IDENTIFICATION OF DIFFICULT TEACHING TOPICS IN INTEGRATED SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN ENUGU URBAN AREA IN ENUGU STATE

Chapter one

1.0     INTRODUCTION

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Science and technology are concepts in national development which remain indelible in the mind of African and third world leaders according to Ochu and Ekezie (1974).

In Nigeria science was introduced into secondary school system as far back as (1880).

It was first taught as general science and later speared into physics, chemistry and biology. With the introduction of the core science subject, the general science came to be seen as the science subject which was suitable for the less able and it was recommended to the least science oriented and for those who do not intend to pursue science. Syllabus was therefore devised to contain basic elements of biology, chemistry and physics, which should be taught primarily to pupils in the low secondary school classes. (Anani 1977).

Although attempts were made to raise the status of general science with the introduction of a double credit O/level, yet people still questioned the rationale of mere putting together subjects. There was in the early sixties a new wave of thought about science in school rather than open into professional restricting under the conditions of normal classroom culture.

There is a hesitancy on the part of both school teachers to try out innovations in classroom teaching. Activities are rarely included in the classroom deliberation and laboratory programme are seldom organized as an opportunity of exploration. Agarkara (1998), stated that teachers learn very little from experience in the classroom on that capacity of mastering science and new technology logics. Since Iloputaife and Eze (1994) has tried to propose the following tasks.

Lip dating and improving the qualify of science teaching integrating scientific  education and human features, developing a comprehensive approach for science curricula. Focus has been put on teachers processes so as to promote the teachers understanding of scientific method and rationality but the reality of lack of resources in most countries has impeded them adjusting both the contents of their curriculum and textbooks in consequence, and the training of their integrated science teachers which often remains of very poor quality. The curriculum is inter disciplinary and it is supposed to provide the teachers to see the concept and the pedagogical principles which unify the separate subject matter thus harmonizing the knowledge derived from the integrated.

The course is supposed to provide the teachers with a broad view of science which enlightens his interactions with his environment of this mental manipulative and social skills unesco -  unicef (1971).

Essentially, integrated science is designed to develop interest in the teaching that his is encourage to pursue further student in science discipline.

Secondary school was to lay a solid foundation in the learners early study of science for further studied.

A significant proportion of Nigeria J.S.S integrated science. Teachers do not achieve as well as they should in integrated science examination, Iloputaife and Eze, (1994).

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEMS

Based on the background of the study. Here, one or two problems are shown.

First, some teachers have the problems of finding some topics difficult to teach in integrated science. This was also confirmed by research evidence in Nigeria, Desai (1994) indicates low   integrated science attainments of teachers. The condition was amplified by the alarming low number of qualified teachers in integrated science area irrespective of the crucial role of integrated science Neera (1996).

Second, as a result, there are some problems in the implementation of the curriculum Olarewaju (1987), besides achievement has been shown to be very low and unimpressive Okebukola and Jegede, (1999). These might negate the philosophy behind the introduction of the integrated science core curriculum as J.S.S leave. Also Jegede (1999) and Akueailo (1998) undependably in their studied tend to show that the teaching of integrated science in Nigerian secondary school are inadequate.

1.3     PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose oft his study is to identify the difficult teaching topics in J.S. integrated science curriculum.  

(a)              In the relation to teachings area of specialization

(b)             In relation to teachers qualification

(c)              In relation to availability of instructional materials in Enugu urban area Enugu State.

1.4     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The identification of these difficult teaching topics in integrated science will enlighten the teachers as well as government and expose them to the area they specialized on. Being aware of these, difficult topics school authority, the government and even the science teachers association of Nigeria will be of great help in planning in-service course for the teachers in those areas of science. This also brings to light the need of equipping higher institutions and universities preparing integrated science teachers with adequate training needed for planning and execution of integrated science in our secondary schools.

The exposure of these difficulty topics will motivate the integrated science authors and publishers to give a details attention on these different area in their write up.

1.5     SCOPE OF STUDY

The study was restricted to identification of difficult teaching topics in junior secondary schools in Enugu urban area Enugu State.

1.6     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

                   The following research questions are proposed.

1.       What topics do the teachers find difficult in teaching J.S.S integrated science? 

2.       Why do teachers have difficulty in teaching those identified topics in integrated science?

3.       How can the difficulty in teaching those topics be remedied?

4.       What influence has experience on the identification of topics as difficult?

5.       What effects of qualification on finding a  teaching topics difficult?

6.       What effect has sex on findings a teaching topics difficult?

7.       What is the effect of area of specialization in identification of a topics as difficult?

8.       What in your opinion are the possible remedies the difficulty experienced?

1.7     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Due to limited time, financial constraints and logistics the study was limited to secondary schools in Enugu urban area Enugu State. This study was also limited to a sample of teachers in junior secondary school in due sampled schools within the Enguu urban area in Enugu State.

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