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Efficacy of Process-Based Instruction In Enhancing Secondary School Students’ Academic Performance And Science Skills Acquisition In Identification of Cations In Faskari, Katsina State-Nigeria

Kelvin Samuel, Ibrahim Alhasan Libata and Abdulmalik Sabitu

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Process–Based Instruction, Science-Skills, Performance, Identification of Cations

PUBLISHER The Author(s) 2018. This article is published with open access at

This study examined the effect of process–based Instruction on secondary school students’ academic performance and science-skills acquisition in Faskari Education Zone, Katsina State, Nigeria. The study employed quasiexperimental design using a sample of 103 students drawn from a population of 984 in the study area. Two instruments namely Identification of Cations Performance Test (ICPT) and Test of Science Process Skills (TOSPS) duly Validated by expert with a reliability coefficient of 0.69 and 0.75 respectively were used for data collection. Research hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics at 0.05 levels of significance. One of the finding from the study indicates that there is significance difference in the acquisition of Science- Skills between students taught identification of cations using Process–Based instruction and those taught the same concept using lecture method. Based on the research findings, it was recommended among others that periodic workshops, seminars and conferences should be organised for teachers on the selection and implementation of appropriate strategy for teaching chemistry concepts.


A long term goal of science education has been that students learn science concepts in a meaningful way and apply them in solving problems. It is on this premise researchers like Mari (2006), Reid, (2008) and Briscoe (2013) recommended Process-based instruction as a medium through which science concepts can bemade meaningful to the students. Similarly, Shuaibu (2012) observed that the central purpose behind the new curriculum projects launched in Western countries in 1960s was basically aimed at presenting science to students the way science really is. The new curriculum according to him was designed to shift emphasis significantly from the old methods of presenting science as mere collection of facts and terms to be memorized by students to deeper understanding of the key concepts and fundamental principles of the subjects through appropriate use of the inquiry processes.

The rationale behind this emphasis has been the training of students to develop the ability of applying the process and principle of science such as science process-skills to solve a wide range of problems. Science education therefore, is the systematic training of the individuals so as to be able to live a productive life through solving their day-to-day problems (Ajaja, 2007). Science education featured prominently the training of students in order to equip them with the “tool” that is instrumental to success in their future life. However, science teaching remains primarily didactic, dominated by lectures, demonstration, text-book readings and memorization. It was observed that many teachers teaches science using lecture method where students passively listen to lectures and the teacher dominate most part of the class (Paul & Dantani, 2012). Conversely, Abdulmalik and Torpev (2016) reported that the predominant use of lecture method in teaching science makes science learning boring and uninspiring to the students. Hence the need for teachers to try other students centred strategies like peer tutoring, cooperative learning, processbased instruction and computer assisted learning strategies among others.

Science Process–Based instruction is a strategy that simplifies learning of science through the use of science process skills. The strategy gives students’ sense of responsibility in their own learning, and increase the permanency of learning. Ibrahim (2012) reported that science process skills are transferable ability, appropriated to many science disciplines, and reflective of the behaviour of scientists. He Further classified the process skills into two: Basic Science Process Skills which involves observation, question raising, measurement, communication, classification and inference and Integrated Science Process Skills that requires controlling variables, defining terms operationally, formulating hypothesis, interpreting data, experimenting and formulating models. Both basic and integrated skills improve the thinking, reasoning abilities, enhance problems solving and scientific investigation. Researchers like Ango (2002); Mari and Shuaibu (2003); Frazer (2004) and Danladi (2006) indicated that process based instruction of teaching enhance students academic performance at the senior secondary school level. Similarly, Olorontegbe and Oduntuji (2003) opined that the often perceived difficulty in some chemistry concepts can be clearly understood through process based instruction which combine the psychomotor and the cognitive skills of reasoning.

Page(s) 87-97
ISSN Print : 2320-7655, Online : 2320-8805

This study has established the fact that process based instruction has significantly affected the performance of the students in identification of cations. These findings tend to provide justification for teachers who have found active strategies like process-based in teaching science as an alternative to traditional passive strategies that are teacher cantered like lecture method. It is however important to stress that students’ mean performance scores in both experimental and control group are below average. This shows that a lot of work still needs to be done to raise students’ performance in both experiment and control groups.

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