PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHEMISTRY EFFECTIVELY IN THE JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF ENUGU URBAN

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PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHEMISTRY EFFECTIVELY IN THE JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF ENUGU URBAN

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The term science has to do with nature; it is derived from the latin word scientia which means knowledge. It is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanation and predictions about the universe. It can equally be defined as the field of study which tries to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or part. According to Hyacinth (2004) science in its broadest scene refers to all human activities involving organized knowledge of natural phenomena. It also refers to a system of acquiring knowledge here system uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena.

According to hornby (2002) science is the knowledge about the structure and behavior of natural and physical world based on facts that can be proved. Science is the study of natural phenomena and is distinguished from other fields because it relies on the hypothetical, deductive and experimental approach. Webster’s New collegisted Dictionary defined science as the knowledge attained through study or practice, in order word it is a knowledge covering general truths of the operation of general laws, especially as obtained and tested through scientific method and concerned with the physical world. Mbajorgu (2003),Ali(2000)perceives that science is concerned with regards to developing, acquiring and controlling knowledge, skills, capacity and attitude about natural factors of the environment.   Science according to Onah (2003) is the bedrock upon which any nation can be built. It is said to be a very important of man’s life so much that its role in societal development has been revealed by various civilizations world-wide. Science increasingly associated with the scientific method itself as a disciplined way to study the natural world including physics, chemistry, geology and chemistry. No country can be globally recognized without talking about its scientific advancements. This can be seen in all aspects of life such as medicine, engineering, industries, education etc.

Science education has been recognized world-wide as a pre-requisite in science and technological development. It is that education intended to make every individual scientifically literate enough to like in this age of science and technology, and to have those with the intellectual ability productive and functional members of the society, through training in science based professions or vocations, Hyacienth(2004). Science education encourages students to think and act as responsible scientist by providing opportunities for them to acquire knowledge and understanding of relevant concepts.

According to Hyacienth(2004),science education is field of study specifically concerned with two basic aims which are as follows

  1. The production of a scientifically interaction society.
  2. The development of potential scientific and technological manpower.

Maduabum and Azuezuilo(1980), reveals that education through study of science produces economic benefits and contributes to a country’s future wealth by increasing the productive capacity of its people. Science is a great enterprise which technologically science therefore is receiving much emphasis in education because of its significant and relevance to life and society.

The term chemistry is derived from two Greek words “bios” and “logos” which mean life and study respectively. Chemistry therefore means the study of life or study of living things. According to stone etal (1985), chemistry as a science is defined as a scientific study of living organisms. It is therefore a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and taxonomy. It have several branches; including the two big branches of chemistry which are botany (the study of plants) and zoology (the study of animals), morphology (the study if external structure of living things) physiology (the study of how living things function), Ecology (the study of relationship between living things and their environments), Genetics (the study of how living things inherits characters from their parents) Cell chemistry (the study of cell structure and functions).

According to Okeke (2000). Students who did well in chemistry could have prospects of becoming: Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Chemistry teachers, Medical technologist, Food technologists, Genetic Engineers, Microbiologists, Biochemists, and other science subject.

Chemistry has its origin from Europe but today all the nations of the world accord priority attention to science and technology in development efforts. The reason for according such priority attention to science and technology being that it carries the promises of great economic improvement and equally serve as a gateway to national development in the age of fast developing technology, has become necessary for all countries of the world especially the developing ones to organize and improve the teaching of science throughout the school stage. It is through science that we get the fundamental bases to develop technology.

Chemistry often overlaps with other sciences, for example biochemistry with chemistry and chemistry, Astrochemistry with chemistry and astronomy. Social science such as geography, philosophy, psychology and sociology can also interact with chemistry, for example in administration of biological resources, developmental chemistry etc. it is a vast subject containing many subdivisions topics which are five unifying principle that can be said to be fundamental of modern chemistry.

  1. Cells are the basic unit of life
  2. Living Organisms consumes and transforms energy
  3. Organisms regulate the internal environment to maintain a suitable and constant condition.
  4. Genes and the basic unit of heredity
  5. New species and inherited characters are the product of evolution.

Sub-discipline of chemistry are recognized on the basis of the scale at which organisms are studied and methods used to study them, Biochemistry examines the rudimentary chemistry of life, molecular chemistry studies the complex interactions systems of biological molecules; then cellular chemistry examines the basic building block of all life, which is the cell, physiology examines the physical and chemical functions of the tissue, organs, organ of facts and presentation of information about the natural world. The pace of the development of a given country is always determined by the type of education which operates in that country. What is needed in chemistry is students involvement in the exploration of important ideas of chemistry.

Effective teaching of chemistry is a process by which a chemistry teacher adopt all the possible method used in teaching in the classroom to make sure that students understand chemistry and be able to respond positively during assessment or to produce a good result. Teachers’ effectiveness is exhibited in the teaching method, classroom managements, the material as well as the way students are being handled, a good teacher always bear in mind the individual differences of the students while presenting the lesson and frequently check the student’s understanding of his or her points to make sure that they are getting of understanding his lesson. This also includes the ability of the teacher to answer question asked by the students, having knowledge about his or her subject matter and ability to show students how to conduct appropriate research.

Effective teaching is crucial, in order for students to reach educational success in and outside classroom setting, therefore, there has been some factors militating against effective teaching of chemistry in junior secondary school in Enugu urban, which some of them are as follows:

  1. Unqualified chemistry teacher: Inappropriate training background of science teachers especially chemistry teachers and qualification of chemistry teachers are the major factor that militate against effective teaching of chemistry because some chemistry teachers in some junior secondary school did not undergo enough training to enable them get skills, qualities and enough knowledge of the subject matter and how to impact the knowledge to the students.
  2. Poor method of teaching chemistry in junior secondary school: For teaching to be effectives one must use different methods of teaching. According to Eke (2001), teaching is effective if only it produces or yields the desired results, the ability of the teacher to adapt to different situations and produce a desired result in the classroom is a mark of teaching effectiveness. Vennier and Faith (2001) are of the opinion that all the teaching activities are supposed to produce learning, so that test of effective teaching will be amount of learning that occurs.

When the following methods are used, teaching of chemistry can be effective. According to Bigmen (1999), activity method, inquiry method, and discovery method which elicit student’s interests and enhance their level of attainment or comprehension of chemistry. Activity method the methods that encourage students to participate actively during the lesion while teaching at the same time. Oforkansi (2008) defined activity method as a method whereby the students learn through active involvement rather than being passive or being at the receiving end.

According to Ofokansi (2008), discovery means finding out. Exploration, manipulation and experimentation are components scientific enquiry that help one to discover. This approach demand that the teacher create the problem and allow the pupil/students to find answer for themselves. The author also said that enquiry involve active participation by the student/pupil rather than transmit a preconceived notion about situations.

3.Inadequte supply of chemistry equipment: In some schools, many laboratories equipments like microscope, glass tube, Beaker, slide, Bones of vertebrates etc. charts of different animals development, systems, organs, etc, work book for practical and textbooks are not adequate for the students in learning of chemistry. Chemistry is a science subject which is all about practical and also when combined with other science subject one will be able to study courses like medicine, nursing, pharmacy etc in higher institution. Beaty and Woolnough (1990) are of the opinion that the obsolete and insufficient teaching of chemistry in junior secondary schools. They stressed that the teacher may be competent enough and have all the qualities to impact the knowledge to the students but to the obsolete and insufficient availability of biological equipment the aim is defeated.

Teachers attitude towards the teaching of chemistry: the teachers personalities such as the way the teacher walks, talks, reacts to issues, his/her code of conduct and dressing code has become the major factors which leads to the ineffective teaching of chemistry. It goes with the saying that the personality of such teacher affect the effective teaching of chemistry in a great way. Enwieme(2001) continuous to stressed that teachers personality invariably affect the effectiveness of teaching of chemistry. Oforkansi(2008)opinion that personal qualities do not only enhance teaching and learning but also promotes the tone of the school as well as the profession.

In summary, ineffective of teaching of chemistry in Nuskka Local Government Area could be due to the several reasons such as classroom management, communication, teachers qualification, supply of chemistry equipment, teachers personality, negligence of seminars, and workshop by the teachers of chemistry, inadequate illustration and practical aspect of chemistry is another factors, infrastructural facilities and absences of laboratories etc.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Chemistry is one of the core science subjects, which is supposed to be the most interesting subject to students in junior secondary schools. It has been discovered that the effective teaching of chemistry has been very important. But the rate at which students fails chemistry in result time’s shows that effective learning has not been attained by these students. Aganga (2000) observed that “Many secondary schools, especially the public schools have insufficient competent teachers as well as biological equipment in their different schools”. Therefore, there is the need to answer certain questions to re-enforce their effectiveness in teaching.

 

1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY

The purpose of the study is to find out problems and possible solution of teaching and learning of chemistry effectively in the junior secondary schools of Enugu urban the factors that militate against the effective teaching of chemistry in junior secondary schools in Enugu urban. Specifically, the study aims at finding out.

  1. The extent to which junior secondary schools in Enugu urban have qualified chemistry teachers.
  2. The method of teaching adopted by teachers in teaching chemistry in Enugu urban.
  3. The extent to which junior secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government have adequate supply of chemistry equipment.
  4. The extent to which teachers attitude affect the teaching of chemistry in Enugu urban.

 

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In the course of this work, specific research questions to be answered are:

  1. To what extent do junior secondary schools in Enugu urban have qualified chemistry teachers?
  2. What method of teaching do chemistry teachers usually used in teaching chemistry in Enugu urban?
  3. To what extent do secondary schools in Enugu urban have adequate supply of chemistry equipment?
  4. To what extent do the attitude of teachers affect the teaching of chemistry in Enugu urban?

 

1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY

This research will be beneficial to:

  1. Teachers: The result of this research will enable teachers to use different teaching methods in teaching chemistry
  2. The result of this study will enable educational supervisors (government officials) to check the activities of schools and show that qualified teachers are used.
  3. To provide adequate information in the availability of the scientific specific chemistry equipment in junior secondary schools in Enugu urban.

1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY                           

The following are used for the study: the factors militating against effective teaching of chemistry in junior secondary schools in Enugu urban.

  1. The educational qualification of the teacher in junior secondary schools.
  2. The methods used in teaching chemistry in junior secondary school.
  3. Inadequate supply of chemistry equipment and
  4. Personalities of the teacher of chemistry.

According to PPSMB, there are thirty (30) secondary schools in Enugu urban and the study will cover all the chemistry teachers in junior secondary schools in Enugu urban.

1.7 DEFINITION OF THE BASIC CONCEPTS

Factors: Are one of the element contributing to a particular result or situation.

Militate against: This is a process of making something less likely to happen or succeed. According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary militate against is to prevent something or to make it difficult for something to happen or exist.

Teaching: this means to impart knowledge to or to instruct someone as to do something. Okonkwo (2005) in Oforkansi (2008) defined teaching as a deliberate effort by a mature or experienced person to impart information, knowledge, values skills, norms (standard behavior) more (moral values) attitude language and so on to an immature or less experienced person through the process that is morally and pedagogically acceptable.

Effective teaching: is a process by which a teacher adopt all the possible skills or method used in teaching in the classroom to make sure that students understand the lesson and be able to respond positively during evaluation and produce a good result.

Chemistry: Chemistry is the study of life and living things. It is also a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms including their structure, function, growth, evolution distribution and taxonomy.

Junior secondary school: This is a period of study from junior secondary school one to junior secondary school three.

PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE SOLUTION OF TEACHING AND LEARNING OF CHEMISTRY EFFECTIVELY IN THE JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS OF ENUGU URBAN

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