The Role Of Laboratory Facilities On Students Academic Performance

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

 Alimi (2004) claims that, the primary goal of establishing a school is to teach and learn. As a result, schools must provide appropriate facilities to enable teachers and students to meet the course objectives at the conclusion. This is the essence of the school’s infrastructure and facilities.

Science and technology are critical tools for any country’s development and production. Science is essential for any nation that wishes to maintain its independence, sovereignty, and self-sufficiency, as well as to ensure growth and to hold its head high among civilized nations. This is due to the fact that science and technology supply the fundamental tools for industrialization and economic development in fields such as communication, transportation, energy, information, pollution control, and waste management, among others. The study of science is so important in Nigeria that a lot of emphasis has been placed on the teaching and learning of science as outlined in the National Policy on Education, with the goal of preparing students to live effectively in this modern age (Federal Ministry of Education, 2004). This can be accomplished by instilling in students the required scientific abilities and attitudes. The proper teaching of diverse science topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, health science, and agricultural science, among others, is the only way to instill scientific abilities and attitudes in pupils (NPE, 2004).

According to Carbonaro (2005), various research in the field of education have focused on school factors such as kind of school (public or private), size, student body demographics, teacher certification, and their relationship to students’ academic outcomes. Franklin, (2008) maintains that through laboratory facilities, schools can impact their students’ attachment, commitment to all science activities, and academic accomplishment. Students and teachers in schools with inadequate laboratory facilities are more likely to fail to perceive a clear focus on academic objectives and the learning environment, and such a school is more likely to be unconducive for learning.

There have been several definitions of school laboratory. According to Maduabum (1992), a laboratory is a space where science teachers conduct scientific experiments for the benefit of the pupils (learners). Experiments and other activities that aid in the development of scientific skills are included in the laboratory exercises. According to Ezeliora (2001), a science laboratory is a workshop where science is done or scientific activities are carried out in a favorable setting. She also considers the laboratory to be a secure and safe location for science equipment, materials, or instruments. According to Igwe (2003), a laboratory can be indoors, such as the adequately planned and equipped rooms found in most schools, or outdoor, involving such locations as a riverfront, workshop, field, and even a market for conducting scientific experiments.  He went on to say that regardless of the type of laboratory used in teaching, the same laboratory experience should be obtained, which is a participation in a series of experimental, observational, and demonstrating activities that allow students to develop understanding of practical and theoretical concepts through problem solving.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This results in a lack of subject matter understanding, half-baked students in science topics, and students’ imagined judgments that science subjects are impossible to acquire. Students will not learn effectively if science disciplines are taught conceptually without the practical parts implanted and performed in the laboratory. This means that the impact of laboratories and their infrastructure on students’ academic progress in science disciplines is being underappreciated. Doerfert (2011) states that identifying the relationship between instructional methodologies and student accomplishment is a top priority effort that should be worked on in order to increase students’ science achievement. However, little study has been conducted on the impact of laboratories on students’ academic achievement. In light of this, the goal of this research is to investigate.

1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the role of laboratory facilities on students’ academic performance. Other specific objectives of this study are:

  1. To determine the level of impact of laboratory on students’ academic performance.
  2. To determine the frequency of usage of laboratories in secondary schools.

iii.      To examine the challenges faced when using laboratories in secondary schools.

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions will guide this study.

  1. What level of impact is laboratory on students’ academic performance?
  2. How often are laboratories used in secondary schools?

iii.      What are the challenges faced when using laboratories in secondary schools?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study’s findings will be useful to the government, teachers, parents, and academia. It would also force the government, through the Ministry of Education, to recognize the need of providing science equipment to schools and assigning qualified science instructors, technicians, and technologists to secondary schools. It will motivate parents to provide basic practical lesson(s) for their children in secondary schools, as well as persuade science teachers that practical lessons are mostly necessary for effective teaching and learning of other science subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, and, of course, mathematics. Finally, the study would add empirically to the body of current literature and serve as a reference source for students or other researchers who might desire to conduct similar research.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study will be focused on evaluating the role of laboratory facilities on students’ academic performance. It will also be specifically focused on determining the level of impact of laboratory on students’ academic performance, determining the frequency of usage of laboratories in secondary schools and examining the challenges faced when using laboratories in secondary schools.

This study will be using teachers and students of King’s College as enrolled participants for the study.

1.7 LIMITATIONS TO THE STUDY

This study will be limited to evaluating the role of laboratory facilities on students’ academic performance. It will also be specifically limited to determining the level of impact of laboratory on students’ academic performance, determining the frequency of usage of laboratories in secondary schools and examining the challenges faced when using laboratories in secondary schools.

This study will be limited to teachers and students of King’s College as enrolled participants for the study hence, further research is needed if this study is to be used anywhere else.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Laboratory: a room or building equipped for scientific experiments, research, or teaching, or for the manufacture of drugs or chemicals.

Students: a person who is studying at a university or other place of higher education.

Academic performance: Academic achievement or academic performance is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals.

REFERENCES

Enderlin, K. E., & Osborne, E. W. (1992). Student achievement, attitudes, and thinking skill attainment in an integrated science/agriculture course. Proceedings of the 1992 National Agricultural Education Research Meeting,, pages 37-44.

Franklin, E. A. (2008). Description of the use of greenhouse facilities by secondary agricultural education instructors in Arizona. Journal of Agricultural Education,49(3), 34-45. doi: 10.5032/jae.2008.03034

FRN (2013), National Policy on Education,Abuja NERDC Press

Johnson, D. M. (1989). Agricultural mechanics laboratory management competencies: Perceptions of Missouri agriculture teachers concerning importance and performance abilitv (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Missouri, Columbia, MO.

Lawal F K (2013), Resource utilization for teaching biology towards achieving mellenium development goal’s objective in selected secondary schools in Zaria Metropolis. 54th Annual Conference Proceedings of Science Teachers Association of Nigeria, 197-202.

National Research Council. (2009). Transforming agricultural education for a changing world. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Ogunniyi M B (1983), Analysis of laboratory Activities in selected Nigerian secondary schools. European journal and science education,Vol 5 (2)

  1. S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative Research, Education, and Extension Service & Purdue University. (2005). Employment opportunities for college graduates in the U.S. food, agricultural, and natural resources system (Publication No. 2004–38837–01875). West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University.

Washburn, S. G., & Myers, B. E. (2010). Agriculture teacher perceptions of preparation to integrate science and their current use of inquiry based learning. Journal of Agricultural Education, 51(1), 88-98. doi: 10.5032/jae2010.01088

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