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 Format: MS-WORD   Chapters: 1-5

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 May 19, 2019 |  04:55 pm |  2166


This research investigated the effects of fieldwork on the achievements and attitudes of secondary school students in environmental education in Kogi State. Fieldwork is a supervised learning that takes place outside the classroom. The study was hinged on the theory of learning by insight propounded by Kohler which emphasizes learner’s centeredness and activity based learning atmosphere. The study considered interactions of gender and location on the achievements and attitudes of secondary school students exposed to fieldwork in Environmental Education (EE). The study was guided by seven research questions and six hypotheses.  The pretest posttest non-equivalent group design was used in the study. A sample of 225 senior secondary school (SS II) students who were offering geography was drawn through stratified random sampling.  Two instruments: Geography Achievement Test (GAT) and Geography Attitude Measurement Scale (GAMS) were designed to collect data from students.  The instruments were face validated by three experts from Science Education Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and three senior secondary school geography teachers.  The estimate of internal consistency of GAT was .96 using Kuder-Richardson formular 20 while that of GAMS was .83 using Cronbach’s Alpha.  The seven research questions were answered using means and standard deviation while the hypotheses were tested using analysis of co-variance (ANCOVA) at 0.05 level of significance. The findings showed that fieldwork has significant effects on the achievements and attitudes of secondary school students.  It was also discovered that there was no interaction effect between gender and location on achievement of students in EE but there is interaction effect between gender and location on attitude of secondary school students in EE due to fieldwork.  It was recommended that school managements should ensure that students must undertake fieldwork at least once every term.



Background of the Study

            Environmental Education is a new discipline in Nigeria. It is a multidisciplinary subject. This implies that Environmental Education (EE) can be infused into any field of study. It is in the light of this that Ezeudu (2003) noted that “There is no school subject that is totally withdrawn from the environment”. When the environment is seen from the point of view of physical, social, cultural and psychological dimensions, the entire subjects are roped in. Since no school subject is taught in a vacuum but in a space within the environment, it therefore means that the possibility of infusing it into all disciplines such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, history, literature –in –English, Geography, Biology, is very high. This new discipline draws content from many courses of study. Phil-Eze and Ofomata (2007) state that the study of environment attracts scholars from a wide range of specialization.

            Environmental education will be better understood if the two words that make the concept are explained separately. These words are ‘Environment’ and ‘Education’. Environment simply means all that are found in one’s surroundings, both tangible and intangible, (Ezeudu, 2003).Leon (MCMXX, MCMLXXV), views environment as a general term for all the external conditions, influences, and forces that affect and modify the life and development of organism. Environment therefore is the sum total of the surroundings of man whether physical or biological.

            Education on the other hand is the inculcation of certain knowledge, attitudes, values skills and experiences to a person with the intention of bringing a desired change of behavior, (Ezeudu 2003). It is a way of exposing an individual to an idea that is completely alienated from him but that will mold ones character and make an individual fit into the society.

            Environmental education therefore is a process of creating environmental consciousness in man. It is a way of creating awareness of his impact on nature. Environmental Education is an educational concept which considers the environment as scientific and aesthetic resources to be used in a lifelong educational process, thus making man knowledgeable and aware of the environment and its problems as well as their roles in environmental conservation, preservation and management (UNESCO 1985).

            The concept of EE was made more explicit by Geographical Association Environmental Workshop Group (1980). According to this group, environmental education is a multitude of processes and activities by which an interest and care for the environment are developed. Environmental Education is a process to show concern with knowledge, also with emotion, feelings, attitudes and values. It is a vehicle for learning subject skills and for introducing real world topics to classroom. It is a way of bringing man to the knowledge of how his environment looks like and how he influences and how he is influenced by the environment (Daluba 2004). Environmental education like every other discipline is meant to achieve some particular goals. Environmental Education is to develop a citizenry that is aware of and concerned about the total environment and its associated problems, and which had the knowledge, attitudes, motivations, commitment and skills to work individually and collectively towards solutions of current problems of the environment and prevention of new ones. The specific objectives of Environmental Education include:

-          Creating awareness and sensitivity to the total environments and its allied problems.

-          Gaining basic understanding of the environment and environmental problems

-          Helping individuals and social groups to acquire sets of values and feelings and concern for the environment and motivation for active participation in environmental conversation and protection.

-          Acquiring the skills for identifying and solving environmental problems, the major being problems solving skills

-          Providing opportunity for active involvement in co-operative solution of environmental problems (Daluba 2004).

            Similarly,Ezeudu (2003) suggests that Environmental Education should achieve the following objectives:

1.      Awareness: To facilitate awareness and sensitivity for the total environment and its associated problems.

2.      Knowledge: To help students gain a Variety of experiences with the total environment and to acquire a basic understanding of the total environment and its associated problems

3.      Attitude: To encourage acquisition of social values, strong feelings of concern for the environment and motivation for active participation in its protection and improvement.

4.      Skills: To assist students acquire the skills for working toward the solution of problems

5.      Participation: To ensure appropriate environmental action targeted on solution.

            A look at the two sets of objectives presented above shows that the only singular target is man. Therefore, man should be well cultured and informed of the consequences of his economic, social and cultural activities on the environment. Man is seen as the principal agent of environmental problems. That is why environmental education has man as its target.

            Ezeudu (2003) observed that in 1972, the first international workshop on EE was held in Belgrade (Yugoslavia) and recommended that EE should be developed and promoted in primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education.

            In the light of above, the decision of International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) that was established in 1944, which was concerned with the promotion of environmental conservation education that stimulates the study of nature should be considered.Ezeudu (2003) observed that despite this effort there was increase in environmental problems due to industrialization, urbanization, resulting in degradation and deterioration of the human environment. This happened because of lack of understanding of the consequences of these activities on the environment.

            Although, the declaration at Belgrade was popular, it was neglected until 1972 when the effect of human activities on the environment was becoming obvious. Despite the effect of environmental problems on man and the environment, the rates of environmental degradation and deterioration are on the increase because man is not conscious of the problems his activities caused the environment. Indiscriminate waste disposal is common in most streets of urban centres. Solid wastes are dumped openly and publicly in market squares, educational institutions, worship centres, recreation centres, residential vicinities, factories and even water bodies. These deposits are dangerous to human survival and wellbeing. Although, people may have idea of the evil of indiscriminate disposal of waste, they may not know the impact it has on human health and the environment. The people need to be adequately informed on the effect of these wastes that are threats to human existence. That is why IUCN suggested that EE should be taught at all levels of educational system. The biggest challenge is how it can be entrenched into school teaching subjects or whether it should be a course of study on its own. A careful look at secondary school syllabus shows that some aspect of EE is already inculcated. But the difference is in the method of transmission of the concept.   

Okebukola, Akpan,Ahove,  Olusanya and Bandele (1997) suggest six strategies of transmitting knowledge, ideas and values of EE. These include lecture/discussion, project, concept mapping, use of analogues, topic study and dramatization. Ezeudu, (2003) asserted that Environmental Education is not a theoretical subject, it is practical, action packed, problem-oriented and issue based. Among the strategies mentioned above, the oldest and commonest approach is lecture method. It is the practice of having the teacher or lecturer at the front of the classroom talking to students. It is a one way communication method designed principally to provide students with the background information they need in their work-life. It is a method that is teacher-centred, (Answer. Com 2010). It is also a method that it’s central focus is information transfer, where very little exchange occurs between the instructors and the students during a lecture. This method is one way traffic and can only be used for transferring information and may not be effective for teaching for learning. Environmental education requires practical method if it must be taught well. The following are some of the disadvantages of lecture method.

-          Students strong in auditory learning will have a hard time being engaged by lectures.

-          Students who are weak in note taking will have trouble understanding what they should remember.

-          Students can find lecture method boring causing them to lose interest.

-          Students may not feel that they are able to ask questions as they arise during lectures

-          Teachers may not get the real feel for how much students understand because there is not that much opportunity for exchange during lectures.

-          It is a passive method of learning

-          Provides one teacher interpretation of the subject matter (About. Com 2011).

            The laboratory of Environmental Education is the field. Ezeudu (2003), suggests that project, fieldwork, concept mapping, use of analogues dramatization, simulation game, use of resource persons, posters, cartoons and newspaper cutting are possible ways of teaching Environmental Education. But since Environmental Education is action packed and practical, the best methods could be fieldwork, projects and inquiry. This study explores the efficacy of fieldwork as a method of teaching EE in Nigerian secondary schools.

             Another method of teaching Environmental Education is fieldwork.  It is practical, student centred, observational, and action packed. Field work is a study carried out by group of persons outside the classroom (Ezeudu 2003). It is typically a journey by a group of people sharing a common interest and is out to solve a particular problem and to achieve a common goal. It can also be considered as a journey from the classroom with the main objective of gathering data (Wikipedia 2010). Fieldwork helps to achieve the expansion of children’s learning. Students learn better when their interest is aroused. Their interest is better sustained when learnt materials are made physically available especially in their natural state. Such learning is hardly forgotten. This method also guarantees and increases students’ knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. Environmental education is a multidisciplinary study with concepts that are better learnt on the field. Most of the concepts are better understood when learners go to learn them openly and practically. The main purpose of fieldwork is for observation of phenomenon in their natural state under the guide of the teacher. Fieldwork method of teaching employs the use of all sense organs.

         Attitude is defined as somebody’s tendency to react to any event of object in his/her environment or an individual’s possible behaviours in a situation, occasion or towards any phenomenon, (Tomal, 2010). The attitude of students or learners towards learning of geography and some environmental concepts can be determined by many factors such as the competence of the teacher, the kind of home environment of the learner and the method of teaching. This study shall therefore find out how the attitude of learners towards geography and EE related concepts shall change based on method.

      Gender gaps tend to affect learners in secondary schools.  This study investigates whether differences in gender influences performance in geography and environmental education.

     The community of people in Nigeria is categorized into two: Rural and urban settlements. Rural setting is a place of low population that is predominantly peasant farmers.  Such community of people lacks some social infrastructures such as pipe borne water, electricity, good health facilities and quality education.  Urban setting on the other hand could be a place where there is a high concentration of people who are  involve mainly in secondary and tertiary industries. It is an environment that is supplied with some social infrastructures such as good source of water, health facilities, quality education and good standard of living.  Learners from any of the setting perceive learning differently, (Jekayinfa, 2011).

Statement of the Problem

            Environmental Education is a late comer in Nigerian education curriculum. Even though environmental issues are as old as the earth, the process of inculcating its consciousness into man was not introduced early enough. This obscured it from the school curriculum. It is not taught as independent subject in schools; rather, aspects of environmental education contents are infused into some existing subjects. However, the teaching of this environmental education contents in some discipline is not aimed at achieving the objectives of environmental education which border on awareness, knowledge, values, skills, attitudes and readiness to participate in workshops, seminars and conferences that are meant to address environmental issues. Only very few methods of teaching address these issues comprehensively, they include fieldwork, project method, drama method, etc.

        It is noticed that people resident in the area of study and its environs display non-challant attitude towards environment.  The poor attitude and recklessness is demonstrated in indiscriminate disposal of wastes, indiscriminate harvest of vegetal resources, quarrying gravels and sands, lack of proper town planning and land use system. There are national and international cries about environmental degradation resulting in ozone layer depletion, erosion, deforestation and indiscriminate disposal of wastes. These go a long way to affect human health and standard of living of the populace.  This is because; people are ignorant of the effects of their activities on the environment.

         The world population is growing geometrically while resources are growing arithmetically. This growing population needs to be supported by the resources which are found in the environment.  The poor handling of the environment, especially the farmland and farming affect food supply that is needed to support the teaming population.  The growth of the population also is increasingly pressuring the environment and is affecting food supply.  Conversely, if the environment is well catered for, it will support the teaming population.  

It was reported by Laleye, (2010) that 40% of all candidates failed grossly in June/July NECO SSCE 2010 in geography. This is a common phenomenon, in Nigeria secondary schools. Mass failure can be attributed to many things such as carelessness on the part of the candidates, poor expression, lack of coverage of syllabus, lack of good teaching method, among others. WAEC chief examiner’s report (2007), clearly stated that field studies and investigations using primary and secondary sources are central to the geographical education and experience of all students. Similarly it was observed that SSCE candidates had poor approach to environmental issues therefore low marks were recorded with few examples. Even those who attempted to take their students on field work were to fulfill all righteousness since the performance in this area is very poor and weak (The Chief Examiner Report, 2002).

There are many teaching methods that were used in teaching different field of study, but there is none that was identified as the best method of transmitting environmental philosophies and ideologies to the populace that interact with the environment. The problem therefore is the effects of fieldwork on the achievement and attitudes of secondary school student towards EE in Kogi State.

Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of this study is basically to find out the effects of fieldwork on the achievement and attitudes of students in EE. In specific term, the study is meant to determine the:

  1. Effects of fieldwork on students achievement when taught EE.
  2. Effects of gender on achievement scores of students taught EE using fieldwork.
  3.  Effects of fieldwork on students attitude toward EE
  4. Effects of location of school on mean achievement score of students taught EE using fieldwork.
  5. Effects of school location on student’s attitudes towards Environmental Education.
  6. Effects of gender and school location on students achievement scores on EE when taught using fieldwork.
  7.  Effects of fieldwork on the attitudes  of gender when taught EE
  8. Interaction effects of gender and school location on students mean achievement scores in EE when taught using fieldwork
  9. Interaction effects of gender and school location on students attitude towards EE when taught using fieldwork

Significance of the Study

            This research has both theoretical and practical significance to individuals, government and community at large.  There are several schools of thought that strongly hold to their view that in-door teaching and learning styles enhance learning than outdoor teaching and learning.  This school of thought is the conservatives.  There are other schools of thought that are practical oriented, they believe that teaching and learning that is student centered, participatory and outdoor based make more impact on the learner than the conservative.  The outcome of this research will prove the school of thought that is more appropriate.

            This work will also help teachers teaching some concepts of environmental education related subjects to improve in the transmission of ideas to the students.  This is because the result of this experimental work will reveal whether field work could help in shaping people’s attitude towards the environment than other methods.

            This work will also help to bring about improvement in academic achievement of students. The achievement of students largely depends on the way the subject is taught.  It is usually learnt experientially through close observation of the phenomenon.

            This work will also help curriculum designers in coming up with curriculum of learning that will take care of environmental issues in institutions of learning and the community at large.  It will provide a guide in recommending to both teachers and government on how best to transmit environmental ideas and educate the masses on their relationship with the environment.

            It will also help policy makers on areas to emphasize when handling environmental issues.  It gives government agencies in the ministry of environment to become more conscious of causes and effects of environmental problems and will be able to enact laws or come up with policies that will protect the environment.

Scope of Study

            This study looks at the effect of fieldwork on achievement and attitude of students in Environmental Education in Kogi State. The work will examine the attitude and achievement of senior secondary school (II) students in Environmental Education topics in Geography.  The topics that shall be considered include wastes, wastes disposal methods such as landfill, dumping, incineration, composting and recycling. Pollution, types of pollution, effects and control shall also be taught. Although   Environmental Education is a multi- dimensional discipline that has its concept reflected in many disciplines such as Biology, Geography, History, Agricultural Science, Economics and the host of others as earlier mentioned. The interest of students affects their achievement and they (interest and achievement) look inseparable.

Research Questions

(1)   What is the mean achievement score of students taught EE using field work and those taught using conventional lecture method?

(2)   What are the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught EE using fieldwork?

(3)   What are the mean scores of male and female students’ attitude toward EE when taught using fieldwork?

(4)   What is the mean score of student’s attitude to EE before and after being taught using fieldwork?

(5)   To what extent does the mean achievement score of students taught EE using fieldwork differ based on school location?

(6)   What interaction effect exists between sex and location on students mean achievement score in EE when taught through fieldwork?

(7)   What is the interaction effect of sex and location on attitudes of students taught EE using fieldwork?  


The following null hypothesis were tested at .05 level of significance 

Ho1:        There is no significance difference (p<.05) between the mean achievement score of students taught EE using fieldwork and those taught using conventional lecture method.

Ho2:     There is no significant difference (p<.05) between the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught EE using fieldwork.

Ho3:     There is no significant difference (p<. 05) between the mean attitude scores of male and female students taught EE using fieldwork.

Ho4:     The mean achievement scores of students taught EE using fieldworks do not differ significantly (p<. 05) due to location?

Ho5:    The mean scores of the attitude of students taught EE using fieldwork do not differ significantly (p< .05) based on location of schools.

Ho6:    There is no significant interaction effect of sex and location on students mean achievement scores on EE

Ho7:     There is no significant interaction effect of sex and location on students’   attitude towards EE.


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