- 1 ABSTRACT
- 2 CHAPTER ONE
This study investigated the Effects of Collateral Learning on Attitude and Performance in Genetics Among Convergent and Divergent Secondary School Students of Suleja Education Zone, Nigeria. The research design used was pre-test, post-test Quasi-experimental control group design. The population of this study covered all the eight (8) public Senior Secondary Schools (SSSII) offering Biology with total enrolment of two thousand two hundred and sixtythree (2263) as at 2015/2016 academic session.One hundred and seventy five (175) students were sampled from two co-educational schools using simple random sampling technique involving balloting. Four objectives were stated with their corresponding research questions and null hypotheses.Two validated instruments namely; GCPT and GCAQ were used for data collection with reliability coefficients of 0.89 and 0.71 using PPMC and SROC respectively. Research questions raised were answered using mean and standard deviation while null hypotheses were tested using ANCOVA, Mann Whitney and Kruskal Wallis test at 0.05 level of significant.Results of the findings showed that there was significant difference between the performance mean scores of convergent and divergent students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy and those taught using Lecture Method, in favour of experimental group. Also, there was no significant difference between the attitude change of convergent and divergent students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy. Similarly, the finding shows that there was no significant difference between the performance mean scores and attitude change of male and female convergent and divergent students exposed to Collateral Learning Strategy. From the findings of the study, recommendations were made which include among others that teacher should be motivated and encouraged by State Ministry of Education and Science Teacher‘s Association of Nigeria (STAN) to attend seminars and workshops on the effective use of Collateral Learning Strategy in the teaching and learning of science in general and Biology concepts in particular.
Science has contributed in no small measure to the development and comfort of the modern world. Belzewki (2009) stated that for any nation to attain the status of self-reliance, science must be an important component of the knowledge to be given to all citizens of that nation irrespective of race, creed or sex. Indeed, science is recognized as the foundation upon which the bulk of the present day technological breakthrough is built. Shaibu (2008) expressed the opinion that Nigerian citizens should pursue science, technology and mathematics education (STME) to prevent Nigeria from being perpetual slave to the developed world. The prestige and political power of any nation also resides largely in its level of scientific performance.
Consequently, the pursuit of science as an imperative endeavour for achieving prosperity and advancement is conspicuous in the national development plans of many developed and developing nations. According to Aliyu (2014) one of the aims of the National Policy on Education (FME, 2009) is to equip students to live effectively in modern age of Science and Technology. This underscores the importance to our economic life and explain why the government through the ministry of education is showing much concern for science education through making good policies that will promote the teaching and learning of science.
Science education researchers like Lawal (2011) and Ajaja (2013) pointed out that the performance of science students in Nigerian schools still leaves much to be desired right from the primary school through secondary school to the tertiary level of education. A general review of Nigerian students‘ performances in Biology in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) from 2010 to 2015 revealed fluctuations and down-ward trends in students‘ performance (Table 1.1 and 1.2).
Biology as one of the science subjects taught in Nigeria senior secondary schools, is a popular science subject of choice among students. According to Bichi (2008), the popular nature of Biology among the science subjects at Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) is attributed to it being softer and relatively easier to learn than chemistry or physics. The word biology is of Greek origin, coined from ‗bios‘, meaning ‗life‘ and ‗logos‘ meaning ‗the study of life‘. Biology is conceptualized as a unique life subject, which deals with animate and inanimate objects, including their structures, functions, growth, origin, evolution and distribution. According to Ahmed and Akinbobola (2011), Biology is designed ultimately to educate individuals who may or may not pursue biological related careers, but could at least acquire the knowledge as prerequisite for pursuing careers in science related disciplines. This includes medicines, pharmacy, nursing, agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, nanotechnology, aquaculture, genetic engineering and many other areas.
Academic performance was defined by Oludipe and Oludipe, (2010) as the exhibition of knowledge attained or skills developed by students in a subject designed by test scores assigned by teachers. However, science education researchers like Lawal, (2009) and Lakpini, (2013) found that the persistent low academic performance in Biology at Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) is attributed to teachers instructional strategy among others. Thus, instructional strategies used by teachers in teaching-learning process have significant influence on learners‘ academic performance. Paul and Dantani (2008) observed that the present method of teaching biology whereby teachers use lecture method does not in any way provide for sequence of learning experiences. Usman (2010) opines that lecture method is teacher-centered with little or no participation of students, consequently, they remain passive listeners. Therefore, in this study Lecture Method was used as a control variable to be compared with Collateral Learning Strategy on Attitude and Performance in Genetics among Convergent and Divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students of Suleja, Niger State.
Genetics is a branch of Biology that studies the function and behavior of genes. Genes influence many aspects of our daily life from the food we eat to identification of criminals, and treatment of diseases. In agriculture, genetics advances have enabled scientists to alter a plant or an animal structure to make it more useful. For instance, food crops such as oranges, potatoes, wheat, soyabean and rice have been genetically altered to make them withstand insect pests and harsh weather conditions. According to Sorajin (2015), tomato and apple have been genetically modified, so that they can withstand discoloration and bruising on their way to market, thus enhancing their appeal on supermarket shelves. The study of genetics today is important and as such considered as crucial to the scientific and technological development of the society. Fakunle (2012) opined that understanding of the concepts of genetics and its mode of operation appears to be more difficult than any other topic in Biology. This evidence is showed in the WAEC and NECO Chief Examiners Report(2010 – 2015). This study therefore, find out the effect of Collateral Leaning Strategy (CLS), which is learnercentred in its characteristics,on genetic concepts for better understanding among Senior Secondary School II Biology Students.
According to Ogawa (2012), Collateral Learning Strategy is the cognitive explanation of cultural interaction that enables learners to understand science concepts while maintaining their world view. The task of science teaching is to help all children acquire scientific knowledge, interest, skills, attitudes and ways of thinking without violating their cultural belief and experiences. Umar (2011) delineated Ogawa idea by proposing three types of science;personal belief, communal belief and modern science.
Ajaja (2013) argued that teaching modern science is enhanced when students become aware of their personal belief and communal belief in a classroom. He referred to this as ―Collateral Learning‖. Learning science (Biology) meaningfully according to Herbert (2008) often involves cognitive conflicts of some kinds. In Collateral Learning, students achieve meaningful learning as it takes account of the multidimensional cultural world of the learner and helps learner to resolve existing conflict from different cultures. This study find out the effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on Attitude and Performance in Genetic Concepts among Convergent and Divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students.
Nwagbo and Aham (2015) observed that the population of students in most cases is made up of students of varying intellectuals, learning styles and attitudes which has to a large extent affectedstudents‘ academic performance in Biology. Witkin (2011) reported that individuals differ in their characteristic ways of dealing with problems of different sorts, thereby resulting in individualdifferences in approach to problems-solving otherwise known as cognitive styles or learning styles.Gray (2009) defined learning styles to include student variations in modes of perceiving, comprehending, storing, transferring and utilizing information. Fakunle (2012) mentioned that one of the major difficulties in educating students is the inability of the teacher to be able to diagnose and adapt to the different learning styles of the students. It is expected therefore, that the teacher should be familiar with the students learning abilities and be able to device the appropriate instructional strategy that can address such individual differences in the students. Adamu (2010) stated some of the common cognitive styles capable of affecting students attitude and performance in Biology to include field dependence and field independence, reflective and impulsive, convergent and divergent. According to Akbari (2011), convergent and divergent students can be identified easily by their areas of interest. That convergent students rely heavily on reading and experiment to process information while divergent students rely heavily on listening and watching to process information. Kolb (2008) stated that convergent and divergent students are very different in their learning styles but they can both benefit greatly from working with one another. Therefore, this study was focused on how the students irrespective of their cognitive styles can learn the concept of genetics effectively in order to improve their academic performance as well as motivate more positive attitude towards Biology subject using Collateral Learning Strategy (CLS) which is a student learning style centered in its characteristics.
Nwagbo, and Ugwuanyi, (2015) opined that stereotype in gender by different cultures also might have some effects on students performance especially in science. Findings on the influence of gender on the performance of students in biology have not been conclusive. Researches on the influence of gender on Attitude and Performance of the Students in Genetic Concepts have been of great concern to science educators. Therefore, in this study the researcher investigate the effects of gender on Attitude and Academic Performance of Senior Secondary School Students taught Genetic Concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy.
Baum (2005) defined attitude as the favorable or unfavorable response to things, places, people, events or ideas while Bichi, (2008) described attitude as tendency for individuals to organize thought, emotions and behaviors towards psychological object. Human beings are not born with the attitudes they learn afterwards. As such, attitudes are based on peoples own experience, knowledge and skills and some are gained from other sources like interaction with peer groups etc. Ogawa, (2012) reported that collateral learning not only led to more positive attitudes in science but that this positive attitudes persisted long after Collateral Learning intervention was over. The inappropriate use of teaching method as opined by Obeka, (2013) leads to the decline in students’ attitude to science. Therefore, this study investigate the effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on Attitude and Academic Performance in Genetic Concepts among Convergent and Divergent Senior Secondary Schools II Biology Students of Suleja, Niger State, Nigeria.
1.1.1 Theoretical Framework
The theoretical basis for this research is meaningful learning proposed by Ausubel (1963).This theory emphasizes the importance of subsumers as basic for further learning. Ausubel formulated subsumption learning which is based on prior knowledge and is used for the interpretation of new information to be learned. Thus, Ausubel proposed the idea that meaningful learning take place when a general subsuming concept or idea is available in students cognitive structures. If science teachers are aware of Ausubel recommendations, then learning of science can likely improve. Medenajereze (2008) opined that learning science meaningfully often involves cognitive conflicts of some kinds,thatthis conflicts is captured by the Collateral Learning Strategy. In Collateral Learning, students achieved meaningful learning as it takes into account of their personal and communal beliefs and helps to resolve existing conflicts between students communal culture and modern science culture irrespective of cognitive thinking (convergent and divergent). According to Jegede (2004), Collateral Learning Strategy generally postulates a spectrum of cognitive experiences (parallel, dependent, secured and simultaneous Collateral Learning) to explain cultural interaction. These four types of Collateral Learning are not separate categories but point along a spectrum depicting degrees of interaction resolution.
At one extreme of Collateral Learning, the conflicting schemata do not interact at all. Obiekwe (2009) stressed that this is parallel Collateral Learning. Students will access one schema or the other depending upon the context. For example, students will use a scientific concept of genetics only in school, never in their everyday world where common sense concept of genetics prevail. At the opposite extreme of Collateral Learning, conflicting schemata consciously interact and the conflict is resolved in some manner. This is secured Collateral Learning. Kesamang (2002) reported that the person will have developed a satisfactory reason for holding on to both schemata even though the schemata may appear to conflict, or else the person will have achieved a convergence toward commonality by one schema reinforcing the
other, resulting in a new conception in long term memory. Between these two extremes of parallel and secured Collateral Learning, we find varying degrees and types of interaction between conflicting schemata and we detect various forms of conflict resolution. In this context it will be convenient to designate points in between the two extremes, one of which is called dependent Collateral Learning. Therefore, meaningful learning often results in parallel dependent or secured Collateral Learning. Simultaneous Collateral Learning ensues when ideas from two world views about a particular concept learned at the same time. Astudent, who needs to move into the culture of modern science, requires an effective use of Collateral Learning with a heavy reliance on successful cultural interaction into school sciences. Based on these facts, the researcher investigated effects of Collateral Learning Strategy on the Attitude and Academic Performance in Genetic Concepts among Convergent and Divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The National Policy on Education (FME, 2013) stated in its objectives that students be helped to become effective teachers with good mastery of content and strategy for effective teaching of Biology in Senior Secondary Schools and Colleges of Education. However, the WAEC and NECO Chief Examiners Report of 2010 to 2015 revealed that only between 34% to 49% of the students pass Biology annually. This shows that the understanding of the subject appears to be difficult. Table 1.1 and 1.2 show students performance from 2010-2015 for both WAEC and NECO in Nigeria.
Table 1.1 WAEC Examination Result for Biology Students from 2010-2015.
It could be deduced from Table 1.1 that students performance in Biology from 2010-2015 was not impressive, over 50% of the students had D7 – F9 in the years indicated. This is an indication of poor performance in the subject among the students.
Table 1.2 NECO Examination Result for Biology Students from 2010-2015.
Source: National Examination Council 2010-2015 Annual Report (2015)
In Table 1.2 the trend for poor performance can also be observed over the years indicated. Over 50% of the number of students who registered for Biology failed yearly. Both the WAEC and NECO Chief Examiners Report for 2010 – 2015 attributed this poor performance in Biology to poor understanding of some concepts in Biology including genetic concepts. The situation appears to still remain the same till date. In addition the observed failure rate according to Usman (2010) is mostly attributed to improper exposure to laboratory activities, poor science background at junior secondary school and lack of problem solving ability which affect students attitude towards the subject, while Lawal (2009) stated part of the problems leading to this failure rate in genetics to include poor method of instruction. This is supported by the assertion of Nsofor and Ala (2013) who attributed the deterioration in students performance in genetics to ineffective strategy of teaching Biologyas well as lack of recognition of students cognitive style.
According to Obiekwe (2009) based on this deplorable trend of poor performance at SSCE Biology, educators have designed instructional strategies over the years to curb the problem of under performance in the subject as well as achieve the aims and objectives of teaching Biology. For instance, Ajaja (2013) proposed concept mapping and co-operative learning for better performance in Biology. Bichi, (2002) recommended the use of Problem-solving strategies and enriched curriculum to improve Attitude and Performance in Biology While Jacinta (20171) recommend student centered strategy such as Collateral Learning Strategy. Adajoh and Ityokyaa (2012) stressed that lack of attention by science teachers in handling students of varying learning styles like convergent and divergent have been implicated as some key factors responsible for students poor performance and negative attitude towards Biology subjects. Given this scenario, this study used Collateral Learning Strategy (CLS) to determine its effects on Attitude and Academic performance among Convergent and Divergent Secondary School II Biology Students in Genetic Conceptsfrom Selected Senior Secondary School of Suleja, Niger State, Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This study was guided by the following objectives to:
1. investigate the effects of Collateral Learning Strategy on the academic performance of convergent and divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students in genetic concepts;
2. find out the effectsof Collateral Learning Strategy on the attitude of convergent and divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students in genetic concepts;
3. examine gender related effects of Collateral Learning Strategy on the academic Performance of convergent and divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students in genetic concepts; and
4. determine the gender related effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on the attitude of convergent and divergent Senior Secondary School II Biology Students in geneticconcepts;
1.4 Research Questions
This study answers the following research questions:
1. What is the difference in the mean academic performancescores of convergent and divergent students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy and those taught using lecture method?
2. What is the difference in the mean attitude scores of convergent and divergent students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy?
3. What is the effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on the mean academic performance scores of convergent male and femaleand divergent male and female students taught genetic concepts?
4. What is the effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on the mean attitude scores ofconvergent male and female and divergent male and female students taught genetic
1.5 Null Hypotheses
Based on the research questions, the following null hypotheses were tested at P≤ 0.05 level of significance.
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean academicperformancescores
ofconvergent and divergent Students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy and those taught using lecture method.
There is no significant difference between the mean attitude scores ofconvergent anddivergent students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy. There is no significant difference in the mean academic performancescores of convergent male and femaleand divergent male and female students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy.
There is no significant difference between the mean attitudescores ofconvergent male and female and divergent male and female students taught genetic concepts using Collateral Learning Strategy.
1.6 Significance of the Study
It is hoped that the findings of this study would uplift the standard of Biology education at Senior Secondary Schools levelin the following ways:
To Biology Curriculum Planners: Motivation in emphasizingthe use of Collateral Learning Strategy in teaching various concepts in Biology. This may help to enhance the performance of students in Biology, thereby reducing the rate of failure in the subject at SSCE level.
To Biology Teachers: Provision of additional teaching strategy for teaching Biology in order to inculcate in students the skills of diligent search and enhance positive attitude and performance in Biology.
To Biology Students: Benefiting from awareness of the factors that affect their performance and attitude in science, knowing such factors could help them identify their strength and weaknesses.
To Biology Teachers Trainers Tertiary Institutions: Benefiting from awareness of the utility value of the strategy which would enable them in producing more effective teachers who would encourage Senior Secondary School Students to construct knowledge on their own, most especially in teaching of genetic concept.
To Researchers: This study would be a foundation for other researchers in Biology educationwho may develop interest in investigating the effect of Collateral Learning Strategy on attitude and performance of Students in other concepts of Biology and science subjects in general, it could also serves as source of literature review in related fields.
To Professional Bodies like STAN, MAN etc; making use of the findings to organize workshops or seminars for Biologyteachers and other science teachers, especially on how to improve teacher-student interaction such that students performance could be enhanced and that their attitude can be aroused and sustained.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study examines the effects of Collateral Learning Strategy on attitude and performance in genetic concepts among convergent and divergent students. It is limited to public Senior Secondary School two (SS II) students in Suleja Educational Zone, Niger State Nigeria. The schools are owned by the government, and the same ministry of education supervises teaching learning processes in the schools. According to Suleja educational zone (2016), there are eight Public Senior Secondary Schools with population of 2263 Senior Secondary Schools II Biology students in the study area. From this figure, 1180 were male while 883 were female.
SS II students are used because they were stable, unlike SS I students who are not fully settled for the study, nor SS III students who were facing their final year examination. They were also familiar with genetic concepts which fell within the SS II scheme of work.
The subtopics chosen under genetics includes: genetics terminologies, transmission and expression of characteristics in organisms and chromosomes the basis of heredity, probability in genetics, sex determination and sex linked characters. These topics have been identified as difficult for students to learn by WAEC and NECO Chief Examiners Report (2010 – 2015).
1.8 Basic Assumptions of the Study
For the purpose of this study, the following assumptions were made:
- The use of Collateral Learning Strategy as learner centered could improve the teaching and learning of genetic concepts;
- All students in Senior Secondary Two (SS 2) have been exposed to the Biology syllabus on genetics and evolution;
- The use of Collateral Learning Strategy is Measurable; and
- Determination of effects of Collateral Learning Strategy on Attitude and Performance among Convergent and Divergent Students is possible.