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The purpose of this study is to examine the availability of Teachers, laboratory, library facilities for effective teaching of integrated science in junior secondary schools in Bassa local government area of Plateau State, Nigeria. Four research questions were raised which guided the study. Ten different junior secondary schools were surveyed. This survey was restricted only to Bassa local government area. Questionnaires were drawn and distributed to a sample of ninety-six (96) students and fourteen (14) teachers respectively. The data collected were analyzed, interpreted and itemized. While useful recommendations were made including the following: the government as a matter of policy must ensure that only professionally qualified integrated science teachers should teach the subject for better teaching effectiveness, teachers should liaise with school management to the provision of facilities for teaching and learning of integrated science. Also, the government must see to the provision of adequate facilities in schools, the government as matter of policy must ensure that no junior secondary school should be register until necessary facilities for teaching and learning integrated science are in place. It was revealed that facility availability play important role in effective teaching of integrated science. It was also discovered that teacher related factors, school environment such as well equipped laboratory, library and others, exert remarkable influence on effective teaching of integrated science. Facility availability have great impart in effective teaching because they aid students to comprehend lessons and teaching to present the lessons well to students.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Science education plays a vital role in the lives of individuals and the development of a nation scientifically and technologically (Alebiosu and Ifamuyiwa, 2008). It is widely and generally acknowledged that the gateway to the survival of a nation scientifically and technologically is scientific literacy which can only be achieved through science education. To make her citizens show interest in science education, Nigerian government came up with a policy that 60% of the students seeking admission into the nation’s universities, polytechnics and colleges of education should be admitted for science oriented courses, while 40% of the students should be considered for arts and social science courses (Ajibola, 2008). This government’s effort cannot be said to have yielded much fruits given the dwindling nature of students seeking admission into science-oriented courses in the Nation’s tertiary institutions, more students are seeking admission into art and social science courses than those of the science-oriented courses on yearly basis. Disturbed by this ugly development, researchers in the field of science education in Nigeria embarked on series of studies to find the logic behind this ugly development. They found that the problem stemmed from the first form of science a child comes across at the JSS (Junior Secondary School) level that is integrated science. Integrated science provides students sound basis for further science education study, hence a child that is not well grounded in integrated science at this level would not show interest in offering core science subjects (biology, chemistry and physics) at the SSS (Senior Secondary School) level which are the prerequisites for studying science-oriented courses at the Nation’s tertiary Institutions. They also found that lack of qualified teachers, lack of equipments and facilities for teaching, lack of practical works, insufficient allotment of time for integrated science on the school time-table and poor methods of teaching are the major factors militating against the successive implementation of the core curriculum in integrated science (Afuwape and Olatoye, 2004).The aforementioned problems of teaching integrated science did not include non sequential arrangement of some of the integrated science concepts in the curriculum. It is believed that if integrated science concepts are not taught from known to unknown and from simple to complex, it is likely that students might find it difficult to understand the concepts taught. This has lead to the development of negative attitude towards the subject by the students, which has lead to many of them not showing interest in offering core science subjects at the senior secondary school level and science-oriented courses at the Nation’s tertiary institutions because of their dismal performance in integrated science examination at the JSSCE (Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination). It is against this background that this paper reviewed the Nigerian integrated science curriculum in order to ascertain the sequential arrangement of the concepts
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most secondary schools in Nigeria, especially public schools lack basic facilities for effective teaching of integrated science. Alebiosu, 2000 and Onipede, 2003 reported that many schools in Nigeria do not have laboratory with minimum standard facilities.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The research is designed to examine facility availability and effective teaching of integrated science in junior secondary schools in Bassa local government area of Plateau State. The specific objectives of the study are to:
The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study:
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Integrated science teaching in schools becomes effective only if there is adequate teaching include equipment, materials, laboratory manuals and the like.
DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research study does not attempt to examine the totality of all facilities instead, it limit itself to facilities for effective teaching of integrated science.
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms are used operationally in this work:
Facility availability: Is equipment, materials, apparatus, items that are ready for use or that is easily found, reached for use.
Effective: ability to produce good and adequate result.
Teaching: is an act of impacting skills, zeal or interest, causing a change in an individual.
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