ABSTRACT: This study investigates local resources utilization and academic performance of students in biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The quasi-experimental design was in the study. The population of the study comprised of all SS2 students in all the public secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area who registered for Biology in 2015/2016 academic section. The total number of one hundred (100) students was the sample size. The instrument used was Biology Performance Test (BPT) to obtain data for the study. Independent t-test was used to analyze the data.
Based on the findings, it revealed that there is a significant difference in the performance of Biology students taught using local resources and those taught Biology without local resources. Also there is no significant difference in the area performance of male and female Biology students taught Biology with local resources in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. Based on the findings, it was recommended that teachers should always incorporate local resources in their teaching in other to improve the teaching and learning of Biology.
Local Resources Utilization and Academic Performance of Students in Biology
1.1 Background to the Study
Learning and teaching is the concern of a trained teacher but learning is a complex process. It can however be defined as a change in disposition, a relatively change in behaviour over-time and this is brought about by experience. Learning can occur as a result of newly acquired skill, knowledge, perception, facts, principles, new information at hand etc (Adeyanju, 2007).
According to Agun (2003), learning can be reinforced by the teacher with teaching resources improvisation of different variety because these learning aids stimulate, motivate as well as arrest learner’s attention during the instructional process. He further said teaching resources are instructional materials and devices through which teaching and learning are done as far as Biology as a subject is concern in schools.
Okunronifa (2007) have examples of teaching resources to include visual aids, audio aids, audio-visual aids, real objects and many others. The visual aids are designed materials that may be locally made or commercially produced. They come in form of wall charts, illustrated pictures, pictorial materials, puppets and models. There are also audio-visual aids. These are teaching machines like radio, television and all sorts of projectors with sound attributes.
Akanbi (2008) specifically notes that whenever teachers taught with some teaching resources, their students get more stimulated because the learning aids used make the learners (students) to become more attentive. In addition, students positive attitude generate more interest for the lesson they teach. As a result, students participate better in class activity. This in-turn enhanced academic achievement of students in Biology in secondary school.
In the opinion of Agun (2003), there is need for teachers to improvise teaching resources for effective delivery of lessons effectively in the classroom. Accordingly, the dwindling of economic fortune of the country makes it imperative that Biology teachers should improvise teaching resources using resources available within the local environment. Most educational institutions cannot afford to depend on imported materials; hence, there is need for teachers and their students to improvise teaching and learning materials. For example, scale models of human anatomy, such as the human skeleton, muscular system and nervous systems can be used to show students what parts of the human body looks like up close. This is by engaging students and by providing 3-dimensional models related to the current area of study in Biology. This can enhance effective teaching and learning of Biology thus improves academic achievement of school students in the subject.
Local resources from the immediate environment used by the teachers in the teaching-learning process have strong impression on the minds of the students. Its effect on the students helps to bridge the gap between reality and abstract. According to Ogunbi (2011), when teaching resources are from the immediate environment and use effectively, it makes learning more interesting and lively. It also helps to retain interest of the learners during the delivery of Biology lessons in the classroom.
As put forward by Akanbi (2008), improvised teaching resources are relatively cheaper than the imported or standard resources. They are easily available for use by Biology teachers. Also, improvisation of teaching resources by the teacher creates an opportunity for students to participate in the provision of teaching materials. It affords students the opportunity to exhibit such creative skill while participating in the provision of some of the teaching resource use for the delivery of Biology lessons. This will aid greatly in their academic achievement.
Moreover, students interpret instructional activities in terms of what they already know; they actively seek to relate new concepts, attitudes or skills on their prior set of concepts, attitudes or skills. Therefore, for better outcome of teaching/learning processes, two components should be considered which are input and outputs. Inputs consist of human and material resources while outputs are goals realization of the teaching learning process. These human and material resources which are termed instructional resources are important to the teaching of Biology in the school curriculum. This resource arouses students’ interest and at the same time helps train learners to think things out themselves, in-depth understanding of such a lesson and makes learning interactive thereby motivating them to learn. Therefore, this research shall attempt to find out local resources utilization and students academic performance in Biology in Ukanafun Local Government Area.
Local Resources Utilization and Academic Performance of Students in Biology
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Biology as a subject is activity oriented and resource-based. This is inadequate utilization of learning resources within the learners’ environment by Biology teachers. This suggests that the mastery of Biology concepts cannot be fully achieved without the use of learning materials in teaching the subject. So the teaching of Biology without learning materials might result to poor academic achievement and lack of interest in the subject among students. It should be noted that many Biology teachers lack the skills and basic tools for designing and producing of teaching resources. They also lack the will or determination to improvise teaching resources and the culture of improvisation has not been well developed in our teacher education programme.
This has greatly resulted in poor academic achievement among Biology students. The study therefore, attempts to investigate the influence of improvised teaching resources on academic achievement of Biology students.
Unfortunately, despite the important of this subject, students’ academic performance has experience a continuous fall in it and this is worrisome and called for investigations. However, the chief examiner of West African Council Examination (WACE) in 2015 reported that out of 616, 370 candidates who sat for the examination representing 38.68% obtained five credits and above including mathematics and English Language with this result, the expected percent is not achieved.
The chief examiner attributed this to several factors such as lack of teaching equipment, school variables and home local variables amongst others (Adesulu, 2015). In the authors view, poor academic performance is science is due to lack of teaching resources in secondary schools in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district. This trigger the researcher’s interest to ask; could the use of local resources influence the academic performance of students in Biology particularly in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area? Finding answer to this question motivated the researcher to investigate on local resources utilization and academic performance of students in Biology in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.