The Effect of Laboratory Teaching in Physics on the Achievement (in Physics) of Nigerian Secondary School Students.

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Ogunleye, E.P.
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University of Lagos
The study recognises the role of physics education in scientific and technological development of a country. It considers as well the fact that poor achievements in physics is a recurring story in most part of the world, and in Nigeria, the poor performance of students in WASC/GCE Examination in Science has persistently been a source of concern to the general public, parents and government alike. Furthermore, determining performances of school certificate candidates generally in science and in particular in physics is partly responsible for the low enrolment of students in science in college of education, colleges of technology and in the universities. Several studies that attempted to identify the reasons for poor achievement in the physical sciences have offered some explanations such as the scarcity of qualified teachers, the nature of the physical science course content, the difficulty of courses in the physical sciences, the severity of grading by physics teachers, characteristics and attitudes of physics students and their teachers. However, these explanations have glossed over the detail of the learning experiences in physics, and it is no wonder that significant improvement in physics achievement has eluded us. The purpose of the present study is to probe deeper the school factors which may be associated with the achievement of students in physics. If improvements in college physics students achievement is desired then efforts to enhance students competencies should be made through the use of laboratory practical work. The laboratory plays a central role in the process of seeking new knowledge and deeper understanding of nature, hence by this token it is widely recognised as an important component of science teaching. In addition, Science educators are of the opinion that the purpose of laboratory practical work is for inculcating the scientific attitude of observation, investigation, analysis, synthesis and deduction in order to verify existing knowledge or initiate new investigation or even discover new knowledge. In such matters, the crucial question therefore is in the extent to which students exposure to laboratory work could contribute to their increased achievement in physics, in respect to the requisite skills, attitudes and competencies. This important question has, unfortunately attracted little attention of research. The study focused on the effect of three laboratory methods on students achievement in physics as it relates to concept learning, problem solving, instrumentation and experimentation. Secondary class V physics students (N=600) drawn from twenty (seventeen experimental and three control) randomly selected secondary schools in Lagos state of Nigeria were involved in an experiment which examined the relative effectiveness of the Guided-Expository, Guided-Discovery and verification laboratory method of instruction. Cognitive achievement in physics, the level of development of scientific attitudes and the level of acquisition of practical skills were the dependent variables of the study.
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Physics , Physics Education , Laboratory Teaching , Technological Development
Ogunleye, A.O. (1987). The Effect of Laboratory Teaching in Physics on the Achievement (in Physics) of Nigerian Secondary School Students. A Thesis in the Department of Curriculum Studies Submitted to the Postgraduate School, in Fulfiment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy(PH.D.) (Science Education) of the University of Lagos.