FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE AND INTEREST IN BIOLOGY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IZZI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE
Background to the study
Science is defined as the process of seeking new knowledge, new explanation and deeper understanding of nature. Hurd in Aghadiuno (2000) sees science as “the continuing process of seeking new knowledge, new explanation and deeper understanding of nature”. It has been observed that students’ performance and interest depend on the area where the student studies (Edeh 2003). With this in view, Agu (2000) stated that students in urban area perform better in Biology than those in the rural area because of their environment.
Taylor Green and Stout (1998) defined “Biology as the study of life”. Biological science covers all areas of knowledge that deals with observable facts and the relationship among those facts.
Ocho (2005) in his opinion also stated that science makes man while man makes the world. Aghadiuno (2000) stated that it provides the basis for modern technology and sources of power that makes our lives and work easier. Emerulu (1991) also stressed that it has been appreciated that with the study of science, a nation develops manpower in the field of agriculture, medicine, pharmacy, engineering and other forms of sciences. San Samuel in Aghadiuno (2000) also categorically stated that in a world based on science and technology it’s science education that determines the level of property, welfare and security of the people.
The nature of science education is also seen by Igwe (2003) also those essential characters of science education. Ratchtte (1998) in his own view stated that for one to understand of the nature of science education that person must have a good understanding of the nature of science curriculum and subject.
The importance of Biology is not far fetched from that of science in general, and this importance attached to Biology in secondary schools made the government to consider Biology as one of the compulsory subjects offered in senior secondary schools.
In view of this, students irrespective of their area (urban or rural) of studying should be given equal opportunity to gain deep knowledge of the subjects so as to improve on their performance in senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE).
Abudulaman in Obodo (1993) stated that the science teacher-student ratio in mathematics, physics and Biology in some selected schools in Lagos are 1:2:798 and 1:4:3297 respective. This means that teacher-student ratio is very high in science and Biology.
Ocho (2005) also stressed that shortage of suitably qualified teachers in quality and quantity can result to poor teaching and invariably poor generation of students.
Madu (2000) quoting Uchendu, in his view about causes of low performance of student on School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Biology to include lack of qualified teachers; poor teaching method, inadequate provision of laboratory facilities and students’ interest.
In line with the view of Madu (2000), there is tendency that government solution to the above problem centred only on the urban located secondary schools, neglecting those in the rural areas. As a result of this, students in the rural areas perform poorly when compared with their urban counterparts. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, attitude can be referred to as one’s feeling towards an idea or practice. It is also a way you think or behave towards something that shows how you feel about that.
In other words, an attitude may be regarded as disposition to act in a certain way, whenever there is the urge to do so. For instance a teacher may exhibit a hostile attitude towards a student when the child disobeys or does something wrong, this demonstrates the feelings or attitude towards the child’s behaviour.
Statement of problem
Observation has proved that there is a difference in students’ performance in Biology senior school certificate examination in Izzi Local Government Area.
This difference in their performance is as a result of some factors, which if not addressed, may constitute a problem especially in science and technology.
This research is set to find out the factors affecting students’ attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools.
Purpose of the study
This study is aimed at finding out the factors affecting students’ attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools.
Significance of the study
The findings of this research will help in providing solutions to the factors affecting students’ attitude and interest towards the learning of Biology.
The findings of the research will help to reduce the rate of failure on the part of the students in Biology examination in Izzi Local Government Area in particular and in Ebonyi State in general. This will be achieved by exposing their shortfalls in performance and the need for adequate laboratory facilities in our schools to enhance learning.
The study will be useful for Biology teachers, because it exposes those factors that hinder students’ interest and promote their positive attitude towards Biology. This will help the teacher in knowing the appropriate method of teaching to use in attracting students’ interest and promote the right attitude towards Biology.
Finally, the study will be beneficial to the society when the schools produce graduates that have acquired appreciable knowledge of Biology. Some of whom will concentrate in this area in their further studies while others will make useful living by it.
To achieve the objective of this study, the following research questions will guide the study:
- To what extent do teachers’ factors affect students’ attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools?
- To what extent does the method of teaching affect students’ attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools?
- how has students’ exposure to laboratory activities affect their attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools?
Scope of the study
The focus of this study is to find out the factors affecting students’ attitude and interest in Biology in secondary schools in Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. The scope is limited to all SS II students of the three selected schools. The number sampled was one hundred and fifty students (150).