Teaching aids improvisation in the teaching and learning of physics in secondary schools

Abstract The focus of this study was on how to make use of improvised local materials as teaching aids for.

Abstract

The focus of this study was on how to make use of improvised local materials as teaching aids for effective teaching and learning of physics.

The study was carried out in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. 13 secondary schools presenting physics at WAEC level was used. 13 physics teachers and 39 physics students were used. Two sets of questionnaire, one for students and one for the teachers were sent out to these schools. Each set of questionnaire contain 10 items. Frequency count and percentages were used to analyze the returned questionnaires.

The study revealed that teachers are not using improvised materials regularly in their teaching. The study recommends that teachers are to be motivated to use local materials that are readily available around them and also allow students to take part in improvisation.

                        

INTRODUCTION

     Physics is a basics science subject dealing with fundamental constituent of the universe, the force they exact on one another, and the result produced by these forces. Aiyelabegan (2003) writes that physics is derived from Greek term meaning nature. Therefore physics should be a science dedicated to the study of matter in relation to energy. According to Abdullahi(1982),physics is the study of the relationship between matter and energy.

     Aiyelabegan (2003) observed that physics is a science subject in which students usually perform poorly in senior school certificate examination.

     The wrong notion of some people about the abstractness of physics should be corrected. Physics is not abstract if taught with the right materials and method. Our environment is rich with materials to be used if properly harness. This is the reason why we need to use appropriate teaching aids and improvise materials where they are not readily available in stores. In the opinion of Daniel (2001) teachers need to be exposed to the production of instructional and learning materials using available resources and most especially in this age of information technology. Kola (20007), said improvised physics apparatus should be used as suitable plastic containers in place of glasswares or breakable items at the earlier stage of students participation in physics class.

    Many of the equipment we use in teaching physics can be improvised. There are discarded materials like milk tins, broken plastic, and some woods that can be used for improvisation. Abdullahi(1982), said improvised equipment and materials like bamboo microscope aid science teaching. Abimbola (1999) wrote that the primary purpose of using instructional materials in teaching and learning process is to make teaching more effective and facilitate learning. He further said it would amount to wasteful exercise if a teacher decides to use materials that are not readily available. Some may be available but too costly for the school to afford, therefore the teacher needs to improvise.

    One major purpose of improvisation is to allow students to take part in the process. According to Adeniran (2006) when learner participates in improvisation of instructional materials they are exposed to creativity, innovation and curiosity, all of which are fundamental to teaching and learning of science.

    Many science teachers do not see improvisation as anything to talk about or labour for.This is simply because equipments are readily available in the market for teaching and learning. Improvisation is very important to teaching and learning of science. According to Fatubarin(2001), improvisation in science teaching is described as an important issue in science Education which has attracted a lot of contributions from science teachers.

    Instructional materials or teaching aids is very important in teaching and learning science if adequately used. According to Adegbija and Fakomogbon (2006), instructional media or materials can be used by lecturers to overcome noise factors, such as misconception, referent confusion and daydreaming. Odili (1990) discussed the importance of teaching aid in the teaching of science.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

    The following research questions were raised to guide the study.

1. Do teacher regularly use-teaching aids in their physics lesson?

2. Are results obtained from the use of improvised materials reliable?

3. Do students gain more with the use of improvised materials compared to the ready made ones?

4. Do improvised materials aids teaching and learning of physics effectively?

5. Do improvised materials require more money and time?

PROCEDURE

     A survey method was used for this research. The targeted population was secondary schools in Ilorin West Local Government Area of Kwara State. The samples of the study were drawn from schools that are offering physics at senior secondary level. Thirteen schools were used all together. These schools comprise both mixed and single schools. Two sets of questionnaire were prepared for physics teachers and students. Each questionnaire contained 10 items personally administered in the schools to collect data by the researcher.

    Data collected were analyzed using frequency counts and percentage. The result is presented in table below to answer the research questions raised for the study. Thirteen physics teachers and thirty-nine physics students were used in all.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

    Research question 1: Do physics teachers regularly use teaching aids in their lesson?

Item

Responses

No of teachers

  %

No of students

         %

1

Yes

13

          100

           35

                 89.7

No

0

           0

            4

                 10.3

2

Yes

No

6

7

          46.2

         53.8

           18

           21

                 46.2

                  53.8

                   

    From the table it can be seen that physics teachers are using teaching aids in their lesson but not regularly.

    Research question 2: Are results obtained from improvised materials reliable or not?

Item

Responses

No of teachers

%

No of students

%

7

Yes

No

6

7

46.2

53.8

    The responses of the teachers showed that results obtained from the used of improvised material in teaching physics are not reliable. This might be due to lack of precision in measurement.

    Research question 3: Do students gain more with the use of improvised materials compared to the readymade ones?

Item

Responses

No of teachers

       %

No of students

                 %

6

Yes

No

9

4

      69.2

     30.8

          30

           9

                 79.9

                  23.1

    It is observed that students enjoy or gain more when improvised materials are used for teaching physics. Students’ participation in the process of improvisation may help in gaining more and make the lesson fascinating.

    Research question 4: Do improvised materials aid the effective teaching and learning of physics?

 

Item

Responses

No of teachers

%

No of students

%

 

9

Yes

No

   28

   11

71.8

28.2

10

Yes

No

11

2

84.6

15.4

   –

   –

4

Yes

No

  28

  11

71.8

28.2

5

Yes

No

  29

  10

74.4

25.6

             

    It can be inferred from the table that improvised materials aids teacher in his teaching and also help students to learn physics more effectively.

Research question 5: Do using improvised materials require more money and time?

Item

Responses

No of teachers

%

No of students

%

 

 

5

Yes

No

2

11

15.4

84.6

       –

       –

8

Yes

No

     17

      22

43.6

56.4

11

Yes

No

4

9

30.8

69.2

       –

       –

    It was observed that the use of improvised materials does not cost more money neither does it consume more time in teaching.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

    Physics, a major science subject dealing with the fundamental constituents of the universe, the forces they exert on one another and the results produced by these forces, is perceived by many as an abstract course due to the way it is taught. From the present study it is revealed that teacher uses teaching aids and even improvised them but not regularly. To make this course real and remove the notion of its abstractness teachers need to employ various types of teaching aids that appeal to the students’ various senses. This is in consonance with Moronfola (1983), to meet individual differences in the class; the teacher must employ various types of aids that appeal to different senses.

    Improvisation of materials is not to replace the real apparatus and that is why most of these improvised materials are not reliable when it comes to measurement in physics. They are just for demonstration and their measured quantities should not be depending upon.

    Our environment is rich with materials that can be used for improvisation and since students gain more when such improvised materials are used, the teacher should endeavor to involve the students. Assignment could be given to construct models and other useful teaching aids.

    When the teacher uses improvised materials, it helps his or her lesson and students also learn more. Students will comprehend more when they worked with materials they can manipulate by themselves and this will make them pay more attention than when they are using objects that are entirely foreign to them.

    It is very interesting to note that, improvised materials does not consume money neither much time. This means it is very economical and therefore all teachers should learn how to produce and use them.

    Based on the outcome of this study, the following recommendations are thus suggested:

    Physics teachers at all level should be using teaching aids to teach all concepts as much as possible,

    Improvisation should form part of physics lesson as the cost of buying physics apparatus is very high with the present national economy,

    Physics teachers should not substitute the real apparatus with the improvised ones where measurement needs to be done because most of these measurements are not reliable for precision and accuracy,

    Physics students should be regularly given assignment on how to harness their environment for the purpose of learning physics.

    School administrators should ensure physics teachers frequently use teaching aids and when necessary they should make the teachers to improvise.

                               

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