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THE IMPACT OF STUDENT-GENERATED ANALOGIES ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY


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THE IMPACT OF STUDENT-GENERATED ANALOGIES ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT IN BIOLOGY

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this research work was to investigate the impact of student-generated analogies on student's achievement in biology. To achieve this two research questions was raised the first one was, what is the impact of student- generated analogy on student's achievement in Biology? The second question was what is the difference in performance between male and female students taught using student generated analogy. Two hypotheses were also formulated. Hypothesis (1) states that there will be no significant difference in performance between students taught using student-generated analogy and those taught without student- generated analogy. Hypothesis 2 states that there will be no significant difference in performance between male and female students taught using student-generated analogy.

The sample size for this study comprised of 76 (seventy six) respondents. 37 (thirty seven) of the respondents were from Ipori Estate Senior High School and 39 (thirty nine) of the respondents were from Itolo Girls Senior High School Surulere. The quasi experimental design was the research instruments used while Biology achievement test involving a pretest and a posttest was used. The pre-test were forty structured objective questions in biology which was administered before the treatment period while the posttest consist of forty structured questions which was administered after the treatment.

The response from the achievement test was analyzed using ANOVA. The findings revealed that there was significant difference in performance between students taught using students generated analogy and those taught without students generated analogy. Thus students taught using students- generated analogy performed better than those taught without students-generated analogy, Males taught using students-generated analogy performed better than females taught using students-generated analogy.

Findings of this study show without any doubt that there is need to use analogy during classroom teaching. Teaching and learning will be effective when teacher and student understand how to use analogy during explanation of biological concepts. This will help the showed to understand the topic better. Educational Implication of the findings is that Analogy is a powerful cognitive mechanism that people use to make inference and learn new abstractions. It enhances human cognition and it  is applied in solving real world problems. It helps and advises on educational philosophy, educational practice and in the design of educational software.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Scientific research especially in the 21st century has greatly increased the understanding of the world around us. This has brought a lot of changes in different areas of human endeavor, like in the area of Education, Health, Power, Industry, Environment etc. It has promoted better living and good practices. There has been tremendous increase in research which led to a lot of discoveries in science and technology. All these innovations and developments are interrelated and dependent on each other. Natural science has witnessed a lot of improvement recently and science in this century had displayed in the area of innovation and technology and has shown a great potential in transforming human life and the world around him. The development of science and technology is of paramount importance to the society and the nation at large, that is why a lot of emphasis is being placed on it recently in our schools.

Student’s perception of science and their state of mind in the class shown in the type of questions they ask shows there is alot of bias and misconceptions about science. This could be a serious barrier in the teaching and learning of science and it has hindered the student’s understanding of science. Biology in particular is seriously affected by these misconceptions which led to consistent poor performance in the subject. It is a pointer that biology has not been properly handled in our schools. Result of external examinations like WAEC, SSCE, NECO JAMB, and internal examinations is good example of this. The WEAC result of 2011 shows there was 58.8% failure in biology (source WAEC Yaba) There is need to examine some of the strategies and methods employed by teachers in schools, this is because the teaching method and strategies used by the teacher has a profound effect on the student’s performance in their examinations. An efficient teacher uses different strategies and teaching methods to buttress, emphasize and clarify his or her concept clearly.

There are meta-cognitive strategies, which includes knowledge about when and how to use a particular strategy for learning or for problem solving. The strategy can be student’s thinking and their physical actions. Some meta-cognitive strategies are student-generated concept mapping. This could be seen in reading comprehension. According to (Kang 2004) research has shown that visual displays has the potential for making content information more understandable to readers and offers assistance in making connections between concepts. Visual displays, such as diagrams, maps, graphics, organizers and pictures can be used as a type of reading strategy by possibly converting difficult information into a simplified layout.

Concept mapping supports the visualization of such conceptual framework and stimulate prior knowledge by making it explicit and requiring the learner to pay attention to the relationship between concepts (Sohannsen 1996). Students acquire new concept by both discovery and knowledge or by reception learning according to (Novak 1983). Reception learning has a problem of making students learn to memorize definitions instead of acquiring the meaning of the concept in the definition.

Constructivism is another meta-cognitive strategy. It is a theory about knowledge and learning. It emphasizes the importance of knowledge, belief and skills an individual brings in to the experience of learning. It sees and accepts construction of new understanding as a combination of readiness to learn and the application. Individuals make choices about what new ideas to accept and how to fit it into their established views of the world (Brook and Brooks 1995).In school, students are supposed to acquire certain skills that will help them perform well in the laboratory and in the field. They are to acquire skills and abilities to be able to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in personal matters, society and the environment in general. Students should be able to have relevant and functional scientific attitudes especially in biology. Some strategies has been verified by some researchers and found to be good for effective teaching and learning in biology, they need to be improved upon. Such viable technique for teaching that has been reported to record a good measure of success is the use of analogy in teaching.

Analogy is an agreement or similarity in some particulars between things otherwise different eg, Photosynthesis and Respiration, Osmosis and Diffusion 'etc. Thinking in terms of analogy involves the transfer of prior knowledge from a familiar situation to a situation that should be elucidated (Gentner, 1983). The identification and retrieval of a similarity between the potential relations in a target and known relations in the source enables one to understand the new situation on the basis of a familiar situation. Analogy may motivate students because it points to some anomaly or cause some surprise. It usually aids learning in specific areas of target domains. The use of analogy as an effective pedagogical tool has been of interest tothe Biology Education Research Community. Strategy that can be beneficial to students is to require them to generate analogies. When students generate analogies, the learning process becomes active. They must think about the topic enough to create an analogy that makes sense. Not only will they learn more about the biological concept, they will be using a creative type of thinking called Lateral Thinking.

"Lateral Thinking"(De Bono 1970) is the one which asks the mind to abandon the normal sequential thinking patterns and make a lateral leaf to devise new thought patterns. Making analogies sets the stage for devising new thought patterns. Students start with analogies that make sense and later make analogies that seemingly do not make sense until creativity and new thought patterns have been devised. These new analogies help students to see the concept in a new way which gets them thinking and help them in the areas of critical thinking and problem-solving. Analogy is a comparison of one thing with another which has similar features. Example, the teachers draws analogy on the human heart and the pump, photosynthesis and respiration, Osmosis and diffusion. Analogy involves the transfer of prior knowledge from a familiar situation to a situation that should be elucidated. It is being able to identify and retrieve a similarity between the potential relations in a target and known relation in the source which enables one to understand the new situation on the basis of a familiar situation. Analogy can be beneficial to students in a number of ways. It makes learning process to become active. Students have to understand the topic well enough before they can be able to create analogy. This will enable them to learn more concepts and become more creative in thinking. Making analogies sets the stage for devising new thought patterns. Analogy help students to see the concepts in a new way that gets them  thinking and help  in the area of critical thinking and problem solving, example of analogy for the concept of translation in protein synthesis. It is based on four components namely “target”, “source”, “match” and “mismatch’. The target is the unfamiliar, abstract material to be learnt. It could be a concept, principle, procedure or a problem .The source concept is a familiar visualizable material that is obtained from the surrounding or from situation in the environment. “Match refers to the similarities shared between the corresponding features of the source concept and the sub concepts of the target concept. The definition of analogy is a concrete and visualizable representation of the matches and mismatches between the “source” and target concepts. The teaching method has a profound effect on the performance of the students.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Students are prepared to acquire skills, knowledge, functional abilities in biology which will help them to handle their academic and everyday life affairs, but it has been observed from the past school results that students performance is deteriorating each year in biology than any other basic science subject. The statistics of WASSCE results for Biology in May /June examination 2011 has about 58.8% failure rate ( Source: WASSEC Yaba). This gave rise to the quest for the way to teach the student so that they can be deeply involved in the topic being treated for better understanding and better performance. Hence the need for research in other way of teaching like student-generated analogy.

1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of student-generated analogy on student’s achievement in biology.
To find out if there are differences in performance between the male and female students taught using student-generated analogy.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 The study would make teaching and learning more meaningful. It would encourage creative thinking and encourage active participation of students. It would help to raise student’s interest in generating analogy.  It would also encourage teachers to adopt the method of student- generated analogy so as to plan ahead of the lesson and know the best analogy to drive home the points intended in teaching .The study would be of immense value to authors and other researcher in encouraging them to write more books on student - generated analogy. Curriculum planners are given the opportunity to see the need to plan the curriculum in a way to encourage the use of student generated analogy in the teaching and learning of Biology so as to appeal to the learner’s senses and to make sure it does not fall short of the needs of the society.

1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.      What is the impact of student-generated analogy on student’s achievement in biology?

2.      There will be no significant difference in performance between male and female students taught using student-generated analogy.

1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

1.      There will be no significant differences in achievement between students taught using student-generated analogy(experimental group) and those taught without student- generated analogy (control group).

2.      What is the difference in performance between male and female students taught using student-generated analogy?

1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study was to examine the impact of student-generated analogy on student’s achievement in biology in two selected secondary schools within Surulere local government area of Lagos state. The two schools chosen are Iporin Estate Senior High School and Itolo Girls Senior Secondary School Surulere, the reason for the choice of the two schools was that maximum cooperation was received from the teachers and the students within the schools.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

ANALOGY

Analogy can be viewed as a type of reasoning where knowledge is transferred from one situation (called source or base) to another one (called target) on the basis of some kind of similarity between both situations i.e. on the basis of the judgment that the two situations are essentially identical in respect of the task at hand.

BIOLOGY

Biology is the study of plant and animal in their natural environment

STUDENTS         

This means a person who is studying at a college, polytechnic or university; boy or girl attending schools; anyone who studies or who is devoted to the acquisition of knowledge.

STUDENT GENERATED

It means what students can create or produce. New ideas they can bring in that is relevant to the topic under discussion.

ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE:

This refers to the level or rate at which students in school perform in their academic career. It also shows the level at which students carry out their school works at a given period of time and the result of it.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

It means anything that assists teachers to teach well in the classroom and also those things that help students to learn well in the classroom.

TEACHING

 It means the art and practice of imparting to a learner knowledge, skills, values and norms that will be useful to the total development of the individual.

ELUCIDATE

To make clear, explain, throw light on (a problem or difficulty)

CONCEPT

Idea underlying a class of things, general notion.

CREATIVE

Having power to create requiring intelligence and imagination, not merely mechanical skill.

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