AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR

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British Journal of EducationVol.3, No.11, pp.97-206, November 2015Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.eajournals.org)ASSESSMENT OF INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS ADOPTED BY TEACHERS OFAGRICULTURAL SCIENCE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR ENHANCED SKILLACQUISITION FOR SELF-RELIANCE IN ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA.Aneke C. U.Department of Technology and Vocational EducationEnugu State University of Science and TechnologyABSTRACT: This paper assessed the instructional methods adopted by teachers ofagricultural science in secondary schools for enhanced skill acquisition for self-reliance inEnugu State. Two research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study. A structuredquestionnaire made up of 28 items was used to elicit responses from 122 respondentscomprising of 90 teachers of agricultural science teaching in schools located in urban and 32teachers, teaching in schools in rural areas. The instrument was face validated by threeexperts. The reliability of the instrument was determined using Cronbach alpha reliabilitycoefficient. A reliability index of 0.91 was obtained. Mean with standard deviation was used toanswer the research questions, whilet-test was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 level ofsignificance. The results of the study showed that teachers used demonstration, action researchmethod, individual teaching method, field experience (farm) teaching, field trip methods ofteacher, etc to a great extent, for enhanced skills acquisition for self-reliance in Enugu State.It was found that teachers do not integrate modern technologies in teaching agriculturalscience in secondary schools in Enugu State of Nigeria. Based on the findings, it wasrecommended among others that; teachers should be retrained in the use of moderntechnologies in agricultural instructional delivery.KEYWORDS: Assessment Instructional Methods, Skills Acquisition, Self-Reliance.INTRODUCTIONThe ever-increasing technological advancement, and surge of unemployed graduates in thecountry have necessitated the inclusion of more technology and vocational-oriented subjectsinto the school curriculum. Vocational oriented subjects were described by Puyate(2008) as anaspect of technology based education which involves training of men for the acquisition ofsalable skills. It applies both science and technical skills to practical problem solving.Vocational subjects are subjects like Home Economics, Arts, Accountancy and Agriculturalscience. Agricultural science trains man-power in the area of crop and animal production. Itinvolves training given to learners to enhance their ability to competently manipulateagricultural activities in areas such as production, processing, packaging and marketing tobecome employed in government or private sector or be self-reliant.Enhancement means to improve on something for better performance. Olaitan, Amusu, andAsouzuin Ifeanyieze(2010) described enhancement as ability of making something better thanbefore. This study views enhancement as adopting better teaching methods for agriculturalinstructions for adequate skill acquisitions Skill is well-established habit of doing things bypeople. Okorie (2000) noted that to possess a skill is to demonstrate, act, think and behave inspecific activity in such a way that the process becomes natural to the individual through97ISSN 2055-0219(Print), ISSN 2055-0227(online)

British Journal of EducationVol.3, No.11, pp.97-206, November 2015Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.eajournals.org)repetition or practice. Skills acquisition by students, make them competent to the extent ofbecoming self-reliance.Self-reliance is a situation where one does not rely on paid salary or wage, rather the individualearns his living. Hornby, in Ifeanyieze (2010) described self-reliant as the ability to do or takedecision things byones’ self rather than depending on other people for help. This study viewsself-reliance as the ability of agricultural science students to manipulate agricultural productsto create wealth for standard living, rather than depend on paid salary.According to Okoli (2011), agricultureis the pillar of the nation welfare, and sound economicdevelopment and technological advancement. Olakunori in Aneke (2014) noted that in the early1970 agricultural sector accounted for about 71.34% of the nation export Value and 60.61% ofraw materials for gross national products. In that understanding agriculture was made a schoolsubject and was taught at all levels in Nigerian education system, that is, at primary, secondaryand tertiary institutions. At secondary level it is called agricultural science. The objective ofagricultural science for secondary schools as stipulated in the National Policy of EducationFRN (2013) include; to stimulate and sustain students interest in agriculture; to enable studentsacquire basic knowledge and practical skills in agriculture and enable them become selfreliance. These objectives could be achieved if the students are taught bycompetent teachers ofagriculture.A teacher of agriculture was described by Olaitan, Asogwa and Umeh (2009) as someone whohas undergone a teacher preparatory programme in the area of agriculture and is charged withthe responsibility of managing the learning bevahiour of the students. Aneke (2012) describeda teacher as somebody who teaches especially as a professional in the area of agriculture. Thisimplies that teacher of agriculture could be a male or female who is a professional in carryingout agricultural teaching tasks to enhance learning. Being a teacher is a responsibility, and theteacher of agriculture is a pivotal figure in implementing any agricultural programme at anylevel of education, more especially at the secondary school level where the students’ are youthswho are innovative and zealous to learn. Owodunni (2010) stated that the onus oflearning restwith the students, whether he learns or not depends on the teachers’ effectiveness in givinginstructions in the way that augments and promotes learning on the part of the students. It istherefore, paramount that any teacher of agriculture who wants the students to learn andbecome skillful must have good grasp of the knowledge. He is required to be well trained andequipped in the methodology to guarantee him effectiveness in instructional delivery in anylocation-rural or urban, he is posted to teach. The agricultural science teacher cannot promotelearning if he is ignorant of what it takes to learn or to be conversant with strategy or methodwhich can promote learning.Teaching methods was defined by Merlot (2015) as a plan of action designed to achievelearning programme design for a learner. It could be a master plan or program procedureschedule to achieve a particular objective. Heinrich, Molende and Russel (2003) describeinstructional methods as procedures of instruction, selected to assist the learner achieve theobjectives of teaching. This means that instructional method could be procedure adopted bythe teacher to aid students acquire knowledge, attitude and skills to manipulate agriculturalproduce for self-reliance. Teaching methods were categorized by Osinem (2008) into fieldrelated and non-field related teaching methods. Field-related teaching include, teaching carriedout within or outside the school setting. It may be organized trip or visit to a place of interest,experiment, in the labouratory, workshop, demonstration of conceptsor any other outdoorteaching. In this method of teaching learners are actively involved, hence skill acquisition is98ISSN 2055-0219(Print), ISSN 2055-0227(online)

British Journal of EducationVol.3, No.11, pp.97-206, November 2015Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.eajournals.org)emphasized. Osinem (2008) noted that teachers could use the discussed agriculturalinstructional methods to enhance learning:-Collaborative/cooperative learning: In this teaching strategy students’ work together insmall group to accomplish a common learning goal. It requires careful planning andexecution and effective guidance by the teacher.-Mobile learning:Here the students’ are exposed to use information and communicationtechnology gadgets to gather information as directed by the teacher. Jim (2015)noted thatlearning of such enable learners to know what is happening in their various areas of studyin other parts of the world and also use of ICT can help agricultural teacher to helpstudents’ develop research skills.-Game and Simulation: Here students’ are encouraged by the teacher to solve real lifeproblem in a safe environment using interactive tools such as; Internet-Field trip: This is an organized visit to a place to achieve an instructional objective. Mostagricultural instructions are best taught using this method (Osinem 2008)-Demonstration: This method is used by the teachers to arrive at fundamental skills andpractice in a very short time. Demonstration is use to teach manipulative skills, to developlearners understanding, etc. It could be carried out individually, in group, or in the class.Other field methods of teaching as noted by Merlot (2015) include; inquiry guidedlearning, inter-disciplinary teaching, community learning, teaching with cases, givingassignments to students, giving project to students, team-based learning, exhibition ofagricultural produce, workshop practice, task instruction sheets among others.The non-field teaching methods are mainly those instructions giving to the students, whichinvolves more of theories.Osinem (2008) described the non-field teaching methods asclassroom based strategies of teaching. Some of these methods include discussion, problemsolving, humor in the class, team based teaching, role play, problem solving, use of textbooks.According to Ogwo & Oranu (2006) the use of text book aids the learners to get primary sourceof information and detail explanations covering the fundamental operations as well as otherrelevant information that have bearing on the subject under discussion while discussion enablesthe learner to understand concepts to be learnt.Agricultural science is geared towards the development of manual skills as well as knowledgeand attitude required to manage agricultural resources and this requires that the teacher plans,executes and evaluates his teaching using various methods which emphasize skill acquisition.Skill acquisition of students could be enhanced through the teacher involving and exposinglearners to constant practical activities. Kidd, in Ogwo and Oranu (2006) noted that skillacquisition proceeds habit formation. That is to say, continuous practice of a task soon becomeshabit and thus leading to perfection. The teacher is required to involve the students actively inthe farm, and labouratory activities, take them on field trips, give the students projects andindividual portions in the farm for private practice. Okoli (2011) affirmed the importance ofinvolvement of the students in practical exercise by stating that the training of would be farmerstoday is the duty of the teacher and that the teacher would make sure that the trainees (students)are fully involved in their training package and more importantly is being supervisedeffectively by the trainer (teacher). In other words the teacher is supposed to give closesupervision to the learners to know their weak points and help them out.99ISSN 2055-0219(Print), ISSN 2055-0227(online)

British Journal of EducationVol.3, No.11, pp.97-206, November 2015Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.eajournals.org)The teacher of agriculture in secondary school is expected to combine the teaching methods tomake the students learn. He is expected to use the modern technologies which now stems inthe use of ICT. Chimezie (2009) noted that diversification of instructional methods is necessaryfor inculcation of knowledge, skills and attitude to the students of secondary schools to enablethem meet global standard but research have shown that teachers in urban areas utilize modernteaching facilities more than those in the rural schools. This may be as a result of not possessingICT facilities and constant power failure as noted by Aneke (2014). The economic status of therural dwellers was noted by Aneke to be a contributing factor. If the methods highlighted aboveare utilized by the teacher, students’ skill acquisition will be enhanced and thus competentstudents’ and self-reliance graduates, who will be employers of labour in agricultural sectors,will be produced. For the teacher to combine these methods he is required to always update hisknowledge to help him integrate new technologies such as use of information andcommunication technology (ICT) in the agricultural instruction. Through the internet studentswould get information of what is happening in agricultural sector in other parts of the country.Teaching of practical subject such as agriculture requires tools and equipment to be availableand that teachers need to utilize them to make concept clear. If the school cannot afford thetools and equipment to learn, the teacher is required to improvise to make sure that he carriesout his teaching task to enhance learning (Elobuike 2010). Glaseir in Aneke (2012) noted that90% of what we use our hands to do is retained, this situation can become real when the toolsare available and adequate for the students to use and learn. According to Olisa (2009), qualityteaching is a professional task that takes years of preparations, careful planning and skillfulexecution includes; formulation of objectives, careful selection of instructional materials tomatch the subject topic, and methods and for ease execution, using modern equipment help tokeep the learner current with the new technologies in agricultural production.If the teachers of agriculture are competent to use the teaching methods which can promoteunderstanding of concepts and skills acquisition for seconda