Effect of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Strategy on Secondary School Students' Performance in Physics in Lagos State, Nigeria


Francis A. Onyewuchi
Tunde Owolabi


Poor performance and low enrollment in senior secondary school physics examinations have drawn the attention of the examination bodies, researchers, parents and other stakeholders in Nigeria. This is because despite the importance of physics in the scientific, technological and consequently, economic development of any nation, physics in Nigerian secondary schools, has suffered serious setbacks, ranging from poor teaching, poor learning, poor performance and finally to low enrollment. Of all these, poor teaching stands out as the fundamental, since if the learners did not learn, then the teacher, has not taught. This study therefore was carried out using our indigenous knowledge system strategy to present physics in the classroom as a familiar science. Three research questions were raised and two null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study. This study adopted mixed method research design, where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed. The qualitative approach involved the use of Focus Group. The quantitative approaches of data gathering employed was  non-equivalent control pre-test and post-test quasi experimental design using a sample of 321 Senior Secondary two physics students consisting of two intact classes from two schools. One hundred and thirty three students (69male and 64 Female) formed the treatment group while 188 students (101 male and 87female) formed the control group. Focus Group Discussion Protocol (FGDP) was applied to unravel the indigenous knowledge systems within the community where the school is located while pre- and post-achievement tests were used for quantitative data collection for the study. The instruments were validated by two experts in physics education. Data collected were analyzed with ANCOVA using SPSS 23.0. Findings showed that students from the locality possess rich indigenous knowledge backgrounds and systems that can be deployed to teach physics. Results also revealed that students taught harnessing their indigenous knowledge system performed better than those taught using the conventional method [F (1,318) =68.27; p<0.05]. More so, there is no statistically significant difference in performance between male and female students taught using indigenous knowledge system strategy [F (1,130) =0.002; p>0.05]. It is therefore recommended that physics teachers should use indigenous knowledge system strategy in teaching classroom physics for meaningful learning and consequent better performance.