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The Influence Of Problems Of Teacher–Student Perception Of Biology Among Teachers And Students: A Case Study Of Owerri West Secondary Schools

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Abstract

This research work is on “the perceptions of problems of effective teaching and learning of biology among teachers and students in Owerri West Local Government Area”. The study further established some objectives upon which research questions were asked. The study reviewed that teachers need to have and communicate high expectations academic and behavioral for all students. Communicating these expectations helps students feel a sense of belonging in the classroom. The study was also designed using the descriptive survey design statistical method with 300 randomly sampled respondents. Relevant information was obtained using questionnaire and validated for face and content with experts in measurement and evaluation. The data that were collected were calculated using the mean scores. Among the findings of the study was that; the most predominately classroom interactive patterns adopted by secondary school teachers in Owerri West of Imo State is that students listen while only the teacher speaks during instruction and lessons, Good communication with students during and after classes is among the unique patterns of teaching which helps to provide most positive student academic performance in biology in secondary schools in Owerri West LGA  of Imo State. Based on the findings, the researcher recommends that students should be taught not to shy away from active participation in the class, teachers should create a warm and lively classroom environment, use good question strategies and possibly use modern communication gadgets to reach students. This is necessary so as to draw out knowledge from students that are shy and reflective and students should be encouraged to participate actively in classroom instruction by using the most effective teaching techniques in school, as well as the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning process of biology education should be provided by the necessary government bodies.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter, the researcher provides a concise overview of this work which is comprised of six subheadings; background of the study, statement of the problem, scope of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and the research questions.

Background to the Study

Education is the bedrock of any nation and also the key to success. It is an indispensible tool in human development as it could be seen as a medium through which an individual realizes his or her potentials in life, his talents and skills. Education enables both boys and girls to develop positive attitudes, knowledge, acceptable models of behavior and also the acquisition of skills that will enable them to live useful lives in the society as well as contributing to the development of their fatherland (Whitleer, 2009).

Receiving quality education is an important cornerstone in the life of every individual. It is imperative that students have the tools they need to be successful tools that include motivation and engagement. For some students, however, motivation is not always intrinsic. It therefore falls to others to guide students along the path to their own education. Teachers spend an incredible amount of time with their students over the course of the year, it is a teacher’s responsibility to foster an inclination for learning. Research has indicated that the relationship between teachers and students is an important predictor of academic engagement and achievement. In fact, the most powerful weapon teachers have, when trying to foster a favorable learning climate, is positive relationships with their students. Students who perceive their teachers as more supportive have better achievement outcomes (Boynton & Boynton, 2005). Additionally, the learning environment plays a significant role in maintaining student interest and engagement. When students feel a sense of control and security in the classroom, they are more engaged because they approach learning with enthusiasm and vigor. Students become active participants in their own education (Skinner & Green, 2013). Therefore, the first step to helping a student become more motivated and engaged, and thus academically successful, is building and maintaining positive teacher-student relationships.

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Biology is one of the most popular science subjects offered by both science-oriented and art based students in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Nigeria. Studies have shown that there is an increasing yearly enrolment in S.S.C.E biology, but each year candidates achieve poorly in examination (Nwagbo & Obiekwe, 2009; Okoye, 2010). The result for Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) in biology shows very poor performance, making for the need to improve biology teaching and learning in Nigeria.

Statistics from West African Examination Council (WAEC, 2015; 2016; 2017) revealed that students’ achievement in biology was very poor and that students failed to obtain grades at credit level and above, which would qualify them for University admission in biology and other science related disciplines (Chief Examiner’s Report, 2017). Student’s poor achievement in biology has been linked to a number of contributing factors among which are: incompetent mode of teacher’s delivery of the subject, inadequate use of instructional materials and ill-equipped biology laboratories (Okoye, 2011). Biology classroom activities are characterized by a rigid teacher-centered pattern where/students active participation are not allowed. Questioning skills are poorly used to evoke productive classroom discussion (Uzoechi, 2008). Teacher – centered instruction lead to weak classroom discourse based on role memorization and no provision for development of intellectual and creative thinking skills among students (Uzoechi 2008). Thus, biology classroom interaction quickly deteriorated into meaningless waste of time. Therefore, the need to improve biology classroom activities among students since academic performance in biology is still not impressive.

The school by exposing the child to sets of interaction with classmates and their teachers and other students act as a good way to reduce the extent of the child’s emotional dependence on his family. When the child gets started with schooling, he comes into contact with a formal setting, in the school supervisors are appointed to oversee group activities, laid-down rules and regulations, prevailing norms and values and social sanctions which to a large extent differ from what he is used to in the family where he was obtained his informal but very important stage socialization by interacting with other members of the family. It also on its own serves as an agent of teacher – student interaction and socialization and to other pupils of different backgrounds and orientations on one hand the teacher on the other hand. For example, a child born into the families of criminals are coming into the school with the stigma to mix up with others that are born into the families of university professors, illiterate, village farmers, single parents, broke homes etc. by age of schooling the child has already copied some habits be it good or bad according to what he/she has been exposed to in the family (Boynton, 2005). Also, other agents of socialization are the peer-groups, mass media, church/mosque etc. also existing and also either completing efforts of the school in calculating knowledge, discipline, good citizenship or desired behaviors in the child or distracting the child’s attitude from positive knowledge depending upon the circumstance of the child (UNICEF, 2009).

Reviews of research on teaching suggest that teacher characteristics play a very important role in determining how much students learn. Rosenshine (2006) further explained that characteristics like the amount of knowledge a teacher has in a particular subject matter, teachers teaching experience and related matters do not account for much of the variance in teacher and pupil output. An appropriate question is to what extent has the science teacher developed these attitude, for a teacher to acquire these attitude and implant them in his students, there has to be an opportunity for active participation of students in classroom learning activities. It requires an intensive interaction of the teachers and students using verbal and non-verbal techniques. One may want to find out how much these interactions go in biology classrooms and the nature and quality of this interaction (Rosenshine, 2006).

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The teaching-learning process is an interactive process. The interactive processes involved in a teaching-learning situation are of different patterns. The patterns have its own demands on the teacher but more on the student/learner, the degree of learner-involvement in each interactive pattern goes a long way to determine the knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired. In the aspect of biology in secondary schools, teachers use different interactive patters to achieve maximum results. Not all interaction method are useful in the teaching of biology hence the need and focus on problems of teachers and students perception in the teaching and learning of biology in Owerri West Local Government Area.

 Statement of the Problem

Empirical evidence in Nigeria education system indicates that secondary school students’ academic performance in Biology (just as in other areas) is still declining despite numerous reforms in the education system to improve the standard of education. These reforms ranges from 7-5-4 (seven years in primary school, five years in secondary school and four year in university), 6-5-4 (six years in primary school three years in junior secondary school, three in senior secondary school and four years in university) and the present 9-3-4 (nine years in basic education, three years in secondary school and four years in university). The poor academic performance is evidence in the grades that students get at the end of their senior secondary school external examination result (SSCE/WAEC) which has continue to be on the decline. The situation is that the goal of secondary school education has not been fully realized. One of such factor that lead to this decline in academic performance may be lack of proper interaction between teachers and students in the course of learning. The effect of this is that school teachers are always at variance in terms of what they need to do in order to achieve the goals of secondary school education and this in the final analysis affects the level of students’ performance. The researcher is of the opinion that proper teacher and students interaction could produce high academic performance in biology among secondary school students (FRN 2007).

In addition, this nation (Nigeria) is faced with many physical and health problems which demand the knowledge of biology to help solve them. Therefore, it is important to analyze the interaction of teachers with their students in biology class since teachers are often accused of employing wrong pedagogies in teaching their students. If students are well taught and are prepared to learn, it will not be difficult for them to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in Biology in solving the nation’s health problem, hence the need to analyze the interaction between teachers and students in biology classes. The poor performance in most school certificate examinations in biology in Owerri West is an indicator that something is definitely wrong with biology education or science education generally in our schools; this problem has therefore led the researcher to carrying out a study on the problems of on the perceptions of effective teaching and learning of biology among teachers and students in Owerri West Local Government Area.

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Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which teachers and students perception affects effective teaching and learning of Biology in Owerri West Local Government Area. The study intends to;

  1. ascertain the extent to which teaching experience pattern causes variation in students’ academic performance in biology in secondary schools in Owerri West.
  2. ascertain the extent to which classroom interaction pattern causes variation in students’ achievement in biology in secondary schools in Owerri West LGA.
  3. determine the students perception of their teachers’ classroom interactions in biology in secondary schools in Owerri West LGA
  4. investigate unique patterns of biology teaching to enhance positive student academic achievement.

Scope of the Study

The study focused on the influence of classroom interaction amongst teachers and students on the academic performance of Biology. The study will be confined to all public secondary school students in Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. to what extent has teaching experience pattern caused variation in students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Owerri West?
  2. to what extent has classroom interaction pattern caused variation in students’ achievement in secondary schools in Owerri West LGA.
  3. what is the students’ perceptions of their biology teachers’ classroom interactions?
  4. what are the unique patterns of biology teaching which helps to provide most positive students’ academic achievement?

Significance of the Study

This study is hoped to be important to the following groups; teachers, students, parents, researchers and education policy makers.

To the classroom teachers, the findings of this study will ascertain the most effective way of the interaction patterns to be adopted for teaching biology. It follows that if appropriate –teachers’ student interaction patterns are adopted, in the teaching of biology, students may be more likely to learn better and achieve greater gains in learning biology/science. This gives joy to the science teacher to be able to participate and contribute in the early development of future Nigerian scientists.

Students in this context will benefit from this study as it will permit and encourage them to make choices and manage their own learning as well as structuring their lessons in such a way that exposed themselves to offered many opportunities to participate in decisions about what is to be studied.

The findings of this study could also be important to educated parents. The researcher is optimistic that enlightened parents will adopt the recommendations to achieve one of the cardinal objectives of education; the building of great and dynamic economy.

Furthermore, the findings of this study, will determine the extent to which teachers’ teaching experience, level of classroom participation and class interaction explain variations in student’s biology/science achievement.

This will not only contribute to knowledge but will apply or encourage further research on which lessons were taught that will help create opportunity for constructive criticism, which will aid creativity of the student.

The findings of this study will necessitate our educational planers and practitioners to reassess the teacher preparation programmes such as re-assessment policies, curriculums that enable teacher education experts to find ways, if necessary to improve on verbal interaction between teachers and students through appropriate pre-service and service education.


Pages:  66

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Source: Imsuinfo                            

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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