Impact of Discussion and Inquiry Teaching Strategies on Secondary School Students in Chemistry


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1.1   Background to the Study

Any educational goal will be met if the right teaching strategies are chosen and applied. By assuring the seamless delivery of the instructional phase or the complete course, effective teaching strategies are used in the presentation of lessons to support student learning. One key component of the integrated science teachers’ various teaching strategies is how they disseminate knowledge to students during class.

Robert (2014) emphasized that the principles and methods used for education make up teaching methods. The information or ability being taught determines the option of teaching methods or strategies to be used. The style, aptitude, skills, and enthusiasm of the students may also have an impact. It is impossible to overstate the significance of chemistry as a science discipline in the growth of a country like Nigeria.

Even though this subject is among the most significant and important science courses in the country, along with Physics, Mathematics, and Biology at the senior secondary school level, students have consistently performed poorly in it, as well as in the aforementioned courses or subjects above, according to evaluations made by both internal and external examination bodies like WAEC and NECO.

Students’ poor performance has partly been ascribed to poor teaching strategies adopted by teachers (Jepketer, 2017; Jolif, 2018; Nghambi, 2014). For instance, in the delivery of the curriculum content in secondary schools, studies have revealed that secondary teachers including Chemistry teachers mostly rely on the conventional methods that are mainly lectures, and sometimes few demonstrations to convey ideas and facts in the teaching and learning process (Blyth, 2010; King’arru, 2014). In these methods, it was observed that teachers dominated the class during the instruction process by transferring the knowledge with little or without inputs from the students.

According to Essien (2012) teaching strategy is the method used to help students learn the desire course contents and be able to develop achievable goals in the future. Teaching strategies identify the different available learning methods to enable them develop the right strategies to deal with the target group. Therefore, instructional strategy is the way an instructor chooses to convey information and facilitate learning. This as Unwaneiye (2014) explained, implies that instructional strategy comprises the principles and method used for instruction. The choice of using instruction strategy depends largely on the information or skills that is being taught and it may also be influenced by the learning style, aptitude, skills ability and enthusiasm of the students.

According to Stephens and Stephens (2015), discussion as a process of giving and talking, speaking and listening, describing and witnessing which helps expand horizons and foster mutual understanding. They explained further that it is only through discussion that Biology students can be exposed to new points of view and exposure increases understanding and renews motivation to continue learning.

Bridges (2013) noted that discussion method of teaching promotes academic performance of students in Biology, since it concerned with the development of knowledge, understanding or judgment among those students taking part in it. He believes that discussion is more serious than conversation because it requires to be both “mutually responsive” to the different views expressed by learners.

Dillion (2014) saw discussion method of teaching as an important way for students to affiliate with one another to develop the sympathies and skills that make participatory democracy possible. Abdu-Raheem (2010) recommended that as a matter of urgency, teachers of Chemistry should explore and use discussion method of teaching to promote knowledge to secondary school students.

Inquiry teaching strategy according to Aina, Adedoyin, Obilo and Ahmadu (2012), is a method of teaching in which the students find answers to questions, problems or riddles raised during the learning processes. It involves probing, finding out, investigating, analyzing, synthesizing, discovering, evaluating, questioning and thinking. They further stated that, for students to be meaningfully engaged in the inquiry, there is need for the teacher to practically involve them from the planning stage to the evaluative stage. This can be done by the students and the teacher by locating and gathering information from many sources like reading materials, audio materials, and specimen and community resources.


Impact of Discussion and Inquiry Teaching Strategies on Secondary School Students in Chemistry


1.2   Statement of the Problem

For educators, parents, and other stakeholders in education, the low academic achievement of students in Chemistry in the Uyo Local Government Area has become a serious issue.

Numerous factors, such as the teacher’s teaching style, the students’ attitudes toward learning, the socioeconomic background of the parents, peer pressure, and others are blamed for the issue of students failing the topic.

According to Fadella (2010), the academic success of the students is determined by the students themselves, the teachers, the school administration, the parents, and the learning environment. Unfortunately, recent chemistry test results show that students in the Uyo local government area have done poorly. There have been several inquiries regarding the possible causes of this poor performance in the topic.

Impact of Discussion and Inquiry Teaching Strategies on Secondary School Students in Chemistry

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The general purpose of the study was to investigate impact of discussion and inquiry teaching strategies on secondary school students in chemistry in Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Specifically, the study is designed to:

  1. Investigate the difference in the performance of Chemistry students between those taught with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy of teaching.
  2. Examine the difference in the performance of male and students female students taught Chemistry with inquiry teaching strategy and those taught with discussion teaching strategy.

Impact of Discussion and Inquiry Teaching Strategies on Secondary School Students in Chemistry

1.4   Significance of the Study

The finding of the study will be of high significant to Chemistry teachers by enabling them to adopt good and effective teaching strategies that will enhance teaching and learning of the Chemistry in schools.

The finding of the study and its recommendations will also help the government to see the need of sensitizing the chemistry teacher on the good and effective teaching strategies to be used in teaching Chemistry in the classroom.

It will also help school administrators, stakeholder and the appropriate authority to see the need of organizing seminars workshop, and in-service training for the teachers to be acquainted with relevant changes and ideas during teaching delivery.

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