The study Effect Of Scaffolding Instructural Strategy On Academic Achievement Of Secondary School Biology in Gombe state. Two research questions and three hypotheses were  tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted quasi-experimental pretest, posttest, non- equivalent, experimental and control group. The target population of the study consisted of 18,460 SSII students’ senior secondary schools in Gombe state. The sample comprised of 122 students in intact classes randomly assigned for two experimental groups and one control group. An instrument used for data collection was an Achievement Test tagged Biology Achievement Test (BAT) adapted from WAEC past questions from 2014 – 2017. The instrument was face and content validated by three experts and the reliability coefficient of 0.88 was obtained using Test retest method to determine the reliability of BAT. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics for the research questions and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) to test the three null hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed that scaffolding strategy enhanced students’ achievement in biology. There was a significant difference in the academic achievement of the male and female students’ in biology, The result also revealed that there was a statistically significant interaction effect of gender and treatment on students’ academic achievement. It is recommended that Ministries of Education in conjunction with education Institutions in Nigeria should organize seminars and workshops to keep biology teachers abreast of the application of scaffolding instruction strategy for teaching and learning that could enhance students’ academic performance.



Background to the study

Education is a fundamental human right and the structural key to sustainable development, peace and stability of a nation. In Nigeria, education is perceived as an instrument for achieving national objectives. According to the National Policy in Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004), education is an “instrument per excellence” for the achievement of national development. This explains the huge amount of money government earmarks for education in its annual budget. One major key of Nigeria vision 20-20 is to give students vibrant and modern science education system that will provide meaningful learning. This open opportunity to students to achieve maximum potentials and provide the nation with adequate and competent manpower needs. This goal may be achievable through effective teaching and learning of biology at the grass root level.

Biology is a science which deals with the study of living things (Ramalingam, 2000). Biology makes a huge contribution towards the realization of science objective because its knowledge is applied in many sectors of the economy, including agriculture, industry and medicine without this knowledge a nation will remain underdeveloped (Ugwuadu, 2010; Ibe, 2013; Joda & Abel, 2017). The subject has opened many careers for students such as in food technology, medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine. For instance, it has been applied in plant breeding to produce high yielding and disease resistant crops to ensure improved food production for the ever growing population. In industry, it has been applied in beer brewing, bread making and milk processing (UNESCO, 2004; Akpan, 2008; Ibe, 2013). In the same vein, another breakthrough in biology includes: the development of drugs and vaccines for preventing and curing diseases, increased food production, awareness of genetic diseases and their prevention (Ramalingam, 2000). Biology therefore contributes to national development through its various uses to mankind.


Despite investment in science education by Nigeria government and parents to meet up with the present challenge of the 21st century. Students’ performance at SSCE had been recorded very low in biology when compared with the number of enrolment of students’ over the years (Okoli, 2006; WAEC Chief Examiners report 2014 and 2015, Mohammed & Sakiyo, 2017). Similarly, performance of students in biology in Kenya at Kenya certificate of secondary examinations (KCSE) has been recorded in low achievement. In the year 2012, the percentage mean scores in biology, chemistry and physics were 26.21, 27.93 and 37.85 respectively in Kenya (Richard, 2013). In the year 2012, the percentage mean scores of girls in biology were 24.36, while those of the boys were

27.86 respectively. Recent studies in Nigeria, Ugwuadu and Joda (2011) and statistics from the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC 2009; 2013; 2014 & 2015) chief examiner’s report on senior secondary school students’ achievement in biology revealed that, the subject had both the highest enrolment relative to other science subjects and recorded poor achievement in the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).


Akinsola and Igwe (2002); Ugwuadu and Joda (2011); Joda and Abel (2017) opined that non- motivation among students, shortage of classrooms, teacher quality, teacher and students’ interest, motivation, teaching resources and teaching approaches and methodology used in teaching biology are identified as some of the factors contributing to poor student achievement. In addition, students find some topics in biology abstract, difficult and uninteresting (Nwachukwu & Nwosu, 2007; Mohammed & Sakiyo, 2017). Topics in biology like respiration, gene, allele, mitosis, ecosystem, Mendelian ratio and evolution are perceived difficult by students (Okoli, 2006; Ugwuadu & Obi, 2009). Most of the teaching approaches practiced in Nigerian schools are mainly expository and fact oriented, assigning a passive role to learners. This implies that students are merely passive rather  than active in the learning process which may not lead to meaningful learning. Biology teachers usually act as the dispensers of knowledge while learners listen and try to understand and remember. Teacher-centered approaches may not solve the challenges of the new demands and objectives of

Biology education because learners do not take charge of their learning activities. UNESCO (2004) argues that innovative teaching approaches should be employed especially students-centered methods to make learning meaningful. Therefore, there need to employed students-centred teaching strategies such as 5e learning cycle, constructivism, scaffolding strategy, concept map and cooperative strategy whether it would improve students’ academic achievement in biology.


Scaffolding Instructional is a teaching strategies geared to support learning when students are first introduced to a new subject. Scaffolding is a form of coaching and support to students as they develop new skills or learn new concepts. This implies that when the learner achieves competence, the support is removed. Scaffolding was used by Jerome Brunerto describe the process in which a learner or novice could be assisted to achieve a task that they may not be able to achieve  if unassisted, until they are able to perform the task on their own. This definition was influenced by Vygotsky’s (1978) conception of the zone of proximal development which is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers. This implies that learners have learning potential that can be reached with scaffolding provided by tutors, teachers, and peers. Therefore, scaffolding gives students a context, motivation, or foundation to understand new information that will be introduced during the coming lesson. Scaffolding can also be seen as a temporary framework that supports a building under construction. When the structure is strong enough to stand on its own, the scaffolds are removed (Alake & Ogunseemi, 2013, Jibrilla 2017). Ertmer and Cennamo (1995) stated that scaffolds in building cannot completely explain the principle of retreat of support in teaching and learning process. Ertmer and Cennamo further explained that when learning;


  1. The support does not reach the ground because some entry knowledge is
  2. That the support for learning cannot be precise to the right level as can be done with a
  3. Retreating of support only occurs in the last stage of building, while learning retreat of support occurs gradually during the learning


The teacher offers assistance with only those skills that are beyond the students’ capability. The student then continues to develop the skills or knowledge on his/her own. Lipscom, Swanson and West (2004) and Jibrilla (2017) further revealed that scaffolding allows students to perform tasks that would normally be slightly be beyond their ability without the assistance and guidance from the teacher. In order to carry out scaffolding strategy the teacher must first identify and determine:

  1. What students can accomplish independently;
  2. What students can accomplish with guidance (in other words, the teacher determines the students’ zone of proximal development)
  • The teacher then provides the instructions that are just enough to support the learner in task beyond reach without teacher’s


Statement of the problem


Winnips (2001) and Adieze (2016) opined that scaffolding provides support for student learning and then retreating that support may lead to student self-reliant. Casem (2013) and Akani (2015) found that students exposed to scaffolding strategy performed significantly better than their counterparts who were exposed to the traditional method. On the contrary, Ibritam, Udofia and Onweh (2015) found that no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of the students taught using scaffolding instructional strategy and than those taught using the demonstration instructional method in site preparation. Uduafemhe (2015) revealed that there was no significant difference between the mean scores of male and female students when taught Basic Electronics using scaffolding and collaborative teaching approaches. This shows that there are still trend of contradicting findings on the effectiveness of scaffolding strategy to enhance students achievement in secondary schools.


Based on the observation the ineffectiveness of the teacher as regards to the students’-centred strategies employed in the classroom interaction with the students may be responsible for the persistent poor academic achievement of biology students’ in Nigeria. Therefore, there is need to investigate the effect of scaffolding strategy on students’ whether it will improve their academic achievement in biology


Purpose Of The Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate Effect Of Scaffolding Instructural Strategy On Academic Achievement Of Secondary School Biology. The specific objective is to determine

  1. The effect of scaffolding strategy and lecture methods on students’ academic achievement in
  2. The effect of gender of students on students’ academic achievement in biology when taught using scaffolding strategy.
  3. The interaction effect of gender and scaffolding strategy on students’ academic achievement in


Research Questions:

The following research questions guided the study.

  1. What are the pretest and posttest mean difference of students taught biology with scaffolding instructional strategy and those taught with conventional methods?
  2. What is the mean pretest and post-test academic achievement scores of students taught biology using scaffolding instructional strategy by


Research Hypotheses:

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance.


Ho1: There is no significant main effect of scaffolding instructional strategy and lecture methods on Biology students’ academic achievement in Gombe State.

Ho2: There is no significant effect of gender on students’ academic achievement in biology when taught with scaffolding instructional strategy in Gombe State.


Ho3: There is no interaction effect of gender and treatment on Biology students’ academic achievement in Gombe State.