Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Non Use of Proper Teaching Methods and Techniques

Non Use of Proper Teaching Methods and Techniques   

          A method is a way of doing something consequently, a teaching method is a systematic procedure employed by teachers in their attempt to help learning take place. A teaching method often represents the implementation of a given theory of learning. People have various concept of the nature of education and how learning takes place. These concepts have resulted in different propositions of what teachers should do to facilitate learning.
          According to Adediwuru and Tayo (2007), teaching methods and techniques are like two sides of a corn. Methods can be compared to patterns to be followed in teaching, while techniques are the required characteristics or ingredients for effective teaching. Adequate familiarity with different methods and techniques of presentation and the ability to use them correctly is one of the qualities of an ideal teacher. Unfortunately, most biology teachers adopt methods and techniques that do not conform to what is required.
          The WAEC acting HRDH officers report (2001, 2002,2003 and 2005) on the failure in biology is due to non use of the necessary methods and techniques to impact the required knowledge by teaching in order to ensure that learning takes place.
          Many educationists have emphasized that successful teaching of science subjects cannot be attributed to the use of a specific teaching method. Alexander and
Halverson (1963) stated that no single method of teaching is better than the other and as such one method should not be used often in place of others. Science teachers should use variety of methods in teaching science lessons. In addition to this, Manu (1992) quoting descrild stressed that good teachers do not follow one method but use which ever method that seems best for the achievement of a particular objective.
          Biology as a science subject requires an integration of both theoretical and practical work to make it easily understood by the students. But large number of teachers still use the conventional lecture method while teaching biology.
          Ridgwell (1976) in support of this notion added that all a teacher requires when selecting a method of teaching any science topic is to look for a method that will best motivate and help the students to understand the topic and in the process achieve the desired objectives.
          The teaching approach, methodology and how the professional skills and practices of the teacher are displayed determine the performance of the students. In the same vain, authoritarian and impersonal teacher –student interaction in class could be the major factor that contributes to negative attitude of the students towards learning biology. On the other hand, democratic and personal teacher – student interaction in class elicits positive attitude towards learning biology.
          Ehindero and Ajibade (2002) asserted that students who are curious stakeholders in educational enterprise have long suspected and speculated that some of their teachers lack the necessary professional qualifications like skills, techniques, strategies, ideas etc in a way that would facilitate effective learning. They also believe that these deficiencies contribute significantly to the growing rate of failure in our senior school certificate examinations.
          Odubuni (1981) and Olarewaju (1983) found that most serving teachers employ lecture method in the teaching of biology. The method neglects or is not in tandem with the specialist idea in teaching biology, which recommends enquiry and discovery methods to be used in teaching and learning. Also according to Nolan (1963), a well qualified teacher gives the students the best he can. This shows that he knows the requirements of the subject. He should also recognize the technical components that help the needy students to master their skills as well as recognize their weakness and solution.
          Some biology teachers are graduates of biology and not biology education. This is why, though they know the subject (what to teach), they are not able to pass it on to others and they accept to do so, they employ teaching methods and techniques that are not suitable for the classes and topics they are handling.
          Sofenwa (1973) emphasized that teaching style is an important variable of students achievement. Teachers’ method of teaching can even make a subject which students regard as being difficult and uninteresting, easy to learn. To this effect, Nwankwo (1976) concluded that the effect of teaching methods on the performance of students re-affirms that bad teaching method, use of unsuitable educational gadgets, problem of unqualified and incompetent teachers are all causes of problem of biology learning.
          Mesanya (1970), in the same view, argued that the problem is not what to teach but how to teach it. He added that if the how is lost, the what and when have little significance. All these imply that when a biology lesson is not taught with the right teaching methods and techniques, the students find it difficult to understand the subject and this therefore brings about the poor performance of students in SSCE biology Examinations.
          Smuth (1969) suggested that in order to be effective in bringing about intended learning outcomes, a teacher should be prepared in few areas of knowledge:
i.                   Command of theoretical knowledge about learning and human behaviour
ii.                 Display of attitude of learning and genuine human relationship
iii.              Command of knowledge in the subject matter to be thought
iv.              Control of technical skills of teaching that facilitates students learning.
From the above statement, it seems that the specific teaching methods that arouse students interest and enhance their achievement in biology include activity method, enquiry method and discovery method. Teachers should therefore receive adequate training to be able to apply the suitable teaching methods in order to achieve effective instruction.

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