Date of Award
Master of Education (MEd)
Dr. Winston Edward Massam
Institute for Educational Development, East Africa
Factoring learner engagement during chemistry lessons is key if conceptual understanding is an objective. In Kenya however, the gradual decline in chemistry mean scores, coupled with evidence from studies, reveal disengagement in chemistry among learners. One of the most cited causes of this disengagement is the domineering teacher-centred teaching pedagogy. This action research studied how science content songs can be used to enhance engagement and interest in ionic bonding among high school learners in Kenya. The study, which was conducted in a mixed double-streamed secondary school, involved two collaborating teachers and 65 students, out whom, 8 participated in a focus group discussion. Data collection was conducted via multiple tools like document analysis protocol, lesson observation protocol, interview protocols, and focus group discussion protocols to enhance corroboration of findings. The findings revealed that the current teaching methods and resources in chemistry and particularly in ionic bonding, like lecture method, charts, and models are less engaging, thus leaving learners as passive consumers during lessons. At the intervention stage where songs were used, it was found that songs engage the learners throughout the lesson, capture their attention, enhance their recalling abilities, and have the potential to restore their positive attitudes towards chemistry. Additionally, findings revealed that songs enhance diverse learner preferences and extend learning outside the classroom. Despite the remarkable classroom benefits of songs, data revealed that the use of songs is associated with challenges like inappropriate vocabulary, diverse learner preferences for songs, and reduced classroom control. The findings recommend that secondary school teachers embrace engaging pedagogies like teaching through songs to engage their learners in the classrooms and to transform their attitudes. The findings are also projected to inform the ministry of education and other stakeholders on the formulation of a policy guiding use of songs as a pedagogy in high schools. Finally, it was recommended that future studies consider pure boarding schools or mixed days schools, and concepts involving experiments.
Odhiambo, Daniel Omollo. (2021). Use of songs in teaching and learning ionic bonds: a case of a secondary school in Vihiga County, Kenya