EXTENT OF INTEGRATION OF PRACTICALS INTO TEACHING OF CHEMISTRY.
In Nigeria emphasis in developing our science and technological skills is very high because they are vital for economic and industrial development. The essence of this research work is to ascertain the level of practical integration in our senior secondary schools, to create awareness of it is importance into teaching and learning and recommendation of how to improve in our technological level as a nation.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY In Nigeria science and technology is indispensable to use because it is the bedrock of our economic and industrial development. Basic as it is science and technology is in our daily human activities. It is worthy to note that the major advances made in Medicine, Pharmacy, Industrial Chemistry, Engineering are based on researches being conducted in many areas of science and technology such as Chemistry. Chemistry is taught as a science subject in almost all Nigeria senior secondary schools even in the higher and tertiary institutions and these schools thus serve as the starting point for the teaching of introductory chemistry with the aim of training the students in the process of scientific investigations. Chemistry is one of the core-science subjects in our school because it is one of the entry requirements in some fields of studies such as Nursing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering, Science Education, Biochemistry and so on. The extent of integration of practicals in senior secondary schools has a lot to tell on any chemistry students especially in his or her final examination since no work is done on any science subject especially chemistry if there is no integration of practicals which helps in better assimilation of scientific theories for effective industrial output in the society. The most influential science process established (Tamir, 1991) stated that the prerequisite knowledge of concept and principles can be obtained only if the students have certain underlying capability of the science processes, which are needed to practise and understand science subject especially in Chemistry. These processes include, making operational definitions, formulations, observing, classifying, measuring, formulating hypothesis, interpreting data collected from the observations, and drawing conclusions. However, contents and concepts will undoubtedly change but the mental skill of the approach that is process skills is relevant to the solution of everyday problem. If a student can think scientifically, he can observe, make simple hypothesis, test them by experiment and make valid inferences and interpreted data, then the level of science and technology in our country will increase to its apex. Finally, science which Chemistry is a branch is the foundation for scientific enquiry. They are the generalizable intellectual skills needed to learn concepts and broad theories and principles used in making valid inductive inferences. Unfortunately, in Nigeria today, it appears that students are deprived of acquiring the appropriate process skills they need by the society, government, the school, teachers or even themselves. It has been observed that students in this present era are not doing marvellously well especially in their science hence this poor performance in their practical examinations in senior school certificate examination affects the overall result.
For this reason the present research is focused to ascertain the extent of integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools in Enugu South Local Government of Enugu State.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM In recent years, manpower and millions of naira have been devoted in efforts to improve science teaching in the schools because of the decrease in standard of education in Nigeria has fallen. The teaching of science subjects in Nigeria is now faced with lots of problems and they include among others: 1. Scarcity of qualified science teachers in our schools. 2. The quality and quantity of laboratory technologists employed in our schools. 3. Inadequate laboratory facilities in our schools. 4. Absence of laboratories in some schools. In this present era there has been shortage of teachers with good knowledge of ways of imparting scientific knowledge and results has shown that laboratory method of teaching science subjects helps to increase our student scientific skills and knowledge thereby solving our country’s industrial and economic problems.
Based on the above, the obvious adverse problems as stated above, states the importance of this study, which tends to look into the extent or level of integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools in Enugu South local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY The purpose of this research work is to access the extent of integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in Senior Secondary Schools in Enugu South local government of Enugu State. More specifically, the study is aimed at: – (a) To ascertain the level of practical chemistry in senior secondary schools. (b) To determine the frequency of practical lessons into the teaching of chemistry. (c) To determine the problem inhibiting the integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in senior secondary schools.
(d) To suggest solutions to problems encountered by chemistry and science students with regards to practicals.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY Since every well researched work aimed at improving other existing research work in other to solve an existing problem; this present research will help in obtaining useful information concerning the extent of integration of practicals into teaching chemistry in senior secondary school classes and making appropriate recommendations that will improve or increase the overall performance in External Examinations.
It will also serve as a means of obtaining more information for further research work.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS In view to actualize the purposes of this study, the following research questions have to be stated as a guide to the researcher. a) What is the extent of integration of practical into teaching chemistry in Senior Secondary School? b) What is the frequency of practical teaching of chemistry in the Senior Secondary School? c) What are the problems inhibiting teaching chemistry practicals in the Senior Secondary School?
d) What are the possible recommendations or solution of these problems of laboratory method of teaching science subjects in our Senior Secondary School?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study mainly focused on findings from Senior Secondary Schools in Enugu State specifically in Enugu south local government area. This local government is made up urban and rural area. Among the urban area include Awkunanaw, Uwani, Idwa- River, Maryland. While the rural areas include: Obeagu, Ugwaji, Ndiagu, Amechi and Akwuke.