Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Effect of Gender on Basic Science Practical Skills of Lower Primary School Pupils

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Effect of Gender on Basic Science Practical Skills of Lower Primary School Pupils

Article excerpt

Abstract

Basic science prepares pupils to have solid foundation in science and builds them as future scientists. Lack of proper exposure to practical activities had been identified to be responsible for pupils' especially girls not developing appropriate practical skills needed for scientific and technological development. This study therefore determined the moderating effect of gender on Generative Instructional Strategy (GIS) and Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) instructional strategy efficacy in improving lower primary pupils' skills. The study adopted the pre-test, post-test, control group, quasi-experimentai research design. Three mixed primary schools were selected using simple random sampling technique. Primary three pupils from three intact classes with population between 25 - 35 pupils were purposively selected for the study. The instrument used for data collection was "Pupils' Basic Science Practical Skills Test" (PBSPST) which was designed to test learners' knowledge of Basic Science process skills. Data collected were analyzed using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and t-test. Results showed that there was no significant moderating effect of gender on pupils' practical skills in Basic Science when taught with GIS and POE instructional strategy (F= 0.27; P >0.05). The study concluded that practical skills should be constantly developed in male as well as in female pupils so as to improve Basic Science practical skills of lower primary school pupils

Keywords: generative, gender, practical skills, basic science, predict-observe-explain, process skill

INTRODUCTION

The development of any nation is indicated by the overall social, economic and political progress and dependent upon man's activities in his natural environment. These activities revolve around science and its technological applications. It therefore implies that for any meaningful national growth and development to be achieved, Science and Technology must be an essential part of the nation's culture (Nwagbo, 2006; Opara, 2004; Adeniyi, 2005). Indeed, Science and Technology is a critical instrument for the upliftment of the nation's economy. Hence, it should form the basis for development as well as an influencing factor of peoples' thinking and working processes. It is on this note that Ajayi (2009) stated that to achieve this, efforts must begin early in the life of Nigerian learners when fifty percent of the capability to learn would have been formed and not later, that is, at early childhood level.

The science process skills are the tools that students use to investigate the world around them and to construct science concepts, so it is essential for teachers to have a good understanding of these skills. The development of practical skills which is a science process skill should be a major goal of science education as a result of the search for scientific knowledge which is a process-oriented approach (Gayne, 1965; Awodi, 1984; Shaibu and Mari, 1997). These views influenced the emergence of a process-oriented science curriculum that emphasized the teaching and learning of science as " Science A Process Approach" (SAPA).

According to Brewer (2007), science is a process of observing, thinking and reflecting on actions and events, while Nelson (1996) opined that science teaching at all levels does not require direct teaching rather it required a lot of practice. In addition, Kilmer and Hofman (as cited in Iroegbu, 2012), sees science and its skills acquisition as knowledge about content, the process used to collect and evaluate information as well as the application of science to the problems of human adaptation to the environment. For Ross (as cited in Iroegu, 2012), children learn a lot of science skills such as observation or well thought out theories through play experiences, Iroegbu (2012), states that since children are naturally active and self-motivated, they learn best through play from personal experiences.

Generative instructional strategy is a practical activity-oriented form of instruction based on "philosophy of discovery", where learners formulate their ideas, fact and theories through their direct interaction and manipulation of objects, materials and apparatus in practical activities classroom (Wittrock, 1991). …

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