, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 500-506
Date: 11 Oct 2007

Science Laboratory Environment and Academic Performance

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Abstract

The study determined how students assess the various components of their science laboratory environment. It also identified how the laboratory environment affects students’ learning outcomes. The modified ex-post facto design was used. A sample of 328 randomly selected students was taken from a population of all Senior Secondary School chemistry students in a state in Nigeria. The research instrument, Science Laboratory Environment Inventory (SLEI) designed and validated by Fraser et al. (Sci Educ 77:1–24, 1993) was administered on the selected students. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistics and Product Moment Correlation. Findings revealed that students could assess the five components (Student cohesiveness, Open-endedness, Integration, Rule clarity, and Material Environment) of the laboratory environment. Student cohesiveness has the highest assessment while material environment has the least. The results also showed that the five components of the science laboratory environment are positively correlated with students’ academic performance. The findings are discussed with a view to improving the quality of the laboratory environment, subsequent academic performance in science and ultimately the enrolment and retaining of learners in science.