1.1 Background to the Study
Education is the only wealth which cannot be robbed. It builds both internal and outer personality and character, strengthens people‟s mind and augments their pool of knowledge. The process of education aims at the all-round development of individuals, dispelling ignorance and enhancing the moral values in a society, thus working towards a collective well-being. Science education on the other hand helps students adjust to technological devices that affect their daily lives.
Science has been defined as the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence (British Science Council (BSC) 2009). Science can be said to be a human endeavour geared towards the development and comfort of the modern world. The foundation of this development is the primary and secondary school where the young scientists are groomed. Science in this way can be seen as the hub unto which development and progress of any nation depends. In general, science contributes towards improving the quality of life. It can therefore be asserted that science makes numerous contributions to healthy living. Therefore, it is important that effective ways are sought to provide for the effective teaching and learning of science in schools both for individual and national scientific development.
The knowledge that scientists have gathered about the world around us is organized under several subjects of which Chemistry is one. Chemistry is a branch of science that
systemizes the study of the composition of energy and transformation of matter. Chemistry as a branch of science is highly important in the modern society because of its requirement as a prerequisite to the study of many other science oriented courses. Furthermore, Chemistry is also one of the science major disciplines with well-developed technology that can be applied to exploit natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas etc. Chemistry plays a crucial role in industry in particular and national development in general. For example, the development of petrochemical, agriculture, medical, textile and many industries rely on and make use of the principles of Chemistry.
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EFFECTS OF INQUIRY AND LABORATORY METHODS OF TEACHING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OFSECONDARY SCHOOL CHEMISTRY STUDENTS IN ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA