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THE EFFECTS OF STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT WHEN TAUGHT USING THE INSIDE OUTSIDE CIRCLE STRATEGY AND MIND MAPPING STRATEGY IN TEACHING ECOSYSTEM
1.1 Background of Study
Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering, has things in the universe work. It is also the body of knowledge accumulated through the discoveries about all these things in the universe (Alina Bradford, 2017). The word science is derived from a Latin word scientia, which is knowledge based on demonstrable and reproducible data, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2017.
According to science council, science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of natural and social
world following a systematic methodology based on evidence (the science council, 2019). David Edgerton, professor of the of the history of science and technology at Imperial College, defined science as a pursuit.an activity, related to the creation of new knowledge, rather than established knowledge itself(David Edgerton, 2019). Science is based on fact, not opinion or preferences. Science aims for measureable results through testing and analysis. According to study corn, science is study of the physical and natural world through observations and experiments (Study Corn, 2015).
Several people imagine various pictures, such as fat textbooks, white lab coats, microscope, telescope, a naturalist in the rain forest when science is mentioned, but all these pictures represents some aspect of science but none of them provide the full picture of science. Science however discovers what is in the universe, how those things work today, how they worked in the past, and how those are likely to work in the future and everybody all over the world participate in the process of science.
Science is a process which can be learnt even though science everywhere such as the process of creating artificial air, food, water, clothes to wear are based on the processes of science. Science is from one form to another, and from one generation to another, therefore knowledge in science should be transferred in order to meet the changing needs of each generation.
Science education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered as part of the scientific community. The learners maybe children, college students, adults within the general public, the field of science education includes work science content, science process (the scientific method), some science method and teaching pedagogies. The standards for science education provide expectations for the development of understanding science course from kindergarten and beyond, (science education journal, 2018).
The growth of science has been very fast and still on going, so its importance for science educationalist from various areas in science, to be able to transfer knowledge to the younger generation. The National Teachers Association has created position statement on the science education to define and encourage science in many contexts and throughout lifespan (NTS Position Statement Informal Science Education 2017). Science Education helps to cultivate students’ curiosity about the world and hence scientific thinking, through inquiry process, students recognize the nature of science and develop scientific knowledge and skills in technological development. This is what equips students participation on public discourse in science related issues and enable them to become long life learners in science and technology.
Science Education is also seen as a course which is one of the most important subjects in school due to its relevance to the students’ lives and the universally applicable problem solving and critical thinking skills it uses and develops. These are a lifelong skill that allows students generate ideas, weigh decisions intelligently and even understand evidence behind public policy making. Teaching technological literacy, critical thinking, and problem solving through science education gives students the criteria for making judgment about the progress towards the vision of learning science. Engaging students in science content requires educators to help students see themselves as scientist and engineers instead of passively observers of other people work of science (Walden University Idaho, 2016).
Science education is all about creating opportunities for students to see science in application instead of reading about it in textbooks. Complex textbooks are important to have, but if young learners cannot grasp the information and educators are not effectively teaching the science content, then it limits chances of students’ success (Walden University.edu/DATA, 2013-2014). Teachers of science are to create an environment in which students work together as active learners. To teach science teachers must have theoretical and practical knowledge and abilities about science, learning and teaching science. (National Science Standard, 2018) emphasis that science education should concentrate in teaching science concepts and addressing misconceptions that learners may hold regarding science concept or other contents.
In 2018, a standard for science education were released that science educators should follow as guidelines, called the Next Generation Science Standards, are intended to combat wide spread scientific ignorance, to standardize, teaching among States, and to raise the number of high schools graduates who choose scientific and technical majors in college. An emphasis is teaching the scientific processes so that students have better understanding of the methods of science and can critically evaluate scientific evidence. Science education journal,2018. Teachingscience is of great essence because it is enshrined in our everyday activities. Which if well taught could create opportunities for technological development which is every country’s desire.
Researchers shows that students have developed significant misconceptions about science (Bayark,2019), students view about science are mostly based on ideas learnt from popular media, internet, magazines, newspaper, articles, textbooks and classrooms experience which may not be sufficient enough or adequately presented to the understanding of the learners. Consequently most students now view science as a boring concept, tedious accumulations of facts and theories, but not yet rest in scientific methods of doing science, totally lacking imagination and creativity needed in science. Science Education has thus been tasted with the duty to simplify science concept, since it is nature inclined, related to environment and activities in the environment as well as intertwined with culture and life, therefore, science will keep unfolding and intriguing the hearts of young scientist hence, the need to teach science properly.
Science Education is mostly broken down into the following three fields Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Oxford Dictionaries, 2018). Biology education is characterized by the study of structure, functions, hereditary, and evolution of all living organisms (Biology Education Retrieved, 2018). Biology itself is the study of living organism, through different fields including morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin and distribution ( the defunct ion of biology Dictionary.com, 2018).
According to Mary (2017), Biology is the study of structure, functions, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. According to Cimer 2011, most secondary school student view biology as one of the most difficult science course to learn. In contract biology is one of the basic subject needed in secondary school for students who aspire to study further in course like medicine, and surveyor, anatomy, microbiology, pharmacy, dentistry, zoology, botany, genetics which are all branches of biology. Thus, making a compulsory subject in Examination like West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). Other factors also contribute to the poor academic achievement and difficulties experienced by learners such as poor classrooms unavailability of experienced teachers in biology, self-esteem, self-efficacy, emotional problems, study habit and poor interpersonal relationship. This is as a result of low self-esteem and low worth. The child that cannot relate well with another child properly is having interpersonal issues either due to fact that child dear not speak well, understand Iris some concept, understand true capacity and importantly lack of interest in science (Usuak, prokop, Ozel, Bilen Eragan, 2009).
Gender is another factor that might influence the academic achievement of students in biology. Some researches has shown that male students perform better in biology concept than female students (Daniel, 2014). Gender is the range of physical, biological, mental and behavioural characteristics pertaining to and differentiating feminine and masculine (female and male) population. The importance of examining achievement in relation to gender is based primarily on the socio cultural differences between girls and boys, which highlights that boys to do complex and difficult tasks and girls are expected to do relatively easy and less demanding tasks. As a result this way of thinking the larger society tended to see girls as weaker sex. Consequently, an average Nigerian girl goes to school with these fixed stereotypes ( Olupide, 2012).
Fabunmi (2014) the influence of gender on students’ academic achievement in secondary school discovered that gender composition has a significant relation with students’ academic achievement. In support of this Yang (2014) and Nasr and Asghor (2011) highlight that there is a significant difference in the academic achievement of students and the interest male and female students in biology that male students performed better than the female biology students. Nnamani and Oyibe (2016) observed that the female biolo9gy students achieved more than the male biology students while Musa & Umar (2016) on the contrary highlighted that male students performed better than female biology students.
This further proves that gender is a very influential factor in the academic achievement . This is because some studies agree showing that male students are performing better and other studies Okorie & Eze (2016) observe female biology students are performing better, while kola and Taiwo (2013), do not see any significant different between academic achievement of male and female students.
According to Chief Examination reporter 2013,2014, 2015 and 2016) and Weaconline.org 2016-2017, shows that there have been a consistent decline in the performance of students offering biology in the essential examination as well as comments from the Weaconline.org). indicating that the general principle and terms that should be used in biology are not properly understood. Cimer (2011), highlighted some concepts in biology which were raised and considered difficult such concepts and topics were water transport in plant, Respiration, Photosynthesis, Gaseous exchange, cells, Mitosis, and Meiosis Ecology, Oxygen transport, Genetics, central nervous system in secondary school.
These difficulties and poor academic achievement may have resulted from the way biology may have be taught for decades of years. Several teaching methods used may has been teacher- centered as lecture, demonstration and expository approaches, where students are passive in the in the learning process. Other factors also contribute to the poor academic achievement and difficulties experienced by the learners, such as poor classrooms, unavailability of experienced teachers in biology, self- esteem/ self- efficacy, emotional problems, study habit and poor interpersonal relationship, expected this area for other gender.
That is concepts male students more interested in science than female students and vice versa and most important lack of interest in science (Usuak, prokop, Ozel, Bilen Eragan, 2009).
Biology been the basic, Nigeria Education Research and development Council has also identified the importance of biology in the curricula, thus ensuring that concepts and topics are well understood to enable students who wants to major in higher science course will be confident and creating powerful platform for building, developing communication skills, ability to ask questions, collect information, organizes and test ideas, solve problem and apply knowledge and making the world with science and technology would require proper and effective strategies in teaching biology.
In Biology, topics like Ecology which ecosystem is the major concept, is a dynamic complex of plants and animals intruding as a functional unit or a community of living and non-living that work together. It consist of abiotic (soil, water, air, light) and biotic parts (flora and fauna). Ecosystem has no particular size; it could be as small as a tree and large as the earth.
Ecosystem are divided into two components which are broadly grouped into two
- Abiotic components
- Biotic components
Abiotic component (Non - livings) can be grouped into the physical factors, (sunlight, temperature, rainfall, humidity) inorganic substance (carbon (IV) oxide, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, sulphur, water, rock soil and other minerals), organic compounds (carbohydrate, proteins, lipids, humid substances) which are building the biotic and abiotic components.Biotic component (Living) can be grouped into
- Producers- the green plant manufactures food for the entire system through the process of photosynthesis. Green plants are called autotrophs, absorbing water, minerals and nutrients, carbon (iv) oxide and capture solar energy for this process.
- Consumers- they are called heterotrophs, they consume food synthesis by the autotrophs. Based on preferences they can be grouped into the three- broad categories such as, Herbivores (cows, deer, sheep) fed directly from the plant. Carnivores animals which eat other animals especially on the herbivores animals. Omnivores animals that feed on plants and animals for example man.
- Decomposer- also called saprotrophs. They are mostly bacteria and fungi that feed on dead decomposed organic matter of plants and animals by secreting the enzymes. They play a significant role in the recycling of nutrients for the primary producers (Green plant), thus the cycle again (energy flow). They are also called detrivores or detritus feeders.
There are functions of ecosystem and its benefits to human beings. The ecosystem could be aquatic or terrestrial could exist as small as tree and large as earth. Humans are dependent on the ecosystem because they provide the requirement for life such as food, fuel and water. The ecosystem can sustain itself with processes such as food chain, food web which are the energy flow goes round and round. The ecosystem is mainly about interaction.
More recently an initiative called, The Economic of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB) has been published, which focuses on drawing and attention on economies benefits biodiversity. Its objectives highlight its growing cost of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, underpinned by the evidence base linking economics and ecology. The ecosystem is the care of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) which promotes the protection of ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration of the ecosystem. Biodiversity underpins the functioning of ecosystem which is central, to the rational for the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020. Globally, one of the largest threat to biodiversity is habitat destruction which essentially destroying the biotic energy ecosystem and changing the pattern of energy flow within them. Habitat loss and fragmentation have been identified as primary cause of species range, decline of numerical abundance and extinction.
There are certain teaching methods that have emerged due to the increasing and consistent poor performances in school usually, in order to improve education and learning. These methods highlighted are more students centered and students are actively involved. Inside- outside circle is a co-operative strategy for learning and teaching by Spencer Kagan (2009). Where students give information about a concept taught at same time listen to the other partner to share his or her information on the same concept. The inside-outside circle is a summarization strategy that get students up and moves, provides a way to get students who would normally would not interact with others to participate in the activity, this bringing all students to understands and contribute (Mitarsono, 2012).
Inside-outside circle (IOC) according to Kagan in Sari 2013 is a technique that places learners facing each other in two concentric circles, one within the other. It will be more effective if it is done with six or more students half in each circle. The inside outside circle technique facilitates verbal interaction between learners which give them opportunity to practice more with their rolling pairs.