Full Project – The effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement and retention among senior secondary schools
- Background of the study
Globally, education has been allotted a crucial part in stimulating quality in every domain of existence.Intellectual development of an individual is one of the key goals of education. However, the low academic achievement of pupils has appeared as a foremost hindrance in reaching the goal of scholarly improvementof pedants. This perhaps can be ascribed mostly to lack of prominence on abstractlearning and the act of embracing on rote memorization by key educational players in various schools. Sood (2013) asserted that, in disciplines like biology, which is completely established on scientific and logical computations, key players in its instruction laid emphasis basically on remembering the concepts/theories and formulae but not on conceptual understanding (construct attainment) as well as their solicitation which tend to promote the attainment of learning objectives. Sood also avowed that, teaching and learning of biology in schools has become categorized instead of flexibility.
Biology is concerned with the study of living and non-living organism. The biology teacher being the implementer of the curriculum, needs to be dynamic in the use of teaching methods, strategies and pedagogic resources that will help achieve set objectives and also become fruitful in gaining responses from the students. To ensure quality in the teaching and learning of Biology, the teacher has to consider some important factors such as the nature and quality of instructional materials, technological tools etc. Ndioho (2014) reported that the brain is not a passive consumer of information. This means that for effective teaching and learning, learners should be able to consciously construct meaning to what have been taught to them. WAEC (2012) reported that the performance in science subject is very poor in the secondary schools and this has been steady over the years. It is best to inculcate learning approaches suitable for students and that can make them retain better. Once a student retains what is being taught then learning has taken place.
Learning retention is one of the most interwoven and complex issues for students and teachers. It is a general observation that students learn quite well in the classroom but fail to perform well in the monthly tests and annual examinations. In other words, students fail to retain learned material after a specific interval of time. According to Gains (2001) retention is crucial for transfer of knowledge, because if the students do not retain previous knowledge, then most of the teacher’ time is spent in reviewing and re-teaching. Retention of concept is an important factor in determining students’ achievement in a given task or activity. When concepts are taught, it is the wish of the teacher that the students remember what has been taught. Retention is said to have occurred when the topics taught have been absorbed and can be recalled at any point in time. Without retention there cannot be a successful transfer of knowledge. If retention is not the top priority in the classroom, then teachers spend most of their time re teaching and reviewing. This means that the type of retention depends on the material whether it has meaning, familiar, concrete or related to a formal experience. Retention is the ability to remember an experience that most have happened in the past
Sood further stressed that, in order to emanate over such weird condition, an enormous amount of instructional tactics and policies have been established and time-tested out by instructors and teachers. Among the horde of such instructional tactics and policies used in the classrooms till date of which each asserted to be adept of executing certain functions or utilities, although no tactic or policy can vaunt of being the finest and proficient of reaching all the instructive outcomes in education (Sood, 2013).
Out of such instructional tactics and policies, the foremost instructional schemes have been establishedunder the preface of Mastery Learning Strategy (MLS). Mastery learning has been defined in several ways. Mastery Learning Strategy is defined as “strategy that aid each pupil to attain mastery when he is able to give at least 80 percent correct response on a formative or summative test that has been constructed on the basis of instructional objectives with respect to that unit which each pupil is expected to achieve” (Varughese, 2002). Wambugu&Changeiywo (2008) argued that, either pupil who fails the summative test may obtain auxiliary or extra teaching till all pupils finally attain maxim understanding or the teacher resolves to move to the subsequent unit pending majority of the class masters the taught content or unit. Mayanchi, Anya, andKainuwa (2017) also reported in their study that, there was an improvement in the experimental groups who were treated by MLS as compare to the control group. Their result was inagreement with the findings that asserted that, mastery learning use in schools for delivery have shown constructive cognitive learning effects on pupils (Aderemi, 2006, Akinsola, 2007). Similarly, Ogba (2000), Abadom (2002), Majidat (2002), Adeyemi (2007), Patricia and Johnson (2008) and Ogan (2012) in their independent research studies have supported the same findings with common assertion that, mastery learning strategy is vital and play crucial role in the teaching and learning of biology. Numerous studies have also shown that good instructional tactics are adept of refining the attainment of pupils in biology and other related-subjects (Ihendinihu, 2013). Therefore, Mastery learning is a learning approach where the learners are given the opportunity to master a particular unit of lesson before proceeding to the next unit. It divides the subject matter into units with objectives and expectations and students will have to work through each unit in an organized format. The teacher will have to review the students and grade them to know who has mastered each unit and who has not. Students will have to master each learning unit before moving further to the next unit. Mastery learning enables students to acquire necessary knowledge to be promoted to the next class, it also assists the instructor to identify the weak point in students and work on it, thus reducing the failure rate. The core elements of mastery learning provide the foundation for other innovative models, including Response to Intervention Guskey (1997).Every year, educators are inundated with demands to implement new instructional interventions, all promising to improve student learning. It can be difficult, however, for school leaders to verify these claims. Under pressure to make improvements, many schools simply proceed with implementation, hoping against the odds that the promised results will materialize. Fortunately, many innovations include elements of more established strategies for which evidence of positive effects does exist. Among these research-supported strategies, one of the most powerful is mastery learning. Few strategies have been implemented as broadly or evaluated as thoroughly during the last 40 years. The core elements of mastery learning also provide the foundation for many innovations and interventions that teachers are implementing in classrooms today.
Research studies have shown that improved instructional strategies leads to the improvement of learner’s retention. The researcher therefore in this study intends to determine the effect of Mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement and retention among senior secondary school in Biology in Minna Metropolis of Niger State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Biology which is one of the science subjects taught in secondary schools has witnessed tremendous failures in both external and internal examinations. Students tend to look at Biology as an abstract subject, thereby using only memorization skills. The researcher is of the opinion that when proper approach is used in teaching students they will understand and retain what is been taught thereby performing excellently. Therefore, the problem of the study is to ascertain if mastery learning strategy could help students’ retention ability in Biology.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The aim of the study is to find out the effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement and retention among senior Secondary Schools Biology in Minna Metropolis, Niger State.
- Determine the effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement in Biology
- Find out the effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ retention in Biology.
- Find out the influence of gender on students’ achievement in Biology using mastery learning strategy
- Examine the influence of gender on students’ retention in Biology using mastery learning strategy
1.4 Research Question
The following research questions guided the study:
- What is the effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement in Biology?
- How does mastery learning strategy affect students’ retention in Biology?
- What is the influence of gender on students’ achievement in Biology when taught with mastery learning strategy?
- What is the influence of gender on students’ retention in Biology when taught with mastery learning strategy?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference in the achievement scores of students taught Biology with mastery learning strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
HO2: There is no significant difference in the retention scores of students taught Biology with mastery learning strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
H03: There is no significant difference between achievementscores of male and female students taught using mastery learning strategy.
H04: There is no significant difference between retentionscores of male and female students taught using mastery learning strategy
1.6 Significance of the study
The outcome of this study could be useful to various stakeholders in education such as Students’, teachers, parents, school administrators, curriculum planner and the government.
The findings of this study will be of great benefit to students as they will realize the important of mastery learning strategy on enhancing their academic performance. It will enable students to move at their own pace as they master knowledge, skills and dispositions.
Effective implementation at scale will completely change how students learn, how teacher teach, and how schools work. It will revolutionize state testing, education research, and the labor market. It will transform how curricula are developed, how learning is measured and how teachers are trained.
1.7 Scope of the study
This study is aimed at investigating the effectiveness of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement and retention among senior Secondary School Biology in Minna Metropolis, Niger State. Senior secondary two (SS2) students were used for the study because the topic fell under the syllabus. The topic that was treated was “Transport system”. The independent variable of the study Mastery Learning Strategy; dependent variables are achievement and retention while the moderating variable is gender. The study lasted for (8) weeks.
1.8 Operational Definition of terms
The following terms were used in the course of study:
Academic Achievement: This describes academic outcomes that indicate the extent to which a student has achieved their leaning goals.
Mastery Learning: Is a set of group-based, individualized teaching and learning strategy based on the premise that students will achieve a high level of understanding in a giving domain if they are giving enough time.
Retention: Ability of a student to hold and bring to mind a memory of the previously learned skills, knowledge and experience during and after examination
Gender: The state of being male or female
Biology: A branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes.
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Full Project – The effect of mastery learning strategy on students’ achievement and retention among senior secondary schools