Comparison of Learner Involvement in Biology Laboratory Investigations in Selected Secondary Schools in Nyandarua District of Kenya
Performance in the biology practical paper has been poor at Kenya national examinations in the past five years (1998-2002). This may imply a lack of emphasis on the teaching of biology through the process-based approach. This study investigated the level of learner involvement in biology practical investigations in Kenyan secondary schools. A descriptive research design was employed in this study. Purposive sampling was used to select three public provincial secondary schools from Nyandarua district that were included in the study. A total of 160 students from the sampled schools participated in the study. A Students’ Questionnaire (SQ) was used to collect data. Five experts in science education and five biology teachers validated the instrument. The reliability of the instrument was estimated, after a pilot study, using the Cronbach’s coefficient alpha and yielded a reliability coefficient of 0.731. Data was analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The computer programme, Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), was used for data analyses. One-Way ANOVA was used to test the hypotheses at alpha (α) level of 0.05. The findings of the study indicated a significant difference in the level of learner participation in the various biology practical activities with regard to their cognitive level. The findings also indicated that the levels of learner involvement in biology practical work were the same in the sampled schools. The recommendations and implications of these findings were made.
Key Words: Learner Involvement, Biology Laboratory Investigations, Cognitive, Secondary Schools