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Learning Strategies and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students

Learning Strategies and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students 

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ABSTRACT

The study was designed to investigate the effect of learning strategies on the academic performance of students in Integrated Science among junior secondary schools in Ika Local government Area. One hundred and fifty JSS2 students were randomly selected from three (3) secondary schools.

And a questionnaire was used in the collection of data which was subjected to analysis using t-test tool. Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and the design adopted was survey research design.

Findings revealed that students who used kinesthetic learning strategy performed significantly better than their counterparts who used auditory and visual learning strategies. It was recommended therefore that teachers should select good teaching methods that match with individual learning strategy.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Academic performance of students occupies a very important place in the learning process and has become a key criterion to judge one’s total potentialities and capacities (Nuthana and Yenagi, 2009). Although many researchers have linked it to factors such as parental factors (Swarwar, 2001), teachers’ related factors (Osa-Edoh, 2012) etc. The students’ factor is yet another area that should be considered because learning is basically a product of learners’ characteristics (Sing, 2011).

The learning strategy adopted by a student will best determine the extent to which the learner will retain what is taught. Learning strategies are the techniques, principles or rules that facilitate the acquisition, manipulation, integration, storage and retrieval of information across situations and settings as adopted by the learner (Weinsten, 2001).

It is obvious that different learning strategies exist and every student has that which is most appealing to him or her. Some students may be appealing to a strategy like visual or auditory while some to Kinesthetic, verbal or solitary learning strategy (Abbas, 2012). Following the existence of different learning strategies and individual (student) differences, it could be said that no single strategy will be optimal.

A student who learns best using auditory strategy may not do well using kinesthetic as such, the various strategies of learning if considered properly will help teachers on the teaching strategy to be adopted.

Unfortunately, students exist in a good number that do not know their learning strategy and as such could not develop it for optimal academic success. Lorna (2008) argued that most students are unaware of which strategy will be most effective to their learning and if not checked, the learner will likely conflict his or herself with contradicting strategies that will successfully set the brain in confusion during knowledge procession.

This means that a student who performs poorly does not mean that he was not taught but it implies that the procession of the knowledge was proper due to the adoption of wrong learning strategy at that material time thus, students’ learning strategies are in no small measure a factor that should be given priority.

Learning Strategies and Academic Performance in Integrated Science among Junior Secondary School Students

1.2   Statement of the Problem

The importance of science as one of the fundamentals in national development has long been realized not only in developed countries but under-developed and developing countries like Nigeria. The quest to have a remarkable growth in knowledge of science has become a major concern of many as evident in the various researches conducted toward this direction yet causes of failure still persist year after year.

With this, it will be of immense important to direct researches to the learning strategies of student s since they are at the center of learning this; these research was designed to investigate the place of the various learning strategies among integrated science student in the way they perform academically in Ika local Government Area. This is prioritized because success in integrated science which serves as grass root subject to all science field will be a springboard to success in higher field of science.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to investigate the impact of learning strategies on students’ academic performance in integrated science. Specifically, the study will examine the impact of various learning strategies among junior secondary school learners in Integrated Science.

1.4   Significance of the Study

The findings of this study shall be of immense importance to teachers, policy makers, educators and the likes. Teachers who are saddled with the tasks of implementing the curriculum of study will be able to select suitable learning techniques and methods that will match the different strategies of learning among the students.

To the policy makers and counselors, the findings will help them to identify those strategies students adopt and make policy as well as counseling them so to meet with their individual difference. Parents whom the students spent quality of their time with, will help the student to build and maintain good learning strategy in the absent of the teachers.

1.5   Research Hypotheses

Two hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:

i There is no significant difference in the performance of junior secondary school students in the study using learning strategies and those without the use of learning strategies.

ii There is no significant differences in the academic performance of students who study using visual learning strategy and those using auditory leaning strategy of learning in integrated science.

1.6   Limitation of the study

The study was limited to only junior school Integrated Science Students in Ika Local Government Area. The area being poor in terms of road network also constituted hindrance which further limited the scope of the work again, the time allotted for the completion of the work was not enough to allow the research a wider range beyond Ika L. G. A. and the subject in consideration.

1.7   Definition of Terms

Learning strategies: It is the techniques, principles or rules that a learner adopt which facilitate acquisition, manipulation, integration storage, and retrieval of information across situations.

Academic Performance: This is the extent to which a student has achieved educational goals and it is measured using text.

Kinesthetic Learning Strategy: This refers to the learning strategy in which learners participate in the teaching – learning process by carrying out a physical activity rather than listening or watching a demonstration alone.

Auditory Learning Strategy: This is a strategy in which the learners learn by hearing the information passed which might be through human voice or any auditory system.

Visual Learning Strategy: This is a strategy in which ideas, concept, data and information are associated with image, chart, models and graphics. 

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