This study investigated the effect of drama method on students’ academic achievement and interest in Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) in senior secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state. Five research questions and five hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted the quasi-experimental research design. The population of the study was all the senior secondary two (SS11) students that were offering CRK in public co-educational secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area with an estimated number of 1,328 students. A sample of 115 students from two schools that were randomly selected from public co-educational secondary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State participated in the study. The instruments for data collection were Christian Religious Knowledge Achievement Test (CRKAT) and Christian Religious Knowledge Interest Inventory (CRKII). The instruments were validated by experts. The instruments were trial tested to determine the internal consistencies of the instruments. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to calculate the reliability index coefficient of the CRKII and Kuder Richardson Formula 20 (KR20) was used to calculate the reliability index coefficient of the CRKAT respectively. The reliability index coefficient of the CRKII was 0.83 while the overall reliability index coefficient of CRKAT (40 items) was 0.66. Mean scores and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while the Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The results of the study revealed that students taught with drama method of teaching performed better than those taught with lecture method. The results of the findings further showed that the students taught CRK with drama method developed higher interest in the subject than those students taught with lecture method. The study has educational implications to students, teachers, curriculum planners, textbook writers and school administrators. The study recommended that teachers should embrace the use of drama method of teaching in the instructional delivery among others. Suggestions for further studies were stated and limitations of the study were highlighted.
Background of the Study
Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) is one of the subjects approved by the National Policy on Education (2004) to be taught and studied in the secondary schools in Nigeria. Its subject matter is similar to that of Christian Religious Knowledge that is offered in primary schools in Nigeria. The major aim of teaching Christian Religious Knowledge is to encourage students to participate in those activities, which foster personal discipline, character training and role-playing. CRK instills in the youths the spirit of tolerance, reconciliation, peaceful co-existence and non-violence. It provides opportunities for the Nigerian youth to learn more about God and thereby develop their faith in God. According to Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) (2010, p.ii), CRK “helps to develop in the youths moral values, such as humility, respect, love, kindness, justice, spirit of forgiveness, obedience, discipline, hard work and devotion to duty, selfless service within the community”. It also helps students to apply the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ in their daily lives and to develop and foster in the students Christian attitude and values such as respect for life and selfless service to God and humanity. As stipulated by Ayogu (2008), the teaching of CRK helps the learners to train in the development of a deep sense of responsibility, respect for authorities and sensitizes people to respect the rights and privileges of others.
Today in Nigeria, it is a common knowledge that our society has records of high rate of immorality and social vices such as cultism, killing, kidnapping, stealing, prostitution, and abortion to mention but a few. Students disobey their parents and teachers alike. These reflect to improper moral training; hence children grow up to become criminals in the society. No wonder Omalle (2006) observed that to educate men without Religion is to make them clever devils. CRK therefore becomes a worthwhile school subject because of the values it has for the society. Today, our society is confronted with conflicts of all sorts. Perhaps, these conflicts be eradicated if CRK as a secondary school subject is taught with good methods which will attract students’ interest and enhance their achievement in the subject.
Teaching methods comprise the principles and means used for instruction in the classroom (Uwameiye & Ojikutu, 2008). Commonly used teaching methods may include demonstration, drama, recitation, memorization, lecture method or combination of these teaching methods. Teaching methods as noted by Bolunde (2005) can affect the learners’ achievement and interest positively or negatively. Teaching methods are great weapons that the teachers should employ in their profession. Richards and Rodgers (2001) observed that if teaching is successfully carried out, learning will occur and successful teaching axiomatically implies good method application. The choice of the teaching method or methods to be used depends largely on the information or skills that are being taught. The choice of teaching methods may also be influenced by the aptitude, interest and enthusiasm of the students. As noted by the (NERDC, 2010) in order to enhance the implementation of the Christian Religious Knowledge, the following teaching methods are expected to be used by teachers — the use of stories, illustrations, role play, drama, video and audio aids to mention but a few. Teaching should be learner centered. This involves discussion, question and answer sessions. All these are teaching methods that make learning interesting, informative and life changing.
However, it is disheartening to notice that in our secondary schools today, CRK teachers teach the students mostly with conventional method (lecture method). Ajah and Asadu (2002) observed that CRK teachers especially those in public secondary schools teach the students mostly with lecture method. As postulated by Wagner (2010), lecture method is a method that is most often found in the universities and other tertiary institutions. Lecture method is based on the transmissive teaching model. In lecture method, it is believed that knowledge is an object that can be transferred from the teacher to the learner. As noted by Ajah and Asadu (2002), lecture method of teaching yields less deep knowledge when compared to other teaching methods such as project based teaching method and other activity based methods of teaching. As opined by Offorma (2004), lecture method makes the learners to aim at passing examination and not at the transfer of learning because they learn by rote and memorization. Asogwa and Echemazu (2011, p.23) observed that “an important subject as Christian Religious Knowledge is taught with the traditional method of talk and chalk.” In addition, lecture method reduces students’ interest in the subject and thereby makes the students’ achievement very low and poor. As stated by Ayogu (2008), lecture method, conventional as it is, also affects the number of students that enroll in CRK examinations in each year. Ayogu (2008) is of the opinion that lecture method makes the teacher the only active person in the class while the students are complete observers throughout the lesson. As noted by Aja and Asadu (2002), lecture method encourages laziness, rote and memorization which kill students’ interest and attitudes towards CRK. It is observed that at the secondary school level, no strong emphasis is placed by teachers on the use of teaching methods. The CRK teachers still regard the way they were taught in their own days as the best way to teach.
Any systematic and effective lesson delivery as noted by Ede and Odo (2006) must sustain students’ interest and encourage their active participation. However, Ajah and Asadu (2002) have it that this lecture method used presently in most public schools, presents the CRK content in such an abstract manner that most students seem to achieve little or nothing in teaching-learning processes. This could be because lecture method makes lessons uninteresting and dull. Lecture method does not demand many activities from the students and thereby makes the students passive in the class. This method which is not learner centred consistently used without variation, is said to be the primary causes of students’ lack of interest in CRK, failures in CRK examinations and increase in moral ills in schools and society in general (Ajah & Asadu, 2002).
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) chief examiner’s reports in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, indicated poor achievement of students in CRK in senior school certificate examination (SSCE) and general certificate of education (GCE) respectively. The results revealed that senior secondary schools students’ achievement in CRK in SSCE and GCE was highly appalling, even when few students sat for the examinations. However, according to the chief examiner’s reports, the following indicates where students had problems in SSCE and GCE examinations in paper 2 (Theory questions). In 2008 SSCE question 1, in 2009 GCE question 1, in 2009 SSCE question 2, in 2010 SSCE question 2, and in 2011 SSCE question 3. Students also had problems in objective questions (Paper 1) in these years. All these questions were on leadership and as stated by the WAEC Chief Examiner’s general comments, there was inadequate preparation for the examination by the candidates and inadequate knowledge of biblical themes. The candidates’ points in these examinations were vague and many were irrelevant. Thus, these reports necessitated this study.
Drama provides a particularly powerful method for developing the teaching and learning in a broader sense. As noted by Onder (2004), drama method of teaching involves total physical response activities and thereby gives more effective and permanent products in teaching and learning processes. Therefore, drama is a teaching method that gives the pupils good learning opportunities and atmosphere by taking their emotions and imaginations into consideration.
According to Ozdemir and Cakmak (2008);
“Drama is an instructional method, which helps individuals to develop themselves in multi dimensions by empathizing with others, be active in educational and instructional processes, be able to express themselves, be creative, perceive life from many perspectives, be keen on research and on learning as opposed to the fact of education’s getting dull and non-productive” (P.14).
However, with drama method, students internalize different situations by total physical response and by making use of their own lives, more effective learning occurs. Learning by drama is facilitated when many sense organs are activated. This then calls for the use of drama method which is learner centred in nature, activates many sense organs, reinforces and strengthens one another in enhancing progress, interest and achievement of the learners.
According to Nwachukwu (2002) achievement is the act of accomplishing something. It is a result by effort, a great or heroic deed. Achievement is the quality and quantity of students’ work. As stated by Okeke (2012), an academic achievement is something one does or gets at school, college or university, in a class, in a laboratory, library, or fieldwork. An academic achievement, as noted by Pandey (2008) such as graduating 1st in one’s class, is sometimes a purely quantitative matter, while having the findings of lengthy, comprehensive research published by a recognized journal is also a notable academic achievement. Being named head/chairman of a particular department at a university is both a professional and an academic achievement (Onyilo & Onyilo, 2010). However, teaching methods can affect the learners’ academic achievement in CRK which could lead to interest in the subject.
As stated by Ahuja (2001), psychologically interest is an individual’s behaviour tendency towards an object, a class or classes of activities. He further noted that interest acts as a very powerful motive and no one attacks a task energetically unless he/she has interest in it. As opined by Omeje (2009), interest is a feeling that arouses curiosity, it holds and maintains attention. Ekeke (1987) viewed interest as a condition of wanting to know or learn about something. A feeling of interest towards a thing helps learners to explore activities fully and to come out with desired learning outcomes. To secure the learners’ interest, therefore means to attach some features of seductiveness to the activities. As stated by Omeje (2009), a learning situation should involve the learners’ interest if they are to gain significantly from it. Ekeke (1987), is of the opinion that if the learners’ must gain any substantial knowledge, skills, abilities, competence, they ought to be engaged in activities which are interesting to them. Onwuka (1984) maintains that interest helps learners’ to explore activities fully. As postulated by Bolunde (2005), teaching methods can affect the learners’ interest positively or negatively which could be based on ones gender.
As postulated by Wijk and Francis (2010), gender is a socially constructed definition of women and men. It is not the same as sex (biological characteristics of women and men). Gender is determined by the conception of tasks, functions and roles attributed to women and men in society and in public and private life. These functions and roles seem to transcend into what learners learn in school which could influence their academic achievement. However, scholars have different views on how gender influences academic achievement. According to Asogwa and Echemazu (2011) there has been endless debate on gender and achievement on different school subjects when exposed to the same treatment conditions. Egwu (2010), found out that gender has a significant factor in students’ achievement in History while Umo (2001), also found out otherwise in Igbo language. However, this study aims to investigate students’ academic achievement and interest in CRK using drama method based on their gender.