This study was carried out to investigate the effects of teacher made models and students made models on the achievement and interest of senior secondary school II (SSII) students in organic chemistry. The study also investigated the effect of gender on academic achievement and interest of SS (II) students in Organic Chemistry. Four research questions and four hypotheses were formulated for the study. The researcher reviewed related literature. A quasi-experimental design, specifically, the non-equivalent control group design involving four intact classes were used. The population of the study comprised 2960 Senior Secondary II (SSII) students in the forty-eight secondary schools offering chemistry in Nsukka Zone. The sample for the study consisted of 140 senior secondary II chemistry students from two co-educational schools in Nsukka Local Government Area. A purposive random sampling technique was used to select two co-educational schools that have two chemistry intact classes. The classes were assigned to the two experimental groups, Teacher Made Model (TMM) and Students Made Model (SMM) by balloting. The regular chemistry teachers of the selected schools were trained and used for the study. The instruments for data collection included the Organic Chemistry Achievement Test (OCAT) and the Organic Chemistry Interest Inventory (OCII). The “OCAT” with a reliability Coefficient of 0.97 and the “OCII” of 0.77 were developed by the researcher and validated by two experts in Measurement and Evaluation and one in Education Chemistry. The data collected were analysed using mean and standard deviation and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). The major findings of the study include the following: The use of models had a significant effect on academic achievement and interest of students in organic chemistry; the students taught organic chemistry using students made models performed significantly better than their counterparts taught with the teacher-made models; students taught using students-made models showed greater interest in organic chemistry than those taught using the teacher made models; Gender has no significant effect on the achievement and interest of students in Organic Chemistry; there was no significant interaction effect of model type and gender on the students’ achievement and interest in Organic Chemistry. The implications of these findings with respect to students, teachers, Ministry of Education as well as tertiary institutions were presented. Based on these, it was recommended that the application of students-made models for teaching concepts in organic chemistry should be included in the school curriculum.
Background of the Study
The role of science and technology in the development of a nation is never in dispute. According to Jegede (1983) the current development in science and technology has greatly affected human beings and to be ignorant of these developments is to live in an empty, meaningless and probably unreal life.
The technological development of any nation lies on its emphasis on sciences especially chemistry. This is evidenced in the admission ratio of 60:40 of the science and science-related courses to the Arts and Humanities into Nigerian Federal and State universities. In an effort to achieve national developmental needs, the Federal Government of Nigeria made special provisions and incentives through the provision of instructional materials, laboratory equipments, training and retraining of teachers, provision of research grants and adoption of information and communication technology (ICT). (Federal Ministry of Education, 2008).
In addition to these provisions, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Educational Tax Fund (ETF) intervention project supplied labless science equipments and instructional materials to about six hundred and thirty-three secondary schools all over the country in 2008 (Federal Ministry of Education, 2008). The aim was to reduce or eradicate the problems encountered by the teachers as a result of the absence or dearth of laboratory equipments and instructional materials in schools. However, inspite of these efforts by the Federal Government, students performance is still very poor in the sciences particularly chemistry.
Chemistry is the branch of science which deals with how substances are made up, how the atoms of elements combine or break up and how atoms and compounds react under different conditions. Pure chemistry is more concerned with academic development of chemistry, extending the frontiers of chemical knowledge through laboratory research, developing improved methods of imparting chemical knowledge and experimenting on alternative methods of producing desired results. A pure chemist is not interested in commercializing the results of his experiments. Industrial or applied chemistry as the name implies translates the laboratory findings of the pure chemist into commercial products. For example, in the laboratory the pure chemist will boil a small quantity of oil and soda to produce a small amount of soap. He is interested not in selling this quantity but in studying its properties – the colour, the odour, the amount of lather it can produce etc. The industrial chemist will make use of these findings of the pure chemist but has to design ways and means of producing the soap on a very large scale, and cheaply too.
Relationship between Chemistry and other Sciences
In other professions other than chemistry, problems concerning chemistry occur repeatedly. The physician, for example, needs to be familiar with numerous chemical reactions that govern human life, as well as to know how they can be altered by chemical means. The engineer, whether he specializes in civil, mechanical or electrical aspects of his profession, deals with materials. He must know their properties and their behaviour under varying conditions. Eg. Why does steel corrode, and under what conditions does it corrode least rapidly? The agriculturist is faced with all these problems and more. Besides the chemistry of life processes and the chemical behaviour of structural materials, he needs to understand the complex chemical make-up of soils and its influence on growing plants. In relation to other sciences, chemistry is one of the cornerstones of such sciences as geology, biochemistry, pharmacy, microbiology, zoology and botany. Without chemistry, how can one, for example, unravel the mystery of photosynthesis, respiration and the structure of chlorophyll, all encountered in the study of biology?
The importance of chemistry is underscored by the fact that to obtain any applied science degree in agriculture, pharmacy, medicine or engineering in any university in the world, the candidate must have passed chemistry in the WASSCE and UTME and must have studied chemistry to a certain level in the university. This fact is important and should, therefore, be adequately noted. We have often seen students who go through the secondary school either blindly or without proper guidance as to the importance of chemistry. It is only when such students wish to enter the university does it dawn on them that they should have taken chemistry more seriously. The chemist is found in all facets of the community and so job opportunities are quite high. A chemist is employed in chemical industries such as breweries, cement factories, drug companies, food industries, oil companies and in government establishments like institutions of learning, ministries of defence, environment, education, agriculture, technology and internal affairs.
Organic chemistry which is an aspect of chemistry is a component of the chemistry curriculum. The curriculum content which was prepared by the Comparative Education Study and Adaptation Centre (CESAC) and presented to a national critique workshop organized by the Federal Ministry of Education Science and Technology (FMEST) in 1984 was aimed at satisfying the chemistry requirement of the senior secondary school programme in the new National Policy on Education (NPE 2004). The objectives of the chemistry curriculum are to:
- facilitate a transition in the use of scientific concepts and techniques acquired in Integrated science with chemistry;
- provide the students with basic knowledge in chemical concepts and principles through efficient selection of content and sequencing;
- show Chemistry in its inter-relationship with other subjects;
- show chemistry and its link with industry, everyday life, benefits and hazards;
- provide a course which is complete for pupils not proceeding to higher education while it is at the same time a reasonably adequate foundation for a post-secondary chemistry course (NPE 2004).