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Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

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The study was conducted to investigate the effects of instructional techniques on academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science in secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area. Two (2) research questions and hypotheses were formulated for the findings of the study. Quasi experimental design was adopted for the findings of the study.

Four (4) intact classes from four (4) secondary schools were selected to give a sample size of 120 students. Agricultural Science Achievement Test (ASAT) was used to generate data for the study. The test scores were analyzed using t-test method; and the results showed that all the calculated t-values were greater than the critical t-values.

This resulted in the nullification of the null hypotheses, which revealed that there were significant difference between academic performance of students in Agricultural Science taught with discussion and lecture techniques; demonstration and guided inquiry techniques.

It was recommended among others that, variety of instructional techniques should be employed to enhance effective teaching and learning process. 

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students



1.1   Background to the Study

Teaching is an interactive process through which knowledge and skills are shared with students, with a view to improve students understanding and ability to manipulate the social, economic, political and physical environment to enhance their survival Brown, (2010).

Ayot and Patel (2004), noted that, the main objectives of teaching are to bring about desirable learning in students. In this regard, students are expected to develop appropriate knowledge and skills, which are necessary for solving problems and improving humanities. In most cases, teacher initiates communication and influences students to think in a particular way as guided by the syllables.

However, whether the teacher authoritatively leads communication throughout the instructional process or whether the teacher takes up facilitation role is a matter of choice. Teachers’ training makes specific recommendations in favour of participatory exploratory approaches, the teacher’s efforts are often influenced by cognitive orientation in conjunction with the objectives of teaching learning process Flanders, (2011).

Instructional strategies are decision about organizing people, materials and ideas to provide learning Nwachukon, (2005). Weston and Cranston,(2007),viewed instructional techniques as both the teaching method and the materials used in the process of teaching. Instructional techniques determine the approach a teacher may take to achieve learning objectives.

Some of these instructional techniques include demonstration, discussion, inquiry and lecture among others. According to Saskachewan (2009), opined that instructional skills are the most specific category of procedural purposes and for structuring appropriate learning experience for students. These include such techniques as questioning, discussion, directing, giving, explaining and demonstrating. Hence, students learn by doing, making, writing, designing, creating and solving problems Davis, (2009).

Demonstration is the most widely used instructional techniques for the acquisition of practical skills as it involves active participation of the students, Ogwo and Orangu, (2006). Research findings by Ugwuanyi, (2000) on the effect of instructional approaches on student’s academic achievement indicated that, students taught with demonstration performed significantly better than those taught with inquiry techniques.

It is a process that students investigate and explain problems. Students collect and test data logically in order to discover why things happen the way they do. It is a student oriented strategy which requires active participation in questioning events and in putting several factors together (conceptualizing) to explore hypothesis or theory Saskatchewan, (2009).

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According to Obodo (2010), it is a method where the teacher could ask leading questions to guide the students to discover concepts. Ncharam, (2005) studied the effects of inquiry and lecture techniques on student’s achievement in Agricultural science and observed the performance in favour of guide require approach. Discussion technique is when two or more people interact verbally with each other.

It could be used deliberately in teaching and learning situation, but, sometimes it occurs spontaneously as a teacher uses one method of teaching or another. Discussion could be considered as a technique within a method Umoren, (2001). Discussion techniques afford every member of the class opportunity to articulate his views on a particular issue and learning discovered in the process tends to last longer than when learning is imposed on the students Etuk, (2004).

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

In time discussion, Udofia, (2004) maintained that the teacher’s contribution are very minimal and are made only when necessary. Lecture method involves a verbal presentation of ideas, concepts, generalization and facts. The practice in this method is that of spoon-feeding the learners with information or facts. The students remain passive and receive information from their teacher Umoren, (2001).

The selection of proper instructional strategy ensures the achievement of the stated instructional objectives effectively. Instructional techniques are used in the presentation of lesson to help  students learn by ensuring the smooth delivery of instruction. It is a process by which an instructional module, instructional phase or an entire course is delivered.

Problem-based instructional technique is now emerged, as an entrenched Akpan, (2008) learning method and the literature is full with the explanation of its development and implementation. It can be said that, the students in problem-based instructional technique engage themselves in finding more relevant materials and benefit more from active learning process. One reason which is repeatedly quoted for the implementation of problem-based instructional strategy is the dissatisfaction of conventional lecture-based instructional strategy.

The increasing pressure and criticism against conventional methods led the institution and teachers to adopt problem-based instructional technique as a new technique. The rapid explosion of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) created concern about the concept of problem-based instructional technique and it would become confused if any instructional technique, which mentioned the word “problem”, was considered as Problem-Based Instructional Technique (PBIT).

This has led to the debates about concept of PBIT to think that what is “pure Problem-Based Instructional Technique (PBIT)” and what is not Jones, 2009).

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

Merril, (2001) stated that, problem-based techniques involves the presentation of significant, complex and real-world problems to students, which are structured in such a way that there is no one specific correct answer or predetermined outcome in this approach, students work in small groups to negotiate a common understanding of the problem identify areas that need to be researched, form hypothesis and fully develop a solution that they can present to others.

Duch, (2007) defined Problem-Based Instructional Technique as the process that challenges students to “learn-to-learn”, working co-operatively in groups to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems are used to engage students’ curiosity and initiate learning the subject matter.

Problem-based instructional techniques prepares students to think critically and analytically, and find and use appropriate learning resources. Problem-Based Instructional Technique (PBIT) is a student centered instructional methodology through which content and skills are taught by using carefully crafted problems as the inducement for students activity.

It challenges students to look for solutions to real world problems by themselves or in a group rather than learn through lectures or textbooks. In Problem-Based Instructional Technique (PBIT), problems are selected to develop natural inquisitiveness of the students by connecting learning to daily lives of the students and emphasizing the use of critical and analytical thinking skill.

Skills in the selection and utilization of appropriate instructional techniques are required by the teacher for effective teaching. There is no best approach to instruction. Teaching effectively demands that the teacher most posses some basic ability to organize, co-ordinate and utilize personal qualities, objectives and competency in lesson preparation, presentation and evaluation.

Besides, he must be able to motivate the learners make students active participants in learning, use appropriate techniques and facilities to enhance effectiveness in instructions. Teachers are also expected to implement a variety of instructional techniques in order to meet the objectives of the programmes as well as to address individual student interest and needs Saskatchewan Education, (2009).

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

In view of the above stated problems of teaching and learning Agricultural Science, this study became necessary in Secondary Schools in Ukanafun L.G.A., and thus, make appropriate recommendations on better instructional techniques and skills for teaching Agricultural Science.

1.2   Statement of the problem

The techniques used by teachers in sharing knowledge with students is a factor influencing achievement of students at all tiers of the educational system. While appropriate instructional methods are likely to enhance learning achievements, inappropriate approaches are known to stifle knowledge retention and realization of learning objectives.

Consequently, aligning instructional techniques with the needs and preferences of students is considered important for higher learning achievement. More so, students who experience a mismatch between instructional techniques used during teaching and their preferred styles often feel that their learning needs are being addressed using an unfamiliar language. The mismatch poses a difficulty for some students in internalizing the materials delivered, leading to lower grades.

Similarly, it is indicated that students whose styles are not matched with instructional techniques that are chosen by teachers are less likely to develop interest in a subject, concentration level drops and learning achievement is greatly impaired.

Moreover, lack of proper approaches in most cases when students cannot easily follow the instructions, the lesson become boring and engender negative attitude and low interest to the students toward the course being taught. This eventually results in low academic achievement by the students.

It was noted that differences in the achievement of students has been attributed to teacher’s techniques of lesson presentation, whenever any individual is determined to succeed and is properly guided using effective strategy.

Instructional Techniques and Academic Achievements in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools Students

1.3   Purpose of the Study

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The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of instructional techniques on academic achievement in Agricultural science among secondary school students in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

Specifically, the study intended to determine the difference between the effects of:

  1. Discussion and lecture techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science.
  2. Demonstration and guided inquiry techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science.

1.4   Significance of the Study

This study and its findings will be of immense benefits to many agencies of educational system. It will provide knowledge base on the concept of instructional techniques to the teacher who are at the centre of teaching and learning process. It will be of importance to the teachers in that they will be able to select appropriate instructional strategies and materials to suit different lessons in Agricultural Science.

The findings of this study will be significant benefit to the educational stakeholders and curriculum planners in strategizing appropriate contents and techniques in order to achieve the set educational objectives.

The findings itself will serve as a resource material for future researchers and studies in related fields.

1.5   Research Questions

The study attempts to provide answers to the following research questions.

(i)  What difference exists between the effects of discussion and lecture techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science?

(ii) What difference exists between the effects of demonstration and inquiry techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science?

1.6   Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis was formulated to guide the researcher during the course of this study.

There is no significant difference between the effect of discussion and lecture techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science.

There is no significant difference between the effect of demonstration and inquiry techniques on the academic achievement of students in Agricultural Science.

1.7   Limitations of the Study

This study encountered some forms of limitations during the process of its findings, which includes;

Financial Constraints: The present economic recession in the country possess some financial problems which post serious challenge in assembling facts and materials for the findings of the study.

Poor access  Roads to Remote areas: Some of the schools in Ukanafun L.G.A. are located in very interior and remote area where roads are not motorable.

1.8   Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to instructional techniques and academic achievement in Agricultural Science among Secondary Schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area.

The Scope shall cover all the secondary schools in Ukanafun Local Government Area only. The findings of this study will be of benefit not only to Ukanafun Local Government Area but to Akwa Ibom State at large.

1.9   Definition of Terms

 In other to avoid ambiguity in the grammatical contexts in this study, the following terms are defined:

Instructional Techniques: It is the means of delivering instruction or lesson by the teacher to the pupils or students. It is a way in which information is presented to the students.

Academic achievement: This is the knowledge attained or skills develop in school. It is also the outcome of education, it is a process which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals.

Mr. Harrison

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