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This study examines Project-based learning approach to teaching of Biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education. A descriptive survey research design was employed and simple random sampling technique was used to arrive at 120 respondents. Three research questions guided the study. Structured questionnaire with fifteen (15) items from the three research questions was used as instrument of data collection and were analyzed using statistical mean tool. The result revealed that, Biology Teachers show a highly significant perception on using project-based learning approach for effective teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools. The study also reveals that using project-based learning approach by Biology teachers is of great importance to pre-service students, this is because project-based learning approach if properly utilized can engage students, cut absenteeism, boost cooperative learning skills, and improve academic performance. The study concludes that, the complex and situated nature of project-based learning approach necessitates approaches in which learning process and content knowledge are treated as an integrated body of knowledge, because it exposed students to new skills development. The study recommends among others that, Government should organize workshops to train pre-service teachers and re-train Biology teachers on the difficult concepts in utilizing project-based learning approach.



















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

1.2       Statement of the Problem     –           –           –           –           –           –           5

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

1.4       Research Questions –           –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.5       Significance of the Study      –           –           –           –           –           –           7

1.6       Delimitation of the Study     –           –           –           –           –           –           8

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms     –           –           –           –           –           8







3.0       Introduction   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           38

3.1       Research Design        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           38

3.2       Population      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           38

3.3       Sample and Sampling Techniques  –           –           –           –           –           39

3.3.1    Sample            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           39

3.3.2    Sampling Techniques           –           –           –           –           –           –           40

3.4       Instrument for Data Collection       –           –           –           –           –           40

3.4.1    Description of the Instrument          –           –           –           –           –           40

3.4.2    Procedure for Instrument Development     –           –           –           –           40

3.5       Validity of the Instrument    –           –           –           –           –           –           41

3.6       Procedure and Data Collection       –           –           –           –           –           41

3.7       Method of Data Analysis      –           –           –           –           –           –           42



4.0       Introduction –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           43

4.1       Results            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           43

4.2       Discussion of Findings          –           –           –           –           –           –           50



5.0       Introduction –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           53

5.1       Summary of findings            –           –           –           –           –           –           53

5.2       Conclusions   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           54

5.3       Limitation of the Study        –           –           –           –           –           –           55

5.4       Recommendations     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           56

5.4       Suggestions for further Studies       –           –           –           –           –           56

REFERENCE           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           58

APPENDIX     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           62










1.1       Background of the Study

Science and Technology play a critical role in transforming societies and economies through enhancing efficiency, connectivity and access to resources and service (Bamidele, 2016). The study of science yields both theoretical and practical knowledge about the environment which can be used to manipulate and harness the forces and resources of nature for human development and well-being (Njoku, 2007).  Science has been regarded as the bedrock upon which the modern day technological breakthrough is built. Countries all over the world, especially the developing ones like Nigeria, are striving hard to develop technologically and scientifically. Nwagbo in Usman (2010) explained science as an intellectual activity carried out by humans, designed to discover information about the natural world in which we live and to discover the ways in which this information can be organized to benefit human race. According to Feynman (2011), science has become such an indispensable tool that no nation, developed or developing, wishing to progress in socio-economic sphere will afford to relegate the learning of science in schools to the background.

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. Biology gives students a glimpse of scientific exploration 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 (2009) is stated as follows:  Helping individuals to understand the parts of his/her body and their functions, Enabling one to question superstition due to sustained interest arising from comprehension of the cause of events, Understanding and appreciating life, Bringing into focus the need to maintain good health,  and Promoting the individual for choice of careers among others. 

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.

The ultimate goal of any teaching activity is to facilitate effective learning among students. In an attempt to ensure that effective learning takes place, teachers effort should be geared towards ideas, methods and skills. There is no gain saying that students in modern world of science, technology and information explosion are expose to myriad of information from different sources. It is expected that this information should be acquired, perceived, internalized, retained, intercepted and utilized by students in a similar or novel environment with view to succeed in examination in particular and life in general, (Nwosis and Nzewi, 2009).

The teaching of science process apart from its physiological benefits as a motivational factor is known to take a more lasting effect on students learning. Some process skills on the other hand, appear to have a longer life span and are positively related to acquisition of appropriate scientific attitudes and habits because even those dropouts from school at some stage are those that might not later specialized in scientifically intelligent question and pursue the solutions to their problems in like manners. The importance of these cannot be over emphasized; given that the world is daily become more scientifically and technologically sophisticated. To realize this basic goal of how curricular were innovated which emphasized the teaching of science inquiring to inculcate scientific process skills, Nwosis and Nzewi (2009) observed that these approaches emphasize active learning by learners in a social environment from which resources and references should be respectively drawn and made to make learning more effective, meaningful and relevant. For accuracy and provision, most science teachers tend to feel that these processes can only be use of expensive imported apparatus.

As new advanced technologies have come to our classrooms, there is increased interest in the essential roles and qualities of teacher knowledge bases necessary for successful technology integration. However, it has been suggested that many teacher education programs have not been preparing teacher candidates adequately to integrate technology, and many teachers in schools are reluctant to use technology for teaching and learning (Fishman & Davis, 2006; Moursund & Bielefeldt, 1999; Willis & Mehlinger, 1996; Zhao, Pugh & Sheldon, 2002). One of reasons for this phenomenon is that student teachers have very little knowledge about effective technology integration, even after completing courses about instructional technology (Hew & Brush, 2007; Vannatta & Beyerbach, 2000). Although technology courses have offered a variety of technological tools and provided opportunities to learn and practice technical skills, it has been pointed out that mere exposure to a number of technical tools does not necessarily mean that pre-service teachers can develop abilities to design successful, biology lessons.

Project-Based Learning, or PBL as it is commonly referred, is not a new concept in the world of education. It has been utilized for decades in a variety of content areas and in a variety of settings. Project based learning provides pre-service students with practical applications of concepts that allows for them to make connections between the content being learned and the real world. The connections produced allow students to see there are opportunities for them to use information gathered in the real world, especially in the realm of Business and Marketing Education. Students are more likely to retain material and understand abstract concepts due to the more hands on environment that project based learning create.

Project based learning also provides students with multiple opportunities to enhance skills that will be needed in the future. Students learn how to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other. They will develop their critical thinking and problem solving skills. This allows them to learn different ways of thinking and how to come to conclusions more efficiently and effectively. Skills gained through project based learning and Business and Marketing Education are those that employers look for in this modern world. With ample project based learning opportunities, students can succeed in multiple content areas in the classroom, along with building upon and honing skills that they can utilize to be successful. It is against the background that we can appreciate the significance of the question “the important role of project-based learning approach to teaching of Biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

There are many problems and obstacles which hinder the effective teaching of Biology in our secondary schools. Despite the importance attached to the subject, there is no secondary school in Pankshin Local Government Area in Plateau State where the range of teaching method employed by teachers for teaching of Biology can be described as being in anyway effective.

          This arises as a result of inability of our teachers to effectively employed the use of project-based learning approach especially now, due to foreign exchange restriction and large populations of secondary schools pupils. The aspects of this problems will be dealt with in this study which has the survey of material resources required by the teaching of Biology in secondary school in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education, Plateau State.

          The following specific questions can be asked does teachers in secondary school employed, improvised or substitute for importance of project-based learning approach which is not easily obtained. Are there enough materials resources for integrated teaching in secondary school? What are the materials that can be improved?

Incompetence of teachers to effectively employ the use of project-based has been said to be one of the factors responsible for poor performance of learners, especially in our senior secondary schools. A lot of studies have been carried out to improve effective teaching learning process by different researchers.

Adeniran (2019) examined strategies for production and level of improvised biology instructional materials and discovered that instructional media are inadequate in the schools. Adelakun (2017) studied the acquisition production and utilization of teaching methods and its effects on academic achievement of secondary students in biology, he opined that the use of real life situation as teaching materials facilitates easy communication which leads to better retention of what is learned that is using what have not experienced or seen before.

This study is set out to assess the importance of project-based learning approach to teaching of Biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education, in order to stimulate effective learning of biology in our various schools.

1.3     Purpose of the Study

The primary purpose of this study is project-based learning approach to teaching of Biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education. The specific objectives are to:

  1. To find out the perception of teachers on project-based learning approach for effective teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Pankshin LGA.
  2. To find out the importance of project-based learning approach in teaching biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education.
  • To find out whether teachers in Pankshin LGA are aware of the significance of project-based learning approach for effective teaching of Biology in Pankshin secondary schools.

1.4       Research Questions

The following research questions guided the conduct of this study;

  1. What is the perception of teachers on project-based learning approach for effective teaching and learning of Biology in secondary schools in Pankshin LGA?
  2. To what extent is the importance of project-based learning approach is to pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education?
  • To what extent is the awareness of teachers in Pankshin LGA of the significance of project-based learning approach for effective teaching of Biology?

1.5       Significance of the Study

The essence of this study is to make assimilation easier during the course of teaching. When we consider the importance of Biology in human life, the world in general and in the presence of technological advancement, any construction of instructional aid and effective teaching method that can bring about proper teaching and learning of the subject is very important; therefore the significance of this study are as follows:

  1. This study will helps students to develop necessary science, process skills, individual and practical skills needed to function effectively in the society as professional scientist.
  2. More significantly, the study enables the Biology teachers to improve or make local materials, to employ effective teaching method that will be clear and easily visible to the whole class.
  3. It is also aimed at reducing the cost and problems encountered in teaching abstract concept of biology among our senior secondary school students. For example, inner structure of the mammalian Ear, the space and the new trends in natural resources “““conservation.
  4. The result of this study may also provide possible suggestion to how some of the teaching method which are not effectively employed, to be properly used, or organized as the case may be.

1.6       Delimitation of the Study

The research work aims to analyze the project-based learning approach to teaching of Biology for pre-service students in Pankshin Area Directorate of Education. Three (3) categories of schools were chosen (Boys schools, girl’s schools, and mixed schools). Furthermore, focus was made on SS 2 students who are believed to previously cover some topics in Biology.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

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

Project-Based: Is a teaching method and a concept in the world of education that provides students with practical applications of concepts that allows for them to make connections between the content being learned and the real world.

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

Education: Is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Student: A 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 a subject under the guidance of an instructor and who devotes time outside class to do whatever activities the instructor assigns that are necessary either for class preparation or to submit evidence of progress towards that mastery.

Perception: The ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Teacher’s Perception: The thoughts or mental images which teachers have about their professional activities and their students, which are shaped by their background knowledge and life experiences, and influence their professional behaviour.

Learning: The acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught.

Approach: An approach is a way of looking at teaching and learning.

Learning Approach: Approaches to Learning focuses on how children learn. It refers to the skills and behaviors that children use to engage in learning.

Pre-service: Relating to the period before a person takes a job that requires training.

Pre-service Students: They are students provided with a type of education and training before they have undertaken any teaching.

Teaching: Teaching is the work that a teacher does in helping students to learn.

Technology: Is the sum of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation.

Technology Advancement: Technological advancement is the generation of information or the discovery of knowledge that advances the understanding of technology.

Pankshin Area Directorate of Education: Federal executive division responsible for carrying out government education programs and policies in Pankshin Area.

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