Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools

Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools
Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools

Abstract: The study investigated Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools. The population for the study was four thousand one hundred and thirty one (4131) primary four pupils from seventy five (75) primary schools in the Area. Two hundred (200) primary four pupils were selected from four intact classes from four public primary schools as the sample size using stratified sampling technique. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated. The quasi-experimental design was adopted as the design for the study. Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT) was used as the instrument for data collection. The independent t-test statistical method was employed in analyzing the data.

Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools

Findings revealed that there is a significant influence of discussion, demonstration and discovery instructional strategies on pupils’ academic performance in Basic Science. Based on the findings, it was recommended that Basic science teachers should incorporate discussion, demonstration and discovery instructional strategies during lesson delivery in Basic science.



1.1     Background to the Study

The selection of proper instructional strategy ensures the achievement of the stated instructional objective effectively. Instructional strategies are used in the presentation of lesson to help the pupils learn by ensuring the smooth delivery of the instruction. It is a process by which an instructional module, instructional phase or an entire course is delivered. Instructional strategies are decisions about organizing people, materials and ideas to provide learning (Nwachukon, 2014). Weston and Cranton (2012) viewed instructional strategies as both the teaching method and the materials used in the process of teaching. Instructional strategies determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives.

Some of these instructional strategies include demonstration, discussion, inquiry and lecture among others. According to Saskatchewan (2009), Instructional skills are the most specific category of teaching behaviours. They are necessary for procedural purposes and for structuring appropriate learning experiences for pupils. These include such techniques as questioning, discussion, directing giving, explaining and demonstrating. Hence, pupils learn by doing, making writing designing, creating and solving (Davis, 2013).

Demonstration is the most widely used instructional strategies for the acquisition of practical skills as it involves verbal and practical illustrations of a given procedure. This strategy is seen to be highly effective because it involves active participation of the pupils (Ogwo and Orangu, 2006). Research findings by Ugwuanyi (2012) on the effects of instructional approaches on pupils’ academic performances indicated that pupils taught with demonstration performed significantly better than those taught with inquiry method.

Inquiry is a technique which involves pupils in questioning to explore an area of study. It is a process pupil engages in to investigate and explain problems. Pupils collect and test data logically in order to discover why things happen the way they do. It is a pupil oriented strategy which requires active participation in questioning events and in putting several factors together (conceptualizing) to explore hypothesis or theory (Saskatchewan, 2009).

According to Obodo (2010), it is a strategy where the teacher could ask leading questions to guide the pupils to discover concepts. Ncharam (2009) studied the effects of inquiry and lecture strategies on pupils’ performance in Basic Science and observed the performance in favour of guided inquiry approach.

Discussion strategy is when two or more people interact verbally with each other. It could be used deliberately in teaching and learning situation, but sometimes it occurs spontaneously as a teacher uses one method of teaching or another. Discussion could be considered as a technique within a method (Umoren, 2015). Discussion strategy affords every member of the class opportunity to articulate his views on a particular issue and learning discovered in the process tends to last longer than when learning is imposed on the pupils (Etuk, 2008).

In true discussion, Udofla (2010) compared that the teacher’s contributions are very minimal and are made when necessary. Lecture method involves a verbal presentation of ideas, concepts, generalizations and facts. The practice in this method is that of spoon-feeding the learners with information or facts. The pupils remain passive and receive information from their teacher (Umoren, 2015).

Skills in the selection and utilization of appropriate instructional strategies are required by the teacher for effective teaching. There is no one best approach to instruction. Teaching effectiveness demands that the teacher must possess some basic ability to organize, co-ordinate and utilize personal qualities, objectives and competency in lesson preparation, presentation and evaluation. Besides, he must be able to motivate the learners, make pupils active participants in learning, use appropriate strategies and facilities to enhance effectiveness in instructions. Some researchers recommended eclectic method (combination of strategies).

Teachers are also expected to implement a variety of instructional strategies in order to meet the objectives of the programme as well as to address individual pupil interest and needs (Saskatchewan, 2009). Okafor (2011), observed that teacher is at the center to provide a suitable strategy which are compatible with the needs, the interests and the abilities of their pupils.

Asuna (2011) measured the correlation that exists between the teacher strategies of teaching and the academic performance of pupils in schools. In his findings discovered that pupils taught with proper selection of instructional strategies performed significantly better than their counterpart. Based on this background, the researcher intends to carry out on the influence of instructional strategies on pupils’ academic performance in Basic Science in Primary schools in the study area.


Instructional Strategies and Pupils’ Academic Performance in Basic Science in Primary Schools 

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The problem that necessitated this study is the continuous decline in the academic performance of pupils in primary schools. According to promotional examination result reporting by the chief examiner (2018), was not to write home about. The causes of this downtrend in the academic performance of pupils could be as a result of strategies teachers employed in instructing the pupils in the classroom. This is so because teachers have the greatest potential to influence the pupils’ education, while the pupils’ performance is related to teachers’ competence in using different instructional strategies of teaching. Thus, pupils achieve more when teachers employ systematic teaching procedures that make teaching learning processes easier.

Excellent academic performance by the pupils is not only attainable but could also be sustained through teachers’ strategies of teaching. Most teachers while teaching do not involve the learners, this makes them passive and receptive. There is no skeptical that the academic performance of pupils can be enhanced or hindered depending on instructional strategies explored by the teacher in teaching in the schools.

Hence, it appears that many educational bodies have not yet discovered that instructional strategy used by the teachers in the classroom correlate significantly with the academic performance of pupils. Pupils’ negative in learning base on the fact that teacher selection of appropriate instructional strategies is lacking and hence resulting in poor academic performance. Based on this problem, the research examined instructional strategies and pupils’ academic performance in basic science in primary schools

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