EFFECT OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING ON STUDENTS PARTICIPATION AND ACHIEVEMENT IN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL BIOLOGY
There has been a persistent decline in student’s achievement and participation at the Secondary School Certificate Examination over the years. This ugly trend has been of great concern to the government, Biology educators and the society in general. Since Biology is a pre-requisite for many professions as well as a spring board for technical break through and self-reliance. There is need to diversify teaching methods with innovative methods to improve on the learning of Biology in our schools. The study was therefore investigated the effect of cooperative learning on students participation and achievement in senior secondary school Biology. Six research questions and six null hypotheses were formulated and tested respectively at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. A sample of 278 SS1 (139 boys and 139 girls) Biology students were used for the study. The experimental groups were taught using the cooperative learning strategy while the control groups were taught using the conventional lecture method. The researcher developed two instruments. Biology Achievement Test (BAT) made up of 50 multiple choice questions for both the pre-test and post-test, and the Direct Observation Checklist (DOC) for measuring the student active participation during the lesson sessions on pollution and conservation. The instruments were validated and the reliability established using K-R20 technique. Data analysis involved the use of means, standard deviations and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The result revealed that: the use of cooperative learrning approach in teaching SS1 Biology has positive significant effects on students mean achievement scores and mean participation score. The student exposed to cooperative learning strategy has a higher mean participation score and higher mea achievement scores than the control groups and their difference were significant. The school type of students taught has significant effects on students achievement and participation. The gender of student taught Biology using cooperative learning strategy has effect on their mean achievement scores and mean participation scores. The interactive effect of treatment, (cooperative learning strategy teaching) SS1 Biology has no effect. Based on the findings, implications were examined and recommendations made. Among these were that cooperative learning strategy should be used by Biology teachers in their classrooms and laboratories. The curriculum planners for Biology should include activities that will encourage cooperative learning strategy in their Biology curriculum for senior secondary students to popularize its use to enhance participation and achievement in the subject.