Availability and Utilization of Environmental Resources in the Teaching of Biology
This study examined environmental resources availability and its utilization in the teaching of Biology in Etinan Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. Research questions were formulated to guide the study. The survey research design was used for the research with the population of 29 Biology teachers from 11 public secondary schools. Data was obtained from 26 Biology teachers from the 10 schools which accepted to participate out of the 11 schools in the study area using checklist and questionnaire.
The data were subjected to analysis using simple percentage statistical tool. The analysis revealed that on the whole, environmental resources were available in abundance with a few exceptions but not all of the available environmental resources were maximally utilized in the teaching of Biology. Teachers were therefore recommended to make conscious effort to improvise adequate environmental resources and utilize them for effective delivery of Biology teaching.
Availability and Utilization of Environmental Resources in the Teaching of Biology
1.1 Background to the Study
Education simply means the experiences that an individual acquires as a result of his interaction with the environment. It forms the basis for literacy, skill acquisition and ability to harness human and material resources, which enables them to live effectively towards the achievement of societal goal (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004, as cited in Eze, 2010). Education can also be defined as the process by which somebody or group of people participate in the act of acquiring new knowledge or experience. Be it deliberately or accidentally, every experience is education (Ajelabi, 2000, as cited in Ntuk, 2015).
Science is knowledge arranged in an orderly manner. Science is the bedrock on which modern day technological breakthrough is hinged. Different authors according to their own understanding have defined science. Igwe (2003, as cited in Mberekpe, 2013) defined science as a systematic study of nature of the behaviour of the material and physical universe by observation and testing of facts, and pursuit of such knowledge.Science is therefore both an organized body of knowledge and a process of finding out knowledge.
According to Udom (2007, as cited in Bassey, 2013), environment is the surrounding around us or the surrounding that we live in. Environment of the learner is a variety, flexibility and ease of maintenance in school and learning spaces. According to Udom, factors such as qualified teachers, classroom building, laboratory, library, learning resources should be put to ensure effective learning and teaching for good academic performance and give optimal level of achievement in a given subject area. The learning environment should be safe, healthy, devoid of environmental hazards, such as flooding, excessive noise, and odour.Such an environment should promote innovation, inquiry and risk taking.
Environmental resources are those instructional resources that are available within our environment that help in teaching and learning process. Environmental resources have been considered as one of the factors that affect effective teaching in schools even though it has had little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. Environmental resources play a major role in the life of every individual. Some examples of environmental resources in teaching of Biology are insects, plants, flowers, fruits and so on.
Biology is one of the science subjects that senior secondary school students offer at the senior levels in the Nigerian secondary schools (Mberekpe, 2013). Biology is defined as the study of living things or living organisms. Biology plays a vital role in the life of an individual. Biology is a very important science subject and a requirement for learning of a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, pharmacy etc. For Biology to be taught effectively in schools, teachers need to explore their environment for proper utilization of abundant environmental resources in the teaching and learning of Biology. In teaching and learning, environmental resources play a key role towards concretizing learning.
Environmental resources make learning meaningful and help to improve students’ academic achievement and reduce talking and chalking stress. However, these advantages of environmental resources have not reflected in the educational system because of the dearth of these environmental resources hence the need for instructional resources. It is against this background that the study sought to investigate the influence of environmental resources availability and utilization in the teaching of Biology among secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The physical characteristics of the environment have a variety of effects on teacher, students and the learning process. The high levels of student’s achievement in Biology teaching and learning may not be guaranteed where environmental resources are structurally defective.
Abysmal performance in both internal and external examinations in Biology by students has been a source of worry to parents, teachers and educational stakeholders in Nigeria. This could be attributed to a number of factors; one of such factors is lack or total absence of instructional resources in schools. In teaching and learning, instructional resources play a key role toward concretizing learning. Instructional resources make learning meaningful and help to improve student’s academic achievement. However, these advantages of instructional resources are not reflected in the educational system because of the dearth of these instructional resources in our schools.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between environmental resources availability and utilization in the teaching of Biology among secondary school in Etinan Local Government Area.
Specifically, the study determined:
(i) The extent of availability of environmental resources for teaching of biology in the secondary schools.
(ii) The extent of utilization of environmental resources in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study will be practically significant to teachers, students, curriculum planners, textbooks writers and the general public. Through the dissemination of information, teachers will be aware of the use of environmental resources as substitute to commercial resources for the teaching and learning of Biology.
For students, the finding of this study will help promote the use of local resources that are readily available at affordable price.
The findings will provide curriculum planners with information about environmental resources which can be incorporated in the curriculum of Biology for secondary schools education.
1.5 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
(i) What is the extent of availability of environmental resources for teaching Biology in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area?
(ii) To what extent are environmental resources utilized in the teaching of Biology in secondary schools?
1.6 Limitation of the Study
The researcher was unable to reach all the secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area as time allocation for the study was too short to cover all the area. Financial constraint was also a formidable challenge to the conduct of the study.
1.7 Delimitation of the Study
The study was restricted to availability and utilization of environmental resources in teaching of Biology in secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area and only public secondary schools were selected for the study.
1.8 Definition of Operational Terms
Environmental Resources: These are goods and services supplied by the environment. It also refers to locally produced materials or equipment used to help in teaching.
Availability: This means assessable or obtainable and easy to reach or have.
Utilization: To put to use.
Resources: Is supply or something that a country has and can use.
Teaching: Is the act or the process of helping someone to learn effectively.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.