EFFECT OF THE USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN THE CONCEPT OF RESPIRATORY SYSTEM
1.1 Background of the Study
Education is the most effective instrument for positive change, development of the society and individuals (Archibong, 2018). In Nigeria, for instance, it is an instrument “Par Excellence” for improving national growth and development (NPE, 2005). The realization of the need for a more meaningful and relevant education for development and self reliance is evident in the formulation of the national policy on education as well as the production of innovative curriculum materials for schools (Peter, 2005). Science which is the foundation upon which the bulk of present day technological breakthrough is built becomes a crucial part of the curricular in the national curriculum. Nowadays, nations all over the world including Nigeria are striving hard to develop technologically and scientifically, since the world is turning scientific and all proper functioning of lives depend greatly on science.
Owolabi (2004) defined science as an integral part of human society. Its impact is felt in every sphere of human life, so much that it is intricately linked with a nation’s development. Science as a field of study has done a lot for mankind. For instance, life has been made a lot easier for man as a result of the advancements in science. Through science, man has been able to better understand his environment and this has enabled him to manipulate the conditions of his environment to suit his own benefit. Science has also made it possible for man to acquire his desired needs easily. It has reduced human needs to the barest minimum. Ogunleye (2000) observed that science is a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding the workings of our world. This understanding helps man to know more about the universe. The science curricula, specifically the biology curriculum for the senior secondary schools were one of such curricula.
Biology is one of the science subjects that is offered at the senior secondary school education system in Nigeria. The term biology is derived from two Greek words “Bios” and “Logos” which means “life” and “study”, respectively. Biology therefore is the study of living things (plants and animals). The knowledge of biology contributes a lot to scientific literacy of any society. It engages the people to understand the world around them and so have the ability to make informed choices about their healthcare, the environment and the society in which they live (Karen, 2008).
It has become the central intellectual discipline especially in the aspect of biotechnology and indispensable in helping individuals to think more clearly about the values involves in the fast changing world. Biology is one of the science subjects and the objectives of Biology education as stated in the senior school biology curriculum are to effect in the students:
- adequate laboratory and field skills in Biology;
- meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology;
- ability to apply scientific knowledge in everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; and
- functional and reasonable scientific attitudes (James, Udofia and Edet, 2012).
A closer look at these objectives will show that for a successful attainment of these goals, a lot of instructional materials must be employed in teaching concepts in Biology of which respiratory system is not an exception.
Despite the importance of biology in the society, there have been issues of poor academic achievement of students in biology in both Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC 2004-2008) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB 2004-2008) examinations. The growing incidence of failure on biology rating performance in both Senior School Certificate Examination (WAEC 2004-2008) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB 2004-2008) examination were occasioned by poor state of resources for teaching and learning biology and the environment under which the learning of biology takes place. Another reason for the poor performance according to (Locke and McDermid, 2005, Ruiyony, 2004) is due to the abstraction and processes involved in some topics that are not physically observable. Thus, it is necessary that every teacher should decide on the appropriate instructional strategies in collaboration with good instructional materials so as to acquire any successful teaching and learning process (kichin, 2003).
Instructional materials are essential and significant tools needed for teaching and learning of school subjects to promote teachers efficiency and improve students’ performance. They make learning more interesting, practical, realistic and appealing. They also enable both the teacher and students to participate actively and effectively in lesson sessions. They give room for acquisition of skills and knowledge and development of self-confidence and self-actualization. Instructional materials are considered important in teaching and learning in all levels of education because textbooks and other resources materials are basic tools.
Absence or inadequacy of their materials could make teachers handle subjects in an abstract manners, portraying it as dry and non-exciting (Eshwn, 1984). For example textbooks, charts, maps, audio-visual and electronic instructional materials such as radio, tape, recorder, television and video tape recorder, helps in making learning more interesting (Atkinson, 2000).
The importance of instructional materials is also evident in the performance of students (Adeogun, 2001). According to Adeogun, schools whose teachers use more instructional resources perform better than schools whose teachers do not use instructional materials. This corroborated the study by Babayomi (1999) that private schools performed better than public schools because students and teachers are provided with sufficient and quality teaching and learning resources. According to Akande (1985), learning can occur through one’s interaction with one’s environment. Environment here refers to instructional facilities that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. However, Akinlege (2010) attested that effective teaching and learning requires a teacher to teach the students with instructional materials and use practical activities to make learning more vivid, logical, realistic and pragmatic. Ebu, Enukoha and Umoren (2014) agreed that instructional materials are indispensable in teaching and learning activities. Ekpo (2014) also observed the teaching aids are useful in stimulating the sense organs.
Despite the fact the instructional materials are essential tools in learning and knowledge acquisition they are not readily available in Nigerian secondary schools leading to low level of performance of learners in government examination Abdu-Raheam (2014). Abdu-Raheam (2014) encouraged teachers to improvise teaching aids because they are in great major to enhance learners’ full participation in the lesson, gives room for inquiring, problem solving discussion and clarification of issues and ideas among students and teacher.
Obondan, (2008) advocated for teachers resourcefulness and also encouraged them to search for necessary instructional materials through local means to supplement or replace the standard ones. (Oso, 2011) also agreed that the best way for teachers to make use of their manipulative skills is to improvise so as to achieve their lesson objectives, at least, to a reasonable extent. Jekayinfa (2012), identified the importance of improvisation of instructional materials as making learning concrete and real, substituting one thing for another, allows the students to participate in the production of materials, economical and more teacher-students resource oriented.
Similarly, a teacher who has adequate and relevant teaching facilities is more confident, effective and productive (James, 2012). Instructional materials are essential since they help the teacher and learners avoid overemphasis on recitation and rote learning that can easily dominate a lesson. Resource materials allow learners to have practical experiences which help them to develop skills and concepts and to work in a variety of ways (Tuimur and Chemwei, 2015). The work of Sampath (1990) in Tuimur and Chemwei (2015) graphically explain that people learn more through the senses of sight and hearing compared to other senses.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Students’ continuous poor achievement in biology in particular is a persisting problem and concern to parents, government, stakeholders and biology teachers. Thus, it has been described over the years there exist the problem of students’ low achievement in public biology examination. It is observed that students fail at biology because they lack of skills to respond, to test items. These skills could only be imparted through effective teaching and the use of instructional materials. Hence, the question then arises thus, does the use of instructional materials have any effect on students’ academic achievement in biology in the concept of respiratory system in the study area.