Students’ Level of Scientific Literacy and Academic Performance in Physics Concepts in Rivers State, Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) | Volume VI, Issue I, Jnauary 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Students’ Level of Scientific Literacy and Academic Performance in Physics Concepts in Rivers State, Nigeria

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Aderonmu, Temitope S. B.1 & Adolphus, Telima2
1University Demonstration Secondary School, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
2Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Rivers State University Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Abstract
The vision of every scientific community is the development of scientific literacy of its learners to proffer solutions to compelling scientific demands that is confronted in our everyday engagements. Acquisition of scientific literacy is a yardstick for societal development. Therefore, the study investigated students’ level of scientific literacy and academic performance in Physics concepts. The study adopted the Ex-post facto research design method using 246 SS 3 Physics students selected for the study by random sampling technique in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of River State, Nigeria. Instruments for data collection were“Questionnaire on Scientific Literacy Assessment Template”(QSLAT) with reliability coefficient index of 0.79 and raw scores of SS 3 students for first term 2019/2020 session in Physics. Data was analyzed using Multiple Correlation Analysis (MCA), Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Scheffe post-hoc analysis at 0.05 level of significance. The study revealed that relationship between level of scientific literacy and students’ academic performance in Physics was statistically significant. Furthermore, the scientific literacy level of Physics students was low because most student were found to have their scientific literacy levels atthe Nominal Scientific Literacy (NSL) followed by Functional Scientific Literacy, Structural Scientific Literacy while Multi-Dimensional Scientific Literacy was the least. The study recommended that Physics teachers should adopt instructional strategies that will be devoid of rote memorization but encourage active engagement of students in enhancing scientific literacy among others.

Key words: Physics, Science, Literacy, Scientific Literacy, Performance.

Introduction

The greatest power that man would ever yearn for is knowledge and understanding of the realities of basic components of nature, while providing sound explanation using cause-effect relationship. Basic knowledge or literacy is a function of intellectual growth. Literacy is simply the fulcrum to knowledge development and understanding required to function actively in a society. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2017 stipulates that literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society. From the perspective of mathematics, literacy connotes the degree of mastery of basics mathematical symbols and recognition of numbers. Literacy can be categorized into a spectrum consisting of basic literacy, cultural and civic literacy, functional literacy and scientific literacy.