INVESTIGATION ON LABORATORY RESOURCES ON CHEMISTRY ACHIEVEMENT AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT IN GUSAU METROPOLIS, ZAMAFARA STATE

ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of chemistry laboratory resources on students‟ achievement in chemistry in Gusau metropolis‟ public secondary schools. The main objective of the study was to establish if there is any significant difference in academic achievement in chemistry between students exposed to chemistry laboratory resources and those not so exposed. Learners‟ achievement in chemistry was determined by scores obtained by students in Students Achievement Tests (SAT) done just before and immediately after exposure to the topic under investigation. Data relating to teachers‟ and students‟ views on the use or non use of chemistry laboratory resources and its effects on achievement in chemistry were collected using questionnaires. The computer package SPSS (Statistical package for social scientists) was used to analyze the data. Descriptive statistics such as frequency, mean, percentages, and standard deviation was used to discuss the research findings. The study also used inferential statistics such as ANOVA, ANCOVA, independent T-test and multiple regression to test the statistical significance in the four null hypotheses generated for the study. It was found that the use of chemistry laboratory resources in teaching and learning of chemistry at secondary school level, improved performance in the subject. There was a difference between the mean scores in the post test of the students of both groups. The mean score for experimental group was (15.73) whereas it was (14.18) for the control group. The t-test value was (4.47) at p = 0.00, that is, a significant level at p ˂ 0.05 which indicated that there was a significant difference in performance of the experimental and the control group. That is, the students exposed to chemistry laboratory resources scored significantly higher in the achievement test than those not exposed. The ANOVA results (F= 74.2, p = 0.00), a significance level at p ˂ 0.05 and (F= 132.7, P = 0.00), that is a significance level at p ˂ 0.05 showed that a strong relationship existed between achievement in chemistry and nature, and frequency respectively, of chemistry laboratory resources used in the teaching and learning of chemistry. It was further found that a majority of students (68.8% and 76.6%) respectively agreed that the use of chemistry laboratory resources makes learning to be enjoyable to students and increases their understanding of concepts. In addition, it was observed that pressure to cover the syllabus is not an obstacle to using of chemistry laboratory resources as a teaching and learning method. The study recommended that students be given an opportunity to engage in „deep learning‟ during chemistry laboratory resources and that there should be further study on the curriculum and learning standards for chemistry laboratory resources in secondary school Chemistry and that due consideration should be paid to improving school conditions and teachers‟ capacity, for effective implementation of chemistry curriculum.

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
• Background to the Study
Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the study of the composition and properties of matter, changes in matter, the laws and the principles that govern these changes (Ebbing, 2016). Chemistry is one of the subjects that is offered in the Nigerian secondary school curriculum (KIE, 2012). It is an important part of what is called science and an active and continually growing science that has vital importance to our world in both the realm of nature and realm of society (Anaso, 2015). According to Kauffman and Szmant (2017), chemistry is characterized as the most utilitarian of all the experimental sciences. For example, in Nigeria, a good secondary school education pass grade in chemistry is a prerequisite for joining medical and agricultural professional courses. Poor performance in the subject means fewer students are able to join such professions, therefore lack of enough professionals leading to low health care provision and food insecurity in the country.

Since chemistry is the science that has the most direct and dramatic impact on our lives, and the science that shapes the world we will live in tomorrow, the performance of students in the subject is a major concern to any developing country (Khan, Hussain, Ali, Majoka, and Ramzan, 2011). The uniqueness of chemistry and the central role that it stands to play in the development of any nation when considered, are however, not evident in the performance of students. The students‟ achievement in chemistry in Nigeria has been poor and unimpressive (Anaso, 2015).

In their study, Edomwonyi-Out & Avaa (2011) made an attempt to ascertain the remote causes for the poor performances reported in Nigeria in chemistry at the secondary level of education. Teacher variables, student variables and environment-related variables were investigated and the findings showed that these all contribute greatly to the poor performances of students in science subjects and chemistry in particular.

According to Inyega and Thomson (2016), the poor achievement in chemistry in the national examinations by many candidates has been a subject of debate since the inception of 8-4-4 system of education in Nigeria. This is an indication that the teaching and learning of this subject in secondary schools has not been well. The Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) project (Nigeria) was introduced when the consistently poor performance in Mathematics and Science became a matter of serious concern (Nui & Wahome, 2016).

Knowledge of how teaching methods affect students‟ learning may help educators to select methods that improve the teaching and learning quality and effectiveness. An appraisal of the role of chemistry laboratory resources as an approach or method in the learning and teaching of chemistry is necessary. This can be done by conducting related classroom-based relevant research on central issues like the effectiveness of the method, which can shape and improve chemistry learning consequently improving performance. Hence, the study intended to find out the effects of chemistry laboratory resources on learners‟ achievement in chemistry in Nigerian secondary schools.

While chemistry laboratory resources are assumed to be necessary for all learners, some studies (Gardner, 2015) show that boys and girls differ in the reception of the practical approach. Although learners benefit through engagement with concepts in chemistry laboratory resources through interactions, hands-on activities and application in science, Gardner (2015) shows that sex may determine students‟ attitude towards science. A study in Israel (Trumper, 2016) showed that boys and girls of the same age tend to have different attitudes to similar teaching styles. On the other hand, a study by Kibirige and Tsamago (2013) shows that the attitudes of boys and girls towards science are not different when using similar methods. Due to differing views, this study also sought to find out if there was gender differences in performance when learners were taught chemistry using methods incorporating practicals.

• Statement of the Problem
Chemistry has a crucial role in the rapid developments in science and technology. Since the Nigeria „Vision 2030‟ emphasizes the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) in a modern economy, then, good performance in the subject and other sciences is crucial. The school science curriculum in most countries has a distinct purpose of supplying new recruits to jobs requiring more detailed scientific knowledge and expertise then, learning of school chemistry, a science, provides the foundation for more advanced study leading to such jobs. Poor performance of students in chemistry is a major concern to teachers, policy makers and curriculum developers who are all geared towards achieving the „Nigeria Vision 2030‟.

In Nigeria, chemistry laboratory resources are given a central and distinctive place in the teaching and learning of chemistry at the secondary school level. Although chemistry teaching and learning essentially involves chemistry laboratory resources and has a long tradition of student experimental work in schools, questions have been raised about the appropriate role and the reality of what is actually achieved by the chemistry laboratory resources especially with continued decline in performance in the subject. Despite the widespread use of chemistry laboratory resources as a teaching and learning strategy in school chemistry, and the view that increasing its amount would improve chemistry learning, some science educators have raised questions about its effectiveness. Although chemistry laboratory resources often occupy a massive share of curriculum time and resources, doubts have been raised about their effectiveness or their real educational value, as students continue to perform poorly in the subject. Therefore, this study sought to find out the effect of chemistry laboratory resources on students‟ achievement in chemistry in Nigerian secondary schools in a bid to improve the academic achievement in the subject.

• Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of chemistry laboratory resources on achievement in chemistry among public secondary school students of Gusau metropolis in Zanfara State, Nigeria.

• Research Objectives
The study aimed at achieving the following objectives. These were to:

• Establish whether students learning chemistry using chemistry laboratory resources perform better than those learning without.

• Find out the effect of nature of chemistry laboratory resources on students‟ performance in secondary school.

• Examine the effect of quality of chemistry laboratory resources on students‟ performance in secondary school chemistry.

• Determine the effect of frequency of chemistry laboratory resources on students‟ performance in secondary school chemistry.

• Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses were generated for the study and tested at significance alpha level of 0.05.

H01: There is no significant difference between the post-test mean score in chemistry of students exposed to chemistry laboratory resources and those not exposed.

H02: There is no significant difference in achievement in chemistry of students exposed to various types of chemistry laboratory resources and those not exposed.

• Significance of the Study
The study attempted to provide evidence on the effects of chemistry laboratory resources on learners‟ achievement in chemistry in Nigerian public secondary schools. By so doing, the findings of this study has added to the existing body of knowledge about the role and effects of chemistry laboratory resources in the teaching and learning of chemistry. Using this knowledge, the teachers of chemistry, science teacher trainers and science educators may be able to maximize the benefits of using the chemistry laboratory resources as a teaching and learning strategy. The findings may give some necessary feedback to tutors in science teachers training colleges, which will probably improve on the training of chemistry teachers. This may in turn boost the teaching of chemistry at the secondary school level, which may lead to higher performance at WAEC. The study might be of immediate benefit to those developing secondary school science curriculum and text books, for example, Nigeria Institute of Curriculum Development (NICD). The study may also bring out suggestions and ways of inspiring and teaching chemistry students.

• Limitations of the Study
There were some constraints that could have influenced the results of the study. First, there was limited control on the teachers‟ attitude towards chemistry laboratory resources which may have influenced the outcome of the students‟ performance in the examination. Similarly, there was limited control on the size of classes in these schools. The number of students in a class may affect the quality of the chemistry laboratory resources which might influence the outcome of the students‟ performance in the examination. Some schools were not willing to participate in the study as control groups where teaching and learning of chemistry was to take place without practicals.

• Delimitation of the Study
The study was conducted in form 2 classes from selected public secondary schools in two metropolis in Zamfara State, Nigeria. For this study, one form 2 topic (Chemical Families: Patterns in Properties) was chosen, taught and examined. This topic was chosen because of its nature. The content of the topic is such that it provides an excellent opportunity for exposing the student to various types of experiments during teaching. Teaching of chemistry as a science subject should be approached by use of investigatory methods and so experiments should be performed in all topics that demand them (NECO, 2008).

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 58 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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