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Title Page – – – – – – – – – i
Declaration – – – – – – – – – ii
Approval Page – – – – – – – – iii
Dedication – – – – – – – – – iv
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – vi
Abstract – – – – – – – – viii

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 Hypothesis – – – – – – 9
1.6. Significance of the Study – – – – – – 10
1.7. Scope of the Study – – – – – – 11
1.8. Definition of Terms – – – – – – 12

2.1 Concept Mapping – – – – – – 13
2.2 Using Concept Mapping in Instructions – – – 14
2.3 The Use of Concept Mapping and Experiments in the Teaching of
Biology – – – – – – – – 17
2.4 Biology as a Subject in Senior Secondary School – 23
2.5 Conventional Teaching Method for Biology in Senior
Secondary School – – – – – – 25
2.6 Influence of Teaching Method on Students’ Attitude
towards Biology – – – – – – – 34
2.6.1 Influence of Lecture Methods on Students’ Attitude towards
Biology – – – – – – – – 36
2.6.2 Influence of Lecture Method on Students’ Achievement in
Biology – – – – – – – – 38
2.6.3 Influence of Concept Mapping on Students’ Attitude towards
Biology – – – – – – – – 39
2.6.4 Influence of Concept Mapping on Students’ Achievement in
Biology – – – – – – – – 41
2.7 The Need for a Change in Teaching Strategy in Biology – 44

3.1 Introduction – – – – – – – 46
3.2 Research Design – – – – – – – 46
3.3 Population of the Study – – – – – – 47
3.3.1 Population Sample – – – – – – 47
3.3.2 Sampling Technique – – – – – – 47
3.4 Instrument for Data Collection – – – – – 48
3.4.1 Validity and Reliability of the Instrument – – 49
3.4.2 Description and development of instrument – – 49
3.5 Procedure for data collection – – – – – 50
3.6 Method of data analysis – – – – – 50

4.0 Introduction – – – – – – – 52
4.1 Mode of Presentation of Results – – – – 52
4.2 Research Questions – – – – – – 53
4.3 Test of Hypothesis – – – – – – 54
4.4 Discussion of Findings – – – – – – 58

5.0 Introduction – – – – – – – – 59
5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – 59
5.2 Conclusion – – – – – – – 60
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – 61
5.4 Limitations of the Study – – – – – 63
5.5 Suggestions for Further Studies – – – – 63
References – – – – – – – – 64
Appendices – – – – – – – 75

The main purpose of carrying out this project was to investigate into the effect of concept mapping on the academic performance of students in selected secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. The comparison of the mean score of students who were taught using concept mapping and students who were taught using lecture method was made. It was discovered that those who were taught using concept mapping method performed better than those who were taught using the lecture method. The researchers concluded in the light of the finding that this remarkable differences in the performance of students was not as a result of the weakness of lecture method, but it was pointed out that every subject and topic has a suitable teaching method and therefore, a subject like biology requires a teaching method such as concept mapping in order to attain the aims and objective of the lesson. In the strength of the conclusion, the researchers recommended that Biology teachers should adopt the concept mapping method in teaching and learning of biology, the use of concept mapping should be made an integral part of teacher education programme in the teacher training college and colleges of education, so that those teachers in training would be exposed to concept mapping, curriculum planners should fashion curriculum to incorporating the concept mapping method in the senior secondary school curriculum, biology teachers should produce any ideal textbook for students in senior secondary schools in biology, Government, through the state and Federal Ministry of Education should organize and sponsor biology teaching and learning workshops, seminars, conferences and exhibitions on a regular basis aimed at updating the knowledge of teaching on current teaching strategies and also encourage teachers of biology to attend refresher courses regularly towards updating their knowledge to meet the global challenges.



1.1 Background to the Study
According to Schunk, (2012), learning involves acquiring and modifying knowledge, skills, strategies, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. People learn cognitive, linguistic, motor, and social skills, and these can take many forms. At a simple level, children learn to solve 1+1, to recognize y in the word daddy, to tie their shoes, and to play with other children. At a more complex level, students learn to solve long-division problems, write term papers, ride a bicycle, and work cooperatively on a group project.
An important feature of learning is that it involves a complex interactive system including environmental, social, motivational, emotional and cognitive factors (Baron & Byrne, 2003; Huffman, 2004; Joyce, Weil & Calhoun, 2004).The subjects at the Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria are divided into Arts, Social Sciences and Sciences depending on the course each individual intends to offer after the secondary education. In Nigeria, the sciences are taught in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Biology teachers for many years, have demonstrated that even though a large populace of students show interest in offering biology as a subject and think it to be the simplest of the sciences, despite that there has been a consistent poor achievement in both internal and external examinations in Biology (WAEC/NECO Chief Examiner Report(2013, 2014-2015).
The National Curriculum for Senior Secondary Schools Volume Three (3) Science in (Ajaja 2009) stated the specific objectives to be achieved by each subject (curriculum).
The cardinal objectives for biology include:
Adequate laboratory and field skills in Biology; Meaningful and relevant knowledge in Biology; Ability to apply scientific knowledge to everyday life in matters of personal and community health and agriculture; and Reasonable and functional scientific attitudes. (Ajaja, 2009)
Biology occupies a unique position in the school curriculum; this is because Biology is central to many sciences related professional courses such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Nursing, Biochemistry, Dentistry, Microbiology, Laboratory Technology and all other related courses. It therefore becomes binding on anyone wishing to offer any of the courses listed above or any related to such to offer Biology as one of the prerequisite subjects in the secondary school to gain admission into the University.
Although Biology is a prerequisite to these courses, poor achievement in Biology is alarming according to reports from Ajaja (2002) and Ahmed (2008) These consistent poor performances in Biology external examinations among Senior Secondary Schools students have given a lot of concern to educators, curriculum planners and students themselves Okoye (2004). The WAEC Chief Examiner report from 2009-2015 further confirms that there is poor performance of students in Biology which is seen more in the practical aspect of the examinations over the years. The examiner pointed out some of the errors which include errors of identification of specimens, labeling of specimen, poor drawing and spelling botanical names that made them to lose whole marks. They ascribed the problem to lack of consistent practice in teaching methods.
Various teaching methods are used for instruction in the teaching of Biology. These teaching methods have been summarized into Expository, Practical or Activity Oriented and Constructivism (Okoye & Okechukwu, 2006 and Nwokenna, 2010). Expository methods according to Nwokenna (2010) which include lecture method, demonstration, project, field trip and discussion methods. They concentrate on presentation of concepts, facts and principles by the teacher while the students are merely asked to listen and take notes.
These facts and principles are drawn from textbooks based on stipulated contents and cognitive levels within the unit of instruction. The foregoing presents a picture of the use of poor teaching methods used during Biology instruction, which according to Nwokenna (2010), may not improve the performance of students in their academic pursuit. The above scenario suggests that the conventional teaching methods used among others have accounted for the persistent poor performance of students in internal and external examinations in Biology.
Scientists and science educators have however come to a conclusive agreement as many researchers have been on going on how to involve students in the learning process and science educators have come up with concept mapping as one of such teaching-learning techniques (Okoye & Okechukwu, 2006; Kinechin, 2000 and Markow & Lenning, 2008). According to Canas & Novak (2009) concept mapping are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type and relationships between concepts are indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts. Words on the line, referred to as linking words or linking phrases specify the relationship between two concepts. Wikipedia, (2017) (the free encyclopedia) defined concept map as a diagram that depicts suggested relationships between concepts. It is a graphical tool that designers, engineers, technical writers and others use to organize and structure knowledge. Giving an overview, the Wikipedia encyclopedia describes concept map as a way of representing relationship between ideas, images or words in the same way that a sentence diagram represents the grammar of a sentence, a road map represents the locations of highways and towns and a circuit diagram represents the workings of an electrical appliance. In concept map, each word or phrase connects to another, and links back to the original idea, word or phrase. Concept maps are means of developing logical thinking and study skills by revealing connections and helping students see how individual ideas form a larger whole.
The technique of concept mapping according to Wikipedia encyclopedia was developed by Joseph D. Novak as a means of representing the emerging science of knowledge of student by his research team at Cornell University in the 1970s s. It has subsequently been used as a tool to increase meaningful learning in the sciences and other subjects as well as to represent the expert knowledge of individuals and teams in education, government and business. Concept maps have their origin in the learning movement called constructivism. In particular, constructivists hold that learners should actively construct knowledge.
Novak & Canas (2006) believes that one of the reasons concept mapping is so powerful for the facilitation of meaningful learning is that it serves as a kind of template or scaffold to help to organize knowledge and to structure it, even though the structure must be built up piece by piece with small units of interacting concept and propositional frameworks.
One of the key factors in learning science is students’ attitude, and development of positive attitudes toward science can motivate students’ interest in science and science related careers. George, (2006) in Nasr & Asghar, (2011), Simpson and Oliver (1990) in Nasr & Asghar (2011) sees the concept of attitude towards science as vague and ambiguous. They opined that attitude is a concept that defines emotional trends in response to affairs, persons, locations, events or ideas. They concluded that such phrases as „I like science or I enjoy science‟ courses enumerate as attitude. According to Yara (2009) in Omirin and Oladosu (2010) attitude of the teacher and his teaching method can influence students‟ attitude. And attitude as they say is the key to success. Franseca (2010) opined that one of the factors that affect students‟ learning performance is the way they face knowledge, namely their attitude to the subject. Such attitudes as profound feelings, relatively stable are derived from positive or negative experiences across time on learning a subject (Estrad, 2002 in Franseca 2010). Buttressing this, studies from Markow and Lonning, (1998), Simpson, (1978), Wilson, (1983) and Soyibo, (1985), in Adesoji (2008) reported that students‟ positive attitude to science correlate highly with science achievement.
Learning according to Angelo and Howard (2007) is a complex cognitive process that occurs in individual ages. The learner may have a variable degree of understanding of the new information, at one end of the spectrum and the learner may have virtually no understanding of the new information, this condition is called rote learning. In such a condition the learner acquires information primarily through verbatim memorization. Because the conceptional meaning of the knowledge being memorized is not addressed, the new information cannot be linked to relevant concepts the learner already knows. According to Angelo and Howard (2007)), the outcome of rote learning is that little or no information is transferred into the long-term memory. Citing Novak and Gowin,( 2004), they opined that the outcome of meaningful learning is that the new information is transferred into long term memory (retained) in a relevant linkage with prior knowledge. As such, meaningful learning leads to long term information retention. The foregoing therefore underscores the need to look into the effect of concept mapping in teaching Biology and how it enhances the academic achievements of students in secondary schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The rate of failure in biology examination in both internal and external has become a cause for alarm in the present day. This study was inspired in response to the deteriorating performance of students in internal and external Biology examinations. These poor performances according to Ajaja (2011) are occasioned by the very poor state of resources for teaching and learning Biology and the unchallenging environment under which the teaching of Biology takes place. (Nwagbo 2001 in Nwagbo and Chukelu, 2011) identified the teacher variable, that is the teacher’s teaching strategy as being responsible for students‟ poor performance in science and Biology in particular.
This situation therefore calls for a search for the notion that concept mapping makes students to remember information longer and enables them to use this knowledge effectively because it is moved to a long term memory.
In view of these problems, the researchers have seen the need to determine the effects of using concept mapping as alternative technique for the teaching Biology in Senior Secondary Schools in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
This study sought to achieve the following purposes:
i. To compare the mean performance of students taught biology using concept maps and other teaching techniques.
ii. To determine the level of retention of biology knowledge between students taught using concept maps and lecture method in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.
iii. To compare the attitude of students to the teaching of biology when concept maps and other forms of teaching techniques are used.
1.4 Research Questions
i. What is the difference in the mean score of students taught biology using concept map and traditional method of teaching?
ii. How long do students who are taught using concept mapping retain the knowledge which they acquire?
iii. What is the difference in attitude of students towards Biology when concept mapping is used for teaching biology?
iv. What is the effect of teaching students using concept mapping in Biology as a subject?

1.5 Hypothesis
H0 There is no significant relationship between concept mapping and the academic performance of students
Ha There is a significant relationship between concept mapping and the academic performance of students
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of benefit to biology students, teachers, curriculum planners/developers, textbooks writers, ministry of education and future researchers.
Biology students will benefit from the findings of this study as the use of concept mapping in the teaching of biology will boost their achievement and help to increase their retention of biology concepts. It will also help them to develop more interest in Biology and acquire and develop scientific skills which will help them in their career choice particularly those careers geared towards Biological sciences.
The findings of this study will be of benefit to biology teachers as it will help teachers in choosing appropriate instructional methods and materials capable of releasing students’ tension toward the subject. It will motivate teachers to develop interest in utilizing modern instructional material like using concept mapping in teaching topics and selecting suitable teaching methods that will be a possible means towards reducing failure in the teaching and learning of biology.
The findings of this study will also sensitize Biology teachers on the benefits of the use of concept mapping for teaching as it will have a great effect on the academic achievement and retention of the students.
The research will also form another dimension of innovations in the teaching and learning of Biology.
The findings of this study will also benefit curriculum planners in curriculum planning, as using concept mapping in planning a curriculum on a specific topic helps to make the instruction conceptually “transparent” to students. Concept mapping can be utilized in appropriate strategies of curriculum planning such as modification and revision. The Federal Ministry of Education can also benefit by using the findings of this study to engage teachers and administrators in training programmes that can model this new educational approaches.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focused on the effects of using concept mapping in teaching Biology secondary school students in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State. Despite the fact that this research is limited in scope to Pankshin Local Government Area, the findings can be generic – it can be generalized to other parts of the country as well.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Effect: A change which is as a result or consequence of an action or other cause.
Concept Mapping: Concept maps are graphical tools for organizing and representing knowledge. They include concepts, usually enclosed in circles or boxes of some type, and relationships between concepts indicated by a connecting line linking two concepts.




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