Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin

Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin
Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin

Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin




1.1     Background to the Study

For most of human history, it is an established fact that children have learned by being with their parents or placed in apprentice situations with employers. In this regard, field trip was the norm, until the invention of formal education (Salihu, 2015). In the ancient time before crest, the Greeks take their children to the different places where children participated in different activities to develop their physical fitness. The state name “Sparta” was famous for their physical training. The same is the case with “Athens” where children are trained physically very toughly. Buttressing the above statement, over the years, educators and philosophers like Comenius (1592-1670), Rousseau (1782-1852), Pestalozzi (1746- 1827), Herbart (1746-1841), Froebel (1782- 1852), Spencer (1820-1903), and Dewey (1859- 1952) have pointed out the need for reinforcing abstract learning with concrete experiences (Aggarwal, 2018). In western countries “England” is a good example for training physically their children. Apart from England other European countries like France, Germany, Canada and Italy also organized educational field trip at every educational level (Salihu, 2015).

A lot of factors affect the achievement of biology students. These factors bear so much influence on the achievement of biology students. Over the years, research studies (Akande, Mogbo, Bello & Yaki, 2018; Duyilemi & Bolajoko, 2014; Joda, 2019; Osuafor & Okonkwo, 2013) have indicated that academic achievement of students who enroll in biology has not been encouraging. It is disheartening that candidates‟ performance in biology for five years; 2014 to 2018 are 56.17%, 57.42%, 61.68%, 55.57% and 55.10% respectively (WAEC Chief Examiner’s reports, 2014 to 2018).

The performance of students improved above average from 2014 to 2018 with the highest percentage of 61.68% in year 2016. Although it was a remarkable improvement but this is still not good enough for a country like Nigeria that is in dire need of scientific knowledge such as biology. Agaba (2013) attributed the poor achievement in biology to lack of commitment to academics while Obi and Idoha (2013) added the dearth in science resources. Further, Agaba opined that for students to achieve better in biology, instructional materials should be used in the teaching of the subject because biology requires real objects and activities/experiment that can convert topics that seem imaginary to concretize for students understanding.

Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin

Educational field trip according to progressive method of learning by which the students goes through the necessary learning experiences under the leadership and guidance of the teacher (Shakil et al., 2011). Field trip is a study trip taken outside the classroom to obtain direct experience from a natural setting. It is organized to improve students’ interest in learning, for collecting data, materials or objects for classroom lessons as well as to observe objects or phenomena not possible to bring within the classroom. Field trip is a planned exercise taking place outside the four walls of the classroom. It offers opportunity for learners to get firsthand information on people, places and things for the permanency of learning experiences (Instructional Strategies Online, 2013). Field trip is a tour planned by teacher to benefit the student learning process. The trip is planned for learners to experience theory in practice.

Using field trip in teaching and learning leads to teacher‐learner interaction outside the classroom. These interactions take place in a new learning environment and result in a meaningful teaching and learning process. Fakomogbon, Ibrahim, and Gegele (2007) noted that the basic technology curriculum requires child‐ centered and activity‐oriented teaching and learning processes. Nowadays it is imperative to use different teaching methods and learning processes as well as strategies to ensure student understanding. Since field trip is a method of teaching used to collect firsthand information in the course of investigation, this will enable both teachers and students to create meaningful and productive learning both on the field and in schools. Omosewo (2009) explained that field trip can be used as a chance to collect data for later analysis, to generate artwork and stimulate discussions both on site and back at schools and universities in tutorials, seminars and workshops.

The use of field trip as a method of teaching helps to bring about an effective learning of Basic Technology. It is of enormous benefit because it enhances the observation of learning experiences in the field of engineering works where engineering materials such as plastic, ceramics, rubber, wood and metals are used. Field trips are an interactive method of teaching which give both male and female students equal opportunity to widen their practical and cultural experience by varying their learning environments. Thus, Amosa (2013) remarked that no evidence of superiority is expected to be noticed in the academic performance based on gender, if both males and females students are exposed to learning experiences equally.

There is need therefore for biology teachers to get acquainted with the methods that are suitable or effective in teaching of biology called. Dorgu (2015) pointed out that good teachers follow no one method, instead they use whatever methods or materials that seem best for the particular combination of individual situations. The present study will investigate the effect of field trip on academic achievement of students in ecology. Field trip teaching strategy encourage co-operation between the teacher and the learners and may improve achievement of the concept of ecology.

Therefore, for effective teaching of ecology, the use of field trip which makes use of the environment could achieve much and bring home the actual meaning of concepts. Field trip is that instructional strategy that allows students to obtain direct experience from a natural setting (Abdul, Oyeronke &Adunni, 2015). It is a visit to out of school environments in order to observe the real world and obtain some specific information. The theoretical basis for field trip is Vygotsky’s Socio-cultural theory of learning “that learning takes place in social environment.”

Leaving the school premises is a social experience and one, which provides a change of tempo and scenery for students. Field trip exposes students to new experiences and can increase interest and engagement in science regardless of prior interest in a topic (Omeodu & Abara, 2018). On field trips, learners sharpen their skills of observations, perception and objective report of observations by utilizing all their senses (Shakil, Faizi & Hafeez, 2011). It makes the students to be more imaginative and inquest live observers. However, there are also disadvantages that should be considered before planning for field trip. They include lack of chaperones, students may misbehave, budget constraints, safety concerns and time management. While a field trip may be an exciting time for students and teachers, these challenges may end up making it an unpleasant experience, thereby ruining the learning experience if not properly managed by the Biology teachers and their students. This could mean that conventional lecture method of teaching may prove more effective in improving the achievement of students in ecology.

Conventional lecture method is a teacher-centered method whereby the teacher is seen as an authority imparting knowledge to the students. It could involve a mix of different methods, but it is mainly the lecture or expository methods that are commonly used. Although, conventional lecture method of teaching has been shown in a number of studies to be less effective compared to other innovative methods, teachers still adopt them for teaching and learning. This is because conventional lecture method is suitable for teaching large groups of students and for covering large content area. By implication, all methods of teaching science in general and biology in particular could boast the achievement and retention of biology concepts.

Effect of Field Trip on Biology Students Academic Performance in Kwara State College Of Education Ilorin

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The traditional teaching method which is the talk and chalk approach to teaching has become an inherent attribute to the Nigerian teacher. To them, they are master „know-it-all‟; as a result they tend to impart their knowledge to the learner as though the learner’s brain is a machine which is capable of absorbing everything presented unto it. The duty of the learner is to sit, grasp and assimilate all information. This has not augured well with the Nigerian school-child as there has been a large report of student poor performance in internal and external examination.

In this 21st century, effort is being placed on paradigm shift in the students from being a passive learner into a learner who actively involves in the learning process and discovers knowledge for them. The issue therefore is how can the Nigerian students be effectively taught to ensure proper conceptual understanding of biological concepts?. This prompts the research to undertake the study on effect of field trip on biology students academic performance in Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin.

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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.