This study investigated effects of advanced organizers on retention and performance in conservation concepts among secondary Biology students in Jahun, Jigawa State, Nigeria. One hundred and thirty seven (137) students were randomly selected from eleven (11) senior secondary schools that constituted the sample for the study from a total population of one thousand two hundred and twenty five (1225) SSII students in Jahun zone. The study adopted the pretest, post test and post-post test quasi experimental and control group design. The students in experimental group were taught using lecture method enriched with advanced organizers while those in control group were taught using lecture method for the period of six weeks. The topic taught was conservation of natural resources from senior secondary school curriculum. The instrument used for data collection was Conservation Concept Performance Test (CCPT) with reliability coefficient of 0.89. Four Research questions and four null hypotheses were formulated and tested using independent t-Test at 0.05 level of significance. Pictorial and textual advanced organizers were developed, also a lesson plan was developed for experimental and control groups. The major findings from the study include: obtaining a significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught without advanced organizers in favour of the former. There is also a significant difference between the mean retention scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught without advanced organizers in favour of the former. Another finding is that there is no significant difference between the mean academic performance scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers .There is also no significant difference between the mean retention scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers. Based on the findings it was recommended that advanced organizers be used by biology teachers to teach in senior Secondary Schools among others.
1.1 Introduction Science is a tool for national development and growth of nations. Odunusi (2001) observed that the economic and political strength of a country is always assessed in term of her achievement in science and technology. This is why the National Policy on Education (FME, 2014) emphasized on the provision of science education at all levels of education in Nigeria. The emphasis placed alongside with the important role it plays towards national development make it pertinent and practically necessary for science to be taught in an organized and well-structured pattern involving activities for both teachers and students (Ibrahim, 2012).
Science and Technology are used to solve human problems. Science is an active pursuit of empirical knowledge via the scientific method. Conant (1951) defined science as an interconnected series of concepts and conceptual schemes that have developed as a result of experimentation and observation. Ogunniyi (1986) viewed science as a field of study that is concerned with producing a scientifically literate society. It is an organized body of knowledge searching for meaning and explanation of events in nature. Abdullahi (1982) defined science as an activity culminating into testable, falsifiable and veritable body of knowledge. Also, Shaibu (2014) see science as a human activity that leads to production of a body of universal statements called laws, theories or hypotheses which serve to explain the observable behaviour of the universe or some aspect of the universe. The above definitions showed that science is not just collection of data and facts neither is it an assembly of sterile body of knowledge but that, it involves engaging in certain activities as well (Usman, 2000). It also helps us to understand the world around us. Science has many segments such as Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Biology. Biology is a life science that involves the study of plants and animals. The content ranges from microscopic organism to the biosphere in general, encompassing the earth’s surface and all living things. Some of the branches of biology include anatomy, morphology, cytology, genetics, entomology, parasitology among others. Ali (2006) opined that the teaching and learning of biology is very important to the development of any nation. Developing a nation involves the preparation of the populace for important careers in medical, paramedical, agricultural, industrial, population, wildlife control and environmental management, to mention but a few. Biology is the science that contributes to most of the major discoveries of 20th century and still will continue to do so in the 21st century as emphasis moves towards understanding of biological approaches and more eco-friendly synthetic systems such as forensic biology, environmental, soil and water biology (Webster, 2009). Neteinyin (2005) and Abubakar (2012) observed that Biology as a discipline has contributed tremendously to financial, physical and aesthetic benefits of mankind and to nation building.
Despite the importance of biology as a science subject, Nurudeen (2011) opined that the statistics of grades obtained by candidates in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) especially in Biology examination in recent years have not been encouraging. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Zonal Coordinator reported that 57% of candidates that sat for West African Senior Secondary School Examination (WASSCE) in the year 2012/2013 failed Biology. This also agrees with the report of Registrar and Chief Executive of National Examination Council (NECO) who said that 71% of candidates who registered for science subjects failed Biology. The importance of Biology as a valuable science subject is further emphasized in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board syllabuses (JAMB, 2010/2011), it is stipulated that a minimum of credit pass in Biology is required as one of the criteria for admitting candidates aspiring to study science and science-related courses in tertiary institutions. Unfortunately, the numbers of candidates with a minimum of credit pass in Biology have not been encouraging.
Some of the reasons for failure of students in examination were attributed to the methods of teaching adopted by the teachers in teaching Biology, which is mostly lecture method, and it is not recommended for teaching science (Lakpini, 2012).This is because lecture method entails one way flow of communication from the teacher to the students and it is teacher – centered approach where by most of the talking is carried out by the teacher while the students remain passive listeners taking notes, thereby denying the students the opportunity to develop the required manipulative skills needed in learning science (Fubert & Wheeldon , 2009). The use of lecture method is attributed to the fact that the school calendar in Nigeria is often interrupted by industrial actions and public holidays, and there is a need for completion and covering of the syllabus to prepare the students for both external and internal examinations, hence the use of lecture method which is less time consuming and it can be used to teach large and small class size (Ashaolu, 2014). Other factors contributing to the failure may be connected to the way in which the teachers introduce their lesson at the beginning of each topic or unit, hence the need by the teachers to change their pattern of introduction, lack of or insufficient laboratory facilities and equipments, psychological factors such as anxiety, low self-esteem among others (Olatunji, 2015). Ausubel (1963) believed that lecture method was effective for verbal presentation of concepts and ideas to the students. Despite all these problems associated with lecture method, many researchers have found combining lecture method with other strategies to be very effective in improving students’ performance.
Olajide (2010) found enriching lecture method with analogy to be effective in improving student’s performance and retention of biological concepts. Oyarole (2014) combined lecture method with collaborative learning strategy and it proved to increase student’s performance. Enhancing of lecture method with concepts mapping strategy also improves students retention, anxiety and motivation (Ado, 2013).Therefore this study used advanced organizers, which is a kind of enrichment to the lecture method that serves as a link between what the learners know at the beginning of the lesson and the intending learning outcomes to be taught for meaningful learning to occur as well as enhancing retention of the concepts by the learners.
Although, the questions from conservation concepts in the biology examination were not enough to conclude that the failure in the national examination was due to failure in conservation concepts, but due to the relevance of conservation to life, it become imperative to intimate the students in a way that they will understand very well about the consequences of exploiting the natural resources in the environment, this prompted the researcher to make use of advanced organizers in teaching the students the concepts of conservation.
Conservation is the act of wise and sustainable use of resources available in a given environment (Tiseer & Bello, 2011). Natural resources are useful and finite attribution of environment. They are like money in the bank: they are available for human use if they are withdrawn (Etim, 2006). The Natural resources may be renewable and non-renewable in nature; they include Forest, Soils, Water, Air, Solar energy, Fossil fuel, Biodiversity among others (Tiseer& Bello, 2011). The notion of natural resources is however reflective of the economic social and cultural scientific and technology advancement of a given society (Etim2006). Planning or conserving is one of the mechanisms to facilitate such withdrawing and prudent planning must be predicated on or understanding of the characteristic of the research themselves. Conservation of natural resources is part of environmental education. Obianuju (2011) sees environmental education as a process that equips students or learner with knowledge, skills, values and practices needs to live in their environment. Human activities cause serious damages to earth environment including the resources and threaten the future of human and other species.
Poopola (2010) defined academic performance as an expression used to present students’ scholastic standing and which is a function of various factors such as method of teaching, teacher qualifications, students home background, school environment, attitude, interest among others. Performance is defined as the observable or measurable behaviour of a person an animal in a particular situation usually experimental situation. This means that performance measures the aspect of behaviour that can be observed at a specific period. To determine performance, a performance test is conducted. Abu rabia (2013) defined performance test as the type of mental test in which the subject is asked to do something rather than to say something. Performance test is the type of test which throws light on the ability to deal with things rather than symbols (Diver, 2012). Aikenhead (2005) and Usman (2008) observe the degree of Academic performance of a student is directly related to the quality of teaching technique they receive and it determine the quality of knowledge impacted and material learned. Lakpini (2006) observed that a good number of teachers are highly deficient in the subject they teach and hence leads to poor performance and retention of concepts. Retention is the ability to store things experienced or learned. It can also be described as a form of reaction which has been presented in the past. In other words it is a result of orientation or attitude which marks an ongoing perception (Bawa, 2011). According to Olanrewaju (2012), retention is the ability to store learned concepts which can be easily be recalled from the short and long term memory. Appropriate coding of information provides the index that may be consulted so that retention takes place without an elaborate search in the memory lane (Saidou, 2013). Retention according to Isah (2014), Wachanga (2013) and Agbeyenku (2011) has been found to improve the academic achievement of students in Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. Advanced organizers help in the retention of learned concepts by providing anchorage between what the students already know and the intending learning task to be presented the learner, it is also a gender friendly.
Gender is one of the factors affecting the performance of students in science. Studies confirmed the superiority of female students’ performance over male student (Shaibu & Mari; 1997). Yet others found no significant difference between male and female students performance (Prince, 1993; Bello 1996; Nussbaum, 2000; Danmole and Addayi; 2004 ;). Wachanga et al. (2003) also observed that there is a significant different in the performance of male and female when expose to advance organizer. Adegwe (2000) attributed differences in learning ability of boys and girls to socialization process because girls are denied out of school and pre-school experience. Ali (2006) argued that female students learn concepts better than boys when the concepts are supported by pictures and graphs. This research intends to use statement and pictorial advanced organizers on learning of conservation concepts to see if there will be any effect between male and female performance. The concept of Advanced Organizer refers to information presented by an instructor that help the students organize new incoming information (Mayer & Richard, 2003). Ausubel (1968) as cited in Kirman & Shaw (2007) defined advanced organizers as: Appropriate, relevant and inclusive introductory materials… introduced in advance of new learning… and presented at a higher level of abstraction, generality and inclusiveness. Then the information presented after it… The organizers serve to provide the ideation scaffolding for the stable incorporation and retention of the more detailed and differentiated materials that follow.
Ausubel (1968) also explained that advanced organizers are not the same as summaries or overviews, which comprise text at the same level of abstraction as the material to be learned, but rather are designed to bridge the gap between what the learner already knows and what he needs to know before he can successfully learn the task at hand. An advanced organizer is a statement of inclusive concepts to introduce and sum up material that follows (Woolfolk, 2011). An advanced organizer is information that is presented prior to learning that can be used by the learner to organize and interpret new incoming material (Mayer, 2003).According to Kirkman & Shaw (2007) there are two categories of advanced organizers: expository and comparative organizers. Expository organizers function to provide the learner a conceptual framework for unfamiliar materials and comparative organizers are used when the knowledge to be acquired is relatively familiar to the learner. Hence, familiarity with the new materials is key to determining which type of organizers you will want to use. Dell (2007) pointed that advanced organizers whether expository or comparative can take many forms these includes text-based advanced organizers, visual or graphic advanced organizers. Advance organizer whether expository or comparative can take many forms. Simple Text or Statement, Graphic/visual organizers, task planner, Behavioural objectives.
1.1.1 Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework for this study is rooted in David Ausubels’ Theory of Meaningful Learning. He put forward that the construction of new knowledge is facilitated by the availability of prior ideas in the cognitive structure. A key concept in Ausubel learning theory (1962; 1963 and 1978) was that new knowledge will mean something to a learner and will be remembered when it is connected to preexisting knowledge (i.e. what is already known by the learner). The presence of relevant, clear and stable prior experience in the learners’ cognitive structure facilitates meaningful learning (Ausubel, 1960).In 1968, Ausubel introduced the concept of subsumption model as a pedagogical device in which central and highly unifying ideas are stated in terms of what is already familiar to the learners to which the learner can relate new ideas by subsumption. Ausubel argues that when current knowledge interacts with relevant background knowledge in the cognitive structure and is assimilated it forms a new knowledge structure. This new knowledge based on cognitive structure develops through the process of meaningful learning, thereby becoming more complex and helping students to solve problem. Ausubel proposed the use of advanced organizers in the absence of prior knowledge by the learner. These advanced organizers now serve as a prior knowledge or the pre-acquired ideas that will be a link between a new concept to be learnt and the prior knowledge present in the learner cognitive structure.
Ausubel distinguished two types of learning as ―rote‖ and meaningful learning. According to Ausubel (1963) when one encounters completely new unfamiliar material then rote learning as opposed to meaningful learning take place. Ausubel theory is therefore concerned with how individual learn large amount of meaningful materials from verbal or textual presentation in a school setting. This research work is therefore concerned with the meaningful learning theory of Ausubel by providing advanced organizers to the students and see that if it will enhance the Academic performance and retention in conservation concepts among biology students in jahun educational zone, Jigawa, Nigeria. 1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over the years there has been an upsurge in the number of candidates sitting for national examinations both WAEC and NECO and particularly biology papers as contained in Table 1.1. However the WAEC and NECO result obtained by candidates has been abysmal and do not justify the popularity observed by researchers. The use of talk-and-chalk method of teaching leads to memorization of facts and concepts and there is the need to find out the effectiveness of other teaching methods and strategies, relative to the traditional approach (Mankilik, 2007; Olorukooba, 2002 and Adesoji & Ibrahim, 2009). Ali (2008) feels that the major difficulty in learning science is the method by which the subject is being taught without regard to instructional materials, students’ ability level to understand and to retain. Novak (2005) observed that teaching students to use memory strategies by employing appropriate teaching strategy will not only improve student thinking skill on complex task of production, modeling, experimentation and evaluation, but will also assist learners to attain deep understanding of conceptual knowledge and will result in developing cognitive domain and retention of concepts. Afolabi (2005) and Salawu (2009), Abimbade (2007) and Njoku (2004) found that use of multimedia learning strategy has been useful in the teaching and learning of science subjects at secondary school level. By teaching students with models, they learn more, interact with each other better and can conceptualize the concepts better than cooperative learning without models. Omosewo (2009) concludes that any study carried out on teaching methodology cannot be a wasted effort. This is because the teaching-learning situation must be crowded with reputable method before an effective communication can bring about ideal permanent change. Obiamju (2011) observed that human behavior causes serious damages to environment including the resources which threatens the future of human and other species hence the need for conservation of the resources. Wachanga (2013) observed that many research works on advanced organizer teaching approach have been conducted in Kenya, yet little has been done on it in Nigeria, especially in Biology. This research work therefore, will find out if the application of advanced organizers as enrichment of lecture method will help to improve the performance and retention of senior secondary Biology students whose performances are found to be poor as indicated in Table 1.1. 1.3 Objectives of the Study The objectives of the study are to:
1. determine the effect of advanced organizers on students’ performance in conservation concepts.
2. find out the effect use of advanced organizers on the retention ability of secondary school Biology students in conservation concepts.
3. investigate the difference between the performance of male and female students in conservation concepts when treated with Advanced Organizers.
4. find out the differences between retention level of male and Female students in conservation concepts when treated with Advanced Organizers.
1.4 Research Questions The following research questions guided the conduct of the study:
1. What is the effect of advanced organizers on the performance of secondary school Biology students in conservation concepts?
2. What is the difference between mean retention scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught with conventional lecture method?
3. What is the effect of advanced organizers on the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts using Advanced Organizers?
4. What is the effect of advanced organizers on mean retention scores of male and female Biology students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers?
1.5 Null Hypotheses The study has the following null hypotheses formulated to guide the study at p≤ 0.05: HO1 There is no significant difference between the post test mean scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught using conventional lecture method. HO2 There is no significant difference between the postpost test mean scores of students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers and those taught using conventional lecture method.
HO3 There is no significant difference between the post test mean scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers? HO4 There is no significant difference between the postpost test mean scores of male and female students taught conservation concepts with advanced organizers. 1.6 Basic Assumptions The study has the following basic assumptions:
1. That all the students participated in the research have been taught elements of conservation in their Basic science subjects at junior secondary school level.
2. That all the schools under study operate the same curriculum.
3. Qualified teachers teach Biology in all the schools under study.
1.7 Significance of the Study The findings of this research work will hopefully assist in raising the standard of science education in general and Biology as a subject in particular in the following ways:
1. Biology Teachers: The findings of the research will hopefully help them to make effective use of advanced organizers in teaching conservation concepts in accordance with the students level of perception .It will help them to plan sequence and organize properly the concepts of conservation in order to enhance and encourage students to avail themselves to the learning opportunities that are available in the study of conservation of natural resources in their environment.
2. Curriculum Planners and Administrators: the study will hopefully avail them with necessary information that may be important when curriculum review is needed.
3. Professional Organizations: such as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN), West African Examination Council (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) and Federal Education Resources Centers as well as Federal and State Ministries of Education, will also benefit from this study.
4. Researchers: The research findings will hopefully be of assistance in similar area of study and other science subjects to adopt or adapt it for their own studies and come up with additional knowledge by improving on the existing literature.
5. Environmental Protection Agencies: The outcome of the research work will also assist various conservation and environmental bodies such as Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA), Federal Ministry of Environment to understand how younger generation understands the concept of conservation for policy and decision making.
1.8 Scope of the Study
In the study, the researcher investigated the effects of advanced organizers on academic performance and retention of senior secondary Biology students in Jahun Educational Zone, Jigawa State. Jahun is one of the 27 local government areas in Jigawa State; it is located in the northern part of the state close to Niger republic where desertification is flowing inward in to the state, as such it is considered as one of the ecologically fragile local governments in the state. pictorial and textual organizers package were developed by the researcher which consists of various maps, pictures and charts related to conservation of resources were used as advanced organizers in the study. All schools to be studied in the Zone were public secondary schools and the participants of the study were senior secondary school II (SS II). This is because SS II students were readily available for the research as SS III students were preparing for their final examination, Also the SS II curriculum contents has the aspects of ecology in which conservation of natural resources are discussed. The topic chosen was conservation of natural resources; the contents were soil conservation, Biodiversity (Animal species) conservation, Forest and wetlands conservation.
These intense human activities and high population family contribution to increase the flood risk potential of the study area. Moreover, the physical attribute of the study area in terms of its relief, geology and soil also favor flood occurrence. Hence proffering solution to the flood situation in the study area would involve an in depth understanding of this socio-economic and physical attributes.
Flood occurrences are always occurring in rainy or wet season from April to September. Most areas that are more prone to flood are high relief areas which are peneplain in nature. They include; Okigwe road, Omuma road area, faulks road area, Ariaria market area, ngwa road area, ohanku road area, over rail-areas, and most areas in osisioma.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There is indeed urgent need to provide reliable solution to the occurrence of flooding in Aba urban Area, the study area. Therefore, attempts shall be made to provide answers to the following questions which will arise in the study.
The physical nature of the study area Aba urban and how it encourages flood occurrences.
The diverse causes of flooding in Aba urban and the most affected areas.
How these floods can be effectively controlled, eliminated or even avoided to avert its impact on human activities in the study area.
1.3 AIM AND THE OBJECTIVES
This research is aimed at assessing the nature and causes of flooding in Aba urban Area, and to provide reliable and sustainable solutions to flood occurrences in Aba urban Area. To achieve this, the following objectives are set for the research:
1. To determine the factors that are responsible for flooding in Aba urban Area.
2. To find out the flood prone areas in Aba urban Area.
3. To present a flood risk map of Aba urban Area.
To assess the major impacts of flooding in Aba urban Area.
To study with a view to establishing reliable control and management measures of flood hazards in Aba urban Area.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. What are the factors that are responsible for flooding in Aba urban Area?
2. Where are the flood prone areas located in Aba urban Area?
3. What are the major impacts of flooding in Aba urban Area?
4. What control and management measures of flooding are more reliable for managements of floods?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The following are the significance of this research; as the research is supposed to solve the following needs;
1. To be able to identify causes and sources of flooding in Aba urban especially in Aba south, Aba north and osisioma.
2. To assess the effects and discomfort there flood can have on individuals.
3. To enlighten the public on the dangers of floods and its destructive nature on life and property.
4. To serve as a base for more research work on the problems and prospects of flooding in urban Areas of the world.
5. To identify and map the various flood prone areas in Aba urban.
1.6 THE STUDY AREA
Aba Urban Area is located in southern part of Abia state in south eastern Nigeria. Aba Urban is located within latitude 5002’ N to 5010’ N and longitude 7017’ E to 7025’ E. Aba Urban Area is bounded by the rural communities of osisioma on the west and north, it bounded by Obingwa rural communities on the east and Ugwunagbo rural communities on the south.
Climate of Aba urban Area is made up of climate variables such as rainfall, temperature, humidity and wind system in the area.
Aba urban Area and its environs experiences intense rainfall especially in the rainy or wet season. Rainfall is present all year and with and annual total of 2000mm-2300mm, with monthly average of about 180mm. This intense rainfall is induced by excessive evapourtranspiration in the urban Area due to prevalent high temperature.
Temperature experienced in Aba Urban is very high with an average daily temperature of about 28’c in the dry season and about 24’c in the wet season. The study area has low temperature range. The temperature situation is caused by study areas perpendicular position to the sun, since it is located in the sub-equatorial climate region.
Relative humidity in the study area is also high, reaching about 80% in the wet season and 70% in the dry season. Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can hold at that particular temperature.
1.6.3 VEGETATIONAL ATTRIBUTES
The vegetation of Aba Urban Area falls within the rainforest vegetation belt. Trees found in this area are very tall, characteristics of the rainforest vegetation zone. These trees are about 30metres tall. These trees are evergreen with branches which interlace themselves to form canopies. The trees are close to each other in pure stands. This arrangement prevents intense rainfall and temperature from impacting directly on the soil. Trees found within the study area include; Iroko, Obeche, Oil palm mahogany etc.
1.6.4 SOIL AND AGRICULTURE
Soil of any geographical area to a far extent determines the nature and type of agricultural practice that the environment would adopt.
Aba urban Area and its environs have predominantly sandy and loamy soil which is a characteristic of coastal areas. This two soil types have relatively high porosity, infiltration capacity and low water retention capacity.
Unprecedented loss of agriculture land use space has intensified agriculture in this area. Continuous cropping is the predominant agricultural practice in Aba and its environs. Crops cultivated include; yam, cassava, maize, cocoa, Oil palm etc.
1.6.5 GEOLOGY RELIEF AND DRAINAGE
The geology of Aba Urban Area and the adjourning areas is made up of the coastal plain sand due to the areas proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Aba Urban has a low and relatively even topography which could also be called Peneplain. Its lowest relief is along the Aba River with about 12metres (40 feet) and the highest relief is about 21metres along Portharcourt-Aba express way near Alaoji area in Aba. Aba Urban Area is mainly drained by the Aba River and other streams such as Okpuloumuobu stream etc.