The study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of video in comparison with selected instructional media for teaching primary school pupils Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. It examined also the effect of gender and grade on the performance of the pupils taught with four instructional media. 240 pupils from 3 rural primary schools in Badagry Local government Area of Lagos State, Nigeria, were taught three topics drawn from Agriculture and Environmental sciences. The non-randomized quasi-pretest posttest experimental design was used in finding out which of the pupils in the four experimental groups - video, realia, charts and No instructional media performed best. The study revealed that the pupils taught with the video performed equally as well as those taught with real objects (Realia). While both groups performed significantly better than those taught with chart and without instructional medium. There was no significant difference in performance based on the gender. With regards to grade (Primary 5 and 6), only the group taught without instructional medium had a significant difference. The pupils in Primary 6 did better than those in Primary 5. The study concludes that video is as effective as the traditional teacher in teaching Primary school children Agriculture and Environmental issues. This confirms the assertion of many researchers of the potential of using video as an instructional medium in teaching varying subjects to adults, youths and children in the formal school system. The advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. The four methods that can be used by the teacher were recommended. An organisational structure in each state and video equipment needed for effective take off of the video programme in Primary schools in Nigeria were suggested.
Keywords: Video, Instructional Medium; Teaching, Children; Agricultural science and Environmental science.
Video is a potential window that can expose the minds and heart of many rural African children to modern Agricultural practices and Environmental concepts, far more than the traditional classroom teacher can achieve. Children and youths are so enthralled with home video films that they are described as video crazy (Akpabio, 2004). Their interest in watching home video films can be exploited in the formal school system in teaching Agricultural and Environmental practices in vivid and entertaining manner.
Enlightened and middle class parents would want to encourage their wards to migrate to the cities, to escape the poverty circle in the rural community in order to make quick money. This fuels the loss of agro-labour force. There are fewer young farmers and increasingly older farmers in the rural community. Agriculture is becoming less attractive to youths. Modern agricultural practices presented to children in an exciting manner through video could reverse this attitudinal tendency of the rural people on the long run.
In addition, conservation of soil and forest resources in the environment is not a priority concern for resource-poor farmers. Rural people are less bordered about Ozone layer depletion, desertification and depletion of forest resources due to "cut and burn" farm practices. Their main concern is on economic empowerment and improvement of the social infrastructure such as good primary health care and roads. A vivid motion picture through video of the long-term effect of their present bad practices could touch the soul of the children to convince their parents to adopt better farm practices that will sustain the resources for the incoming generation. Besides, the children and youths are likely to deviate from their parents' bad practices and take to environmentally sustainable/friendly behaviour.
There is a strong need for an alternative technique of teaching the children if the Millennium Development Goal of better environment and education for all in 2015 will be …