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This study seeks to compare effects of self-regulatory learning method and discussion method of teaching on student’s achievement in plant-related topics among senior secondary schools Biology Students of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study adopted a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design with non-equivalent control group. The sample for the study consisted of 150 senior secondary II biology students. Purposive sampling was used to select five schools in Sanga Area Directorate of Education. The instrument used for the study was the Biology Achievement Test (BAT) designed by the researcher. Section A of the instrument contained 20 multiple-choice items; section B contained 2 essay questions all for the measurement of students’ achievement in Biology. Three research questions and a hypothesis were formulated to guide the study. The hypothesis was tested at 0.05 level of significance. The data collected were analyzed using mean and standard deviation and chi-square statistical tools. The results from the experimental group (E1) and control group (E2) showed that there was a significant difference in the mean achievement scores of Biology students taught plant-related topics using self-regulatory teaching method and those taught using discussion method with those taught using self-regulatory teaching strategy having a higher mean gain. This shows that self-regulatory teaching strategy has more effect on Biology students’ achievement in plant-related topics than the discussion method. The result also shows that there was no statistically significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students (taught using self-regulatory teaching strategy and discussion method of teaching). This means that gender was not a significant factor in determining students’ achievement in Biology. The two methods have been found to be good teaching methods for teaching/learning of different problematic topics in biology. The study concludes that methods employed by teachers’ in an attempt to impact knowledge to the student’ should be appropriate for every topic to each lesson. The teacher has to be aware of the current innovations in teaching so as to determine the most suitable method (s) for a particular topic. Finally, the study recommends among others that Biology teachers should be discouraged from using teacher-center instructional strategy in the teaching of biology but rather, self-regulatory teaching strategy where students would be actively involved in the art of teaching and learning.




1.1       Background of the Study        –           –           –           –           –           –           1

1.2       Statement of the Problem       –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.3       Purpose of the Study –           –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.4       Research Questions    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.5       Research Hypotheses –           –           –           –           –           –           –           10

1.6       Significance of the Study       –           –           –           –           –           –           10

1.7       Scope and Delimitation of the Study –           –           –           –           –           11

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms        –           –           –           –           –           12





3.0       Introduction    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           39

3.1       Design of the Study    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           39

3.2       Population of the Study          –           –           –           –           –           –           40

3.3       Sample and Sampling Techniques     –           –           –           –           –           41

  • Instrument for Data Collection           –           –           –           –           –           42

3.5.1    Validation of the Instrument   –           –           –           –           –           –           43

3.5.2    Reliability of the Instrument   –           –           –           –           –           –           43

3.6       Method of Data Collection     –           –           –           –           –           –           45

3.7       Methods of Data Analysis      –           –           –           –           –           –           46



4.0       Introduction    –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           47

4.1       Results –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           47

4.2       Hypotheses Testing     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           50

4.3       Discussion of the Findings     –           –           –           –           –           –           52



5.1       Summary of the Findings       –           –           –           –           –           –           55

5.2       Conclusion      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           56

5.3        Recommendation       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           57

5.4       Suggestions for Further Studies         –           –           –           –           –           57

REFERENCE           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           59


Table              Title                                                                                                    Page

1                      Mean and Standard deviation of pretest and posttest scores

of Biology students taught plant-related topics using self-regulatory

 teaching method and those taught using discussion method –           47

2                      Mean and Standard deviation of pretest and posttest scores

of the effect of self-regulatory method of teaching on

performance of students in Biology –             –           –           –           48

3                      Mean and Standard deviation of pretest and posttest scores

of the effect of discussion teaching method on

students’ performance in Biology-     –           –           –           –           49

4                      Chi-square analysis of the significant difference in

the mean achievement scores of Biology students taught

plant-related topics using self-regulatory teaching method

and those taught using discussion method     –           –           –           50

5                      Chi-square analysis     –           –           –           –           –           –           51


Appendix       Title                                                                                                    Page

1                      Introductory Letter     –           –           –           –           –           –           63

2                      Lesson Plan of the Teacher–    –           –           –           –           –           64

3                      Questionnaire –           –           –           –           –           –           –           70

4                      Marking Scheme of the Teacher-        –           –           –           –           72




1.1       Background of the Study

The industrial and technological development of any nation depends to a large extent on the level of scientific education of her citizens. The central purpose of science learning is conceptualized as developing scientific literacy in students (Dani 2020). The role of science in the development of any nation cannot be overemphasized since the level of scientific attainment of a nation has always been a very important index for measuring its level of development. This, in turn, determined the country’s level of socio-economic as well as industrial development. One of the major subject areas necessary for such advancement in biology that comprises of bulky curriculum most especially plant-related topics.

Science comprises the basic disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. The Federal Ministry of Education (FME, 2013) identified biology among the core-science subjects offered at the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) level, Ramalingam, (2003) defined biology as one of the branches of science that involves the study of living things ranging from microscopic cellular molecules to the biosphere which encompasses the earth surface.

Biology is one of the core science subjects offered in senior secondary school in Nigeria. Biological concepts specifically plant-related topics give students a glimpse of scientific exploration, appreciation of nature and opportunity that are needed for discovering. Biology have contributed immensely towards improved quality of human life by providing information on drug abuse, biotechnology, genetic engineering and molecular biology. Various researchers have observed that there is an increasing yearly enrolment in senor secondary school examination in biology, but each year candidate achieve poorly in the examination (Nnorom, 2015; Okoye, 2010).

Importance of biology as highlighted by Maduabum (2019) is stated as follows:

  1. The learning of Biology helps us to understand changes in the environment and the factors affecting these changes, in order to know how human needs are influenced.
  2. The learning of Biology is important in helping mankind to find effective ways of preventing, treating and curing diseases and home management techniques e.g. better methods of food preservation, efficient food preparation and care of the family.
  • The learning of Biology is important in helping the improvement of agricultural yields through scientific innovations.
  1. Helping individuals to understand the parts of his/her body and their functions,
  2. Enabling one to question superstition due to sustained interest arising from comprehension of the cause of events,
  3. Understanding and appreciating life,
  • Bringing into focus the need to maintain good health,
  • Promoting the individual for choice of careers,
  1. To inculcate in the individual scientific skills and attitudes in his approach to personal and societal problem,
  2. Impart factual knowledge and stimulate scientific reflective thinking so as to produce a better informed individual.
  3. The learning of Biology helps us to know how to use natural resources more efficiently in industry e.g. in bio-technology, food production, building and textile and paper industries.

Biology is a branch of science structured to equip students with the knowledge of relevant concepts and scientific skills (Onyegegbu, 2020). It also aimed at developing broadly applicable skills such as problem-solving, communication, critical thinking and objective reasoning abilities to enable students to prepare for the workplace self-sustainability in the world economy (Federal Ministry of Education FME, 2008). With this objective of the curriculum, students are expected to be useful and productive members of society. In order to achieve these objectives of biology, the teaching approach should promote students to assume responsibility and control over their acquisition of knowledge and skills. Thus students should become masters of their learning thereby controlling what, how, why and when they learn.

In spite of these enormous importance that biology provides, biology results in most certified examinations like, Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by both the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO) have not been satisfactory in Nigeria (Ashmore, Frater & Casey, 2019). Despite the emphasis on innovative approach to the teaching of science in general and biology in particular for acquisition of science process and problem-solving skills, biology is still taught by traditional methods (Thomas, 2019). The poor methods of teaching and learning of biology constitute a problem in the learners’ acquisition of functional knowledge, science process skills and development of ability to solve problem.

In the solving of this problem , education seek more reliable and effective methods of instruction for students, so as to produce in learner skills that will enable them to compete successfully in technological and scientific dominated society. In describing a new vision for teacher educator, Long (2018) suggest that teachers will need to be flexible, dynamic, thoughtful and able to work with change. He further suggested the hallmark of competent teachers will be the ability to reflect on teaching strategies as to meet the needs of their students. These innovative strategies have not been employed when compared with the traditional method preponderantly employed by science teachers in Nigeria (Thomas, 2019). Thomas further reiterated that the state of biology teaching in our schools has consistently been of concern as teachers could not properly apply this innovative teaching strategy in some areas in biology.

Moreover, to improve the performance of students in science especially biology plant related topics; a more engaging teaching method should be employed by teachers. Teaching methods refers to the general principle, pedagogy and management techniques used for classroom instruction (Kolawole, 2017). They include discussion method, collaborative, expository, project method, problem based solving technique among others. Researchers have shown that most teachers continue to use ineffective and teacher centered method such as conventional method in teaching (Chukwuemeka, 2016; Ogbu, 2011). Conventional method of teaching refers to teaching using chalk and board for teachers, pen and paper for students (Nnorom, 2015). Teaching should be based on the student’s previous knowledge and connection between the experience of student and biological concept (Chukwuemeka, 2016). Berkeley (2015) noted that the teacher centered method does not promote skill acquisition, objectivity and critical thinking ability among students. There is the need for more activity oriented, students centered and innovative method that can develop in the students science process skills, which include problem based solving method and discussion method which are the striking points in which the researcher tends to identified the differences that exists between them for effective teaching and learning of biology as a science subject.

On one hand, self-regulatory learning strategy is an active constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and attempt to monitor, regulate and control their cognition, motivation and contextual features in an environment (Tang, 2020). It is an act of learning that is guided by metacognition (thinking about one’s thought), strategic action (planning, monitoring and evaluating personal progress against standards) and motivation to learn to make the process of control and to evaluate one’s own learning and behaviour. Unfortunately, these expectations tend to fall short which is attributed to a teacher who emphasizes theoretical presentation of biological concepts at the expense of the practical aspects which are weightier and more rewarding (Nwagbo, 2017). Perhaps, the lecture method of teaching commonly used by most biology teachers does not offer the students the opportunity for active participation and does not promote meaningful learning of biology concepts. It is hoped that making students take responsibility for their own learning through a self-regulated learning strategy may enhance students’ academic achievement in plant-related topics among biology students.

Good and Brophy (1995) defined self-regulated learning strategy as skills through which learner participate in the process of active learning and take responsibility for encouraging themselves to understand materials they deal with, to accomplish tasks, to monitor what they do to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and to take corrective action based on self-regulation reports. To promote self-regulated learning strategy in the classrooms the teacher must teach students the self-regulated processes that facilitate learning. This process includes goal setting, planning, self-motivation, attention, control, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, appropriate help-seeking and flexible use of learning strategies.

Studies have revealed that self-regulated learning strategy has positively improved students’ achievements in various subject areas (Gerard, Annemaree & Nan 2013, Hamid Zahra & Seyed, 2015; Zimmerman, 2002). This is because it gives students an explicit plan for improving upon their achievements in science subjects and also helps them to understand the relationship between knowledge, skill, and motivation. The evidence from the reviewed literature is not conclusive, however, there are also little or no studies on the effects of self-regulated learning strategy on students’ achievement and attitude in senior secondary schools in Delta Central Senatorial District. Since most of the studies were conducted using higher institutions and in other subject areas. Therefore, it is imperative to carry further studies to provide more empirical evidence on the effect of self-regulated learning and discussion method on student achievement towards plant-related topics among biology students.

On other hand, discussion strategy is a technique in which a teacher leads or guides the students in groups towards expressing opinions and ideas with the view to identifying and solving problems collectively. The role of the teacher in this technique is that of a facilitator. The teacher presents the lesson topics to the learners and also creates enabling environment for them.

According to Rahman, Khalil, Jumani, Muhammad, Malik and Sharif (2016), discussion method is a teaching method that includes questioning which is similar to testing. A teacher may ask a series of question to collect information of what students have learned and what needs to be taught. Testing is another application of questioning. A teacher tests the student on what was previously taught in order to identify if a student has learned in order to identify if a student has learned in the material.  Rahman, et’al (2016) explained that discussion works on the principles that the knowledge and idea of several people are more likely to find solution or answers to specific problem or topics. Discussion enhances learning by giving the learners room to develop their communicating skills, mental skills such as critical thinking, reflective thinking and evaluating diverse opinion (Efe, 2017). The role of the teacher is that of a facilitator. The teacher encourages the learner to discover things for themselves this could increase the retention ability of students towards certain concepts.

Gender is one of the factors that might affect students’ achievement in plant-related topics in biology self-regulatory learning and discussion teaching method. Gender is defined by Dike and Abimbola (2017) as a psychological term describing behaviour and attributes expected of individuals on the basis of being born either a male or a female. Keller (2016) writing on the embrassive nature of gender observed that, it is a cultural construct developed by society to distinguish the roles, behaviours, mental and emotional characteristics between male and female. Dike and Abimbola (2017) asserted that gender is obvious from birth and children are socialized very early into appropriate sex-typed-occupations. Hence gender differential valuation of male and female has been viewed as an integral part of the socialization process and the development of the adult male and female personalities.

However, Awoniyi (2011) found out that female students perform better than male counterpart in science. While Okeke (2011) noted that there is no significance difference in the achievement score of male and female students in both chemistry and biology examinations. This shows a contradiction in the findings of researchers on science achievement. Jegede & Fatoke (2014) pointed out that there is no gender difference in the achievement of male and female students in science subjects; however, a good teaching strategy may be gender friendly to ensure that both boys and girls benefit equally from the teaching strategy.

It is upon this background that the researcher deems it fit to undertake a comparative study of self-regulatory learning method and discussion method of teaching on student’s achievement in plant-related topics among senior secondary schools Biology Students of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The yearning for quality and effective instruction delivery has been a long standing objective of science education. The emerging concern for the poor achievement of students in school science and its resultant consequence on the production and development of future scientist, engineers and technologies had led to the search for instructional strategies that promote effective and improved science learning. Consequently, science instruction has become a focus of research for two or more decades. Science knowledge is vast; its scope in each discipline is on the increase. Science educators have come to realize that trying to teach science as a list of facts to be memorized rather than understood is a futile exercise.

It was observed that there is a dearth of empirical focusing on instructional strategies that can enhance teaching and learning of concepts in science. Academic achievement of students in science has been persistently low, biology inclusive WAEC Examiners’ reports indicate that students are not favourably disposed towards scientific and skillful concepts biology. The report identified drawing of poor biology diagrams, poor understanding of plant-related topics among biology students, poor understanding of biology concepts and poor performance on questions related to biology drawings, genetics etc as candidate’s weakness in biology, invariably leading to their poor achievement in the subject. The need to redress this alarming academic problem necessitated exploring the effect of self-relatory learning strategy and discussion method on students’ achievement in plant-related topics among senior secondary schools Biology Students of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

1.3       Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of this study is a comparative study of effects of self-regulatory learning method and discussion method of teaching on student’s achievement in plant-related topics among senior secondary schools Biology Students of Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State. Specifically, the study intends to ascertain the:

  1. Influence of teaching method on the achievement of students in plant-related topics among Biology students.
  2. Effects of self-regulatory teaching method on performance of students in Biology.
  3. Effect of discussion method of teaching on the performance of students in Biology.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study:

  1. Is there a difference in the mean achievement scores of Biology students taught plant-related topics using self-regulatory teaching method and those taught using discussion method?
  2. What is the effect of self-regulatory method of teaching on performance of students in Biology?
  3. What is the effect of discussion method of teaching on the performance of students in Biology?



1.5       Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses guided the conduct of the study:

HO1: There is no statistically significant difference in the mean achievement scores of Biology students taught plant-related topics using self-regulatory teaching method and those taught using discussion method.

HO2: There is no statistically significance difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female Biology students taught plant-related topics using self-regulatory teaching method and discussion teaching methods.

HO3: There is no statistically significant interaction of gender and teaching methods on student’s achievement in Biology.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This study is built on the framework that the findings will have both practical and theoretical significance. The study will benefit teachers, students’ curriculum planners and educational administrators. The study might be deemed theoretically significant because it will provide insights into the current existing theories which could influence problem solving. In particular, Gestats’ and Gagner’s theory of hierarchical learning, Gestalts’ theory of problem solving explained that problem solving occurs with a flash of insight. During insight, problem solvers devise a way of representing the problem that enables solution. The result of this study will strengthen the tenets of these theories and shall help to expand the body of knowledge in the area of students’ achievement in plant-related topics in biology.

The findings of the study would informs biology teachers on the effectiveness and relationship of self-regulatory strategy and discusion teaching method, thereby shaping their teaching strategies from traditional teacher-learner interaction to hands-on activities to promote active students` participation.

Curriculum planners would utilize the information from the findings of the study in curriculum planning. The information could help the curriculum planners to determine the adequacy of self-regulatory aspect of senior secondary biology curriculum.

Finally, this work serves as reference material for interested researchers as it also serves as a guide for the researchers on the research gaps left when conducted this research.

1.7       Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The study was carried out in Sanga Area Directorate of Education in Kaduna state. The zone was used on the fact that literature search by the researcher revealed that no such study has been carried out in this area. Senior secondary school class two students (SS 2) will be used in the study. The choice of the population was based on the fact that the state and the zone in particular is educational less developed as reflected on the students’ WAEC and NECO achievement in biology in the background of the study.

The problem investigated in this study was restricted to basic plant-related biology concepts covering topics found in the biology curriculum. The sub-sections of biology to be covered in this research study are as follows:

  1. Supporting tissues in plants.
  2. Transport system

The study will also be limited to the effects of self-regulatroy instructional strategy and discussion method on biology students’ achievement in plant related topics.


1.8       Operational Definition of Terms

Terms that are related to the study are defined below in order to remove somatic ambiguity in their usage.

Comparative: It refers to measurement or judgment by estimating the similarity or dissimilarity between one thing and another

Teaching method: It refers to the principles and strategies used by teachers to enable student learning.

Self-regulatory learning method:   It is a process in which individuals organise and manage their thoughts, emotions and behaviour, as well as their learning environment, in order to attain the set learning goals.

Discussion method:  It refers to varieties of forums for open-ended, collaborative exchange of ideas among a teacher and students or among students for the purpose of furthering students thinking, learning, problem solving, understanding, or literary appreciation

Student: It refers to a person who is studying in schools or other place of higher education

Students’ achievement: It refers to the extent to which a learner has attained their short or long-term educational goals. It is also a measurement of the amount of academic content a student learns in a given time frame.

Biology: Literally, refers to the science that studies life, and living things, and the evolution of life.

Senior secondary schools: It refers to school for pupils between the ages of 11 or 12 and 17 or 18 that student attend in the three highest classes before college.





















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