APPRAISING INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AS BEING USED IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS
The study attempted to investigate the appraising instructional materials as being used in secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council of Federal Capital Territory. The study equally reviewed some important and extensive literatures under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the assessment of respondents’ opinions towards the subject matter. In this study, four null hypotheses were formulated and tested with the application of the independent t-test and the Pearson Product Moment Correltional Coefficient Statistical tools at 0.05 significance level. Also, the simple percentage frequency counts was used to analyse the questionnaire response of the selected respondents together with the research questions. A total of 120 (one hundred and twenty) respondents, 60 (sixty) male and 60 (sixty) female teachers were selected for this study. At the end of the data analyses, the following results were obtained thus: that there is a significant effect of the use of instructional materials on teachers’ performance, that effective use of instructional materials will significantly affect students’ academic performance in the school, there is a significant relationship between the use of instructional materials and learning behaviour of students in the school, and that there is no significant gender difference in the use of instructional materials among teachers in secondary schools. Based on the conclusions, it was recommended that: there should be allocation of more time to the practical aspects of educational technology in secondary schools, Government should subsidise the cost of students’ practical work on Education Technology, and graduates from other disciplines coming into teaching profession as a last resort due to high rate of unemployment; should be discouraged. This is because they are not well equipped for the tasks which they are to perform.
1.1 Background of the Study
For thousand years, man had been seeking for ways in which he would increase the effectiveness of his communication. Twenty-three centuries ago, Aristotle identified those important elements in the process of communication. According to him, communication consists of a communicator, the message and the receiver of the message. He further suggested that the oral communicator must not only try to make the assignment of his speech (message) demonstrative and worthy of belief, he must also make his own character look and put his hearers who were to decide into the rigid frame of mind. Lesswell (1998), talked about ingredient of communication in the form of this simple question; “who”? says “what”?, with what purpose? To whom? In what situation? By what means? With what effect?
The age of books and chalkboard dragged on over the centuries in electronics (hardware) and communication bringing longevity to this age and its technology in the classroom.
Meanwhile, the radio cassette and tape recorder have been developed to enable millions of masses learn anywhere and anytime. The “visual” first came into prominence in educational scene during the first two decades of the 20th century and such visuals includes all materials generally used in classroom instructions.
As from 1947, ideas developed in favour of combining the library with visual development. It is on this ground that the term “instructional materials” evolved.
The introduction of technology into education has thrown light into technological innovation e.g. (hardware) machine and (Software) materials or transparencies, which are used as instructional materials in the classroom teaching.
Davies (1990) maintained that all media to varying degrees helps perception, understanding, transfer of training, provide reinforcement, and extension. Some media are essential to the attainment of goals and objectives, such media must be obtained and used if the objectives are to be achieved.
Media like maps and pictures are described as criterion media and are also used to learn and achieve skill of mastery in any kind of subject in the classroom in teaching / learning situation. According to Hoben (1991), there is little from evidence in the research literature. A single medium of instruction will suffice ever if only because it will become unbearably monotonous, but variety among instructional media can make the teaching in the classroom more effective.
Modern researchers have tried its ability of using varied media to see successful attainment of their goals and objectives. For instance, a study of programmed – instruction journalism course at Marshall University, USA showed that students prefer tape recoding while others preferred materials. Audio-visual materials can provide a rich variety of sensory experience to amplify and reinforces the concepts that have been presented in textbooks. For certain types of learning, some students may grasp the flow and structure of ideas more easily through films or television programmes than through textbooks assignments and lectures (Anyanwu, 2000)..
In a collection of varied and integrated learning activities, each method of teaching makes particular contribution in cooperation with several other media of instruction.
Modern research therefore are no longer, studying the effects of isolated educational materials, they are considering integrated system that involve many variables of instructional media on the teaching-learning situation. Schram (1996), proposed that each medium should be considered as part of teaching / learning system. Thus, for example, certain ways of combining these media such as television with tutorial media may be immensely more effective than one alone. In evaluating the combination of instructional materials effectively, they should be tried out in the environment where they will be properly utilized.
View from the angle of the contributions, ways of definitions, history and perception of the instructional media on teaching in Junior Secondary School could broaden or widen the horizons of the users on its impact in the teaching in classes (Adeleke, 2001).
According to Aina (1982), instructional materials are those materials or resources used in any teaching exercise to promote greater understanding of the learning experiences. They are used to “provide the richest possible learning environment which help learners and the teachers to achieve specific objectives”. They also assist the teacher to communicate more effectively and the learner to learn more meaningfully and permanently.
Instructional materials form a vital aspect of teaching and learning in secondary schools, hence its importance in school curriculum. Nwagbara (2002) notes that instructional materials enhance retention and permanence in learning. According to her, enormous benefits accrue from teaching and learning with the aid of culturally relevant and adequate instructional materials, especially, for the primary and secondary school levels of education.
Instructional materials which are educational inputs are of vital importance to the teaching of any subject in the school curriculum. Wales (1995) was of the opinion that the use of instructional materials would make discovered facts glued firmly to the memory of students. Savoury (1998) also added that, a well planned and imaginative use of visual aids in lessons should do much to banish aparthy, supplement inadequacy of books as well as arouse students interest by giving them something practical to see and do, and at the same time helping to train them to think things out themselves.
Like other teaching subjects in the school curriculum, the teaching and learning of any subject in school cannot be effectively achieved without the aid of instructional materials. According to Savoury (1998), for long, instructional materials have not really been used in schools. Most teachings are done verbally without really making use of the few available materials. It is proper for teachers to make use of instructional materials needed in every situation for their teaching. Savoury (1998) suggested a catalogue of useful visual aids that are good for teaching such as pictures, post cards, diagrams, maps, filmstrips and models.
It is interesting to note that a large percentage of trained teachers and those undergoing professional training course can teach with some of the instructional materials. They do so consciously because they know that the use of instructional materials have positive effect on learning outcomes as their cognate experience during teaching practice supervision reveals (Adeyanju, 2003). Adeyanju also reveals that in an on-going action research by investigators in Winneba District, a survey sample of teachers with several years of teaching experience of between (3) and twenty five (25) years, claim that learning aid improves methodology. They also claim that learning aids reduce their talk and chalk method.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Instructional materials inspite of their numerous advantages are now witnessing serious neglect by both the teachers and educational administrators.
This is however not limited to the government alone, but also private educational administrators, where such materials are provided, they are grossly, inadequate, obsolete or totally out of use.
Even the functional ones are not put into proper use by the teachers in the classroom. It has been observed that there is only display of such materials by various schools by the officials of the Ministry of Education.
The effect of this neglect mismanagement, poor maintenance and inadequate supply of these instructional materials has created the following problems:
1) Students tend to learn slowly in class.
2) What is learnt is not easily recalled.
3) Poor academic performance of students in internal and external examinations.
4) Inability of student to practicalize what is learnt especially things having to do with technical or vocational skills.
The identified problems gave rise to the examination on appraising instructional materials as being used in secondary schools in Abuja Municipal Area Council of Federal Capital Territory.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The objective of this study include to:
(1) examine whether instructional materials are fully used in the secondary schools.
(2) identify the various types of instructional materials used in school.
(3) verify the effective use of instructional materials in conceptional analysis as applied to teaching.
(4) determine the extent to which the utilization of instructional materials has made or marred in secondary schools.
(5) find out the views of teachers regarding the use of instructional materials.
(6) examine factors affecting the use of instructional materials in school.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised in this study:
(1) How can instructional materials in the secondary schools be examined?
(2) To what extent can the various types of instructional materials used in school be identified?
(3) How can the effective use of instructional materials in conceptional analysis as applied to teaching be verified?
(4) To what extent can we determine the extent to which the utilization of instructional materials has made or marred in secondary schools?
(5) To what extent can the views of teachers regarding the use of instructional materials be found out?
(6) What are the factors affecting the use of instructional materials in school?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypotheses were formulated in this study:
(1) There will be no significant effect of the use of instructional materials on teachers’ performance in the classroom.
(2) The effective use of instructional materials will not significantly affect the academic performance of students in the school.
(3) There will be no relationship between the use of instructional materials and learning behaviour of students.
(4) There will be no significant gender difference in the use of instructional materials among teachers.
1.6 The Significance of the Study
This study is specially designed to educate the operational administrator both public and private on the need to ensure adequate supply and utilization of instructional material in the teaching / learning process.
Teachers on their own part will have a better understanding of the roles played by instructional materials and therefore have a change of attitude towards the non-use of instructional materials.
Student-teachers having gone through this research work will realize the need for continuous use of instructional materials when they actually become classroom teachers, when they have left the schools.
The society will also benefit from the findings of this study, as it will help them to have an insight into the use of teaching aids in teaching and learning processes in the school.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The study covered the appraisal of the use of instructional materials in secondary schools in Abuja municipality in the Federal Capital Territory.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In this study, factors such as finance, time and sourcing of materials would be to a large extent, a constraint to the completion of the study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
1) Curriculum: A course of study offered in schools.
2) Audio Mats: These are instructional resources that send out sound signal.
3) Visual Mats: These are the resources that send out light signals in form of symbols and light signs which can be received only through the sense of sight.
4) Instructional Materials: Anything that assists teachers to teach well in the classroom. Also, those things that help students to learn well in the classrooms.
5) Environment: Surrounding, that is everything and everyone with whom the individual comes in contact.