THE IMPACT OF PLANNING ON TEACHING AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING INTERGRATED SCIENCE IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN NIGERIA
Background of the study
Science is the bedrock of technological
development. Science is a dynamic human
activity concerned with understanding the working of our world today. Countries
all over the world are striving to improve their technological know-how and
this can only be achieved through a solid foundation in science and technology
studies. Having a solid foundation in sciences entails making students have
keen interest in science (by extension Integrated Science) right from their
Junior Secondary School level of education. Many research findings have shown
that Secondary School Students exhibit dwindling interest in science subjects. One of the basic qualities of a curriculum is dynamism, therefore
there is need to examine those activities that could promote Science teaching
in junior Secondary Schools
System has gone through various developments and changes viz-a-viz curriculum
issues. The dynamic nature of the curriculum process informs the concept of
effective planning of integrated science curriculum in secondary schools.
This is so because science education plays a vital role in the lives of
individuals and the development of a nation scientifically and technologically
(Aleboisu and Ifamuyiwa, 2008). It is widely and generally acknowledged that
the gateway to the survival of a nation scientifically and technologically is
scientific literacy which can only be achieved through science education. This
starts from giving students a good foundation in integrated science from junior
But government in this direction can not be said to have yielded much fruits
given the dwindling nature of student’s performance in integrated science in
junior secondary school and the low rate of students offering science in senior
secondary school as well as their performance in core science subjects.
Disturbed by this ugly development, researchers in the field of science
education in Nigeria embarked on series of studies to find the logic behind
this ugly development. They found that the problem stemmed from the first form
of science a child comes across at the junior secondary school level that is
integrated science. Integrated science provide students sound basis for further
science education study, hence a child that is not well grounded in integrated
science at this level would not show interest in offering core science subject
(Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at Senior Secondary Schol level which are
pre-requisites for studying science oriented courses at the Nation’s tertiary
They also found that lack of qualified teachers, lack of practical work as well
as lack of equipments and facilities for teaching, insufficient allotment of
time for integrated science on the school time table and poor methods of
teaching are the major factors militating against the successive implementation
of the core curriculum in integrated science (Ajuwape and Olatoye, 2004).
It is against this background that the researcher seeks to investigate the
subject matter of this research: The impact of effective planning and
curriculum development on teaching and learning of integrated science in
the importance of science in Nigerian educational system cannot be over
emphasized. In fact Abdullahi (1982) argued that science teaching is essential
and could be an instrument through which technology, economical and political
break through can be achieved. To him, if sciences or technology has helped
other western countries like United Kingdom, America, Japan and Germany to
greatness then there is need to examine those factors that can assist in
promoting enrollment of Students in sciences and effective teaching in Tertiary
In education, not only must somebody
(Teacher) be doing something but in return, something (Student Learning) must
also be happening as directed through a prescribed curriculum. Across the
nation the importance of Science in life is far reaching, not only because we
live in an age where every technological discovery and innovation has something
to do with Science but rather because Sciences promote understanding of the
world we live in. In short if Science programme are properly handled and
effectively implemented it is expected to give students things to think about
and do and at the same time encourage acquisition of necessary skills.
Traditionally the style of teaching in
the past follows a pattern such that a teacher sees himself/herself as a sole
authority, therefore teaching is seen as telling and learning implies passive
“listening”. According to Silva (1982), today’s knowledge about man and his
environment is dated back to the pre-historical time and a lot of the
improvements made so far are through the process of inquiry and discovery
rather than through trial and error. This suggests that if students are to
learn science in tertiary institutions the way it ought to be, they need to be
shown the way or view of scientists of the late 20th century.
In other words, for students to learn
science effectively, they would have to be taught appropriately using the right
methodology, selection of appropriate instructional materials and using the
right evaluation techniques. More importantly there would be need for critical
thinking through experimentation and the prescribed contents should allow the
students to observe, classify, formulate, experiment and interprete the
important steps or skills in scientific enquiry which the early scientists.
From experience there are indications
suggesting that learning by listening can never be as effective as learning by
“doing”. Although the new science programme at all levels of education no
longer see the students as subjects to be filled with facts, efforts are being
made to help the learners develop an understanding and appreciation of the
world through practical experiences.
of the study
this study sought to find out the impact
of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and learning of
integrated science in secondary schools in Enugu State.
Integrated Science have been taught in Junior Secondary Schools since 1972 in
order to inculcate science knowledge and encourage students to offer science
subjects in Senior Secondary School (Ifamuyiwa, 2008).
But inspite of this, government effort cannot be said to have yielded much
fruits given the dwindling nature of students’ performance in integrated
science which has a negative effect on the future performance of those offering
core science and consequently poor performance in core subjects in WAEC and
NECO examination which are prerequisites for studying in the Nation’s tertiary
institutions. This has been attributed to myriad of problems ranging from lack
of qualified teachers, lack of equipments and facilities for teaching, lack of
practical works, insufficient allotment of time for integrated science on the
school time table and poor teaching methods. The reasons for the lack of interest in science among
students included: lack of qualified teachers, lack of practical works,
insufficient allotment of time for Integrated Science on the school time-table and
poor method of teaching, non/poor use of instructional materials .The major
factors militating the successful implementation of the core curriculum in
Integrated Science. For a start, there was therefore, the need to investigate
the impact of planning on teaching and curriculum development of teaching and
learning Integrated Science in Junior Secondary schools in Enugu State.
Significance of the study
i.Determined, for the first time, the
impact of effective planning and curriculum development on teaching and
learning of integrated science in secondary schools in Enugu State.
ii.The suggestions that emanated from the result of
its findings would help both teachers and students in the processes of teaching
and learning Integrated Science.
iii. Also, the suggestions emanating from the
result of its findings, if adequately implemented would help government in
policy planning, science curriculum development and implementation
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
Hindering Effective Implementation of Integrated Science Programme
factors affecting Science or integrated science teaching in Nigeria are:
Methodology used in teaching (science teaching).
of infrastructure, laboratory and facilities.
allocated for Science teaching.
makes for effectiveness and efficiency of a programme. Many of the science
programmed introduced in the early 70s failed and did not see the light of the
day due to poor planning and implementation. According to Ukeje(2000) no
educational programme can be effectively executed without adequate planning.
METHODOLOGY IN SCIENCE TEACHING
to Yoloye (1978), Integrated Science as a subject was introduced to improve the
quality of science teaching in Nigeria, at the Junior Secondary School. Where
it is taught in higher institutions as a course or programme, it is meant to
have adequate and well trained teachers who would have acquired necessary
skills to handle the subject more effectively.
and manner a teacher handles a course/subject goes a long way in promoting or
discouraging students from offering sciences (Olorundare, 1998). In the
national policy on education, the Federal Government (FRN, 1985) emphasized
that teachers of integrated science are expected to use activity-oriented
approach such as demonstration, discovery and problem solving. In science
generally the focus should be on how to develop in the students ability to
apply simple scientific principles in a new situation and acquired scientific
attitude in solving problems.
to Waston (1971) the two main methods that have been proved to be useful in
teaching science concept include the act of:
Informing the students about some selected facts, principles, laws and concepts
so that students only have to listen and memorize where necessary.
Providing experiences or appropriate situation that could encourage the
students to discover by themselves through observation, manipulation,
experimentation and discovery.
that analysis of some of the newly introduced science curricula in Nigeria
directly or indirectly advocated for a specific approach to teaching, depending
on the subject concerned. In all, each calls for active students’ participation
through experimentation and discussion as against the use of lecture method or
storytelling. Science teachers therefore are encouraged to assist the students
to acquire scientific knowledge through purposeful use of all or most of their
five senses. In this paper attempt is made to discuss integrated science as a
course which embraces many science subject. Integrated science is taught as one
of the science subjects at the junior secondary school level and offer as a
course in the tertiary institutions in order to have well trained and qualified
integrated science teachers.
in the activity based approach to science teaching, lessons are designed in
such a way that through their mental processes students discover concepts and
principles, make necessary observation, learn to organize and carryout
investigations, which in turn aids better retention. Talking about integrated
science teaching Bajah (1983) argued that the course was introduced in the
school curriculum with the intention that it will help satisfy the aims and
aspirations of the child as well as that of the society in which a child lives.
science is defined as an approach to science teaching in which concepts and
principles are presented so as to stress the fundamental unity of scientific thought
without necessarily making a distinction between various scientific fields.
integrated science, each scientific concept is selected and discussed to show
the inter-relationship among the three basic science subjects, namely biology,
chemistry and physics (Bajah, 1978).
to Bajah, (1978), the meaning of “integration” in integrated science has to do
with the belief that:
sciences are characterized by a common methodology and that their contents
represent a whole and become meaningful when interrelated (p. 27).
that it is one thing to have a good plan and it is another thing to put in to
practice the recommended strategies in the classroom, OKeke (1973) revealed
that many teachers handling science in schools have discouraged some students
from offering science subjects mainly because of their approach to teaching
thus not allowing the country to have adequate science teachers across the
states in Nigeria.
Mani (1981), in a study carried out at Kano revealed that integrated science
has not been taught as intended and that lesson presentations are mostly
teacher-centered which was not in line with the philosophy of integrated
another study carried out by Odubunmi (1980) it was found that:
Students were not actively involved in the lesson and in most cases, the
lecture method was used.
institutions sampled did not allocate double period of practical for integrated
science on their school time table.
till then, there were no enough trained and qualified integrated science
the importance of order of presentation during classroom instruction, some
psychologists like Piaget, Pavlov, Skinner and others recommended that school
instruction and contents should consider the age range of the learners, their
interest, social and educational background. The reason being that whatever is
to be taught should not be above the age level of the students to allow for
easy understanding, assimilation and acquisition of necessary skills. To sum it
up, all the three areas of Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives namely
Psychomotor should be considered in science teaching.
words active involvement of the students in an opened process oriented and practical
activities is necessary in the development of creative thinking in learners.
The problems in most schools has been that the teachers are not performing to
expectation and not implementing schools programmes the way it ought to be.
statement is supported by the argument raised by Ogunniyi (1978) that more
progress would have been made in implementing integrated science programme if
not for the following inhibiting factors:
of teaching experience by many teachers who teach the course.
many activities to be performed within a limited time allocated to the course
on the school time table.
emphasis on process to almost a total exclusion of product of science.
important factor that is known to be affecting the teaching of sciences in most
of the tertiary institutions is the availability of facilities or instructional
INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS, LABORATORY AND FACILITIES
teaching and learning demands a lot of materials for arousing or motivating the
interest of the learner for concretizing learning experience, retention and
transfer of knowledge. Although there are some improvements or progress made in
this area, more are still needed in the area of provision of Textbooks,
laboratory manuals, Chemicals and Specimens. According to Nwosu (2002)
inadequate supply of learning material leads to student poor performance.
Definitely there is bound to be a problem, even if a teacher possesses good
mastery of the subject matter but cannot get appropriate and adequate
materials, equipment, laboratory hardware’s, specimens and chemicals with which
he can demonstrate what he/she wanted the students to learn. Among the factors
that are commonly spoken of in the literature for mass failure or poor
performance in ‘science practical’s or external examinations include inadequate
laboratory equipment, specimens, student size or population in a class and
incompetency on the part of some teachers (Ogunniyi, 1978).
support of the above, Bajah (1983) reported that when the instructional or
Laboratory materials and specimens are made readily available and used
appropriately, they serve as an effective means of showing the students how the
scientists work or how theories are derived. Not only that, ether in Biology,
Chemistry, Physics or other science related course when students are widely
exposed to practical works they would acquire all the necessary skills and
retained them very well all that they were taught.
It is for
this reason that science teachers are expected to organize science content and
select appropriate methodology in such a way that students practice rather than
merely learning science. Practical works among other things provide students
with the opportunities of engaging on experimentation, observation and
investigation thus improving their scientific skills for the future use.
aspects of scientific attitudes and skills that can be developed by the
students when fully engaged in student centered or activity based practical activities
include: Curiosity, open mindedness, objectivity, honesty and precision.
the problems identified in the teaching of sciences particularly Integrated
science is time factor. Most teachers often complain that the teaching periods
allocated for integrated science on the school time table is three (3) hours
instead of the five(5) hours suggested by the curriculum committee. When there
is much to be covered particularly at the approach of the final JSC Exam, there
is tendency for teachers to adopt lecture instead of the child centered
conclusion, there is need for science teachers to be conscious of their
classroom behaviors, select appropriate methodology depending on the topic to
be taught and provide enough time for laboratory work to promote science
teaching and learning. The habit of having to borrow laboratory specimens,
equipment and chemical most especially when the examination is approaching
should be discouraged.
Conclusion and Recommendations
decision making procedure in Nigeria society are inadequate for people appear
not to be interested in wanting to change from their old ways of doing things.
All teacher education programmes should be capable of helping in producing new
breeds of teachers, category of teachers who are community conscious, qualified
to carry out effective job; energetic; and innovative. That is those who are
interested in teaching not because they could not get alternative job.
importance of the study of sciences in Nigerian tertiary institutions and
handling of the science courses the way it ought to be handled cannot be
over-emphasized. The progress made so far in the advanced countries like China,
Japan, UK and America is as a result of the efforts and emphasis put in to
science learning. All the science teachers across the nation should endeavor to
promote development of certain skills through the way they handle their
basis of what had been discussed, it is hereby recommended that:
the apparatus, equipment, chemicals and specimen should be made readily
available before the commencement of laboratory work.
students should be made to observe critically and take good care of pets or
animals that are kept in the school for practical.
students had to study wild animals, necessary agreement should be made for the
students to go on field trip or excursion to a zoo.
proper dressing in the laboratory and maintenance of laboratory materials
following their usage should be encouraged among the students.
effort should be made to promote transfer of knowledge by allowing the students
to see the relationship between what is learned in the classroom and the
challenges ahead in future.
effort should be made to present topics as spelt out in the subject curriculum
or course outline.
teacher should show interest in teaching and teach in such a way that the
students are encouraged to acquire the right attitude and skills.
most topics students should be encouraged to observe, read supplementary
materials, record information, investigate and make self-independent study.
the tertiary institution should make available to the public all teacher
education programmes in their institution for easy comparison and to enable
people make their choice.
teachers should be required to be more actively involved in the process of
change, probably through a lively and more recognized professional
Journals and publications by publishing houses in higher institutions of
learning should be made available such that the lecturers can learn from and
update their knowledge toward helping the future teachers perform their jobs
what matter is not only to know what to do but doing it right and using strategy
that will bring about the desired learning. For there is urgent need to
constantly examine what actually is in operation in the classrooms in terms of
instructional strategy, teachers dedication to work and the efforts made in
ensuring accessibility of all laboratory materials. This is necessary for the
students to be able to observe, experiment, manipulate, interpret and make
conclusion, in addition to learning appropriate skills for immediate or future