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The study seeks to examine effects of two teaching methods on secondary school student’s performance in Biology: a case study of education zone in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau 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 Mangu 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 showed that there was a significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught Biology using practical method and those taught using lecture method with those taught using practical method having a higher mean gain. This shows that practical method has more effect on students’ achievement in Biology than the lecture method. The result also shows that there was no statistically significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students (taught using two methods 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 recommend among others that Biology teachers should be discouraged from using teacher-center instructional strategy in biology but rather, practical method where students’ would be actively involved in the art teaching and learning.
















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

1.2       Statement of the Problem     –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.3       Purpose of the Study –           –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.4       Research Questions   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.5       Research hypotheses –           –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.6       Significance of the Study      –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.7       Scope and Delimitation of the Study           –           –           –           –           9         

1.8       Operational Definition of Terms     –           –           –           –           –           9







3.0       Introduction   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           30

3.1       Design of the Study   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           30

3.2       Population of the Study        –           –           –           –           –           –           31

3.3       Sample and Sampling Techniques –           –           –           –           –           32

3.4       Instrument for Data Collection       –           –           –           –           –           33

3.5.1    Validation of the Instrument           –           –           –           –           –           34

3.5.2    Reliability of the Instrument           –           –           –           –           –           34

3.6       Method of Data Collection   –           –           –           –           –           –           35

3.7       Methods of Data Analysis    –           –           –           –           –           –           36



4.0       Introduction   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           37

4.1       Results            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           37

4.2       Hypotheses Testing   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           39

4.3       Discussion of the Findings   –           –           –           –           –           –           41




5.1       Summary of the Findings     –           –           –           –           –           –           44

5.2       Conclusion     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           45

5.3        Recommendation     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           45

5.4       Suggestions for Further Studies      –           –           –           –           –           45

REFERENCE           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           47

APPENDIX I:            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           50

APPENDIX 2:           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           51

APPENDIX 3:           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           56


APPENDIX 4:             –           –           –           –           –           –           –           58









1.1          Background of the Study

Education is an important process through which men preserve their culture. School is a special institution which has been entrusted with the responsibilities of young ones, and teaching is the main activity through which schools discharge their duties and attain their objectives. If teaching is done effectively, schools, successfully, achieve their goals. Many efforts have been made to study teaching and improve it in order to make it realise pre-determined goals. Teaching involves setting appropriate learning expectations for students, and, for that purpose, includes selection and sequencing of activities or kinds of interactions that would lead to expected learning. In view of this, the term, “teaching-learning”, has come into vogue, So, the term is used widely to indicate the process of teaching in all its dimensions viz., making decisions or choices of why, what and how, as well as actually executing decisions and appraising outcomes. Teaching is human engineering and soul doctoring. Teaching refers to the multiple tasks carried out by teacher for leading the learners to the expected learning. The term ‘human engineering’ means the possibility of modifying and constructing human behaviour in intended ways on the basis of certain technical procedures. The term ‘soul doctoring’, means providing better nourishment to the development of the soul.

Varied descriptions of teaching are available in literature, ranging from the highly ideational, idealistic descriptions of teaching to very specific task descriptions of what it involves. Teaching is described as an interactive process between the teacher and the students under certain conditions for facilitating effective construction of knowledge by students. It is also described as a process to influence learners so as to ‘impinge on them through their perceptual and cognitive processes’. It is in this sense that teaching can be said to be ‘educating’ a person. Education, no doubt, is a broader process of leading to individual development and social progress. However, teaching is central to education in attaining its purpose; that is, teaching is the instrument through which individuals are educated. Teaching is always intended to lead to some learning. Without learning teaching is incomplete. Effective teaching in the classroom is the need of the hour.

Teaching is an intimate contact between a more mature personality and a less mature one which is designed to further the education of the latter (H.C. Morrison, 2014). Teaching is an arrangement and manipulation of a situation in which there are gaps and obstructions which an individual will seek to overcome and from which he will learn in the course of doing so (John Brubacher, 2014). Teaching is a system of actions intended to produce learning (B.O. Smith, 2015). Teaching is a form of interpersonal influence aimed at changing the behaviour potential of another person (N.L. Gage, 2015). Teaching is a system of actions involving an agent, an end in view, and a situation including two sets of factors those over which the agent has no control (class size, size of classroom, physical characteristics of pupils, etc.) and those that he can modify (way of asking questions about instruction and ways of structuring information or ideas gleaned) (B.O. Smith, 2014). Teaching is defined as an interactive process, primarily involving classroom talk which takes place between teachers and pupils and occurs during certain definable activities (Edmund Amidon, 2015).According to(Clarke, 2015). Teaching is the task of a teacher which is performed for the development of a child (Thomas F. Green, 2015). ShriAurobindo (2016), have defined It as “The first principle of true teaching is that nothing can be taught”. In the words of English and English (2016) “The teaching is the art of assisting others to learn. It includes the providing of information (instruction) and of appropriate situation, conditions or activities design to facilitate learning”.

There has been a consistent poor achievement in Biology as shown by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) annual reports of (2010-2015). Many scholars have therefore tried to find the ways and means of improving student’s achievements in Biology. They have, therefore, looked at many factors and carried out some empirical studies on the impact of these factors on performance of students.

The factor considered in the present study is the impact of two teaching methods: (innovative/practical and demonstration) on secondary school student’s performances in Biology in Mangu Directorate of Education. The methods being considered are the practical and the lecture methods. These two (2) methods encourage co-operative learning between the teacher and the learners.  Johnson and Johnson (2015) were of the opinion that co-operative learning experiences promoted higher achievement among the students. Although most studies have stressed on students’ participation and interaction as being very important factors of achievement, there may, however, be other alternative contributing factors and teacher’s method of teaching is definitely one of them.

Jonassen DH. (2016), states that pedagogy is a different way by which a teacher can teach. Teaching method therefore, is the act or science of being a teacher, generally referring to strategies of instruction or style of instruction. Science is an activity-oriented subject. The way it is thought is important in helping the students acquire basic scientific knowledge, skills and attitude to solving different problem in life. Biology being a science subject, therefore involve the teacher using methods that will give the students opportunity to be actively involved. It is a well-known fact that no skilled teacher ever uses just one method of teaching Shield (2015), pointed out that good teachers follow no one method, instead he/she uses whatever methods and materials that seems to be best for the particular combination of individual situations.

This research work is focused mainly on practical and lecture methods of teaching. Practical method involves Teaching and learning using practical work. By ‘practical work’ we mean tasks in which students observe or manipulate real objects or materials or they witness a teacher demonstration practical enhance the learning of scientific knowledge. Give insight into scientific method and develop expertise in using it. The lecture method is a pedagogical method whereby the teacher formally delivers a carefully planned expository address on some particular topic.

Trusted (2015), asserts that the practical method could be teacher centered, task centered or student centered. The teacher demonstrates to the learners how to perform a particular practical, and then the student will try their possible best in doing as the teacher or laboratory technician deed.  According to Walker (2014), says that in practical method, students are given chance to learn how to perform a particular task while the teacher who has the experience do the task practically so as the students will learn from him.

By ‘practical method’ we mean tasks in which students observe or manipulate real objects or materials or they witness a teacher demonstration.

Practical work can:

  • Motivate pupils, by stimulating interest and enjoyment 
  • Teach laboratory skills 
  • Enhance the learning of scientific knowledge 
  • Give insight into scientific method and develop expertise in using it 
  • Develop ‘scientific attitudes’, such as open-mindedness and objectivity

(This list is based on Hodson, D. 2014, “A critical look at practical work in school science” School Science Review, Vol 70 (Number 256), pp 33-40.)

An effective teacher plans practical work with specific learning objectives in mind. By using different pedagogical approaches, the same practical task can be used to achieve different learning outcomes. For some practical tasks, the learning is about objects and observables. Students are expected to recall what they have observed. Other tasks involve making links between observables and scientific ideas. Students generally find the latter harder, as they involve thinking as well as seeing and doing. The task design needs to ‘scaffold’ students’ efforts to make these links. Practical work to develop students’ scientific knowledge is likely to be most effective when:

  • the learning objectives are clear, and relatively few in number for any given task;
  • the task design highlights the main objectives and keeps ‘noise’ to the minimum;
  • a strategy is used to stimulate the students’ thinking beforehand, so that the practical task is answering a question the student is already thinking about.

According to Wirschner (2015), lecture method is a teaching method that a teacher diverse a pre-planned body of knowledge to students, the teacher is active while the students are passive. These methods are usually employed in tertiary institution e.g. Universities, Colleges of education and Polytechnics.

According to Mayer (2015), Lecture methods are done to give a formal talk to a group of people, often at universities. It provides an opportunity to learn new explanation of tasks from a different perspective. A teacher may use lecture method ideas in a science class. Lecture may be used in the circumstance of proving conclusively a fact, as by reasoning or showing evidence.

For instance, the classroom teachers after conduct formative and summative tests, to evaluate students mastering of course content and provide grades for students and parents. This relative achievement of secondary school students is an example that has internal and external impact depending on the method adopted by the teacher.

According to Mayer (2014), a lecture method (from the French lecture, meaning reading) is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. Lectures are used to convey critical information, history, background, theories, and equations. A politician’s speech, a minister’s sermon, or even a businessman’s sales presentation may be similar in form to a lecture. Usually the lecturer will stand at the front of the room and recite information relevant to the lecture’s content.

According to Wirschner (2014), lecture method of teaching is the oldest teaching method applied in educational institution. This teaching method is on way channel of communication of information. Students’ involvement in this teaching method is just to listen and sometimes pen down some notes if necessary, during the lecture, combine the information and organized it. According to Mayer (2016), though lectures are much criticised as a teaching method, universities have not yet found practical alternative teaching methods for the large majority of their courses. Critics point out that lecturing is mainly a one-way method of communication that does not involve significant audience participation but relies upon passive learning. Therefore, lecturing is often contrasted to active learning. Lectures delivered by talented speakers can be highly stimulating; at the very least, lectures have survived in academia as a quick, cheap, and efficient way of introducing large numbers of students to a particular field of study. It is in the light of the above that the need to examine the effects of two teaching methods on secondary school student performance in Biology cannot be over emphasized.

1.2          Statement of the Problem

The popular opinion in Nigeria today is that the standard of Education has fallen short of what it should be. This fall in the standard of education is perceived by many as the inability of the teachers to impact knowledge to the learners, the way they will understand and write well in examinations. Reports by examination councils in Nigeria have disclosed the recurrent and endemic failure of students in both internal and external examinations especially in Biology (WAEC) annual reports; (2010-2015). Agbo (2010), says that ‘teachers no more show commitment as they see themselves as most “measure up”. Also, Layi, (2004), found out that teacher’s lateness to work, absenteeism and poor attitude to work encourage indolence and contribute to poor performance among students. The problem of this study is therefore to investigate the effects of two teaching methods on secondary school student’s performance in Biology: a case study of education zone in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State.

1.3    Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate into the effects of two teaching methods on secondary school student’s performance in Biology: a case study of education zone in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. Specifically, the study seeks to: –

  1. To investigate whether there is significance difference in students’ performance using two teaching methods (practical and lecture) in Biology.
  2. To find out whether there is adequate instructional materials to teach using two teaching methods in biology.
  3. To determine whether there is adequate and competent teachers to teach using two teaching methods in Biology.


1.4   Research Questions

The following research questions have been formulated to guide this study: –

  1. Is there any significance difference between students’ performance in teaching using two different methods (lecture and practical) in Biology?
  2. Is there adequate instructional materials to be use in the two teaching methods in Biology?
  3. Is there adequate and competent teachers to teach using the two teaching methods in Biology?

1.5          Research hypotheses

H1:  There is no significant differences in students’ performance when using two teaching methods (practical and lecture) in Biology.

H2: There is adequate instructional materials to teach using two teaching methods in Biology.

H3:  There is adequate and competent teachers to teach using two teaching methods  in Biology.   

1.6    Significance of the Study

The finding of this study will be of benefit to the teachers, students and curriculum planners. The study critically discusses extensively the impact of two teaching methods: (practical and lecture method) on secondary school student’s performance in Biology.

The findings will help the students who have lost hope in doing well in Biology that all hope is not lost as they can still understand the subject by improvement in teaching methods used by their teachers.

The teachers will benefit since the study will help them to understand the appropriate methods of teaching to be employed in carrying out their duties. The curriculum planners will get used information that will enable them improve in their planning of curriculum.

The overall significance is that when all the stake holders in this study benefit from the findings, the learning of Biology will be very enjoyable and the students will perform better in both internal and external examinations.

1.7   Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The study will concern itself with the effects of two teaching methods on secondary school student’s performance in Biology which will be carried out in Mangu Area Directorate of Education.  Four (4) secondary schools in Mangu  LGA will be used for the study. A multiplicity of variables come under the topic, but the researcher have decided to focus on the following variables: – These includes, the use of practical and lecture methods in teaching Biology. The skills involved in the use of the two teaching methods, the facilities available for the two teaching methods.

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.

Biology: This is the scientific study of natural process of living things. It has two branches Botany and Zoology.

Effects: Literally, it refers to a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause. In this study, it implies to the striking changes observed among Biology students when taught using two teaching strategy.

Practical Method: This is a class or examination method in a scientific or technical subject in which students do things rather than just write or talk about them.

Lecture Method: This is a method whereby a teacher diverse a pre-planned body of knowledge to students, the teacher is active while the students are passive. 

Secondary School: Secondary schools typically follow on from primary schools and lead into vocational and tertiary education.

Academic Performance: Refers to the level of schooling you have successfully completed and the ability to attain success in your studies. When you receive great grades, this is an example of academic achievement.

Students: Student is primarily a person enrolled in a school or other educational institution who attends classes in a course to attain the appropriate level of mastery of an instructor.

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