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Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools

Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools

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The purpose of this study was to examine instructional techniques and the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ibeno L.G.A. two research questions were raised to guide the study. Survey research design was adopted for the study. The population for the study were all the eighteen Biology teachers in the study area. All the eighteen (18) Biology teachers were used as the sample size because the population was not much.

The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire, while the data collected were analysed using mean and standard deviation. The result revealed that peer to peer instruction has negative effect on the teaching of Biology. It was also revealed that concept mapping technique enhance the teaching of Biology in secondary schools. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that concept mapping instructional technique should be adopted by Biology teachers in order to promote classroom interaction among students.



1.1  Background of the Study

The nation’s overall development is inextricably tied to its educational system since education is a light that shows mankind the right direction to surge. Education can also be described as an engine for the growth and progress of any society. It does not only impart knowledge, skills and indicates values, but it is also responsible for building human capital which breeds, drives and sets technological innovation and economic growth (Osakinde, 2010).

According to Johnson (2017), education in its broadest meaning is any process by which an individual gains knowledge and insight or develops attitudes or skills. It is an experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. It can also be seen as a process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, values, norms, traditions, and skills from one generation to another (Holmes, 2010).

However, these functions of education can only be achieved when the teachers employ can only be achieved when the teachers employ appropriate instructional techniques. According to Tebabal and Kahssay (2011), the primary purpose of teaching at any level of education is to bring about a functional change in the behavior of an individual. To facilitate the process of knowledge transmission, teachers should apply appropriate instructional techniques that best suit specific objectives of the lesson.

Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools

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According to Kimwori (2014), instructional techniques are the variety of ways in which a learning task is managed in order to facilitate the learning process. It can also be referred to as the ways of conducting the actual teaching in the classroom. Keene (2012), defined instructional techniques as the general principles pedagogy and management strategies used for classroom instruction, such as peer to peer instruction and concept mapping.

Anderson (2012), opined that no specific instructional technique is generally accepted for instruction. Ndirangu (2011), opined that the choice of a particular teaching method to be adopted by a teacher is determined by number, of factors which include; the lesson to be taught, the objectives of the lesson which the teacher plans to achieve, the availability of teaching resources, the ability and willingness of the teacher to improvise if conventional teaching aids are not available, evaluation techniques and the learner’s individual differences.

Ayeni (2011) opined that teaching is a process that involves bringing about desirable changes in learners so as to achieve specific outcomes. In order for the instructional techniques used for teaching to be effective, Adunola (2011), maintained that the teachers should be master all the teaching techniques because no suitable teaching or instructional techniques is recommendable to the teachers, but the methods to be used at a particular time depends on so many  factors.

According to Adunola (2011) who discovered that there is a relationship between teaching methods and the teaching effectiveness among the teachers which also influence the academic achievement of students. Keene (2012) opined that there is something in teaching that opens the gate of learning. Though it is true that successful learning depends on various factors that are not teacher-related, but the techniques that a teacher uses continue to play an important role is students’ learning and in the teaching effectiveness of a teacher.

Etuk and Udosen (2019) categorized instructional techniques into two broad groups which are; conventional instructional techniques and psychologically based teaching techniques. The conventional teaching techniques are those techniques of teaching which has been in use over the years by a classroom teacher. Examples of conventional instructional techniques includes: lecture technique, discussion techniques, field trip and simulation technique of teaching.

Psychologically based instructional techniques are methods of teaching based on psychological principles consequent upon numerous research findings that emphasize individual differences, interests, needs, motivations and so on as major consideration in teaching. Instructional techniques that are connected to psychologically based teaching techniques includes; Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), team and individualized teaching.

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Moreover, Ndirangu (2011), maintained that instructional techniques could also be classified as teachers’-centered and learners’-centered.

Etuk and Udosen (2019) opined that teachers’-centered technique of teaching should be abolish in the educational system. Finding revealed that appropriate instructional techniques play significant role in enhancing students’ academic performance, this motivated the researcher to examine instructional techniques and the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.

Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools

1.2   Statement of the Problem   

Biology is an important subject because its knowledge is applicable in most science related careers such as medicine, agricultural science. The study of Biology provides students with basic life skills and processes that help to prepare them to become productive members of the society. With this importance of the subject, it is necessary that the teachers who are the implementers of the curriculum utilize the most effective methods, approaches, strategies and techniques to get the students to perform optimally in the subject.

How can the teachers know which of the techniques is most effective? There has to be an analysis of the various techniques known in the teaching of Biology. This assessment is therefore bound to expose which is more effective not only in terms of students’ performance but also in terms of the teachers’ ability to adapt to the technique with ease while ensuring that their students can perform well. This study is poised to investigate how teaching strategies adopted by biology teachers in Ibeno Local Government affect the teaching of the subject in the area.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of this study is to examine instructional techniques and the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ibeno Local Government Area.  Specifically the study aimed at;

(1)  Examining the effects of peer to peer instructional technique on the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.

(2) Examining the effects of concept mapping instructional technique on the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.

1.4   Research Questions

The following research questions were formulated to guide the study.

(1) To do what extent does peer to peer instructional technique affects the teaching of Biology in secondary.

(2) To what extent does concept mapping instructional technique affect the teaching of Biology in secondary schools?

1.5   Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be beneficial to the teachers, students, educational stake-holders and other researchers in the following ways: The teachers will see the need of mastering all the instructional techniques so that they will utilize them when necessary.

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The findings of this study will also be of help to the students in that when the teacher makes use of suitable instruction technique, it will improve the academic performance of the students. The educational stake-holders will see the need of organizing in-service training programmes such as workshops and conferences to the teachers in other to update their knowledge on instrumental techniques. Also, this paper will serve as reference point to others researchers who like to conduct a research on the same or similar topic.(Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools )

1.6  Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to instructional techniques and the teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Ibeno Local Government Area. The population of the study is all the Biology teachers in the study area. The sub-variables are peer to peer instruction and concept mapping.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

The following challenges were confronted by the researcher in the course of conducting this study.

(1) Financial Constraint: High cost of transportation to visit the selected schools for this study was a great challenge.

(2) Time factor: The period of time given for the completion of this study was not enough because there were other school activities for the researcher as at the time of this study.

(3) School Location: Most of the schools visited by the researcher were located in the riverine area, so crossing the river on boat was another challenge.

Instructional Techniques and the Teaching of Biology in Secondary Schools

1.8   Definition of Terms

The following terms were defined:

(1)    Instructional techniques: These refer to the variety of ways in which a learning tasks is managed in order to facilitate the learning process.

(2)    Teaching: This is the process of transferring knowledge from one person to another.

(3)    Peer to peer instructional technique: This is an instructional technique whereby students share their idea among themselves.

(4)    Concept Mapping Instructional technique: This refers to technique of instruction where by the teacher mapped or link or show how ideas are connecting to one another.

(5)    Biology: This is a pure science subject which deals with the study of plants and animals.


Mr. Harrison

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