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EFFECT OF GRAPHICS AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT ON THE CONCEPT OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY IN IBIONO IBOM LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background of the Study
Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the study of matter, its structure, composition, properties and the changes it undergoes. It involves the study of material substances that occur on earth and in the universe. Chemistry occupies an immediate position between other sciences like physics and biology (Ojokuku, 2012).
The teaching and learning of chemistry helps to understand the way matter exist and reacts under different conditions, It also helps in utilizing chemistry in various ways to improve our life. Teaching and learning of chemistry helps to acquire certain scientific skills such as handling of laboratory apparatus, performing experiment with ease, and thinking scientifically(Ojokuku, 2012).
Teaching and learning chemistry consistently generate interest among scholars over the years. This is simply because of the importance of chemistry to humanity. Chemistry takes place in our everyday activities, chemical processes outside the school compound such as our daily activities, observationand experiences in the kitchen, industry and environment. Chemistry plays a major role towards the provision of the basic necessities of life and its application in various fields cannot be quantified. It is applicable in the field of agriculture, Hospitals, industry, Transportation, Military, Teaching, Engineering, space and science.The products of chemistry are too numerous to mention which are being used in everyday life, our daily needs, household materials, clothing materials. Others include Agricultural materials, construction and building materials, drugs, explosives, poisons which are all products of chemistry.
According to John and Stone (2009) chemistry is all about what things are made of and how we can change them. It involves the study of properties of substances, that is, when the composition of a substance is known, the usefulness and the way it can be changed will be determined.Chemistry is an essential basis for many facets of our everyday lives and has many unforeseen potential benefits for our future. An understanding of chemistry allows us the opportunity to make sense of and explain the world around us. It develops basic knowledge of how to live on earth, to deal with issue of daily life and how to make decisions concerning our actions as individuals (Ingo Eilk and Avi Hofstein, 2013).
Chemistry education has being identify to be one of the major bedrock for the transformation of our national economic and hence must be accorded adequate attention. According to Otu (2011), teachers variables, students variables and environmental related variable were investigated and the findings show that this all contribute greatly to poor performance to students in science and chemistry in particular. In secondary school time table is prepared to cover subjects to be covered with allotted time and classroom to be used for teaching. Otu and Avaa (2011) found that 40-80minutes allotted for the teaching of chemistry is not enough. Since teachers are not able to complete their syllabus on the given time on the time table, it may affect the achievement of the students at the end of their programme. Some of the chemistry teachers also teach chemistry with negative attitude, weak motivation which makes the teaching and learning process to be very deplorable and less efficient. Consequently, negative attitude and poor motivations affect teachers’ Performance which resolved in poor students’ achievement. According to Adesoji and Olatunbosun (2008), chemistry teaching suppose to be result oriented and students centered, and this can only be achieve when student are willing to and teachers are favourably disposed, using the appropriate method and resources in teaching the students. Usman (2006) remarked that the brain is not the passive consumer of information and to learn with understanding, a student must actively construct meaning of what he or she is learned. Nigeria is not an exception yet with increasing importance of chemistry to the unfolding world, the performance of Nigerian students in the subject at the secondary school remains a dismal failure. However, it is disappointing to note that the students’ performance in chemistry at internal and external examination has remained considerably poor despite relative importance of chemistry (Saage, 2009). Several factors have been advanced as affect students’ poor performance. Korau (2006) reported that such factors include the student factor, teacher factor, societal factor, governmental infrastructural problem, teaching methods, and so on.
According to Coll (2014) students consider organic chemistry as a big hindrance to the study of chemistry as a discipline. Several factors affect students’ poor performance. Some of these has being known to include their own preparedness, teachers’ factor, environmental and social factors and many more. Korau (2006) particularly identified poor conceptual foundation, students’ lack of interest, incompetence teachers, large class size, and psychological fear for chemistry as prominent causes for the observed poor performance of Nigeria students. In some cases loss of interest and attrition could be related to negative experiences such as poor grades, fear of laboratory accident (Hanson and Acquah, 2014), fear of not getting positive results during practical activities, minimal engagement with instructional resources and teachers’ incompetence pedagogical content knowledge (Barr, 2008). Student behaviour could also influence their academic performance (Yara, 2009). Students own attitude is another factor that affects their study of their performance in organic chemistry. In chemistry education, attitude is an important factor that can affect students’ academic achievement. Student with positive towards science in the classroom are successful as they are able to form sound concepts and thereby perform better academically (Koballa and Glynn, 2007).
The use of lecture method by teachers in secondary school has been criticized by many researchers (Newby and Lai, 2008). This instructional method is extremely didactic in approach, teacher-centered, and sometimes does not lead to meaningful learning. Little effort is being made by teachers to supplement the oral instruction offeredto students with the integration of variety of graphics learning resources such as photographs, pictures, cartoons, charts, maps and diagrams.
Moreover, it is pertinent to know that student learn, remember, perform and understand learning tasks in different ways and this pose a challenge in the educational system that assumes everyone learn the same material in the same way through delivering lesson content via oral instruction (Lane, 2012). The incorporation of graphics in a lesson enables teachers to present a visual spatial representation of learning materials. This is combines with oral instruction to facilitate learning among greater number of students.The approach for teaching can be classified into teacher centered and student-centered. In teacher-centered approach to learning, the teacher is the main authority figured in this model while students are viewed as “empty vessels” whose primary role is to passively received information via lecture method and direct instruction with the end goal of testing and assessment because the role of the teacher is to pass information onto the students. But in student-centered approach to learning, the teacher and students play equal roles despite the fact that the teachers play the active role in this process.
Therefore, graphics is one of the instructional resources and the appropriate criteria for selection and application of graphics to learning task is essential. Unfortunately, this is another area in which most teachers are lagging behind.
The Lukewarm attitudes of some school management towards providing necessary, materials and encouragement to enable teachers improvise graphic visuals also deprives students from benefiting from the effective visual, illustrations obtainable in textbooks and other printed sources. This ultimately undermines the academic achievements of students in senior secondary schools.
Several research findings indicate that many reasons account for student lack of interest in chemistry and students’ poor performance in organic chemistry. Then, the question arise, does the use of graphics instructional material has any facilitative effect on students’ academic performance on the concept of organic chemistry in senior secondary schools in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area?
It was against this background that it becomes imperative to conduct further study on the effect of graphics and secondary schools students’ academic achievement on the concept of organic chemistry.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Students’ continuous poor academic performance in science generally, and chemistry in particular on the concept of organic chemistry specifically is a constant source of worry and concern to parents, educators as well as government of the day. It is an issue associated with students’ characteristics, instructional and classroom characteristics, teachers’ characteristics societal factors, teaching method and school factors.
The use of graphics to present learning content in Nigeria senior secondary schools has been a challenging task to most teachers. Problems associated with the utilization of graphics instructional resources could stem from teachers’ attitude to work, dispositions of school managements to the use of instructional media among others. Areasonable percentage of teachers are not abreast to new trends and development in the field of education. As a result most of the teachers lack the required knowledge about the peculiarities of graphics in chemistry and the conditions needed to provide best results in learning.
Inadequacy of skills in teaching is another area of concern. After the decision to present a learning content in visual form has been reached by a teacher, the problem of basic illustration technique arises. A difficulty in physically forming of image on a paper becomes frustrating to some teacher that they give up the idea and all the potentials of visual communication is lost. The deficiency of knowledge about the principles and element of graphic design, a nervous hand, a dripping pen often force many teachers into the avenue of escape. Except for the few who had the advantage of training in drawing or have access to add services, creating visual image is the most challenging problem in teaching