ABSTRACT: The study was conducted in secondary schools to investigate the effect of classroom variables on effective teaching of Biology in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. The study specifically looked into classroom variables like class size and teachers’ experience which may affect the effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools. Two (2) research questions were formulated to guide the findings of the study. The study adopted a survey research design. The study made use of a simple random sampling technique to select a total of 30 Biology teachers for the finding of the study. The study made use of structured questionnaire for data collection. The data collected from the questionnaire were analyzed using simple percentage method; and the result shows that classroom variables like class size and teachers’ experience have significant effect on effective teaching of Biology. Some recommendations were made among others that teacher-students ratio of 1:25 should be maintained in schools so as to facilitate the teaching-learning process and that teachers with higher qualification and experience should be employed into the system of education to teach Biology in order to bring learning effectiveness to the students.
1.1 Background to the study
The classroom is the center of learning activities. The learners and teachers constitute the classroom variables as a major contributing factor to academic achievement in the school system. Bandele (2003) noted that the importance of classroom variables like class size, classroom management, classroom facilities, classroom ventilation, classroom lighting, classroom acoustic, teacher’s motivation and so on.
Harb (2006) mentioned two types of factors an internal classroom variables include: students’ competence, class test schedules, class size, classroom facilities, textbooks, class test result, school environment, complexity of course materials, teacher’s role in the class, technology used in the class and examination systems and that of external variables include: extra-curricular activities, family problems and financial problems, social and other problems.
Frank (2011) discuss background information about the field of classroom environment and its focuses upon students and teachers’ perception of psychological aspect of the learning environment which pervade school classroom and provides compelling evidence, that the classroom environment is a potent determinant of students’ outcome that should not be ignored by those wishing to improve the effectiveness of learning. According to Macauley (2012) the links between schools, classroom and environments on students’ outcomes has been incorporated as one factor in a multifaceted educational administration, therefore schools cannot be established without classroom and no school can achieve educational goals or objectives without those variables.
Shield and Dockrell (2004) concisely stated that poor classroom acoustic created a negative learning environment for students. Furthermore, consciously organized the topic of noise into two categories, internal and external noise, performance on classroom tasks drastically declined (Nafukho, 2005). The lack of basic classroom facilities like laboratory furniture has compromised the teaching of science subjects especially Biology. Topics that are meant to be taught practically are taught. Theoretically as part of adaptive mechanism by teaches due to inadequate resources to enable effective teaching of science. These affect students’ performance reducing their competitiveness when placed with the performance of others in such subjects. Indeed, classroom environment enhances learning and promote effective teaching and learning of science.
Thus, this study seeks to examine the influence of classroom variables on the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
All over the world, education is seen as machinery through which acquisition of knowledge and skills is achieved. Every nation is geared towards the provision of quality education for their citizens. Despite all the qualities education provided by stakeholders education, government and parents, it is observed that the performance of most students fall below expectation as noted by Momoh (2012). Researcher like Park (2005) attributes this fallen standard to many factors among classroom level variables such as teacher’s degree, experience, certification, authentic instruction, content converged and class size.
The current development of education reform in Nigerian Akwa Ibom State in particular bring out increase in students enrolment in secondary schools. This increase in students’ enrolment should be back-up with corresponding increase in infrastructure as well as teacher without which the condition could degenerate into large class size and stress the teacher with workload in terms of managing huge number of students allocated to each teacher. It is observed that large class does not enhance effective teaching, for instance in a long hall of one hundred students, a teacher will be teaching while students at the back will be discussing receiving calls and in the part of the teacher voice is not auditable to reach the extreme end of the hall where by affecting teaching, learning process and the resultant consequences is poor performance. The researcher is therefore motivated to carry out this study that is aimed at examining if classroom variable could affect effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate classroom variable and effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools. Specifically, the study aimed at determining whether:
- Class size has relationship with effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
- Teachers’ experience has any relationship with effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The finding from the study will be beneficial to the following groups of persons:
- The school administration will benefit from the finding because the result will help them to effectively manage and utilize the school facilities.
- Teachers will also use the result of the study to create an enabling classroom environment that will aid teaching and learning processes.
- The government will also find the result of this of this study which will bring to their door steps those facilities that are lacking within the classroom as to make appropriate policies to cover up their objective.
- Parents will use the finding of this study to obtain adequate information on the choice of a good school for their children and wards