INFLUENCE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS.
1.1 Background to the Study
The influence of instructional materials in promoting students’ academic
performance and teaching and learning in educational development is indisputable. The
teaching of Agricultural Science in Nigerian secondary schools needs to be properly
handled. Agriculture contributes to the nation’s economic development, hence, the need
to be taught thoroughly if it is to meet the educational and economic development.
Moreso, that Agricultural Science is one of the subjects in Junior and Senior Secondary
Schools; and as a vocational subject, it cannot be taught effectively without the use of
appropriate instructional materials (Ajayi, 1988). The curriculum content of the senior
secondary school levels consists of three major concepts of production, protection and
economics. Learning by doing was emphasized in the curriculum so that the students
should be able to produce food and other agricultural products for themselves and their
community. A series of activities were suggested in the curriculum to ensure the
development of psychomotor skills in agricultural science by the students. The
programme further recommended that: each student be guaranteed adequate equipment,
farm space, farm structures and regular supply of fertilizers and animal feeds. In addition
to having a farm, each school should keep at least two farm animals. Students
achievement should be continuously assessed through various forms of tests and during
field and laboratory practicals and individual assessment should be carried out for
activities in crop production while group assessment be restricted to performance in
animal production activities. Hence for effective and positive production in any
establishment, there must be enough working tools to be used by the personnel (Oyedun,
The teacher alone cannot provide all the needed condition for an effective
teaching and learning process, other supporting materials should be provided. The
students learn better when most of the senses are appealed to the instruction and use of
instructional materials in agriculture science education has added a new dimension in the
positive promotion of the teaching and learning process. It provides the much need
sensory experiences needed by the learners for an effective and meaningful behavioural
change. Instructional materials are meant to improve the quality of education for effective
academic performance of agricultural science students in schools. The performance of the
students on the intended learning outcome provide the validation – loop on the success of
the interaction and instruction (Bakare, 1986).
Teachers normally dodge the use of instructional materials in most of their
teaching topics, while they try to do all they could during their practical teaching in their
course of study; even though some of these materials are not usually available in the
schools for teachers’ use. Also, in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination,
agricultural science practicals use a lot of specimens. Such includes soil samples, insect
pests, seed samples, bone meal, fish meal, survey equipments, simple farm tools, farm
machinery and implements, termitarium, fruits, sprayer, fertilizer, herbicides, cage, tilapia
fish, watering can, feeding trough, hides and skin, weed specimens, hook and line etc.,
but most of these materials are only made available for students’ use for the purpose of
examination. These specimens are those that have not been seen or used before by the
students. “In most of the secondary schools, instructional materials are not judiciously
used as it ought to be. Many teachers teach in abstract without using the required
materials” (Ibrahim, 2000).
In making use of any instructional materials, such materials must be previewed
that is, having full knowledge of the material; prepare the environment where it will be
used; prepare audience by means of making sure that the materials to be used will attract
attention, arouse, motivate and provide the rationale that could be used in the beginning,
middle or end. The effectiveness of utilizing appropriate instructional materials in
teaching and learning of agricultural science is not void of quality instructor. In order to
give quality education to the younger generation, there is need for employment of more
competent, experienced and qualified agricultural science teachers.
The need to identify the suitable instructional materials, by which students can be
made to comprehend the extent of the subject easily and intelligibly, is the focus of this
study. An indepth look at the secondary schools agricultural science programmes
revealed that there is the need for improving all phases of the programmes (IMAA,
2004). For example, there is need for the introduction and use of instructional materials
and equipments for use in both the classrooms and school farms. The broad aim of any
good training materials are to induce and support the learning process that leads to
improve on-the-job performance through affecting changes in the knowledge, attitudes,
skills and practices of the learners. With the above reasons, it is worth investigating the
influence of instructional materials in the teaching of Agricultural Science in our
Secondary Schools, for better performance of students in their examination and chosen
career in the field of agriculture. If instructional materials are used in Secondary Schools,
it would help improving the teaching and learning and hence the academic performance
of students in Agricultural Science effectively.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Many of the school authorities have very lukewarm attitudes over the provision of
needed tools, equipments, and farm inputs required for effective agricultural science,
especially practical in secondary schools. This non-challant attitude tend to retard
genuine efforts of some teachers of agricultural science in the secondary schools. Inspite
of the emphasis being placed on agricultural science as one of the subjects in secondary
schools, there is usually not enough time provided in the time-table for a meaningful
agricultural science work (Adeyemi, 2000). Agricultural science teachers are always
interested to finish the syllabus before the external examination – Senior School
Certificate Examination (SSCE) conducted by West African Examination Council
Hence, the prosecution of a functional education in relation to agricultural science
in secondary schools still leaves much to be desired. In view of this difficulties, most
teachers of agricultural science still resort to the theoretical method of teaching the
subject. This undoubtedly, is contrary to the improvement of agricultural science
education, which is greatly needed at this period of our development with emphasis on
practical oriented learning (Mammudu, 1996). The researcher has taught for a number of
years in some secondary schools and had visited a number of secondary schools as a
resource person. Through these experiences, the researcher observed that most teachers
in secondary schools in the state did not fully make use of instructional materials in the
teaching of agricultural science to their students. This negligence of the effective use of
the instructional facilities and materials in teaching and learning of agricultural science
common to both the trained and untrained teachers affected the successful academic
performance of students in agricultural science in secondary schools in Kwara State.
The desire to embark on this research study therefore, stemmed from the fact that
there is problem of poor performance of secondary school students in agricultural science
in the state. This poor and general backwardness in agricultural science have been
recorded for some years now by the examination bodies of Senior School Certificate
Examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC), school
promotion examinations and the special qualifying examination, conducted by the State
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, introduced for students in senior
secondary schools respectively – (Department of Statistics, Planning and Research,
Ministry of Education, Ilorin, 2007). The statistics obtained from fifteen secondary
schools in Kwara State have indicated that there is a progressive decline in the
performance of students in agricultural science subjects. Statistics from the various
examination offices of the schools revealed that out of a total of 1,964 agricultural
science students that registered and sat for the West African Examination Council in
2009, only 610 passed and 1,354 students failed from the 15 secondary schools –
representing 31% passed and 69% failed (School Examination Offices, 2010).
Anything that saves students from performing poorly in agricultural science, will
also save parents or guardians from wasting their hard-earned money. It may put an end
to parents or guardians wasting their hard-earned money re-enrolling their wards to repeat
agricultural science examinations which they are not guaranteed passing even after
several attempts. The unusual way some agricultural science teachers approach the
teaching of agricultural science has contributed to the students’ development of negative
attitude to both the subjects and the teachers. Most of the secondary schools cannot meet
up with the academic (practical) requirements of this subject as they lack instructional
materials for adequate teaching and learning of the subject.
The central problems which are attributed to the students’ poor academic
performance in agricultural science in secondary schools’ in Kwara State may be due to
poor usage or not using appropriate instructional materials to teach agricultural science,
issue of class size, inability to improve on the needed facilities, equipment, technical
expertise, lack of agricultural science laboratories, workshops, seminars, poor
organisation of the few available instructional materials, agricultural science teachers
attitudes towards the use of instructional materials, non improvisation of instructional
materials by agricultural science teachers and the weakness of the school administrators
in finding solutions to the problems for the influence of misuse of instructional materials,
all need serious attention.
The appropriate utilization of instructional materials and teaching of agricultural
science by experienced and qualified teachers, may probably be the main solution to poor
performance in Agricultural Science. In order to develop interest of the students to the
study of agricultural science in secondary schools and the participation of agricultural
science teachers to teach the subject as a vocational agriculture, the researcher deem
necessary for the use of appropriate instructional materials for the teaching of
Agricultural Science in selected secondary schools setting in Kwara State in particular.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objective of this study is to determine the influence of instructional
materials on the academic performance of students in agricultural science in secondary
schools in Kwara State, Nigeria. The specific objectives are to:
1. identify the types of instructional materials being used for teaching in order to
achieve students’ academic performance in agricultural science;
2. determine the characteristics of instructional materials that can be used to
influence students academic performance in agricultural science;
3. evaluate the importance of using instructional materials to achieve students
academic performance in agricultural science.
4. examine the factors affecting the use of instructional materials to influence the
academic performance of students in agricultural science.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were answered in the course of the study.
1. What are the types of instructional materials available for use to influence the
academic performance of agricultural science students in secondary schools in
2. What are the characteristics of instructional materials being used to influence
the academic performance of students in agricultural science in secondary
schools in Kwara State?
3. What is the importance of instructional materials to influence students
academic performance in agricultural science in secondary schools in Kwara
4. What are the factors affecting the use of instructional materials to influence
students’ academic performance in agricultural science in secondary schools
in Kwara State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses (Ho) were stated to guide the study.
1. There is no significant relationship between the use of available instructional
materials and students academic performance in agricultural science in
secondary schools in Kwara State.
2. There is no significant relationship between the characteristics of good
instructional materials used and academic performance of students in
agricultural science in secondary schools in Kwara State.
3. There is no significant relationship between the importance of using
instructional materials and the academic performance of students in
agricultural science in secondary schools in Kwara State.
4. There is no significant relationship between the factors affecting the use of
instructional materials and students’ academic performance in agricultural
science in secondary schools in Kwara State.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research work is significant and useful in the teaching and learning of
agricultural science. Findings from this study will help to assess the effectiveness of the
stated objectives of secondary school – agricultural science curriculum.
Subsequently, the findings from the study will help agricultural science teachers
in choosing an appropriate instructional material(s) capable of releasing students’ tension
towards the subject thus improving students’ academic performance in agricultural
science. It will motivate agricultural science teachers to develop interest towards
utilizing suitable teaching materials that will be a possible means towards reducing
failure in the teaching and learning of agricultural science. Findings of this study will
help clarify among the teachers the need for continuous and regular improvisation of
suitable instructional materials for teaching and learning of agricultural science.
Moreover, the results of this study will be of great significance to the agricultural
science curriculum planners. The curriculum developers will find the work useful in
reviewing the agricultural science curriculum by seriously laying emphasis on utilization
of instructional materials so as to meet up with emerging needs of the society. This study
will be of immense benefit to researchers in the field of agricultural science by forming a
basis for further studies on the usage of instructional materials and teachers’ quality in
order learning aspects of agricultural science as a subject.
The study will also equip our educational administrators in the Ministry of
Education, Science and Technology (MOEST), educational test and measurement experts
on the need to provide instructional materials for teaching agricultural science in our
secondary schools setting particularly in selected secondary schools and the Kwara State
as a whole.
The study will also be useful in educational policy making. The research will
arouse instructional educational funding agencies such as Federal Ministry of Education,
Faculties or Schools of Education, National Teachers’ Institutes as well as professional
bodies such as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to formulate educational
polices which may be useful in implementation of agricultural science curriculum.
1.7 Assumptions of the Study
The researcher made the following assumptions that:
i. the availability of instructional materials – specimens, relevant agricultural
science textbooks, pictures, diagrams, practical school gardens, charts and
community resource places contribute to the academic performance of
students in agricultural science;
ii. the good use of instructional materials is dependent on the teachers’
qualification and experience to influence students academic performance in
iii. students taught with instructional materials do perform better than students
taught without instructional materials;
iv. the factors affecting the use of instructional materials is built-up upon the
class size or students population.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
This research work is delimited to the types of instructional materials available for
use to influence academic performance of agricultural science students in secondary
schools in Kwara State, characteristics of instructional materials, importance and uses of
instructional materials and factors affecting instructional materials usage. It is also
delimited to thirty agricultural science teachers and two hundred and six agricultural
science students from thirty selected Government and private Secondary Schools in three
senatorial districts of the sixteen local government areas in Kwara State.
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