EFFECT OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING ON CHEMISTRY STUDENTS’ ACQUISITION OF SCIENCE PROCESS SKILLS IN ONITSHA EDUCATION ZONE
The study determined the effect of problem-based learning on Chemistry students’ acquisition of science process skills in Onitsha Education Zone. The influence of gender on students’ acquisition of science process skills and engagement were also determined. Two research questions were raised to guide the study and
three null hypotheses were tested at 0.05 alpha level. Quasi-experimental design was adopted, specifically the pretest-posttest non-randomized control group was used. The population of the study was 1, 821 senior secondary two (SS2) students offering chemistry in Onitsha Education Zone out of which a sample size of 144 students was drawn using purposive and random sampling techniques. The instrument for data collection was Test of Science Process Skills Acquisition (TSPSA) validated by three experts in Departments of Science Education and Educational Foundations, from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The reliability of TSPSA was established using Kuder-Richardson Formula 20 to be 0.73. The experimental group was taught using PBL while the control group was taught using conventional method. The data for the study were obtained by administering the instruments as pretest and posttest. Research questions were answered using mean and standard deviation and analysis of covariance was used to test the null hypotheses. The result of the study showed that students taught chemistry using PBL had higher mean gain science process skills acquisition scores than those taught using conventional method. The findings of the study revealed that there was a significant difference between mean science process skills scores of students taught chemistry using PBL and conventional method in favour of PBL. It was concluded that PBL is an effective for ensuring students in the mastery of science process skills in the learning process of chemistry. It was recommended among others that students of chemistry should attempt to solve related questions to concepts learnt and conduct experiments to verify their observations as a way of developing their science process skills and actively engaged in learning.