ABSTRACT: The study examined Improvised Instructional Materials Utilization and Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools in Uyo Local Government Area. Two research hypotheses were stated in line with the objective of the study. The survey research design was employed in the study. Thirty eight (38) Biology teachers in thirteen public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area make up the population of the study. The sample size was twenty six (26) Biology teachers in thirteen public secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area. The instrument for data collection was a ten itemed questionnaire entitled “Utilization of Improvised Instructional Materials and Teaching of Biology Questionnaire (UIIMTBQ)”. The data collected were analyzed using chi-square statistical technique.
Improvised Instructional Materials Utilization and Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools
Findings showed that there is a significant influence of utilization of improvised instructional materials on teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area; and that there is a significant influence of teacher’s qualification on the utilization of improvised instructional materials and teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area. Based on the findings of this study it was recommended that improvised instructional materials should be used by teachers during the teaching process to promote practical teaching and that teachers should be resourceful so as to improvise the teaching material when the original materials are not available during the teaching learning process.
1.1 Background to the study
Science, the bedrock on which modern day technological breakthrough is hinged is defined by many authors according to their own understanding. Ogunlaye (2006) defined science as a dynamic human activity concerned with understanding helps man to know more about the universe. Without the application of science, it would have been difficult for man to explore the other planets of the universe. Also science is often an exciting and satisfying enterprise that requires creativity, skill and insight. It is on this inference that Fape (2007) defined science as rationally structured knowledge about nature, which embraces systematic methods of positive attitudes for the acquisition, teaching, learning and application.
The major goal of science education is to develop scientifically literate individuals that concerned with high competence for rational thoughts and actions. The objectives of science education in this country according to Maduekwe (2006) include the need to prepare students to observe and explore the environment, explain simple natural phenomena, develop scientific attitudes including curiosity, critical reflection and objectivity, apply the skills and knowledge gained through science to solve everyday problems in the environment, develop self-confidence and self-reliance through problem solving activities in science, science comprises the basic discipline such as Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology.
Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools, (FRN, 2013). Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for further learning of a number of science related professional courses like Medicine, Agriculture, and Pharmacy. today, Biology pervades literally every field of human endeavour, and plays a fundamental roles in educational advancement. This is why the high rate of failure in this subject calls for immediate attention. Since the National Policy on Education (Eme, 2004) emphasizes the need for teaching and learning of science processes and principles. The policy recommends practical, exploratory and experiments methods of teaching. To this regards, Okebukola (2004) stated that the basic tools that science uses in the learning of science processes are the instructional materials.
Instructional materials are wide varieties of equipment and materials used for teaching and learning by teachers to stimulate self-activity on the part of the students. The teaching of Biology without instructional materials may certainly result in poor teaching method. This is because instructional materials ease the teachers work in the classroom to explain the subject matter of the lesson. They also aid illustration in conveying the meanings of the lesson to the students. Since learning has been found to be optimally enhanced by adequate and appropriate use of instructional materials by both the teachers and the learners, it is necessary that the teachers be acquainted with the attainment of learning goals.
The teaching of Biology cannot be done effectively without interaction between the teacher, students and the environmental resources. However, evidence from research has shown that instructional materials, resources and equipment for science, especially Biology are either in short supply or are completely lacking in schools to the extent that teachers end up with verbal exposition of scientific principles, facts and concepts.
Bassey (2002) opined that Biology is resources intensive, and in an era of poor funding or scarcity of resource, it may be very difficult to find some of the original materials and equipment for the teaching of Biology in schools adequately. Researchers such as Ogunleye (2007) and Obioha (2006) reported that there were inadequate resources for teaching Biology in secondary schools in Nigeria. Uyo Local Government is not free from the grip of this weakness. It is against this background that the need to fashion out ways by which local resources can be used for developing instructional materials become necessary. This necessity calls for proper improvisation.
National Policy on Education (2013) further stated that the provision and use of available instructional materials for teaching will lay a sound bases for scientific and reflective thinking among scientists.
The real materials that are the conventional instructional materials are imported or factory made laboratory equipment for science teaching. Examples of conventional instructional materials are: Microscope, Laboratory glassware, laboratory reagents, bunsen burner, tripod stand. However, if these conventional instructional materials are not available or inadequate they can be locally made by using resources in the environment as alternative known as improvised instructional materials. These will include the use of candle or stove as burner, beverage tins for convex and concave mirror, juices of unripe orange as acid, solution of ash from wood as base, teaspoon for spatula (Okebukola, 2006).
Improvised instructional materials may not be identical with the conventional one, therefore teachers should be skillful in their handling and using them (Igwe, 2003). Improvisation requires a considerable development through imaginative planning and good knowledge. According to Ajayi, improvisation is the provision of alternative to real things. Improvisation is the making of substitutes when the real equipment or materials is not adequate or available (Okebukola, 2002). Oyediran (2010) also defines improvisation as the art of using materials or equipment obtained from local environment or produced by the teacher, and with the assistance of the local personnel to enhance instruction.
Improvisation serves the following purposes in the educational system. It reduces the money spent on the purchase of equipment in educational in institutions, ensures the realization of lesson objectives, help in solving the problem of lack of equipment in education institutions give room for the one of cheap local materials as alternatives to the expensive foreign ones (Olumorin, 2004).
The researcher stated that improvisation encourage students towards the development of creative abilities, strengthen enquiry, discover and investigate method in sciences, it provides a frame of reference on which students can key their attention during classroom activities, enables teacher to think of cheaper, better and faster methods of making teaching learning process easier for students, afford students the opportunity of becoming familiar with resources in their environment. In view of the above, this study was to ascertain the effect of utilization of improvised instructional materials on the teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools in Uyo Local Government Area.
Improvised Instructional Materials Utilization and Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement to the Problem
The importance of instructional materials to the academic performance of students cannot be over emphasized. Again, the general poor performances of students in external examination are also alarming. The reasons for these problems are that students are not drilled with the materials they will eventually see in examination. Students who fail Biology in WAEC or NECO blamed it on the teacher who may not have taught the lesson with proper instructional materials. The teacher in his part blames it on non-availability of these instructional materials.
Instead of teachers improvising them where they are not available, he feels reluctant to this task. This sometimes attribute to ineffective teaching and learning processes. It is on this note that the researcher focuses her attention on the utilization of improvised instructional materials in teaching Biology in secondary schools in Uyo Local Government Area.