Science Education Reform Effort: Effect of Utilising Laboratory Method of Instruction on Studentsâ€™ Academic Performance in Science
Keywords:Laboratory, practical orientations, gender, academic performance.
Developing practical skills is fundamental to effective science education. This is a quasi-experimental research designed to investigate how students fare when teachers use appropriate laboratory methods for classroom instruction. Participants were 60 science education 200level undergraduates who were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups to have two equivalent groups. Two null hypotheses were postulated and tested. A researchers-made instrument tagged â€œScience Concept Achievement Testâ€ (SCAT) was administered on all the research subjects after applying the treatment to the experimental group. Validation of SCAT was done through vetting by two experts who are professors of science education. The instrument was then pilot-tested to establish its internal consistency which yielded a reliability co-efficient of 0.73 using split-half method before actual usage. Data collected for the study were statistically analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test analysis. The results obtained showed that (1) Students in the experimental group performed better than their counterparts in the control group; (2) Females students performed better at tasks than their males counterparts in the experimental group. Recommendations made to teachers included the use of appropriate laboratory methods to facilitate science instructions and employ more girl-friendly approaches to help female students build more confidence in school science.
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