ILORIN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, VOLUME 14, NO.1 JUNE 1994

 

RELEVANCE OF PHYSICS EDUCATION PROGRAMMES OF NIGERIAN HIGHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS TO THE TEACHING OF SENIOR SECONDARY PHYSICS

 

BY

 

DR. (MRS) E. O. OMOSEWO

 

ABSTRACT

 

            In this study, an attempt is made to determine the relevance or otherwise of the Physics Education Programmes of Nigerian higher educational institutions to the teaching of senior secondary physics.

            Physics Department of ten Universities selected by stratified sampling technique on the basis of their generation and ten Colleges of Education (Five Federal and Five State), selected on the basis of geographical location, were involved in the study.

            The instrument used was the Discrepancy Content Analysis Model (DCAM) in which thirty-six major senior secondary content areas in Physics were listed.  They were then qualitatively compared with the sampled higher educational institutions Physics Education Proquency counts, percentages and t-test.  The major finding was that sampled higher educational institutions Physics Education programmes were relevant to the current senior secondary physics curriculum.

INTRODUCTION

            Science teaching in Nigerian secondary schools started when the first grammar schools in Nigeria were established.  One of the schools was CMS Grammar School Lagos, established in 1859.  There was a dearth of science teachers, hence, Yaba Higher College was established in 1932.  Science Education as a degree programme started in 1961 when University of Nigeria, Nsukka, introduced such a degree programme.  Other Universities, such as Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (1962), University of Ibadan (1965), University of Lagos (1962) and University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) (1962) followed suit.  These Universities are now referred to as the first generation Universities.  The second generation Universities are the ones established after the first batch, i.e. between 1975 and 1979.  Tey were eight in number.  There are also tose ones established after the second generation Universities, from 1980 to 1986.  They are called the third generation Universities.  They are fourteen in number.  Many of the three categories of Universities have Faculties of Education which offer courses leading to the Bachelor of Science Education, Masters in Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Mathematics.  Holders of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) are also important in science teaching.  Though they were meant to teach in the lower classes of secondary schools, very often they teach senior classes in the secondary schools due to insufficient number of University graduate teachers.

            Physics is one of the science subject s taught at the senior secondary level of the Nigeria educational system.  Despite the importance of this subject as one of the fundamental ingredients of technology, it is plagued by persistent low enrolment and poor performance of students (Balogun, 1985; Akanbi 1983; Daramola, 1982; Dial, 1972; Jordan, 1971).  Notableamong the causes identified to be responsible for the unsteady state of Physics teaching in Nigeria secondary schools are: very limited number of professionally trained teachers.  (Bajah, 1975; Daramola, 1982, 1987), inadequate laboratory facilities and exposure (daramola, 1982); and poor science background of students at the junior secondary level of education (Daramola, 1982, 1987, Ogunniyi, 1977).  This researcher believes that the training received by Physics teachers might affect both enrolment and performance of students in Physics.

            There have not been many studies to evaluate the curriculum of higher educational institutions.  Tikhomirov (1968) said that in USSR, every pupil must study Physics regardless of his/her future vocation.  He also stated that the key to the general, economic, cultural and scientific progress in the Soviet Union was its science teacher and that every field of study in the USSR has its special teachers.  Michelson (1984) found that graduate teachers of Darke University were satisfied with their training.  From Saggaf’s study (1981), it has been revealed that the English curriculum of King Abdul-Aziz University, Mecca, did not meet the student – teachers’ needs and interest.  Thiensuwan (1983) evaluated Art teacher education programmes at Chulalongkorn University Bangkok, Thailand.  His findings revealed inadequacy in Art subject.  Nwosu (1990) examined the content and curriculum development process of Nigerian tertiary teacher education as well as its response to the demands of national development from 1932 to 1987.  His findings revealed serious neglect of the Nigerian tertiary teacher education curriculum.  Irrelevance of curriculum to teachers’ needs may be a major obstacle to students’ progress and enrolment even as reported by Jegede (1984), Oguntimehin (1987) and Willison and Garibaldi (1976).  Hence, the training of science teachers should not be taken lightly.  This is because the efficiency of any institution depends on the academic competence of the teaching staff which in turn is predicated on the quality and level of the education received by the teachers.  It is very important that secondary school science teachers are properly trained since ‘no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers’ (FRN, 1981, p. 38).  This is the rational for this study.

            Attempts were therefore made to answer the following research questions:

1.             to what extent are the Physics components of the Physics Education curriculum of the Nigerian higher educational institutions relevant to the senior secondary Physics programmes?

2.             Do the first and second generation Universities run different Physics Education programmes?

3.             Do the Federal Colleges of Education run Physics Education programmes which are more relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum than the State Colleges of Education?

On the basis of the above research questions, the following hypotheses were generated:

         There is no statistically significant difference in the ratings of the relevance of Nigerian Universities and Colleges of Education Physics Education programmes to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.

H2        There is no statistically significant difference in the rating of the relevance of the B.Sc. (Ed) Physics Education programme of the first generation Universities and that of the second generation Universities.

H3        There is no statistically significant difference in the ratings of the relevance of the Physics Education programme run by the Federal Colleges of Education and the State Colleges of Education to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.

Research Methodology

Instrument Design:  The instrument used for this study was a researcher

designed tool used to ascertain the availability or otherwise of the thirty-six content areas of the senior secondary Physics curriculum of the Physics education programmes of the selected Nigerian higher educational institutions.  The instrument, named Discrepancy Content Analysis Model (DCAM), was an adapted version of the input and process evaluation of the CIPP model of Stufflebeam (1971) and the Discrepancy Model of Provus (1971).

            Each physics content was rated on a two option scale (Not available = 0, Available = 1).  When a content was available in a particular higher educational institution, such institution was awarded one mark.  Non-availability attracted zero mark.  Any higher educational institution which scored twenty-five points out of a total of thirty-six (about 90%) was considered  as having a Physics education programme that was relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.

Sample:  The sample for this study included Physics Departments of ten Nigerian Universities, Five Federal Colleges of Education and Five State Colleges of Education.  In selecting the Universities, stratified sampling technique on the basis of generation was employed.  Five first generation Universities included in the study were: the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos: University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.  The sampled second generation Universities were those of  Ilorin, Port-Harcourt, Jos, Calabar and Ado Bayero University, Kano.

            Geographical location was employed in selectinf give Federal and five State Colleges of Education.  The Federal Colleges of Education were those of Kontagora, Abeokuta, Obudu, Adeyemi College of Education Ondo, and the advanced Teachers’ College, Zaria.  The State Colleges of Education were Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri, Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun; Kano State College of Education, Kano; and the Colleges of Education at Ilorin Kwara State and Ekiadolor, Benin City.

Instrument Validation:  The instrument was given to three Science educators in the Department in the Department of Curriculum Studies and Educational Technology, University of  Ilorin, Ilorin and two Physics teachers in Queen Elizabeth School Ilorin and Government Secondary School, Ilorin.  The contents listed initially were forty-two but they were reduced to thirty-six.  The criterion given by the experts especially the Physics teachers and a Physics educator was that there were repetions in the list submitted by the researcher.

Pilot Study:  The following five Universities were used for the Pilot study:  University of Ilorin; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Calabar and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  Three weeks after receiving feedbacks, another set was posted to the same Universities with self-addressed, stamped envelopes.  The two responses were correlated, using the Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient.  A coefficient of 0.79 was obtained, the same procedure was followed for the Colleges of education, using Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin; Alvan Ikoku College of Education at Oro and Okene.  A Coefficient of 0.84 was obtained.

Procedure for Data Collection:  Copies of the instrument were sent to the Heads of Physics Departments of the chosen Higher, educational institutions to complete.  The researcher also visited six of them that were not too far away to interact with the Heads of Departments so as to make the assignment quicker.

 

 

 

Results

            The major research question for this study was: To what extent are the Physics components of the Nigerian higher educational institutions Physics education programmes relevant to the senior secondary school Physics curriculum?  In an attempt to provide a solution to the above question, the scores for each of the Universities and Colleges of Education in a test of relevance were computed and the mean scores for the two types of institutions were obtained.

            The means core for the Universities was 91.39% while that for the colleges of Education was computed to be 96.67%.  This implies that both the Universities and the Colleges of Education ran relevant Physics Education programmes.  The Physics Education programme run by the Universities was 91.39% relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum while the Physics education programme run by the Colleges of Education was 96.6% relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.  Tables 1, 2 and 3 indicate the above results.

 

 

 

 

Table 1

Relevance of University Physics Education Programme to the Senior Secondary Physics Curriculum

 

S/No

Universities

Physics

Education Programme

available

Relevant SS Physics topics available in Universities

 (Total possible Score = 36)

Percentage of the SS Physics topics available in the Universities

01

University of Ibadan

B.Ed

36

100.00

02

Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife

B.Sc.(Ed)

18

50.00

03

University of Lagos

B.Sc.(Ed)

30

83.33

04

University of Nigeria Nsukka

B.Ed

34

94.44

05

Ahmadu Bello University Zaria

B.Sc.(Ed)

34

94.44

06

University of Calabar

B.Sc.(Ed)

35

94.44

07

University of Ilorin

B.Sc.(Ed)

35

97.22

08

University of Jos

B.Sc.(Ed)

36

100.00

09

Bayero University, Kano

B.Sc.(Ed)

36

100.00

10

University of Port-Harcourt

B.Sc(Ed)

36

100.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2

Relevance of Physics Education Programme of Federal and State Colleges of Education to the senior secondary Physics Curriculum

 

S/No

College of Education

Relevant SS Physics topics available in the Colleges of Education

Percentages of the SS Physics topics available in the Colleges of Education

01

Federal College of education Osiele

35

97.22

02

Federal College of Education Abeokuta

33

91.67

03

Federal College of Education Obudu

34

94.44

04

Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo

36

100.00

05

Advanced Teachers’ College, Zaria

35

97.22

06

College of Education, Ekialodo Benin City

35

97.22

07

Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin

35

97.22

08

Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun

36

100.00

09

Kano State College of Education, Kano

33

91.67

10

Alvan Ikoku College of education, Owerri

36

100.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 3

Comparison of the Relevance of Universities and Colleges of education Programme to the senior secondary Physics programme.

 

Higher Institutions

Number

Mean Scores

Degree of Relevance

Universities

10

91.39

Very relevant

Colleges of Education

10

96.67

Very relevant

 

Hypothesis 1

 

            There is no statistically significant difference in the ratings of the relevance of Nigerian Universities and Colleges of Education Physics education programmes to the Senior Secondary School Physics Curriculum.

            The scores and mean scores of the Universities and those of the Colleges of Education in a test of relevance were computed.  The mean scores were then compared and tested using the t-test statistic for significant difference.  The mean score (91.39) for the Universities versus 96.67 for the Colleges of Education yielded a computed t-value of 1.062 which is not significant at 0.05 level.  On the basis of the result obtained, the null hypothesis 1 above was upheld.  Table 4 indicates the result of the t-test run for Hypothesis 1.

 

 

 

Table 4

Results of t-test computation of the relevance of higher educational institutions’ Physics Education programmes to senior secondary Physics curriculum

 

Higher Educational Institutions

Number

Df

Mean Score

Standard Deviation

t-value

Probability Level

Universities

10

18

91.30

11.60

1.062NS

0.05

College of Education

10

18

96.67

2.86

 

 

 

NS  = Not significant

 

Hypothesis 2

 

            There is no statistically significant difference in the rating of the relevance of the B.Sc. (Ed) Physics Education programme of the first generation Universities and that of the second generation Universities to the Senior Secondary Physics curriculum.

            The mean scores for the first and second generation Universities in a test of  relevance were calculated.  These mean scores were subjected to the t-test statistic.  According to the results shown in table 5 below, no statistically significant difference was reported at the 0.05 significant level.  Hypothesis 2 was therefore accepted.

 

 

 

Table 5

Result of t-test computation of the relevance of Physics Education Programmes of first and second generation Universities to Senior Secondary Physics Curriculum

 

Universities

Number

Df

Mean Score

Standard Deviation

t-value

Probability Level

First Generation Universities

5

4

84.442

18.05

1.527NS

0.05

Second Generation Universities

5

4

98.332

2.22

 

 

 

NS = Not significant

 

Hypothesis 3

 

            There is no statistically significant difference in the rating of the relevance of the Physics Education programme run by the Federal Colleges of Education and the State Colleges of Education to the Senior Secondary Physics curriculum.

            Mean scores for the Federal and State Colleges of Education were calculated.  The mean scores were then compared, using the t-test statistic.  Table 6 shows the results.  The obtained t-value of 0.785 is not significant at the 0.05 level.  Hypothesis 3 was therefore also accepted.

 

 

 

 

 

Colleges of Education

Number

Df

Mean Score

Standard Deviation

t-value

Probability Level

Federal College of Education

5

4

96.110

2.83

0.023

0.05

State Colleges of Education

5

4

97.220

3.10

 

 

 

NS = Not significant

 

Summary of Major Findings

Findings from this study indicate that:

 

1.             The sampled Universities and Colleges of Education ran Physics education programmes that were relevant to the Nigerian senior secondary Physics curriculum.

2.             The sampled first and second generation Universities ran Physics Education programmes that were relevant to the Nigerian senior secondary Physics curriculum.

3.             The sampled Federal and State Colleges of Education ran Physics Education programmes that were relevant to the Nigerian senior secondary Physics curriculum.

Discussions and Recommendations

            The results presented in this paper indicated that the higher educational institutions in the country claimed to be running Physics Education programmes which were relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.

            Hypothesis 1 was confirmed by the result in table4.  It indicated that the Physics Education programmes offered by both the Universities and the Colleges of Education in Nigeria were rated by respondents to be relevant to the country’s senior secondary Physics curriculum.  However, Obafemi Awolowo University claimed that only 50% of the Physics contents of the Physics Education programme run by the University was relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.  The affiliated Collge of Education, Ondo has 100% relevance rating. Obafemi Awolowo University could have assumed a measure of competence in their students who had completed the NCE programme at Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo.  But does Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife admit only graduates of Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, for her B.Sc. (Ed) programme? Or, could it have been that the NCE holders from other Colleges of Education entering the OAU, Ile-Ife, were inferior to the products of Adeyemi College, Ondo?

            The result obtained from hypothesis 2 is to be expected since majority of the staff from the first generation Universities.  Also, the idea of selecting external examiners from other Universities might have possibly allowed for similar curricula in those universities.

            Results obtained from hypothesis 3 confirmed that all sampled Colleges of Education ran Physics Education programmes that were relevant to the senior secondary Physics curriculum.  This is contrary to expectation, since Colleges of education were not expected to train Senior Secondary Science teachers primarily.  Indeed, they were, as they still largely are, expected to train teachers for junior secondary integrated science.

            It is therefore desirable for higher institution Physics Education programmes to be relevant to secondary school Physics curriculum because the teachers are trained to teach at that level.  Higher institutions’ Physics Education programmes can be made more relevant if Physics teacher-trainers familiarize themselves with the Senior Secondary Physis curriculum and plan academic programme to cater for the academic needs of prospective senior secondary Physics teachers.

            The National University Commission is also implored to intensify its monitoring machinery in order to ensure that all Universities in the country run identifical Physics Education programmes which would cover the content of the joint agreed senior secondary Physics curriculum.

            In the light of the above findings it might be worthwhile to sample opinions of senior secondary Physics teachers concerning the appropriateness of the training they received in relation to the job they are doing.

            It is also considered a profitable exercise for future investigation to carry out similar researches into other subjects that are usually combined with Physics in Nigerian higher educational institutions in order to promote a more meaningful career development of Nigerian senior secondary Physics teachers.

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