EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES AND LOCUS OF CONTROL ON STUDENTS ACHIEVEMENT IN STATISTICS PROCESS
1.1 Background of the Study
The technological advancement of any nation to a large extent is dependent on a sound scientific education. Science and technology being vital tools for development and productivity of any nation should be taken as a necessity at the classroom level. Mbajiorgu (2003), opined that science is very important for every nation that wants to maintain its independence, sovereignty, ensure its growth and self-reliance, and hold up its head among civilized nations. This is because science and technology provide the basic tools of industrialization and economic development of every nation. This science and technology advancement can be achieved through forming the right attitude to teaching and learning, using innovative methods and strategies of teaching science and creating conducive environment for learning science subjects in our schools. These science subjects include biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, health science, agriculture etc. which, when properly taught, will help the students solve personal and societal problems.
The Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) results published by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) 2015-2017, showed that in 2015, 32.26% of the candidates obtained C6 which is the minimum entry for Biology into the nation’s Universities. In 2016, it was 28.42 percent and in 2017, it was 25.06 percent. This shows a decline in the percentage passes in biology at the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination. Despite the fact that biology and other science subjects are important to human endeavour, students still perform poorly in biology and other science subjects. This is evident in the chief examiner’s report of the West African Examination council (2016), which showed that students who sat for WASC Examination exhibited the following lapses: failed to write or answer their questions logically, systematically and convincingly; shallow understanding of most concepts in biology; including inability of the students to correctly spell many biological terms. The low performance of students in the sciences has also been evident in JAMB exams as indicated by the Registrar JAMB 2016, indicated that the performance of students in the University Matriculation Examination (UME), over the last three years has shown a steady decline. He pointed out that the candidates perform poorly in the sciences with low mean percentage score as follows: physics (31.48%), Mathematics (43.64%), Chemistry (45.18%) and Biology (48.98%).