This study was designed to determine the effect of two models of problem solving on technical college students’ academic achievement, interest and retention in metalwork. The study adopted the quasi-experimental research design, precisely, pre-test, post-test non equivalent control group design. The population for the study was 210 National Technical Certificate (NTC II) metalwork students (175 males and 35 females) in Technical Colleges. This study was conducted in Enugu State. Six research questions and six hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. The instrument used for data collection were Metalwork Cognitive Achievement Test (MWCAT) and Metalwork Interest Inventory (MWTII). The MWCAT was drawn based on a table of specification. The Reda’s and Rusbult’s models lesson plan, MWCAT, and MWTII were subjected to face and content validation by three experts.
The instrument was trial tested on a sample of 22 NTC II metalwork students of Government Technical College Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. Kuder-Richardson 20(K-R20) and Pearson product moment correlation coefficient, were utilized to establish the coefficient of internal consistency and stability of the MWCAT. The values were found to be 0.72 and 0.81 respectively. Data obtained from the administration of the instrument was analyzed using mean to answer the six research questions and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) statistic was used to test the six hypotheses.
The study revealed that Reda’s model is more effective in improving students achievement in metalwork than Rusbult’s model. It was also discovered that Reda’s and Rusbult’s model are effective in stimulating students interest but that Reda’s model improves retention of learnt knowledge than the Rusbult’s model in metalwork. There was no significant effect of gender on students’ achievement, interest and retention in metalwork. It was recommended that Ministry of Education, National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) should organize workshops, seminars and in service training for technical teachers on regular basis to enlighten and improve their knowledge and skills on the use of the Reda’s and the Rusbult’s models of problem solving among other recommendations.