Teachers' Quality, Instructional Strategies and Students' Performance in Secondary School Science

Article excerpt

The study examined the instruction between two independent variables of Teacher Quality and Instructional Strategy on Students Performance in Secondary School Science. In trying to examine the problem of this study, three null hypotheses were generated for testing at 0.05 level of significance Factorial Analysis of variance design with one dependent variable and two independent variables at two levels.

The t-test was used in the analysis of the result. One hundred and twenty Senior Secondary School Three (S.S.S. III) Students and Twelve Biology Teachers randomly selected from six Schools in Ethiope East and Ukwuani Local Government Areas of Delta State were used as subjects for this. The result showed that the variables of teacher quality and instructional Strategy had positive significant relationship with achievement in science. Moreover, it was found that Teacher quality and Instructional strategy were two non-separate interactive independent variables in science Education. Thus, efforts should be made by all concerned with teachers' recruitment, training, certification, and science Education in general to ensure that these two variables are properly integrated into the teaching and learning of Science subjects in Secondary Schools.

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Teachers are important in any educational system. This is because the quality of teachers in any educational system determines to a great extent the quality of the system itself. Professional teachers in particular are crucial to the formulation and successful implementation of education policies in any country. This has explained why our National Policy on Education N.P.E. (2004) stressed the need to accord Teacher Education a prominent place in educational planning. The policy further maintains that among other things the goal of teacher education should be:

1. To produce highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our educational system.

2. To provide teachers with the intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment.... (N.P.E., 2004).

To Peters (1977), quality is the basic and indispensable feature of a thing, which differentiates it from other things. The presence of that characteristic feature to a high degree marks it out as a "thing of high quality". On the other hand, the absence or the thing to a low quality status. For example, the characteristic of a high quality science teacher relates to those attributes that enhance the fitness and efficiency of that teacher in performing the duties that are associated with science teaching. That is, a high quality science teacher is one who can competently achieve the objectives of science education.

At this point it will be pertinent to state that a professional Science Teacher is a professionally prepared teacher in contents and methods of teaching any of the Science subjects (i.e Biology, Physics, Chemistry) thereby acquiring a professional, degree in Science Education with special reference to any of the science subjects. For example, a professional University degree Biology Teacher is expected to have a B.Sc. in Education with Biology as the major subject of specialization. Other acceptable qualifications are B.Sc. (Hons) Biology with a post--graduate Diploma in Education (P.G.D.E.), and Nigeria Certification of Education (N.C.E.) with Biology in combination with any other Science subjects (such as Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics etc). Any other teacher with qualifications outside the above one can be categorized as a non-professional Biology Teacher. The classroom efforts of these two categories of teachers will be examined in this study.

Peretomode (1992) quoting Unachukwu (1990) Clark and Star (1967), stated that a teacher in professional usage is a person trained or recognized and employed to help learning in classroom situation in order to achieve set educational goals. In most developing countries like Nigeria, the past thirty years has witnessed an unprecedente increase in the number of students enrolled in all levels of our educational system. …