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THE IMPACT OF PRACTICAL WORK ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF SOME CONCEPTS IN BIOLOGY IN SOME SELECTED SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

Practical is a key factor in engaging, enthusing and inspiring students, thus, stimulating lifelong interest in science.  High quality, appropriate practical work is central to effective learning in science.  As a result of the unique opportunities to the study, abstract concepts and generalization at such concepts are aimed through the use of real objects in the laboratory. This study aimed to find out the impact of practical work in the teaching and learning of some concepts in Biology.  This study is restricted to some selected secondary schools in Abeokuta, Ogun State. A survey research design was used for the study which made use of questionnaire in collecting data from 90 respondents, where 30 respondents were selected from three schools using simple random sampling technique “SalawuAbiola Comprehensive High school, Osiele, Abeokuta, Deeper life High School, Odeda, Abeokuta, F.C.E Model Secondary School, Osiele, Abeokuta.  Data generated were analyzed with the use of statistical tools such as frequency and percentage.  The result shows that practical work has great impact on the teaching and learning of some concepts in Biology.  It was recommended that students should be exposed to more practical work and more attention should be given to the students during and after practical classes.   

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Science is a great enterprise which nations depend on, in-order to advance technologically. Science therefore is receiving much emphasis in education because of its significance and relevance to life and society.   Biology is the science in which we study living things.  You can learn about an organism by reading about it.  You can also learn about the organism by picking it up and studying it.  The former is a theoretical approach, while the later is the practical approach.  It must be borne in mind always that animals should not be killed, nor plants life destroyed needlessly.  After all, biology is the study of life. Biology as a branch of science and the prerequisite subject for many fields of learning contributes immensely to the technological growth of a nation. This includes Medicine, forestry, agriculture, biotechnology and nursing. The study of Biology in senior secondary school can equip students with useful concepts, principles and theories that will enable them face the challenges before and after graduation. Practical work in Biology provides opportunities for students to actually do science as opposed to learning about science.  Practical work is a keyfactor in engaging, enthusing and inspiring students, thus stimulating lifelong interest in science. High quality, appropriate practical work is central to effective learning in science.The science laboratory is organized setting used by students to observe and manipulates material in order to see in concrete terms some of the concepts learned in the class during the lectures and those read in reference textbooks.  Hamidu, (2002), pointed out that the teaching and learning of science progresses by exposing students to practical work and experiment in and outside the classroom or laboratory facts.  He further stressed that those science teachers in Nigerian Secondary Schools do not teach practical until the second or third term of the final year in the secondary schools, he further `said that the teacher begins hurriedly to the students and then no how to attempt and answer practical questions in their final year examination. Practical work is significant in the aspect Exposure of real life situation i.e. application of practical experiences to real life situation (Onyimadu 2001).

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This project is interested in finding out “THE IMPACT OF PRACTICAL WORK ON THE TEACHING AND LEARNINNG OF SOME CONCEPTS IN BIOLOGY”.

1.3       PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to assess the meaning and impact of practical work on teaching and learning of some concepts in Biology in some selected Secondary School.  The findings from this study is expected to provide the understanding of the impact of practical work on the teaching and learning of some concepts in biology for teachers and educators.     

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY    

This study is of significant due to the following:

1.      The research findings will be useful for further research work (for those that want to carry out further research work in related disciplines).

2.      The findings of this study encourage the biology teachers to know the importance of practical work in the teaching and learning of some concepts in biology.

3.      The findings of this study will make it easy for students to comprehend and get a clear picture of some of the basic concepts in biology.  Hence, learning will be permanent. 

4.      The finding of the research will make students to understand the impact of practical work on teaching and learning of some concepts in Biology  

1.5       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

            This project will find answers to the following questions:                

1.      What is practical work?

2.      What are the impact of practical work on the teaching and learning of some concepts in biology?

3.      How does practical work influences the teaching and learning of some concepts in biology?

4.      What is the relationship between practical work and performance of students in biology?  

1.6       SCOPE OR LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to some selected secondary schools as follows:

1.      SalawuAbiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele, Abeokuta.

2.      Federal College of Education Model Secondary School, Osiele, Abeokuta. 

3.      Deeper Life Secondary School, Odeda, Abeokuta

1.7       DEFINITION OF TERMS

·         IMPACT: The part play by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance.

·         PRACTICAL WORK: It refers to practical activities that include demonstrations, discussions, simulations, exercises, observations or manipulation of real objects and materials by students and fieldwork. The students working in pairs or small group of three or four are guided by the teachers and the teaching materials to observe and interpret events or phenomena occurring to the object.            

·         TEACHING: It is the systematic way of impacting worthwhile values or helping people to learn.

·         LEARNING: It can simply be said to mean a relatively permanent change in the learners and must be as result of experience the learner has been exposed to.

·         BIOLOGY: This can simply be defined as the study of life.

·         VARIATION: This can be defined as the differences which exist between individuals of the same species.

·         DIFFUSION: This is defined as the process by which molecules or ions of a substance (i.e. gases and liquids) move from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration until they are evenly distributed.

·         OSMOSIS: This is defined as the flow of water or solvent molecules from a region of dilute or a weaker solution to a region of concentrated or stronger solution through a selectively or differentially permeable membrane.

·         CONCEPTS: These are ideas or terms or principles that are connected with something abstract. 


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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