1.1 Background to the Study
Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behaviour, origin, and distribution (Wikipedia, 2016). Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification and taxonomy. Modern biology is a vast and eclectic field, composed of many branches and sub-disciplines such as anatomy, entomology, ethology, veterinary science, mammalogy, primatology, zoology, entomology, etc. However, despite the broad scope of biology, there are certain general and unifying concepts within it that govern all study and research, consolidating it into single, coherent field. In general, biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the synthesis and creation of new species. It is also understood today that all the organisms survive by consuming and transforming energy and by regulating their internal environment to maintain a stable and vital condition known as homeostasis (Wikipedia, 2016).
Biology is a science subject being taught at the senior secondary school. Biology teaching helps learners to understand biological concepts, principles theories and laws. Among others, the objectives of teaching biology at secondary school level as stated by National Policy on Education (2004) involve ability of the learners’ to development of an awareness of the environment, to have meaningful and relevant knowledge in biology necessary for successful living in a scientific and technological world and to make room for technological advancement.
In view of the above, it would be observed that the schools are not only to equip learners with basic knowledge of biology content but also the practical skills needed for enhancing self development. In order to achieve this, the pedagogical approach which is centred on teachers’ method of imparting facts and concepts of the subjects is important. The implication is that biology teaching must be effective and meaningful to achieve this goal. The conventional instructional methods are not able to achieve these goals. NTI (2008) remarked that the conventional instructional method is teacher centred while Adeyemi (2012) also commented that theconventional instructional method is characterized by emphasis on instructor behaviour rather than students’ behaviour, minimal responses of students to the instructional materials and delayed feedback on students’ performance.
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EFFECTS OF COMPUTER ASSISTED INSTRUCTION ON SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENTS IN BIOLOGY IN ABAKALIKI EDUCATION ZONE, EBONYI STATE