics. This report would be of great benefit for science students, to expose them to physics laboratory equipment.The findings will be useful for researchers to further generate knowledge in the field
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the effectiveness of laboratory and resources in the teaching learning of physics. 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: A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific or technological research, experiments, and measurement may be performed
RESOURCE: Resource is defined as a service or other asset used to produce goods and services that meet human needs and wants. Economics itself has been defined as the study of how society manages its scarce resource
TEACHING: Teaching is a complex, multifaceted activity, often requiring us as instructors to juggle multiple tasks and goals simultaneously and flexibly. The following small but powerful set of principles can make teaching both more effective and more efficient, by helping us create the conditions that support student .
PHYSICS:Physics is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion and behavior through space and time, along with related concepts such as energy and force
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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