1.1 Introduction

The relevance of science to national goals, aspirations and economy dictates to a large extent, the huge commitment and support which nations make and give to science and technology advancement. This may be the reason why Achor (2006) and Ada (2008) opined that as a result of the speed at which the world is changing technologically, the need and usefulness of teaching and learning of science therefore cannot be over looked. The classification of any nation into developed, developing and underdeveloped could be measured accurately by the number of chemists, physicists, engineers, pharmacists, doctors, agriculture and science educators the nation could produce (Agogo, 2009, Maduawesi, Aboho & Okwuedei, 2010).

In Nigeria, the three major sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught at the senior secondary school level. These major science subjects equip the young secondary school graduates with skills, attitudes, knowledge as pre-requisites abilities to function effectively in their future carriers at the tertiary level. According to the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2013) Chemistry Education should be emphasized at the secondary school in terms of its teaching and learning. This is because; chemistry as an academic discipline plays a very significant role in unifying other science subjects. Chemistry as an aspect of science studies the composition, properties and uses of matter (Ababio, 2007).  Okeke and Ezekannagba (2000) also defined chemistry as a branch of science that deals with composition and changes of matter. Chemistry could therefore be seen as the science and composition of matter and the changes in which matter undergoes. It probes into the changes that matter undergoes under different conditions.

Chemistry is everywhere; Chemistry is life; because it investigates the world around us and has contributed greatly towards providing us with basic needs of life such as food, clothing materials, housing materials, drugs, transportation, fertilizers, insecticides, and so on (Oloyede, 2010; Opara & Waswa, 2013; Ababio, 2007).  Despite the key role of Chemistry as the central science that forms the basic foundation to many disciplines and in improving the quality of life, the performance of Nigeria secondary school students in the subject has for many years remained a matter of a serious concern (Jegede, 2010; Oloyede, 2010).

In addition, a study revealed that there is consistent decline in the performance of students in public examinations conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) in sciences across the country over the years (Samba & Eriba, 2012). WAEC also confirmed this decline in performance in Chemistry by WAEC Chief Examiner‟s Reports (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017).    This poor performance of students in Chemistry is due to some multifaceted factors. According to Usman (2010) and Abdullahi (2015), the factors that negatively affect Chemistry performance include students‟ lack of interest, poor study habit and teacher-related factors, like teachers‟ poor preparation, inadequately qualified Chemistry teachers and application of poor teaching methods. This situation has spurred research in Science Education and Educational Psychology to investigate the ways in which science students would learn science through meaningful interaction in a rich classroom environment.

Several teaching strategies have been advocated for use in science and mathematics classrooms, ranging from teacher-centered approach to more students-centered ones

(Zakari & Iksan, 2007). One of such methods according to Oloruko-oba, (2001) is Cooperative Learning Strategy. Maden, (2011) defined cooperative learning strategy as a form of instructional method, which requires students to work collaboratively in small groups by helping each other to learn a given task. Alternatively, cooperative learning is further defined as a type of student-centered teaching where a group of students work together to achieve a common goal (Gumel, 2015). Cooperative learning is a process in which students create, analyze and apply concepts. Here, students learn lifelong concepts that will be useful both inside and outside the school. They work as a team, combining their knowledge and social skills. Students are often placed in both homogeneous and heterogeneous groups and asked to accomplish a common goal. Each team member is assigned part of the content to be learnt and is not only responsible for their learning, but the other group members‟ learning as well. Students work until each group member successfully understands all concepts and then the assignment is completed (Timayi, Bolaji & Kajuru,2015)

The idea of cooperative learning according to Oloruko-oba (2001) is based on the premise that an individual can only achieve his/her goals, if the other members of the group with whom he/she work together with, can equally attain their goals. Johnson and Johnson (2009) also reported that cooperative learning results in a greater effort for improving the academic performance of students, more positive interpersonal relationships and greater psychological health than competitive or individual learning effort. The use of cooperative learning strategy as a paradigm shift from the traditional or chalk and talk to collaborative interaction,  student-centered mode of learning and teaching. In other words cooperative learning strategy represents a change from individual learning to social learning (Zakariah & Iksan, 2007). In regard to the foregoing, several model of cooperative learning strategies had been advocated, one of which is Jig-saw Cooperative Learning Model.

Jigsaw is a cooperative learning models that was developed by Elliot Aronson and his colleagues in 1978. This is one of the learning strategies under cooperative learning in which, the content of the lesson is subdivided into different parts of information and then given to groups of students who would later explain to each other their parts and results in the whole jigsaw puzzle to be completed (Aronson 2008). In Jig-saw technique, students are divided into small groups of 5-6 known as the Jigsaw groups, and the concept to learn is broken into segments. Each student in the Jigsaw group is assigned a segment to specialize on as all students with same topic or segment form the expert groups. After the session, they reconvene in their Jig-saw groups where each expert explains his/her topic to other member of the Jig-saw group after which they take up quiz individually without help or assistance from the other group members. The scores of the individual members are summed up to form the group scores which are used to reward the best group (Achor & Wude, 2014).

In Science Education, the Jigsaw method is reported to be used in classes more often than other collaborative learning methods, especially in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and the Earth sciences. This is because the Jigsaw method is considered to enhance cooperative learning by making each student focus on a particular topic

(Johnson, & Johnson, 2009). This study investigates the effect of Jigsaw IV Cooperative Learning Strategy on Students‟ Perception, Retention and Academic Performance in Zaria Educational zone Kaduna State, Nigeria.

However, students‟ perception about particular concepts is one of the mental processes or skills human beings engage in. It is a cognitive activity in learning which is seen as the process of making sense out of something (Agogo, Ogbeba & Damkor-Ikpa, 2013). Idris (2011) sees perception as a process through which man continues to interact with environment, thereby, experiencing a form of strong base of knowledge that built up an individual. Students‟ perception about a concept can be positive or negative towards the teaching of science (Shafiu, 2014).  Studies have shown that when several individuals confront an object or thing in their environment, or concepts in their subject area, the input of information that impinges on their respective sense organs, (eyes, ears and so on) is the same for every individual, though they perceive differently (Shafiu, 2014).

Furthermore, studies of Samba and Eriba (2012); Agogo and Onda (2014) revealed that science students perceive Organic Chemistry to be abstract and difficult to learn, as such they perform relatively low in Organic Chemistry. Charania, Kausar, and Cassum (2001), likewise investigated students‟ perception of learning in a Jigsaw method-based class, and report that when students discussed their specific topic within their expert group; they increased in conceptual understanding, developed self- confidence, and enhanced communication skills and positive perception regarding the topic and the subject at large.

Moreso, Ortese, Yaweh and Akume (2006) posited that learners‟ perception is often affected by a number of factors, such as interest, lack of effective teaching strategy, motivation, attention, self concept as well as thinking and creativity. This is why Agogo and Onda (2014) observed that what may appear difficult to somebody may be easy to another person because the concepts of easiness or difficulty as perceived by somebody are dynamic. Whatever is the case, concept difficulty invariably affects students‟ performance in such a subject. Therefore, when desired intervention is not given in terms of effective teaching and learning strategies, Chemistry students would continue to have negative perception that organic chemistry is a difficult and abstract concept.

In view of this, since in JigsawIV Cooperative Learning Strategy, the teacher introduced the lesson after grouping the students into a teams of 5-6 members each, the teacher gave them task to perform and re-taught of concepts considered difficult to understand or missing part of the lesson after individual assessment, allowed the students to construct their knowledge, analyzed such knowledge and applied it to a real life situation. This enhanced students‟ positive perception about Organic Chemistry concepts.

Retention on the other hand, refers to what is learned minus what has been forgotten (Mang & Mankilik, 2001). Bichi (2002) opined that anything which aids meaningful learning improves students‟ retention and while things that lead to interference among learned materials decrease the speed and efficiency of learning and accelerates forgetting. Retention as defined by Yero, (2011) is the ability of a learner to recall, remember and recollect a body of knowledge after passing through instruction. Idris, (2014) also observed that, retention is the ability to keep and consequently remember things or materials experienced or learned at a later time. Materials to be learned depend on the strategy used in teaching and have an effect to the quality of retention in terms of their meaningfulness, familiarity and image evoking characteristics (Abdullahi, 2015).

Low academic performance as well as retention amongst students in Sciences seems to be as a result of use of teacher‟s-centered method which leads to poor academic retention, performance and acquisition of requisite skills (Usman, 2010). The Jigsaw model is one of the modern strategies that is students‟- centered and enhanced meaningful learning through students‟ interaction in groups of 5-6 to construct their own knowledge, share ideas and complete a given task assigned to them. Studies revealed that,  lesson which applied the Jigsaw model was shown to be effective both in cognitive and affective characteristics including meaningful learning, enhanced academic performance, retention; positive learning attitude, interest, self-respect, self-learning ability, confidence, task commitment, sociability, and so on (Kilic,2008; Sahin, 2010; Yusuf, 2011 & Gumel, 2015).

According to Hornby (2010), Academic performance refers to student‟s success in meeting short or long term goals in education. Sani (2007), defines academic achievement as an accomplishment or proficiency of performance in a given skill or body of knowledge. Adediwura and Tayo (2007), viewed academic performance as the knowledge attained or skills developed in school subject designed by test and examination scores or marks assigned by the subject teachers. It can be considered as a demonstrating ability of students to comprehend, analyze, apply, synthesize and evaluate Organic Chemistry information. Usman (2010) note that, poor achievement recorded in sciences could be attributed to the teaching method which does not allow students to demonstrate their abilities. According to Zakaria, Solfitri, Daud and Abidin (2013) students in a jigsaw cooperative learning activity, gained cognitive and affective development in science after their discussion, explanation they gave to one another at both expert and home groups. However, teacher-centered method (lecture method) was used in this study to teach the control group in order to compare the performance of students with those exposed to JigsawIV Cooperative Learning Strategy.

Therefore, Lecture method of instruction is teacher-centered, characterized by the teacher talking to the class most of the time, while the students listen, take down notes and occasionally ask questions (Lakpini, 2006). It is the teaching technique in which a person usually, the teacher, presents a spoken discourse on a particular subject. The teacher does much of the activity in form of talking and writing while the students listen (Kelly, 2009). The effectiveness of this method is that, it requires clear and good command of language and good ability to write. It also saves time and energy, not expensive, saves teacher a lot of challenges in class and it allows handling of large class and easy coverage of syllabus (Gumel, 2015). Though in this method, different ability groups are not properly taken care of in class, it is boring to the students, encourages rote learning among others. As such, the researcher adopted Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy in teaching and Learning of Organic Chemistry Concepts, in Zaria Education Zone Nigeria to determine its effects on students‟ Performance.

Globally, there have been debates on students‟ performances in Science and Mathematics with respect to gender, which has continued to be of interest and inconclusive (Stoet,  & Geary, 2013). Gender has been identified as one of the factors influencing students‟ performance in sciences at senior secondary school level. Olson (2002) reported that, female students performed better than males students when taught Mathematics and sciences using cooperative learning. Sadker in Lakpini (2006) revealed that male students received more criticism from their teachers than their female counterparts as such that affects their performance in sciences (chemistry). Contrarily, Khairulanuar, Nazre, Sairabanu and Norasikin (2010) found gender differences in favour of male students. Becker in Lakpini (2006) opined teachers spoke more frequently to boys, asked the boys more questions, praised boys for quality work and girls for neatness. Even though, Ajaja and Eravwoke (2010) and Timayi et al (2015), reported that gender had no effect on academic achievement of students in cooperative learning. These contradictory findings have caused for inclusion of gender as one of the moderating variable for this study. This study investigated the effects of Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy on students‟ gender  among students taught Organic Chemistry at Senior Secondary Schools in Zaria Educational zone.

1.1.1 Theoretical Framework

Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy is based on the theory of Constructivism, Peer Learning Theory of Piaget (1967) and Social Learning Theory of Vygotsky (1978). The constructivism is a school of thought that believes in learners actively constructing their own knowledge and understanding using previous knowledge and interacting with instructional materials under the guidance of the teacher. Constructivism is a theory based on observation and scientific study about how people learn (Fosnot, 1996).

Constructivism says that, people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, learners are active creators of their own knowledge. Similarly, in Jigsaw (IV) cooperative learning strategy, the teacher introduces the lesson to the students so as to provide them with anchoring idea that would link the previous experience with the task at hand and reflecting on those experiences through active participation in the lesson. Here the students are given the task to perform after discussion at expert group, returns to the home group and explain the portion learned to other members of the group. This therefore makes them to be active creator of their knowledge.

The peer learning theory of Piaget, (1967) believed that, learning improved with the help of peers. Piaget found that, children need to discuss their findings as well as having stimulating environment in which they learn in peers. Learners need to be active, have hands-on opportunities, and not to become the least passive as the case may often be. He thought peer interaction could help students to recognize contradictions and interpretation of a problem. The dialogue creates cognitive gains and allowed students have a relationship built on cooperation. Piaget opined that teachers should create an enabling environment of mutual respect such as that of Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy where learners work in peer and share the knowledge acquired so as to ensure meaningful  learning and mastery of the lesson. The entire group depended on the other member of the group for success. Therefore, this theory supports the use of Jigsaw IV Cooperative Learning Strategy in Science Education.

Vygotsky (1978), in his Social Cognitive Theory, reflected the structure of Jig-saw Cooperative Learning in learners. Vygotsky believed that infants were born with some level of social-cognitive ability. This ability would have enhanced as long as the children grew-up with understanding and supportive adults who encouraged their verbalization and permitted collaborative conversations. He theorized that, as learners grow, they experience more social interaction with adults and peers. These interactions allow them to develop functions such as language skills, voluntary attention, scientific skills and memory. Vygotsky believed that the zone of proximal development of a child is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. The zone of Proximal Development is usually determined from below what a child can learn on his/her own, and above by what a child can learn with the help of others, such as peers or teacher as seen in Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy. This study adopted the theory of Constructivism, because students in Jigsaw IV Cooperative Learning Strategy are active creator of their own understanding and knowledge of the concepts given through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.  Also, in Jigsaw IV Cooperative Learning Strategy introduction is the first step that provides an anchoring idea to understand the tasks given to them at hand.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The world is searching for a better way in which science can be taught meaningfully through activity- based Strategy. This Activity–Based Strategy can only be achieved where there are available science facilities to enhance teaching and learning of science. In developing countries, like Nigeria, most of the facilities are not readily available which promote frequent use of inappropriate teaching strategies and lead to consistent poor performance in science courses especially Chemistry (Sadi, 2014). This was further proved from the analysis made by West Africa Examination Council (WAEC, 2017), that the performance of students in chemistry from 2007 to 2017 keeps on fluctuating and this is presented in Table 1.1

Table 1.1 The Performance of Students in Chemistry from 2007-2017 in Kaduna


Year Number of candidate that sat for WAEC  Number of students (pass) Number of students


% of students (pass) % of students














2008 228953 80355 148598 35 65
2009 250099 85150 163949 34 66
2010 289520 84520 205000 29 71
2011 326541 98215 228326 30 60
2012 367562 120560 247002 33 67






























 Source: WAEC Office Kaduna, Kaduna State, (2018)

Statistics in Table 1.1 indicates that the average percentage of students‟ pass scores is 35% and the failure rate of 74%This implies that, performance of student in Chemistry would continue to decline, if the right and desired intervention is not given in terms of effective teaching and learning strategies. 

 Several attempts have been made to investigate the effectiveness of teaching methods on academic performance in Science Education and findings revealed that innovative methods such as Discovery, Science Process Approach, Problem Solving Learning Strategy, Laboratory, Cooperative learning strategy and so on  were more effective in enhancing students cognitive performance in science at SS level than conventional method ( Ibrahim, 2012; Bitrus, 2012 & Attah, 2014), yet the performance of students in sciences (Chemistry inclusive) kept on declining.

Many studies have also been conducted in the area of gender related differences in academic performance and retention in secondary school Chemistry. It has been noted that male students perform better and retained Chemistry concepts more than female students. Other studies revealed the superiority of female students in Chemistry achievement and retention over the male students. Also no gender differences in academic performance and retention have also been reported. These contradictory evidences in academic performances and retention of male and female students in chemistry have resulted on the need to search for effective methods of teaching that can ameliorate the aforementioned problem in teaching and learning of chemistry concepts which called for the adoption of Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy.

In promoting greater performance, several studies reported that Jigsaw cooperative learning enhances academic performance and fosters greater retention of learning outcomes ((Sousa, 2006; Moore, 2008; Kagan & Kagan, 2009; Maden, 2011). However, most of these studies were carried out either at higher institutions or primary schools and are mostly foreign. Jigsaw IV Cooperative Learning Strategy, in this study is used because, it involves introducing the lesson to the learners so as to provide them with anchoring idea that serves as a prior knowledge, assigning a task to every student in a

Jigsaw group becomes an “expert”, such that he/she is actively participate and responsible for the explanation given to the other group members (home group) and reteaching of material after individual assessment makes it better than other types of jigsaw and would be used to examines its effect on senior secondary school student using Organic Chemistry concepts in Zaria Educational Zone. Therefore, this study investigates the effects of Jigsaw (IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy on students‟ perception, retention and academic performance in Organic Chemistry in Zaria Educational Zone, Kaduna State Nigeria.

1.3     Objectives of the Study          The objectives of the study are to:    

  1. determine the effects of Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy on Students‟ Academic Performance in Organic Chemistry concepts among Senior Secondary Schools in Zaria Educational Zone.
  2. examine students‟ perception of organic chemistry concepts before and after

exposure to Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy  and Conventional                     Method of Teaching among SS II Students in Zaria Education zone?

  • compare the retention ability of students taught Organic Chemistry using Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy and those taught same concepts using CMT at Senior Secondary Schools of Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
  1. determine the gender- related difference in academic performance between SSII male and female students in Organic Chemistry using Jigsaw IV

Cooperative Learning strategy.

1.4     Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions.

(i).  is there any difference between the mean academic performance scores of senior  secondary school students taught Organic  Chemistry using Jigsaw(IV)

Cooperative Learning Strategy and those taught same concepts using Conventional Method of Teaching?

  • what is the students‟ perception of organic chemistry concepts before and after exposure to Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy  and Conventional

Method  of Teaching among SS II Students in Zaria, Kaduna State?

  • is there any difference between the retention ability of students taught Organic Chemistry concepts using Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy at Senior              Secondary Schools in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria?
  • is there any difference between the mean performance scores of male and female students taught Organic Chemistry using Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning

Strategy at SSII level?

1.5     Null hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at P ≤ 0.05 level of


HO1:  There is no significant difference in the mean academic performance scores of             students taught Organic Chemistry concepts using the Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative             Learning Strategy and those taught same concepts using the Conventional Method             of Teaching.

HO2:  There is no significant difference in students‟ perception of Organic Chemistry            concepts before and after exposure to Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy            and Conventional  Method of Teaching among SS II Students in

Zaria, Kaduna State

HO3:   There is no significance difference in the retention ability of chemistry students              taught Organic Chemistry concepts using Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning              Strategy and those taught same concepts using the Conventional Method of              teaching at Senior Secondary Schools in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria.           HO4:   There is no significant difference in the mean academic performance scores of              male and female students taught Organic Chemistry using Jigsaw(IV)

Cooperative Learning Strategy at SS II level.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This study titled effects of Jig-saw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy on students‟ perception, retention and academic performance in Organic Chemistry concepts in Zaria Education Zone, Kaduna State, would be of benefit to:

Chemistry Students: This study would help secondary school students identify the learning strategy that enhances performance in Organic Chemistry. It is hoped that the use of Jig-saw (IV) Cooperative Learning strategy for teaching Chemistry in senior secondary schools would enhance their academic performance and retention of what they


Chemistry Teachers: The findings of this study would be beneficial to secondary school Chemistry teachers by helping them on the use of learning strategies which arouse the interest of learners and with high participation of the learners. Information from this study would also help Chemistry Teachers to improve upon their teaching effectiveness through the use of Jig-saw (IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy as effective instructional strategy in their field.

Head of Departments:  Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy would provide an impetus for the heads of departments to recommend the effective method to be used by teachers. This study would inform the teacher educator about effective teaching strategies in preparation of the teachers and thus enhancing students‟ performance in Organic Chemistry concepts.

Higher institutions of Learning: The institutions of higher learning where chemistry teachers are trained would make use of the Jigsaw (IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy so as to equip them to produce more effective and teachers who would in turn help students re-construct knowledge on their own.

Professional Bodies: Findings of this study would be useful to professional bodies concerned with outcomes of research especially those interested in Instructional innovations. Professional bodies such as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) that carry out seminars, workshops, and research activities might find the results of this study useful and incorporate them into their instructional packages.

Curriculum Developers: Curriculum Developers who develop syllabuses or syllabi and recommend effective methods of instruction would incorporate the teaching strategy as reflected in this study, and also the findings of this study would be used to clarify, modify, support or refute the existing claims on abstract nature of Organic Chemistry concepts.

Researchers: It would help to initiate further studies into other teaching strategies not only in Chemistry, but other sciences with a view to equipping professionals on how to enhance academic performance and creativity of students at all levels of education.


1.7    Scope of the Study

This study investigated the “effects of Jigsaw(IV) Cooperative Learning Strategy on

Senior Secondary School Chemistry students‟ perception, retention and performance in organic concepts in Zonal Expectorate Division, Zaria”. This study was delimited to SS II Senior Secondary Schools Students offering Chemistry. Two intact co-education schools with a sample size of 234 students out of total population of 1,154 were used for the study. Quasi-experimental research design with emphasis on pretest, posttest and postpost test was used. Six Organic Chemistry concepts are used for the purpose of generating data for the study. These concepts were Hydrocarbons, Functional group, Homologous series, Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes. These concepts were selected based on the finding of Samba and Eriba, (2012), and Agogo and Onda, (2014) that students find these concepts to be difficult as learners only study them by memorization. The instruments used were Organic Chemistry Performance Test (OCAT) and Organic Concept Perception Questionnaire (OCPQ). Mean, Standard Deviation, t-test, ANCOVA and Kruscal Walli‟s statistics were used in analyzing the research questions and the null hypotheses.

1.8    Basic Assumption

The study is based on assumptions that:

  1. Students performance would improve after exposure to JigsawIV Cooperative Learning Strategy;
  2. Organic concepts would be retained when JigsawIV Cooperative Learning

Strategy is used ;

  1. Students Perception would change when JigsawIV Cooperative Learning Strategy is used in teaching of Organic Chemistry concepts in senior secondary school students in Zaria.



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