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Chapter One on Challenges Besetting The Effective Teaching And Learning Of Biology In Senior Secondary Schools
Background of the Study
The term science has to do with nature; it is derived from the Latin word scientia, which means knowledge. It is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of potable expectations and production about the universe. It can be equally defined as the field of the study which tries to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or in part. Science to all human is the activities involving organized knowledge of phenomena. This system uses observation and experiment to describe and explain natural phenomena. Science is said to be a great enterprise which nations depend on in order to advance technologically. Science is therefore, is much emphasis in receiving in education because of its significance and relevance to life and society.
Biology as a branch of science and the prerequisite subject for many fields of learning contributes immensely to the technological growth of the nation, which includes medicine, forestry, agriculture, biotechnology and nursing. Biology is said to be the study of natural phenomena and environment which result from curiosity of man, Nlewan (2005). Biology in all is the knowledge of living things that has come to us in the past. In general, biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation of new species.
Biology education is the act of teaching and learning in order to inculcate or transfer the knowledge the knowledge of biology to students (Okeny 2012). Educating people in science especially in biology has been widely acknowledged as a way of promoting economic development, eliminating poverty and introducing social welfare (Nwagbo, 2005).
Development is the act of improving by expanding or enlarging or refining a situation or condition of a particular thing Tunde (2011). To develop biology education in Nigeria, the government should improve the teaching and learning of biology, by providing adequate laboratory/teaching materials, qualified biology teachers, good biology classroom environment, use of good teaching methods by the biology teacher, a proper curriculum standard for teaching biology, and provision of funds to the schools Ameh (1991).
Biology is the most commonly chosen science subject of most secondary school students are confirmed by West African Examination Council (WAEC) record According to Okeke (2000).
Students who did well in biology could have prospect in becoming; Doctors, nurses, pharmacist, dentist, biology teachers, medical technologist, food technologist, genetic engineers, microbiologists, biochemists, and other science subjects. Biology has its origin from Europe but today all the nations of the world accord priority attention to science and technology in development efforts. Effective teaching of biology is a process by which a biology teacher adopts all the possible methods use in teaching in classroom to make sure that students understand biology and be able to respond positively during assessment or produce good result. Teaching effectiveness is exhibited in teaching method, classroom management, the materials as well as the way students are been handled, a good teacher always bear in mind the individual differences of the students while presenting the lessons and frequenting check the students understanding of his or her points to make sure that they are understanding the lesson.
Statement of Problems
Regrettably many students in secondary schools who offer biology as a subject perform poorly in the subject. Greater percentage of this failure comes from teachers. Omode (2012) blames these problems on teachers, his sensitivity to nature of biology when planning institutional activities from the studies, it therefore becomes imperative to identify those factors that advancely affect the teaching and learning of biology education as well as to identify possible solution/recommendations to tackle the identified challenges. This gap therefore requires a research attention in relation to overcoming the alleged difficulties besetting the effective teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools. Biology is said to be the core science subjects, which is supposed to be the most interesting science subject to students in senior secondary schools. It has been discovered that the effective teaching and learning of biology have been very important, but the rate in which students fail biology in result times shows that effective learning of biology has not been attained, By this Aganga (2000), observed that many secondary schools, especially public schools have insufficient competent teachers as well as biological equipment’s in their different schools. Therefore there is need to answer certain questions reinforce their effectiveness in teaching. Despite the importance of biology, it could be observed that number of students who fails biology is high; it is the result of the students behavior such as non-challant attitude in the class, some student are very stubborn. In most of this secondary schools teachers which are found there are mainly not qualified in teaching profession but because the word “corruption” everyone wants his or her own person to be there, weather qualified or not all they care about is money not future.
Another problems which is likely seen as a challenge which befalls the effective teaching of biology, is the poor method of teaching, Oguihe (2010) finds out that most teachers doesn’t possess the skills in teaching, i.e. They don’t know the methods which they could use in teaching, where some walk in to the classroom without set inducing the students but reading the note alone without explanation or breaking it down. This could likely bring poor performance of biology students in secondary schools, and this is attributed to social and institutional based factor.
Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the challenges besetting the effective teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools, and prospective ways of overcoming them.
The study will be guided by the following specific research objectives;
- To identify teachers related challenges that affect the teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools.
- To investigate on the social based factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools.
- To find out the non-institutional based factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of biology.
- To suggest/identify the possible ways of overcoming challenges affecting effective teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools.
The study will be specifically investigated by the following research questions:
- What are the social based factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools in Njaba L.G.A.
- What are the institutional based factors affecting the teaching and learning of biology in senior secondary schools in Njaba L.G.A.
- What are the non-institutional based factors affecting the effective teaching and learning of biology in secondary schools in Njaba L.G.A.
- What are the possible ways suggested to overcome this challenges?
Significance of the Study
This research will be beneficial to:
- Teachers; the result of this research will enable to use different teaching methods in teaching biology.
- Result of this study will enable educational supervisors (government officials) to monitor the activities of schools and ensure that qualified teachers are used.
- To provide adequate information in the availability of specific biology equipment’s in senior secondary schools in Njaba L.G.A.
- It will enhance the learning of biology in students, and also motivate them in choosing and learning of the subject biology.
Scope of the Study
This study was carried out in Njaba local government area of Imo State; this limited the generalization of the findings of the study to the same selected secondary schools in the area of the study. The survey research design which includes the investigation of the opinions of the group of respondents on certain issues were employed in the work.
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