Investigating the 21st Century Skills Acquired by Nigerian Secondary School Chemistry Students

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Okafor, N
Yewande, R.O.
Okafor, T
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St. Thomas College of Teachers Education, Pala Kerala, India.
Teachers globally are working very hard to design innovative strategies that would prepare learners for life and work in the twenty- first century. Studies have shown that some secondary school chemistry students are not adequately prepared in acquisition of practical skills and theoretical knowledge of the concepts that would prepare them effectively in this information driven age. This paper investigated the four (4) 21st century learning skills as to determine the learning activities that facilitated its acquisition by secondary school chemistry students in Lagos State of Nigeria. Two research questions guided the study. It was a survey that involved 350 chemistry students randomly selected from all the secondary schools in Lagos State of Nigeria. The instrument used for data collection was Learning Activities for Skills Acquisition Questionnaire (LASAQ). Data was analysed using mean scores and standard deviation. The findings revealed that chemistry students acquire communication and collaborative skills effectively when working as a team; construct knowledge when guided to generate new ideas that involve higher order cognition and are unable to think critically when communicating discrepant events in chemistry. All the four 21st century skills were found to be transferable in the world of works. The study suggests that State and federal governments, corporate bodies, philanthropists and other education stakeholders should provide fund to organize workshops and conferences periodically for chemistry teachers to equip them on the fast growing tools that will enhance their competence on skills acquisition that could be transferred to the students. It concludes that nations whose workforce lack 21st century skills are at a disadvantage in competing globally. Also, secondary school chemistry teachers’ should promote self confidence, team spirit, resourcefulness and critical reasoning on the students that could be transferred beyond the classroom settings in Nigerian secondary schools.
Nigeria. , Secondary School Chemistry Students , 21st Century Skills
Okafor, N., Yewande, R. & Okafor, T. (2015). Investigating the 21st century skills acquired by Nigerian secondary school chemistry students. Educational Extracts. 3(1). 63-74. A Publication of St. Thomas College of Teachers Education, Pala Kerala, India.