Abstract: This study was on Teaching Methods and Academic Performance in Biology among Secondary Schools. Two research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The study adopted a quasi-experimental design. The population of the study consisted of all students who studied Biology in Senior Secondary Two (SS2) in public secondary schools in the study area. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 200 respondents in the selected schools. The main instrument used for data collection was Biology Achievement Test (BAT). The data generated from the study instrument were analyzed using independent t-test. The results showed that there is a significant difference between the academic performance of Biology students taught using guided enquiry method and those taught using lecture method.
It also showed that there is a significant difference between academic performance of Biology students taught using demonstration method and those taught using discussion method. It was therefore recommended among others that government should encourage and promote training, workshops, seminars, symposia and conferences for Biology teachers in secondary schools to update their knowledge on the appropriate method of teaching Biology in secondary schools.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the primary agent of transformation towards sustainable development in any nation. It is a process by which a person is intentionally guided for his development and that of his society. It is a deliberate effort to accelerate rate of development and general improvement of human race (Sunday, 2005). The objectives of education cannot be achieved without the process of teaching and learning, which depend extremely on the teaching methods used by the teachers generally and in Biology in particular.
The teaching of Biology by some teachers is always a very difficult task because Biology is a branch of science that deals with living and non-living things. For effective and efficient learning, there must be effective instruction. This can be achieved, if there is an effective classroom communication or interaction and sharing of ideas between the teachers and learners which leads to good academic performance.
Education is vital especially in science and technology for the production of needed technologies, technicians and craftsmen as well as skilled artisans who are required to transform the nation’s economy and elevate Nigeria from a developing nation to a developed nation (Moses, 2003). These skills are necessary to be acquired in order to cope with the challenges of transforming industrial needs and non-formal sector. When these needs are considered, it will reduce the rate of unemployment.
Adesom (2008) opined that Biology teaching is supposed to be result oriented and students centered which can only be achieved when students are willing to learn during lesson delivery using appropriate methods and resources in the teaching learning situation. Students ought to be involved actively in the learning process in order for them to equip, test and build their own personal construct and knowledge particularly in Biology. To corroborate the argument, Usma and Onocha (2009), opined that brain is not a passive consumer of information but to learn and understand. Learning must construct meaning if it is what to be learnt.
Despite the position Biology occupies in our educational sector and the efforts made by researchers to foster better performance, students’ performance are still poor. Some of the reasons are: laboratory inadequacy, teacher’s attitude, examination malpractices, non-coverage of syllabus, non-professionalism and ineffective teaching methods used by some Biology teachers.
The teaching of Biology in secondary schools should be based on practicals, which should be aimed at giving the students opportunity to gain meaningful learning, skills and attitudes for the fostering of national development.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Biology is one of the subjects taught in secondary schools and is required for admission into tertiary institutions if one wants to study a science course. Despite that, the performance of Biology students is poor due mostly to poor teaching methods.
Many seminars and conference papers have been written on teaching methods and academic performance of students in Biology in recent times. Scholars corroborate with the conference papers written. Although there are so many activities to trigger the students’ performance in Biology, many do not perform well in examinations due to inappropriate use of teaching methods.
Furthermore, it has been observed that inadequate equipment in the laboratories also constitute a problem. It is therefore seen that investigating on the teaching methods and academic performance in Biology among secondary schools in Itu Local Government Area is essential.