BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Laboratories have made this world very advanced and scientific in its purposes. In a laboratory or field learning environment, students work individually or in small groups on a question, problem or hypothesis. They use the processes and materials of science to construct their own explanation of biological phenomena (Dahar&Faize, 2011). The distinction between laboratory or field learning and traditional classroom learning is that activities are student-centered, with students actively engaged in hands-on, minds-on activities using laboratory or field materials and techniques. This has been known to enhance learning in science and improve the understanding level of students (Tobin, 1990; Hodson, 1993; Hofstein&Lunetta, 2004).
School facilities have been observed as a potent factor to quantitative education. The availability and utilization of laboratory facilities are essential for effective teaching and learning of Chemistry and consequently a good performance in students. According to Akande (1985), learning can occur through one’s environment – facilities that are available to facilitate students learning outcome. Students can master better the basic concepts of Chemistry when they can learn by doing. Appropriate facilities, equipment and adequate utilization of same are of necessity if school science course is to be successful. This implies that practical should function as the primary learning experience. Green (1989) identified one of the problems of the Chemistry teacher during the teaching process as the provision of specimens in a laboratory class which can hamper or enhance the effective teaching of the subject. Consequently, it is not enough to establish laboratories, but also to equip them with appropriate materials as much as possible to allow for individual student work or else it will be a situation of ‘a tourist with a car but without money to buy petrol’. This is an analogy of the effect of an ill-equipped laboratory on the performance of students who have good intentions to learn science. Utulu (1998) conducted a study to evaluate the adequacy of laboratory equipment as well as the distribution of the equipment in secondary schools in urban and rural areas of Edo State and concluded that laboratory and workshop equipment were inadequately provided and that there was an imbalance in the provision of laboratory equipment between urban and rural secondary schools in Edo State. This, as observed, by Ndu (1991) is one of the problems of teaching science and technology in rural environments.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of chemistry provides students with opportunities to develop an understanding of our living world. Chemistry is the study of life and its evolution, of organisms and their structures, functions, processes, and interactions with each other and with their environments. Biologists recognize that knowledge based upon experimental results and accurate observations is gained through a variety of experiences. Thus, the role of the laboratory and field learning becomes a key component in understanding chemistry. Laboratory and field activities and inquiry provide students with opportunities to question, observe, sample, experience, and experiment with scientific phenomena in their quest for knowledge of living things. Tobin (1990) wrote that “Laboratory activities appeal as a way of allowing students to learn with understanding and, at the same time, engage in a process of constructing knowledge by doing science”. The findings of this study will give the public insight to the state of the science learning environment that our secondary school students are provided with in Ethiope-West LGA. This would further furnish the government one of the reasons the country has low achievement levels in standardized examinations.
The research questions are:
1. Are there chemistry laboratories in the secondary schools of the local government area?
2. Is the availability of laboratory facility necessary for the effective teaching and learning of Chemistry?
3. Is there a relationship between students’ participation in laboratory classes and their acquisition of skill?
4. Is there a relationship between the qualification of the teacher and proper utilization of laboratory facilities?
The following hypotheses were generated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
Ho: Laboratory facilities have a significant impact on the effective teaching and learning of social studies.
Hi: Laboratory facilities does not have a significant impact on the effective teaching and learning of social studies
Ho: There is a significant relationship between the availability of laboratory facilities and effective teaching and learning of social studies.
Hi: There is no significant relationship between the availability of laboratory facilities and effective teaching and learning of social studies.
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
There were limited funds and time for the project. The uncooperative responses from many respondents was also a factor.
TABLE OF CONTENT:
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
1.3 Objectives of the Study
1.4 Significance of the Study
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Research Hypothesis
1.7 Conceptual and Operational Definition
1.9 Limitations of the Study
2.1 Sources of Literature
2.2 The Review
2.3 Summary of Literature Review
3.1 Research Method
3.2 Research Design
3.3 Research Sample
3.4 Measuring Instrument
3.5 Data Collection
3.6 Data Analysis
3.7 Expected Result
DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS
4.1 Data Analysis
SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.2 Recommendations for Further Study
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