The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of Home Economics laboratory for effective teaching and learning in Home Economics in Anambra State. Four research questions and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the researcher in carrying out the study. The descriptive survey research design was used. The population was made up of four hundred and thirty-one Home Economics teachers in senior secondary schools in the State. All the members of this population were studied; hence, there was no sampling. The findings of this study indicated that materials for teaching Home Economics in secondary schools were largely unavailable, there was a low extent of utilization of the available laboratory materials by the teachers and the Home Economics teachers improvised few of the laboratory materials available for teaching. The teachers used students as the main source for improvisation of laboratory materials and encountered a variety of teacher, student, and school environment related problems in improvising laboratory materials. These situations were more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas. Findings also revealed some strategies perceived by the Home Economics teachers for enhancing the improvisation of laboratory materials. One implication of the findings is that effective learning among urban and rural secondary schools Home Economics students might be limited because of lack of laboratory materials and problems encountered in improvising laboratory materials. Among the recommendations made was that government and non-governmental organizations should sponsor Home Economics teachers for training in improvisation of laboratory materials.
1.1 Background of the Study
laboratory material is crucial to teaching and learning processes. A dedicated classroom teacher feels satisfied when he realizes the objectives he has set out to achieve for every lesson. In order to achieve this, a trained teacher employs a number of methods, design and actions, one of which includes the use of laboratory material. laboratory materials are referred to as the resources which both the teachers and students use for the purpose of effective teaching and learning. Okwo (1996) defined laboratory materials as those materials that teachers can use in teaching to facilitate the learning of a particular subject or lesson. The list of laboratory materials are inexhaustible and their limit is the teacher’s level of resourcefulness, creativity and imagination. Rominszowski (1996) listed laboratory material to include newspaper, magazines, pictures, textbooks, chalkboard, laboratory equipment, posters, bulletins, journal, radio, television, audiocassettes, tapes, film scripts and slides. Others are overhead and opaque projector, real objects and computer. Okebukola (2003) described laboratory materials as information multipliers because they are capable of providing learners with opportunities to learn beyond teachers capabilities when utilized for instruction.
Utilization of laboratory material is the act of using and applying the available laboratory material in the actual teaching/learning process. Where resources are supplied for instructional use, teachers are expected to utilize them to support a smooth and meaningful flow of instruction and promote understanding of the content being taught. To facilitate the teaching and learning of Home Economics in senior secondary schools, the skillful teacher can select those laboratory materials that are relevant to the Home Economics curriculum. This could be implemented from the numerous laboratory materials that abound in the market or that are available in the school. When laboratory materials are not utilized, effective teaching and permanent learning are difficult to take place because students cannot actively participate in a way that challenge them to think creatively. Despite the intention of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme, adequate provision and utilization of laboratory material for effective teaching and learning of Home Economics has not been attained.
The Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme of Nigeria is designed among other things, to facilitate the standard of literacy, and improve societal development. The UBE is a nine-year programme that covers six years of primary education and three years of junior secondary schools. The three years of junior secondary school is known as secondary schools (Upper Basic). Home Economics is one of the vocational subjects taught under the Universal Basic Education and it is designed to promote health in the home and society. Lemchi (2001) described Home Economics as the study of the relationship of people and aspect of their environment such as clothing, housing and finance. Home Economics is a discipline with a broad scope that covers virtually all aspects of an individual’s daily living (Anyakoha, 2002). Okpala (2005) described Home Economics as a skill-oriented, decision-making subject that equips learners with skill and knowledge which will help them to be self-employed and at the same time contribute effectively to the socio-economic development of the family and society.
It is against this background that this study is embarked upon to determine the extent of impact of Home Economics laboratory for Home Economics instruction in urban and rural upper senior secondary schools in Anambra State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Effective transfer of practical skills by the teachers to the students in Home Economics require good teaching methods as well as laboratory materials. This implies that technological changes have always necessitated the need for continuous provision of laboratory material. Despite all the emphasis on the acquisition of practical skills and basic knowledge by the students for various activities in Home Economics it still requires the good manipulation of skill oriented instructional facilities. Yet, the laboratory materials are unavailable, insufficient and inadequate (Ogwo, 1996). This may have been responsible for the senior secondary school Home Economics teachers’ adoption of theoretical approach in teaching Home Economics in most urban and rural secondary schools in Anambra State. This aspect of teaching/learning seem not to appeal to the students sensory organs of learning as a result of unfavourable situation.
Arkhurst & Anyakoha (2004) noted that the use of tools of environment and other improvised practical facilities, if undertaken correctly, improves students’ learning. This implies that laboratory materials could be sourced from the local environment by improvisation, and utilized adequatelty for the teaching/learning process. Whether or not secondary schools Home Economics teachers in Anambra State improvise and utilize laboratory materials is yet to be empirically ascertained. Hence this study was to investigate the impact of Home Economics laboratory for teaching Home Economics in senior secondary schools in Anambra State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
- identify the various laboratory materials available for teaching secondary schools Home Economics.
- determine the impact of home economics laboratory on the teaching and learning of the subject.
- ascertain the various ways laboratory materials are being improvised for teaching secondary schools Home Economics students.
- determine the problems encountered by secondary schools Home Economics teachers in improvising laboratory materials for teaching.
1.4 Research Questions
- What laboratory materials are available for teaching secondary schools Home Economics students?
- What is the impact of Home Economics laboratory on the teaching and learning of the subject?
- In what ways are the various instructional materials being improvised for teaching secondary schools Home Economics students?
- What problems do secondary schools teachers encounter in improvising laboratory materials for teaching?
1.5 Null Hypotheses
Ho1: There is no significant difference in the mean response of urban and rural secondary schools Home Economics teachers on their extent of utilization of available laboratory materials for teaching.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the mean response of urban and rural secondary schools Home Economics teachers on the various laboratory materials improvised by them.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study is significant because the findings would be of benefit to the Home Economics teachers, the students, Anambra State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) and the society at large.
The results of this study would immensely motivate Home Economics teachers’ curiosity towards impact of Home Economics laboratory for teaching/learning. The findings of this study could enable teachers to utilize less expensive materials which the students can easily identify in their locality to make their teaching lively. When teachers improvise for teaching, teaching will be very fascinating, less boring and learning would be interesting .
The findings of this study would be beneficial to the students. This is because when teachers improvise and utilize laboratory materials in teaching Home Economics, the students’ interest and understanding in learning the subject could be enhanced.
Finally, the society would equally benefit from this study if the Home Economics teachers improvise and utilize laboratory materials, Home Economics teaching will be lively. If the findings of this study are as well published in journals and other news media they could contribute meaningfully to socio-cultural advancement of the society.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study was limited to available laboratory material for teaching Home Economics in senior secondary schools, their utilization and how laboratory materials were being improvised. Also the problems and strategies in the utilization and improvisation of laboratory materials by teachers of secondary schools Home Economics in Anambra State were investigated.