Biology Project Topics

Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools

Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools


Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools
Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools




Education is a process of impacting or acquiring knowledge. The knowledge acquiring is capable of preparing an individual intellectually through a forming setting under the guidance of a teacher. The acquisition of knowledge requires an effective use to be real as well as making positive impact in the learner.

The major goal of science education is to enable the construction of knowledge of how our universe works in order to explain and possibly control phenomena. To achieve this goal, teaching and learning of science should be done in a way that promotes participation of students in any activities conducted in the classroom. Hence, the methods employed in teaching/ learning in schools are vital or important. Many educators consider methodology of teaching as the central concern of a teacher.

However Nkang (2012) went on to opine that, the possible reason for adequate instructional strategy may be that teacher’s knowledge of the subject alone does not guarantee to carry on an effective teaching / learning process. Although there is no best strategy of teaching and learning in the educational system, there is a choice of one strategy over the conduct and the desired outcomes of the lesson.

Frod (2006) Affirm that many strategies of teaching exist in education and these strategies are meant to make teachers succeed in their dissemination of knowledge.

Instructional strategies adopted by the teacher can either make or mar the learners. According to Ekah (2006), while a good strategy adopted by teacher may end up changing a bad learner to a good learner, bad teaching strategy can turn a good learner to a bad learner.

By the way of definition, Jonassen (2006) states that method is a way by which a teacher can teach, while Abasa (2012) referred to teaching method as strategies of instruction or style of instruction. Ekanen and Eddie (2006) posited that, what is important about strategies or methods is that it should carefully selected to cater for different branches of knowledge.

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Science subjects are activity oriented courses, the way they are thought is important in helping the students acquire basic scientific knowledge, skills and attitude to solve different problem in life. Biology being a science subject, therefore involved the teacher using method that will give students opportunity to be actively involved. Chield (2002) pointed that good teachers follow no one method. Instead, he/she uses whatever methods and materials that seem to be the best for the particular combination of individual situations. Ndagana and Onifade (2010) further posited that “the success in the use of instructional strategy depend on an intelligent analysis of the educational purpose, the student in the class, the curriculum content of the moment or the type of the subject matter being taught.”

Despite the improvement role of the strategies used in the teaching/learning process, the researcher has also observed the poor state of students in science subject in their external examination and JAMB Examination. A number of factors have been identified as contributing to the non-acquisition of science skills and poor performance by Secondary School Students and Jambite. One of such factor is the teacher’s methods of teaching, several reports like Ali (2004) Indicate that many teachers prefer the traditional lecture method of teaching and shy away from innovation teaching methods like inquiring, discovery, laboratory etc.

Approach to learning. it is against this undesirable trend that this study is conducted to further examine the extent to which instructional strategies influences academic performance of students in Biology in Secondary Schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.


1.2      Statement of the Problem

Biology is generally conceived by most students as the easiest science subject and so, enjoys larger number of enrolment that other basic science subject as observed by the researcher. However, the yearly percentage pass in the subject is very low compared with student performance in other basic sciences as well as other subjects. This does not translate to it’s being easy.

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Available statistic from West Africa Examination Council (WAEC 2012) revealed that although biology has the highest enrolment relative to other science subjects, it record poor performance at senior secondary certificate examination especially in the practical examination where students exhibited very poor science skills acquisition. Similarly May / June 2012 West Africa Examination Council result recorded yet another failure with only 38.81% of the candidate considered to have pass.

Worries from these states of student’s affairs in the external examination the researcher wants to know whether the incessant performance among students is not attributed to the instructional strategies used by the teachers in teaching/learning process. Hence, the intention of the researcher to conduct the study is to investigate the extent to   which instructional strategies used by teachers could influence the academic performance of Biology Students in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.


1.3   Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this research work is to investigate into the influence of instructional strategies on academic performance of Biology Students in Secondary schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area.

Specifically the study sought to:

  1. Compare the academic performance of Biology students taught with guided discovery strategy and those taught with lecture strategy.
  2. Examine the influence of guided discovery strategy on student’s academic performance based on gender.


1.4      Significance of the Study

It is the researcher’s view that result from the study will;

  1. Enlighten teachers on the need for adequate selection of suitable instructional strategies that will stimulate teaching and learning of Biology.
  2. Assist school managers on the need to organize conference and seminars for teachers where the need for effective use of adequate strategy should be addressed.
  3. Implementation of this research result and recommendations will improve educational system.
  4. This will also serve as a reference manual for future research work on the related issues.


1.5   Research Hypotheses

        The following research hypotheses were carefully formulated to guide the study:

(i)     There is no significant difference in academic performance between Biology Students taught through guided discovery strategy and those taught using lecture strategy.

(ii)    There is no significant difference in academic performance between male and female Biology students taught through discovery strategy.


1.6      Limitation of the Study

In the process of conducting this problems which threatened the successful completion of this study. Prominent among these problem included: Insufficient time frame allocated for the completion and submission of the research report and insufficient finance to process and purchase necessary materials required by study. Hence, the study could not be generalized as the topic suggest but limited to some selected Secondary Schools and students in the study area.

Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools
Instructional Strategies and Academic Performance of Biology Students in Secondary Schools

1.7   Delimitation of the Study

This research work focuses on an investigation into instructional strategies and academic performance in Biology. This study was also limited to some selected Secondary Schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. This research work covers all the public Secondary in the study area.


1.8   Operational Definition of Terms     

The following terms were operationally defined:

Instructional: To teach someone how to do something

Strategies: Method or techniques chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.

Instructional Strategies: This refers to the techniques or method that a teacher can adopt to meet the various learning objectives especially in Biology.

Guided Discovery Strategy: This is defined as a technique where a teacher provides examples to a language items and helps the learners to find the rules themselves.

Academic Performance: Is the outcome that indicate the extent which students has accomplished specific goals that were focus of activities in instructional environments, specifically in schools.

Gender: This is the state of being a male or female.

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