Full Project – Impact of physics teaching resources on attitude and academic performance among secondary school students

Full Project – Impact of physics teaching resources on attitude and academic performance among secondary school students

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The study investigated the Impact of Physics Teaching Resources on Attitude and Academic Performance among Secondary School Students in Maru Education zone, Zamfara State, Nigeria. The study was conducted using a population of 1400 students, sample size of 160 students from G.S.S Mayanchi (n=80) and G.S.S Dankurmi (n=80), using intact classes. The Students through random sampling by balloting were assigned to experimental and control groups. A pre-test, post-test Quasi-experimental design was used. The Topics were taught for six weeks using Physics teaching resources for the experimental group and lecture method only for the control group. The instruments used for the study were Physics Performance Test (PPT) and Physics Students’ Attitude Questionnaire (PSAQ). Four objectives were formulated among which include to examine the impact of  Physics teaching Resources on Students’ Academic Performance in Physics. Four research questions were asked and answered among which include what is the effect of Physics Teaching Resources on Academic Performance of Physics Students in Maru Education Zone? And four null hypotheses were tested at P≤0.050 levels of significance which include there is no significant difference between the Academic Performance of students taught Physics using Physics teaching Resources and their counterparts taught Physics without Resources among others. Independent t-test, Paired t-test and Mann Whitney u-test were used to determine the level of significance of the two groups at P≤0.05.The major findings from the study indicate that: There is a significant difference between the mean attitude scores of students taught Physics with Physics teaching resources(Experimental Group)  and their counterparts(Control Group). There is a significant difference between the mean Academic Performance scores of the Experimental and Control Groups. There is a no significant difference between the mean attitude scores of male and female students in the Experimental Group. There is a no significant difference between the mean Academic Performance scores of male and female students in the Experimental Group taught using Physics Teaching Resources. Based on the findings of the research, it is recommended among others that Physics teaching resources should be used by Physics teachers in teaching the subject. Based on this study, it was found that Physics teaching resources have impact on Academic performance and attitude of students. Physics teaching resources promote meaningful learning and develop students’ positive attitude towards Physics among others.





1.1       Introductions

Science teaching in Nigerian Secondary Schools started when grammar schools in Nigeria were established. Prominent among Science subjects taught is Physics. Physics is one of the science subjects that remains one of the most difficult subjects in the school curriculum (Isolo, 2010). Several studies had revealed that the academic performance of Nigerian students in secondary school Physics is generally and consistently low over the years (Obina, 2011). Researchers have pointed out a number of factors as being responsible for incident of low academic performance in science subjects. These include: lack of clearly philosophical framework, constant use of traditional lecture method of teaching and lack of resources for teaching and learning science, poor classroom management, large class size (Abdulrahman, 2012). Teachers around the world face many obstacles when attempting to teach overcrowded classrooms. Overcrowded is used interchangeably with large class size. Large class rooms are those where learners – teacher – ratio (LTR) exceed 40:1 (FME, 2004; USAID, 2007) such classroom conditions are commonly found in Nigeria where class sizes often swell up and beyond 100 students in a single class. Shaibu and Usman in Abdulrahman(2012) observed that class size, that is, manageable by the teacher enhance students’ academic performance in science(Physics inclusive).

Physics is among post- basic education subjects which is to be taught immediately after basic education in junior   secondary education. The essence of teaching Physics among others include to provide trained manpower in the applied Physics and technology, and also inspire students with a desire to self -improvement and academic achievement of excellence. Therefore, science educators should show interest in the process involved in the teaching and learning of Physics because of its importance to humanity. It is therefore important to point out here that Physics is a science subject taught in senior science secondary schools and a foundation subject for many courses. Physics requires adequate attention for an effective teaching and learning of the subject. This is because Physics is one of the main subjects that is compulsory for all Senior Science Secondary School Students and is also a requirement for admission into Nigerian Universities as stated in JAMB Brochure 2011/2012, for many science disciplines among which are Botany, Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Biological Sciences, Science education, Agriculture and Environmental Studies, in which pass grade between A1 to C6 must be obtained by candidates.

Despite the importance of Physics discussed and being a compulsory subject for all science secondary school students as well as basic necessary requirement for admission into Nigerian Universities for many science disciplines, Physics teaching is affected by some problems like lack of human/material resources, among others. A sound science educational system is accepted worldwide as a bed rock of human development and progress (Effiong, 2015). Effiong also maintained that no educational system can rise above the level of its teaching staff.

Anasanya and Omosewa (2011) stressed that a professionally qualified science teacher no matter how well trained, would be unable to put ideas into practice if the school lacks equipment and instructional resources to translate competence into reality. Sciences especially Physics is resource intensive, and it may be very difficult to find some of the instructional resources for the teaching of Physic in schools adequately. Instructional resources are natural and artificial resources which teachers use to aid or facilitate teaching and learning in a classroom setting (Yemisi, 2010). Fasanya in Abdulrahma, (2012) define resources as equipment which the teacher can use to help the academic achievement of lesson objectives. Some of these resources can be bought, the teacher can make some and in some cases, students can help to collect them from their immediate environment.

The importance of teaching and learning of Physics at Senior Secondary School cannot be overemphasized. According to Government of Nigeria as stated in Nigerian National Policy on Education (FME, 2013), The National Policy on Education (FME, 2013) states that science education shall emphasize the teaching and learning of science process and principles. This will lead to fundamental and applied research in sciences at all levels of education. The use of instructional resources if appropriately utilized brings about more effectiveness in teaching and learning Physics, but this depends on teachers, laboratory technicians (i.e. human resource) availability who can use such facilities efficiently  (Ivowi, & Oludotum, 2011). Ibein Abdulrahman (2012) noted that teacher is an indispensable human resource who has a vital role to play in utilization of all other resources and therefore, must be aware of various types of resources available, how to get them and the situations where they can be used effectively.

Instructional resources are educational inputs which are of vital importance to the teaching of all science subjects in secondary schools. Well planned instructional resources in a lesson should do much to banish apathy, supplement inadequacy of books as well as arouse students’ interest by giving them something practical to see and do, and at the same time helping to train them to think things out themselves (Lepil, 2011). Onwa in Abdulrahman, (2012) opined that different instructional resources of the teacher are necessitated by the fact that the learners have their differences and on the fact that learning is more effective if it takes place through the five senses of hearing, seeing, tasting, touching and smelling.

The greater the number of senses involved in teaching and learning process, the higher the level of learners absorption and participation (Junaid, 2012). With the use of instructional resources, the individual is capable of passing Physics. For teachers to use instructional resources in assisting students of Physics with academic problem, they have to be knowledgeable in Physics and those instructional resources he/she uses. The major problem now is ‘’what would be the nature of the performance of secondary school students in Physics when taught using instructional resources (Matazu, 2015)’’?

Instructional materials play a very important role in the teaching and learning process. It enhances the memory level of the students. At this time that education has spread wide and entirely, oral teaching cannot be the key to successful pedagogy; therefore the teacher has to use instructional materials to make teaching and learning process interesting (NIC hulls, 2013; Raw

2015). According to Abdullahi (2010), instructional materials are tools locally made or imported that help to facilitate the teaching/learning process. Ibe (2011) views them as materials/things which are used to facilitate teaching and learning. Cronbach (2009) states the important elements of behaviour that provides the base for learning theory situation which consists of all the objects, persons and symbols in the learning environment. Experience in situation prepares a person to respond to similar situation in future. Use of instructional materials can appeal to the individual attention by creating interest goal that will help the students achieve direct effort. Teachers’ problem of motivation is essentially one of arranging situation with instructional materials in which the students will see goals they want to attain. Brown, Eshiet and Nkem (2013) summarized the role of instructional materials as follows:

They promote meaningful communication and effective learning.

They ensure better retention, thus making learning more permanent.

They help to overcome the limited classroom by making the inaccessible accessible.

They provide a common experience upon which late learning can be developed. They stimulate    and motivate students to learn.

According to Umeh (2009), resources are vital tools in education; they aid teaching and learning and include everything that provide information to the teacher as well as the students. Umeh explained that resources included all forms of information that are used to promote, encourage and enhance teaching and learning activities. These resources can be in form of laboratory facilities, materials and humans. Ivowi (2009) refers to human resources to mean human beings who directly or indirectly contribute to the academic achievement of educational objectives. These include: learners/students, laboratory technicians as well as the teachers. Material resources are structural facilities that are used to ensure effective teaching and learning such as classrooms, laboratories, equipments/supplies, textual materials and audio-visual aids. They help in the attainment of good academic achievement.

Ibian in Stonwa (2013) is of the view that in education, competent, qualified and dedicated teachers have been identified as one of the most predictable and significant tools for sustainable human and material development. The teachers hold the key to the meaningful education which is vital to nation building, consequently, any nation desirous of transformation into great country must be committed to making good teachers, technicians (most vital human resources) available to meet the requirement of schools system. The quality of education in any nation depends on the qualities of the teachers and that the statures of any people depend on the quality of their education (Abiam & Odok, 2006).

Akanbi in Adesoji (2016) stated that adequate human and material resources must be provided in order for the curricular to be translated into meaningful results. Brown and Nkem (2013) opined that equipments should be properly installed and commissioned before they are made available for use by the students. Consequently, human resources is one of the resources that have to be mobilized and deployed by organization to attain its goals. It is significant because this is the only resource that can manipulate all other resources to make them productive. Plants, equipments and tools have to be operated by persons. It is for this reason that great importance has to be accorded to utilization of human resources and not material resources alone.

Attitude is the position of body and state of mind of an individual. Attitude toward science is related to positive or negative feelings about scientific objects and enables prediction of scientific attitudes. Rakhee and Sherma (2013) claimed that Attitude is the sum total of a  person’s inclination toward a certain type object,  institution  or  idea‟,  while  Gronlunds  in  Lawal (2017) provided  the  widest  meaning  of  attitude  as  that  which embraces  all  aspects  of  personality  development such as  individual  interest,  motives,  values,  vocational adjustment  derived  from  vocational  pursuits  and  other phases of one’s daily  lives. Prokop,  Tuncer  and  Chudá  (2007) highlighted  the  importance  of  understanding  students’  attitudes  in such a way that it will  positively affect their achievement and interest within a particular discipline. The laboratory teaching in biology is an educational strategy which is based primarily on experiences generated in the various social encounters by the learners themselves and which aims to influence attitudes and develop competencies towards learning Physics.

Academic Performance means an award of completing academic programme. Popoola (2010) defined academic performance as an expression used to present students’ scholastic standing and which is a function of various factors such as method of teaching, teachers’ qualifications, students’ home background, school environment, attitude, interest, among others.

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. There has been continuous effort by male and female scholars towards purposeful academic achievement (Obeka, 2009). However, there has not been any generally agreed pattern of influence of sex on academic achievement and interest, while some students in art subjects showed no difference, but in sciences (Physics in particular) showed some difference due to gender. The professional studies of Physics, astronomy and engineering are dramatically under-represented by women. While women represent half of the general population, they represent only a few numbers of professionals in the physical science (Ormerod, Battomly & Wood, 2011). This problem or difference lead the female students to poor academic performance and also lead the Physics itself into attrition. Consequently, the senior science secondary school students who are victims of this difference of gender may not feel motivated or interested in learning Physics, and at last they may feel frustrated which may lead to poor academic performance in learning the subject (Physics).

In Nigeria, the National Policy on Education (FME, 2013) viewed class size and laboratory size as the population of a given class in terms of number of students and recommends a normal class size of 40 pupils to one teacher. Any number exceeding 40 students to a teacher violates the National Policy on Education recommendation on the class size. This covers Physics lessons and laboratory practical in terms of students facilities ratio. And also affects teachers’ ability in training their students. In this study, therefore, the impact of resources for teaching Physics will be investigated on attitude and students’ academic performance in Physics at Secondary School level.



Theoretical Framework

The study is theoretically based on Brunner’s theory of constructivism (1960) and Piaget’s theory of constructivism (1896-1980). Bruner’s theory provides a model of teaching and learning. According to Brunner, constructivism is a theory of learning in which individuals create their own new understanding on the basis of interaction between what they already know and believed and ideas and knowledge with which they come into contact and based on prior experiences. Constructivists argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and ideas. As the learners engage in practical activities they generate knowledge and meaning from the interaction between specimens and equipment (hands-on-minds-on). Bruner in Lawal (2017) introduced the concept of learning by discovery. Bruner believes that learning by discovery begins when science teachers purposefully create problem and present it to students by introducing some inconsistencies among sources of information which are given in the process of instruction. According to Bruner, presenting such contradictions to learner leads to intellectual discomfort that will stimulate the learner to figure out a solution by engaging in mental processes which involves observing hypothesizing, measuring, stating problem, data collection, classifying, inferring etc. Brunner in Lawal (2017) also stated that the greater the students involvement in the learning process the greater the learning. He stated that learners must occupy themselves with explorations and problem solving rather than rote memorization. This should be the focus of science, and greater emphasis should also be placed on doing rather than telling. This will provide opportunity for students to discover concepts by themselves, having made learning meaningful and enhancing better students’ performance. Ausubel distinguished two types of learning as “rote” and meaningful learning. According to Ausubel (1963) when one encounters completely new unfamiliar material then rote learning as opposed to meaningful learning takes place. Ausubel theory is therefore concerned with how individual learn large amount of meaningful materials from verbal or textual presentation in a school setting.

Piaget’s theory of constructivism argues that people produce knowledge and form meaning based on their experience. Piaget believed that our present knowledge has evolved over time. Piaget described two processes of used by the individual in its attempt to adapt: assimilation and accommodation. Both of these processes are used throughout life as the person increasingly adapts to the environment in a more complex manner.

Assimilation is the process of using or transforming the environment so that it can be placed in preexisting cognitive structures. An example of assimilation would be when an infant uses a sucking schema that was developed by sucking on a small bottle when attempting to suck on a larger bottle.

Accomodation is the process of changing cognitive structures in order to accept something from the environment. An example of accomodation would be when the child needs to modify a sucking schema developed by sucking on a pacifier to one that would be successful for sucking on a bottle. This research work is therefore adopted Bruner’s and Piaget’s model of leaning

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Some researchers (Ormerod, Bothomly, & Wood, 2011) observed that some of the senior science secondary school students find it difficult to study Physics, because of problems associated with teaching and learning the subject. These problems lead the students to low academic performance and also lead the Physics itself into attrition. Consequently, the senior science secondary school students who are victims of these problems may not feel motivated or interested in learning Physics (Onah & Ugwu, 2010).

Majority of schools claimed to offer science subjects for their students of which Physics is one of them, but a visit to these schools revealed that some of them offer science subjects but in reality there are no functional human/material resources for teaching and learning them (science subjects). This may be due to negligence, lack of operating knowledge, lack of sufficient human/material resources to teach Physics among others (Onah & Ugwu, 2010).

Reports in past years indicated steady decline in candidates’ academic performance in Physics. This can be seen from the analysis of school certificate examination for science subjects (2013 – 2018).


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