This study investigated the attitude of teachers towards the application of instructional materials for teaching Chemistry among secondary school teachers in Koko Local Government. The simple random sampling technique was employed in the selecting the schools under the study from the total population. In carrying out this study, a self-developed, structured and validated Questionnaire on Application of Instructional Materials in Teaching of Chemistry in Public Secondary Schools (QAIMTMPSS) was administered while inferential Statistics of Chi-Square was used to test hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the study show that instructional materials are not available for the teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools; the use of instructional materials influence learning; the application of instructional material influences the teaching of Chemistry; teachers are knowledgeable in the application instructional materials but the cost of instructional materials used for teaching Chemistry is high.

The implication for policy and practice respectively drawn from the study are that government should provide for schools the instructional materials or subsidize the price so that the objective on the EKO Project and Millennium development goal (MDGs) can be achieved.

1.1 Background to the Study
Chemistry can simply be defined as those aspects of human experience and knowledge that involve the concept of number, quantity and space. Over the years chemists in formal educational setting have been able to construct abstract concepts into logical, systematic and symbolic terms that involve pattern and precision. Physical observations are often better expressed in chemical expressions thereby enhancing understanding. There is no doubt that chemistry has come to stay in the educational plan of nations in the world.

Chemistry is as old as man. It is a subject that has grown with civilization. Odili (2000) defines chemistry as a science with precise in method and faultless in logic that if a person is exposed to it systematically for a sufficient long time usually through a course of study the individual is bound to be influenced by its contents, method, logic and procedure. Smith (2001) on the other hand defines chemistry as a ‘filter’ because failure to enroll in chemistry course and/or to perform well bars one from a variety of careers and life styles associated with them. A strong background in chemistry is critical for many careers and job opportunity in today’s increasing technological society. Professionals like Engineers, Architects and Pilots use chemistry, likewise the married women, tailors, vulcanizers, and mechanics.

The importance of chemistry to everyday life justifies the inclusion in the curricula at all the levels of education. There is hardly any human being whether literate or non-literate who does not apply chemical concepts in everyday life, even though he may not be aware of it.

Ezenweani, (2002), further added that chemistry is the queen of all science subjects and the gateway to technological breakthrough and improvement. Hence the saying that "No chemistry, no science and technology".

Okereke, (2006) asserted that chemistry is the foundation of science and technology and it’s functional role to science and technology is multifaceted that no area of science, technology and business enterprise escapes its application. Ukeje (1986) described chemistry as the mirror of civilization in all the centuries of painstaking calculation. The author observed that chemistry is the most basic discipline for any person that would be truly educated in any science and other endeavours. Despite the importance placed on chemistry, some scholars observed that students lack interest in the subject and perform poorly in it.

Ukeje (1986) observed that chemistry is one of the most poorly taught, widely hated and abysmally under-stood subject in secondary school, students particularly girls run away from the subject. The Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiners [2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006] consistently reported candidates’ lack of skill in answering almost all the questions asked in general chemistry. WAEC Chief Examiners [2003, 2005] further observed that candidates were weak in Geometry of circles and 3- dimensional problems. According to their reports, most candidates avoided questions on 3-dimensional problem, when they attempt geometry questions; only few of the candidates showed a clear understanding of the problem in their working. WAEC [2004] also reported candidates’ weakness in Algebraic expression and word problems among others.

Students’ poor performance and lack of interest in chemistry could be attributed to many factors among which teachers’ strategy itself was considered as an important factor. Chemistry is abstract in nature and students must be made to see the usefulness of every aspect of it in real life. This implies that the mastery of the concept might not be fully achieved without the application of instructional materials. The teaching of chemistry without instructional materials may certainly result in students not being interested in the subject and performing poorly in it.

According to Nnaka and Anaekwe (2006), instructional materials or instructional materials are equipments and materials, which the teacher can use to enhance the realization of the instructional objectives. Instructional materials’ applications in teaching can make instruction to be much more interesting and enjoyable. The changing images and use of special effects among others, can reduce boredom on the part of learners. Furthermore, classroom interaction can be more interactive. Materials also save teaching time as they require short-time to present large information. They can be used to reveal needs and stimulate students' curiosity. Thus learners’ interest can be aroused maintained, and stimulated to promote their imaginative power.

No matter how well trained and professional a chemistry teacher is, he would be unable to be efficient in the teaching of chemistry if he does not make use of sufficient instructional materials in the teaching of the subject.

1.2 Statement of problem
The ability of school authorities to provide instructional materials in spite of their numerous advantages in teaching of chemistry, is witnessing serious neglect by both the teachers and educational administrators. Also, it has been observed that both state and federal government has provided instructional material yet the teachers have not been seen to utilise them as expected. The ability of a trained teacher to improvise teaching materials for classroom teaching is getting more difficult. This cumulative problem has increased difficulty experienced in teaching learning environment.

Also, it has been observed that claims of the government that instructional materials has been supplied to schools yet they are not been utilized by teachers. Even the functional ones are not put into proper use by the teachers in the classroom. It has been observed that there is only display of such materials by various schools by the officials of the Ministry of Education.

The effect of this neglect mismanagement, poor maintenance and inadequate supply of these instructional materials has created the following problems: Students’ poor performance in chemistry, what is learnt is not easily recalled and lack of interest in the subject chemistry.

The identified problems gave rise to the investigation into the application of instructional materials in the teaching of chemistry in some selected secondary schools in Koko Local Government.

1.3 Research Objectives
1. Determine the instructional materials for teaching and learning Chemistry in secondary schools in Koko Local Government.

2. Ascertain the extent to which Secondary School students learning Chemistry are influenced by the use of instructional materials.

3. Evaluate the state of instructional materials available for the teaching of Chemistry in Koko Local Government.

4. Determine whether there is any difference in the academic performance of secondary schools students in Chemistry due to the availability and use of instructional materials.

1.4 Research Questions
In order to achieve the objectives of this study, the following research questions were raised to guide the investigation:

1. What instructional materials are available for teaching and learning of Chemistry in secondary schools?

2. Which educational instructional materials will influence the teaching and application of Chemistry in secondary schools?

3. What is the state or condition of the instructional materials to teach and learn Chemistry in secondary school?

4. Will there be any difference in the performance of secondary school students in Chemistry due to the availability and effective use of instructional materials for teaching and learning?

1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were tested for the study:

1. There is no significant difference in the mean responses of male and female teachers on the effectiveness of the use of instructional materials to teaching of Chemistry.

2. There is no significant difference between the responses of experienced and inexperience teachers on the effective use of instructional materials on the teaching of Chemistry.

1.6 The Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will educate the operational administrators in both public and private schools on the need to ensure adequate supply and utilization of instructional materials in the teaching process of chemistry.

It will sensitize the teachers over the benefits of the use of instructional materials in teaching chemistry and this is expected to cause a change of attitude towards the use of instructional materials.

Students of education will learn to use instructional materials for classroom teaching and other learning situations

The society will also benefit from the findings of this study, as it will help them to have an insight into the use of teaching aids in teaching and learning of chemistry in the school.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 57 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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