ABSTRACT: The study investigated Instructional Approaches and Biology Teaching In Secondary Schools. Survey design was used for the study. Three (3) research questions were stated to guide the study. The population of the study comprised of all the Biology Teachers in all the secondary schools in the study Area. The sample sizes consisted of fifteen Biology teachers from five (5) secondary schools through purposive sampling in the study area. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire titled “instructional Approaches and Biology Teaching Questionnaire (IABTQ)”. Data collected were analyzed using simple percentage. From the analysis, findings were made that most teachers do not prefer the use of lecture approach in the teaching of Biology in Secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area; most teachers prefer the use of guided-discovery approach in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area; Most Teachers prefer the use of simulation approach in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.
Instructional Approaches and Biology Teaching In Secondary Schools
Based on the above findings, recommendations were made that the use of lecture approach should be discouraged among teachers in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools; guided discovering approach should be used by teachers in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in order to make teaching more genuine and meaningful; simulation approach should be used by teachers to promote effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
1.1 Background of the Study
Teaching is an “art” but the success of a teacher lies in making his subject so simple as to make it intelligible for his students (Yadar, 2014). In order to make students learn effectively, the teacher has to adopt the right approach (method) of teaching. According to Archibong (2010), the interest which students show in science subjects and Biology on completion of a course of study depends on the teaching approaches (methods) and materials. In spite of much focus on teaching approaches (strategies) in Biology Students’ Performance in the subject has continued to record a persistent variation trend in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area. For Example, in the year 2011 report by WAEC reveals that about 58% of the students in Etim Ekpo secondary schools failed to score credits in Biology.
Several factors have been advanced as affecting Biology teaching as well as the students’ achievement in Biology. These includes the students’ factors, teachers factors, societal factors, governmental infrastructural problem, language of instructions, instructional approaches employed by the teachers (Ali, 2013) and recently students’ learning differences (Felder,2013).
To overcome these problems, there is need to strive for a balance of effective teaching approaches such as lecture, guided discovery and simulation approach (method) of instruction. In Nigeria for example, teachers are familiar with the use of a number of teaching approaches (methods) but more especially the conventional approaches (methods)like discussion and demonstration approaches (methods). Currently, lecture, guided-discovery and simulation methods of instructional approaches among others were employed by teachers in Nigeria. The question now is, does a lecture, guided-discovery and simulation approach of instruction enhance effective biology teaching if employed by Biology teachers in the classroom?
Albert (2012) opined that instructional approaches lecture, guided-discovery and simulation are techniques teachers use to help students become independent and strategic learners. These approaches become learning strategies when students independent select the appropriate ones and use them effectively to accomplish tasks or meet goals. He further state that instructional approaches can:
- Motivate students and help them focus attention
- Organize information for understanding and remember
- Monitor and access learning.
Bennett (2014), the notion that learning is influenced by prior experiences and must be construct by the leaner led to the development of what has become the dominant view of learning in Biology education today. The impact and influence of this view of learning gave rise to the development of methods or approaches use in teaching Biology. Such methods or approaches include lecture, guided-discovery and simulation where the emphasis is on the active participation of learners in the learning process.
Teachers can encourage autonomous learning first by recognizing the importance of viewing students as self directed learners and second by the selection of appropriate student-centred instructional approaches. The selection of these approaches should be made in consultation with individual students so that they become aware of their own learning needs and ability to meet them. The teacher should also establish a classroom climate in which students feel comfortable making their own decisions and reflecting on the consequences (Joyce, 2012).
Williams (2011) opined that instructional approaches are methods used by teachers to create learning environments and to specify the nature of the activity in which the teacher and learner will be involved during the lesson. These approaches are often associated with certain strategies and methods used in teaching process. Reflective assessment of the use of strategies, methods and skills may lead teacher to broaden and deepen their repertoire of instructional approaches. Expanding the knowledge and expertise regarding various instructional approaches can enrich the artistry of teaching and in turn enhance the effectiveness of instruction (Okon, 2012).
Ekanem (2010) stated that the selection of appropriate methods or techniques for an instruction depends on the type of lesson, whether practical or theoretical, the competence of the teacher to handle the methods and the mandible of instruction itself. Teachers therefore should select methods and techniques as are appropriate to the demands of their instruction and to pupils or students’ learning needs.
It is against this background that the researcher investigated the influence of instructional appropriate (lecture, guided-discovery and simulation) on Biology teaching in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The study of science instills in students’ diligence perseverance and observation with the learners. Biology education as one of the science discipline enables the learners to acquire problem-solving skills that provide ways of critical thinking and inquiry which help them to respond to widespread and changes in health, climate, technological development and advancement plus economic growth in the society where they line thereby improving the standard of living.
The teaching and learning of Biology which has over the decades yielded ineffective teaching by the teacher and poor academic achievement by the learners has been attributed to the ineffective instructional approaches adopted in the teaching of the subject which results into rote learning, parroting of unfamiliar ideas, regurgitation of facts with the indication that instructional approaches have not been adequate at improving Biology teaching in secondary schools.
Therefore, the researcher seeks to know the effects of instructional approaches (Lecture, guided-discovery and simulation) on Biology Teaching in Secondary Schools in the study area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study was to assess the effect of instructional approaches (lecture, guided-discovery and simulation) on Biology teaching in secondary schools.
Specifically, the study sought to:
(i) Examine the influence of lecture approach on teaching of Biology in Secondary schools.
(ii) Determine the effect of guided-discovery approach on teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools.
(iii) Explore the influence of simulation approach on teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
Instructional Approaches and Biology Teaching In Secondary Schools
1.4 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be significant to teachers/students, school management/government and policy-makers/educators in the following ways:
(i) The findings of this study will enable teachers and students to know the right instructional approach to be used in teaching and learning of Biology.
(ii) The findings of the will help schools management and government on the need for instructional approaches in the school system.
(iii) The findings of this study will aid policy-makers and educators to encourage teachers on the usefulness of instructional approach in Biology Teaching.
(iv) The findings of this study will serve as a reference material to future researcher that may investigate the same variables.