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AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 1.1 Background to the Study

Certainly, science is doing and involves regular hands – on practical work for learners to develop scientific literacy to face global challenges. Emphatically, Biology 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 biology in secondary schools with the use of laboratory resources is very necessary if biology teachers must gainfully achieve stated objectives.

Specifically, Biology as a science subject is based on practicals and experiments. In fact, its objectives as contained in the National policy on education (FRN, 2013) include among others to equip learners with meaningful and relevant knowledge of Biology.

 

Utilization of laboratory resources defines the extent or how often the available science laboratory materials are used during classes or laboratory sessions. Specifically, these materials includes beakers, Petri-dish etc. However, according to Lawal (2013), such materials promote learning by doing, make the classroom lively, real, and meaningful and have the potential to make the content worth learning.

The science laboratory has a direct effect on both students’ attitudes and academic performance as per the instructional theory of learning interaction.

 

Furthermore, Lyons (2012), states that learning is a complex activity that involves interplay of students‟ motivation, physical resources, teaching resources, skills of teaching and curriculum demands.

 

AVAILABILITY AND UTILIZATION OF LABORATORY RESOURCES IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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 schools.

 

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The continuous record of students’ poor attitudes towards the study of Biology is a serious problem in the Nigeria educational system, most especially at the secondary school level. Certainly, teaching and learning of biology ought to be simplified, comprehensive and concrete.

 

Moreover, extensive use of laboratory resources makes biology interesting, stimulating and understandable to the learners. Without a doubt, the success of biology students in secondary schools largely depends on the availability and effective utilization of available human and material resources.

 

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

Most laboratory resources are either lost, damaged or carelessly stored. Therefore, it was on this background that the researcher became interested to investigate whether the availability of laboratory resources affects teaching and learning biology in secondary schools.

 

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 of Biology in secondary schools.

Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Investigate the availability of laboratory materials in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ilorin East local Government Area.
  2. Examine the extent of the utilization of laboratory materials in the learning of Biology in secondary schools.

 

1.4 Significance of the Study

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

Firstly, the result of the study could enable biology 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.

 

Secondly, Biology students would realize the importance of group and individual laboratory work situations in the effort of learning biology concepts. It could also help the students to become knowledgeable in the following areas: communication, problem-solving, self-confidence and critical thinking.

In addition, 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. Thus, 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.

 

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

Also, 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.

Lastly, 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

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

 

1.6     Limitation of the Study

  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.

 

1.7     Definition of Terms

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 Biology in the laboratory.

Teaching: In brief, this is the act of helping people to learn effectively.

Biology: In brief, this is the study of plants and animals.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, the study has carefully examined the availability and utilization of laboratory resources in teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools. It is therefore ascertained in the study that the availability and utilization of laboratory materials influences the learning of Biology 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 Biology in secondary schools.
  2. The utilization of laboratory materials affect the learning of Biology in secondary schools.

 

APPENDIX A

 

CHECKLIST ON AVAILABILITY OF LABORATORY MATERIALS

 

SECTION A- PERSONAL DATA OF RESPONDENT

Name of school:………………………………………………………………

Class Taught:…………………………………………………………

 

SECTION B

INSTRUCTION: Please tick (√) the column with regards to the availability of laboratory materials for the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.

Research Question 1:

To what extent are laboratory materials available in the teaching of Biology?

S/N ITEMS Available

 

Not Available

    

1 Dissecting Board
2  Wall Chart
3 Petri Dishes
4 Beakers
5 Bunsen Burner
6 Hand Lens
7 Conical flask
8 Tripod stand
9 Chemicals
10 Models
11 First Aid Box
12 Dissecting  Kits
13 Fire Extinguisher
14 Insect Nets
15 Filter papers
16 Litmus paper
17 Test tube rack
18 Microscopes
19 Dissecting pins
20 Section lifter

 

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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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