IMPACT OF SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEFS ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY IN DUTSIN-MA METROPOLIS

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ABSTRACT
Superstition is a term employed to designate beliefs that are not consistent with acceptable notions of reality and possibility. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of superstitious beliefs on secondary school students’ academic achievement in Biology.The researcher employed a survey research design, because the variables are already there and needs no manipulation.The population of this study comprised of all senior secondary schools student in 11 secondary schools in Dutsin-Ma metropolis, simple random sample was used to select 3 schools and stratified was used to select 100 students (50 males and 50 females). Two research instruments were develop by the researcher, title Biology Achievement Test (BAT) and Superstitious Belief Scale (SUBS) were used for data collection. Linear regression, correlation and T-test were used for data analysis. The results indicated that students’ superstitious beliefs alone accounts for 17.7% of the total variance in students’ academic achievement in biology (R= 0.177, p < 0.05) this percentage is significant.It also clarified that there is no significant difference between male and female students’ level of superstitious belief (t = 0.658; p > 0.05). However the researcher recommended that Government should instigate a program in conjunction with traditional rulers and religious leaders, to create awareness among people so that the transfer of these superstitious beliefs among their generations should be reduced if not stopped at all.

Keywords: Superstitious Belief, Biology achievement.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page
Abstract
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Appendices

Chapter One
Introduction
1.1.         Background to the Study
1.2.         Statement of the Problem
1.3.         Objectives of the Study
1.4.         Research Hypotheses
1.5.      Significance of the Study
1.6.      Scope and Limitation of the Study
1.7.         Operational Definition of Terms

Chapter Two
Review of Related Literature
2.1.   Introduction
2.2.1 Concept of Superstition
2.2.2 Superstition in the World
2.2.3 Superstition in Nigeria
2.2.4 Common Superstitions in Nigeria
2.2.5 Roles of Superstition in Nigeria
2.2.6 Achievement in Biology
2.3.1 Cultural Capital Theories and Education
2.4 Empirical studies
2.5 Summary of the review

Chapter Three
Methodology
3.1.   Introduction
3.2.   Research Design
3.3.   Population of the Study
3.4.   Sample and Sampling technique
3.5.   Research Instruments
3.5.1 Biology Achievement Test (BAT)
3.6.1 Validity of the Instruments
3.6.2 Reliability of the Instrument
3.7    Procedure for Data Collection
3.8    Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four
Results
4.1.   Introduction
4.2.   Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation
4.2.1 Research Hypothesis 1
4.2.2 Research Hypothesis 2
4.2.3 Research Hypothesis 3
4.2.4 Research Hypothesis 4

Chapter Five
Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1.    Introduction
5.2.   Discussion of Findings
5.3.   Summary
5.4.   Conclusion
5.5.   Recommendations
5.6.   Suggestion for Further Study
References
Appendices


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
Science is a systematic study of natural phenomena and technology is knowledge put to practical use in solving man’s problems. Many great Authors like John Dewey (1966) said that the science of various disciplines grew gradually out of useful social occupations or human activities. Therefore the need to develop students’ interest in science and technology is one of the objectives of science education. With global scientific and technological advancement occurring rapidly, declining students’ achievement in science courses is a worldwide concern that has led to science education reform efforts on an international scale. Today’s society depends on development of science and technology, teachers are expected to device ways of improving the interest and achievement in science and science-related disciplines.
Basic principles of cultivation, transplanting and the use of ashes intuitively as fertilizer were used in gardening prior to their application in modern agricultural practices. This means that functional technology develops endogenously, building upon local technical practical through application of ingenuity. What is needed in this direction therefore is to develop scientifically literate citizens who can manipulate their environment in rational terms so as to reap the fruits of their rich natural resources. Popper, (2008) suggests two components of scientific literacy as:-
1.      To understand the key concepts and principles of science “survival science’ which are related to ones’ life;
2.      To understand the relation of sciences to culture so as to understand the relation of science and related technologies on our contemporary society.
In appreciation of these two views of scientific literacy, the Nigerian government emphasized the introduction of science subjects to enable its citizens acquire the knowledge of their environment, develop problem solving skills and desirable scientific attitudes as well as increase the understanding of the role and functions of science and its application in everyday life (NCCE, 2003). Akpan, (2008) pointed out that science has a great impact on the standard of life in different and diverse areas like agriculture, transportation, energy production, health, shelter, food etc. Apart from that he also stated that science ensures the safety of the environment that we interact with in our daily lives. So if science possesses this importance, improving science achievement in Nigerian schools should be a priority among other sectors.
Biology and agriculture grew out of man’s search for health and food. It occupies a unique position in the school curriculum. Biology is central to many science related courses such as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, nursing, human kinetics and health education and biochemistry. It is obvious that no student intending to study these disciplines can do without biology. These factors. Among others have drawn attention of researchers and curriculum planners towards biology as a subject in the school curriculum (Kareern, 2003).
In spite of the importance and popularity of biology among Nigerian students, performance at senior secondary school level had been poor (Ahmed, 2008). Much has been said about secondary school students poor performance in science generally and biology in particular. Over the years, performance in biology has been declining. For instance, Okoye and Okeke (2007) in their study found that in 2002, 2003 and 2004 the percentages of candidates who passed West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) at credit level and above (grades 1-6) in biology were 30.3%, 42.1% and 30.2% respectively. 


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