The Utilization of Biology Laboratory Materials and the Effective Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools
The study was carried out to access the impact of utilization of Biology Laboratory Materials on the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. Two research questions were raised to guide the study. Survey research design was adopted for the study. The population for the study was all the twenty four (24) Biology teachers in all the nine public secondary schools in the study area.
The sample size of the study was made up of all the twenty four (24) Biology teachers from all the nine (9) public secondary schools in the study area which was purposively used by the researcher since the population was not much. The instrument for data collection for the study was a questionnaire tagged “Biology Laboratory Materials Utilization (BLMU)”.
The data collected were analyzed using simple percentages. The result revealed that most Biology teachers do Utilization Biology Laboratory Materials in the teaching of Biology in Ini L.G.A. It was also revealed that the utilization of Biology Laboratory Materials enhances effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ini L.G.A.
1.1 Background to the Study
Laboratory is a room, building or part of a building that is specially built for teaching by demonstrating theoretical phenomenon into practical terms. The laboratory experience enables students to translate what seems to be abstract into practical realities, thereby enhancing their understanding of the learning process. Biology is the science of life. It studies organisms, their interactions with one another and their environments. All living organisms share several key properties such as order, sensitivity or response to stimuli, reproduction, growth, development, regulation, homeostasis and energy.
Biology as a science subject is studied or taught by using different methods which employs the use of all sense organs including Olfactory (smell), Gustatory (taste), auditory (hearing), Kinesthetic (skin), and optical (seeing). The application of theory in teaching cannot yield 100% accuracy without the use of laboratory resources. Teaching of Biology cannot be effective without interaction between the teacher, students and the environmental resources. Thus, Biology curriculum is planned to enable the teacher use activity oriented and child-centered approaches to teach.
Effective teaching of Biology in secondary schools with the use of laboratory resources is very necessary if Biology teachers must gainfully achieve the educational objectives. The teaching of Biology cannot be effective without interaction between the teachers, students and the environmental resources.
Therefore, it calls for the use of laboratory facilities. The study of Biology in Secondary schools takes place most in laboratories; this is to enable easy access and usage of material resources stocked in the laboratory for teaching not only during practical classes, but also during normal classroom teaching.
Laboratory experimental approach offers students the opportunity to develop scientific skills and attitude such as objectivity, formulation of hypothesis, analyzing of data, critical thinking, and carefulness and making inference. Thus, scientific skills can be effectively developed if Biology laboratory materials are adequately available and utilized.
Laboratory materials are categorized into two namely: Human resources and material Resources. Human Biology Laboratory resources comprise of all human beings or resourceful individuals who in one way or the other aid effective utilization of material resources found in Biology laboratories. These human resources include teachers, learners, laboratory assistants and technologists, and other non-professional personnel. Laboratory material resources and facilities are also known as instructional materials, teaching aids and instructional media and are available to teachers for effective teaching.
Laboratory materials can therefore be said to be supplies of teachers, laboratory assistant/technologist, instructional materials and other necessary devices made available to the school in order to increase the wealth of knowledge which helps and supports the teaching and learning process in secondary schools. Due to the importance of laboratory facilities in the teaching and learning of Biology, it is necessary that these materials be made available for effective utilization.
Thus, it is against this background that the researcher sought to examine the utilization of Biology laboratory materials in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Biology has been an important subject offered in senior secondary school in Nigeria. Its impact is reflected in all aspects of life because it is the study of life. Therefore, the teaching of Biology should be comprehensive and concrete. This can be done through the use of laboratory materials. But the effective teaching of Biology is faced with some problems such as inadequate of laboratory materials due to the increasing number of student’s enrollment in science subjects in secondary schools and this has put pressure on the available materials in our Biology laboratory.
Biology teachers find it difficult during laboratory activities to supervise and teach a large class with insufficient facilities available. Also most Biology laboratories are dilapidated; some do not have many laboratory assistants, while some lacks the necessary materials. Moreover, most of the secondary schools across the state are in serious problems because they do not have science laboratory at all (Essien, 2016).
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to examine the utilization of Biology Laboratory Materials in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Examine the extent that Biology Laboratory Materials are utilized in effective teaching of Biology among Biology teachers in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area.
- Find out how the use of Biology Laboratory Materials affects effective teaching of Biology among Biology teachers in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- To what extents are Biology Laboratory Materials utilized in effective teaching of Biology among Biology teachers in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area?
- Does the use of Biology Laboratory Materials affect effective teaching of Biology among Biology teachers in secondary schools in Ini Local Government Area?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of the study will be of great benefit to the Biology teachers, students and educational planners in the following ways:
- It will enable Biology teachers see the need for effective maintenance and utilization of the available laboratory materials.
- The educational planners and policy makers will see the need to make laboratory facilities available in public secondary schools.
- It will also help the students to become knowledgeable in problem-solving, develop self confidence and critical thinking as these will help them to improve in their academic performances.
- The findings will also be useful to the future researchers since it will serve as a reference point to them.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The following challenges were confronted by the researcher in the course of conducting the study:
- Financial Constraint: The high cost of transportation to visit the selected schools for the study, a little problem to the researcher. However she was able to do this with the help of the principals who promptly attended to her immediately she got to the schools.
- Time Constraint: The period of time given for the completion of the study was not enough based on the fact that the researcher had other school activities to carry out during the time of the study.
- School Location: Most of the schools visited by the researcher were located in the rural areas, so bad road network was a problem.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The following terms were defined as they are used in the study.
- Laboratory Materials: these refer to those materials or tools that can be used to enhance or improve the teaching of biology.
- Effective Teaching: This is the process of transferring knowledge from the teacher to the learners in a manner that will lead to the achievement of the lesson’s objectives.
- Utilization: This refers to the process of making use of something in order to achieve one’s goal.
- Biology: This is a branch of science that deals with the study of living organisms (plants and animals).
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