Saanu, T. (2015). Exploration of the effect of the culturo-techno-contextual approach on the achievement and attitude of students in logic gate. Unpublished M.Ed Project Report, Lagos State University, Lagos, Nigeria
Over the years different instructional methods had be deployed by teachers to teach logic gate, yet the outcome has not been encouraging as students tends to perform woeful in it, this study investigated the effects culturo-techno-conceptual approach on the achievement and attitude of students in logic gate.
The research questions that guided this study are: (1) Will the use of CTC Approach enhance the achievement of students in logic gate? (2) Will the use of CTC Approach enhance the attitude of students to logic gate.
The following hypotheses which were stated in the null form were tested
- Ho1: there will be no statistical difference in the achievement in logic gate of students taught using the CTC Approach and those in those in the control group
- Ho2: there will be no statistical difference in the attitude in logic gate of students taught using the CTC Approach and those in the control group
- Ho3: there will be no statistical difference in male and female students’ performance taught logic gate using the CTCA and those in the control group
- Ho4: there will be no statistical difference in male and female students’ attitude taught logic gate using the CTCA and those in the control group
The population of the study comprised all Tech Two (Tech 11) Technical college students in Lagos State of Nigeria. A pilot study was conducted for the following purposes:
- To test the effectiveness of the research design selected for the study
- To test the adequacy or otherwise of the research instruments
- To assess the feasibility of the main study
The pilot study was conducted in three weeks and it preceded the main study. The pilot study gave an opportunity to measure the effectiveness of the research design, test administration, data collection and data analysis
The sample of the main study consisted of a purposive intact class of thirty students, made up of male and female students. Purposive sampling was used in order to minimise experimental contamination.
Instruments for the main study were:
- Logic gate Achievement Test
- Logic gate Attitude test
The Logic Gate Achievement Test comprises of 20 multiple-choice questions. It was first trial tested on a group of students that had same characteristics as the sample students but not involved in the main study. The Logic Gate Attitude Inventory assessed students’ attitude to logic gate. Treatment lasted for three weeks.
The results showed that there is a significant difference between CTCA and lecture method in students achievement in logic gate; F (1, 59) = 15.261; p<0.05. Therefore, the hypothesis which states that there is no statistically significance difference is rejected.
To test hypothesis two, data obtained from the students’ attitude test were organized and subjected to analysis of covariance. The results showed that there was no statistically significant difference in attitude of students taught with CTCA and that of the lecture method ; F(1,59) = 0.17 ; p > 0.05. Therefore, the hypothesis which states that there is no statistically significance difference is not rejected.
To test hypothesis three, data obtained from students logic gate achievement test were organized and subjected to Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). No significant difference between gender and performance of students taught using both the CTCA was found: F (1, 59) = 0.055, p> 0.05. therefore, the hypothesis which state that there will be no statistical difference in male and female students’ performance taught logic gate using the CTCA is hereby not rejected.
Hypothesis 4 results showed no significant difference between gender and attitude of students taught using the CTCA: F (1, 59) = 0.50, p> 0.05. Therefore, the hypothesis which state that there will be no statistical difference in male and female students’ attitude taught logic gate using the CTCA is hereby not rejected. Important recommendations are made for the teaching of logic gates in computer studies.
Agbanimu, D., Okebukola, P.A.O., Peter, E, Ebisin, A., Onowugbeda, F, and Adesina, A. (2021). Opening the Gate of Logic Gate as a Difficult Topic in Computer Studies in Nigerian Secondary Schools: Can CTCA be the Key? Presented at the 94th Annual Conference of NARST, April 7-10, 2021
The problem that this study sought to solve relates to logic gate which has emerged one of the most difficult topics in the computer studies curriculum in Nigerian secondary schools. Of all the regions of the world, Africa has had the slowest start in introducing computer studies in schools, a development which may account, at least in part, for the tardiness in deploying information and communication technology (ICT) for the continent’s socio-economic development (Okebukola, 2020; Bloom, Canning, Chan, & Luca, 2014; Wentrup, Nakamura & Ström, 2016). In spite of the rapid rise in ICT start-ups and enterprises authored and owned by Africans over the last ten years, today, the region still lags behind Asia, Europe and North America on several measures of ICT use including internet penetration and software and hardware development aimed at solving problems facing human security in Africa and the rest of the world. The pace of closing the digital divide is slow and needs to quicken.
The nursery for spawning future computer scientists and engineers who will bridge this digital divide are schools in formal and informal settings (Bovée, Voogt, & Meelissen, 2007; du Plessis & Webb, 2012; Koorsse, Cilliers & Calitz, 2015). The vehicle for providing the learning experiences in ICT for pupils in primary and secondary schools and students in higher education institutions who will be these future scientists and engineers, is the curriculum. Between 1997 and 2014, most African countries developed and implemented computer studies curriculum for use in schools (Britz, & Boekhorst, 2004; Bovée, Voogt, & Meelissen, 2007; Okebukola, 2012). At the primary and secondary school levels, the thrust of this curriculum was to provide historical development and key issues in recent advances in ICT. At the higher education level, the goal was to produce specialists in software and hardware development and engineering. These efforts have translated into gains which from recent studies (e.g. Hart & Laher, 2015) are far from the success stories recorded in other regions of the world. Undoubtedly, Africa can be catalysed to more impressive gains.
For a consternation of reasons, the mastery of the provisions of the computer studies curriculum would seem to be hindered in African schools. Harder hit are topics that students find difficult to learn. The survey phase of this study showed that logic gates is the most difficult for secondary school students in Nigeria. The problem that this study sought to solve is to find out the method that can break the barriers to learning of logic gates. In seeking a way out, the study of methods that have dominated the science education literature alerts us to the fact that most have failed to realise that culture and context play significant roles in student learning. The one-size-fits all model has failed woefully and we must begin to culturally immerse and contextually situate the methods of teaching science. This is the undergirding principle of the culturo-techno-contextual approach (CTCA) experimented with in this study. Two research questions were of interest. These are:
- What specific difficulties do students have with logic gates that inhibit their meaningful learning of the concept?
- Is the culturo-techno-contextual approach (CTCA) potent in breaking the barriers to learning of logic gates?
Model, Philosophy and Theoretical framework
What is CTCA? CTCA is a method of science teaching developed in 2015 after over 40 years of experimentation with different methods in African settings to address some of the challenges to meaningful learning of science. The approach is an amalgam, drawing on the power of three frameworks- (a) cultural context in which learners are immersed; (b) technology-mediation to which teachers and learners are increasingly dependent; and (c) locational context which is a unique identity of every school and which plays a strong role in the examples and local case studies for science lessons.
Prominent within the framework of culture in CTCA is indigenous knowledge (IK). IK is the product of the process of viewing the world through the lens of communities, a distillate of their understanding of how the world works and how such understanding can be deployed for their wellbeing, welfare and improved quality of life. In using CTCA in science classrooms, all lessons are connected with students’ indigenous knowledge systems, making the subject matter relevant and meaningful.
With regard to technology in the CTCA amalgam, findings of several surveys aggregate to suggest that learners flock to YouTube, Wikipedia resources, WhatsApp, Facebook and other technology-related resources for their online activities, leading the CTCA research team to target these technologies (Al-Adwan, & Smedley, 2013). Since students already have some appetite for emerging technologies, the idea in CTCA is to ride on the back of such interest.
The theory base for the study draws largely from Vygotsky’s theory of social constructivism and Ausubel’s theory of advance organiser. In relation to Vygotsky’s theory, CTCA exposes students to social interactions on two fronts- the cultural, indigenous knowledge; and group interactions with fellow students. These two fronts install scaffolds which promote learning within the context of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) espoused by Vygotsky (1962; 1978).
Ausubel’s theory of advance organiser is the second theory base of the study. Ausubel (1963) proposed the notion of an advanced organiser as a way of helping students link their ideas with new material or concepts. These more inclusive concepts or ideas are advance organiser (Ausubel, 1978). This connects with CTCA whose procedure demands that learners link ideas or find out the relationships among concepts using their prior knowledge of the subject matter to foster deep or meaningful learning.
The study had a survey and a quasi-experimental phase. The survey phase involved 1,501 senior secondary biology students (male= 734, female= 767) randomly selected from public and private schools in Lagos, Nigeria and Accra, Ghana. These two West African countries were selected for the study because both countries use the same WAEC syllabus for computer studies.
The quasi-experimental phase adopted quantitative and qualitative data gathering techniques that had experimental and control cases. The control class had 32 subjects (18 boys, 14 girls) senior secondary school 1 (10th grade) computer studies students in Lagos State, Nigeria. The experimental class had 21 subjects (9 boys, 11 girls) located in a different education district from the control class to prevent students in each group interacting with one another. Achievement data were collected through the logic gate achievement test.
Both experimental and control classes were subjected to pretest and posttest using the same logic gate achievement measure. The experimental group teacher had training for five weeks in the implementation of CTCA (as part of a larger training programme on CTCA funded by the World Bank). At the end of the training, the experimental group teacher was adjudged to be fluent in the use of the approach by the research team (coefficient of congruence measured during end-of-training assessment was 0.92). In the experimental class, the teacher followed the five-step CTCA protocol for teaching the basic logic gates: AND, OR, XOR, NOT, NAND, NOR, and XNOR. These are:
- As pre-lesson activity, the teacher requests students ahead of time (about a week ahead) of the topic to be learned in class, in this case logic gate to (a) reflect on indigenous knowledge or cultural practices and beliefs associated with the topic or concept. Students should be made aware that such reflections are to be shared with others in class when the topic is to be taught; and (b) using their mobile phones or other internet-enabled devices, search the web for resources relating to the lesson (first technology flavour of the approach).
- At the start of the lesson and after the introduction by the teacher, students are grouped into mixed ability, mixed-sex groups to share individual reflections on (a) the indigenous knowledge and cultural practices and beliefs associated with the topic; and (b) summaries of ideas obtained from web resources. All such cultural and web-based reflections are documented and presented to the whole class by the group leaders. The teacher wraps up by sharing his/her indigenous knowledge and cultural practices associated with the topic.
- The teacher progresses the lesson, drawing practical examples from the immediate surroundings of the school. Such examples can be physically observed by students to make science (or any subject) real. This is one of the “context” flavours of the approach. The teacher sprinkles delivery with some content-specific humour.
- As the lesson further progresses, the class is reminded of the relevance of the indigenous knowledge and cultural practices documented by the groups for meaningful understanding of the concepts. If misconceptions are associated with cultural beliefs, they are cleared by the teacher.
- At the close of the lesson, the teacher sends a maximum 320-character summary of the lesson (two pages) via SMS or WhatsApp to all students. After the first lesson, student group leaders send such messages. This is another of the technology flavours of the approach.
The control class had the same learning experience as the experimental class but without any element of CTCA. All lessons were videotaped for further analysis.
Results and Discussion
On the first research question, the survey results showed that students’ difficulty with logic gates was largely one of making it culturally relevant and of course some associated calculations. This was the impetus for exploring the use of CTCA in the quasi-experimental phase. Excerpts from the qualitative data are reported in Table 1.
Table 1: Responses from interview of some randomly selected students on reasons with difficulty with logic circuit
|Raw (unedited) students’ response|
|Student A||Logic gate I find it difficult because I don’t know which gate is which, I can’t really relate to anything. I think it is more of theory because we just copied the note.|
|Student B||Mathematical aspect, the truth table. I don’t understand how it relates to me.|
|Student C||I don’t understand the conversion of binary and logic gates has to do with binary numbers. It is not relevant to my culture.|
|Student E||I don’t know how to draw these logic gates with their logic gate symbols and truth tables. Is it like our local ayo game?|
Examples of indigenous knowledge used in the CTCA group include the local cigarette pipe popularly known as “koko” by the Yorubas in Nigeria; the fitila lamp and the opening and closing of “ewe padimo”. (please note: details are contained in the larger report).
For the second research question, preliminary tests showed that the data satisfied the assumptions of homogeneity of variances variance (F= 2. 89; p > .05); Shapiro-Wilk test of normality for control group: (32) = .92;p > .05 and experimental group: (21) = .95; p > .05. In proceeding with the analysis, since random assignment to experimental and control groups was not achieved, analysis of covariance was applied on the achievement scores of the students with the pre-test scores as covariate. The result showed that the experimental and control groups were significantly different with the experimental CTCA group performing better (mean score for experimental = 15.09; control=9.16; [F (1, 50) = 22.77; p < .0001]. Similar trends of this results were found by Saanu (2015) and Adolo (2020). In this previous literature, the researchers found CTCA to promote meaningful learning of concepts in ICT.
We hypothesise four mechanisms of action for CTCA in the learning process that can explain the better performance of the experimental group on logica gates. These are related to its components- culture, technology and context. In implementing the “culturo” part of CTCA, the teacher asked students to document indigenous knowledge and cultural practices related to logic gates. In carrying out this task, students were able to see that their indigenous knowledge and cultural practices do not count for nought and some, directly or indirectly, explained mechanisms associated with logic gates around them based on such knowledge.
CTCA students come to class already primed with some baseline indigenous knowledge and cultural practices to learn a new topic. For such students, learning a new topic or difficult topic such as logic gate is like swimming down a stream. The indigenous knowledge or cultural practices can be likened to a raft to which the learner clings as tool to swim down the stream (Awaah, 2020; Onowugbeda, 2020; Onyewuchi, 2020).
Contribution to the teaching and learning of computer studies
While noting the challenge of generalisability on account of sample size, the findings of this study can contribute significantly to the strands of growing empirical evidence to support CTCA as a “key” for unlocking such concepts in computer studies like logic gates that students perceive as difficult. Secondly, it provides computer studies teachers in Africa and other countries with a possible tool to set their teaching methods within culturally-relevant and technologically appropriate contexts. Thirdly, in post-COVID-19 environment, when technology through virtual learning will gain increasing visibility, CTCA has the potential to be a feature of the toolkit of teachers.
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