THE EFFECT OF IMPROVISATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS FOR BIOLOGY INSTRUCTION IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
This study was
to find out the need of improvisation in the teaching and learning of
Biology. This study was carried out with
five secondary schools selected randomly from Egor Local Government Area of Edo
State. The questionnaire was the
research instruments used for the study.
A total of one hundred (100) students responded to the
questionnaire. The data obtained were
analyzed using mean and simple percentages.
The result obtained showed that improvisation presents next to real
situation to the student in the absence of the real thing. It was then concluded that improvisation of
instructional materials is necessary for quick and perfect understanding of
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study 1
Statement of the Problem 6
Purpose of the Study 7
Research Questions 8
Significance of the Study 8
Scope and Delimitation 10
Definition of Terms 11
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
What is Improvisation? 14
History of Improvisation 18
The Rationale for Improvisation 20
Factors affecting Improvisation 23
Guiding Principles to be observed 25
Materials of Improvisation 29
Merits of Improvisation 30
Problems and Prospects of
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
Research Design 36
Population of Study 36
Sample and Sampling Technique 36
Research Instrument 37
Validity of Instrument 38
Reliability of Instrument 38
Administration of Instrument 38
Method of Data Analysis 39
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND
Data Analysis and Interpretation 40
Discussion of Results 48
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
Background of the Study
Science education must seek to permit
the individual to develop to the fullest his capacities for adjustment and
continuous change in order that he may meet the problems of his day and solve
them successfully when they arise. Biology,
the study of living things is a science which has developed methods of its
own. The structural complexity of the
organisms themselves, the multiplicity of functions occurring simultaneously in
organism’s body and the inter-relationship between the organisms and their
environment have led to methods of study unique to this particular
science. Jean Bremner (2000) stated that
the methods are characterized by the art of scientific investigation in
relation to pupils’ study of new specimen, the experimental approach to
biological science in relation to experiment carried out by the individual
study. These are necessary for the
effective transfer and permanent communication of biological knowledge.
Practical experience in any science
for that matter is crucial for proper understanding of any principle and
application of the knowledge in that subject for cognitive growth and
technological orientation and advancement.
In appreciation of this fact, Lee (1999) emphasized that if biology is
to perform the above role of improving the society, then the biology teacher
must do the following:
Choose the best materials to present to
Try new roles, materials and strategies.
Make use of individual instruction.
activities such as collecting of materials, observing, recording observations,
classifying and carrying out field work should be well encouraged. The method for achieving this is through
visual instruction. It was the original
method in biological science when the naturalist devoted his study to organisms
as he found them in nature. The result
of his work, he wrote down to be passed on to others. The knowledge was finally put in form of
books. As the study of biology becomes
more popular in schools, and number of students increased, it becomes more
difficult to study original materials.
Part of this difficulty comes by the use of laboratory, preserved
materials and chart and models. But the
pressure of larger number of students and increasing cost caused this situation
to be abandoned most times. Miller and
Blaydes (2001) asserted that the result has been that an increasing proportion
of biology teaching has been done from books and lecture notes. This situation to a large extent is responsible
for the poor performance in the senior secondary school certificate
examinations conducted by West African Examination Council. In Nigeria, the educational system has
been facing a lot of critical problems amongst which are increasing enrolment,
shortage of qualified teachers, absence of laboratories and in many cases
presence of laboratories but acute shortage of necessary teaching and learning
The Federal Government of Nigeria
through the Federal Ministry of Education with the assistance of UNESCO in 1998
established a science equipment centre to provide course for science teachers
and laboratory assistants. The provision
of this centre though laudable has been inadequate. Teachers of biology and other sciences
therefore have to acquire and develop skills of producing teaching
materials. This is what improvisation is
all about. It is the process of
providing quickly in time of need, using whatever happens to be available, the
materials and equipment for facilitating the teaching of biology. Otitoju (2000) opined that in biology
teaching nature presents a rich laboratory because specimens of plants and
animals are abundant around us, however equipment needed for capturing animals. Performing physiological experiment, timing
experiment or processes as well as some specimens which are available have to
be improvised using locally available materials and a little imagination. The essential qualities of any improvised
teaching aid are accuracy, realism, comprehensibility and interest.
To make teaching more meaningful,
teaching materials should be used and student should have equipment to work
with. Students should be made to learn
by carrying out experiments and other practical aspects of study themselves
using any of the methods of science teaching and not just through
verbalism. Too much verbalism encourages
authoritarian approach and makes learning difficult and uninteresting.
Statement of the Problem
It is an indispensable fact that
knowledge of biology is highly relevant in the world today. Bearing this in mind therefore, effective and
efficient study is very important in the primary (as integrated science)
secondary and tertiary institutions of learning. The optimum value of biology has been greatly
reduced due to the array of problems that its teaching and learning face over
The problem of this study is the non
use of instructional materials in the teaching of biology influenced by lack of
creative improvisation of teaching materials on the part of the teachers. This situation may be one of the factors that
cause poor performance of students in biology examinations like the Senior
Secondary Certificate Examinations (SSCE).
Thus, this research is designed to
investigate the effect of improvisation of instructional materials on student’s
performance in biology.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to
investigate the effect of improvisation of instructional materials in the
teaching of biology in secondary schools and also to examine the effect of
instructional materials on the performance of students in biology. The study will also identify those factors
militating against effective use of instructional materials during biology
Does the absence of adequately equipped biology
laboratories influence learner’s performance in biology?
Are teachers aware of the importance of
improvisation of instructional materials?
Does the use of instructional materials makes
teaching and learning interesting and lively?
Does teaching aids create motivation on the
parts of the students?
Does the use of instructional materials create a
good environment by increasing learning rate/outcome.
Significance of the Study
The act of teaching without
instructional materials in an abstract way will not yield positive and
meaningful result in any learning environment.
But when interacting with real or almost real designed materials,
students understanding of concepts and principles would be greatly facilitated. It is pertinent to note that this study would
help to enlighten all stakeholders in the education sector on the relevance of
instructional materials. This study
would achieve this by highlighting the benefit of improvisation in the teaching
and learning process as well as citing the disadvantages of its unavailability.
To teachers, this study would help
them devise, utilize and maximize the use of improvised teaching materials in
order to attain set down educational objectives as they relate to biology. To the students the use of instructional
materials would benefit them as they would be motivated to learn biology and
understand its concept easily. Learning
biology would become more interesting to the students as the abstract concept
and phenomenon in biology would be turned into real life or almost real life
situation. The policy makers and
educational administrators would benefit from this work as they would know the
various factors militating against the optimal implementation of the
educational policies and curriculum, thus knowing how to checkmate these
Finally, this research work would
serve as a blue print to educational administrators and stakeholders on ways to
improve on the diverse skills of improvising instructional materials and
subsequently seeing improvisation as a means of making instructional materials
available in our schools.
Scope and Delimitation
There are many aspects of scientific
knowledge amongst which are physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc. This research work will concentrate on the
biological aspects. This study will also
be limited to the improvisation of biological materials and its effect, but
will not consider the method of teaching.
This study is intended to cover public
secondary schools within Egor Local Government Area of Edo State. Secondary schools will be randomly selected
and samples will be drawn from these schools in the course of the study.
Definition of Terms
Biology: A science devoted to the study of life and
living organisms be it plant, animals or even organisms too small to be seen by
the human eye.
Science: The systematic study of anything that can be
examined, tested and verified.
Improvisation: Making effective use of locally available
materials to achieve pre-determined educational objectives.
Teacher: A person who has
professional training in teaching qualification ranging from National
Certificate of Education (NCE), Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) in Biology or one
who has post-graduate Diploma in education (PGDE).