EFFECTS OF ADVANCE ORGANIZERS ON STUDENTS' ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTITUDE TOWARDS LEARNING BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN KILIFI COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Biology is one of the science subjects taught in Kenyan secondary schools. It provides a foundation subjectfor the health sciences, agriculture, biotechnology and environmental science. However, secondary school students in Kenya have continued to perform poorly in Biology in the KCSE national examination. This is an indication that most students do not acquire requisite knowledge and skills during Biology lessons. This is partly attributed to the instructional approaches used. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of using advance organizers on students’ achievement and attitudes towards the learning of Biology in secondary schools in Kilifi County. Solomon Four, Non-Equivalent control group design was used in this study. The study targeted all secondary school students in 249 secondary schools in Kilifi County. The accessible population consisted of all form two students in Kilifi County. Sample size comprised 156 form two students from four co- educational secondary schools in Kilifi County. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four co-educational secondary schools. The four schools were randomly assigned to experimental groups (E1) and (E2) and control groups C1 and C2. The two experimental groups were taught using advance organizers while the two control groups were taught using conventional teaching methods. The instruments used to collect data were the Biology Achievement Test (BAT) and Students’ Attitude Questionnaire (SAQ). The instruments were validated by five experts in science education from Egerton University. The reliability of section A and B of BAT were estimated using Kuder-Richardson 20 (K-R 20) and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient respectively. They yielded a coefficient of 0.82 and 0.79 respectively. Reliability of SAQ was estimated using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and yielded a coefficient of 0.74. Thus the instruments used had a reliability coefficient above 0.70 which is the acceptable threshhold. The data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and t–test. The findings of this study show that learners taught using advance organizers performed better than those taught using conventional teaching methods. The findings also indicate that the use of advance organizers improves students’ attitude towards learning Biology. It was also observed that Advance Organizers reduce gender differences in achievement and also enhances gender parity in attitude towards Biology. It is, therefore, recommended that the use of Advance Organizers be integrated in the teaching of Biology and other science subjects in secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background Information
Science aims at equipping learners with knowledge, attitude and skills necessary for population control, controlling and preserving the environment (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 1986). UNESCO (2017) argues that science should equip learners with knowledge, attitude and skills that would ensure sustainable societies. According to the Republic of Kenya (RoK, 2012a), courses like medicine require strong background in Biology. Emerging issues such as HIV/Aids, drug abuse and environmental pollution which have an impact on human lives have been incorporated in Biology (Kenya Literature Bureau [KLB], 2012). Biology provides knowledge which helps in optimization of sustainable use of natural and environmental resources (RoK, 2013). RoK further opines that Biology forms the foundation upon which a country’s leadership in innovation and economic prominence rests. Biology enables human beings to demonstrate resourcefulness, relevant technical skills and scientific thinking necessary for economic development (Kenya Institute of Education [KIE], 2006). Biology also enables one to acquire agricultural skills, animal breeding and horticultural skills which can improve the economic situation of any country. Maundu, Sambili and Muthwii (1998), argue that if knowledge of Biology is applied well, then it can improve the welfare of humans.

Scientific skills gained from learning Biology are vital for economic growth in any society. Apart from inculcating environmental conservation skills, it also enables learners to acquire problem solving skills, interpersonal skills, project and time management skills and sharpening of one’s scientific thinking (KIE, 2006). Biology as a science is, therefore, an important subject that would contribute towards the realization of Kenya’s vision 2030. Thus, Biology has a role to play in contributing towards the country’s social economic development. Developments in science and technology form the basis of national development (Keraro, 2002). Science is the avenue through which self-sustaining skills can be imparted to students in schools (RoK, 2012a). Ndirangu (2002), argues that industrialization is a pipe dream unless a solid foundation is laid in science and technology. For Kenya to realize her vision 2030, the country must adopt a better science, technology and innovation (STI) dissemination strategy (Republic of Kenya [RoK], 2012b).

Biological knowledge can be used to find solutions to four key societal needs: sustainable food production, ecosystem restoration, optimized biofuel production and improvement in human health (The National Academy of Sciences [NAS], 2009). According to Japan International Cooperation (JICA, 2012) environmental issues such as water and air pollution, and inappropriate disposal of waste is a concern throughout the world. This threatens the health of humans and other wildlife, and inhibits the sound development of economic activities. According to Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), (2014) malaria is the top killer disease in Kenya, as there were more than 46,000 malarial related deaths in the year 2013. Malaria is followed by Pneumonia. Most of the diseases encountered in Kenyan health facilities are preventable at household and community levels, if the public is well informed on the preventive measures (RoK, 2012c). According to the Ministry of Devolution and Planning (2013), there was a decline in the production of horticultural crops, tea and pyrethrum in Kenya in 2012. This decline would not persist had farmers applied relevant biological knowledge and skills. Despite the benefits that accrue from studying Biology, students in Kenyan secondary schools have continued to perform dismally at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Examination (RoK, 2012a). Performance of Biology at KCSE examinations from 2011 to 2018 is shown in Table 1....

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 81 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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