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Factors Influencing Students Academic Performance in Biology

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FACTORS INFLUENCING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN BIOLOGY IN ILORIN WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF KWARA STATE, NIGERIA.

BY

OLAWUNMI, Kareemat Ariyo
08/25PA026

A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE EDUCATION;
FACULTY OF EDUCATION,
UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN, NIGERIA

IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF THE DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION (B.SC.ED.) IN BIOLOGY

MAY, 2012
CERTIFICATION
This is to certify that this research project was carried out by OLAWUNMI, Kareemat Ariyo with Matriculation Number 08/25PA026 and it has been read, certified and approved as meeting the requirements for the award of Bachelor of Science Education Degree (B.Sc. Ed. Biology) under the Department of Science Education, faculty of Education, University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State Nigeria.

Dr. S. O. Oyelekan Date
Supervisor

Esther O. Omoshewo PhD Date
Head of Department

Prof. A. S. Olorundare Date
Dean, Faculty of Education

External Supervisor Date
DEDICATION
The entire work of this project is dedicated to Almighty Allah, the Bestower of knowledge and Wisdom, to whom everything shall returns.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am highly indebted to Almighty Allah, Who alone had favored me beyond my imaginations.

ABSTRACT

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page
Certification
Dedication
Acknowledgement
Abstract
Table of Contents
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the problem
Statement of the problem
Purpose of the Study
Research Questions
Scope of the Study
Significance of the Study
Definition of major terms and variables

CHAPTER TWO: REVIEWED LITERATURE
Science, Biology and the concept of Science and Biology
Instructional materials and students academic performance in Biology
Teachers’ classroom management and Students academic performance in Biology
Students’ personal attitude and their academic performance in Biology
Family background influencing students’ academic performance in biology
Teachers teaching methodology and students academic performance in Biology
Gender and students academic performance in Biology.
Appraisal of the reviewed literature.

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Research Design
Sample and sampling techniques
Research instruments
Validation of the instruments
Reliability of the instruments
Procedure for data collection
Data Analysis Techniques
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
Analysis of Data
Summary of major findings
CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Discussion
Conclusion
Recommendation
Reference
Appendix

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the problem The invaluable role and contributions of education as an instrument for development and promotion of an individual, social-economic, political and cultural development of any nation can never be over-emphasized. According to Abdulkareem; (2001), a nation’s growth and development is determined by its human resources. The provision of much-needed manpower to accelerate the growth and development of the economy has been said to be the main relevance of education in Nigeria, (Ibukun 1997). Nigeria’s philosophy of education is based on the integration of an individual into a sound and effective citizen and equal educational system both inside and outside the formal school which is the best way of helping every nation to cope with complex problems. Education has become one of the most powerful weapons known for reducing poverty and inequality in modern societies. It is also used for laying the foundation for a sustainable growth and development of any nation. It is of paramount to talk of our contemporary period as the ages of science and technology. The rate at which any country develops can easily be attributed to the level of scientific knowledge posed by its inhabitants and which may be applied to everybody activities. The need for science as a part of general and liberal education at all levels of our educational system has always been advocated. According to Abdullahi; (1982) stating that the federal Government of Nigeria particularly recognizes the importance of science education in our curriculum as a means to equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology. Science education is very important to the growth and development of any Nation and especially Nigeria which is not at present a basic consumer of these inventions. Science has been defined as an organized body of knowledge, a method of solving problems and it also serves as a search of explanation of natural objects and phenomena; Ayeni, (2002). Also, Abimbola, (2002) stated that science is a bag of knowledge, a way of investigating and experimenting what goes on in the world, and a way of finding solutions to domestic and foreign problems by adopting scientific method as a result of advancement in science and technology.
In the demesne of science as a whole, one important dialect is Biology, the domain of living things and its environment. According to Encyclopedia Americana, (vol.3, p.770) stating that
“Few sciences have contributed to the philosophy and physical basis of contemporary society than biology has”.
Man probably was a Biologist before he was anything else; his own health body in health and illness, the phenomena of birth, growth and death of the plants and other animals that gave him food, shelter and clothing undoubtedly were matters of serious concern to man then and even now. Also, the acquisition of biological knowledge has come from the work of tens of thousands of curious and devoted students of the subject. Biology as a science subject plays an important role in Agriculture, Medicines, Industries, Health and Physical Sciences; Food and Nutrition including the General Education of which it forms an integral part. Biology is important to man and many of man’s problems today both individual and collective are biology problems which can be stated, defined, studied understand and solved in biological terms. For instance, biological principles are variables in the functioning of the various parts of the body that are applied in Medicine, control of vectors of many diseases are also undertaken in biology. Poor academic performance according to Aremu, (2002) is a performance that is declared by the examinee or the testee as the fall below standard. Also, the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary of current English defined effectiveness as the ability, quality or power to bring about a noticeable result. Intended effectiveness in teaching can be curbed and reduce poor performance of students in our secondary schools. In spite of the numerous number and attempts to improve scientific knowledge specifically in Nigeria, the performance of students in senior secondary schools, especially Biology is very appealing. In spite of the importance of biology and role of science and technology to the society as a whole; the poor performance of students in Biology in Nigerian secondary schools and the West African Examination Council have been reported. Hence, the main causes need to be examined and corrected. Umen; (1987), Observed that “There has been attempt to modify the content of each biology concepts and methods of teaching them, with the hope of improving the performance but this has not yielded any good result. This effort leads to the development of curriculum materials in Biology that was adopted by CESAC. The project emphasizing child-centered learning through enquiry (p.8)” Many researchers expressed their minds on poor performance, the students view needs to been sought because willingness and voluntariness is important for any learning to take place. It has also been argued that perhaps students find the subject matter in biology more meaningful and easy to understand than those in science subjects like physics and chemistry, but despite this, students still fail the subject woefully. Hence, it is desirable to find out the problems and try finding solutions to them. Daramola; (2004), opines that Biology as a science subject is the study of physical life of plants and animals. It is very sad to note that despite the importance of Biology to the development of the individual and the society as a large, the performance and attitude of students towards the subject matter is very poor. Hence, the methods and ways to improve the performance of students toward biology are worth studying.
Table showing the performance of students’ achievement and trends of enrolment of candidates in May/June SSCE Biology Examination in Nigeria from 2005 – 2010. Year | Total Entry | Total Sat | Number of (A-C6) | % of (A-C6) | No of (D7-E8) | % of (D7-E8) | No of Fail | % of Fail | May/ June 2005 | 1072607 | 1051557 | 375850 | 35.70 | 313827 | 29.84 | 338491 | 32.18 | May/ June 2006 | 1162046 | 1137181 | 559854 | 49.23 | 292317 | 25.70 | 261200 | 22.96 | May/ June 2007 | 1261971 | 1238163 | 413211 | 33.37 | 397353 | 32.09 | 402148 | 32.47 | May/ June 2008 | 1285048 | 1259965 | 427644 | 33.94 | 329961 | 26.19 | 484071 | 38.42 | May/ June 2009 | 1364655 | 1340206 | 383112 | 28.59 | 413014 | 30.82 | 471312 | 35.17 | May/ June 2010 | 1325408 | 1300418 | 645633 | 49.65 | 318486 | 24.49 | 297228 | 22.86 | Source: WAEC office, Oko- Olowo, Ilorin, Kwara State. The table above shows the comprehensive statistics of entries results for May/ June SSCE biology examination from 2005 – 2010. It reveals a decline in the standard of education in biology. It was recorded that in 2005, out of 1,051,557 candidates that sat for biology examination, only 375,850 Candidates passed which represent 35.70% of the total candidates. In 2006, out of 1,137,181 candidates, only 559,854 candidates passed biology, which represent 49.23% of the total candidates. In 2007, out of 1,238,163 candidates, only 413,211 candidates passed which represents 33.37% of the total candidates. In 2008, out of 1,259,965 candidates, only 427,644 candidates passed which represents 33.94%. In 2009, out of 1,340,206 candidates, only 383,112 candidates passed which represent 28.59%. In 2010, out of 1,300,418 candidates, only 645,633 passed which represents 49.65% of the total candidates. It is very unfortunate that the mass failure in Biology in the West African School Certificate Examination and other related examinations, including internal examinations have become an annual ritual. These therefore, result to a poor number of students taking up science oriented courses in the higher institutions. Various factors leading to causes of poor performance of students in Biology had been identified. Teaching problems relating to teachers influence, the school authority, facilities and equipment provided in the laboratory are very essential and a big problem in our educational sector, because when there are inadequate equipment and facilities especially in biology laboratory, it will lead to lack of concentration of the students in the classroom since they cannot practice what they were being taught by their teacher, these can contribute to their performance in the subject. Abimbola; (2007) noted that equipment from an integral part in teaching situation. It helps to bring about permanent and meaningful experience.

Statement of the Problem This study aimed at the Academic Performance of Students in Biology in senior Secondary Schools in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State. It also aimed at finding out the factors responsible for students’ poor performance in Biology at the senior secondary school level in Kwara State. It has been observed that the performance of students in biology is very poor, thus, leading to their failure in the final examination and decrease in the number of students admitted to Higher institutions every year; WAEC (2009). Also, the academic performance of students in biology today is a bit below normal and this calls for urgent attention. This development has hampered the growth of Nigeria Education technologically and it is also retarding the production of required manpower to man in our industries. Hence, it is needed to look at the causes of the academic performance of students in Biology at the senior secondary school level and in all the educational aspect in our nation.

Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to find out the factors affecting students’ academic performance in biology; specifically, the study is aimed at finding out….. 1. The factors influencing students performance in biology as perceived by the students 2. The factors influencing students performance as perceived by the teacher
Research Question Answers were provided for the following research questions 1. What factors do students perceive as influencing their performance in biology 2. What factors do teachers perceive as influencing students performance in biology

Scope of the Study This research project focuses on Senior Secondary School Students in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. This study will be limited to the following variables; the background of the problem; the significance of the study; the review of the academic performance of students in biology; the research questions which are to be measured and tested by a questionnaire under a defined research methodology, as well as Discussions and Recommendations to ensure improvement of performance. The questionnaire to be used were not trial tested and so, reliability and validity of the questionnaire could not be ascertained. Also, since human beings are complicated, their behavior tends to change over a period of time so that any response from this is liable to change with time even their mood.

Significance of the Study The essence of this research study and its utility of its findings are of importance because its findings can influence the decision of a number of people; the biology teacher; parents, students, science curriculum planners, researchers and so on. The envisage contribution of this study in teaching and learning is that it could be an eye opener to the extent to which several methods and approaches can be used from one teaching task to another as well as appropriate instructional materials affects students performance in biology in Nigeria. It could also help other researchers in science to understand the importance of different methods that could be used in Biology teaching and sciences in general. This study would draw the attention of science curriculum planners to the areas that need reconsideration in the areas of laboratory methods in teaching science with particular reference to Biology. A study of this nature would expose parents to realize that learning community extends to them and should support the progress of their children by purchasing standard textbooks for them. Considering the causes of poor academic performance of senior secondary schools in biology, there are some factors that are responsible for students successful performance in senior secondary school level. These factors range from sex of students, the teachers teaching methodology, students’ interest, facilities and instructional materials. e.t.c

Clarification of Some Major Terms and Variables Biology: The study of life. I.e. living things and non living things. Performance: The extent or degree of desired outcome or achievements. Poor: This refers to the quality that is low or lower than expected. Factors: Anything that contributes actively to a result. Senior Secondary School: A school which provides post junior courses of higher secondary full time instructions. Appalling: Something that is extremely bad or shocking
Hampered: To prevent somebody from easily doing or achieving something.
Education: This is the transmission of skills, knowledge and attitude from one generation to the next generation.

CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The review of the related literature is written under the following sub-headings 1. Science, biology and the concept of biology 2. Instructional materials and students academic performance in biology 3. Teachers classroom management and students academic performance in biology 4. Students personal attitude and their academic performance in biology 5. Family background influencing students academic performance in biology 6. Teachers teaching methodology and students academic performance in biology 7. Gender and students academic performance in biology 8. Appraisal of the reviewed literature.

Science, Biology and the concept of Science and Biology As science and biology is indispensable in the living of every individual, the hope of biology teaching should be hinge on education by educating individuals that will produce good and quality performance in sciences. According to Abolade; (1998) stating that education is an invaluable instrument of political, social, economic, scientific and technological development. The future progress of man rests upon his ability to apply the achievements of science. This being the case, it is of utmost importance that our youths be thoroughly educated in the basic principles of sciences and contribute to his progress. Biology has been found very useful in solving societal problems. The understanding of science is something that is constructed throughout one’s life. The National Policy on Education (FRN, 2004) noted that the Government pays special attention to science education. One of the stated objectives of science education is to inculcate the spirit enquiring and scientific ideas in students. In spite of the importance of biology and role of science and technology to the society as a whole, the poor performance of students in senior secondary schools has been reported, hence, the main causes need to be examined and controlled. Umen; (2001) observed that, there has been attempt to modify the content of each biology concepts and methods of teaching them, with the hope of improving the performance but this has not guide any good result. This effort leads to development of curriculum materials in biology that was adopted by CESAC. The project emphasis child center learning through enquiry (p.8). Onyama; (1997) stated that students were generally pursuing arts or arts related courses and there has been a shortage of students to offer science subjects. Gayne; (1965) also contended that in order to make learning more meaningful; the materials to be learned must be structured. However, the problem of structuring and selecting essential knowledge, instrumental strategies and learning especially within biology need to be investigated. Jegede; (1983) also observed that the current developments in science and technology have so greatly affected the lives of every human being, that to be ignorant of the basic knowledge of these developments is to live an empty, meaningless and probably unrealistic life. Also, in the same vein; Greenburg and Mallow (1982) stating that a nation with a scientifically uneducated citizenry cannot be expected to make any reasonable technologically based potential discussions in such issue as nuclear energy and atmospheric pollution due to lack of rudimentary tools to grab the various arguments. It is very important to decide whether there is hierarchy of concepts within biology, which should be presented in some special order or whether the foundation of any subject may be taught to anybody at any level or age in some forms. Added; Brunner, (1960), if there is no optional sequence, then the growth of understanding and intellectual rigor came from learning to use concepts in progressing more complex forms.

Instructional Materials and Students Academic Performance in Biology. Availability of teaching materials and the aesthetics look of the environment need to be considered in any learning environment. Ayanda; (1983) opines that the low percentage passed in Biology to the use of ineffective learning equipment and lack of appropriate learning environment under which Biology teaching takes place, therefore, search for alternative environmental conditions which would enhance effective teaching learning and retention of scientific factors becomes the concern of both the classroom teachers and curriculum specialists. Adeyemi; (2002) defines teaching aid as the materials or objects which help the teacher to make lessons explicit to the children. Although, teaching aid and equipment for practicals are supply inadequately and most time, unavailable. They themselves, make the learning environments repulsive to students through their uncaring attitudes. Chukwu, (2001) describes inadequate facilities to be so bad that facilities meant for thirty [30] pupils were being caused for hundred [100] pupils. Also, Omoniyi; (2004) stated that libraries are either under stocked or stocked with sustainable materials. He claimed that many school libraries do not have any suitable and adequate infrastructural facilities to boost the academic performance of the students. Awe; (1998) attributed this poor performance in senior secondary school biology Examination to poor handling by the teachers. She identified inadequate practical training as a crucial factor in the unsatisfactory performance of the students. The low performance in Biology has also been attributed to the use of ineffective learning strategy and lack of appropriate learning environments. According to Odubela, (2004) and Oladeru, (2002) the ability to read and express ones understanding in the language of biology involves students ability to conceptualize the signs, symbols, formulae and their implications with the given language content. Students of biology have been known to apply understanding of the biochemical process involved in such chemical formulae. It is believed that adequate facilities are not available in Nigerian secondary schools and this has contributed immensely to the academic failure of students.

Teachers Classroom Management and Students Academic Performance in Biology. The classroom is a shelter for both teachers and learners so as to receive and engage in educative activities. Learning environment has a great effect on students’ readiness of learning and teacher selection of teaching aid and methods.
In Nigeria, biology is one of the core subjects to be offered by students at the senior secondary school level and this is because, of all the sciences; biology is the closest to human nature and its subject matter is not as abstract as others. A way of enhancing the quality of biology instruction in the country is to examine the issues of large classes and strategies for coping with such environment. Aderogba; (2007) opines that a situation of about one hundred and fifty (150) students in a small classroom would apparently may or may not have adverse effect on the students to make effective teaching difficult to the teachers. Classroom management can be seen as the process of designing and maintaining any settings in people in groups for the purpose of accomplishing pre-determined goals. The idea of any setting equally indicates that management is applicable to all establishments which do not exonerate educational settings. With all the listed observed points; it has been noted that inadequate classroom management leads to the academic failure of students whereby students in the classroom find it very difficult to understand in the class and it would also affect the effective teaching of teachers.

Students Personal Attitude and their Academic performance in Biology A learner is a person who acquires or gains knowledge and skills by careful studying. Imolewa, (1974) observed that students themselves contribute to their poor academic performance in biology. In view of this, students are the recipient of knowledge being transmitted by the teachers; their interest becomes necessity in the teaching and learning situation.
The concept of academic failure varies in its definition. According to Rodriguez Castellanous (1985) considering academic failure as the situation in which the subject does not attain the expected achievement according to his or her abilities resulting in an altered personality which affects all other aspects of life. Science must not be seen as an anti-culture or difficult but be seen as a discipline that helps to understand the human nature. Surprisingly, some students perceive biology as being difficult and this leads to negative results or attitudes towards it and it result in lack of interest. Therefore, the effect of success and failure or performance is dependent on the personality of the students.
Fafunwa, (1997) while talking about the importance of science in a Nation, suggested that biology should be made compulsory subjects for all secondary school students. Bajah, (1975) also opines that the role of science in the development of a Nation is never a doubt. The attitude of students to science particularly in biology has contributed immensely to their poor academic performance. Most students’ poor performance is due to their careless reading, wrong use of time and poor techniques methods of answering questions and poor terminology. Abdullahi ) and Aninyei, (1983) and Essian (1985) showed that students run away from science subject mainly because they find the subject especially biology very difficult because of its wide curriculum syllabus. Imolewa also concluded that the effect of success and failure or poor performance of students is dependent on the personality of the students. In view of all the highlighted points, to achieve adequately, all the needs of the society, therefore, science education has to be an integral part of the curriculum.

Family Background Influencing Students Academic Performance in Biology Students are the recipient of knowledge being transmitted by the teacher, parents, colleagues, classmates and even from the environment. But the influence of parents on students’ academic performance cannot be over emphasized. The educational conditions attributed to the family are beyond all doubt or discussion, as there is an over-increasing awareness of the importance of the parents role in the progress and educational development of their children. Schiefelbaum and Simmons (cited by Adell, 2002, p.21) consider family background the most important and most weighty factor in determining the academic performance attained by the students. It is sad to note that some parents hinder to have failed to appreciate the immense importance of biology in science, they still tend to share with Lugard; (1923) parochial view of African child saying that “It is dangerous for an African to be knowledgeable in science and technology but rather should be contented with being managers and shop foreman (p.25)”. Also, Taiwo, (1995) declared that a good starting place for laying a solid foundation for scientific attitude in the African citizen appear to be at home, for the home is conserved to have a tremendous influence on the early education of the child. In view of this, the influence of parents’ level of education on students academic outcomes might best be represented as a relationship mediated by interactions among status and process variables. Parents must fascinate the students’ attention and give them courage to develop interest and see the importance of science in their life. Cohen (1993) found parental encouragement and interest to be an important factor influencing children behavior in schools. The educational conditions contributed to the family is beyond all doubt, for the children of mostly illiterate and non-science especially biology oriented parents of different religion and cultural background, the method of science teaching especially biology may be effective for learning facts but not for a deep understanding of the cause and effect relationship in science. Cole, (1995) expressed his opinion on this issue. He stated that “ Many development programmed in which Government ( of developing countries) have attempted to improve, say, the health and social condition of people, have failed because of outright antagonism of people due to conflicts between traditional culture and scientific culture being introduced; ( p.316). In view of all these; parent’s level of education have been regarded as predictors of children’s academic achievement and is part of a large constellation of psychological and sociological variables influencing children’s school outcomes.

Teachers Teaching Methodology and Students Academic Performance in Biology. The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to the entire sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigerian schools. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. According to Ajao; (2001), stating that overtime, pupils academic performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching. Also, Afe; (2001) opines that teachers have been shown to have an important influence in student’s academic achievement and they also play a crucial role in educational attainment because the teacher is ultimately responsible for translating policy into actions and principles based in practice during interaction with the students. Also, Uchefuna; (2001) states that an effective teacher has been conceptualize as one who produces desired results in the course of his duty as a teacher. Osokoya, (1996) sees teaching method as the strategy or plan that outlines the approach that teachers intend to take in order to achieve the desirable objective. Also, Black; (1975) states that science today is more than a collection of fact and formulated to be numerated for further reference. Rather, it is a process by which knowledge of the world around us is expanded. Therefore, if teachers are to produce students who will have a good understanding of science, they should be up date in their knowledge in science from time to time rather than being rigid and uncomparism. They should be raedy to change in the face of new findings. Also, as observed; one of the reasons why there is poor performance in biology is the fact that most teachers do not attend symposium in research centers as a result of which they do not meet, have any avenue for the exchange of ideas. Hence, they continue to teach with archival methods. Asenota;(1983) found out that poor performance in biology education is due to the fact that the teacher training colleges and other institutions are starved of academically qualified sufficiently devoted and interested experience teachers. She also found out that poor performance of students in science education is due to the facts that teachers after training do not put into practice what they were taught and also lack of zeal for science education. Oredein; (2000) observed that conditions that would make for effective teaching such as resources available to teachers, general conditions of infrastructure as well as instructional materials in public secondary schools in Nigeria are poor. These prevailing conditions would definitely show a negative influence on the instructional quality in public schools, which may translate to poor academic performance, attitudes and values of secondary school students. Although, teachers’ strong effect would significantly influence students’ academic achievement, other factors such as socio-economic background, family support, intellectual aptitude of students, personality of students, self-confidence and previous instructional quality have been found to also influence students’ achievement in schools, (Starr, 2002) either positively or negatively. To this end, Blankstein; (1996) had stated that student’s grades and test scores are not good enough to indicate the quality of teachers’ instructions. In support of this view, a study carried out in Nigeria by Joshua et al; (2006), showed that Nigerian teachers condemn the use of students achievement scores as indicators of teachers competence, performance or effectiveness. Since students academic scores are not the only predictors of teachers’ methodology effectiveness, researchers have sought other fairer ways of evaluating teachers’ effectiveness. To improve students’ academic performance in science, teachers and students should be encouraged to understand the nature and concepts of science. Lewis; (1968), said that the objectives of science teaching aside from acquiring knowledge include understanding and mastery of certain skills as well as full development of scientific attitude. Olavode; (1992) pointed out that there is significant difference in the school certificates examinations performance of students taught by professionally trained teachers and those taught by non-professionally trained teachers in biology. Usua; (1974), argued that incompetence and laziness on the part of the teacher contributed to students poor performance in biology. He stressed further that “the greatness of a man lies not in his degree but what he makes of the degree”. Saha; (1993), strongly believed that teachers are like the major sources of schools knowledge, hence it is incumbent on them to be competent since competence will give them confidence in the right way. It must be believed that the quality of teachers is influenced by teachers’ competence. Teachers unique in the mastery of knowledge cannot be over emphasized.

Gender and Students Academic Performance in Biology Knowledge about what it means to be a male or female. According to Myers, (2002) states gender as the characteristics, whether biological or socially influenced, by which people define male and female. Also, Gender role as a set of behavior expectations (norms) for males and females; (Myers, 2002). Organized networks of knowledge about what it means to be male or female. According to gender schema theory, children and adolescents use gender as an organizing theme to classify and understand their perceptions about the world. Although boys and girls differ in their physical, emotional and intellectual development, there is no evidence that these are linked. Therefore, it is unlikely that education performance is explained by biological differences. If biology were the reason, girls would not have approved significantly in certain subjects, of which boys use to outperform girls traditionally, such as mathematics and science in the past two decades. Social and cultural factors are the major reasons leading to gender differences in academic performance. These factors include students’ familiarity with the subjects, changes of career aspirations, students’ interest, teaching method, facilities and instructional materials, gender perception of specific concepts. Gallagher, (2001) opines that the social and cultural factors are changeable by modifying the context of education. Also, Gallangher, (2001) states that Males and Females have different learning needs and teachers needs to take this into account when creating learning environment. Research have shown that male get called on more in class. I.e. they perform better than female children. Owen and Straton, (2006) found that female prefer cooperation, open ended and organized individuals. Also, these have shown that female gives more favorable review of their learning experience than male do. Boys and girls have different learning needs, and teachers need to take this into account when creating learning environment. Teachers can apply these different preferences in their teaching methods by assigning the female students to assignment that require cooperation and the male students to individual assignment while this may not be possible in all situations or every students, understanding and catering to a student’s prefer methods of learning is a good way to help them to learn more. There are most likely a variety of influences that create and effect gender differences and stereotypes in the classroom. Social expectations and informal influences when children are very young probably contribute to some of the reasons behind the classroom gender differences between boys and girls. Teachers need to be more aware of gender differences and biases they promote in their academic performance. Studies in developing countries have shown that teacher contribute to girls backwardness in education apart from their parents attitude. Teachers behave differently towards male and female academic performance in the classroom. Girls rewarded for being quiet docile and neat in their works while boys rewarded for getting the answers. Male acting in the same manner is simply bright. The sheer quality of attention of males and females get from their teacher is different too. The contrasts between boys and girls are bright and vivid. It is an ongoing struggle to meet the needs and differentiated for all students, especially when one group is more vocal than others. Appraisal of the Reviewed Literature Most literature reviewed has contributed in some ways to give researcher some interesting and meaningful insight into the problem. The review is done of past studies and the general view expressed by scholars. The focus of the present study is on the research of poor academic performance in senior secondary schools of Ilorin west local government of kwara state. A through research of the literature reviewed the problems facing teaching and learning of biology and students poor performance in senior secondary schools. According to Chinwe, (2005), also stating that the problems reported by the researcher were registered to be many factors which are responsible for the unshakable failure of students in biology in senior secondary schools. Influence of students attitude on the academic performance in biology. According to Bajah, (1975) stated that role of science in the development of a nation is never in doubt, but the attitude of students in science particularly in biology has a large extent, contributed to their performance. Laboratory facilities and equipment on students academic performance has been reviewed by Adeyemi, (2001) who defines teaching aids as the materials or objects which help the teachers to make lessons explicit to the students. The Nigerian education is imbalance, ill-equipped laboratory materials which are always insufficient leads to poor performance in school certificate examination which according to Momodu,(1978) is responsible for the poor performance and bad results of students. Gender and students academic performance in biology has been viewed by Gallangher, (2001) states that male and female have different learning needs and teachers need to take this into account when creating learning environment. Research have shown that male get called on more in class i.e. they perform better than female students. All the above enumerated variables are reviewed in other to give theoretical reasoning to the present study.

CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The success and acceptable of results obtained from any research work, depends on the procedure or methodology adopted in executing it. In this chapter, attention will be focused on the general procedure for the conduct of the research. The methodology of the study is discussed under the following sub-headings or sub-sections; the research design or research type, Sample and sampling techniques, Design of instruments, Validation of the instrument, i.e. Validity, Reliability, procedure for data collection and data analysis techniques. RESEARCH DESIGN A research design is a method of collecting data from a target population through a sizable sampling and generalizing the findings obtained from the analysis of the entire population; Afolabi (1991). The research design adopted for this research work was a survey research method. A survey research method is one which a group of people or items is studied by collecting and analyzing data from only a few people or items considered to be representative to the entire group; (Nwogu. 1998). Also, Van Dalen (1973); lends more credence to the use of survey method when he stressed that survey method study is the careful identification of the targeted population, the selection of sample from the population collection of comparable data to make qualified generalization. In this case; the researcher intends to describe accurately what she observed based on the representative sample selected for study. Moreover, survey method also halves the potential of providing more information about the various constraints facing students academic performance in biology at the secondary school level, especially the senior level; it is capable of eliciting information on behavioral pattern of students in schools towards biology, classroom, teachers, knowledge skills, achievements. Sample and Sampling Techniques The study was on academic performance of students in biology at the senior secondary school level in Ilorin west local government of kwara state. Therefore; the population for this study was the pupils and the teachers of the secondary schools. For the fact that all secondary schools in Ilorin west local government area of kwara state cannot be used for this research, five schools were selected by simple random techniques. The samples for this research were students already in senior secondary school Three (SSS III) offering biology and two biology teachers from each school. The students were chosen because they have been exposed to the study of biology for more than two and half years. Thirty students from each school were selected, this means that a total number of ten (10) Teachers and one hundred and fifty (150) students’ were employed as the subjects of the study and comprises of male and female students randomly selected. Research Instrument The research instrument used for data collection was researcher developed questionnaire which was used to collect relevant data for the research from the teacher and the students in senior secondary school III and II as the respondent. The questionnaire consists of the introductory part, which explained the topic of investigation, after which consists of personal data such as Name, Sex, Class and so on. While section B contains the structured questions for both students and teachers that will be providing the necessary data for the study. The questionnaire will be collected immediately after completion. The scores of the respondents in their last end of the year in Biology examination will also be collected from their class teachers. The questionnaire in both the students and teacher’s questionnaire were based on four points. They are:- Strongly Agree SA Disagree D Agree A Strongly Disagree SD Validation of the Instrument Subjecting the questionnaire to criticism, advice and corrections by experts validated the instruments. The drafts research questionnaire was submitted to the supervisor and some education lectures within the department for test construction and evaluation to validate. This done to ensure the fact and content validity of the instrument used. Some suggestions and ideas found essential were included by the supervisor in the final instrument used. The instrument was administered by the researcher to the respondent of the selected schools. Reliability of the Instrument To ascertain the reliability of the questionnaire; the respondents must be met under a controlled situation free from tortuous effects. The questionnaire items has been kept in a moderate length and unambiguous to avoid respondent boredom as well as the abuse of other transient factors; which is to ensure questionnaire reliability. Procedure for Data Collection The researcher will be visiting each of the selected secondary schools. She will also ask for permission from the principal or the school administrative of each schools and co-operation of the teachers and students of the selected schools in order to have a free interaction with the people used for the study. The students will be encouraged to complete the questionnaire immediately and also respond immediately, also to the teachers; the researcher also will make herself available during the administration. Questionnaires which are not properly completed will be rejected by the researcher to avoid misrepresentative of the actual situation and the questionnaire will be collected after the completion of the questions. Data Analysis Techniques The data collected from the five selected secondary schools was analyzed using simple percentage in order to know students interest facilities and instructional materials, teaching methods and gender of the students on their poor academic performance. CHAPTER FOUR DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Data Analysis This chapter deals or is primarily concerned with the analysis or the interpretation of data collection through the questionnaire. The administered questionnaire is being analysed presenting the result in table forms, stating the percentage of opinions for each questionnaire item. The analysis is in two sections A and B for the Teachers’ and students’ questionnaire respectively The randomly selected schools under study are:- 1. Sheik Abdul Kadir College, Ilorin 2. llorin Grammar School, Gerin Alimi, Ilorin 3. Government High School, Adeta, Ilorin 4. Government Day Secondary School, Odo-Okun Ilorin 5. Government Day Secondary School, Adeta Ilorin SECTION A TEACHERS QUESTIONNAIRE Table 1: Teachers perception of factors influencing students performance in Biology Question 1: The students attendance is…...

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