This study focuses on science curriculum implementation strategies/models in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt. A proper research was carried out to find out the strategies adopted in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt for science curriculum implementation, to ascertain the factors Responsible for Implementation of Government Curriculum in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt, to find out the challenges facing science curriculum implementation strategies in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt, to determine the performance of students of senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt in science subjects, and to investigate how to improve science curriculum implementation strategies in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt. In carrying out the research, research questions are been set in order to direct the researcher in administration of questionnaires. There is also review of relevant literature on related topics to the study. Questionnaires which was the instrument used was given to 150 senior secondary school teachers in Port Harcourt by the researcher. The result obtained from the questionnaire was analyzed and conclusion was derived from the analyzed result.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Science as a field of study has made it possible for man to know more about the universe. The effective teaching of science subjects can lead to the attainment of scientific and technological greatness (Adesoji & Olatunbosun, 2008). Science teachers are very crucial in the translation of science educational objectives into practice. Science education provides a more effective preparation for citizenship and in order to achieve this, qualified and experienced science teachers who are well aware of global demands of science teaching with a view to engendering scientific and technological values in learners are required. There has been much concern about the apparent fall in the standard of science education at the secondary school level in Nigeria. For instance, Madu (2004) and Okebukola (2005) working separately, have lamented on the decline in the standard of science teaching in Nigeria. Nwagbo (2001) identified a number of factors obstructing students’ understanding and achievement in the science subjects and among these factors was the use of inappropriate, non-effective teaching methodology. Abimbola (2013) stated that the performance level for individual science subjects did not show any significant rise for a twenty-year period between 1991 and 2011, except occasionally for chemistry and physics.
It is appropriate to say curriculum is all about experience required of a child for all round development since the organization of schooling and further education had long been associated with the idea of curriculum. Curriculum is a particular form of specification about the practice of teaching. It is not a package of materials or syllabus of ground to be covered rather it is a way of translating any educational idea into a hypothesis testable in practice. It invites critical testing rather than acceptance (Stenhouse, 2005).
Furthermore, curriculum is said to be a specification about the practice of teaching which involves pragmatic efficacy of the learners’ experiences. Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill of something or some events gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event. In this wise, curriculum is an important element of education in which overall objectives of education depend largely on the nature of the curriculum (NERDC, 2004).
Curriculum experts have argued that curriculum making either at the level of development, design, implementation or reformation needs the inputs of critical stakeholders if it is to be relevant, meaningful and adequate to meet the needs of the people for whom it has been put together. In his opinion, Dewey (1897) contends that education is a social construct which is a part of society and should reflect the community. In this sense, curriculum is the thrust of education vested with force thereby integrating societal trends, traditional values and individual expression.
In his conception of curriculum Bobbitt (2008) affirmed that curriculum is the course of deeds and experiences through which learners become the adults they should be for success in adult society. In other words, curriculum encourages the entire scope of formative deed and experience occurring both within and outside school for the purposeful formation of adult members of society.
However, curriculum may refer to a well-defined and prescribed course of studies, which students must fulfil in order to pass a certain level of education. That is, curriculum is being construed as learning activities that make up a particular system of education. Ackerman (2008) in his examination of cognitive development theory explained in details how the curriculum is sequenced in schools.
In Nigeria for instance, secondary school curriculum is designed to encourage all students to achieve their spiritual, intellectual and social potential as well as to understand the relevance of learning in their daily lives. It is important to note that, it is one thing to develop/design curriculum, it is another thing to implement it effectively. Objectives of any level of education cannot be achieved if the planned programme for such level of education is not well implemented. Onyeachu (2008) observed that no matter how well a curriculum of any subject is planned, designed and documented, implementation is important.
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. Therefore, this study focuses on science curriculum implementation strategies/models in senior secondary schools in Port Harcourt.
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