AN EVALUATION OF THE CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF SENIOR BASIC EDUCATION
1.1 Background Of The Study
Student learning appears to be merely passive surface learning in today’s education, which appears to be discipline-centered and teacher-centered. Since the subject matter is primarily driven by and dependent on the disciplinary content that must be provided, a substantial body of data has been documented to support the idea that in discipline-centered education, instructors’ and students’ needs, concerns, and requirements are ignored (Magna, 2002). Teaching science necessitates focusing on both the subject matter and the process of bringing students’ knowledge and comprehension up to the desired level. In reality, teaching is just one part of a larger system that also includes the teacher, the student, the discipline, the teaching/learning process, and assessments for both the teacher and the learner. The shift from a traditional teacher-centered approach to a progressive approach to teaching and learning has led to a greater focus on individual differences among students. Diversity is promoted and student-centered, inclusive, cooperative learning is the new paradigm. Students’ test scores appear to be disappointing in spite of the new approach to education, prompting academics to investigate the causes of the low performance and ways to improve education (Okenyi, 2012).
The study of a wide variety of living things is called biology. According to Magna (2002), it is a branch of natural science that studies the structure, function, growth, distribution, and classification of living things. The study of all living things—including microorganisms, fungi, plants, and animals—as well as the structure, function, heredity, and evolution of those living things is known as biology. Even though biology is a huge field, there are some fundamental ideas that apply to all studies and researchers and make the field a simple and logical whole. Biology generally considers the cell to be the fundamental unit of life, the gene to be the fundamental unit of heredity, and evolution to be the driving force behind the synthesis of new species. It is now widely accepted that all living things maintain a stable and vital state by consuming and changing energy and controlling their internal environment (Okenyi, 2012). The sub-disciplines of biology are characterized by the scale at which organisms are studied, the kinds of organisms studied, and the methods used to study them. For instance, while molecular biology studies the intricate interactions between biological molecules, biochemistry studies life’s fundamental chemistry. The science of plant biology is called botany. Cellular biology examines the fundamental building blocks of all life cells, while physiology studies the physical and chemical functions of an organism’s tissues, organs, and organ systems. The processes that led to the diversity of life are studied in evolutionary biology: The study of how organisms interact with their environment is called ecology. Zoology is the field of study that focuses on animals. The study of diseases in animals and plants as well as their treatments is known as pathology. Parastology is the study of parasites, and microbiology is the study of bacteria. Algaeology is the study of algae. The study of microorganisms is microbiology. Therefore, education is biology education, which aims to educate individuals on how to comprehend themselves, their bodies, and their functions. Therefore, the term “biology education” refers to the integration of educational concepts into biology instruction. According to Okenyi (2012), it is the method of instructing students to instill or impart biological information. As a result, they will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development of society in some way.
Biology is one branch of ecology. It is worried about the investigation of associations among living beings and their biophysical environmental elements. This biophysical environment is made up of biotic and abiotic components. In 1866, the German scientist Ernst Haeckel came up with the term “ecology,” also known as “kologie.” The Greek words Oikos, which means “house,” and logos, which means “study,” are what gave it its name. The biophysical setting in which all processes interact is called an ecosystem. Because the ecosystem is a geographical region in which plants, animals, and other species, as well as the weather and landscape, collaborate to construct a bubble of life, earth science serves as the foundation of ecology. Ecology studies organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, and the biosphere. The home of the organism is its habitat. Therefore, ecology is frequently referred to as environmental biology. The general category of natural sciences includes ecology. It is regarded as a branch of science that studies the nature and interrelationships of living things. “Biology” comes from the Greek word “oikos,” and that signifies “residence,” “home,” or “residing place.” It’s possible that Aristotle or his student Theophrastus were among the first ecologists. Both of them were interested in a wide range of animal species. Theophrastus recognized relationships between animals and their surroundings as early as the fourth century BC. The majority of ecological concepts are derived from existing natural history, philosophical, ethical, and political principles. The foundation of ecology was laid by ancient Greek philosophers like Hippocrates and Aristotle, who studied natural history. Toward the end of the 19th century, ecology developed into a much more rigorous field. Research shifted its attention to the evolutionary principles of adaptation and natural selection. In its early stages, the field was dominated by scientists with training in botany and zoology. Secondary school students may find it challenging to learn many concepts or topics in biology, such as the central nervous system, Mendelian genetics, genetic engineering, protein synthesis, respiration and photosynthesis, gas exchange, energy, cells, mitosis and meiosis, organs, physiological processes, hormonal regulation, oxygen transport, and water transport in plants. According to Tekkaya et al., secondary school students found Mendelian genetics, the neurological system, hormones, genes and chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis, and the nervous system to be challenging subjects. 2001). Problems in numerous biology courses have a significant impact on students’ motivation and success, according to zcan. Academics have investigated the reasons for students’ difficulties in a variety of biological classes and potential solutions. The classroom learning environment, a lack of enthusiasm for studying science, excessive curriculum material, and the separation of science and society are just a few of the many factors that may contribute to difficulties in biology. According to Yüzbaşlolu and Atav (2004), designing learning environments without considering students’ interests and expectations results in a variety of learning difficulties and a loss of interest in biology. Fraser (1998) and Imer (2011) say that students’ perceptions of learning ecology as a part of learning biology are strongly linked.
1.2 Definition of the issue Ecology is the study of living things in their natural environments, also known as the “environment” (Nwagbo, 2005). The geographical regions of the world or the entire set of conditions that surround a creature or group of organisms are referred to as the “environment.” These two terms are the same thing. It is possible to consider the planet as a single ecological unit. However, there are a number of factors that make it difficult to successfully teach and learn Ecology, one of the Biology disciplines. A lack of qualified instructors, a teaching style, a lack of instructional materials, an inadequately equipped scientific laboratory, a lack of student enthusiasm, and a perceived difficulty in the subject are just a few of these reasons (Ebong, 2008). Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the obstacles that secondary school students in Rivers State face when learning ecological aspects of biology.
1.3 The Study’s Goals The primary goal of the study is as follows: to determine the difficulties that secondary school students face when learning about ecological aspects of biology.
2. to see if the way teachers teach ecology affects how students learn about the subject in secondary school.
3. To look at in the event that absence of educational material have an effect in learning Nature as a subject in science.
4. 1.4 Research Questions The following questions have been prepared for the study: 1) What are the challenges in learning ecology aspects of biology among secondary school students? This is to determine strategies that can be used to facilitate learning of ecology among secondary school students.
2) Does the method of teaching have an impact on how secondary school students learn about ecology?
3) Does learning ecology as a biology subject suffer from a lack of instructional materials?
4) What methods can be used to help secondary school students learn about ecology? 1.5 Importance of the study This study looks at the challenges of learning ecology, which is a topic in biology. It will benefit the ministry of education and the school authority in the sense that it will help students learn more about the study of different species and the environment, and it will also help the school authority hire qualified teachers who can teach biology. The academic community will benefit from this study because it will add to the existing literature.
1.6 The scope of the study This study will look at how difficult it is for secondary school students to learn ecological aspects of biology. Additionally, the study will investigate whether teaching methods influence students’ understanding of ecology as a subject in secondary education. The study will also look into whether students’ ability to learn ecology as a biology subject is affected by a lack of instructional materials. Finally, the study will identify methods for facilitating secondary school students’ learning of ecology. As a result, the secondary schools in Rivers state will be the focus of this study.
1.7 The study’s limitations The following factors contributed to the study’s limitations:
Just like any other kind of research, it was hard to get the data or the right materials needed to study the subject.
The researcher had to work around a financial problem when it came to getting relevant materials and printing and putting together questionnaires.
Time element: The researcher experiences anxiety as a result of having to juggle writing the research and other academic tasks at the same time, making time a further constraint.
1.8 Terms’ definitions Obstacles: a request to take part in a competition or fight to determine who has more strength or ability than the other person.
The natural world: the branch of biology that studies how organisms interact with one another and with their physical environment.
Biology: the study of living things and life itself