Practical work and performance of learners in physics: a study of secondary schools in Meru central district, Meru county, Kenya.
Nduru, Mugambi David
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This study investigated the relationship between practical work in physics and the performance of students in secondary schools. The study was guided by the following objectives; to establish the relationship between the performance in the theoretical and practical aspects of physics, to find out the factors that can improve the quality of practical work in physics, to investigate the attitude of students and physics teachers towards theoretical and practical aspects of physics and to find out the effects of gender differences in practical work in physics. The study comprised of ten public secondary schools in Meru Central District (three boys, three girls and four mixed day secondary schools). In carrying out this study a questionnaire was used for both physics teachers and the students. Spaces were left for students and teachers to fill as to whether they strongly agree, agree, not sure, disagree, and strongly disagree. The Observation schedule was used to identify how physics practical work was carried out by students. Physics teachers and students were interviewed concerning practical work in physics. A list of topics from Form one, two and three physics syllabus were highlighted and the experiments to be carried out in each topic. Their responses were coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) which was used to compute descriptive statistics such as percentages, standard deviation and mean. The study used descriptive survey that employed correlation methods to investigate the effectiveness of the use of hands on activities in teaching and learning of physics. The findings of the study revealed that both teachers and students have a positive attitude towards practical work in physics and that practical work in physics affect the performance in final examination. The study came up with recommendations for action and further research.