Conceptions of the Nature of Biology Held by Senior Secondary School Biology Teachers in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria

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Adegboye, Motunrayo Catherine
Ganiyu Bello
Isaac, O. Abimbola


There is a sustained public outcry against the persistent abysmal performance of students in biology and other science subjects at the Senior School Certificate Examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and the National Examinations Council (NECO). Biology is a unique science discipline with peculiar philosophical principles and methodology that are not applicable to other science disciplines. Understanding the unique structure of knowledge, principles and methodology for providing explanations in biology is sine qua-non for effective and efficiency teaching of biology by teachers, and meaningful learning by the students. This study, therefore, investigated the conceptions of the nature of biology held by biology teachers in Ilorin, Nigeria. The study adopted the descriptive research design of the survey type. A questionnaire entitled “Biology Teachers’ Conceptions of the Nature of Biology Questionnaire”(BTCNBQ) was designed by the researchers and used as the instrument for data collection. The population for the study comprised all the biology teachers in Ilorin, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique was used to select two hundred and sixty (260) biology teachers from Ilorin, Nigeria. Results of the study revealed that each biology teacher held admixture of informed conceptions and misconceptions about the nature of biology. The results of the study also revealed that biology teachers’ gender, qualifications and experience did not have a significant influence on the number of misconceptions and informed conceptions of the nature of biology they held. The findings imply that biology teachers often misrepresent biology concepts, principles, and theories in their explanations during class lessons, consequently, impeding meaningful learning by the students. Based on the findings, it was recommended that Biology educators and curriculum experts should introduce courses on the unique nature and philosophy of biology into teacher education programmes, to enhance teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). 


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