Meaning of Science Education
Science Education is the field concerned with sharing science content and process with individuals not traditionally considered part of the scientific community.
The traditional subjects included in the standards are physical, life earth, space and human science. Science study requires a variety of unique instructional materials in addition to those materials common to all education.
A science facility must have space to accommodate this variety in combination with hands on instructional strategies. Science instructional areas have spatial and material needs that are different from those considered in designing a general use in classroom.
Brief History of Science Education in Nigeria
Teaching of science in Nigeria started during the period of Christian missionaries who introduced western education in Nigeria.
This started with establishment of church missionary society (CMS) grammar school in Lagos, Nigeria in 1859, others include the roman catholic missionary (RCM) African mission of south Baptist convention, Wesleyan Methodist mission, among the rest of united Presbyterian church of Scotland mission and the qua ibo mission.
Keywords: Technology, Climate change, Agriculture, Environmental degradation.
The foundations of science education were created and injected into school’s curriculum. The subjects include arithmetic, algebra, geometry and physiology.
Other schools established by the missionaries are grammar school, teacher training schools, pastoral schools, vocational schools, agricultural schools and the introduction of elementary science in the school curricular and the students are been taught.
Problems Of Science Education In Nigeria:
1. Unstable Staff
The problem is no longer unavailability of teachers but the instability. Due to the poor earnings of teachers, many people use teaching professions as a stepping stone to more attractive jobs.
This has made teaching profession of fresh graduates of universities and colleges of education, who are ready to quit the job as soon as they get better offer.
As as result of meager payment, most Nigerian teachers do have other jobs which they give more concentration to. And this, no doubt affects their effectiveness in teaching. Imagine a secondary school teacher also working as a taxi driver during or after school hours.
2. Inadequate Classrooms
Classes are always crowded with up to ninety students in class designed for about thirty students in most cases, especially in public secondary schools, chairs are not enough.
Students will be sharing seats and some would start to receive lectures. And where by students are learning science subjects, they will lack concentration as they would be easily distracted.
3. Inadequate Learning Equipment
Nigerian schools at all levels are lacking the essential materials for learning, especially for science practical classes. This, no doubt, affects the learning process.
Most secondary schools lack science materials, and those that claim to have are managing the old ones. Hence, the students only cram theoretical steps rather than carrying out the practical.
Also, many schools and colleges have building that they call library, but most of these so called libraries are not equipped with needed books, journals and magazines.
4. Labs and Experiments
This often require science teachers to spend a lot of time in preparation and set up. Therefore, science teachers have less time to grade during the normal school hours and often find themselves working late or coming in early to keep up.
There are mostly less laboratory equipment used to teach students. Many labs cannot be completed in less than 50 minutes. Therefore, science teachers are often faced with the challenge of dividing labs up over the course of a couple of days.
5. Knowledge and Understanding
Since science courses cover a large number of topics, there is always friction between how deep and how wide a teacher should go in their curriculum.
Due to time constraints, most teachers will teach a breadth of knowledge without having the time to go depth on individual topics.
6. Dealing with Controversial Topics
Many topics covered in science courses can be considered controversial. Therefore, it is important that the teacher has a plan and knows what the school district policy is concerning the way they teach topics such as evolution, cloning, reproduction, and more.
7. Cost Limitations
Some science lab equipment costs a lot of money. Obviously, even in years without budget constraints, this precludes teachers from doing certain labs.
This can be especially difficult for newer teachers to deal with as they come across great labs that they just can’t afford to create.
8. Prerequisite Information
Certain science courses require students to have prerequisite math schools. For example, chemistry and physics both require strong math but in the reverse is the case.
9. Collaboration and Individual Grade
Many laboratory assignments require students to collaborate. Therefore, science teachers are faced with issues of how to assign individual grades for these assignments.
10. Missed Lab Work
Students will be absent. It is often very difficult for science teachers to provide students with alternative assignments for lab days. Many labs cannot be repeated after school and students are instead given readings and questions or research for assignments.
1. Qualified Teachers
Schools need to employ qualified science teachers that have a lot to offer in terms of practical and theoretical aspect of teaching and not half baked teachers.
2. Adequate Laboratory Equipment
Subjects like biology, chemistry, physics needs adequate lab equipment to enable the students learn and practice well and proper direction from the teacher on how to use them at any particular time.
3. Adequate Classroom
In science education, adequate learning classroom should be a priority science class ought not to be crowded to avoid distraction.
4. Stable Staff
The staff should be stable and available, most teachers succumb to many side hustle besides teaching, thereby making them not fully involved in the dissemination of their duties.
5. Adequate Payment
It is no news that teachers are underpaid and science teachers are not excluded. Therefore, they don’t give their best in the impartation of knowledge.
6. Cost Limitation
The making of great lab can be financially exhausting, lab equipment are basically expensive so the cost of lab equipment should be affordable.
7. Teaching Curriculum
The teaching curriculum needs to be reviewed and updated, it needs to be more practical and research based.
8. Proper Training of Teachers
Training of teachers with current and up to date materials and technology also will improve the condition of education in Nigeria.
9. Use of Technology
Use of technology to deliver instruction in science should be accorded greater focus by teachers.
10. Parents should provide opportunities for their children to carry out projects that are science and technology related.
Teachers should tailor science instruction to contemporary taste of learners. There is the need to review the teaching methods used in science education by carrying out relevant local research and using the findings as it is done in developed countries.IMPORTANT!: Follow us on Instagram @InfoGuideNigeria
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