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  • Format: ms-word (doc)
  • Pages: 65
  • Chapter 1 to 5
  • With abstract reference and questionnaire
  • Preview abstract and chapter 1 below




This  chapter  consists  of the background  of the study,  research  questions, research  hypothesis,  significance of the study, delimitation of the  study,  limitation of the study and definition of terms.

1.1       Background of the Study

Science is a body of knowledge acquired through investigation to determine the truth of  concepts through empirical procedure and it lays emphasis on reality instead of abstraction. It is also a way of explaining events and phenomena in nature. Biology as a branch of science and prerequisite subject for many fields of learning is facilitated by the right method of teaching it. It requires practical work to enhance clear understanding of the lesson content as this will bring about effective learning by the student. It also requires that the students should be actively involved in the learning process through adequate and meaningful hands-and-minds-on activities during every classroom instruction in science and this must be put in place in the nation’s secondary schools.

Activity  based  approach for teaching of science  (Biology) is a technique  adopted by a  teacher  to emphasize learning activities in which students participate  rigorously  and bring  about efficient learning  experiences  thus resulting in  the mastery  of  biological  concept by  students.

There should be a comparison of the academic  achievement of students who are taught through activity-based method  compared  with the achievement of  students  taught  with  other  methods (e.g lecture). Abah (2006) showed how students acquire  knowledge  in short  term when   taught  with  lecture method but are  likely  to retain  knowledge  longer  when taught with  activity  based method. Gallagher (2003) concluded in his study that activity based method is more effective than traditional instruction, that its result in better long-term retention than traditional strategies for teaching. In opposition to this, other studies have not found any significant differences in achievement between the activity based and lecture method.

There should be emphasis on the aims, importance and benefits of using activity based approach to teach students. Since Biology as a subject requires practical work to bring about understanding of theoretical content;  research has shown  that  activity  based approach  enhance understanding of biological concept   and increase the  ability  to acquire science  process  skills  by the learner.

Practical activity in biology provides opportunity for student to actively do science as opposed to learning about science. Nzewi (2008)  asserted  that practical  activity can be  regarded  as a strategy that could be  adopted  to make  a  task  of a teacher  more real to the student as opposed to abstract or theoretical  presentation  of facts, principles and  concepts  of subject matters.

The learners  should be given  an  opportunity to reach  a level  of mastery  when  involved  in an  activity in or  outside  the classroom setting, as this will increase student learning. According  to Bloom (1968) that students  must attain 90%  on a knowledge test in prerequisite knowledge before moving  forward  to learn  subsequent  information.  In this  process,  slow  learners  are  not kept  back and gifted  students would  perform to their own maximum  capacities  (Jensen, 2006).

On gender inequality in science. Yenilmez (2006)  reported  that boys  and girls  achieve  equally   on activity-based method which lasted through high school. Patricia and Johnson (2008) found that there  was no  significant effect of gender on the  achievement  of the students taught with mastery learning teaching method and concluded  that  mastery learning  is an effective  teaching  method  which –physics  teachers  should  be encourage  to used.

This  study  focus  on the activity-based  approach  as one of the right  methods for  teaching  to bring about students mastering  of the concept  of  photosynthesis in senior  secondary  school biology with a view  of finding its  effects  on students  academic  achievement.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Student  have been  found not to  master  adequately some biology concepts such as of photosynthesis because  of  inadequate methods  used by the teacher  and  other  related  problem  that could hinder  meaningful learning. Unfortunately, some teachers whose students have not been doing well have not been using the activity-based approach in order to bring about student mastery of biology concepts.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The study aim at investigating the effect of using activity based approach in teaching photosynthesis in senior secondary school biology.

Specifically, this study seeks to:

  1. Determine the relative effect of using activity-based approach for teaching photosynthesis on students academic achievement and mastery.
  2. Determine the extent to which secondary school male and female Biology student are affected by the use of activity based Approach in teaching photosynthesis.

1.4       Research Question

The following are the research questions posed to guide the             study.

  1. Do students taught the concept of photosynthesis using Activity-based Approach perform better than students taught using Lecture Approach.
  2. How do male students perform compared with their female counterparts when taught the concept of photosynthesis using activity-based Approach.

1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

  1. There is no significant difference between  the academic achievement of biology  students  taught  the concept  of photosynthesis  using  Activity-based Approach  and  those  taught  using  Lecture Approach.
  2. There is no significant difference between the academic achievement of male and female biology students taught the concept of photosynthesis using activity-based Approach.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This  study  will enable  Biology teacher in Senior Secondary Schools   appreciate the possible  influence of  using  activity-based approach  and those  sacrificing  their  resources and  time in the effective teaching and learning of biology in the classroom. The result of this study will be of help to:

  • Teachers
  • Parents

This is to discover the problem faced by the children that hinders effective learning. This study will also bring about the mastery of students in teaching basic biological concepts.

1.7       Delimitation of the Study

The study focused on the use of activity  based  approach  as a method for teaching the concept of photosynthesis. In other words, several other topics in the biology curriculum for secondary schools are not investigated in the study.

1.8       Limitation of the Study

This researcher encountered limitation in the area of review of related literature,   as the researcher was confronted with paucity of literature that has direct relevance to this work.   However, the challenge did not affect the generalisability of the results of the study.

1.9       Definition of terms

 Photosynthesis:  Photosynthesis is the process where by green plant obtain their food using sunlight, carbondiooxide and  water.

Activity-based Approach: Activity-based approach  is a  technique adopted  by a teacher  to emphasize  his or her  method of teaching,  through activity in which  the  learners  participate  rigorously  and bring  about  efficient  learning experiences.

Students Mastery: Students mastery learning refers to a category of instructional methods which establishes a level of performance that all students must ‘’master’’ before moving on to the next unit (Slavin, 1987).

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