EFFECT OF MODELS ON INTEREST AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF AUTO-MECHANICS STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL COLLEGES IN LAGOS-STATE.
The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of models on interest and academic achievement of auto-mechanics students in technical colleges in Lagos State. Six research questions and six hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. The research design that was adopted was the quasi-experimental design. The type of quasi experimental design used is the non-equivalent control group which involves two groups. Purposive sampling technique was used to select four out of the five technical colleges used for the study. A simple random sampling technique was adopted to select the technical colleges that were in the experimental and the control group respectively. The year one intact classes were used for the research exercise. The sample consisted of 153 year one auto-mechanics students in the technical colleges. Regular auto-mechanics teachers were trained and used for the study. The instruments used for data collection in this study were: Auto-Mechanics Achievement Test (AMAT) and Auto-Mechanics Interest Inventory (AMII). The AMAT and AMII were developed by the researcher and validated by experts in the Department of Vocational Teacher Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability coefficient of AMAT was found to be 0.61 and that of AMII was 0.81. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while the analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used for testing the hypotheses at a level of significance of 0.05. The findings of the study were as follows: (1) Using model has a significant effect on the academic achievement and interest of the students in auto-mechanic work. (2) Gender has no effect on the academic achievement of students in auto-mechanic work. (3) Gender was a factor on the interest of students in auto-mechanic work. (4) Ability level has no effect on the academic achievement and interest of the students in auto-mechanic work. The findings identified the implications of study with respect to teachers, educational planners, tertiary institutions and students. Based on the findings of this research, it was recommended among others that the use of model is paramount in Nigeria technical colleges; government should make available various models of vehicle system for effective teaching and learning in the classroom. Use of model for teaching various concepts in vehicle systems should be incorporated into the technical college and other vocational education curriculum.
Background of the Study
Models can be used to facilitate learning especially where real objects may not serve the purpose. In explaining model, Macdonal (1991) sees model as a plan, a design, a preliminary solid representation to be followed in construction, something to be copied. Nachimias and Nachimias (1992) sees model as a likeness of something and a representation of reality. In other words, model depicts the actual representation of the original. It also explains how and why a particular phenomenon comes about. Ezeh (2006) stated that, a model is thus a simplified structuring of reality which presents-supposedly significant figures or relationships in a generalized form. Ezeh further stated that all models have basic identities in terms of characters and functions, and that model is dynamic. They are modified with time, in line with researches and developments in various fields. Haggett, Cliff and Frey (1977) in Ezeh (2006) classified models into conceptual and hardwares. Conceptual model have high degree of abstraction and are said to be “symbolic or theoretical” while hardware model (physical or empirical constructions) which depict the actual representation of the original is said to have low-level of abstraction and are often called “operational”.
This research work adopted the hardware model which is regarded according to Nachimias and Nachimias (1992) as a likeness of something and a representation of reality. A model can be constructed and used in teaching some specific automobile parts such as crankshaft, piston, cylinder block, cylinder head, connecting rods, push rods, camshaft, plugs, valves, etc. A model is simpler in construction, easy to carry and move about because it is not heavy as in the case of a real auto-engine.
Models can also be used to facilitate teaching and learning in some trades offered in technical colleges in which auto-mechanics technology is one. Auto-mechanics technology includes auto-mechanicals‟ work, auto-electricity, auto-body repair, spray painting, auto-body building work, parts merchandising. According to Schaller (2000), auto-mechanics technology is the learning of basic knowledge and skills necessary to diagnose and repair mechanical defects in automobiles. Amen, (2007) sees auto-mechanics technology as the study of operations and maintenance of diesel and gasoline (petrol) engines drive lines. In other words, auto-mechanic technology involves the acquiring of specific knowledge and skills for the purpose of diagnosing, maintaining, and repairing automotive defected systems.
Auto-mechanics in Technical Colleges is geared towards the production of craftsmen who have skills, attitude, and knowledge to meet the demand and development in the automobile industry (Osho, 2007). The craftsmen are expected to test, diagnose fault, service and repair modern automobiles.
Auto-mechanics is one aspect of technology that has continued to experience constant changes and improvement. Dynamism in auto-mechanics technology necessitates effective training and re-training of the craftsmen who will handle it. This training actually has to begin from the classroom. This is very necessary so that the students would be able to have the insight of what engine details entails.
Considering the place of automobile in social, economic, and political development of any country, issues relating to its repairs and services should not be left to chance. An ill-maintained automobile can lead to wastage of both life and resources. Osho (2007) reveals that auto-mechanics in the Technical Colleges is still bedeviled by a mirage of problems ranging from improper management of human and material resources, inadequate skilled and
competent professionals that can assist students in learning and acquiring skills that would make them proficient in their automobile career and lack of appropriate instructional materials to facilitate learning. Also, the Federal Ministry of Education (2004) in her report on Technical Colleges revealed that students in Technical Colleges are always put-off or not interested in vocational education (in which auto-mechanics is one) because of unmotivating and unchallenging strategy and approach used by their instructors and teachers. If the teaching strategy is fascinating, students‟ interest would be aroused. Therefore, in other to facilitate teaching and learning in auto-mechanics, interest of the students is also a relevant factor. According to Osuafor (2001), the affective disposition of a student has direct relevance to his/her interest in learning. He further stressed that interest is that attraction which forces or compels a student to respond to a particular stimulus. Therefore, interest is an affective behaviour that can be aroused and sustained in teaching and learning of auto-mechanics through appropriate teaching strategy.
An appropriate strategy for teaching auto-mechanics subjects may foster the academic achievements of auto-mechanics students in technical colleges. Jimoh (2010) observed that students‟ achievement connotes performance in school subjects as symbolized by a score on an achievement test. Furthermore, Anene (2005) in Jimoh (2010) explained that achievement is quantified by a measure of the student‟s academic standing in relation to those of other students of his/her age. Uka (1981), Antheson (2003) and Osho, (2007) contended that students' achievement is dependent of several factors among which are learning environment, instructional methods and teaching strategy. Teachers with a demanding but good teaching strategy challenge students to work at higher intellectual level. Apart from the use of appropriate teaching strategy in the classroom, other important role of the teacher is to order
and structure the learning environment. Included in this role according to Moore (1999) are all the decisions and actions required of the teacher to maintain order in the classroom such as laying down rules and procedures for learning and use of motivational techniques to secure and sustain the attention and interest of the learner.
Chukwu (2002) stated that interest has been viewed as emotionally oriented behavioral trait which determines a student‟s vim and vigour in tackling educational programmes or other activities. Ngwoke (2004), Ogwo and Oranu (2006) laid emphasis on the need for teachers to stimulate students‟ interest in learning without which students‟ achievement will be minimal. Interest is a persisting tendency to pay attention and enjoy some activities (Jimoh, 2010). However, it is pertinent that auto-mechanics teachers should use teaching strategy which ensures gender active involvement in learning and provide suitable learning environment to improve achievement and stimulate the interest of high and low ability of auto-mechanics students in technical colleges.
Gender issues, as well as ability levels assume prominence in auto-mechanics discourse. Gender is regarded as a sense of awareness between male and female. Accordingto Ikegulu and Familusi (1999), gender is any difference that is based on socio-cultural belief
that evolves over time. Colman (2000) describes gender as a behaviour pattern and attitude perceived as a masculine and feminine within a culture. Furthermore, Uwameiye and Osunde (2005) describe gender as a psychological term, which describes behaviours and attributes expected of individual on the basis of being a male or female. The controversies on gender in the school achievement and classroom behaviour according to Ezeh (2006) have continued to be inconclusive. The effect of gender on the academic achievement of students have in recent times been attracting attention from researchers and psychologists, and that there has been no consensus among scholars in terms of students‟ performance in schools (Adeyemi, 2009). In the
case of ability level, several studies have revealed that learning gains are distributed across ability level. Koran (1992) in Danner (2008) revealed that the analytical potentials of a learner depends on the amount of gaps the learner has to fill in information processing for his/her learning to be coherent. Thus, the fewer the gaps, the greater the ability to learn in any situation.
Most auto-mechanics teachers in the technical colleges do constantly face the decision of how to design instruction, which will best meet the needs of the students. The decisions include selecting the best strategy that would be appropriate for teaching and learning (Amen, 2007). Agnew and Shinn (1990) are of the opinion that the selection process requires not only the teacher being aware of how to use various techniques, but that he or she knows which type of students learn best with various techniques. Due to the present advancement in technology and sophistication in auto-mechanics technology, the traditional teaching methods adopted by most teachers in teaching auto-mechanics in technical colleges do not allow teachers to adequately cater for the diverse learning styles of most students (Neekpoa, 2007). As technology is changing, the auto-technicians must change with the technology so that the level of their thinking in dealings with various diagnoses, repairs, and maintenance of motor vehicles should be commensurate with maintenance need of today‟s automobile. In other words, students need to be equipped with higher order thinking skills for easy adaptability. Campbell and Campbell (1999) stated that traditional teaching methods do not adequately equip teachers with contemporary views of student intelligences and their vast learning capabilities. The consequence of this, according to Roegge, Wentling and Bragg (2000), is that students are unable to retain learning and to apply it to new situation.
The National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) May/June Chief examiner‟s report (2002) indicated that the shortcomings of the present teaching method partly accounted for the poor performance of students in auto-mechanics technology in the
National Technical Certificate Examination in recent years. According to NABTEB (2006) the performance of students in National Technical Certificate (NTC) Examination was poor. The report showed that the level of achievement in auto-mechanics subjects was lower than expectation as most students scored less than 50 percent in this subject. This low achievement may be due to the traditional system of teaching adopted by auto-mechanics teachers in the technical colleges while teaching petrol engine in the classroom.
The vestiges of the traditional system of teaching and evaluation still prevail in schools (Sofolahan, 1991). He further maintained that when traditional method of teaching is employed, students‟ ability to grasp relevant concepts is made much more difficult than when students are exposed to lessons involving hands-on experience. Supporting Sofolahan, Haruna (1992) and Okebukola (1997) noted that in spite of the numerous teaching strategies propounded to cope with the recent trend in the various curriculum structures for schools, evidence had continued to show that most teachers still adopt the traditional talk chalk approach. The traditional instructional method of teaching has its advantages and disadvantages and the recurrent poor academic achievement in auto-mechanics subjects may be related to the use of conventional/traditional method of teaching as observed by Ezeh (2006). There is thus the need to investigate and confirm the effectiveness of other teaching strategies on academic achievement and interest of students in auto-mechanics trade in the Technical Colleges which would make learning more concrete.
However, the best way to make learning more concrete is to make use of real objects and in some situations, real object may either be too large or complex that hidden details are obscured. This situation arises in the study of some aspects of auto-mechanics. For example, the working principle of the crankshaft (i.e. how crankshaft rotates in an engine), the
jumping of sparks at the rear end of the spark plug resulting in igniting the mixture of fuel and air in the combustion chamber are hidden details that cannot be seen. Real object as well may be dangerous, and in such situations, the teaching and learning must be brought down to the learners‟ level using prototype or model so that the students would have a good mental picture of the topic being taught in the classroom. Learning with real objects may sometimes be too costly should any damage occur. Hence, it is better to start from the use of models for teaching/learning activities in the classroom before handling the real object in the workshop. Another commonly stated merit of the use of models is the learning safety as well as practicing new information or skills that may be tedious in real life. Lee (1979) describes safety as a factor to be considered when selecting a strategy.
Therefore, the need to find the best strategy that will assist students in auto-mechanics work and improve their academic achievement and interest has become most important to auto-mechanics teachers.
Statement of the Problem
Many students find it difficult to study auto-mechanics because they see the engine as being complicated. Those students who eventually study auto-mechanics in the Technical Colleges do not perform well in the National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) examination. The National Business and Technical Education Board (NABTEB) May/June Chief examiners‟ report (2002) indicated that the shortcomings of the present teaching method partly accounted for the poor performance of students in auto-mechanics technology in the National Technical Certificate Examination in recent years. The report from FME (2004) identified lack of good methodology as the major reason for low
The report shows that the level of achievement in auto-mechanics subjects was lower than expectation as most students scores less than 50 percent in this subject. Amen (2007) observed that the low level of achievement has been attributed to certain factors, which are: inadequate qualified automobile teachers; lack of students‟ interest; non-exposure to field trip; none inclusion of technical college students in Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) and above all poor method of teaching. Amen further stated that studies had shown over the years that out of every 100 students that gained admission into the higher institutions of learning to study technical education, only or less than 10 percent study automobile. This issue became worrisome as most students do not have interest and are unwilling to further their education in automobile at higher level.
Therefore, in order to address the lack of students‟ interest and their low performance in National Technical Certificate (NTC) examination, a better strategy that would allow the students to be able to having an insight of what the vehicle engine entails before the practical work in the workshop should be adopted. This may likely arouse the students‟ interest as well as improving their academic achievement.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of models on interest and academic achievement of auto-mechanics students in technical colleges in Lagos State.
Specifically, the study sought to:
(2) Determine the effect of model on the mean achievement scores of male and female auto-mechanics students in petrol engine when exposed to experimental conditions.
(3) Determine the effect of model on the mean achievement scores of high ability and low ability auto-mechanics students in petrol engine when exposed to experimental conditions.
(4) Compare the mean interest scores of experimental and control group in petrol engine.
(5) Compare the effect of model on the mean interest scores of male and female auto-mechanics students in petrol engine when exposed to experimental conditions.
(6) Compare the effect of model on the mean interest scores of high ability and low ability auto-mechanics students in petrol engine when expose to experimental conditions.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will sensitize the auto-mechanics teachers on the benefit of the use of models in teaching, since it has greater effect on the interest and academic achievement of the students. The research findings will as well form another dimension of innovations in teaching and learning of auto-mechanics.
The curriculum planners would also benefit from this study. The results of the research would assist in curriculum planning. For instance, information relating to the teaching and learning of auto-mechanics with the use of models will be utilized in the appropriate stages of curriculum planning, modification and revision.
The finding of this study will be of immense benefit to the students who have been sceptical in studying auto-mechanics since the study will be provided with pedagogical information that may improve their learning in petrol engine. Since the use of models are found to be effective, students will gain adequate knowledge in the course of training. The research findings will as well increase the interest of the students in auto-mechanics work.
The education Ministry would also find this study useful. The findings of the study can be utilized by the Education Ministry by organising conferences, seminars, and workshops to sensitize and re-train auto-mechanics teachers on the use of models to improve their teaching.
The following research questions guided the study:
(1) Which of the groups (experimental or control) perform better in an achievement test in petrol engine as indicated in their mean achievement scores?
(2) Which of the gender group (male or female) of auto-mechanics students performs better in the achievement test in petrol engine when exposed to experimental condition?
(3) Which ability group (high or low) performs better in the achievement test in petrol engine when exposed to experimental condition?
(4) Which of the group of students (experimental or control) indicates much interest in petrol engine as shown by their mean interest scores?
(5) Which of the gender group (male or female) indicates much interest in petrol engine when exposed to experimental condition as indicated by their mean interest scores?
engine when exposed to experimental condition?