LOCAL RESOURCES UTILIZATION AND TEACHING OF CHEMISTRY IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN IKONO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1.1 Background to the Study
Chemistry is a branch of science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter. It is sometimes called the central science because it bridges other natural sciences, including physics, geology and Chemistry. Chemistry has been identified as a very important science subject and its importance in scientific and technological development of any nation has been widely reported (Farounbi, 2008). As a teacher of the subject one should make use of instructional materials such as local resources for effective teaching and learning of the subject.
Local resources as seen by Akpan (2000) are those resources whose application facilitates teaching and learning. When effectively used in teaching, local resources present facts and information, across student’s interest and enthusiasm, principles and processes. It also impresses pictures and images, vividly in the mind and memories of the learners as well as help in the positive transfer of learning.
The use of local resources in teaching-learning situation has many advantages. According to Abolade (2009) and Olumorin (2004), local resources are cheap materials that can be found in our environment. Local resources emphasize a feature of the environment that are most important to human survival. Elements of local resources that are normally studied include soil, water, plants, leaves, animals etc. Aigbmian (2001), stated that teachers can improvise local resources in the absence of standard equipment or ready–made teaching materials.
Critically, communication in the class as stated by Onohua (2002) is effectively impacted through the use of local resources. They help both teachers and students in the teaching and learning of Chemistry. Some experimental investigations have shown that under normal conditions incorporation local resources in the course of lesson delivery often increase the amount of learning experiences gained by the learners. The teaching of Chemistry as maintained by Nwosu (2003) requires the use of wide variety of resources to be used. In Nigeria in general and Akwa Ibom State in particular, only few are aware of the fact that local resources are among the best learning resources used for effective teaching of Chemistry.
Local resources according to Diamond (2007), are very familiar to both the teachers and the students. They are easy to understand and manipulate. They are easily available in whole by improvisation; they are cheap and some can be grown, fabricated and brought by the learners themselves. However, studies by Bajah (2004) have shown that there is a chronic lack of the use of those local resources in the teaching of Chemistry. Purchase of ready–made materials go along with many difficulties including high cost, scarcity, non-users’ friendly and difficult maintenance. Sometimes due to these problems, our laboratories and resource rooms are empty of these ready made resources as observed by Bajah (2004).
Hershel (2000) stated that there are good prospects in using local resources to teach Chemistry. One of the most important prospect is the enabling opportunity it affords us to be aware of the chronic lack of indigenous curricula contents in our science education. If we had enough influence demonstrations tailored toward local resources, our teachers and students would enjoy the teaching and learning of Chemistry with a high level of influence.
Another prospect is that when we use local resources to teach Chemistry, the students would actually learn what is relevant to their real and perceived needs to their local conditions. Therefore, this research study sought to investigate how the use of local resources influences the teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
Local Resources Utilization and Teaching of Chemistry in Secondary Schools
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The relevance of chemistry education in any society cannot be underestimated. It is regarded as a single potent factor that can enhance the improvement of individuals and nations. Effective use of local resources for teaching depends on the capacity of a teacher.
Despite the enormous importance of local resources in teaching generally and Chemistry concept in particular, it has been observed that, local resources, they have not been properly utilized by Chemistry teachers in most secondary schools. The situation has been a source of concern to science educators and other science stakeholders for many decades.
Based on the above, the above problem of the study centres around:
- The availability of local resources for Chemistry teaching in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
- The utilization of available local resources for Chemistry teaching in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
- The hindrances to the utilization of local resources in teaching Chemistry
However, based on the above problems, this study was conducted to find out the extent to which local resources utilization can impact on teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study was to investigate local resources utilization and teaching of Chemistry in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area. Specifically, the study intended to determine:
- Determine the level of availability of local resources for Chemistry teaching in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
- Determine extent to which Chemistry teachers use the local resources in teaching Chemistry in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
- Determine the hindrances Chemistry teachers’ use of local resources in teaching Chemistry.
Impact of Local Resources Utilization on Teaching of Chemistry in Secondary Schools
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- What is the level of availability of local resources for Chemistry teaching in secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area?
- To what extent do Chemistry teachers in the public secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area use available local resources?
- What are the hindrances to the teachers’ effort in the use of local resources in teaching Chemistry?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will enlighten teachers on the need to use more local resources to teach Chemistry. The findings would generate more awareness to teachers on the use of local resources in teaching Chemistry as well as challenging the school principals to ensure that teachers make room for improvised materials from the environment where ready – made materials in Chemistry is lacking.
Furthermore, the study would encourage students of Chemistry and other science students to embrace the use of local resources in their learning process as well as helping curriculum developers by revealing the important of local resources utilization in the teaching and learning process.
From this finding also, the study would serve as a reference point to future studies in related areas.
The effect of Local Resources Utilization on Teaching of Chemistry in Secondary Schools
1.6 Delimitation of the Study
This research work was restricted to the study of local resources utilization and teaching of Chemistry in public senior secondary schools in Ikono Local Government Area.
1.7 Limitation of the Study
Several problems were encountered while undertaking this research work, some these were:
- The period of given for the completion of this study was not enough for a wider and more in–depth research into the problem situation.
- Lack of funds to procure necessary materials for the study and high cost of transportation in getting to sampled schools constitute some hindrances.
- Lack of enough previous research materials in the subject was also an added constraint encountered during the course of this work.
- The limitation of the study to one local government area will affect the generalization of the results.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Local Resources: These are materials found within the environment that can be used for the production of instructional materials e.g. Plastic, Rubber, Scraps.
Utilization: This implies effective use of an approach to solve problem.
Teaching: This is act of imparting knowledge, skills and attitude by professionals to the less experienced in an organized setting in an institution.
Lawson Peter – Chief Editor in Projectvilla Nigeria. A writer and academic researcher.