Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology

Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology
Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology

ABSTRACT: This study examined Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology. Null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study, in line with the specific objectives. The quasi-experimental research design was adopted for the study. The population of the study comprised 534 SS2 students offering Biology in the study area. A sample size of 120 SS2 Biology students was used for the study. The major instrument for data collection was Biology Achievement Test (BAT). The data collected were analyzed using t-test statistics.

The results revealed that students taught using team teaching strategy performed significantly better than those taught by a single instructor. It was also found that students taught using the peer tutoring technique performed significantly better than their counterparts taught by the regular Biology teacher. It was concluded that team teaching and peer tutoring strategies are effective teaching strategies for teaching Biology. It was recommended among others that Biology concepts should be team taught by teachers in order to improve students’ academic achievement in the subject.  


Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology




1.1     Background to the Study

Teaching is generally regarded as an activity undertaken to bring about learning or desirable changes in the behaviour of a learner. Learning can only be said to take place if at the end of a lesson, the learner’s behaviour changes as a result of instruction. Peters (2018) considered that teaching involves the passage of knowledge, skills, models of conduct in such a way that the learner is brought to understand and evaluate the rationale behind what is presented to him/her as subject matter by the teacher.

The primary difference between effective and ineffective teachers does not lie in the amount of knowledge they have about content, the type of certificate held, the highest degree earned, or the years they have been teaching. Rather the difference lies more fundamentally in the manner in which they deliver their knowledge and skills while interacting with the students in their classroom so as to improve their performance (Barge, 2014). Biology teachers are one of the key elements in any Biology department; as such utilizing effective lesson content delivery strategies remains one of the pertinent propellers for student academic achievement improvement. This implies that, in every educational system, teacher effectiveness depends on the teacher’s adequacy, good track records and devotion to duty. The teacher attains this status through the effective utilization of teaching strategies for the better performance of the students which depends on his professional pedigree and level of intellectual opulence.

Thus, teaching remains a continuous process that involves bringing about desirable transformation in the students through the use of appropriate effective teaching strategies (George, 2011; Ohaka, 2016; Ayemi in Ganyaupfu, 2013). Therefore, to facilitate the process of knowledge transmission in Biology programme in order to attain better student performance as teachers, the application of appropriate and effective teaching strategies that best suits specific instructional objectives remains pivotal (Ganyaupfu, 2013).

Sequel to this, as a programme that aims at developing suitable educational competences in the students, for better performance in different private and public fields of endeavour, there is the dire need for stakeholders to re-examine the extent to which effective teaching strategies have been utilized in Biology programme . The above perception could be one of the reasons why Osuala in Ajisafe, Bolarinwa and Edeh (2015), maintained that Biology is an essential part of the preparation of youths for life and living.

Biology is that facet of educational training that helps the individual to acquire relevant skills needed for living (Njoku in Ajisafe, Bolarinwa & Edeh, 2015). If that being the case, the burden now falls on the shoulders of the teachers as facilitators of learning in students to deploy novel teaching effective strategies so as to improve the performance of the students of Biology programme.

Also, in contemporary times, questions about the effectiveness of teacher strategies on student learning and performance have consistently generated considerable interest and attention especially in the thematic field of educational research thereby, making research on teaching and learning to constantly endeavour to examine the extent to which different teacher strategies can accentuate growth in student performance (Hightower in Ganyaupfu, 2013). Therefore, it could be contended that poor performance of most students in Biology programme like other academic programmes, is fundamentally linked to the application of ineffective teaching strategies by teachers to impact knowledge on the students for a better performance (Adunola in Ganyaupfu, 2013).

Substantial research on the effectiveness of teachers’ strategies indicates that the quality of teaching is often reflected by the achievement of the students. However, for teachers’ strategies to be effective, teachers in Biology programme needs to get more acclimatized to the plethora of teaching strategies that take due cognizance of the magnitude of complexity of the concepts to be covered.

Be that as it may, even though there may be no one best teacher effective strategy,  teachers in the programme of Biology using varying teaching strategies will assist the students in maintaining interest, interacting with content and eventually improving the students’ performance. Thus, there is the dire desire for the teachers in Biology programme to be seen as developing and utilizing a range of research based on effective strategies to help improve the performance of their students who have varying backgrounds, abilities and interests (Barge, 2014).

However, the saying that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers as contained in the National Policy on Education revised (2014) is incontestable and cannot be over-emphasized. This is so because in the formal education setting, especially in the classroom, education is operationalized by teaching and it is the teacher who has the most direct and determining influence on the learners.

Accordingly, to achieve set goals and objectives in the teaching-learning process, teacher’s mastery of the subject matter is not only important but the teaching strategies and techniques adopted by the teachers are of equal importance for a successful instructional delivery. Hence, the improvement of the process by which students learn and whatever it is that they learn has become one of the primary concerns of our time.

Teachers who are executors of this function have been criticized for paying attention to the ‘what’ of teaching and ignoring the ‘How’ of their functions. While this criticism is true as it may be, it is important to stress the necessity to strike a balance between what should be taught and how it should be taught. This is because both inputs and strong factors in determining the quality of the teaching learning process. The fact that, a teacher should have a good grasp of the subject matter is not enough, the methods and strategies adopted by the teacher are of paramount importance in the realization of set objectives.

According to Andy (2017), there is an obvious tendency for learners to look disdain and contempt on teachers who display some uncertainty as to the knowledge of the subject matter and the way which such knowledge is imparted to the learners. This is so because poor strategies of instructional delivery by the teacher can impede learners’ understanding of instruction.

Organization of learning experiences involves familiarity with the methods and strategies which these experiences could be delivered. This implies that, the Biology teacher is first expected to learn about the philosophy behind his subject which he teaches. He is expected to, convince both himself and his learners that his subject area has usefulness and applications to the real life situation; through the selection of appropriate teaching strategies and methods.

There is no doubt that, a well prepared lesson may fail to produce the desired objectives as a result of poor instructional strategies. One could liken such a case to a good cook, who has spent hours preparing a nice dish but at the point of dishing the food out to the consumers, he uses a dirty spoon and plates. No matter how hungry the consumers are, their appetites would have been killed. This analogy is applicable to the teacher and his lesson. Therefore, the application of inappropriate instructional strategy by the teacher in delivering the subject matter to the learners will influence their academic achievement negatively since it is the medium through which the curriculum are communicated to the learners.

Teaching Strategies and Senior Secondary School Students Academic Achievement in SS2 Biology

1.2     Statement of the Problem

It has been observed with total dismay that, the academic achievement of students in Biology and other school subjects in external school examinations has fallen to decline. The poor performance of students in the subject is fast becoming a recurring decimal in public examinations. This ugly development has generated concerns among major stake-holders in the educational sector.

However, research findings have demonstrated that, the success or otherwise of the teaching/learning process depends on the teacher. Consequently, there is a tendency that the teaching methods and strategies adopted by the Biology teacher can make or mar the understanding of the students. The choice and application of inappropriate teaching strategies by the teacher may contribute to the downward trend in students’ academic achievement in the subject. It is against this background therefore, that, this study – “effective teaching strategies of Biology and academic achievement of senior secondary school students” became imperative.

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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.