This study investigated the Impacts of Process Approach onQuestioning Preference, Academic Achievementand Retention Span among Chemistry students in Senior Secondary School (SS2). A sample of 78 students selected from two secondary schools inZaria Metropolis were used as the study sample from a population of 1,241 students from 10 schools. The two schools randomly selected, were found after matching them, to be equivalent academically. One of the schools served as control group and the other serve as the experimental group which was exposed to science process teaching approach while the control group was exposed to lecture based instruction. Topics taught are state of matter, change of state, and kinetic theory of matter, Gas laws, Acid-Base reactions and chemical reaction. The choice of these concepts is considered suitable because they are some of the difficult areas student failed in exams. A researcher-developed Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT) with a reliability coefficient of 0.73, was used to collect data for pretest, posttest and post-posttest (Extended test) used to test the four null hypothesis. The data collected were analyzed using t-test statistic, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Scheffe‘s test at a significance level of P≤0.05. Results indicated that (i) the experimental group performed significantly better than the control group in their academic achievement after undergoing the experimental treatment of science process teaching approach (ii) the level of retention was significantly high for students taught using Science Process Teaching Approachwhen compared with thosetaught usingLecture Method (iii) Science Process Teaching Approach was found to be more effective in enhancing cognitive questioning preference of chemistry students at the senior secondary school level.Based on these findings, a number of recommendations were made; (1) there is a need for the improvement of the Chemistry conditions and practices existing in Nigerian schools through the use of SPTA(2) there is a need to employ science process based instruction in the senior secondary schools as a means to reduce academic failure and enhanceretention span among science students in the senior secondary schools and (3) there is also a need for training and retraining of science teachers towards effective use of Science Process Approach in the teaching of chemistry at SSS among others

1.1 Introduction

Chemistry as one of the physical sciences deals with the nature of matter; its properties and its changes in different conditions. Chemistry according to Zohar (2004) should be studied to improve man‘s knowledge and enhance his understanding of his environment for his survival. The subject as shown by Ezeliora (2010) is at the core of every technology that is enjoyed today. According to Ezeliora, (2010) the power of chemical science creates as a whole an enabling infrastructure that delivers food, medicine and materials which are the hallmarks of modern life. Today its significance as a core subject in the study of medicine, several technologically based courses, pharmacy and engineering is indisputably important as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN, 2008). Therefore, Chemistry education has a fundamental role to play in providing solution to several technological and socio-economic issues confronting man as well as improve scientific literacy (Neshitt-Hawes, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010).

Chemistry has also been perceived by students at the various level of the educational sector particularly in secondary school as very difficult to understand (Ezeliora 2003). Majority of the students perceived Chemistry as a body of isolated facts to be memorized, lacking relevance to reality which has led to lack of interest in it by students (Ezeliora 2003). For many students, Chemistry is first a classroom affair. Echodain Ezeliora (2010) revealed that very rarely do students know that the acid work in the Chemistry laboratory is found in the farm, at home and at play. This wrong perception of Chemistry by students has resulted in low entrance by students into Chemistry and Chemistry related courses both at the secondary school and tertiary level of studies, and of course performance has not been encouraging either (Zohar, 2004; Aksela, 2005 & Ezeliora 2010). Of the many factors responsible for students attitude and low performance in Chemistry, there are a few that have not attracted much attention. One of this is the inability of the Chemistry teacher to design, determine and enhance students‘ cognitive questioning preference. This was attributed to the constant use of lecture method, which has continued to conceal this basic fact, by emphasizing rote learning (Zoller, 2001 & Zohar, 2004).