Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students

Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students
Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students

Abstract: The objective of this study was to assessed Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students. It was a survey of selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area. Five (5) out of the fourteen (14) secondary schools in the area was sampled where a total of one hundred (100) teachers were randomly sampled. The study made use of three research questions bordering on instructional strategies such as demonstration method, inquiry method and field trip/excursion method were answered using a percentage analysis of the data obtained from the responses of the respondents. It was found out from the analysis that instructional strategies like demonstration method, inquiry method and field trip/excursion method significantly affected academic achievement in Agricultural Science among secondary school students. Accordingly, all the three research questions were answered positively.

Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the Study

Agricultural Science is one of the core subjects taught in both junior and senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Because of its promising role in promoting self-reliance through the provision of employment opportunities and production of staple foods for the populace together with raw material supply for the agro-allied industries, its teaching as a course offering in our schools and colleges has been made compulsory by the federal Government (Noah, 2013).

According to Daluba (2015) the Federal Republic of Nigeria in its attempt towards the attainment of the laudable goals of the subject outlined the basic objectives of teaching agricultural science at the secondary level as follows:

(i)      to stimulate  and sustain students interest in Agriculture

(ii)     to inculcate in students farming skills

(iii)    to enable students acquire basic knowledge and practical skills in agriculture.

(iv)    to produce prospective future farmers

The above objectives can only be attainable through better planning and directing the process of teaching, impartation of knowledge or the teaching giving by the teacher of Agriculture to the students. It is through effective instruction motivation of students by teachers of Agriculture that academic achievement in Agricultural Science among secondary school students can be achieved.

However, conventional lecture method is a common strategy teachers employ in the teaching of Agricultural Science. It is also referred to as talk and chalk or textbook method (Gbamja, 2001). In the course of employing this method, the teacher dominates the teaching with very little  participation on the part of the learners. Here the teacher is seen as the repository of al knowledge while the students are passive recipients of knowledge transmitted by the teachers in the process of learning. The method has the advantage of covering a wider are within a short time. It is not student-centered and students do not gain mastery of concepts.

MDGS (2010) reports that for academic achievement of students to be achieved and Agricultural Science to be effectively taught, to the students, appropriate instructional strategies have to be used. Accordingly, it is desirable that a teacher of Agricultural Science use the modern teaching method which encompasses interactive, active-learning and student-centered teaching methods in the teaching of Agricultural Science instead of the old ineffective and traditional teacher-centered methods in which a teacher too was taught with while he/she was a student.

Mundi (2006) states that the use of activity stimulating and students-centered approach like demonstration method instead of depending on the conventional approach need to be embraced. Demonstration method as one of the modern instructional strategies used in the teaching of Agricultural Science refers to the type of teaching method in which the teacher is the principal actor while the learners watch with the intention to act later. Here, the teacher does whatever the learners are expected to do at the end of the lesson by showing them how to do it and explaining the step-by-step process to them. Demonstration method makes students to be creative. It encourages the students to participate actively during Agricultural Science lessons. Also, assessment is used to promote learning rather than just know the students’ scores. It is with this that academic achievement of Agricultural Science among secondary school students could be achieved.

Another instructional strategies or technique of teaching used in the teaching Agricultural Science in secondary school is the inquiry approach. The knowledge a teacher has on how students learn requires that he/she help them discover, see relationships in what they discover and organize their new discoveries into meaningful ideas and not just learning through rote. For instance, under crop improvement, Guinea Corn, most of which are tall and take a long time to mature can be made to be able to produce an improve variety that is short and matures within a short period by Agricultural Science plant breeders. The knowledge is gained through inquiry method of teaching and learning of the subject in schools (Igbokwe, 2014).

MDGs (2014) observed that field trip/excursion method is one modern teaching method and is activity-oriented and helps the learner see the relevance and Agricultural Science in everyday living with the use of materials obtained from the environment. Field trip/excursion method is the act of taking students outside the classroom so that they can learn some Agricultural Science concepts and themes as they occur in actual situations. It promotes learning by socializing through team work. As an Agricultural Science teacher, you guide the students to work together as a team through group activities and projects.

The limitations of the traditional method therefore calls for need to use the modern instructional strategies which are creative methods in teaching Agricultural Science as this will aid in academic achievement in Agricultural Science among secondary school students and also promote understanding of Agricultural Science as well as cater for individual needs of the students.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The use of modern teaching methods in teaching Agricultural Science in our secondary schools can result in students love for the subject, thus aid in academic achievement in Agricultural Science among the students. This is because the modern teaching techniques like demonstration method, inquiry and process-based including field trip/excursion are learners-centered activity or task-based and problem-solving centered. In addition, these instructional strategies are interactive, integrative and makes use of authentic materials. The modern teaching method enables the learners to learn by doing in line with Confucius philosophy of “what I hear I forget” and “what I do I understand” (Igobokwe, 2014).

Surprisingly, most teachers of Agricultural Science in our secondary schools today are still known to have difficulty in teaching some Agricultural Science concepts thus leading to students poor academic achievement in the subject in our secondary schools. Again, there has been a general perception of Agricultural Science by an average Nigerian student, that if it is a subject that is dominated with practical and is majorly meant to students that are intellectually incapacitated (Adah, 2011).

The way and manner student perceived the subject, arises from the fact that instructional strategies adopted by the teachers both in the classroom and on the field during teaching and learning process are not impressive. The effect of this is lack of interest and poor academic achievement of student s in the subject. To arrest students’ attention, interest, curiosity and promote their achievement, the use of activity stimulating and student-centered approach like demonstration method, inquiry method and field trips/excursion instead of depending on the conventional approach need to be embraced.

The problem of this study, therefore, is to examine the relationship between the modern teaching strategies mention above and how it influenced academic achievement in Agricultural Science among secondary school students.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to examine instructional strategies and academic achievement in Agricultural Science among secondary school students.

 Specifically, the study sought to:

(i)      Determine the influence of demonstration method of teaching and academic achievement of Agricultural Science students.

(ii)     Investigate inquiry method of teaching and academic achievement of Agricultural Science students in secondary schools.

(iii)    Examine the academic achievement of Agricultural Science students through the use of field trip/excursion approach in teaching.

Instructional Strategies And Academic Achievement In Agricultural Science Among Secondary School Students

1.4     Significance of the Study

The study will be important in these ways; it will enable teachers of Agricultural Science to have the basic knowledge of the modern teaching strategies such as demonstration, inquiry, and field trip/excursion approaches and use same in the delivery of Agricultural Science lessons both inside and outside the classroom. To the authorities, especially school administrators, Ministry of Education and the State Secondary Education Board (SSEB) personnel, it will serve as a guide to design appropriate in-service training programme to update teachers’ skills on the new teaching strategies and monitor it to ensure that they use same in teaching Agricultural Science students in secondary school.

To stakeholders and indeed all lovers of education, it will give insight on the activities in schools in terms of the concept of modern instructional strategies and the problems associated with the use of these teaching strategies in teaching. Finally, the findings of the study will serve as reference materials for scholars/students that are interested in studying more about instructional strategies and academic achievement in Agricultural Science and indeed other subjects in secondary schools.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.