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· Volume I Issue IV

Science education furnish ways of making sense of the world systematically. Teacher’s initiative in crafting and utilizing instructional materials bridges the gaps towards the achievement of the educational goals, learning the concepts and mastering the skills. This quantitative quasi experimental research compared the use of Strategic Intervention Material in biology and the conventional method in relation to the performance of students in the science class. Two entire classes of grade 7 students were assigned in two groups with 36 and 40 students in each group. The control group was exposed to lecture about the cell. The experimental group was exposed to the strategic intervention material on cellular structure and function. Pre-test and post-test non-equivalent control group design was utilized. Results revealed that the students exposed to SIM obtained higher mean in the post-test scores and mean gain scores than the students in the traditional group. A significant difference in student’s performance in biology transpired among the control and experimental sets. Student’s showed high level of perception on the utilization of the SIM and encouraged them to learn more topics in biology. The SIM allowed the students to become independent and active learners. It is recommended that science teacher can use SIM in other topics in Biological Science.

Keywords: Cellular Structure and Function, Instructional Material, Performance, Strategic Intervention Material


Background of the Study

Science education furnish ways of making sense of the world systematically. It enhances the universally applicable problem-solving and critical thinking skills of each student for his own personal development, future career, and life itself.

In this technological age, science subdues and even drives societies with its ideas and products and it is very likely that the impact of science and technology on people’s lives will persist to exist and proliferate in the coming years. Through science, the way people think shifts to a more critical approach. Frequently, science has been recognized to be of great value because of its connection to technology, which, in a government perspective, is a priority area for economic development (Elkington, 2015).

According to Ogena, Lana and Sasota (2010), the key factor in a nation’s development is the emphasis on science and mathematics education which brings the nation to integrate science and technology in their national agenda. In the two international sources of information and analysis on science education, i.e. Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), aim to evaluate the extent of student’s achievement in science and other fields. It is an international study on student’s ability to solve scientific as well as mathematical problems joined by many countries around the world. In this assessment, the Philippines was among the lowest five of poor performers in Math and Science. De la Cruz (2012) stated that the Philippines placed 36 in science out of the 38 countries who participated in the said assessment.

The National Science Education Standards (NSES) goal is to prepare all learners with the skills and knowledge to become and remain life-long learners with clear contribution to society.

The explosion of information, and the need for individuals to become and remain life-long learners prepared to make ethical choices are key reasons to focus on finding working methods of instruction. Effective biology instruction is crucial in the preparation of students today to be effective life-long contributors to society (Osborne, Driver, & Simon, 1998).

In the current situation of the Philippine Educational System, wherein there are shortage in the classrooms in the country and limited funds, not enough to provide instructional materials needed in every science classroom. Teacher’s initiative and creativity in crafting and utilizing instructional materials (Dy, 2011) links these gaps towards the achievement of the educational goals: learning the concepts and mastering the skills. Productivity of teaching Science will be improved and boosted when there are available, adequate and strategically designed (Salviejo et al, 2014) instructional and intervention materials appropriate for the multitude of students, considering their learning styles, personality types and stress-coping mechanisms (Dacumos,2015). Therefore, it is necessary that science teachers have a full understanding of their learners to produce personalized instructional materials for students’ individual needs to achieve better comprehension in science.

In the study of Gomez (2013) revealed that students already possess to some degree self-regulating skills, the teacher has to offer opportunities for them to develop and upgrade more of these skills and thus, make them self-regulated. Student’s self-regulation can be learned through experience and self-reflection. Teacher should create conditions and teach ways that will help or enhance more students to become self-regulated learners.

As stipulated in the DepEd Order No. 39, s. 2012, interventions have to be made in order to deal with learning gaps. SIM is a remediation aid for the students at the level of their understanding and thereby increasing their academic achievement.

DepEd Memo No. 117, series of 2005 about Training Workshop on Strategic Intervention Materials (SIMs) provided science secondary teachers the training in the construction of SIMs. As segment of strengthening and developing strategic intervention materials as tool for remediating poor performance in Science. The Department of Education incorporated the SIM constructions as one of the contests during science month celebration in school, division, regional, and national level competitions.

The strategic intervention materials secure the organization of activities with the tasks and objectives, provide a variety of activities to cater to the diverse learners and have enough practice in developing the skill and focus of the least mastered skills. Moreover, the designs of the strategic intervention materials are appealing and striking that teachers are encouraged to use them in the teaching-learning process (Rodrigo, 2015).

The researcher, a science teacher in high school have observed a number of students in the science class have weakness in the comprehension on biological concepts. Biology is often said to be a very demanding class with respect to the limited volume of scientific vocabulary. A segment of the pedagogical context knowledge the researcher will make use of the strategic intervention material to enhance the comprehension of students in cellular structure and function. Cytology or cell biology is a branch of biology concern with the structure and function, multiplication, pathology, and life history of cells. The study of life at cellular level makes it difficult for grade 7 students to have a concrete idea about the microscopic features of life, the cell as the basic unit of life.

The researcher pursued the development of SIM for deeper understanding of the Cellular Structure and Functions in Grade 7 Science and to address the least mastered skills using the learning competencies in science. The study used SIM to improved science learning of students. This study may be most beneficial especially to science teachers. The study may give ideas to the teachers on how SIM can be effectively integrated into teaching and help students to attain a higher academic achievement. The SIM is designed to aid the teacher and provide the students the needed support to achieve progress in studies. It is also designed to introduce the interesting activities of a SIM to the students. It can create more opportunities for students to be independent and responsible for their own learning. Moreover, it can give various ideas and concepts that would enrich their understanding that sharpen their competencies.

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this paper is to determine how the strategic intervention material entitled “Pirates’ Trek into the Cell” improve students’ performance in Grade 7 science class of Southern Samar National Comprehensive High School. Specifically, the study sought to answer the following questions:(1) What are the mean pretest and posttest scores of students exposed to traditional method and Strategic Intervention Material? (2) What are the mean gain scores in pretest and posttest exposed to traditional method and SIM. (3) Are there significant difference between the mean pretest and posttest scores of the students in the control and experimental groups? (4) Is there a significant difference between gain scores of the students in the experimental (use SIM method) and the students in the control group (use traditional method)? (5) Can strategic intervention material affect the performance of students in Grade 7 science class? (6) What is the level of student’s perception in the utilization of SIM “Pirates’ Trek into the Cell”?

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

Science teachers must have the initiative to facilitate the construction of core knowledge among the students. Utilize teaching strategies that assist the learners discover new relevant ideas and concepts in science to improve their construction of knowledge.

The study is anchored in Bruner’s constructivist theory, a general framework for instruction based upon the study of cognition. The learner selects and convert information, constructs hypotheses, and create decisions, relying on a cognitive structure to perform. Constructivists emphasized that learners need to be empowered and to have control over the learning process. Meaningful learning will only transpire when education offers experiences that entail students to connect knowledge across the three domains either cognitive, affective, or psychomotor (Bretz, 2001). Thus, students understand the same concept in different ways, their understanding and their techniques on how they construct meaning are rooted in situational contexts.

Moreover, this study is also based on the theory of multiple intelligences, Armstrong (2009) stressed the importance of presenting the lessons in a wide variety of ways so that each student has the opportunity to learn in some ways harmonious with their unique minds. Thus, Soberano (2009) pointed out that Strategic Intervention Materials (SIMs) are so designed to help teachers provide the students the much-needed support to make improvement and progress. These materials try to increase and deepen the students’ skills and knowledge of concepts. Thus, the SIM allows the students to become independent and actively involved in the process of making meaning and knowledge rather than passively acquiring them from some sources.

The conceptual framework of this study was based on quasi experimental pre-test and posttest control group design, where two intact groups of subjects of grade 7 biology heterogeneous classes consist of 40 students were observed. A pre-test was administered among the control group and experimental group before the treatments were introduced. The control group were exposed to regular science class instruction with the DepEd prescribed science activities and lecture about the cell. The experimental group were exposed to the strategic intervention material entitled “Pirates’ Trek into the Cell”, designed by the researcher. To determine the effect of SIM to the performance of the students in science, a posttest was administered to the control and experimental group.

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The conceptual framework shows the relationship between the Strategic Intervention Material in Cellular Structure and Function and regular science class instruction with activities and lecture in learning science concepts and skills and students’ perception on the use of SIM in which the students evaluated also the applicability of the SIM. It is anchored on the theory of constructivism and multiple intelligences. In the study, the SIM “Pirates’ Trek into the Cell” was
the Independent variable, the performance of the students was the dependent variable and the control were the students exposed to regular science class instruction.