The effect of using micro-science kits in teaching primary science: a case of primary schools in Getembe division, central Kisii district, Kenya.
Michieka, Ronald Mongare
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Science and technology greatly contribute and are fundamental to both the economic and social development of man. However, in Kenya the performance of learners in science at national examinations is still very poor. It is on this premise that this study was focused on introducing an intervention by introducing microscience kits to supplement the existing and locally available teaching resources. This was to establish ifits introduction would improve the leamer's conceptualization and change their attitude towards science. From the literature reviewed it was evident that the status of science teaching in schools is very poor partly due to lack of resources poor attitude from the learners and teachers and many other factors. This implies that its teaching is more by exposition than heuristic. This research thus 'plugs a hole' into the science teaching in Primary schools to bridge the gaps identified and advocate for a resource-based approach to science teaching. To achieve the study objectives a quasi-experimental design was used with an experimental and control groups. Four schools were sampled from 28 schools in Getembe division; the sample size was influenced by the resource available. 92 students of the 229 students who participated from the sample schools were subjected to analysis and they formed 40.17% ofthe student population. To answer the research questions and test the null hypotheses data was gathered by using two research instruments that is classroom observation schedule and science achievement test. After administration ofthe pre-test the experimental group (M=47.27, SD= l3.34) did not significantly score higher than the control group (M= 47.76, SD= 12.15), t (90) =0.184 p=0.855 which implied the learners were fairly matched. On administration ofthe post-test, the analysis of skills development items showed the experimental ~oup (M=30.92, SD=8.79) scored fairly significantly higher than the control group (M=27.75, SD= 6.58) t (90) =-1.978 p=0.051 and r=0.619. On experimental items the experimental group (M=34.62, SD =9.39) scored significantly higher than the control (M =26.04, SD =6.81) t (90) =-5.081 p= 0.001 and r=O.654. In the overall analysis the experimental (M= 65.81, SD =16.75) scored significantly higher than the control group (M =53.85, SD =11.45) t (90) =-4.071 p= 0.001 and r =0.727. This significant relationship may be attributed to treatment effects. This re-emphasizes the centrality of practical activities in science teaching and learning From the findings of this study, the poor performance in sciences can be addressed with a re-orientation of science teaching to emphasize on the heuristic approaches to teaching. Science teaching also requires being more resource-based ifthe learners' have to acquire the necessary skills and concepts in science. This will in turn improve the learners' attitude positively towards sciences.