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Physics Process Skills and Its Acquisition on Secondary School Physics Students in Aguata and Nnewi Education Zones of Anambra State

Theresa Ugonwa Okafor

Abstract


This research work aimed at studying Physics process in skills and its acquisition by senior secondary students who wish to pursue Physics at Senior Secondary, the subject enables the students to participate in technology related studies in tertiary institutions. Many students opt out of Physics at the end of Senior Secondary level. Physics process skills are central to the acquisition of scientific knowledge which is useful in solving problems in society. Physics science as an integral part of science is known to be very important in a nation’s development. The process skills of physics are invaluable tools for learning physics, and the acquisition of these skills has therefore been greatly emphasized in recent times. However, the often reported poor performance of secondary school students in physics, especially in this research to ask whether secondary school physics students actually acquire and use physics process skills in their study of physics, and to what extent. This study, conducted in Anambra State of Nigeria, was intended to provide empirical evidence to answer these questions. It was further intended to determine how such factors as gender and school location affect students' acquisition of physics process skills. Fourteen (14) physics process skills identified from the National Curriculum for Science (Physics) as the most frequently' occurring skills, were studied. The design of the study was survey in which the researcher studied events as they are in their natural setting. Six research questions were posed and addressed while three hypotheses were formulated and tested at the 0.05 level of significance. A total sample of 756 SS three (3) physics students (514 Boys and 242 Girls) randomly drawn from both, urban and rural secondary schools in two education zones Aguata and Nnewi of Anambra State participated in the study. A Test of Physics Process Skill (TOPPS) designed by the researcher was the instrument used for gathering data. The data collected were analyzed using means and standard deviations for answering the research questions, while the analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used for testing the hypotheses. The major findings of this study are that: (i) the level of acquisition of physics process skills among Anambra State Secondary school physics students was generally low; (ii) gender is a significant factor (p<.05) in the students' level of acquisition of physics process skills, in favour of the male students; (iii) students located in urban schools were significantly superior (p<0.5) to their rural located counterparts in their acquisition of physics process skills; (iv) there was no significant interaction effect (<.05) between gender and school location in students' level of acquisition of physics process skills. A number of educational implications were pointed out and relevant recommendations made. Limitations of the study were noted and suggestions for further research made.


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