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influence of physics teachers attitudes, knowledge and utilization of ICT in teaching on senior secondary school performance of physics
This chapter presents the background of the study, statements of the problem, the research questions, the research hypotheses, the significant of the study, delimitation and definition of terms.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the traditional learning environment it is the teacher who transfers knowledge to the learner through the medium of printed materials, particularly textbooks. There is not much technology usage and the practice of asking students to collaborate is often lacking. Teachers are likely to develop positive attitude towards teaching and learning practice. Levin and Wadmany (2006) highlighted that teachers “educational beliefs filter their attitude and decisions as well as determining classroom practice. From this perspective, teachers” role is really critical as teachers are the ones who have to decide whether to use or not the available ICT tools. Tasks that are interactive in nature activate students’ understanding and tend to fix the acquired knowledge of learners. The activation of students understanding, the fixing of the acquired knowledge of learner and tend to influence the form of presentation of learned concepts by students. However, the truly Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based learning is a form of education that occurs through the multimedia in class environment. It does not consist of any physical learning materials issued to students or actual face-to-face contact. This type of learning environment has been claimed to promote opportunities to collaborative learning, explorative learning or engage learning.
Therefore, teachers are likely to have a significant influence on the introduction of ICT tools in teaching and learning. This study is concerned with physics teachers’ attitude, knowledge, utilization of information and communication technology (ICT) and on the academic performance of senior secondary school students in physics. These issues might be important because Physics teachers consider ICT resources as supporting tools improving students “engagement and also enriching investigative practical work, both are expected to enhance students” understanding, with their attitude, knowledge and utilization of ICT resources in teaching and learning seems to have an effect on their teaching and in some cases to determine the performance of their students. Physics teacher are expected to be proficient in physics in order to function effectively in the modern society. There is evidence that technology is no longer a thing of future in Nigeria but a part of the present. Technology has brought about qualitative and quantitative changes in the life of everyone in the society (Ebenezer, 2005, Wole 2005). The use of information and communication technology into the teaching and learning process within and out of the school system has brought significant improvement not just in the rate of knowledge acquisition and dissemination but also in the level of the quality of product (Audu, 2005, Abimbale, 2006).
Charalambous and Karagiorgi (2002) state that the teacher’s role is really critical since the teacher encompasses a particular dynamic, which supports either or success of new information and communication technology (ICT). In this perspective, teachers educational attitude towards the use of ICT are expected top influence their decision whether to use or not a range of ICT tools and therefore support the implementation of ICT. There is also the possibility the teacher to attempt to fit his personal belief about the use of ICT to actual educational situations, where different constraints might influence his decision as well. In such a case, teachers “attitude might affect their use of ICT in school (Prawat, 1992 in Evin and Wadmany, 2006:159). ICT includes communication devices or applications, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, networks, software and satellite systems, as well as the various and application associated with video conferencing and distance learning. Tino (2002) notes that ICTs are powerful enabling tools for educational change and reform. When used appropriately, different ICTS help expand access to education, strengthen the relevance of education to the work place, and raise educational quality by creating and active process connected to real life.
The implementation of ICT policy in Nigeria dates back to April 2001 following the establishment of National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). NITDA was empowered to enter into strategic alliance and joint venture to realize the country’s vision of making Nigeria an Information Technology country in Africa and a major player in the information society by the year 2005. The entire world has become a global village through information and communication technology. The new wave of office technology and information is a dynamic change that is being experienced even more in developing countries.
The integration of information and communication technology into Nigeria school curricula particularly in the secondary schools has been the topic much debated since 1988. The government has tried to implement series of measures aimed at ensuring that the secondary school teachers and students have adequate training to enhance their acquisition of minimal competencies in the pedagogical use of information. (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004).
Haddad and Draxier (2002) indicated that ICT contributed to effective learning through expanding access promoting efficiency, improving the quality of learning and improving management systems. According to Obeng (2004), ICT is now regarded as a utility such as water and electricity and hence has become a major role in education, learning and research in general, agriculture, health, commerce and even in poverty alleviation by generating or creating new job and investment opportunities. ICT is an indispensable part of the contemporary world. The field of education has certainly bee affected by the penetrating influence of ICT worldwide and in particular developed countries. ICT has made an impact on the quality and quantity of teaching and research in the tradition and/or distance education institutions.
Yusuf (2005) said that teachers need training in the application of various kinds of educational software in teaching and learning. They also need to learn how to integrate ICTs in the classroom activities and school structure. The need for quality teachers is known in virtually all spheres of life to be the key predictor of students learning. Therefore, teacher training is crucial in using ICTs because ICTs are tools that can facilitate knowledge by helping the teachers to take full advantage of the potentials of technology to enhance students learning (UNECSCO, 2003). However, ICT have opened a new dimension in conventional methods of teaching and offering new teaching and learning experience of both teachers and students.
Enwereonye (2004) said that education in whatever form it takes is not complete without effective ICT. This means that ICT should be properly, rooted in both primary, secondary and tertiary schools curriculum so that the level of literacy will be increased with regard to the use of ICT.
Akubuilo and Ndubuizu (2003) viewed ICT as a process which provide link between levels of teachers and enable information instruction and decision to be conveyed from their point of origin to all those who need to be informed, that is, the students. To do this, the teacher has to exhibits the use of ICT so that they will have right attitude towards the use of ICT in teaching and learning of physics in the classroom. The use of ICT in education opens a new area of knowledge and offers a tool that has the potential to change some of the existing educational methods and classroom environment. The teacher is the key to the effective exploitation of this resource in the educational system, because the use of ICTs in education system is like using instructional aids which bring about enrichment in the level of knowledge acquisition in classroom teaching (Olagunju, 2003). However, the use of ICT in teaching of physics subject will arouse the knowledge as well as the interest of the students, thereby making learning more meaningful and real to the learners.
Attitude according to Seifert (1991) is the acquisition of certain feeling about something or somebody, either positive or negative that influence his/her choice of action in a consistent way. In order words, attitude of physics teacher towards ICT could be seen as the way of thinking or behaving towards ICT. This may be as a result of the training they have acquired or exposed to from their institution of training. There has been a consistent effort in many countries to promote an ICT teachers or learners empowerment culture (Simpson; Munro and Hughes, 1999). In Nigeria, studies are far from being literate in information and communication technology not to talk of enjoying the benefits of offered by this modern technology Habor Peters (2001) and Akudolu (2002) said that over 95% of teachers in Nigeria are illiterate in ICTS, it is obvious that such teachers will find it extremely difficult to deliver the appropriate education and training demanded by the information age of the 21st century for their students, presently, computers are being introduced and supplied to most secondary schools to initialize the impression and expectation of the public about computer education with a great effort in the teaching and learning environment; it is a great task for physics teachers to have knowledge of ICT before they can teach in the classroom with these computers.
The use of ICT in teaching is a relevant and functional way of providing education to learners that will assist in them the required capacity for the world of work. Very few jobs today do not required the use of skills in technology, collaboration, team work, and information; all of these can be acquired through teaching with ICT. It fundamentally changes the way we live, learn and work. Technology has entered the classroom in a big way to become part of the teaching and learning process.
However, physics as a science course or discipline is known for its abstract nature (having no material existence) sometime the physics teacher does not have adequate knowledge, but have to fall on ideas which lead to contradictions with what the physics theory says or meant. Students are left on their own, even when they are to read on their own, they find no material to read, where it is available most of them are obsolete material. That is, some of these materials include textbook, Journals, research publications and newspaper etc. where these materials are lacking the students are forced to lose interest, motivation and passion, in some cases frustration set in and students abandon the discipline or subject matter (physics). However, physics is a unique subject, which promotes the acquisition of specialized science skills and knowledge, which explain the natural phenomena of life in the society. It is a subject that grows up with civilization as man’s quantitative needs increases. It grows out of practical problems and mans need to solve these problems. It has contributed to the development of the science and civilization.
Despite the abstract nature of physics its teaching is to bring about scientific thinking in students; a mindset that requires students to test out, through experimentation. However, through the use of ICT, whether CD-ROM, power point, etc. the teaching and learning of physics is interesting.
According to Osunade (2003) internet is a valuable source of information for students looking for ideas for project and assignments supporting this, Agommnoh and Nzewi (2003) believed that secondary students who are exposed to video-based instructions in physics has significantly better results than those who were taught using the conventional method. It is against this background that the research deem it necessary to investigate the influence of physics teachers attitudes, knowledge and utilization of ICT in teaching on senior secondary school performance of physics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM