Influence of Cultural Beliefs on Junior Secondary School Students’ Understanding of Basic Science Concepts

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Okafor, N
Udeani, N.U.
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The Faculty of Education, University of Lagos
This study investigated the influence of cultural beliefs on junior secondary school students understanding of basic science concepts. It discussed extensively the impediments which cultural beliefs have caused to the scientific growth in Nigeria. It was a survey that involved 300 JSS2 basic science students of co-educational public schools drawn from three ethnic groups in Nigeria (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba). A research question and one hypothesis guided the study. Student’s Oral Interview Schedule (SOIS) and Cultural Influence on Science Concept Understanding Scale (CISCUS) were the two instruments used for data collection. Data was analyzed using simple percentages, bar charts and ANOVA. The results showed that Yoruba cultural beliefs have significant influence on science students understanding of science concepts grouped in categories land 5 while the Hausa cultural beliefs significantly influenced science concepts grouped in category 2. The Igbo cultural beliefs had close range with Hausa and Yoruba in category 3. The study recommends that All Nigerian science students irrespective of the ethnic origin should embrace the theories of cultural deficit for scientific growth and should see natural occurrences as facts that have scientific explanations. It concludes that success in science teaching depends on teachers helping students negotiate their cultural beliefs through collateral learning displacement of cultural beliefs with scientific thinking and appreciation.
Cultural Beliefs , Junior Secondary Students , Understanding Basic Science
Okafor, N. & Udeani, U. (2014).Influence of cultural beliefs on junior secondary school students’ understanding of basic science concepts. Lagos Education Review (LER). 14 (1), 117-128. A journal of Studies in Education. A Publication of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria.