1.1 Background to the study
Attainment the objectives of education is very important, and requires a teacher who uses learner centered teaching approaches and learning resources since learning takes place when the learner is actively involved during teaching and learning process. Hence, the challenges before a teacher is how to bring about meaningful teaching that will engender meaningful learning (Novak, 2002). In doing this task of teaching, the teacher should take into consideration the learner’s prior knowledge which will anchor the new knowledge (Limom, 2001). Learning does not just occur; it comes through interaction with persons or things. When a person is engaged in a form of direct activity such could find himself/herself influenced by external ideas and emotion such a person is learning. Learning may be directly observed when someone is allowed to interact with the learning materials.
Instructional materials are aids developed for the purpose of effective teaching of the subject matter and are acquired as instruments for implementing a given curriculum (Bassey, 2006). The importance of using instructional materials for teaching learning of Government is to assist in communicating permanently, information that are incidental to the process of teaching (Acons, 21003) and since facts and information in Government are more reality retailed when supplemented with instructional material, the chances are that if the materials are carefully improvised selected, and skillfully used, they make learning more meaningful (Adeniyi, 2001).
Udo (2003) pointed out instructional materials used in implementing Government Curriculum in secondary schools are not sufficient and call for the need for improvised materials. Instructional materials for effective teaching process in Government comprise of charts, the library resources, physical education equipment recreational facilities, films and projects/life scale activity sites in addition to a functional department of the four elements of touch, sight, smell and hearing (Johnson, 2000) perhaps it may also be added that the entire environment in which the learners lives is a learning system.
Instructional Materials Improvisation And Students’ Academic Achievement
Improvisation is a technique of originating a totally new tool, instrument, materials, device or modifying existing ones for serving a particular purpose. Improvisation in the context of Governments can be seen as the process of using alternative resources for enhancing governments teaching in the absence of the real instructional material. The production of the alternative resources is initiated by the teacher and done either by him or the local craftsmen for instance, carpenters, blacksmiths and students. The teacher uses the students for improvising some of the needed materials or equipment.
Improvisation of instructional materials in senior secondary schools for teaching/learning purposes cannot be over-emphasized. To be able to promote quality instruction in our school system, there is the need to pay attention to improvisation of instructional materials in the teaching/learning process. Esu (2004) however noted that improvisation demands adventure, creativity, curiosity and perseverance on the part of the teacher. Such skills are only realiable through well-planned training programme on improvisation. Fajola (2008) sees improvisation from the creativity involved. This creativity is substitution and construction. Substitution in improvisation simply implies the techniques whereby an already local material is used in place of a piece of equipment that is not available whereas construction involves making of a new instrument to serve in place of the unavailable original one, where substitution is not possible. Esu (2004) however asserted that improvisation provides connectivity between students’ abstract and real experience of teaching and learning.
Generally, improvisation of instructional materials is an attempt to adapt and make use of local resources in the teaching/learning process when the ready- made (standardized) materials are not available or are in shortfall or not within the reach of the users. The improvised instructional materials were produced by the teacher and the students.
Oyediran (2010) also defines improvisation as the art of using materials or equipment obtained from local environment or produced by the teacher or students, and with the assistance of the local personnel to enhance instruction. Bassey (2002) stated that improvisation is the process of making equipment and materials by the students or by engaging the services of others in the absence of real or manufactured ones.
The use of improvised instructional materials and exposure of students to resources available in their immediate environment for instruction at this level brings students to real world of activities and help students gain scientific skills. The environment of the school as well as the homes of teachers provide rich sources of materials and a resourceful teacher can on his/her own or with the help of the students and other members of the society, improvised these materials for teaching/learning purpose. When improvises instructional materials are used for the teaching of governments students might stand a chance to comprehend learning objectives. Students improvised instructional materials enhance students development of creative abilities; strengthen enquiry, discovery and investigative method in their studies; provides a frame of reference on which students can key their attention during classroom activities and Omosewo and Onasanya (2010), affords students the opportunity of becoming familiar with resources in their environment.
Students improvised instructional materials ensured the realization of lesson objectives; helps in solving the problem of lack of equipment in educational institutions; gives room for the students to demonstrate his creative skills and gives room for the use of cheap local materials as alternatives to the expensive foreign ones (Olumorin 2004). Owolabi (2003) suggested that students should be given opportunity to discover and invent things; hence, the teachers should allow the students to acquire skills that will make them learn on their own, and this can be achieved through improvisation. It must be noted that learners achieved more when they are allowed to manipulate apparatus rather than being mere listeners.
Instructional Materials Improvisation And Students’ Academic Achievement
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In educational system, success is measured by academic performance or how well a student meets the standard set out by the institution. The menace of failure among the young school students has stared the parent’s government and stakeholders in the face. There is a consensus of opinion about the fallen standard of education as a big problem that is hindering the posterity of the Nigerian nation in terms of quality man-power resources. Most students in secondary schools experience academic problem that manifest itself in the form of poor academic performance mostly in government subject.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to examine instructional materials improvisation and students’ academic achievement in Governments in Abak local government area.
Specifically the study sought to:
- Examine the difference in academic achievement of government student taught with improvised instructional materials and those taught without improvised instructional material.
- Determine the difference that exists in the achievement of male and female students taught Government with improvised instructional materials.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be useful to classroom teachers, curriculum planners, students, researchers and parents. For teachers they are better informed and guided on how to develop and use improvised instructional materials in teaching where the standardized materials are unavailable or inadequate. The teachers engaged the students to do some of the illustrations during governments instructions. These studies have helped to develop problem solving skills in students and have also helped students to be more resourceful during lessons.
This study is beneficial to curriculum planners who would design functional curriculum by taking into considerations students-teachers improvised instructional materials.
The findings of this study, if discussed in workshops and seminars would guide the choice of improvised instructional materials used in the teaching/learning of governments.
The findings of this study would equally help to alleviate the problem of the scarcity of instructional materials for governments teaching/learning. The results of the study would provide information to researchers interested in working on student-teachers generated improvised materials in other subject areas. This would help them to get more information on the efficacy of improvisation. The results also have guided parents on how best to advise their children/ward on the need to embrace social science subjects especially governments.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions guided this study:
- To what extent does improvised instructional materials relate to academic achievement of students in government?
- To what extent does the academic achievement of male and female students differs when taught with improvised instructional materials?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
- There is no significant relationship between instructional material improvisation and academic achievement of student in Government.
- There is no significant difference in the academic achievement of male and female students taught Governments using improvised instructional materials.
1.7 Limitation of the study
The problems, which the research encountered that limit its scope include lack of fund to allow the researcher procure enough materials and stationeries for the research, there was also time constraints preventing the researcher to carryout extensive research lastly, there was also the unwillingness by some rural dwellers and native of Abak Local government to reveal confidential information.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
There are many factors affecting the academic performance of student in Government in Abak Local Government Area but this study only investigate instructional materials improvisation and students academic achievement in Government.
1.9 Operational definition of terms
Improvisation: This is a process of obtaining materials from the Local environment design by a teacher or student to enhance effective learning.
Academic performance: this means ones level of progress in the school subjects to a score in test, assignments and examination.
Student: refers to a group of learners in an institution of learning.