This study examined the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary school in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The study was guided by three research objectives which are: to ascertain the impacts of the use of home economics laboratory on the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area, to establish the prevalence of the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area and to investigate the reasons for the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area. A sample of two hundred students was selected and the data collected were subjected to analysis. The research came up with the recommendation that home economics teachers should use home economics laboratory in teaching home economics Government should also establish home economics laboratory in all schools like other science subjects’ laboratories and that home economics student teachers should be trained on theuse of home economics laboratory.
1.1 Background to the Study
Home economics has an important place in our educational system in Nigeria. No other academic discipline incorporates in its curriculum as many pertinent life skills that will help students succeed independently of their chosen career paths. The knowledge obtained through home economics will prove valuable throughout the lifespan. The most important aspect of Home Economics is that students not only learn about subject matter that has relevance to their present lives, but will constantly be of use as they continue to grow.
It obvious that home economics is a subject that serves as a foundation for skill development among students and proper attention must therefore be paid to its development to encourage students to always have keen interest on the subject. The laboratories where practical classes are held must be fully equipped and properly funded. The Laboratory is seen as the focal point for science oriented course as Home Economics education. According to Awodi (2005), the realities of school laboratories in this country have been that there is either no laboratories or the few available are ill-equipped. This problem is also applicable to Home Economics education. Most tertiary institutions in Nigeria, particularly Bayelsa State that offers Home Economics have acute shortage of laboratory. In some schools there are no specified Home Economics Laboratories. All that one sees is a common classroom labelled as Home Economics laboratory. There is no specific laboratory assigned for Clothing and Textiles, Food and Nutrition, Home Management and Child Development. Because of the inadequacy of lack of laboratories, in some schools, many of these institutions have problem of inadequate equipment and instructional materials. This is because, if an institution lacks a laboratory for such a vocational course as Home Economics, how then would such challenged to equip the department, how and where would such equipment be installed for use and safety?
This fact corroborates with a research carried out by Maduabum (1986), which showed that the realities of the situation of inadequate infrastructure range from no science laboratories at all to one microscopic science laboratory. He observed that what obtained was the existence of 'well equipped laboratories', only on paper. Other researches by Soyibo (1986), Ezike (1986) and Olayiwola (1999), confirmed this shortage of laboratories in Nigerian secondary school. Home Economics encourages ventilation for conducive practical in some schools. This affects the effective teaching and learning of Home HomeEconomicsin Nigeria.
Consequently, in order to ensure better and improved learning, there is the need for educational infrastructure like classroom blocks, laboratory etc in teaching and learning of a science-oriented course, as Home Economics cannot be over emphasized. Undoubtedly, these facilities make learning and teaching easy, lively and productive. They also, provide direct experience and content between the learners and the materials, ensuring a better grasp of the concept that is learned. Such a medium used for teaching/learning create lasting impression. Education infrastructure is an inevitable instrument in our educational process, if we must advance scientifically and technologically to meet up with the challenges of the modern world. According to Eshiet (1996), laboratories are work houses for scientific practices, for search of new ideas and information.Edem (1987), states that whatever resources are available are not often utilized due to poor planning and maintenance. In home Economics subjects, there should be adequate supply of equipment, instructional materials and professional teachers if the quality of education is to be maintained in the country. Ozigi (1977), supported this fact by saying that items of school equipment are essential aids to effective teaching and learning. They are the teachers1 trade tools. An institution that lacks essential equipment cannot reasonably expect to achieve its main objective in students' performance, hence poor performance.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been significant interest in poor performance in home economics by secondary school students and this points to the fact that the most desired technological, scientific and economic application of home economics cannot be sustained. This makes it paramount to seek for a strategy for teaching home economics that aims at improving its understanding and performance by students. It is evident in the works of Srinivasa, (1978) and Ogunkunle (2000) that lack of mathematics laboratory and Mathematics teachers non-use of laboratory technique in teaching mathematics is one of the major factors that contribute to poor achievement in mathematics by secondary school students. The problem is not in mathematics alone but the same thing can also be said of home economics. Therefore the study is designed to find out the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary school in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
1.3 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What are the impacts of the use of home economics laboratory on the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area?
ii) What is the prevalence of the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area?
iii) What are the reasons for the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study was to examine the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary school in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.The specific objective included:
i) To ascertain the impacts of the use of home economics laboratory on the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area.
ii) To establish the prevalence of the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area.
iii) To investigate the reasons for the use of home economics laboratory among the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The research hypotheses to be tested include:
i) There is no significant relationship between availability of laboratory and effective teaching of home economics among the teachers of the senior secondary school students in Ogbia Local Government Area.
ii) There is no significant correlation between availability of laboratory and effective learning of home economics among the students of the senior secondary school in Ogbia Local Government Area.
1.6 Significance of the Study
Findings from this study would be beneficial to state and federal Government on the need to provide adequate and well equipped laboratories to secondary schools where they can learn and carry out their practical to enhance their academic performances. It will also help the students to be familiar with new technological equipment for better learning. This study will also contribute to academic knowledge and serve as a foundation upon which further research can be made.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study investigated the impact of home economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning of home economics in senior secondary school in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Variables of interest include: laboratory, effective teaching and learning. While effective teaching and learning are dependent variable, laboratory is independent variable.
1.8 Limitation of the study
The researcher was constrained with the busy attitudes of the respondents but was still able to gather the intended data required for successful completion of the project. However, the above limitation notwithstanding, the researcher is optimistic that the present study will be adequate to serve the purpose for which it is intended.
1.9 Definitions of Terms
The following terms were used in the course of this study:
Home economics:field of study that deals with the economics and management of the home and community.It deals with the relationship between individuals, families, communities, and the environment in which they live.
Secondary school:is the next step up from primary school. Secondaryschools are often called high schools in the United States. In Britain, secondaryschools may be public schoolsgrammar schools or comprehensive schools
Laboratory:any place, situation, set of conditions, or the like, conducive toexperimentation,investigation, observation, etc.; anything suggestiveof a scientific laboratory.
Learning: is the act of acquiring new or modifying and reinforcing existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, 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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