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This study examined collaborative strategies and student’s Academic Performance in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area. Two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The quasi-experimental research design was adopted for the study.

The population of the study comprised all senior secondary one students who offer Biology in the study area. A sample size of 120 SS1 students was used for the study. The Instrument for data collection was “Biology Achievement Test (BAT)”.The data generated for the study were analyzed using independent t-test.

The results showed that students’ taught using the team teaching and cooperative learning strategies performed significantly better than those taught by a single instructor and those who learnt in isolation respectively. It was concluded that the collaborative strategies–team teaching and cooperative learning have significant positive effects on students’ academic performance in Biology.

A number of recommendations were made, one of which is that cooperative learning and team teaching strategies should be adopted in teaching and learning Biology for improved academic performance of biology students.                                                                                         



  • Background to the Study

In the contemporary world today, attention is focused on education as an instrument of launching nations into the world of science and technology and with consequential hope of human advancement in terms of living conditions and development of the environment. This is because, in the life of any nation, education is the live-wire of its industries. It is the foundation of moral regeneration and revival of its people.

Education is the bed-rock of any nation’s defense. It is that process that helps to develop the whole man physically, mentally, socially and technically, to enable him to function effectively in any environment in which he may find himself (FRN,2009). Therefore no nation can afford to pay lip service to the education of its people.

To Achieve Learners’ Active Particiption in Science Education (Rennie, Feher, Dieking & Falk; 2003) and Savery & Duffy; 2003) maintained that science teacher needs to teach students how to learn and not just to give them what to be learnt. This approach according to the researchers will help students utilize knowledge of science in different situations and provide them opportunities to actively participate in the teaching/learning situation.

This is the constructivist view of learning (Brooks & Brooks, 1999; Rochelle, 1992; Glasserfeld, 1987) who views learning as a process in which the learner constructs knowledge from preexisting ideas. The implication is that when a learner reconciles the new information with his previous ideas and experiences, he can change what he believes, or disregard the new information as irrelevant. In either case, he is an active creator of his own knowledge. Helping students to construct their own knowledge Brooks and Brooks, (1999) urged that it is a great challenge to the Biology teacher owing to the unfavourable classroom environment in our schools

To address these challenges, the teacher’s role needs to shift from that of the ‘dispenser’ of knowledge to the ‘facilitator’ of learning. This is evident in the huge amount of funds being invested by both governments, private, and voluntary organizations in the establishment and equipping of science schools in Nigeria for learning (Wasagu, 2006; Okebukola, 2005).

Despite efforts being made to improve teaching and learning ofBiology, high records of poor achievement of students in Biology is on the increase (Ali, 1998; Adeyegbe, 1998; WAEC, 2010), resulting to low-achievement in school Biology. The low-achieving Biology students therefore, need special intervention if they must record success in dealing with Biology problems. Low Biology achievers are those students whose achievements are consistently very low and who, in spite of efforts to cope, may be quite slow, confused and lack confidence in themselves (Okebukola, 2005).

They are those whose achievements are consistently below average, and who may have numerous aversions associated with solving arithmetic and other related problems, (Montague, 1998). Such problems could be attributed to a number of environmental factors such as peer group influence; weak relationship with teachers, poor mastering skills of the teacher’s incompetence, competent on the part of the students themselves, cultural and other school related factors (Umaru, 2010).

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Research studies by Eniayeju (1990) and Odoh (2000) have shown that low academic achievement in Biology is due to poor understanding of the basic concept, lack of teaching aids and textbooks that reflect the students’ environmental needs, low level and low quality of cognitive interactions with teachers, and language problems. All these compel students to memorize and regurgitate facts and principles (Okebukola, 2005).

Several researchers (Woods, 2007; Gou, Abram and U’Appolognia 2003; Nwosu 2003) have therefore suggested that use of alternative contemporary teaching strategies, which reflect the constructivist approach to learning, may help to facilitate the teaching and learning of the subject, may lead to success, and increase students interest in the subjects. Elliot, Kratochwill, Littlefield and Travers (2000) defined the term interest, as an enduring characteristic expressed by a relationship between a person and a particular activity or object.

Ngwoke (2005) explained interest, as something with which one identifies one’s personal well-being. In this sense interest is a source of motivation. RyanandDeci (2000) argued that since intrinsically motivated behaviour is a behaviour an individual undertakes out of interest, then clarifying the importance of interest would add to educator’s understanding of the impact of intrinsic motivation in learning. According to Ngwoke as cited in Umaru (2010), interest drives people to do what they are free to choose. When people see that something will benefit them, they become interested in it. Every interest satisfies a need.

In activities like identification, Drawing, Labeling, Syntheses, understanding and learning concept in Biology, interest leads one to know and learn more from the task. Interest adds enjoyment and makes the performance of activity or task more economical in terms of demand on limited cognitive resources. The interest students show in an activity or in an area of knowledge predicts how much they will attend to it (Papalia, Old and Feldman, 2002). To the researchers, Interest, therefore means an enduring trait expressed by a relationship between a person and a given task.

Interest is the factor that makes a students’ to pay attention to attributes and paying attention makes learning faster and better. The researchers’ experiences with adolescents in secondary schools indicate that most of them adopt role memorization and repetition strategies. These strategies have been observed not to be effective in learning, especially, when complex tasks are involved (Wood, Willoughby and Motz, 1998).

This weakness of stated strategies creates the need to expose students to a more effective strategy such as cooperative instructional strategy the low-achieving Biology students therefore, need special intervention if they must record success in dealing with Biology problems. Cooperative Instructional Strategy has been found, though not in Nigeria, to be effective tools for learning a variety of learning tasks, and if effectively used, can enhance achievement in such a tasks (Baron, 2004).

Effective in increasing academic achievement in all ability levels, gender and ethnic groups (O’Donnell, 2002) and Barron, 2004), Cooperative learning is also said to be effective in promoting higher thinking skills, problem solving abilities and greater meta-cognitive awareness and Interest in an academic endeavour (Woolfolk, 2004).Cooperative instructional

A nation that thinks lightly of education does so at it own peril. In this regard Ogundele (2000) observed that no nation rises above the level of its education and no educational system outgrows the quality and status of its teachers. He admitted that teaching is an activity driven exercise. It involves the passage or transfer of knowledge or ideas by the teacher to the learners.

Teaching and learning do not happen by chance, it takes processes, methods and strategies. As the teacher sets out to implement the curriculum contents at the classroom level, he uses a number of methods and strategies that will facilitate the learner’s understanding of the instruction given. It is however incontestable that the realization of the objectives of any teaching learning encounter will be an illusion if the teacher fails to use appropriate method and strategies.

What a teacher does in the classroom depends to some degree upon his approach to learning situations. Not fully appreciated by many educators is the importance of this initial step. Students’ negative attitude toward learning may be related to the method of instruction (Oyer, 2005), Organizing for effective teaching in science education is centered on certain factors  such as what to teach, when to teach  and how to teach that which is meant to be taught in a way that guarantees better understanding and also stimulates and motivate the learners.

Several methods of instruction have been employed for science teaching depending on the subject matter. varying factors ranging from learners socio-economic background, intelligence, quotient and attitude of learners to the teaching-learning process as well as the teaching methods and strategies adopted by teachers have linked to the performance of students in school.


Thus, successful teaching in science does not depend only on the teachers mastery of the subject matter but also the teaching strategies employed. Tawari (2006) observed that teaching methods that encouraged students are conspicuously lacking among teachers He maintained that the knowledge of Biology, Chemistry and Physics which have been crystallized into concepts, empirical laws and theories form the basis of our material comfort

Hence, science educators must adopt appropriate and more efficient methods and strategies for teaching the various science concepts to the learners in order to promote the learning of science subjects among students as well as ensuring that the much needed improvement in students’ academic performance is achievable.

Accordingly, research has shown that some collaborative teaching strategies such as cooperative learning, team teaching and peer tutoring have proved to be effective in boosting students’ academic performance in science education. It is therefore pertinent that science educators begin to adopt these collaborative strategies in science teaching for better academic performance among students.

strategy (CIS) is a strategy in which students are involved throughout the class time in activities that help them construct the understanding of the materials in a variety presented to them. According to Timberlake (2002), cooperative instructional strategy provides students the opportunity to engage in active interaction such as cognitive conflict, social construction and meta-cognitive in the learning process.


In this learning situation, the teacher no longer delivers a vast amount of information but uses a variety of hands-on activities to promote learning with students working in groups. The benefits of cooperative learning are not restricted to increases in academic achievement; increases in self efficacy, intrinsic motivation, decision making skills, empathy, tolerance for differences, feelings of acceptance, and even school attendance have also been reported (Odoh, 2013).

Hence this strategy of instruction has been suggested as an important means of enhancing learners’ interest and self-efficacy (Schunk, 1985). This is because when learning skills have been acquired through instructions, learners become more focused and approachable, and learn in a systematic manner. The acquisition of skills necessary for tackling learning problems is also believed to raise learners’ interest self-efficacyand belief for task accomplishment (Umaru, 2010).

1.2 Statement of the problem

It is an indisputable fact that students’ academic performance in schools has continued to dwindle over the years. This development has jeopardized the realization of set goals and objectives in our educational system and the teaching-learning process in schools.

The poor academic performance of students in most school subject including Biology is fast becoming a recurring decimal in the nations’ educational system. The situation has equally generated concerns among key stake holders in the sector who have apportioned blame among themselves. Parents point accusing fingers on teachers while teachers in turn blame their inefficiency on the lip-service and insensitivity of government to their plights.

It is the believe of most scholars that the success or otherwise of the teaching-learning process depends on the teacher. This is true because the teacher occupies a central position in the teaching learning process and whatever takes place in the process resolves around him or her.

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Consequently, the success of the teaching-learning process depends on a large extent on the methods and strategies adopted by the teachers. There is no gain saying that the continuous desire to improve students’ academic achievement in science subjects will remain an illusion and unrealistic if teachers fail to adopt modern teaching strategies. It is against this background. Therefore, that this study collaborative strategies and Student’s Academic Performance in Biology in Secondary Schools in Etim Ekpo  Local Government Area becomes imperative.

  • Purpose of the study

The main purpose of this study is to examine Collaborative Strategies and Students’ Academic Performance in Biology in Secondary Schools in Etim Ekpo  Local Government Area.

The specific purpose of this study include

  1. to examine the Academic Performance of Students taught using Cooperative learning strategy and those who adopt individual learning approach in Biology in secondary school in Etim Ekpo  Local Government Area.
  2. to examine the Academic Performance of Students taught using the team teaching Strategy and those taught by single instructor in Biology in Secondary Schools in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.
    • Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in line with the specific objectives of the study.

  1. To what extent does the use of co-operative learning strategy influence the academic performance of students in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo local government Area?
  2. To what extent does the use of the team teaching strategy influence the performance of student in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo local government Area?
    • Research hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated in line with the specific objectives of the study.

  1. The use of co-operative learning strategy has no significant influence on the academic performance of student in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo local government Area.
  2. The adoption of the team teaching strategy has no significant influence on the academic performance of students in Biology in secondary schools in Etim Ekpo local government Area.
  • Significance of the Study

The findings of the study will be of immense benefits to all and sundry in the educational sector in the following ways.

 – It will reflect the effects of collaborative strategies, co-operative learning and team teaching on students academic performance in school.

– It will help science educators and curriculum development to incorporate innovating teaching methods and strategies such as co-operation learning and team teaching into science curriculum for improved student’s academic performance.

– It will add to the body of existing literature in collaborative strategies and students academic performance

– Finally, the finding of this study will serve as a spring-board and a reference material for further research on collaborative strategies and students academic performance not only in Biology but other science subjects.

  • Delimitation of the study

This study was delimited to Collaborative Strategies and Students’ Academic Performance in Biology in Secondary Schools in Etim Ekpo  Local Government Area. Analysis was on Senior Secondary one (ss1) students in Secondary Schools in the Area.

  • Limitation of the study

The major factors that limit the scope of this study to senior secondary Schools students in Etim Ekpo  Local Government Area were insufficient fund, time frame for the completion of the research and the researcher’s academic work-lead among other factors.

  • Operational Definition of Terms

Collaborative:- Involving or done by several people, working together.

Strategy: A plan or method which can be use to achieve a particular purpose.

Cooperative learning:- A teaching- learning strategy in which learners achieve learning objectives by helping each other in a social  setting.

Individual learning:- This is a learning strategy which learners learn in isolation rather than as a group.

Team teaching: A teaching strategy where a subject, lesson or concept is being taught by two or more teachers to a group of learners.

Single instructor: A teacher who teaches a particular subject or lesson alone without collaboration with other teachers.

Academic performance: The measure of the extent which a learner understands a lesson or a lessons taught by a teachers through tests or examination.

Students:- A learner at the secondary school level.

Mr. Harrison

Project Gurus is a subsidiary website owned by Harrilibrary Integrated Services which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria that was established in 1990 vide Companies and Allied Matters Act no 1 1990 as amended, now on Act cap C20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria. Our aim and objective is to assist students all over the world on their educational research works. We are committed toward assisting students at all level of education in their academic work. We have a team of seasonal writers who are vested with the current knowledge in research work. For more information contact on via Email @[email protected] or WhatsApp us on +2348127963962

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