1.1 Background of the Study:
Chemistry, as a scientific discipline, focuses on the study of matter, encompassing its structure, composition, properties, and changes it undergoes. Positioned between physics and biology, chemistry plays a vital role in understanding the material world on Earth and in the universe (Ojokuku, 2012). The teaching and learning of chemistry are crucial for comprehending how matter exists and reacts under different conditions, providing essential scientific skills and contributing to improvements in various aspects of life.
Chemistry's importance extends beyond the classroom, with applications in daily activities, industries, agriculture, healthcare, transportation, and other fields. The products of chemistry are integral to our daily lives, from household materials to construction, agriculture, and healthcare products (John and Stone, 2009). A solid foundation in chemistry is considered essential for individuals to make sense of the world around them, enabling informed decisions and contributing to a basic understanding of how to live on Earth (Ingo Eilk and Avi Hofstein, 2013).
Chemistry education is identified as a fundamental pillar for the transformation of a nation's economy and thus requires adequate attention (Otu, 2011). However, challenges persist in the secondary school system, impacting students' performance in science subjects, particularly chemistry. Factors such as inadequate teaching time, negative attitudes and weak motivation among teachers, and poor conceptual foundations contribute to poor student performance (Otu and Avaa, 2011). Additionally, loss of interest, fear of laboratory accidents, and psychological fear of chemistry have been identified as reasons for students' poor performance (Korau, 2006).
The use of instructional methods, particularly the lecture method, has been criticized for being didactic, teacher-centered, and not conducive to meaningful learning (Newby and Lai, 2008). A shift toward student-centered learning is advocated, recognizing diverse learning styles and the need for active engagement in the learning process.
The incorporation of graphics and visual aids in teaching is seen as a potential solution to enhance understanding and engagement. Visual representations, such as photographs, diagrams, and charts, can supplement oral instruction, making learning more accessible to a broader range of students (Lane, 2012). However, challenges exist in the effective utilization of graphics, including teachers' lack of knowledge about graphic design principles, skills in teaching, and appropriate criteria for selecting and applying graphics to learning tasks.
Statement of the Problem:
Despite the importance of chemistry education and the potential benefits of incorporating graphics into teaching, students continue to exhibit poor academic performance in chemistry, particularly in the concept of organic chemistry. Issues related to students' preparedness, teachers' attitudes and skills, societal factors, and instructional methods contribute to this challenge. The inadequate use of graphics instructional resources, stemming from teachers' attitudes, school management dispositions, and deficiencies in teaching skills, further hampers students' understanding and engagement with the subject.
Teachers' lack of knowledge about graphic design principles, challenges in physically forming images, and the absence of appropriate criteria for selecting and applying graphics to learning tasks are additional barriers. These issues collectively impact the effectiveness of using graphics to improve students' academic achievement in chemistry.
In light of these challenges, there is a need to investigate the effect of graphics on students' academic achievement in the concept of organic chemistry at the senior secondary school level in Eket Local Government Area. Understanding the impact of graphics on student performance can provide valuable insights for teachers and school administrators, informing strategies to enhance the integration of graphics into the teaching and learning process.
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1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of graphics and secondary schools students’ achievement on the concept of organic chemistry in Eket Local Government Area. It also set out to investigate.
1. The difference between the mean achievement score of students taught organic chemistry using graphics and those taught using lecture method.
2. The difference between the mean achievement score of male and female students taught organic chemistry with the use of graphics.
3. The difference between the mean score of male and female students taught the concept of organic chemistry using lecture method.
1.4 Research Questions
In order to achieve the objective of this study the following research questions were formulated to guide the study.
1. What difference exist in the mean achievement score of students taught the concept of organic chemistry using graphic and those taught using lecture method?
2. What different exist between the mean achievement score of male and female students taught the concept of organic chemistry using graphics?
3. What is the difference between the mean achievement score of male and female students taught the concept of organic chemistry using lecture method?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1. There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of student taught the concept of organic chemistry using graphics and those taught using lecture method.
2. There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of male and female students taught the concept of organic chemistry using graphics.
3. There is no significant difference between the mean achievement score of male and female students taught the concept of organic chemistry using lecture method.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this research would be useful for the improvement of Nigerian Chemistry Education in the following ways.
1. The study may serve as an insight to researchers, who might consult it in the process of carrying out similar study in the nearest future.
2. Education students in colleges and universities may also find the study valuable when they consult it in the course of their studies.
3. To the school administrators, it will bring to the fore, the vital functions that graphics play in teaching-learning process especially as it relates to concretizing acquired knowledge and skills for long term memory.
4. Government may also find the study useful because it attempts to show areas where it intervention is required, such as a greater commitment to issue like; retraining of teachers provision of structures, and material resources/equipment that will promote effective teaching and learning. It is expected that government will further realize the potentialities of the various instructional materials as crucial tools to teacher for the attainment of instructional objectives and to that effect provide the need financial and moral support to acquisition and proper utilization of graphics in teaching, learning process.
5. Curriculum planers and policy makers on education may also benefit from the study in such a way that when engaged in further review of the curriculum, interest groups will put into consideration the use of graphics in studying organic chemistry.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
This study was limited to investigating the effect of graphics and senior secondary school students’ achievement on the concept of organic chemistry in Eket Local Government Area. Senior secondary two (SS2) is choosen for this investigation because the topic “organic chemistry is under (SS2) syllabus.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The researcher encountered a number of limitations during this study. Some of which are stated below:
1. Financial constraint in the production of the instructional material, (graphics) to suit the intended purpose.
2. The study relied on data generated through Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT). This is because the respondent may not have objective in the information supplied.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Graphics: These refer to the visual representation of texts, symbols, lines, graphs in colours with the use of a computer design.
Chemistry: This is a branch of science that deals with the study of structure, composition, properties and the changes which matter undergoes.
Student Academic Achievement: This is defined as the test score in chemistry achievement test in organic chemistry.
Organic chemistry: This is the study of compounds of carbon occurring naturally-excluding the oxides of carbon and trioxocarbonate (iv) compounds which are classified as inorganic compounds.