IMPACT OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS

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IMPACT OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY CHEMISTRY AND MATHEMATICS

(Case Study Of SS2 In Enugu North LGA)

ABSTRACT

This project work was carried out to determine the impact of laboratory practical on senior secondary school academic achievement in SS 2 Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The long held motion is that practical offers students a more realistic experience in science but Lunetta (2008), reported that some educators have begun to question seriously the impartation and the role of laboratory practical, they opined that practical method of teaching is not self-evident as it once seemed. The result obtained from the sample school, showed that biology chemistry and mathematics practical has a positive impact on academic performance of student. In all case that was tested, practical method of teaching biology, chemistry and mathematics was found to be superior to traditional theoretical methods.

Chapter one and two is the background of the study and the review of related literature respectively. In chapter three the research method and overall design of the study was presented. Chapter four dealt with data presentation and analysis. The educational complication of the study recommendation and summary were contained in chapter 5. Reference and appendices were inclusive.

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

According to Oxford Advance Learner’s dictionary (2001), “impact” means (1) A change produced by an action or cause a result or an outcome. (2) An act of one object hitting another or noticeable effect (3) An impression created in the mind of a spectator, reader etc while watching a play, listening to music or looking at a painting, impact as used in this research topic can then be defined as a positive change produced by an action, a described outcome or a result. Laboratory is experienced as a well-equipped room for scientific experimentation (Opera mini Dictionary 2007). Where as the oxford Dictionary (2000), defined laboratory as a building used for scientific research. The word” Practical” means connection with real situation rather than with ideas or theories (oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2001). Similarly, Opera mini Dictionary (2008), Defined practical as knowledge acquired through practical or action rather than theory. Opuh, Eze and Ezemagu (2008), explained practical as a scientific study or an experimental set-up rather than dwelling in the theory and ideas on the introduction to the international senior secondary School certificate examination syllabus. West African Examination council (1998-2003) emphasized the necessity of practicals in learning science courses. (Under study in secondary schools.) The Syllabus was designed to assess students in, (1) Acquisition of adequate laboratory and field skill in laboratory practical (2) Acquisition of important scientific skills, such as observation, stating of problems in the science subjects under study, great importance should be attached to experimental work and that whenever there is need for practical on any science course under study, students should be properly informed, get involved and they should apply it to what they are studying. The national policy on education (2004), Defined secondary school or secondary education as the education received after primary education and before the tertiary stage. According to the post primary School management Board (PPSMB) Statistical records (2009) there are nine Government Secondary School in Enugu North Local Government Area. Academic connected with education especially studying in school (oxford Dictionary 2000). According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (2001) “achievement is defined as a thing that somebody has done successfully especially using his/her own effort and skill, web site Opera mini Dictionary (2008) defined academic achievement as something one does or achieve at school, college or university, in a laboratory class or field work. From the foregoing, we can understand that academic achievement of student depends on the effect of laboratory practical. By providing student with practical laboratory lesson that are academically stimulating, student are more likely to engage meaningfully with tasks and subsequently may achieve higher in assessment grades (Karen et al 2009). Opuh, Eze and Ezemagu (2008), Observed in line with Addeye that “Schools which are involved in practical classes perform better in examination than those that neglect practical work’. In a nutshell, it can be understood that Biology, Chemistry, and mathematics practical have a positive effect on academic performance of student in ss2. Okolo (2008), Defined science as the study of natural things around us which simply means the investigation of nature. Biology being a branch of science involves the study of living things (sarogini 2001). This can be proven with its following usefulness; (i) it helps scientific research and development of new tools and techniques which invariably improve the quality of our lives. (ii) Finding application in medicine, agriculture, veterinary science and horticulture. iii biotechnology, which include field, like genetic engineering and hybridism technology. (iv) Dealing with ecology problems such as overpopulation, food storage, erosion etc the study of Biology has a lot impact of reference to the b building of our nation for example, (i) the use of animal in scientific research had solved many family problems, childlessness by production of test tube babies. (ii). It also stimulate our interest in the lives of living organisms and increased the enjoyment of our surroundings etc (Okolo, 2008). Chemistry is a branch of science concerns with nature of substances and how they react with each other (Opera mini Dictionary 1997). Attraction or interaction between two people traditionally, chemistry is divided into four branches, which includes; physical chemistry, industrial chemistry, organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry (Idah. N 2008). The reference of chemistry to the building of our nation includes; (i) development of new tools and techniques to improve the quality of life through the production of vaccines, new drugs, new food storage system etc. (ii) development of scientific weapons which serves as agents destroying crop pests and diseases. Mathematic is the study of number quantities and space. According to Nnamonu, (2003) Students perform poorly in laboratory practical Leading to their failure in examination similarly WACE Chief Examiner (2005) report that Performance of candidate in Biology, chemistry and Mathematics fell below expectation The report attributed candidate weakness under the following sub-heading (i) Poor spelling (ii) Poor mathematical skills (iii) Poor dedication reasoning (iv) Poor observation (v) Misinterpretation of question and (vi) poor knowledge of biology,chemistry and mathematics. The examiner lamented that “there were many candidates who could not answer correctly a single question in section A in most cases, they have mild guesses and quite unrelated answer that were sometimes unscientific based on the poor academic achievement, Obidiwe (2005), stated that the objectives of laboratory practical are not being realized to a satisfactory extent. He pointed out that the poor academic achievement are caused by lack of well equipped laboratory, lack of qualified teachers, limited time table hours, poor observation, poor clearing and poor comparison of specimen etc. This poor state of affairs is disturbing. From the website (2010), opined that chemistry and mathematics practical have impacts on the academic achievement of SS2 students because they help: (i) In harnessing the power of numbers, which makes life easier. (ii) to know that everything they see around in a matter. (iii) To be creative since mathematics involves a creative process (Steven Strogatz, 2010). (iv) In the use of variety of strategies in problem solving including calculation. Measurement of term and analysation of figures (website. 2010) . In this research work, there are two variables, which are to be noted. The dependent and independent variables. The academic achievement of students is dependent variables, which depends or relies on laboratory practical, which is the independent variable for support.

Enugu North Local government Area is in Enugu East Senatorial District of Enugu State, Nigeria. The area is predominantly on urban settlement with a few rural communities. Some of the communities in Enugu North Local Government Area includes; Enugu Ngwo, GRA, Coal Camp, lva-Valley, independent Layout, Ogui and Asata.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM.

This study intends to examine the impact of biology practical, chemistry practical and mathematics practical on the academic achievement of SS2 students in Enugu north local government area of Enugu state. Specifically, one would like to ask, what impact has biology, chemistry and mathematics practical on the academic achievement of: (i) Senior Secondary biology, Chemistry and mathematics students. (ii) Male biology chemistry and mathematics student? (iii) Female biology chemistry and mathematics student? (iv) Student from urban area? (v) Student from rural area?

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

Based on the background and problems of the study, the main purpose underlying the project is to investigate the impact of laboratory practical on the senior secondary student academic achievement in SS2 biology, chemistry and mathematics in Enugu north local government area of Enugu State. Specially, the research set out to find whether. (i) Laboratory practical effect or impact the academic achievement of SS2 student in biology. Chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise. (ii) Laboratory practical have positive impact on SS2 students academic achievement in biology, chemistry and mathematics equally or otherwise. (iii) Girls achieve more academically than boys after laboratory practical lesson/ experience in biology, chemistry and mathematics. (iv) Student knows the scientific skills they ought to acquire from practical lesson in the three science subject under study. (v) How academic lesson achievement of student from rural school compare with those of their counterparts from urban schools following practical lesson / experience in biology, chemistry and mathematics respectively.

1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research work will benefit the research themselves. Parents, teachers, government and the entire society. If the result of this research is properly utilized, it will. (i) Promote the idea that science is both a product and a process in student by arousing interest in practical work.. (ii) Motivate the parents to provide basic requirements of practical lesson for their children in secondary schools. (iii) Convince the laboratory teachers that practical lessons are mostly essential for effective teaching and learning of science subjects like biology, chemistry and mathematics. (iv) Make the government through the ministry of education to realize the need for provision of science equipment to school and posting of qualified laboratory teachers and technologist to secondary schools, it is not the issue of jack-of all-trades master of none because practical has attained professionalism and specialization. (v) Help Nigeria society in the quest for improved technology and industrialization and economic development.

1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study is targeted at the senior secondary schools in Enugu North Local Government Area of Enugu State. The scope is also delimited on SS2 biology, Chemistry and mathematics student and their practical achievement on the following contents of SS2 biology, Chemistry and mathematics scheme of work. The contents of SS2 biology scheme of work are Excretion, Reproduction and Digestion while those of chemistry are separation technique and titration. The mathematics contents from SS2 work are Geometry (circle, triangles, quadrilaterals etc.

1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research question was formulated to guild the study: 1. How do laboratory practical effect or impact the academic Achievements of SS2 student in biology, chemistry and mathematics respectively. 2. Do laboratory practical lesson have equal positive impact on SS2 student academic achievement in the three sciences subject or otherwise?

3. Do girls achieve more academically than boys after laboratory practical lesson experience in biology, chemistry and mathematics?

1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The researchers formulated the following research hypotheses to guide the study: HO1: there is no significant difference between the mean academic achievement of senior secondary school biology student taught biology content with practical and their counterpart taught the same biology content theoretically only (p=0.05) HO2: There is no significant difference between the mean academic achievements of senior secondary school chemistry student taught chemistry contents with practical content theoretically only (P=0.05) HO3 There is no significant difference between the mean academic achievements of senior secondary school mathematics student taught mathematics contents with practical and their counterpart taught the same mathematics content theoretically only (P= 0.05)