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AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING CHEMISTRY

AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING CHEMISTRY

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Science is doing and involves regular hands – on practical work for learners to develop scientific literacy to face global challenges. Chemistry as a science subject is studied or taught by using different methods which employs the use of all sense organs including olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), auditory (hearing), kinesthetic (skin),and optical (seeing) of which only the application of theory in teaching and learning could not yield 100-percent accuracy without the use of laboratory resources. Thus, effective teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary schools with the use of laboratory resources is very necessary if Chemistry teachers must gainfully achieve stated objectives.

 

Chemistry as a science subject is based on practicals and experiments. Its objectives as contained in the National policy on education (FRN, 2013) include among others to equip learners with meaningful and relevant knowledge of Chemistry. It is only through the availability and utilization of these materials (laboratory materials) that the above objectives and goals can be achieved.

Utilization of laboratory resources defines the extent or how often the available science laboratory materials are used during classes or laboratory sessions. These materials includes beakers, Petri-dish etc. According to Lawal (2023), such materials promote learning by doing, make the classroom lively, real, and meaningful and have the potential to make the content worth learning.

When this laboratory materials are used it will promote creativity and self-reliance and at the same time, contributes meaningfully to effective teaching. Some Laboratory materials can be readily acquired, modified or developed by ingenious teachers to suit various needs and purposes in the teaching/learning process (Nkang, 2023).

 

AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING CHEMISTRY

The science laboratory has a direct effect on both students’ attitudes and academic performance as per the instructional theory of learning interaction. It is generally believed that constant practice leads to proficiency in what the learner learns during classroom instruction; hence, the dictum “practice makes perfect” (Lawal, 2023). The quality of teaching and learning experience depends on the extent of the adequacy of laboratory resources in secondary schools and the teacher’s effectiveness in the use of laboratory resources with the aim of facilitating and providing meaningful learning experiences in the learners.

The availability and adequate use of laboratory resources during science instruction helps to develop values that aid the learners in decision-making. The laboratory is a distinctive feature in science teaching and learning. (Stuckey, 2013).

Lyons (2012), states that learning is a complex activity that involves interplay of students‟ motivation, physical facilities, teaching resources, skills of teaching and curriculum demands. The process of managing and organizing resources is called resource utilization. The utilization of resources (laboratory resources) in education brings about fruitful learning outcomes since resources stimulate students learning as well as motivating them.  It is therefore necessary for the teachers to utilize available resources in teaching the learners in order to help the students comprehend the lesson with ease which will in turn improves their overall achievement in school.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The continuous record of students’ poor attitudes towards the study of Chemistry is a serious problem in the Nigeria educational system, most especially at the secondary school level. Teaching and learning of Chemistry ought to be simplified, comprehensive and concrete. Extensive use of laboratory resources makes Chemistry interesting, stimulating and understandable to the learners. The success of Chemistry students in secondary schools largely depends on the availability and effective utilization of available human and material resources.

Chemistry as a science subject is faced with some problems, such as limited qualified teachers available, limited time allotted to practical classes to the minimal or even omit practical activities.

 

Teachers find it difficult during laboratory activities to supervise and teach large classes and combine the practical effectively with normal class lessons. Students on their part have the problem of comprehending what is taught without the complementary laboratory activities in Chemistry.

Most laboratory resources are either lost, damaged or carelessly stored. It was on this background that the researcher became interested to investigate whether the availability and utilization of laboratory material affects teaching/learning effectiveness in Chemistry.

 

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study was to examine the availability and utilization of laboratory resources in teaching and learning chemistry.

Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Investigate the availability of laboratory materials in the teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools.
  2. Examine the extent of the utilization of laboratory materials in the learning of Chemistry in secondary schools.

 

1.4 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the following persons: Chemistry teachers, Chemistry students, education administrators, policy makers, researchers, curriculum planners and textbook writers.

The result of the study could enable Chemistry teachers to see the need for effective and efficient utilization of available laboratory resources provided to schools. In the same way, students will appreciate the need to manage and improvise laboratory resources in secondary schools. The availability and utilization of laboratory resources in teaching and learning chemistry.

Chemistry students would realize the importance of group and individual laboratory work situations in the effort of learning Chemistry concepts. It could also help the students to become knowledgeable in the following areas: communication, problem-solving, self-confidence and critical thinking. These are knowledge they are expected to acquire from practical activities which could lead to students’ improvement on their academic achievement.

To education administrators as the recommendations will enhance educational growth. It will also furnish them with the quantity and quality of laboratory resources that are available in secondary schools the extent to which they are utilized for effective and efficient dispensation of lessons. They will also appreciate the need to plan, direct, control, co-ordinate and supervise institutions of higher learning to actualize national educational objectives.

 

The findings of this study will help policy makers to work out effective means of providing and managing resources in Chemistry laboratories in secondary schools. This could be achieved through the establishment of resource centres where laboratory resources could be purchased, observed and experimented with at subsidized rates.

Researchers on assessing this study would find it useful since it will provide them with documents and reference materials.

To the curriculum experts the findings of the study could form a basis for introducing laboratory innovations in teaching at all levels to promote practical based learning in schools.

The textbook writers on assessing the findings of this study would upgrade the content of the textbooks to include fifty (50) percent practical and fifty (50) percent theoretical work on all science and its related subjects.

 

1.5   Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the study

  1. To what extent are laboratory materials available in the teaching Chemistry?
  2. To what extent are laboratory materials utilized in the learning of Chemistry?

 

1.6   Limitation of the Study

In conducting a research study of this kind, there will be bound to be some challenges. Thus, some of the challenges will be encountered in the course of this study are as follows:

  1. Time constraint: time duration allowed for the completion of this research work could not be enough for the research to have a wider scope. Hence some schools were sampled and student out of all the schools in the area.
  2. Financial problem: this constituted one of the major limitations to the researcher especially as the researcher had to source for relevant materials on the topic and visit the sampled schools under the investigation for data collection.
  3. Insufficient references materials: this also was a problem as the researcher needed enough relevant literature on the topic.

 

1.8   Definition of Terms

The following key concepts will be defined as used in the study:

Laboratory: This is a place equipped and used for explanation to scientific laws and theories to students while learning Chemistry.

Laboratory Resources: These are the non-human resources (equipment and apparatuses) which are used by teachers in the provision of explanation to scientific laws and theories while teaching Chemistry in the laboratory.

Teaching: This is the act of helping people to learn effectively. The availability and utilization of laboratory resources in teaching and learning chemistry.

Chemistry: The branch of science concerned with the substances of which matter is composed, the investigation of their properties and reactions, and the use of such reactions to form new substances.

 

Conclusion

The study has carefully examined the availability and utilization of laboratory materials and teaching/learning of Chemistry in Secondary Schools in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area. It is therefore ascertained in the study that the availability and utilization of laboratory materials influences the learning of Chemistry in Secondary Schools.

Hence, based on the research questions of this study, the following conclusions were drawn:

  1. The availability of laboratory materials affects the teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools.
  2. The utilization of laboratory materials affects the learning of Chemistry in secondary schools.

 

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Peter Hezekiah

I am Peter Hezekiah, a Nigerian. A graduate of Economics/Education. I'm the Editor in projectboss.com.ng (A online company that deals with writing of final year project and provision of project materials of any topic to final year project students). My personal email is lawsonpeter10@gmail.com. My personal number; +2347068634102

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