Teaching science in Nigerian secondary schools using a constructivist model

Marie Emmanuela Carolyn Anyanechi, Fordham University


This study investigated the use of a constructivist model to teach science to senior secondary school students in Nigeria. There were 70 participants in the study who were equally divided into two treatment groups: Group A and Group B. Using local materials from the students' environment with qualitative/ethnographic research methods, content analysis was performed on the two groups of students, Group A and Group B, who used different teaching methodologies. Group A used a constructivist model; Group B used a traditional model. Evaluation focused on class interactive activities and class work. From the data collected, a number of hypotheses emerged. The data showed categories of students' experiences through a series of class activities. The categories that emerged as a result of a series of experiences include: Prior Knowledge, New Experience, Connection Making, Transfer of Ideas, and Performance Understanding. These categories were used recursively in Group A's class work and activities. At the beginning of the study, Group A was encouraged to work collaboratively with each other in using local materials and in all other deliberations. This strategy resulted in new experiences and new ways of thinking and experiencing among members of the group. The use of a constructivist model created a better and broader experiencing environment and understanding. Group A had various teaching strategies that helped them to build knowledge structures. Also, Group A's prior knowledge was given latitude through discussions. The use of local materials and the teaching methods were essential tools to reactivate Group A's prior knowledge and for the experiences. The findings of this study suggested different approaches to science teaching. Also, the familiar instructional materials may have contributed to enhancing students' cognitive styles. Recommendations for science teachers advocated the use of this constructivist model as another way to teach science and mathematics to secondary students.

Subject Area

Science education|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Anyanechi, Marie Emmanuela Carolyn, "Teaching science in Nigerian secondary schools using a constructivist model" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9729598.