Faculty: Education
Department: Science Education


Ikokwu, P. I. I.
Okeke, S. O. C.


Chemistry which is an important science subject in the school curriculum is central to the study of professional sciences and science-based courses in institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately, not many students in the secondary schools study chemistry. Among the few too, achievement and interest are low. Organic chemistry, which is the fulcrum of various industrial processes, is worse hit. Are the structures of compounds and the organic nomenclature possible reasons? Inappropriate teaching methods were among the reasons adduced for this poor achievement and undesirable lack of interest in chemistry by secondary school students, especially in organic chemistry. Consequently, a number of methods have been suggested by various researchers. Accordingly, the study investigated the comparative effectiveness of concept mapping and simulation play instructional strategies on students' achievement and interest in organic chemistry. The effects of gender on achievement and interest of students were also explored. The interaction effects of teaching methods and gender on achievement and interest of student were also examined. Six research questions and six null hypotheses guided the study. The study was a non-equivalent quasi-experimental design involving two treatment groups. 129 SS3 Chemistry students drawn from four schools in the Ogidi Education Zone of Anarnbra State made up the sample for the study. Two instruments namely Organic Chemistry students’ Achievement Test (OCSAT) developed by the researcher and Organic Chemistry students’ Interest Inventory (OCSII) adapted from Ifeakor(2005) were used for data collection. The face and construct validities of OCSAT were established. The reliability of these instruments were established using Kuder Richardson formula 20 (K-R 20) for OCSAT and Crombach alpha for OCSII. Means and Standard Deviations were used to answer the research questions while Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA), was used to analyze and interpret the data obtained from OCSAT and OCSII. The results of the study show that: Concept mapping and simulation play instructional strategies significantly enhance students' achievement and interest in organic chemistry. There were significant differences in the effectiveness of concept mapping and simulation play in facilitating achievement and interest. The observed statistical significant differences in the effectiveness of the two strategies on interest and achievement respectively, favour simulation play. Gender was not a significant factor in the students' achievement while it was found significant in their interest in favour of males. While no significant interaction effect between gender and teaching methods existed in students' achievement, there existed a significant interaction effect of gender and teaching method in student's interest. Educational implications of the findings were extensively discussed. Based on these, the following recommendations, among others, were made: Science teachers should employ these strategies in the classroom so as to enhance the achievement and interest of students in organic chemistry. Government in conjunction with other professional bodies like the STAN should organize workshops and seminars for trainee and serving teachers to acquaint them with the use of these innovative activity-based teaching methods specifically, simulation play strategy. Suggestions were made for further research.

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