The development of learners' science process skills, knowledge and stimulation on test for reducing sugars when using msl kits in selected secondary schools in Chinsali district.

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Nkole, Catherine
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The University of Zambia
This study investigated the development of learners Science process skills, knowledge and stimulation on testing food for reducing sugars when using the Mobile Science Laboratory (MSL) kits in selected schools of Chinsali District. The main objectives were to determine the appropriate science process skills (SPS) developed, to establish the knowledge acquired and to ascertain the stimulation attained by learners in a practical test on reducing sugars when using the MSL kits. The research design used was the concurrent triangulation design and therefore, a mixed method approach was used. Purposive sampling was used to select the participating schools on the ground that they possessed the MSL kits and that they were government schools. Stratified random sampling was used to come up with two strata, grade 11s and grade 12s. Data collection was done through quantitative and qualitative approaches using questionnaires, observation schedule and interview schedules. The study sample was 179 participants consisting a total of 166 learners, Heads of Natural Sciences Departments were 4, and 9 teachers of Biology. Of the 166 pupils 55 were female and 111 were males. All the participants were drawn from the selected upgraded secondary schools that received MSL kits. Questionnaires were administered to all the 179 participants. A total of 14 lessons were observed and 61 pupils along with 9 teachers were interviewed. Data obtained from both the questionnaires and observation schedule were analysed quantitatively. SPSS software version 20 was used to generate descriptive statistics and test for significant difference by way of independent t-test and one way ANOVA. All statistical tests were evaluated at 95% confidence interval. Thematic content analysis was used for qualitative data. The results from all the three instruments showed that learners developed the appropriate SPS, acquired the appropriate knowledge and attained stimulation while using the MSL kits when testing for Reducing Sugars. The t.test indicated that there was no statistical significant difference between the teachers and learners responses ( for SPS t=1.26; df =177; p= .209, for knowledge t= .675; df = 177; p= .501, for stimulation t= .213; df =177; p = .828).However one way ANOVA showed a significant difference in the acquisition of knowledge and stimulation (SPS F(3,162) = 2.44; p = .069, knowledge F(3,162) = 9.71; p= .000; stimulation F(3,162) = 10.52; p = .000). The researcher recommends that more MSL kits should be procured and be distributed to all newly upgraded Secondary Schools to improve the teaching of science; Teachers to be conducting regular Practical sessions using MSL kits with learners for them to acquire the SPS; Teachers of biology to ensure learners are exposed more to hands on activities using MSL kits to relate theory to practice. Further research should be done in other Districts of the country to verify these findings in order to arrive at a more definite decision regarding the use of MSL kits in the practical test on reducing sugars. Key words: Mobile science laboratory, Science Process Skills, Knowledge, Stimulation
Mobile science laboratory , Science Process Skills , Knowledge, Stimulation