A CASE STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY AND BIOLOGY PRACTICAL

A STUDY OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HIGH PERFORMANCE IN BIOLOGY AND BIOLOGY PRACTICAL

ABSTRACT

This project focuses on the relationship between high performance in biology and biology practical. It looks into three major aspects: the effect of laboratory practices, the importance of laboratory practicals, and the solution. It also looks into how they are being taught, how often they use the laboratory, effective handling of laboratory equipment, and historical background on laboratory practicals. The research methodology aimed to investigate the factors influencing the relationship between high performance in biology and biology functional. Conclusively, the need for laboratories applicable to biology should be encouraged.

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

                                                                    PAGES

Title Page i

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgment iv

Abstract vi

Table of content vii

 

CHAPTER ONE

  • Introduction 1

1.1 Background to the Study 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem 11

1.3 The Objectives of Study 13

1.4 Research Questions 13

1.5 Significance of Study 14

1.6 Scope of Delimitation of Study 15

1.7 Limitations 15

1.8 Definition of Terms 16

 

CHAPTER TWO

2.0 Review of Related Literature 17

2.1 Introduction 17

2.2 Problems of Teaching Biology Practical 25

 

CHAPTER THREE

  • Research Methodology 51

3.1 Research Design and Procedure 51

3.2 Target Population 52

3.3 Sample 52

3.4 Sampling Technique 53

3.5 Instrument for Data Collection 53

3.6 Validity 53

3.7 Method of Data Collection 53

3.8 Methods of Data Analysis 54

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS

4.1 Introduction 56

4.2 Research Question 56

4.3 Research Questions 2 58

 

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction 60

5.2 Discussions of the Research Findings 60

5.3 Conclusion 62

5.4 Recommendation 63

5.5 Implication for Further Studies 64

References 65

Appendix 67

 

CHAPTER ONE

  • INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Biology is divided into the theoretical aspect and the practical aspect. However, unfortunately, many students find it easier to leave behind the bedrock, the application of theory (useful). The laboratory’s negligence in experimental work has affected the students’ performance in the school’s certificate examination. The result shows that despite the mass enrolment of students each year in a school certificate examination, the students still perform poorly.

The second part of biology, a theoretical aspect, also deals with various types of animals and plants. This aspect usually takes place in the classroom and not in the laboratory. In the school, the teacher explains the structure, existence, where it can be found, and the mode of reproduction, whether it is asexual or sexual means of reproduction.

Thus, the teacher explains the MR NIGER DAC of all organisms to the students. In which;

M; – Movement I; – irritability R; – Reproduction

R; – Respiration G; – Growth D; – Death

N; – Nutrition E; – Excretion A; – Adaptation

C; – Competition

NOTE: Death is being argued upon whether it should be removed or not.

Teachers usually instruct the students to come along into the class with specimens (plants and animals) that may not likely be available, especially if such an example is going through a directive process. The importance of practical and main objectives of helpful instructions will be discussed under the following sub-headings.

What is practical? 

      This means a connection between real situations rather than ideas or theories (0xford Advanced learner Dictionary 2010). Similarly, the opera mini dictionary (2012) defined practically as knowledge acquired through practical actions rather than approach. Opuh, Eze, and Ezeomagit (2008) explained applicable as a study or an experimental setup rather than dwelling on theory and ideas.

In introducing the senior school certificate examination curriculum, the West African Examination Council (1998-2003) emphasized the need to practice learning biology as a course (under study in the secondary schools).

WHAT IS A LABORATORY?

This can be defined as a place equipped for an organized activity involving experimentation and observation in any branch of natural science (opera mini dictionary 2007). Oxford Dictionary (2010) defined a laboratory as a building used for scientific research.

From this definition, it could be concluded that a functional laboratory has to be well equipped. Laboratory work, therefore, includes verifying a scientific principle, law, and concepts that are already known by standard, creating an atmosphere for practicing one or more of the listed cognitive skills such as observing, classifying, measuring, or interpreting data.

Hence, the head of the laboratory is the laboratory technician.

IMPORTANCE OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL           

  1. Teachings of biology in the laboratory encourage learning in pupils.
  2. The laboratory method of teaching biology improves the cognitive achievement of students.
  3. It makes learning more effective.
  4. It develops the necessary understanding and production of science skills and critical thinking.
  5. It makes students retain what they have been exposed to since they have practicalized on it.
  6. It makes students think accurately, observe, and write and collect information.

The objectives as contained in the national policy of education to which the child at the junior level (junior secondary school) is to be exposed are as follows;

  1. Observe carefully and thoroughly.
  2. Reporting completely and accurately what is observed.
  3. Generating based on generalization.
  4. Organizing information obtained.
  5. Producing as a result of conception.
  6. Using a model to explain phenomena where important.
  7. Designing experiment.
  8. Keep the process of inquiry when new data do not confirm the prediction.

In achieving these stated objectives, we need a highly activity-oriented course and emphasis on skills such as;

  1. Fair and honest reporting of observation.
  2. Acceptance and practice as other possible procedures.
  3. Desire to honestly and scientifically engage in the frontier of knowledge.
  4. A proper method based on known facts and principles.

Similarly, secondary school science teachers have employed several teaching methods over the years, including lecturers’ discussions, demonstrations, projects, historical approval, group laboratory work, individual laboratory work, field trips, motion pictures, and television presentations. New science teaching methods include programmed instructions and team teaching, providing peer-to-peer education, current events tie-ins, real-life scenarios, and hands-on activities with follow-up work.

Surely all these methods aim to make science more interesting and meaningful to people; one wonders whether there is any justification for using these methods.

This method of instruction will largely be determined by our aim of teaching and by the facilities at the disposal of the classroom, according to TEIBO (STAN 1985).

Hence, considering these facts when choosing a teaching method, the subject to be taught must be regarded. It has been found out that laboratory work or the practical way in conjunction with other methods is lightly suitable for science subjects.

Thus, biology is the basis of this study and, consequently, science subjects. For years now, various studies have been carried out on education in Nigeria. Most of these studies dealt with the problem facing the multiple students in multiple schools and the advancement of education in Nigeria. Still, all these studies paid little attention to the pain associated with practical biology.

The establishment of C.M.S. grammar school Lagos in 1959 was a significant step, resulting in science’s rudiments in the school curriculum.

There were no facilities or little for science teaching in these schools because missionaries believed in spending money on building churches rather than building laboratories. However, some were made but were not to standard.

In 1909 the colonial government decided to build a model school that the missionaries could copy in education in sciences in Nigeria. The model school was Kings College Lagos had facilities for teaching sciences. Beginning in the 1950s, however, the subject of general science was broken down into Physics, Chemistry, and Biology.

As a developing country, Nigeria has made a provision for the teaching of sciences at all levels of education; it was stated that among the aims of education, the sport of inquiry and creativity through the exploration of the native and local environment should be taught in the child.

Yeir (1988) stated that the secondary school biology syllabus used in the colonial era was an examination syllabus rather than a teaching syllabus.

She also stated that the content was predominantly morphology and anatomy of living things; it was knowledge to solve practical problems. Practical experience was not stressed, and there was no emphasis on laboratory skills as such that there was no basic intent on it.

George Thollairathil stressed that it is necessary to equip and train the individual to make intelligent choices about his progress in a rapidly changing w. Hed he supported the work of the scientists. Much has to be accomplished in developing students in schools. Thus the statement:

WHAT I HEAR …… I DO NOT FORGET

WHAT I SEE ……… I REMEMBER

WHAT I DO ……… I KNOW/ UNDERSTAND

Which is an ancient proverb which clearly illustrates the modern philosophy of science teaching? He also stated that a good number of articles in the professional literature suggest that the structure of sciences as a discipline and the process of inquiry are of the greatest importance; certain professionals advocate the teachers’ science educators and stand strictly opposed to the role of memorization of facts and principles of sciences.

By contrast, they firmly stand for teaching the scientific attitude through problem-solving, discovery, or inquiry approaches. In brief, the consensus favors the need to teach sciences as a process or method and not as content (STAN 1994).

Brunner stated that it is only through the exercise of problem-solving and effort of discovery that one learns that working the heuristic of discovery was on the feeling the need for teaching problem solving with an emphasis on the ability to suggest and screen several hypotheses may have significant implications for developing creativity in sciences (STAN 2004).

Thus suggesting the old saying that seeing is believing and experience is the best teacher. Therefore, one of the primary rules of teachers in an educational system is that of a communicator. His main concern is to elicit relevant responses from his subjects after their exposure to his messages, thus bringing about positive changes in learners, according to Adebambo (2004).

She also stressed that many biology teachers in particular and science teachers in general, have reduced the classroom learning to memorization, which is the highest level of training.

This situation calls for re-appraisal of sciences classroom teaching (at the secondary level) vis-à-vis laboratory practical and learning outcomes. The urgency of this appraisal is accentuated by the individuals’ rapid decline or the standard of education in the country and the yearly increase in the percentage of failure in biology.

Therefore, she further stated a need to study the relationship between functional and pupil performance in biology to identify the best ways to rectify further increases in students’ biology failure.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

For years, there has been a decline in students’ performance in the school certificate biology examinations. Extracts from moderators and chief examiners’ reports in the school certificate/ general certificate of education biology examinations for 1980-1985 revealed below-average performance by the candidates. The problems most people had been in the practical test as it was started in 1993 and 2005-2009 report that the “inadequate preparation in the practical aspect of biology led to the inability of many students to state the correctly observed specimen and other experiments they are supposed to have done during the course.

Now the reason for the statement of the problem could be enumerated:-

  1. Why have students have low marks in biology practicals?
  2. Why is another school better than others?
  3. Why do students fail biology in the SS3 examination with a low impact?
  4. Why is it that some students are afraid of biology practicals?
  5. Why is it that some teachers do not take the practical aspect seriously?

 

 

1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

  1. To ascertain the extent of the relationship between laboratory practicals and students’ performance in biology.
  2. To verify if the students engaged in practical perform better than those not involved in laboratory applicable in biology.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In pursuit of the purpose of the study is, the following research questions are investigated; –

  1. What is the extent of the relationship between laboratory practicals and student performance?
  2. Is there any significant difference between the performances of students taught well under a well-equipped laboratory and those taught under a not well-equipped laboratory?

 

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research study was carried out to find the role of laboratory facilities in general and laboratory practice in particular, in pupils’ understanding of biological principles and concepts and the trend of poor performance in biology examination, especially in the practical aspects. This is necessary because biology forms the bedrock for studying courses like medicine, pharmacy, biochemistry, microbiology, food technology, and higher institutions.

Furthermore, this research is very important because it highlights all the needs for the educational administrations to carry out better supervision and provide adequate solutions to the conclusion of insufficient laboratory practical to the high rate of failure in biology. It will also alert the school management board to enforce regulations on a minimum requirement of reliance on practicals in preparing the students for examination to make the teaching-learning process meaningful.

Hence, this study is vital to acquaint teachers and educationists with the role of instructional resources and their influences on students’ performance in biology.

1.6 SCOPE OF DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY

      This research work covers two randomly selected schools under the ADO/ODO OTA local district area of Ogun State. The randomly selected secondary respondents in the sampled schools were senior secondary school students. Due to the small scope of the study, its biology students only, and no teachers, the research will be a generalization for ADO/ODO local education district.

1.7 LIMITATIONS

      This research was limited to one local education district because of the intensive method of investigation.

 

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

  1. Laboratory: A building used for scientific research.
  2. Practical: An experimental setup rather than dwelling on theories or ideas.
  3. Cognitive: Aspect of gaining knowledge.
  4. Vis-à-vis: In relation to.
  5. Accentuated: Emphasize.
  6. Elicit: Draw out (a response).
  7. Heuristic: Process or method.

 

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