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INFLUENCE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON TEACHING OF BASIC SCIENCES IN PRE-SCHOOLS
The study examined the influence of instructional materials on the teaching of Basic Science in Selected schools in, Makurdi. This study made use of Survey Research Design. TEN (10) Government and private pre schools were used. It had the population of 2,150 basic science students and 30 basic science teachers. Sample of 206 students were randomly selected with 10 basic science teachers. The instrument used for collection of data was a questionnaire designed by the researcher for the teachers and students of basic science. Based on this study, instructional materials was seen as possessing characteristics of visibility, simplicity, attraction, and clarity. That instruction material is important to influence students academic performance in basic science. Recommendations were made in line with the findings, which include the basic science teachers should endeavour to use and try to improvise instructional materials for effective teaching of basic science in pre schools. Government should ensure the adequate employment of dedicated and qualified basic science teachers and make funds available and sponsor the teachers attendance at conferences, seminars, and workshops on utilization of basic science instructional materials. In conclusion, students perform better when appropriate and improvised materials were made available and utilized in teaching basic science. The basic science knowledge and subsequent performance of students in both pre and pre pre schools and basic science as a subject becomes more interesting to learn when it was taught by experienced, well committed, dedicated and qualified basic science teachers. Teaching of basic science will not be completed if the instructional materials needed to facilitate learning are not sourced for, and properly utilized for each basic science topic designed to be taught and construct others using available local materials.
1.1 Background to the Study
The influence of instructional materials on teaching of basic science has being noted in promoting students’ academic performance, teaching and learning in educational development. The teaching of Basic Science in Nigerian pre schools needs to be properly handled. Creativity contributes to the nation’s economic development, hence, the need to be taught thoroughly if it is to meet the educational and economic development. Basic Science is one of the subjects in Pre Schools, it cannot be taught effectively without the use of appropriate instructional materials (Ajayi, 1988. Learning by doing was emphasized in the curriculum so that the students should be able to understand the simple basis of science and learn to be creative. A series of activities were suggested in the curriculum to ensure the development of psychomotor skills in basic science by the students. Students achievement should be continuously assessed through various forms of tests and their experiments’s should be well organized in class and laboratories. Also individual assessments should be carried out to ascertain those students who are educationally sound, so that proper attention can be given more on those still struggling to meet up. From research, educational materials when given to students, especially books with pictures of inventions, it spurs the wide thinking of students to take their academics seriously. Hence for effective and positive creative thinking to be done by children in pre schools, there is suppose to be teaching aids that this students will accept and learn faster with.(Oyedun, 2000).
The teacher alone cannot provide all the needed condition for an effective teaching and learning process, other supporting materials should be provided. The students learn better when most of the senses are appealed to the instruction and use of instructional materials in creativity science education has added a new dimension in the positive promotion of the teaching and learning process. It provides the much need sensory experiences needed by the learners for an effective and meaningful behavioural change. Instructional materials are meant to improve the quality of education for effective academic performance of basic science students in schools. The performance of the students on the intended learning outcome provide the validation – loop on the success of the interaction and instruction (Bakare, 1986).
Teachers normally dodge the use of instructional materials in most of their teaching topics, while they try to do all they could during their experiments teaching in their course of study; even though some of these materials are not usually available in the schools for teachers’ use. Basic science experimentss use a lot of specimens/ materials based on the specific experiment to be carried out. Most of these materials are only made available for students’ use for the purpose of examinations. These specimens are those that have not been seen or used before by the students. “In most of the pre schools, instructional materials are not judiciously used expecially public schools with no adequate libraries as ought to be. Many teachers teach in abstract without using the required materials” (Ibrahim, 2000).
In making use of any instructional materials, such materials must be previewed that is, having full knowledge of the material; prepare the environment where it will be used; prepare audience by means of making sure that the materials to be used will attract attention, arouse, motivate and provide the rationale that could be used in the beginning, middle or end. The effectiveness of utilizing appropriate instructional materials in teaching and learning of basic science is not void of quality instructor. In order to give quality education to the younger generation, there is need for employment of more competent, experienced and qualified basic science teachers.
The need to identify the suitable instructional materials, by which students can be made to comprehend the extent of the subject easily and intelligibly, is the focus of this study. An indepth look at the pre schools basic science programmes revealed that there is the need for improving all phases of the programmes (IMAA, 2004). For example, there is need for the introduction and use of instructional materials and equipments for use in both the classrooms and school laboratorys. The broad aim of any good training materials are to induce and support the learning process that leads to improve on-the-job performance through affecting changes in the knowledge, attitudes, skills and practices of the learners. With the above reasons, it is worth investigating the influence of instructional materials in the teaching of Basic Science in our Pre Schools, for better performance of students in their examination and chosen career in the field of creativity. If instructional materials are used in Pre Schools, it would help improving the teaching and learning and hence the academic performance of students in Basic Science effectively.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many of the school authorities have very lukewarm attitudes over the provision of needed tools, equipments, and specific educational materials for basic science, especially for experiments in pre schools. This non-challant attitude tend to retard genuine efforts of some teachers of basic science in the pre schools. Inspite of the emphasis being placed on basic science as one of the subjects in pre schools, there is usually not enough time provided in the time-table for a meaningful basic science work (Adeyemi, 2000).
Anything that saves students from performing poorly in basic science, will also save parents or guardians from wasting their hard-earned money. It may put an end to parents or guardians wasting their hard-earned money re-enrolling their wards to repeat basic science examinations which they are not guaranteed passing even after several attempts. The unusual way some basic science teachers approach the
teaching of basic science has contributed to the students’ development of negative attitude to both the subjects and the teachers. Most of the pre schools cannot meet up with the academic (experiments) requirements of this subject as they lack instructional materials for adequate teaching and learning of the subject.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study is to determine the influence of instructional materials on teaching basic science in pre schools, in makurdi, Benue state. The specific objectives are to:
Identify the types of instructional materials being used for teaching in order to achieve students’ academic performance in basic science;
Determine the characteristics of instructional materials that can be used to influence students academic performance in basic science;
Evaluate the importance of using instructional materials to achieve students academic performance in basic science.
Examine the factors affecting the use of instructional materials to influence the academic performance of students in basic science.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were answered in the course of the study.
What are the types of instructional materials available for use in the teaching of basic science to students in pre schools in Benue State?
What are the characteristics of instructional materials being used to teach students basic science in pre schools in makurdi ?
What is the importance of instructional materials on basic science in pre schools in makurdi?
What are the factors affecting the use of instructional materials in teaching basic science in pre schools in makurdi ?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses (Ho) were stated to guide the study.
There is no significant relationship between the use of available instructional materials and students academic performance in basic science in pre schools in Benue State.
There is no significant relationship between the characteristics of good instructional materials used and academic performance of students in basic science in pre schools in Benue State.
There is no significant relationship between the importance of using instructional materials and the academic performance of students in basic science in pre schools in Benue State.
There is no significant relationship between the factors affecting the use of instructional materials and students’ academic performance in basic science in pre schools in Benue State.
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