IDENTIFICATION AND REMEDIATION OF FAULTS IN BASIC SCIENCE AMONG UPPER BASIC STUDENTS IN NASARAWA EDUCATION AREA, KANO, NIGERIA

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IDENTIFICATION AND REMEDIATION OF FAULTS IN BASIC SCIENCE AMONG UPPER BASIC STUDENTS IN NASARAWA EDUCATION AREA, KANO, NIGERIA  

ABSTRACT

This study identified and remediederrors committed in Basic Science among Upper Basic 2 Students in Nasarawa Education Zone, Kano.The research designs usedweresurvey for Errors Identification and Quasi- experimental design to test the students‟ performance level involving pre-testand post-testwith 60 students each in both control and experimental groups. Thestudy population was 8569from28 Public schools. A sample size of 120 randomly selected Upper Basic 2 Students participated in the study. It comprised of60 males and 60 female students. The research instruments were Basic Science Error Identification Test (BSEIT) used to identify errors committed and Basic Science Performance Test (BSPT) used to test the students‟performance inBasic Science. The instruments were validated by the supervisor and other experts in Basic science teaching. A pilot study was conducted to collect data for establishing the reliability coefficient 0.87 of the BSEITusing test re test method.Treatment was given to the experimental group using demonstration teaching method. Four research questions and three null hypotheses were raised, the null hypotheses of the research were tested usingt- test and ANOVA statistics at p ≤ 0.05 alpha level of significance.Based on data analysis using the statistical package for social science (SPSS) hypotheses one and three wereretained while hypothesis two was rejected.The result showed that demonstrationteaching method was relatively more effective for remediating identified errors among Upper Basic students. Theacademic performances of students taught Basic Science using demonstration teaching method was higher thanthat of the students taught using lecture method.Thus, it is recommended that demonstration teaching method should be used to remedy Basic science errors among students.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

THE PROBLEM

1.1       Introduction

Nigeria as a developing nation works to achieve fast development and growth in science and technology to boost its economy. Investments are made in various fields including science education, which can be actualized by giving quality education to its citizens. Shaibu (2014) defines science as a complex human activity that leads to the production of a body of universal statements called laws, theories, or hypothesis which serve to explain the observable behavior of the universe or part of it and which in themselves have predictive characteristics.

Also, Sulaiman (2014) sees science as a product (a body of knowledge) a process (a way of conducting enquiry) and an enterprise (the institutionalized pursuit of knowledge of the material world).  Alao(2010) suggests that science teachers should be aware of certain rules which facilitate the selection of approaches of imparting knowledge to pupils. Thus, Alao (2010) observed that in selecting the methodology for a science lesson the science teachers should consider among other things innovative teaching strategies to enhance pupils‟ academic performance in the subject.

General Science was introduced to Nigerian schools between 1957 and 1969.The Russians lunched their space ship, the Sputnik in 1957, while the Americans put the first man on the moon in 1969.According to Balogun (1990) science was taught in Nigerian schools as Nature Study or Rural Science. At the junior secondary school, science was taught in an uncoordinated manner with various parts of Nigeria operating at different levels, some used

Hygiene, Health Education or Nature Study. The first publication of the Nigerian Integrated Science Project (NISP) was in 1970. This however faced many problems because there were no qualified teachers to teach science. In recognition of such inadequacies, the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2014) stressed that the aims of Basic Science Education should include among others, laying a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking, developing in the pupils the ability to adapt to his/her environment and giving the pupils opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable him/her to function effectively in the society.

Balogun (1990) stated that as a result of the world wide curriculum reforms and in recognition of the changing needs of the Nigerian students, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC) invited Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to review science curriculum. This led to the setting up of subject panels that developed curriculum in various science subjects which came up with the unified curriculum of subjects called Integrated Science which was offered at Junior Secondary Schools level. It is worth noting that the teaching of Integrated Science as a subject, after the curriculum reform of 1969 continued until the decision of the Federal Government to introduce the 9-year Basic Education in 2005 (FRN, 2004) for which the Basic Science curriculum was developed.

Integrated Science curriculum is now a revised curriculum for science which is now called Basic Science,it is the grassroots science pupils come in contact with at their first 3 years in secondary school. Basic Science by conception and definition emphasized on the content as well as the process of science, development of mental skill, acquisition of appropriate motor capabilities and the evolution of positive attitude among others. According to Oludipe (2014), Basic Science is the foundation that prepares pupils for future learning and study of science subjects like Chemistry, Physics and Biology at the Senior Secondary School level. This means, for a student to be able to study single science subjects at the senior class, such a student must perform well in Basic Science at the Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination (JSSCE). In addition, Basic Science lays emphasis on inquiry into nature in the environment through the use of activity based method of teaching. Therefore, the use of guided inquiry/ demonstration method of teaching and learning are applied in the activities prescribed under each topic in the textbook.

Similarly, Bolaji and Adesina (2011), see Basic Science as a grassroots subject that lays the foundation in pupils in the field of science. It is viewed as a course intended to reduce drastically the incidence of drop out from the formal school and ensuring the acquisition of appropriate levels of scientific literacy and life skills for a solid educational foundation. Oludipe (2014) is also of the view that Basic Science plays a vital role in the secondary school curriculum and stands as the foundational stone for students who wish to pursue science related course/career in future. In the teaching and learning process of Basic Science, Oludipe (2014) states that the performance of students depends on methods of teaching (appropriate usage and choice of technique), quality of teachers, availability of resources (textual material, laboratory) few to be mentioned. Bolaji and Adesina (2011) stated that the lingering low performance of junior and senior secondary schools students in Basic science and sciences is of major concern to educational stakeholders. In addition, evidence from Ibe (2008) shows that Basic Science teachers are poorly trained in content knowledge, assessment techniques and pedagogy which contributed to students‟ low performance. Table 1.1 shows the Basic Science Students Performance Results of KERD in

Kano State over a period of 8 years.

 

 

 

 

Table 1.1: Basic Science Student Performance Result of KERD from 2010 – 2017 in Kano State

Year Total of nostudents  Pass population %Pass  Fail population %Fail
2010             87112 19232 22.08 67880 77.92
2011             80182 32704 40.79 47478 59.21
2012             84392 42795 50.71 41597 49.29
2013             83647 30989 37.05 52658 62.95
2014             89109 32777 36.78 56332 63.22
2015             82300 38300 46.54 44000 53.46
2016             82700 20100 24.30 62600 75.70
2017             86090 18200 21.14 67890 78.86

Source: Kano Education Resource Department (KERD), 2017

Table1.1 indicates students result in Basic Science by percentage. For each of these years over 50% of the student fail yearly except the year 2012 as presented which is below average over the years, disturbed by this development. There is a need to provide an alternative remedy with the use of demonstration method, to find out if this instructional method could minimize errors and improve the performance of Upper Basic Science. Usman (2007) stated that most Basic Science teachers use lecture teaching method which leads to poor performance and inappropriate science process skills acquisition. More so, Usman (2007) said that science taught at the Junior Secondary School is faced with the problem of inadequate instructional materials and lack of competent teachers both in method and content of teaching. Therefore, Basic Science can be seen as the early stage science teaching in which students are required to develop certain scientific skills and attitudes as they work in their everyday activities.There is a need to conduct studies on Basic Science to identify some of the challenges and errors committed by the students with the view to remediate the identified errors in Basic Science. This study is out to identify and remediate the errors that led to poor performance of Upper Basic Students in Basic Science which, if not identified and remediated, will invariably impair their future performance in science.  Error identification is a method commonly used to identify the cause of student errors when they make consistent mistakes. It is a process of reviewing students‟ work in order to identify patterns of misunderstanding.

According to Melle (1996) errorsare mistakes or incorrect responses made by student to a given stimulus in form of oral or written test, Errors could be procedural or conceptual in nature. Error and mistake according to Salman (2004) are usually used interchangeably as synonymous because they stand in for an incorrect idea, opinion or misguided information, but they differ in terms of level or degree of incorrectness.

Abdulkarim (2011) viewed Error Analysis as the identification, description and explanation of errors either in spoken, written, graphic or pictorial forms. Error analysis may show a teacher the areas where his teaching has not been effective enough and it can provide data for the preparation of teaching materials when extensive error analysis is replicated. Abdulkarim (2011) is of the idea that an error analysis adequately carried out would reveal the types and frequencies of individual weaknesses. Error analysis is quite vital as a method of improving both teaching and students‟ characteristic mistakes and problem areas or even characteristic mode of thought, knowledge of which is important to teachers. It is expected that when students are aware of the types and frequencies of their errors, they will work hard to correct them. The teacher will also redouble his/her efforts and commitment improving his/her method of preparation in order to make his/her teaching more effective.

The researchers work on errors likeLawal (1995), Mohammed (2011), Agaba, 2014 in

Biology, Isa (1990), Salman (2004) in Mathematics, Abdulkarim (2011) in Geography, Melle (1996) in Chemistry and Falalu (2015) have shown that students commit errors in various academic disciplines.Such errors were classified according to their nature, types and their remedy. Newbury (1965) classified errors, involving theoretical examination in chemistry, into the following categories, spelling, grammar, factual statement, mistakes of using equations, result, conclusion and carelessness. Lawal in Agaba (2014) classified error in Practical Biology into five categories; random errors, errors related to sequencing steps within procedures, errors related to conceptual learning, errors related to selection of information or procedures, errors related to recording of works. These Errors are not peculiar to Biology alone, Ajibola (1988) also identified six error-types in mathematics as factual errors, algorithmic errors, diagrammatic error, wrong equation, inferential errors, blunder or carelessness. Errors analysis is the identification of Upper Basic Students‟ error type frequency and school by school error types with a view to finding its possible causes and remediating them. In this study, identification test was used to identify the students‟ error as stated byPostelethwaite (1999) that error analysis involves studying students‟ school work such as homework, class work and diagnostic tests was designed to identify the major errors the students commit and the possible sources of such errors. In addition, Postelethwaite (1999) says that information on errors is obtained using questionnaire for teachers and students about the challenges they had with the subject test or teaching method in order to remediate them.

A remediation method was designed based on the identified errors, error – types and possible reasons that prompt students to committing such errors in Basic Science which would hopefully lessen the problem that prompts students to commit the often avoidable errors. Thus, to provide remedy on errors committed among Upper Basic Science students taught through the use of demonstration method and topics in Basic Science was applied. Abdulkarim (2011) noted that identified errors may require some short or long -term plan to achieving the intended goal of correction and the plan for achieving the required corrections is the remediation strategy. Also, Abdulkarim (2011) approach resulted to fewer errors because students exposed to practical ways of learning as against lecture method performed better. This implies that the practical based approach enhances the students work. Therefore, remediation is the act or process of correcting something that is undesirable or deficient on students‟ works both males and females in their institution. For this study demonstration method was applied in remediating identified errors against lecture method.

The results on gender related factor of student academic performance in science. Isa (1990), Mohammed (2011) posited that male students perform better and higher in science than the female students and Lawal (1995), argued that female students perform better than male. Yet others contend that there is no significant difference in academic performance between boys and girls (Nussbaum, 2000; Owolabi and Bamdele, 2000; Bichi, 2002 and Salman 2004). Similarly, James (1998) found that female students performed better than their male counterpart in science when exposed to inquiry methods. There are several science teaching methods; activity, demonstration, field trip, play role, lecture, excursion, multimedia, etc. However, this study adopts demonstration method in order to find out whether gender difference exists in academic performance such that it could be gender related difference in errors commitment. The outcome was used to design a remediation to reduce or minimize errors committed by students. Thus, Basic Science Identification Test was also designed to determine Students error type frequency, fill the gap on gender and school by school error frequency in remediating identified errors in Basic Science among

Upper Basic Science Students in Nasarawa Education Zone, Kano State.

1.1.1    Theoretical Framework

This study on identification and remediation of Errors in Basic Science was guided by theoretical framework of constructivists‟ view of knowledge proposed by Piaget‟s (1977) onCognitive Developmental Theory was on four basic concepts: the schemas, assimilation, accommodation and equilibration. The schema is a cognitive structure that enables transition from one cognitive level to another. Assimilation implies taking in a new idea from the environment into one‟s existing schema. This study employs Piaget‟s concept on schema and assimilation for the identification of errors in the subject to examine its transition and how its new ideas existence would predict students‟ performance in Basic Science. One of the reasons for asking questions by teachers is to search for response(s) from the prior knowledge of the students.  Therefore, considering demonstration as a method through which science can be taught, for the remediation of the identified errors.Thus, in this study, Piaget (1977) teaching and learning concepts using accommodation which involves modification or change of old information for new knowledge and equilibration is the process of maintaining balance between existing schemas and new knowledge in the environment.The demonstrationmethod serves as a theoretical framework to remediatestudenterrors frequencies and enhance students‟ performance in Basic Science.

In addition, Piaget‟s (1977) idea of cognitive developmental theory on the four basic concepts studies were supported by the works of Cherry (2012) that describes schema as both mental and physical actions involved in understanding and knowing. The schema is the building block of knowledge. When a child„s schema is capable of explaining what it can perceive around the environment, the child is in a cognitive balance or equilibrium. When the child„s schema is not capable of explaining what it can perceive, it is in disequilibrium. The child at this stage displays some kinds of misconception and commits errors on some tasks given. However, Piaget‟s theory is relevant to this study because when a teacher infuses wrong concept to the learner, error may have developed by the learner on the concept introduced which may affect their understanding of the new concept. On the processes of transition through the cognitive levels, Cherry (2012) identifies assimilation and accommodation as the processes. When a child takes in new information into his existing schema to move to equilibrium, he is assimilating. Changing or altering existing schema in the light of new knowledge or experience is known as accommodation. Striking a balance between assimilation and accommodation is known as the equilibrium. Thus, Piaget (1977) is adoptedinthis study to find out the errors students commit when they are at a disequilibrium cognitive stage in the schema of knowledge in Basic Science. The instructional materials in the remediation method is to reduce the level of disequilibrium so that the learner can emulate them easily or influence the restructuring of the learning cognitive structure to accommodate the learning materials as the process ensures areas where conflicts are resolved.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Basic science is the first three years‟ foundation science at the Upper Basic level of the secondary school meant to prepare students for subsequent learning of science at the senior secondary school level and future courses in science. It is an important basis for the success or failure of the science core subjects at the senior secondary level. Performance of students in Basic science has been observed by researcher like Idris (2014)and Oludipe

(2014) to be poor.The examination report from Kano Educational Resource Department

(KERD), 2010-2017 in Table 1.1 indicates students result in Basic Science by percentage. For each of these years over 50% of the student fail yearly except the year 2012.A number of factors has been raised by educators like Idris (2014) and Falalu (2015) to explain this poor state. Prominent among these factors include; the teacher‟s method of teaching which encourage memorization of the facts of science (Idris, 2014). Also lack of both human and material resources (Oludipe, 2014). Idris (2014) emphasized the fact that students memorize science without really understanding the concept of science. Falalu (2015)reported that the student performance results indicate thatthere was an inverse relationship between frequency of errors and academic achievement scores of subjects. As error increased the achievement score decreased while as errors decreased the achievement score increases. This implies that errors on a subject can affect the students‟ performance.

This study is conducted in Nasarawa Education zone of Kano State with 28 public secondary schools. Kano state is known for its commercial activities in the sub- Saharan Africa. According to Ibrahim (2003), Kano came into being on April 1st, 1968. It is situated in the north-west zone of Nigeria with a total population of about 10,013,224 based on the 2006 national population census figures and it is made up of forty-four local government areas of which Nasarawa Education zone is part of it, comprising of Fagge and Nasarawa local government areas. The main indigenous language spoken is Hausa while English is the official language in government and business transaction (Education). The average literacy rate is 35%. They are mainly Muslims and few indigenous Christians. Researches carried out by scholars of other disciplines for students ranging from Upper Basic level to tertiary institution have recorded similar trends in relation to students‟ performance in science.

For instance, Inekwe (1984) in Error Analysis in the Solution Process of Literal Equations in Mathematics; Falalu (2015) on Identification of Errors in Physics and Efficacy of a Remediation Package andLawal (1995) Error analysis in Practical Biology. Also,

Abdulkarim (2011) on Remediation of Errors in the Presentation and Interpretation of Topographical Maps in Geography and Melle (1996) in Chemistry. These researchers concentrated on identifying error- types and determination of possible relation between error frequency and students‟ performance in their various fields of study. There was no attempt to design a remediation to reduce the frequency and types of errors committed by students more especially in upper Basic Science except for Abdulkarim (2011) and Falalu (2015) who designed remediation package on their field of study. The problem of failure to identify types of errors and misconceptions by Science educators and Basic Science teachers at Upper Basic level and designing its remediation to address the errors could still keep the level of students‟ understanding of Basic Science concepts at a low level and thus increase the chance of committing errors in Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The purpose of the study was to identify and remediate errors in Basic Science among Upper Basic two (2) Students in Nasarawa Education Zone, Kano. Specifically, the

objectives of the study are to:

  1. identify the types of error committed by Upper Basic twostudents in Basic Science.
  2. determine the difference in the errors committed amongUpper Basic schoolsin Basic

Science.

  1. findout the effect of demonstration teaching method in remediating errors committed in Basic Science among Upper Basic students.
  2. findoutif there are difference in the performance of male and female students exposed to demonstration teaching methodin Basic Science.

1.4        Research Questions

This study aims at answering the following research questions:

  1. What are the types of errors committed by Upper Basic two (2) students in Basic

Science?

  1. Is there difference in errors committed in Basic Science amongUpper Basic schools?
  2. Is there any difference in the performance of students taught the selected concepts in Basic Science using demonstration teaching method and those taught with lecture method?
  3. Is there any difference in the performance of male and female students exposed to demonstration teaching method in Basic Science?

 

1.5        Null Hypotheses

The following Null hypotheses were formulated and tested at p≤0.05 level of

significance;

HO1:  There is no significant difference in the errors committed in Basic Science amongschools.

HO2: There is no significant difference in the academic performance of students taught Basic Science using demonstration teaching method and those taught using lecture methods.

HO3:  There is no significant difference in the performanceof male and female students in

Basic Science after remediation using demonstration teaching method

1.6       Significance of the Study

The findings of this study helped identify and minimize errors in science teaching and learning at Upper Basic Science in Nasarawa zone, Kano. To produce better and quality students, Basic Science teachers‟ and curriculum planners link for advancement in the following ways;

  • School Administration: It stimulate the Basic Science teachers approach towards the use of demonstration, laboratory and field trip skill in their subject, to enhance academic performance of students in Basic Science. This current trend of teaching brings improvement in general performance of students in their schools.
  • Students: The findings encourage students who have difficulty in learning some difficult topics in Basic Science to device new alternative method through the use of educational resource. The findinghelp increase students‟ ability to apply scientific knowledge such as scientific process skills to everyday life in personal, community health and agricultural matters.
  • Teachers: The result help teachers to use the right approach or method when teaching Basic Science, give an assessment of the progress of students and indicate their areas of weakness. Also, help teachers master their fields and topics well in order to build the learners schemas on future science topics.
  • Professional Bodies: The finding helps Professional bodies, such as Science Teachers Association (STAN) and Mathematic Association of Nigeria (MAN) to be aware of the errors identified in Basic Science among upper Basic students and its remediation for future curriculum development. It helps to arouse the teachers‟ and students reasonable and functional scientific attitudes.
  • Curriculum Planners: The finding helps curriculum planners in adopting the remediation method for the improvement of teaching and learning in Upper Basic Science. It would minimize most errors committed among students in Basic Science.

 

1.7       Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to Upper Basic two (2) students

ofNasarawaEducation Zone, Kano State.Four (4) Junior Secondary Schools out of 28 public schools in Nasarawa Education Zone, Kano State comprising 2 males and 2 female‟s schools were randomly selected. Considering that JSS I students were just being admitted and had not done much in Basic Science and the JSS 3 were busy preparing for Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE), the researcher opted for Upper Basic 2 students who were better and more appropriate for the study. This level of students wasinvolved for the study because they have been exposed to most concepts in the subject area. The concepts taught in this study is limited to 3 namely; Changes in non-living things, Energy, Changes in living things. They are concepts in Basic Science curriculum which have been reported to be abstract in nature and as such difficult for students to perform (Bolaji and Adesina 2011). A good look at these concepts requires understanding and good use of demonstration method. The schools involved are the same in terms of staff, provision of instructional material, students‟ enrollment and uniformity in curriculum among others. Nasarawa Education Zone, selected for the study, is multi-ethnic in nature, where students come from different cultural, religious, political and economic groups.

 

1.8        Basic Assumptions

For the purpose of this research work, the following assumptions were made:

  1. The Basic Science students were taught by qualified, competent and experienced teachers as recommended in the National Policy on Education FRN (2004).
  2. Demonstration method of teaching and relevant instructional materialswereadequate for the teaching and learning of Basic Science concepts.
  • The teachers use Basic Science syllabus to teach.

IDENTIFICATION AND REMEDIATION OF FAULTS IN BASIC SCIENCE AMONG UPPER BASIC STUDENTS IN NASARAWA EDUCATION AREA, KANO, NIGERIA  

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