EFFECTS OF DISCOURSE PATTERNS ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN BIOLOGY
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of discourse patterns on students’ achievement and interest in biology. The study also determined the influence of discourse patterns on male and female students’ achievement and interest in biology. Six research questions were posed and ten null hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance were formulated to guide the study. The design of the study is quasi-experimental design, specifically the non-equivalent, comparative group design. A sample of 164 SSII students from three intact classes made up of 94 males and 70 females in Yola educational zone of Adamawa State participated in the study. The three secondary schools were selected through purposive sampling technique. Discourse patterns were randomly assigned to intact classes in the sampled schools. Two main instruments used for data collection were a Biology Achievement Test (BAT) and a Biology Interest Scale (BIS). The BAT was both face and content validated while BIS was face and construct validated. The reliability coefficient of BAT was established using Kuder-Richardson formula 20 (K-R 20) method which yielded an internal consistency correlation coefficient of 0.75. The reliability coefficient of BIS was also determined using Cronbach Alpha method and the internal consistency correlation coefficient of the items was found to be 0.84. The stability of the instruments was established with test re-test method of estimating reliability. The coefficients of reliability for BAT were 0.71 and 0.71 for first and second administration of the test respectively. The coefficients of stability of BIS was also established with test, re-test method and coefficients of stability obtained were 0.75 and 0.75 for first and second administration of the test respectively. The stability coefficients of the two instruments were calculated using Pearson Product Moment Correlation method. Data were analyzed with mean, standard deviation and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). The mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while ANCOVA was used to test the null hypotheses. Results of the study revealed that the selected discourse patterns enhanced students’ achievement and interest in biology. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the mean achievement and interest scores of male and female students taught biology with the selected discourse patterns. There was also no significant difference in the compared achievement and interest scores of male and female students taught biology using each of the selected discourse patterns. There was no interaction effect between discourse patterns and gender in the achievement and interest of students taught biology using the selected discourse patterns. The findings enabled the researcher to conclude that the selected discourse patterns are effective in the teaching and learning of biology. Recommendations were made on the basis of the findings. In particular, it was recommended that the selected discourse patterns be adopted for effective teaching of biology in secondary schools. In addition, the selected discourse patterns could be incorporated in the pre-service as well as in the in-service programmes of teachers for the teachers to embrace the skills of the discourse patterns and also to popularize the use of the discourse patterns in teaching/ learning process.