Assessment of valid science practical skills for Nigerian secondary schools: Teachers’ practices and militating factors

Assessment of valid science practical skills for Nigerian secondary schools: Teachers’ practices and militating factors

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Assessment of valid science practical skills for Nigerian secondary schools: Teachers’ practices and militating factors

The teaching of science in Nigerian secondary schools has always assumed an important positionin the scheme of things because of the belief that it can accelerate technological development.Practical work in science has and continues to be given much emphasis as it is felt that scienceteaching should utilize a pedagogic approach which integrates theory and experiments. Goodscience instruction involves interplay of experiments, observation and theoretical inferences. Forexperiments to be used there should be a laboratory with basic equipment and consumables. Thepaucity of these equipment and consumables in most schools coupled with a shortage of qualifiedand experienced teachers has made it difficult to assess science practical work and hence itsformative function, of assisting in understanding science and how scientific ideas are developed,has not been achieved. Despite this, experiments would still need to be conducted and assessmentof practicals carried out as an important component of grades in certification examinations oncompletion of secondary school. Teachers play an important role in the preparation of candidatesfor certification examinations in delivery of theory lessons and conduct of practical exercises. Thequestion which then has to be answered is what assessment practices are used in preparation ofstudents for the certification examination. In addition, the problems which confront properintegration of science practical would equally be explored. Towards this end, this study utilized asurvey research method utilizing science teachers in secondary schools in Edo state, Nigeria. Asample of two hundred science teachers was used for data generation and the data were collectedusing the researchers’, designed questionnaire. The data were analyzed using frequencies, meanscores, t-test and ANOVA. The typology of practical practices was varied as no one method waspredominant and militating factors varied between teachers based on school ownership and sciencesubject taught. Based on the results it was recommended that teachers should focus on teachingapproach prescribed by the syllabus. In addition material resources should be provided for teachersuse in teaching practical lessons.

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