EFFECTS OF CONCEPT MAPPING AND EXPERIMENTAL TECHNIQUES IN TEACHING BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ABUJA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

The study was aimed at determining the Effect of Using Concept Mapping and Experimental Techniques in Teaching Biology in Senior Secondary Schools in Federal Capital Territory. The design of the study was quasi experimental pretest posttest control group design. The population consisted of 6,208 SS2 Biology students of the Federal Capital Territory, from which 192 were selected from three schools within Karshi zone of Abuja Municipal Area Council. Intact classes of 64 students each of SS2A & SS2B students of Government Secondary School Nyanya were used for the experimental group which consisted of students taught Biology using concept maps and experiments and 64 SS2A students of Government Day Secondary School Karu were used for the control group respectively. The choice of the schools were because they shared similar characteristics like student types (co-educational), number of students per class and presence of competent and experienced Biology teachers. To guide the study, five research questions were raised and five hypotheses stated and test at 0.05 level of significance. The major instruments used for data collection were Biology Achievement Test pretest and posttest (BAT), Biology Achievement Retention Test (BART) used after 2 weeks of instruction and Concept Mapping Attitude Scale Towards Biology Questionnaire (CMASTBQ) and Experiment Attitude Scale Towards Biology Questionnaire (EASTBQ).The treatment package included Concept Mapping Instructional Package (CMIP), Lesson Plan for Experiments and Lesson Plan for Control Group. The items used for the pretest, posttest and retention test were adopted from Educational Resource Centre (ERC) Abuja. The items were lifted based on the topics used for the study. The reliability of these instruments used was 0.65 for concept mapping and 0.78 for experimental techniques. The data collected was analyzed using comparative mean and standard deviation for research questions while the null hypotheses were analyzed using Two sample t-test, Covariance Analysis(ANCOVA) and Pairwise comparison tested at 0.05 alpha level of significance. The findings of the study showed a significantly better academic performance of students who were taught using experiments than those taught using concept mapping; students taught using experiments performed significantly higher in retention of Biology knowledge than those taught using concept mapping and lecture method, no significant difference was observed between students taught using concept mapping and lecture method on retention of these concepts; Students showed positive attitude towards the use of concept mapping over the use of experiments Based on the findings, experiments are indispensable if the teaching and learning of Biology is be effective and meaningful. Recommendations were made to this effect that Science Teachers Association of Nigeria in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education should liaise with stakeholders in the FCT and the Nation in general to provide well equipped Biology laboratory in all senior secondary schools. Teachers should also be encouraged to use Concept mapping alongside lecture method in teaching Biology in Senior Secondary Schools.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1         Background to the Study
The subjects at the Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria are divided into Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences depending on the course each individual intends to offer after the secondary education. In Nigeria, the sciences are taught in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. As a biology teacher of many years, experience has shown that even though a large populace of students show interest in offering biology as a subject and think it to be the simplest of the sciences, there have been a consistent poor achievement in both internal and external examinations. On the order hand even though biology lessons are supposed to be taught with practical lessons I have observed over the years that most biology teachers do not teach their lessons with praticals. The National Curriculum for Senior Secondary Schools Volume Three (3) Science in (Ajaja 2009) stated the specific objectives to be achieved by each subject (curriculum).

The cardinal objectives for biology include:

Adequate laboratory and field skills in Biology; Meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology;

Ability to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; and

Reasonable and functional scientific attitudes. (Ajaja, 2009)

Biology occupies a unique position in the school curriculum; this is because Biology is central to many sciences related professional courses such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Nursing, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Microbiology, Laboratory Technology and all other related courses. It therefore becomes binding on anyone wishing to offer any of the courses listed above or any related to such to offer Biology as one of the prerequisite subjects in the secondary school to gain admission into the University.

Although Biology is a prerequisite to these courses, poor achievement in Biology is alarming according to reports from Okebukola (1998), Ajaja (2002), Ahmed (2008) and randomly collated WAEC results by the researcher from 10 schools in six area councils of Federal Capital Territory, between 2006 – 2010 in 2011 and also my experience in students poor performance in biology internal examinations. These consistent poor performances in Biology external examinations among Senior Secondary Schools students have given a lot of concern to educators, curriculum planners and students themselves Okoye (2004). Various teaching methods are used for instruction in the teaching of Biology. These teaching methods have been summarized into Expository, Practical or Activity Oriented and Constructivism. Okoye and Okechukwu (2006), Nwokenna (2010). Expository methods according to Nwokenna (2010) which include lecture method, demonstration, project, field trip and discussion methods. They concentrate on presentation of concepts, facts and principles by the teacher while the students are merely asked to listen and take notes.


These facts and principles are drawn from textbooks based on stipulated contents and cognitive levels within the unit of instruction. The foregoing presents a picture of the use of poor teaching methods used during Biology instruction, which according to Nwokenna (2010), may not improve the performance of students in their academic pursuit. The above scenario tends to suggest that the conventional teaching methods used among others have accounted for the persistent poor performance of students in internal and external examinations.

Scientists and science educators have however come to a conclusive agreement as many researches have been on going on how to involve students in the learning process and science educators have come up with concept maps as one of such teaching learning techniques. Okoye and Okechukwu (2006), Kinechin (2000a,b), Markow and Lenning (1998). According to Canas and Novak (IHMC 2009) concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclossed in circles or boxes of some type and relationships between concepts are indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases specify the relationship between two concepts. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defined concept map as a diagram that depicts suggested relationships between concepts. It is a graphical tool that designers, engineers, technical writers and others use to organize and structure knowledge. Giving an overview, the Wikipedia encyclopedia describes concept map as a way of representing relationship between ideas, images or words in the same way that a sentence diagram represents the grammar of a sentence, a road map represents the locations of highways and towns and a circuit diagram represents the workings of an electrical appliance. In concept map, each word or phrase connects to another, and links back to the original idea, word or phrase. Concept maps are means of developing logical thinking and study skills by revealing connections and helping students see how individual ideas form a larger whole.

The technique of concept mapping according to Wikipedia encyclopedia was developed by Joseph D. Novak as a means of representing the emerging science of knowledge of student by his research team at Cornell University in the 1970s s. It has subsequently been used as a tool to increase meaningful learning in the sciences and other subjects as well as to represent the expert knowledge of individuals and teams in education....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 151 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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