STUDENTS CHARACTERISTICS AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
This study was conducted in Oruk Anam Local Government Area to investigate students’ characteristics and learning of Biology among Secondary school students. Two research questions and two research hypothesis were raised in line with specific objectives of the study to give the study a direction.
A survey design was adopted in the study. The population of the study was made up of senior secondary one to two students in 2016/2017 academic session numbering about 2,307 in the eleven public secondary schools in the area. A sample of one hundred (100) respondents was drawn from five secondary schools using a simple random sampling technique.
Questionnaire titled “students characteristics Questionnaire (SCQ)’’ was used as an instrument for data collection. The data gathered from the respondents were subjected to statistical analysis using independent t-test statistics at 0.05 level of significance. The result from the analysis revealed that students with good study habits learn Biology academically better than those with poor study habits.
Also, it was indicated that students from advantaged (rich) home learn better than disadvantaged (poor) home in the learning of Biology. It was recommended among others that students inculcate good study habits and attitude that will enhance good learning of Biology.
STUDENTS CHARACTERISTICS AND LEARNING OF BIOLOGY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
1.1 Background to the study
Education is an instrument for national development. To this end, formulation of ideas, their integration for national development and the interaction of person and idea are all aspect of education. A student is the most important element in the teaching/learning setting because he is the one who learns. He is free agent who thinks, observes, measures and reacts to issues in his own world.
Day by day, he set his own goals, cultivates new values and learns to orientate himself to the existing social standard. The learner is not a passive entity. He enquires explores experiment and searches for truths. Depending on the strength of his curiosity, he undertakes self- analysis, examines the beliefs of the strength of his curiosity of his society and reaches out beyond the orthodox of his time.
He has enormous energy that drives him towards set goals. Sometimes, he drives to inquire, explore or experiment is restricted by social pressure to conform to the societal norms and values.
Students’ learning has a lot to do with others attitude. Students enjoy learning Biology and can learn very fast if their parents at home assist them to succeed. But before parent can help their children academically, they must be literate in the subject, that notwithstanding; each student maintains a measure of freedom and thus sees what he wants to see, hears what he want to hear and responds to environmental stimulus in the way that makes sense to him. He also draw conclusion and makes generalization about thing, based on his own unique nature and experiences. He also returns to get and remembers what he want to retain, forget or remember.
Each informed teacher values learning on child centered education is an approach to teaching. This approach recognizes the behaviour of such characteristics to the learning process. The characteristic of the student includes his trait as a Biological entity, his action and behaviour as a social being and his psychological properties as an intrapsychic being.
The learner is viewed from the background of self conscious biosocial entity (Adele, 2006), which has his behaviour and ways of responding to self and environment. His extent of learning readiness is predicted upon the quality of the behaviour and the appropriateness of his responses, reflecting on blooms taxonomy of knowledge, these behaviour are examined in point of view of the cognitive, affective and the psychomotor.
In that study that has become classic in developmental psychology, Morgan (2003) observed the activities of students and classified their social participation in three forms: the parallel activity, association activity and organized supplementary activity. He said that parallel activity describes situation in which a student plays besides others, but not with them. He does not openly influence them nor do they try to influence him.
In associative activity, student is more actively involved in the activity and play of other students. The students are engaged in activities that are identical or similar. Thus, it may affect the learning habit of other student. Okoye (2007) posited that this exist several predetermined activities noted and are observed on daily basis exhibited among student of the same age bracket of class which may influence or that are responsible for any given behaviour that is acquired by students.
Crandall (2008) maintains that most of these behaviour are the students self discovery innovation, observation of what other student or peers are doing and imitating. He describe this behavior as such which influence, decide, regulate and monitor student behaviour as inevitable influences.
To the researchers, this behaviour predetermines to a large extent the way in which student develop their abilities in the studies. Most students hardly differentiate their behaviour and the real study situation. Some do not really understand how to study, read what is taught in school or use instructional materials or model s during the learning process.
Cartel (2002) stressed that majority of students do not posses personal behaviour because playing and other activities have overwhelming their thinking. In other word, the learning process of a child is influenced by their activities outside academic work.
This clearly shows that the influence of peer group on the academic achievement of a student is linked to how the student association himself with peers that have educational activities and studies. It is against this backdrop that the researcher attempt to examine the students’ characteristics and learning of Biology among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The growing number of failure in Biology in public examination in recent times among our secondary student has become a cause of concern. Student characteristics are observed to be different among students. No two students are the same and not even twins.
This difference in student can be treated to any one or more of the following: intellectual differences, temperamental differences, home background differences, environmental and social differences. This variable determines the formulation of knowledge on which further knowledge would be built.
The researcher has also discovered the following problem which include societal ill and lack of motivation on student, hospitality and poor attitude to learning among peer group, lack of upbringing of a child in early group, Lack of qualified teacher to handle learning behaviour and focus on academic work, lack of constant academic competitive among students in secondary school. By this aforementioned, the researchers examine student’s characteristics and learning of Biology among secondary school student in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this is to examine the students’ characteristics and learning of Biology among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Examine the effect of students study habits and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- Examine the effect of students’ home background and learning of Biology in secondary school schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.4 Significance of the Study
It has been observed that characteristics play a vital role in student’s performance in secondary schools. Therefore, the finding will be significance as follows:
- It would in the creation of goals and sense of ambitious.
- It would guide and direct students to participate in the things that are necessary for academic purpose.
- It would re-direct the teacher to be aware of their responsibilities and adjust properly in their relationship with students to enable them develop interest in learning process.
- The study will be a benefit to the parent as it will keep them abreast with acceptable study habit of the children.
- It would help to encourage the student to work hand and think for a better career no matter the home background.
- It would help the career advisers in guiding students/pupils on realistic and meaningful academic matter.
1.5 Research Questions
For the purpose of analysis, the following research questions were formulated by the researcher to direct the study:
- Does students study habit affect their academic performance in Biology?
- To what extent does student’s home background influence their academic performance in Biology?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the study:
- There is no significant difference in learning between students with good study habits and those with poor study habits in biology in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
- There is no significant difference in learning between students from rich home and those from poor home in Biology in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
The following limitations were observed in the course of writing this research work:
Financial Constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and cost of transportation in the process of data collection.
Strike: Here, the researcher feel reluctant in conducting the study due to the prolong strike carried out in the institution. Also, the respondents especially in the rural areas did not respond to all items in the questionnaire.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This study is delimited to student’s characteristics and learning of Biology among secondary school students in Oruk Anam Local Government Area. Also, the study is restricted to Selected Senior Secondary One (SS1) students in the 2016/2017 academic session in the study area.
1.9 Definition of Terms
For the study of clarity, the researcher has decide to define the following terms used in the research study:
Students’ Characteristics: This includes the learners’ traits as a biological entity, action and behaviour as a social being and psychological properties of an individual.
Learning Process: This is defined as the sequence of study arrangement that aid understanding of any subject.
Study Habit: This refers to as those behaviors and procedure be it persistent permanent or temporary that a learner engages while in the course of acquiring knowledge.
Home Background: This are circumstances surrounding ones family, be it social class, experience, education etc.
Biology: The term biology is coined from two Greek words –bios meaning life and logos meaning to study, hence biology can simply be defined as the study of life. In other words, it is define as the study of plants and animals.