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EFFECTS OF INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES ON STUDENTS‟ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN NIGERIA
This study was carried out to determine the effects of instructional resources on students‘academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The desire to embark on the research study therefore, stemmed from the fact that inadequate and lack of use of instructional resources was seen as major factors behind the poor academic performance of students in Kaduna State. The objective for this study was therefore to determine the effects of instructional resources on students‘ academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Four specific objectives, four research questions and four null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The population for the study comprised of 14,241 secondary school students in Kaduna state who offer agricultural science. Quasi experimental design was adopted for the study. Being an experimental design, the treatment was given to students of GSSManchok purposively selected. The students were used as intact classes made up of 45 male and 45 female students as experimental groups A and B. The control group C was constituted and taught using the traditional (lecture) method while the experimental groups A and B were taught using the charts and real objects respectively. The groups were givenpre testand post test accordingly. Instrument for data collection was Agricultural Science Achievement Test (ASAT). The period of data collection lasted for six weeks. Data collected were analyzed using frequency tables, percentages, means and standard deviation, while t-test statistics was used to test the null hypotheses at significant level of 0.05. The findings among others showed that the use of charts had more significant effect, but however show no significant difference between the performance of male and female students. This study concludes that, the use of instructional resources significantly affects students‘academic performance in agricultural science which increased students‘retention ability. Based on the findings it was recommended that: schools inspectors should ensure that teachers are encouraged to improvise and use instructional resources in teaching agricultural science and other similar subjects.
1.1 Background to the Study
Agricultural science is not a new subject in the Nigerian secondary school curriculum. Okeh (2006) reports that agricultural science was introduce as a secondary school subject in 1967, and since then, teaching of the subject in the schools has undergone a reform through the Nigerian Policy on Education (NPE). The aim of teaching agricultural science in secondary schools is to prepare youths to appreciate and take agriculture as a career (Okeh, 2010).The objectives of secondary school education in Nigeria as stated by Umar (2011) were to prepare individuals for useful living within the society and higher education. While Daluba (2013) asserts that the objectives of agricultural science in secondary schools can only be attained through effective teaching and motivation of students by agricultural science teachers through the use of instructional resources.
Teachers are expected to use different types of instructional resources (charts, film strips, survey equipment, models, farm tools, farm machinery, video, television, projectors, motion pictures etc.) to motivate learning. Charts are cheap and simple instructional resources which can be available in most secondary schools in Kaduna state where the needed real objects for teaching agricultural science may not be found .Ibe-Bassey, (2000) describes charts as flat visual materials which may represent diagrams or a combination of pictorial, graphic, numerical or verbal materials prepared to give a clear visual summary of vital processes, concepts or a set of relationships. They are used to present ideas and concepts which may be difficult to understand if presented using the verbal code only(Ibe-Bassey, 2000).According to Olaitan andAgusiobo(1994) the success in skill and knowledge acquisition in an instructional situation depends on the suitability, adequacy and effective utilization of available resources. Also, the relevance of instructional resources to the objective of the lesson and the ease of use of the instructional resources are serious considerations in instructional resources utilization to better the learners‘ performance. Literature in methodology of teaching have explained and illustrated the effectiveness of instructional resources as tools for improving students‘performance in the learning of difficult concepts (Ibe-Bassey, 1991; Etim, 1998; Awotua-Efebo, 2001;Ikot, 2008).
Ibrahim, (2010) found that instructional resources are successful in raising examination scores, improving students‘ attitudes and lowering the amount of time required to master certain materials. The author further reported that there is substantial evidence that instructional resources can enhance learning at all educational levels. Students learn better when most of their senses are involved through learning by doing or participatory learning (Olaitan and Mama, 2002).According to Nsa, Ikot andUdo (2013), acquisition of basic vocational knowledge, skills and attitudes to facilitate occupational efficiency requires skill oriented teaching and learning activities using effective instructional resources. A series of activities were suggested in Nigerian secondary school curriculum to ensure the development of psychomotor skills by students in agricultural science. It is also recommended in the curriculum that: each student should be guaranteed adequate equipment, farm space, regular supply of fertilizers and animal feed. In addition to having a farm, each school should keep at least two farm animals.
It is further stated in the senior secondary school curriculum that students‘performance should be continuously assessed through various forms of tests and during field and laboratory class. This is necessary to ascertain the progress of students‘academic performance. Academic performance refers to students‘achievement in the topic taught based on the stated objectives. EdinyangandUbi (2012) define academic performance as the outcome of education which reveals the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved the educational goals. Catherineand Brain (2013) also define students ‘academic performance as students‘achievement in the topic being taught based on the stated objectives. Gender differences in academic performance may arise as a result of gender stereotyping and prejudice, inter alia, in the way students are taught (Ezeudu, 2013). Gender as defined by Adesope (2007) is a range of characteristics pertaining to and differentiating between masculinity and femininity. Ikot, (2008) opines that poor performance of students irrespective of their gender in agricultural science examinations may not be unconnected with non-utilization of suitable instructional resources.
Many teachers go to classes to teach agricultural science as liberal arts without any material to assist the learners. Abdullahi(1992) concludes that this does not promote meaningful learning of agricultural science as it appeals only to the sense of hearing. Agricultural science is a doing subject, and for effective learning to take place many senses must be involved. Hearing alone easily leads to forgetting. Remember the Chinese proverbwhich says:I hear- I forget, I see- I remember andI do- I understand (Abdullahi, 1992).This study was therefore carried out to empirically determine the effects of instructional resources on students‘ academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Agricultural science is a vital subject for technological development in Nigeria. As such, its teaching and learning in secondary school students have become a source of concerns to all stakeholders. Agriculture being one of the key sectors of the Nigerian economy provides the basic needs of people particularly food. A high proportion of the Nigerian people (over 80%) depend on agriculture for their livelihood. According to Crowder, Lindley, and Doron (1999), agriculture constitutes the major economy of rural areas, and will remain for many years the major contributor to the economies of most developing countries. Nwanosike (2007) observes that properly managed agriculture can make tangible contributions in poverty reduction. Therefore, the teaching of agricultural science in secondary schools is of paramount importance in the growth and development of the economy of Nigeria which is endowed with natural resources that need to be harnessed judiciously for economic growth and development.
Despite the job opportunities provided by agricultural sector in Nigeria, the level of is unemployment is in the increase. It is observed that many youths are leaving the rural areas to urban centers in search for jobs. This is contrary to the aim of teaching agricultural science in Nigerian secondary schools as stated by Okeh, ((2010); to prepare youths to appreciate and take agriculture as a career. Also, the researcher who has been teaching for over 10 years and having visited some secondary schools observes poor provision to schools the equipment and facilities required for effective teaching of agricultural science. As a result, most teachers of agricultural science in the study area resorted to the traditional method of teaching the subject. To make things worse, most teachers in secondary schools in Kaduna state do not fully make use of even the locally available instructional resources in teaching of agricultural science. This negligence of effective use of instructional facilities and materials in teaching and learning of agricultural science is common to both the trained and untrained teachers and affects students‘ academic performance in agricultural science in secondary schools in Kaduna State. This undoubtedly, is contrary to the improvement of agricultural science education, which is greatly needed at this period of our development with emphasis on practical oriented learning (Nwanosike, 2007).
The desire to embark on this research study therefore, stems from the fact that there is poor academic performance of secondary school students in agricultural science in Kaduna State(Kaduna State MOE, 2014). This poor and general backwardness in agricultural science have been recorded for some years now by the examination bodies of Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE)[West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council(NECO)](Kaduna State MOE, 2014). Statistics obtained from three senior secondary schools in Kaduna State indicated that there is progressive decline in the performance of students in agricultural science subject. Similarly, statistics obtained from examination offices of the three schools revealed that out of a total of 3,725 students that registered and sat for agricultural sciencein the WAEC2009-2013, only 1,131 students(30%) passed while 2,594 students representing 70% failed [School Examination Offices (SEO), 2014].
It is in this note that, anything that saves students‘poor performance is worth researchable. This will also likely encourage more students‘enrollment, improve and renewed interest in agricultural science. This is more so, considering that the poor usage of instructional resources in teaching agricultural science has contributed to the students‘development of negative attitude to both the subjects and the teachers (Nwanosike, 2007). More so, most of the secondary schools cannot meet up with the practical requirements for teaching and learning agricultural science. These led to this research study to find out the effects instructional resources on students ‘academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study was to determine the effects of instructional resources on students‘academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to;
1. Determine the effects of use of charts on students ‘academic performance in agricultural science.
2. Determine the effects of use of real objects on students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
- Determine the effects of use of charts on male and female students ‘academic performance in agricultural science.
- Determine the effects of use of real objects on male and female students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
1.4 Research Questions
The following four (4) research questions were answered in the study;
- What is the effect of use of charts on students‘academic performance in agricultural science?
- What is the effect of use of real objects on students‘academic performance in agricultural science?
- What is the effect of use of charts onmale and female students‘academic performance in agricultural science?
- What is the effect of use of real objects on male and female students‘academic performance in agricultural science?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following Null (Ho) hypotheses were tested;
- There is no significant effect of use of charts on students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
- There is no significant effect of use of real objects on students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
- There is no significant effect of use of charts on male and female students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
- There is no significant effect of use of real objects on male and female students‘academic performance in agricultural science.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study which aimed at determining the effects of instructional resources on students‘academic performance in agricultural science in senior secondary schools would be of significance to agricultural science students, agricultural science teachers and curriculum planners.
The findings of this work would be beneficial to the students from the general motive that, when the most appropriate instructional resources are identified and used by agricultural science teachers, students‘academic performance would be improved and enlist the interest of students in agricultural science.
The study will benefit agricultural science teachers as the result is expected to identify the instructional resources most appropriate for the field. This would help to improve the effectiveness of agricultural science teachers in carrying out their task.
The result of this study would also be beneficial to curriculum planners by creating awareness on the importance of using appropriate instructional resources for effective teaching and learning, so that, such consideration can be made when designing the curriculum and relevant facilities indicated.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the study
The researcher made the following assumptions that:
- the use of instructional resources would improve students‘ academic performance in agricultural science
- male and female students taught agricultural science using instructional resources would perform differently from those taught without instructional resources
- iii. The use of instructional resources in teaching agricultural science would have no gender biasness.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This research study was delimited to the effects of instructional resources on students‘academic performance in agricultural science. It is delimited to use of charts and real objects types of instructional resources. This is because they are cheap, simple and locally available in most schools. The study was also delimited to senior secondary schools that offer agricultural science in Kaduna State. It was further delimited to SS11 students that offer agricultural science. This is because SS11 students had the background knowledge of agricultural science from their first year in the school and have taken series of internal examinations and were about preparing for external examinations of WAEC and NECO. It was also delimited to the topic ‗crop production‘being one of the topics taught at SS11 level which covered topics on diseases, soil and ecology.