PROBLEM AND BACKGROUND
This chapter takes a critical look at the background of the study, statement of problem, purpose of the study, research questions, research hypothesis, significance of the study, limitation of the study, delimitation of the study and definition of terms.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is the best legacy a country can give to her citizens, Iguzor (2006). In stressing the importance of education stated that education is a human right that should be accorded to all human beings solely by reasons of being human. Therefore schools at various levels are expected to educate future leaders and develop the high level of technical capacities needed for economic growth and development.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria had witnessed a series of educational system since its birth in 1914, immediately after independence. In Nigeria, there were a lot of ills and short comings in Nigeria education system which did not pave way for yearning needs, interests and aspirations of Nigerian society. This gave birth to the 1969 curriculum conference that focused on Nigerian children in Nigerian society with National Policies on education. in 1977, 1981, 1998, 2004), all with the prime purpose of improving the quality of Nigerian Education. Following the federal government reforms in education, and the aim of achieving the targets of the National Economic Empowerment and development strategies (NEEDS) and the need to attain the millennium development goals (MDGS), the government has adopted as of great important the “repositioning of science and vocational education in the scheme of national education for optimum performance”. This therefore, has enforced many changes and innovations in physics and other science curricular.
Physics is crucial for effective living in the modern age of science and technology given its application in industry and many other fields. It is therefore necessary that every students be given an opportunity to acquire, some of its concepts, principles and skills, using effective teaching-learning methods so as to stimulate creativity, develop scientific process skills and the inculgation of correct attitude in students. Physics is student-activity oriented with emphasis on experimentation, questioning, discussion and problem solving. Unfortunately teaching and learning of physics has been taught with challenges which prevent many students from performing well in their examinations. One factor associated with this are choice of appropriate teaching method to be used in delivering a lesson. An important goal of science teaching is to promote positive attitudes, this therefore brings about a need for the actualization of this goal.
Activity base learning as defined by Prince (2004) is a learning method in which students are engaged in the learning processes. In activity-base learning teaching method, students actively participate in the learning experience rather than sit as passive listeners according to Harfield, Davies, Hede, Panko (2007). Learning activities if based on real life experience help learners to transform information or ideas received into personal knowledge which they can apply in different real life situations. (Edward, 2001). In actively base learning, the learner examines learning requirement and thinks how to solve the problem in hand. The learners do not learn about the content, rather they learn about the process involved in solving a problem, then as they go towards solving the problem, they also learn about the content.
Electricity which is a concept in physics is concerned with the phenomena of electric charge. It is a form of energy usually carried by wires or supplied by batteries used to power machines and computing, lighting and heating devices. This particular concept is very complex and this accounts to why students do perform below average in examinations. There is thereby a great need for the examination of the effect of activity base method of teaching and learning of the concept of electricity.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Lecture method which is commonly used in teaching physics is a method in which the teacher communicate his/her idea to learners by direct verbal discussion while the students engage in critical thinking which would ultimately lead to a little or no assimilation at all due to the fact that they are not actively involved in the learning process.
This situation shows that lecture method cannot sufficiently develop students scientific thinking and understanding of the concept of electricity in physics. For this reason, there is a need to use a more effective teaching-learning method. Activity – based method of teaching saves as a better method since the student participate actively in the learning process and gets an excellent understanding of physical concepts in which electricity is included. From the observation this research examines the effect of activity-based teaching method on the academic performance of physics students in the concept of electricity in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Generally the purpose of this research work is to investigate on activity-based learning method and student’s academic performance on the concept of electricity in senior secondary school physics.
The objectives of the study are as follows as:
(1) To compare the performance of student taught the concept of electricity using an activity-based method of learning and those taught using the lecture method.
(2) Does gender affect the academic performance of students, taught using the activity-based method of learning.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This research work intends to answer the following questions.
(i) What is the difference in the performance of students taught electricity using activity-based learning method and those taught using the lecture method.
(ii) What is the difference in performance of male and female students taught electricity using activity based learning method.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following null (Ho) hypotheses were stated and tested in the study.
Ho1: There is no significance difference in the performance of students taught the concept of electricity using activity-based learning method and those taught using lecture method.
Ho2: There is no significance influence of gender on the performance of students when taught the concept of electricity with the activity-based learning method.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of the study is to encourage ingenuity on the part of the teachers in utilizing effective teaching methods in physics.
(1) This study will encourage the teachers and learners to use all available resource during the teaching-learning process.
(2) The study will help build self-confidence in students and develop their understanding through working in group.
(3) This study will help inspire the students to apply their creative ideas, knowledge and minds in solving problems
(4) This study will help increase students attention and willingness to respond to the educational setting.
(5) This study will help students to focus their thinking, interaction and attention in the lesson for proper analyzing of information.
(6) Generally, by undertaking the study, the researcher hopes that, the results of the findings will be of benefit to students, teachers, educational planners, curriculum developers etc in directing their efforts to relevant (appropriate) areas which will help improve & sustain academic achievements of students in physics.