The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of models on interest and academic achievement of auto-mechanics students in technical colleges in Lagos State. Six research questions and six hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The research design that was adopted was the quasi-experimental design. The type of quasi experimental design used is the non-equivalent control group which involves two groups. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four out of the five technical colleges used for the study. A simple random sampling technique was adopted to select the technical colleges that were in the experimental and the control group respectively. The year one intact classes were used for the research exercise. The sample consisted of 153 year one auto-mechanics students in the technical colleges. Regular auto-mechanics teachers were trained and used for the study. The instruments used for data collection in this study were: Auto-Mechanics Achievement Test (AMAT) and Auto-Mechanics Interest Inventory (AMII). The AMAT and AMII were developed by the researcher and validated by experts in the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability coefficient of AMAT was found to be 0.61 and that of AMII was 0.81. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used for testing the hypotheses at a level of significance of 0.05. The findings of the study were as follows: (1) Using model has a significant effect on the academic achievement and interest of the students in auto-mechanic work. (2) Gender has no effect on the academic achievement of students in auto-mechanic work. (3) Gender was a factor on the interest of students in auto-mechanic work. (4) Ability level has no effect on the academic achievement and interest of the students in auto-mechanic work. The findings identified the implications of study with respect to teachers, educational planners, tertiary institutions and students. Based on the findings of this research, it was recommended among others that the use of model is paramount in Nigeria technical colleges; government should make available various models of vehicle system for effective teaching and learning in the classroom. Use of model for teaching various concepts in vehicle systems should be incorporated into the technical college and other vocational education curriculum.
Models can be used to facilitate learning especially where real objects may not serve the purpose. In explaining model, Macdonal (1991) sees model as a plan, a design, a preliminary solid representation to be followed in construction, something to be copied. Nachimias and Nachimias (1992) sees model as a likeness of something and a representation of reality. In other words, model depicts the actual representation of the original. It also explains how and why a particular phenomenon comes about. Ezeh (2006) stated that, a model is thus a simplified structuring of reality which presents-supposedly significant figures or relationships in a generalized form. Ezeh further stated that all models have basic identities in terms of characters and functions, and that model is dynamic. They are modified with time, in line with researches and developments in various fields. Haggett, Cliff and Frey (1977) in Ezeh (2006) classified models into conceptual and hardwares. Conceptual model have high degree of abstraction and are said to be “symbolic or theoretical” while hardware model (physical or empirical constructions) which depict the actual representation of the original is said to have low-level of abstraction and are often called “operational”. This research work adopted the hardware model which is regarded according to Nachimias and Nachimias (1992) as a likeness of something and a representation of reality. A model can be constructed and used in teaching some specific automobile parts such as crankshaft, piston, cylinder block, cylinder head, connecting rods, push rods, camshaft, plugs, valves, etc. A model is simpler in construction, easy to carry and move about because it is not heavy as in the case of a real auto-engine.