EFFECTS OF ADVANCED ORGANIZERS ON RETENTION AND PERFORMANCE IN CONSERVATION CONCEPTS AMONG SECONDARY BIOLOGY STUDENTS
This study investigated effects of advanced organizers on retention and performance in conservation concepts among secondary Biology students in Jahun, Jigawa State, Nigeria. One hundred and thirty seven (137) students were randomly selected from eleven (11) senior secondary schools that constituted the sample for the study from a total population of one thousand two hundred and twenty five (1225) SSII students in Jahun zone. The study adopted the pretest, post test and post-post test quasi experimental and control group design. The students in experimental group were taught using lecture method enriched with advanced organizers while those in control group were taught using lecture method for the period of six weeks. The topic taught was conservation of natural resources from senior secondary school curriculum. The instrument used for data collection was Conservation Concept Performance Test (CCPT) with reliability coefficient of 0.89. Four Research questions and four null hypotheses were formulated and tested using independent t-Test at 0.05 level of significance. Pictorial and textual advanced organizers were developed, also a lesson plan was developed for experimental and control groups. The major findings from the study include: obtaining a significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught without advanced organizers in favour of the former. There is also a significant difference between the mean retention scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught without advanced organizers in favour of the former. Another finding is that there is no significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers .There is also no significant difference between the mean retention scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers. Based on the findings it was recommended that advanced organizers be used by biology teachers to teach in senior Secondary Schools among others.
Science is a tool for national development and growth of nations. Odunusi (2001) observed that the economic and political strength of a country is always assessed in term of her achievement in science and technology. This is why the National Policy on Education (FME, 2014) emphasized on the provision of science education at all levels of education in Nigeria. The emphasis placed alongside with the important role it plays towards national development make it pertinent and practically necessary for science to be taught in an organized and well-structured pattern involving activities for both teachers and students (Ibrahim, 2012).
Science and Technology are used to solve human problems. Science is an active pursuit of empirical knowledge via the scientific method. Conant (1951) defined science as an interconnected series of concepts and conceptual schemes that have developed as a result of experimentation and observation. Ogunniyi (1986) viewed science as a field of study that is concerned with producing a scientifically literate society. It is an organized body of knowledge searching for meaning and explanation of events in nature. Abdullahi (1982) defined science as an activity culminating into testable, falsifiable and veritable body of
knowledge. Also, Shaibu (2014) see science as a human activity that leads to production of a body of universal statements called laws, theories or hypotheses which serve to explain the observable behaviour of the universe or some aspect of the universe. The above definitions showed that science is not just collection of data and facts neither is it an assembly of sterile body of knowledge but that, it involves engaging in certain activities as well (Usman, 2000). It also helps us to understand the world around us. Science has many segments such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology. Biology is a life science that involves the study of plants and animals. The content ranges from microscopic organism to the biosphere in general, encompassing the earth’s surface and all living things. Some of the branches of biology include anatomy, morphology, cytology, genetics, entomology, parasitology among others. Ali (2006) opined that the teaching and learning of biology is very important to the development of any nation. Developing a nation involves the preparation of the populace for important careers in medical, paramedical, agricultural, industrial, population, wildlife control and environmental management, to mention but a few. Biology is the science that contributes to most of the major discoveries of 20th century and still will continue to do so in the 21st century as emphasis moves towards understanding of biological approaches and more eco-friendly synthetic systems such as forensic biology, environmental, soil and water biology (Webster, 2009). Neteinyin (2005) and Abubakar (2012) observed that Biology as a discipline has contributed tremendously to financial, physical and aesthetic benefits of mankind and to nation building.
Despite the importance of biology as a science subject, Nurudeen (2011) opined that the statistics of grades obtained by candidates in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) especially in Biology examination in recent years have not been encouraging. The West
African Examination Council (WAEC) Zonal Coordinator reported that 57% of candidates that sat for West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) in the year 2012/2013 failed Biology. This also agrees with the report of Registrar and Chief Executive of National Examination Council (NECO) who said that 71% of candidates who registered for science subjects failed Biology. The importance of Biology as a valuable science subject is further emphasized in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board syllabuses (JAMB, 2010/2011), it is stipulated that a minimum of credit pass in Biology is required as one of the criteria for admitting candidates aspiring to study science and science-related courses in tertiary institutions. Unfortunately, the numbers of candidates with a minimum of credit pass in Biology have not been encouraging.
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