The  study  examined  the  influence  of  instructional  materials on the teaching of Basic Science in Selected schools in, Makurdi.  This study made use of Survey Research Design. TEN (10) Government and private pre schools were used. It had the population of 2,150 basic science students and 30 basic science teachers.  Sample of 206 students were randomly selected with 10 basic science teachers.   The instrument used for collection of data was a questionnaire designed by the researcher for the teachers and students of basic science. Based on this study, instructional materials was seen as possessing characteristics of visibility, simplicity, attraction, and clarity. That instruction material is important to influence students academic performance in basic science.  Recommendations were made in line with the findings, which include the basic science teachers should endeavour to use and try to improvise instructional materials for effective teaching of basic science in pre schools.   Government should ensure the adequate employment of dedicated and qualified basic science teachers and make funds available and sponsor the teachers  attendance  at   conferences,  seminars,   and   workshops   on   utilization  of basic science instructional materials. In conclusion, students perform better when appropriate and improvised materials were made available and utilized in teaching basic science. The basic science knowledge and subsequent performance of students in both pre and  pre  pre schools  and  basic science as  a subject becomes more interesting to learn when it was taught by experienced, well committed, dedicated and qualified basic science teachers.    Teaching of basic science will not be completed if the instructional materials needed to facilitate learning are not sourced for, and properly utilized for each basic science topic designed to be taught and construct others using available local materials.



Background of the Study

The influence of instructional materials on the teaching of basic science has been noted in promoting students’ academic performance, teaching, and learning in educational development. The teaching of Basic Science in Nigerian pre-schools needs to be properly handled. Creativity contributes to the nation’s economic development, hence, the need to be taught thoroughly if it is to meet the educational and economic development.  Basic Science is one of the subjects in Pre Schools, it cannot be taught effectively without the use of appropriate instructional materials (Ajayi, 1988. Learning by doing was emphasized in the curriculum so that the students should be able to understand the simple basis of science and learn to be creative.

A series of activities were suggested in the curriculum to ensure the development  of  psychomotor  skills in basic science by the students. Students' achievement should be continuously assessed through various forms of tests and their experiments should be well organized in class and laboratories. Also, individual assessments should be carried out to ascertain those students who are educationally sound, so that proper attention can be given more to those still struggling to meet up. From research, educational materials when given to students, especially books with pictures of inventions, it spurs the wide thinking of students to take their academics seriously. Hence for effective and positive creative thinking to be done by children in preschools, there is suppose to be teaching aids that these students will accept and learn faster with. (Oyedun, 2000).

The  teacher  alone  cannot  provide  all  the  needed  condition  for  an effective teaching  and  learning  process,  other  supporting materials should be provided.  The students learn better when most of the senses are appealed to the instruction and the use of instructional materials in creativity science education has added a new dimension in the positive promotion of the teaching and learning process. It provides the much need sensory experiences needed by the learners for an effective and meaningful behavioral change. Instructional materials are meant to improve the quality of education for the effective academic performance of basic science students in schools. The performance of the students on the intended learning outcome provides the validation – loop on the success of the interaction and instruction (Bakare, 1986).

Statement of the Problem

One of the most problems facing Nigeria education today is poor performance in science education. The rate of student poor academic achievement in basic science is really disturbing, internal, and external examination. The poor academic achievement of students in basic science has attributed to many factors which are lack of instructional material and skills needed for effective teaching and inability to provide or improvise material relative to the topic depending on the school type. Unqualified teachers and teacher’s attitude towards effective teaching and learning, lack of student interest in basic science as a subject. It is observed that most students complain of being taught principles that seem to be abstract in nature because materials such as textbooks, most board, and essential equipment like computers, projectors, television, and video are not readily available in many schools. In Indian axioms that say, what I hear, I may forget but what see, hear and touch I will never forget. This is because basic science teachers adopt the verbalizes and theoretical method as a way of teaching and learning basic science thereby making students lose interest. In Nigeria, for example, experience has shown that spoken words alone in the communication of ideas are grossly ineffective and inefficient in producing desired learning outcomes. One of the major problems facing the education sector in Nigeria is the low level of the performance of pre-school students in both local and standardized examinations. It has become a great concern for researchers, educators, and all education stakeholders over the years. It was observed that students usually fail in examinations owing to improper teaching methods and lack of essential teaching aids for instructional delivery. (Afolabi, 2009). This study, therefore, deemed it necessary to look specifically into the contributions of instructional materials to academic achievement of pre-school students in basic science. The reason for this could be ascribed to the fact that there are topics in Basic science that pose serious problems of comprehension to students. These topics cannot be taught effectively without the use of relevant instructional materials to make the learning practical. However, the questions here are: does the use of instructional materials really influence student’s academic performance? Is teaching effectiveness enhanced by the use of instructional materials?  Could students learning be advanced by the use of instructional materials? Finding answers to these questions and more summarizes the entire problem of this study.

Objectives of the Study

The main aim of the study is to critically analyze the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of basic science in pre-schools in Enugu with particular reference to Udi as a case study. The study tends to find out the following:

1.      To determine the impact of instructional materials on teaching of basic science in pre-schools.

2.      To identify the effect of the use of instructional materials on academic performance of pre-school students.

3.       To evaluate the relationship between the use of instructional materials and student academic achievements. 

Research Questions

In the field of basic science, it has been observed that the use of instructional materials plays a major role in the teaching and learning of basic science. Based on the above observation, the researcher generated the following questions to guide the study:

1.      What is the impact of instructional materials on teaching of basic science in pre-schools?

2.      What is the effect of the use of instructional materials on academic performance of pre-school students?

3.      What is the relationship between the use of instructional materials and student academic achievements?

Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were generated for the study:

Hypothesis I

Ho: There is no significant impact of instructional materials on teaching of basic science in pre-schools.

Hi: There is a significant impact of instructional materials on the teaching of basic science in pre-schools.

Hypothesis II

Ho: There is no relationship between the use of instructional materials and student academic achievements.

Hi: There is a relationship between the use of instructional materials and student academic achievements.

Significance of the Study

The study has both theoretical and practical significances. In the theoretical aspect, it is the use of Jean Piaget on the cognitive development and behavioral learning theory which center on the child development knowledge, intelligence, and high level of thinking that allows the child to acquire problem-solving skills by inventing or constructing reality out of the experience and thus mix their observation with their ideas about how the world works. It also provides the individual with a certain behavioral management plans or changes based on observation in the classroom. On the practical aspect, the findings of the study will benefit the followings, the students, schools, basic science teachers, textbook writers, curriculum planners and government. Constructivist teaching is based on the belief that learning occurs as learners are actively involved in a process of meaningful and knowledge construction as opposed to passively receiving information. Through interaction with the physical situations, or concrete objects, a child’s physical experience accumulates and he is able to conceptualize, think creatively and logically. The child, therefore, develops skills to abstract problems. According to this theory, learners are the makers of knowledge and meaning Constructivists believe that "learners construct their own reality or at least interpret it based upon their perceptions of experiences, so an individual's knowledge is a function of one's prior experiences, mental structures, and beliefs that are used to interpret objects and events." "What someone knows is grounded in the perception of the physical and social experiences which are

Students: The the study will change student attitude to learn basic science since the use of instructional during teaching and learning made the lesson very interesting by having direct contact with the material by touching, smelling, or tasting of the object thereby enhancing their performance in the subject in question. This is because according to Nwadinigwe (2000), learning is a process through which knowledge, skills, habits, facts, ideas, and principles are acquired, retained and utilized, and the only means of achieving this is through the use of instructional materials.

School: It helps the school have a well-equipped laboratory and a good environment on the production of improvised and standardize resource material suitable for teaching and learning without waiting for the government to provide it for them. It also helps know the number of student in the classroom and proper monitoring of teachers or student teacher on the use of instructional material.

Textbook writers: inclusion of instructional material needed to the teacher the particular topic base on specific objectives.

Physic teachers:  The effective use of standardizing or improvised material to make the teaching effective and productive base on observation and evaluation. This is in line with the assertion of Ekwueme and Igwe (2001) who noted that it is only teachers who will guarantee effective and adequate usage of instructional materials and thereby facilitate success. He further says that instructional materials are of high value in importing information, clarifying difficult and abstract concepts, stimulating thought, sharpening observation, creating interest, and satisfying individual differences.

Government: production and provision of resource instructional material to school base on the subject offered. Organizing seminars and workshops on the utilization of instructional material especially in the area of science and technology. And parent-teacher their children on how to embrace technology.

Curriculum planner: when developing a syllabus and scheme of work, space for the provision of instruction material should be made with related topics and days of supervision of teachers with instructional material.

Scope of the Study

This study is on the influence of instructional materials on teaching basic sciences in pre-schools. The study will be conducted in Enugu metropolis.

Limitations of the study

The demanding schedule of respondents made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaires in a timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all research under this study but is restricted to the selected respondents used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided. Other limitations include;

Financial constraint: Insufficient the fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).

Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted to the research work.




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