CONSTRAINTS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE AND COMPUTER SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOL IN IBIONO IBOM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

                                     INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background to the Study

It is a generally accepted fact that education is so basic to nation building that nations all over the world strive to make it available not only to the few that can afford it but to all citizens said that Science is a dynamic and objective process of seeking knowledge, and an enterprise that involves people searching, investigating and seeking verification of natural phenomena. Integrated Science and Computer Science as viewed by aims at presenting a holistic picture of science and technology content to the pupil. This is because its content basically encompasses all the various components of sciences being presented to the learner in a holistic manner. The Basic Science courses at the basic science level in Nigeria are core courses and occupy unique position in the school curriculum. This is because they equip students with the necessary introductory scientific and technological knowledge and skills necessary to build a progressive society and this form bedrocks on which further scientific and technological studies rest.

Despite the importance of Integrated Science and Computer Science to individuals and society globally, students have been performing poorly in the subject in Nigeria in general. The dismal student’s performance in Integrated Science and Computer Science at the upper basic level of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) closes many candidates from the university entry into prestigious science based courses at the university. According to such students switch to the arts and social sciences due to insufficient prerequisite science subjects, leading to low enrolment and turnover in the sciences, thus creating a gap in national development.

A lot of reasons have been attributed for the dismal performance of students in Basic Science at the upper basic level of education. Most researchers are of the view that, the method in which a subject is taught could either mar or increase students’ achievement. Many researchers agree that there is a demand for a shift in the rethinking of curriculum content and ways in which students’ are taught. They observed that the uninspiring teaching methods adopted by science teachers have led to under-achievement of students in the sciences and Basic science in particular. These studies show that teachers shy away from activity oriented teaching methods and rely heavily on methods that are easy but most inadequate and inappropriate for teaching many science concepts. Science is both an organized body of knowledge and a process of finding out knowledge; it therefore demands that it should be taught through hands – on – method approach. This implies placing the students in a problem solving situation and surrounding them with appropriate materials, an enriched environment that will enable them process information with a view to solving scientific problems. Also, Integrated Science and Computer Science are core subjects at the Upper Basic level of the Universal Basic Education means all the students offer it, leading to a large class and an enormous task for the Integrated Science and Computer Science teacher. This makes it difficult for meaningful learning and the development of process skills, necessary for coping with the present challenges of today’s society. Large classes also make it impossible for teacher – students or students – students’ interaction.

The need for students to be effective and efficient in their achievement in schools makes for worry and thus makes for the study of creativity. Defined creativity as a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts. Also, viewed creativity as a tool that propels organization, catapults careers and generates potent growth and viable outcomes. Just as challenges are synonymous with life and to education too, creativity in schools has its own challenges. On this, listed some school conditions that hinder creativity in students. These include, shortage of teachers to teach the subject, lack of equipment in teaching and learning which makes teachers and students to concentrate on the theoretical aspect of the course, large classes where regimentation is essential instead of effective practical exercise, the belief of teachers that creative students are hard to manage and their work harder to grade, discouragement of anything outside the prescribed pattern, teaching strategy that do not contextualize learning to provide students reflection over an extended period of time and finally teachers not serving as facilitators allowing students to construct their knowledge through learning application, action, review and reflection. Funding also remains a strong militating factor in provision of study materials. The plague of insufficient textbooks and journals, some textbooks are outdated, while others are perhaps of foreign background, which may not actually meet our local needs. These challenges of creativity are related to the factors that lead to poor achievement in science generally and in Basic science in particular. One might therefore rightly say that if creativity is enhanced in a basic science classroom, achievement of students in basic science may increase.

The quality of any curriculum rests on the quality of its teachers in the implementation of its programme. Hence, the training of teachers is rated high. In the national policy of education, it is stated that no education system may rise above the quality of its teachers. Again, teacher education shall continue to be given major emphasis in all educational planning and development. It follows that the teacher can either make or mar the interest of the students in the teaching and learning of basic science. The minimum qualification for entry into the teaching profession as stipulated in the National Policy in Education, is the Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE). It is emphasized that all teachers in educational institutions shall be professionally trained. Hence, teacher-education programmes shall be structured to equip teachers for the effective performance of their duties. The quality of education is directly related to the quality of instruction in the classroom. The teacher is considered the most crucial factor in the implementation of all education reforms at the grass root level. It is a fact that the academic qualifications, knowledge of the subject matter, competence, skills of teaching and the commitment of the teacher have effective impact on the teaching. The need for competency of the teacher arises because the competent teacher possesses the ability to provide for and personally utilize more position reinforcement and the elimination of tension within the classroom and to facilitate the development of more positive feeling within the students. Since the enhancement of creativity in the classroom rests more on the shoulders of the teachers and again, it has been noted that enhancing creativity in an Integrated Science and Computer Science classroom could go a long way in solving or at least ameliorate the poor achievement of students in Integrated Science and Computer Science, the study wants to find out constraints of effective learning of Integrated Science and Computer Science in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.

1.2   Statement of the Problem

It is unfortunate that one glaring situation bedevilling science education in Nigeria for the past three decades is students’ poor achievement in science subjects at the secondary school level. The poor achievement of students in science has been blamed on science teachers’ use of conventional instructional approaches which have been found to be ineffective, and this may be responsible not only for the observed students’ poor achievement in science but may also account for the declining positive attitude of students towards science subjects generally. The persistent poor achievement of students in Integrated Science and Computer Science examinations at the Upper Basic Education Level in Nigeria in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State casts doubt as to the effectiveness of the teaching methods utilized by basic science teachers in the schools. Due to the position of Integrated Science and Computer Science in the overall development of the nation, science educators have continued to explore approaches that will enhance effective teaching and learning of the subject in schools. It has been noted that practical oriented teaching methods allow teachers to serve as facilitators while the students are given opportunities to construct their knowledge through creative thinking. Creativity is defined as a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts. Earlier, has defined creativity as a tool that propels organization, catapults careers and generates potent growth and viable outcomes. This implies that for education to be used in nation building, creativity must be enhanced. Since enhancement of creativity in a Integrated Science and Computer Science classroom can go a long way in solving or at least ameliorate the poor achievement of students in Basic science; and the teachers being the architect of enhancement of creativity in the classroom, the question is; what is the perception of the Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers on the challenges and prospects of creativity in a Integrated Science and Computer Science classroom?

1.3   Research Objectives

The general objective or main objective of this study is to examine constraints of effective learning of Integrated Science and Computer Science in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

i)             To investigate the educational qualifications of Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

ii)           To examine the different challenges faced by Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for effective teaching and learning.

iii)         To proffer solutions to the different challenges faced by Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for effective teaching and learning.

1.4   Research Questions

The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:

i)             What are the educational qualifications of Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State?

ii)           What the different challenges faced by Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for effective teaching and learning?

iii)         What are the solutions to the different challenges faced by Integrated Science and Computer Science teachers in Secondary School in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State for effective teaching and learning?

1.5   Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were postulated to guide the conduct of this study;

i)             There is no significant relationship between educational qualification of teachers and the quality of education the students received.

ii)           There is no significant correlation between challenges facing teachers and their ability to teach effectively.

1.6   Significance o the Study

This study is very essential to the extent that it helps to identify most suggestions, for improving the teaching and learning of Integrated Science and Computer Science in junior secondary schools. Students are future scientists; the need to bring them up with the right attitude is the sole responsibilities of the government, teachers, students, society. The government, the promises and challenges of Integrated Science and Computer Science leads to greater integration of science and government in the age of rapid information exchange, science could offer the added benefit of Integrated Science and Computer Science to address natural resource management issues. Integrated Science as a whole picture seen that considers all the relevant issues and of natural resource management that are of major national benefit changes to the way science, government and stakeholders are involved conduct business and do research.

Integrated Science and Computer Science graduates are able to work with private or government employers in their area of and technology. Affiliate program designed to provide economic benefits through research government agencies, and non profit organizations. The teacher, the effects of Integrated Science and Computer Science process skill instruction on presented, whole only the benefits of teaching the Integrated Science and Computer Science process skills were mentioned, and investigator to measure prospective elementary teachers attitudes about using Integrated Science and Computer Science unit allow the teacher to assume the role of facilitator which most educators agree is the teaching, salary, benefits, Integrated Science teacher qualifications. Excellent organizational skills and strong interpersonal skills, excellent computer/technology, multimedia skills.

Students, the effect of Integrated Science and Computer Science process skill instruction on students enrolled in three intact elementary science methods classes at a large university presented. The society, satellite observations to benefit science & society recommended missions for the next decade. An Integrated Science and Computer Science to benefit society by MICHAEL M. Crow scientists has made many great discoveries during the past 100. Plant papers, the benefits of science & technology thanks to our science, millions of lives been saved from the clutches of these evils. Is the government funding Integrated Science and Computer Science project. What is the teachers’ attitude in teaching of Integrated Science and Computer Science in our junior secondary schools? Are students interested in learning Integrated Science and computer science? Is the time allocated to teaching these subjects adequate?

 

 

1.7   Scope of the Study

This study will be restricted to the problems facing Integrated Science and computer science in teaching and learning. The scope of the study will centre on the following: Is the government funding Integrated Science and computer science project, the teachers’ attitude in teaching of Integrated Science and computer science in our junior secondary schools, are students interest in learning Integrated Science, and the time allocated to teaching integrated science adequate. Gender, teachers, students are the major variables that were looked into in the study.

1.8   Limitation of the Study

The Major Limitations of the study are:

Cost Limitation: There was a cost limitation. This means that we could not offer any gift or monetary incentives for the respondents to answer the questionnaire. This might have resulted in certain prospective respondents choosing not to respond to the questionnaire. This might not have created a motivation among respondents not to take a chance to give opinions. Time Limitation: There are two types of time limitation faced during the study. The study was done for a period of four weeks. Hence the results would reflect the impact of the time constraint. The insights of the employees were observed during the period of study. A more extensive study conducted over a larger time period or during a special period of time like when there were higher numbers of issues, can include insights from employees over a broader time period and can bring in further depth into the research.

1.9   Definition of Terms

The following terms were used in the course of this study:

Challenges: the situation of being faced with something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person's ability

 

Learning:  is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledgebehavioursskillsvalues, or preferences which may lead to a potential change in synthesizing information, depth of the knowledge, attitude or behavior relative to the type and range of experience.

Teaching: the process of attending to people’s needs, experiences and feelings, and making specific interventions to help them learn particular things.

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