ANALYSING PROSPECTS AND PROBLEMS OF INTEGRATED SCIENCE AS A BASIC FOR STUDYING SCIENCE IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
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The study investigated the problems and prospect of Integrated Science as a basis for studying science at Senior Secondary School level in Moro Local Government Area.
Data were collected for 200 purposely selected science teachers from the schools.
Data collected were analyzed using frequency count, percentage t-test and ANOVA.
The results indicate that even there is a good prospect of using Integrated Science for science; it is bedeviled with many problems which could limit the chance of future scientists.
On the comparison, there were no significant differences in the N.C.E., graduates professional teachers and non – professional teachers’ perception of problems and prospects of science for studying science at SSS level.
However, significant differences were observed on the basis of experienced and less experienced teachers.
Based on this outcome, it is recommended that professional science teachers and science equipments should be provided to all laboratories in schools.
Background to the Study
For any nation to be recognized among the committee of nation, that country need to improve it’s scientific and technological know how.
These can only be achieved through well and articulated, science education, if those concerned with designing of educational policy, develop the science curriculum in ways that are aimed at improving scientific knowledge and positive attitude toward science.
They can also be achieved by exposing the younger ones to sciences from the junior secondary school (i.e. JSS) level of their education through the integrated science curriculum.
Integrated science is a basic science subject offers at junior secondary (JSS 1 – 111) level of Nigerian educational system of education.
It is the integration of the basic concepts of the major science subjects like Biology, Physics, and Chemistry aimed at preparing them for the study of science in their senior secondary school (SSS) level of education.
According to the National Policy on Education (2004) the junior secondary school will be both prevocational and academic and will teach basic subjects which will enable pupils to acquire further knowledge and skills (PAR 19(4) p.17).
The importance of the above statement cannot be overemphasized.
First of all, integrated science teaching is expected to use students’ basic knowledge as indicated above.
This will in turn feed the different sciences at SSS level in preparation for studies as the tertiary institutions.
Thus, these groups will constitute the nations future scientists in medicine, pharmacy, engineering and the like.
In furtherance of these objectives, there is need for provision of science teachers to the teaching of integrated science.
The over populated students at this level (Adegbite, 1991) provide laboratory facilities and equipment’s used as the chemicals for experiments.
Fatola (1992) pointed out it, is when these have been provided that the authorities can be said to have laid down the foundation for science and technology.
But Akanbi (1998) noted that there are many problems that frustrate efforts of realizing the aims of science education in Nigeria.
According to him, the most notable of these is the non-science principals of secondary school.
This is because they do not understand and appreciate or recognize the need to improve science in their schools.
They tend to every subject irrespective of their importance, to be rated equally.
The government policy is adversely affecting the effective teaching process of science education.
This is because, education has been politicized. All these and other constitute problems of science education, integrated science inclusive.
More local government area of Kwara State has about seventeen (17) secondary schools.
In these schools, integrated is taught as a core subject at the SSS level. Even though about three over five of the schools have what can be called laboratories.
Most of them are empty in terms of facilities and equipment science teachers in these schools can also be described as inadequate.
Statement of the Problem
Educators are incessantly concerned about the need to improve student’s academic achievement in science subjects.
Research also has shown that, the performance of science students in secondary schools has persistently been on the declined (Bello 1991).
Lack of science facilities, coupled with over loaded syllabus has been given as some of the factors contributing to such performance (Oro journal of educational and technological studies (OJETS, July 2000).
For a long time now, educators as well as research studies in science education have shown that the need for laying a sound foundation for science studies through the teaching of integrated science in the junior secondary school (JSS) level has been neglected.
This is expected to serve as a foundation for the science students in their transition to senior secondary school levels, thereby improving their performance in science and for the overall development of the nation.
Even though this has commenced as emphasized in the Nigerian Policy on Education (2004) it is of concern that many infrastructural and instructional facilities are not in place, particularly in the rural and semi-urban areas.
This is a problem which this study intends to fill.
Thus, the study investigates the prospects and problems of Integrated Science as a basis for studying science in SSS in Moro Local Government Area of Kwara State.
Based on the problem of this study, the researcher attempt to answer the following questions.
1. What are the prospects of teaching integrated science in JSS in Moro local government area?
2. Identify problems associated with the teaching of integrated science in junior secondary schools.
3. Is there any difference n the non-graduate and graduate teacher’s perception of prospect of integrated science for studying science in SSS class?
4. Is there any significance difference in the non-graduate and graduate teacher’s perception of problems of integrated science for studying science in SSS class level?
5. Is there any difference in the experience and the less experience teachers perception of the prospect of integrated science for studying at SSS levels?
6. Is there any difference in the experienced and less experienced teacher’s perception of integrated science for studying science at SSS level?
Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prospect and problems of integrated science as basis for studying science at senior secondary school level.
The study also sought to compare science teacher’s responses on the basis of educational qualifications and teaching experience.
The academic performance of students in JSS III examinations were also collected to determine the prospect and problems of students.
Finally, suggestions for improving teaching/learning situations were also presented in the study.
The following hypotheses were tested in the study.
1. There is no significant difference in non-graduate and graduate teacher’s perception of the prospect of integrated science for studying science at SSS level.
2. There is no significant difference in the non-graduate and graduate teacher’s perception of the problems of integrated science for studying science at SSS level.
3. There is no significant difference I the level of experience and less experience teacher’s perception of the prospect of integrated science for studying integrated science at SSS level.
4. There is no significant difference in the experienced and less experienced teachers perception of the problems of integrated science.
Significance of the study
This study is significant in the sense that it looked to the important role played by integrated science at junior secondary schools to studying science in senior secondary schools.
This may give insight into the chance that the exposition of integrated science gives to intending science students.
Furthermore, the results of this finding may help to identify some of the problems contributing to the poor performance of students in science subjects.
Also the results of this study may suggest solutions that may have positive impact on teaching and learning processes in integrated science, science curriculum development.
Education policy making and science teacher education.