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AN EVALUATION OF IDENTIFICATION OF DIFFICULT CONCEPTS IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL TWO (SS2) PHYSICS CURRICULUM IN RIVERS STATE, NIGERIA
ABSTRACT— The purpose of this study is to identify physics concepts which Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students, as well as their teachers in Rivers State of Nigeria, find difficult. All the sixteen (16) concepts of SS2 Physics curriculum were used. The Physics Concepts Checklist for Students (PCCS) and Physics Concepts Checklist for Teacher (PCCT) were used to gather the responses of students and teachers on the level of difficulty of the concepts. 600 students and 24 teachers were randomly selected for the study. The results show that 50% of the concepts in SS2 physics curriculum were considered difficult by the students while 44% of the concepts were considered difficult by the teachers. There is a relationship between the response of the students and teachers as seven of the concepts which were considered difficult or very difficulty by the students were also considere-d difficult or very difficult by the teachers. There is however a disparity in the responses of students and teachers on the level of difficulty of five concepts. SS2 physics curriculum is very important in senior secondary physics as it contains about 42% of the senior secondary school physics concepts. Lack of understanding of 50% of the concepts in SS2 physics curriculum by the students may lead to poor performance of thes students in the West African Secondary School Examination (WASSCE). It is thus recommended that more attention be paid to the teaching and learning of these difficult concepts, so as to reduce the level of difficulty of these concepts and improve the performance of students in physics.
Keywords— Identification, Physics concepts, Difficult concepts, Physics curriculum.