A Survey of the Extent and Type of Instructional Materials Improvisation in Senior Secondary Schools
Background to the study
Education is the most important instrument of change and resources development. it is much more than mere training and mere knowledge of facts. The real essence of education is the transmission of values and ideas that are meant to be internalize. Accepting the recommended worth-while values as defined by the National Policy on Education (2004 edition), the Federal Government purposes that education should be a means of achieving creativity, self-reliance and independence of mind, nationalistic outlook and freedom from mental colonization.
The above fundamental issues of education are neither peculiarly Nigerian nor the twentieth century only. But, in a rapidly changing world with its complex and complicated educational phenomena, people who are concerned with educational development have been offering solutions to the ever-intriguing issues of education.
Teachers are often accused of “over verbalization”. By this, we mean the excessive use of words to convey meanings. Unfortunately, many teachers love to hear the sound of their voices so much so that thy often forget to consider whether or not their students are really understanding and enjoying whatever they are (i.e the teachers) saying. The problem is that many teachers tend to talk too much without really saying anything. Others tend to “talk at” their students instead of tending to “talk with” them. Thus, they keep on talking regardless of student non-verbal signals that they are bored or even completely lost. Because of the development of modern technology, teachers no longer have to rely solely on words to make their meaning clear. There is a great variety of materials around us that can be used to make our meaning more vivid and more interesting. These resources may be of four main types namely; natural, human, material and institutional as opined by Stella, Abeke and Abiodun (2000). These materials are often referred to as Instructional materials as much as they are used to supplement or complement the teachers’ tasks.
Some educationists define instructional materials in the following ways listed below: “any material brought into the classroom for the purpose of lesson presentation to help or facilitate the teaching effort of the teacher and help the occurrence of learning in the pupils (students) (Akande 2002).
According to Ajelabi (2002), Instructional materials is defined as “A collection of teaching-learning materials that constitute an integral component of an instructional process and are utilized in delivering educational information to the process and are utilized in delivering educational information to the learners. Akinleye (1997), explains that many educational technologists see instructional materials as materials, devices and resources used in learning situation to supplement the written and spoken words I the transmission of knowledge, attributes, ideas or concept and values. He further states that they are things or objects brought into play to emphasize clarity, strengthen, and vitalize the teachers’ instructions. From the definitions quoted above, there is a string that attaches them. That is the fact that instructional materials serve as supplement and compliment to the normal process of instructions. According to Ajelabi (2000), they vary from very simple and inexpensive ones such as chalkboard, flat pictures, diagrams, illustrations, and maps to more complicated and expensive ones like the television, mini-projectors, slides, and filmstrip projectors.
All of these point to the fact that instructional materials are the pillar of effective teaching in schools. Teaching is not result-oriented without them. Virtually, all professions require making use of materials to be able to carry out their duties effectively. Teaching profession is not an exception. However, the mere uses of these materials do not guarantee effective communication nor effective teaching. It is their careful selection and skillful handling by the teachers that render them useful in facilitating learning. It is therefore important, for teachers, especially at the beginning to become familiar with the various types of instructional materials as well as the values that can be derived from their proper use. It is also necessary for teachers to have a working knowledge of their proper use. It is also necessary for teachers to have a working knowledge of the criteria to be used in selecting and evaluating them and the principles underlying their effective use .Granted that instructional materials are very useful to effective teaching and learning, however, they are lacking in our schools. Stella, Abeke and Abiodun (2000) in their book, Teaching Effectiveness in Nigerian Schools, gave a brief re-cap of what led to this: “In the 1970’s Nigeria witnessed a period of economic boom, hence it was possible for schools to acquire some instructional materials for teaching. The prevailing economic depression, coupled with the prohibitive cost of materials call for resourcefulness and creativity of teachers.
The assertion of the above quotation is that because of the prevailing economic depression in Nigeria, the government and the schools have not been able to do much in providing the adequate amount of instructional materials needed in schools. To confirm this requires a visit to many of the schools in the community. Onyene (2005) during such a visit observed that “There were dilapidated buildings…. The compounds were dirty …. There was no duster seen in some classrooms. Most of the teachers were not using instructional materials in their classrooms. There were no provisions for visual-aids to make teaching effective. The solution according to Abiodun et al (2000) is that teachers need to be resourceful and creative. For teachers to meet up with this challenge, they need to improvise. The big question is: What is Improvisation?
Improvisation simply implies the method of providing alternatives or substitutes to ready-made materials. It involves the use of locally and readily available materials for providing makeshift for the factory-made materials (Adesanya 2000). From the above definition and what is said about the Nigeria economy earlier, it implies that “what operates in the country should not be taken as an excuse for the decline in teachers’ productivity. “According to the Nigerian Educator Times (2004), teachers need to improvise instructional materials. It is against this background that this project will therefore survey the extent of such improvisation and the types in schools in Lagos State.
1.2 Statements of the Problem
All educators know the importance of instructional materials but the truth of the water is that they are lacking in schools in Nigeria. The government is not liming up to its responsibility when it comes to providing the necessary instructional materials, them creating the problem of inadequate instructional materials in schools. The government also fails to make a conscious effort to make available adequate training programme that will emphasize the alternative-improvisation.
Ogunranti (2001) stated another problem “this apathy appears also to have been reinforced by the negative attitude of some educational administrators to the provision of instructional aids (materials) for use in schools. Among the other factors, that he mentioned which militate against the integration of instructional materials with the classroom instructional processes in Nigeria include:
Insufficient funds to equip schools;
Instructional materials neglected in the curriculum planning ;
Lack of adequately-trained personnel.
This present study therefore attempts to survey the extent and types of instructional materials being improvised by all and finding in the school system.
1.3 The Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to:
Survey the extent and types of instructional materials provided by the government;
Determine the extent and the types of instructional materials that teachers actually improvise with their students;
Study the effect of instructional materials usage in the teaching and learning situation;
Examine the extent and the types of instructional materials that the school administration can improvise;
Investigate the extent and the types of instructional materials that can be improvised by the students and their parents.
1.4 Research Questions
This study will provide answers to the following research questions:
To what extent have the government been able to provide instructional materials to schools in Lagos State?
How well have schools administrators been responding to improvisation of instructional materials in Secondary Schools in Lagos State?
What types of instructional materials do students help to improvise?
To what extent do students participate in the improvisation of instructional materials
To what extent do teachers improvise instructional materials in your school?
What are the types or instructional materials available in your school?
1.5 Significance of the study
It is hoped that that result of this study would provide useful insight into the improvisation of the appropriate instructional materials.
For one thing, improvisation stimulates creativity. In view of this, both the teachers and the teachers and the students will benefit. Taking a due from this study, they will be more resourceful and this will give them confidence min manipulation the materials effectively.
The government will also benefits, in that they will realize that improvisation in the permanent solution to the importation of instructional materials. Imported instructional materials could be prohibitive to the government and most schools due to the exchange rate of our currency. But, the improvisation of these materials in cost effective. Most of these materials needed are around us. We can derive them from our community resources. The resources that can be used as Instructional materials way be of four types namely: natural, human, material and institutional (Abiodun et al 2000)
In addition, curriculum developers will also learn from this study that they need to encourage the user of local teaching aids made available through improvisation instead of the imported ones. Considering the implication of cultural differences, most of the imported instructional materials are meant for another cultural setting. So they may not achieve completely the teachers objectives as background experience and illustrations in such materials differ from one place to another.
Conclusively, the maintenance of the imported instructional materials may pose some problems due to ill-trained or inadequate personnel. Whereas, making use of local instructional materials that are improvised may not require too much expertise because the materials are familiar to the end users.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This study will cover ten secondary schools selected in three local government areas of Lagos –state. There are listed below:
Ikorodu Local Government Area
Oriiwu Model College, Ikorodu.
United High school, Ikorodu
Ikorodu high School, Ikorodu
Kosofe local Government Area
Ifako Comprehensive high School, Ifako
Ogugu grammar school, Ogudu
Ojota secondary school, Ojota
Christ Apolostic High School, Ketu
Mushin Local government Area.
Mushin comprehensive High school, Mushin
Oduduwa secondary school, Ladipo, Mushin
new state Secondary school, Olorunsojo, Mushin
This study will focus on the improvisation of material resources.
1.7 Definition of terms
Improvisation: The process whereby teachers students o the school administrators construct materials for teaching to supplement the written and spoken activities of the teachers.
Over-verbalization: This means the excessive use of words to convey meaning. During a teaching and learning situation in which the teachers continues to talk without carrying the students along.
Talk with: This is the opposite of ‘talk at’ The teaching in this situation will be an interactive one between the teacher and the students.