Instructional strategies and their influence on pupils’ academic performance in science subject at primary schools in ruiru sub-county, Kiambu County, Kenya
Akama, Mellen Kerubo
MetadataShow full item record
Persistent use of the traditional mode of instruction is one of the major short-coming affecting the learning and higher achievement in Science subject. Science is a challenging subject that requires teachers to look for better strategies that would allow the learners to understand various concepts. The Science teachers frequently use lecture method in instructing the learners so that they can cover the syllabus within the given time hence not giving the learners room to interpret the concepts learnt and understand them. The rush over the topics to cover could be responsible for the poor performance in Science. The study sought to find out the instructional strategies and their influence on academic performance in Science subject at public primary schools in Ruiru Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya. This study was guided by three research questions, these include: what instructional strategies can influence academic performance in Science if used by the teachers; which are the reasons that make the Science teachers use various instructional strategies while teaching Science; and what are the challenges that Science teachers face while using the instructional strategies to influence performance in public primary schools in Ruiru Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya?.A descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The target population was 30 public primary schools 650 teachers and 20,733 pupils. A sampling fraction of 20% was used where six schools and 130 Science teachers were interviewed. Simple random sampling was used to get the samples. The teachers’ questionnaire was used as the main research instrument. After data collection, quantitative data were edited, coded and tabulated before analysis. Quantitative data from the questionnaires were analyzed with the aid of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Qualitative data from interview were organized into themes and interpreted based on the research objectives. The analyzed data were presented using descriptive statistics such as bar-graphs, frequency distribution tables and percentages. The findings revealed that inquiry was the most common strategy used in teaching Science. Experiment was identified as the most effective strategy towards enhancing learning of Science among students. The findings revealed that majority of the teachers reported that lack of teaching/learning resources for Science was the major challenge facing them towards implementing instructional strategies that could enhance teaching/learning Science in public primary schools. The study concluded that teachers in all subjects should be encouraged to employ various strategies such as discussion, peer-teaching, group work and projects in order to enhance pupils’ competence in the knowledge and skills depending on the learners’ level of understanding. Challenges hindering the implementation of instructional strategies should be addressed so that learners’ academic performance could be enhanced.