AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE PROBLEMS FACING TEACHERS IN TEACHING COMPUTE…
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
How fast the world has grown, from the days of the primitive man, to the days of the medieval man and down to the day of the modern man. The world at large seen by the myopic man as two ends two far to be reached, has so soon been conquered by great minds. Minds that saw the possibility of turning this vast globe too large to be explored into a global village, where the distance between two ends could be reached in split seconds. Much could be said about such great minds as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, men who through sound reasoning, birth fourth great ideas, that has so much impacted the world. But I believe that much more could be said about a set of men born in a particular generation, without whose contribution, the world would have remained a vast globe, whose two ends could never be reached in split seconds. Men whom through their great inventions conquered the barrier of time and distance, through whose inventions on e of the greatest gift to mankind was delivered, i would take a deep breath at this point to mention “The computer”. Thanks to Charles Barbbage, John Nappier, Lady Ad Lovelace, and others for such great inventions. Without the computer, our world could not be complete, education with all it’s great prospects as a process of successfully training the young and instilling the moral values and otherwise into them could never be complete.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMPUTER
Who invented the computer? Is not a question with a simple answer. The real answer is that many inventors contributed to the history of computer and that a computer is a complex piece of machinery made up of many parts, each of which can be considered a separate invention. The first computers were people: that is electronic computers (and the earlier mechanical computers) were given the name because they performed what had been previously assigned to people. The Abacus the first mechanical computation device was an early aid for mathematical computations. The Abacus is often wrongly attributed to China. In fact, the oldest surviving Abacus was used in 300 B.C. by the Babylonians. The modern Abacus consists of ring that slide over rods, and is still in use today, principally in the Far East. Following the Abacus, in 1617, an eccentric Scots man named John Napier invented logarithms, where the logarithms were carried on way sticks which are now called Napier bones. Napier invention led directly to the slide rule, first built in England in 1632 and still in use in the 1960’s by the NASA engineers of the mercury, Germini, and Apollo program which landed man on the moon. In 1642, Blaise Pascal, at age 19, invented the Pascaline as an aid for his father who was a task collector. This machine was capable of carrying out only addition and subtraction, which was otherwise known as the adding machine. In 1843, Charles Babbage invented the analytical engine which was capable of performing many complex tasks. The IBM in 1935 was invented, followed in quick succession between 1939 – 1944, by the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and calculator) developed by a team led by John W. Mauchly. Then in 1946, Mauchly developed an improved mode of ENIAC called EDVAC (Electronic Delay Value Accounting Calculator), with an additional function that stores program concept. Today we have computers that perform instruction faster and more reliably.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
That the objectives of computer education in our country have not been achieved is evident that there are some underlying problems facing teachers in teaching computer science in Nigerian Secondary Schools, which could be:
· Teachers mastery of subject area
· The learning environment
· Lack of instructional materials
· Students attitudes
· Teachers qualification
The investigation is therefore designed to answer the following questions:
1. Could teachers’ level of subject mastery (computer-science) be a major problem in teaching computer science?
2. Does the learning environment really affect teaching? If yes, could this be a problem facing teachers in teaching computer science?
3. Could lack of study materials constitute any problem to teachers in teaching computer science in secondary schools?
4. Do students’ attitude to teachers affect leaning; could this be a problem facing teachers in teaching computer science?
5. Does teacher qualification matter? If yes could this constitute a problem to teaching computer science?
THE PURPOSE OF STUDY
The purpose of the study is to identify the problems facing teachers in teaching computer science following a brief investigation.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Nigerian secondary schools today lack behind in the computer science subject in comparison to some well developed countries. In this sense, the significance of this study cannot be over emphasized since the result from this investigation could help in setting standard requirements for computer science teachers, and help identify the basic challenge facing teachers, which if well treated could enhance teacher’s effectiveness and student learning in Nigerian secondary schools. Also, the growth of a nation starts from the grassroots level, if education at the local government level is well maintained, on the long run it may affect the education at the state level in general, following this investigation therefore, computer science in secondary school of Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo and Egor Local government Area of Edo State could be greatly improved, giving room for economic development on the long run.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to some selected secondary schools in Ikpoba-Okha, Oredo and Egor Local Government Area of Edo State.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Computer: A computer is a machine or an apparatus that manipulate data according to a list of instructions, whose end product (output) may be expressible in numerical or logical terms.
Teaching: Teaching could be defined as the process of transferring knowledge or the activities of educating or instructing with the aim of impacting knowledge or skill from a generation to another.
Problem: A problem could be defined in this context as a question proposed fro academic discussion or scholastic disputation or a continued or imagined situation in which the task is to produce or prove some specified result by the exercise of thought.
Investigation: The action or process of investigating, careful research, or an instance of systematic inquiry or careful study of a particular subject.