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USE OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES (PLACE, MATERIAL AND RESOURCE PERSONS) IN THE TEACHING

OF PRIMARY SCIENCE

by

DR. OLUDIPE, BIMBOLA D.

Introduction
Science is a systematic way of acquiring and producing knowledge. In essence,
science is knowledge-based and process-based. It is systematic in the sense that
it is process-based as it involves activities such as carrying out investigation,
observation, experimentation, classification, communication, counting or
numbering, measurement, inquiry (asking the question-why, what, how, when),
prediction, inference, hypothesis formulation, models formation, data
interpretation, manipulation, etc.
Science and its application (technology) is needed for the overall well-
being of humankind (health, telecommunications, transportation, agriculture,
industry etc) and so, there is need to teach it well in primary schools since that
is where the foundation for its teaching and learning is laid. Science is an
action subject that demands that hands-on and mind-on experiences that challenge
pupils’ initiatives are encouraged. Teaching methods that promote understanding
and thinking with emphasis on scientific processes should be employed and the rote
learning of scientific facts de-emphasized. Also, there is need for science
teachers to take abstract notion out of science by using real-to-life, simple and
down-to-earth instructional materials which can be resourced for from the
environment.
A science teacher should have a good knowledge of science and skills of
improvisation in science(Erinosho, 2000). This is borne out of the fact that
science equipments are expensive and most are imported and so, some are not easily
accessible for science teaching. Resources for science teaching are not only found
in the classroom but they are also available in the immediate school environment
and community, As such, a science teacher should be familiar with the immediate
school environment and the community in order to be able to source out all the
human and non-human materials that can facilitate science learning.

Advantages of using Community Resources for Science teaching


1) They are hands-on resources that give pupils access to real-life
experiences.
2) They provide meaningful interactions between pupils and their world.
3) They capture pupils’ interest and makes studying science interesting.
4) They help pupils acquire knowledge and understanding of basic science
concepts and the relevance of these to their everyday lives.
5) They make pupils become meaningfully engaged in the processes of science
6) They provide practical support for science teaching
7) They will reinforce the specific science topics focus of each class level in
primary school
8) They help to build knowledge, skills and confidence in science teaching
9) They provide pupils with opportunities to reflect on their learning
10) They help pupils to build, retain and communicate knowledge from science
activities and experiences
11) They build understanding and use of existing outdoor learning opportunities
12) They facilitate interaction among pupils and teachers
13) They stimulate students’ reasoning and evokes thought-provoking questions
14) They enhance pupils’ development of the ethical dimension of science like
objectivity, curiosity, open mindedness, careful observation, humility,
persistence, etc.
15) They instill the spirit of cooperation and active participation among
learners.
In view of the above, there is need for teachers to identify these rich community
resources and integrate them into their lessons. Some of these materials and
resource persons and the science concepts they can be used to buttress are listed
below.

Content/Content Element Resource Person Activity


1. Colours
a. Various colours around us
b. Producing new colours
c. Natural colours in certain things
d. Uses of colours (understanding the concept of dyes for painting things,
dying of materials, obtaining materials to be dyed, noting the processes to be
followed)

a. Artist (draws, paints)


b. Painters
c. textile designer (tie & dye adire maker)
a. They use aro to make tie & dye or adire fabric.

b. Farmers can help identify natural colours of acalypha leaves, lali, kolanuts
colour

2. Heat
Effect of Heat on objects (Change of State- from solids to liquids and vice versa)
Smelters
(Iron pot makers,
Tin smelters)
Goldsmith
Blacksmith (agbede)
a. Tin smelters- tin is a soft metal with low melting point. Foil, used for
wrapping food e.g. moinmoin, cake, salad, is made from tin smelting

b. Goldsmith increase the face value of a metal by electroplating it with gold.

c. They use heat to shape iron into axes, cutlasses, hoes, etc.
2b. Uses of Heat Launderers/ washerman
Hairdressers They use heat to dry hair using dryer in the salon
2c. Uses of Heat (Formation of new substance)
Local black soap makers
Ashes which result from burnt cocoa pods are used for the production of local
black soap
3. Air Pressure Garri producers Pressure is a function of Force applied. Gari
producers exert pressure on the gari in the sac by means of the weight placed on
it to reduce the cyanide content.
3a. Air has weight Bicycle Repairer Pump a bicycle tube with a bicycle pump
and experience the force of air pushing it open.
3b. Air is needed for burning/ combustion Blacksmith (agbede) Blacksmith
introduce air into their furnace by means of pump to keep the hard shells of nuts
(eesan) burning until it is red-hot.
4. Water
a. Filtration
Pap Producers (Ogi Makers)
Clothes or sieve is used to separate the shaft/residue from the filtrate (Ogi)
5. Gardening
a. Local tools used for clearing
b. How the tools are used for clearing
c. Preparation of site for gardening- clearing or making garden beds or ridges
Farmer Farmers use tools such as cutlass, hoe, rake, axe, etc for
clearing land. They then make ridges or garden beds in rows for some plants e.g.
Yam, Cassava etc.
6. Observing common
Animals
Changes in nature
i. Changes in Animals

a. Cattle Rearers
b. Poultry Farmers

a. Changes in life cycle of animals


b. Poultry Farmers can lead pupils to see changes in chameleon, skin changes in
snake, etc.
ii. Changes in Plants Farmers Farmers can be helpful in showing products of
burning- smoke, charcoal, ashes, etc.
iii. Domestic and Farm Birds
a. Common domestic birds : chickens, ducks, pigeons, etc
b. Keeping Poultry Poultry Farmers
iv. Domestic and Farm Animals
a. Identification and naming of common farm animals
b. Different ways of rearing each animal Pig Rearers
Rabbit Rearers
Cattle Farmer In cattle farm, piggery and rabbitery, different animals are
reared.
7. Types of Force
a. Muscular Force
Weightlifter
Weightlifters lift small or heavy objects to show the use of muscles to exert
force
b. Uses of Force Fashion designers
Radio Mechanics(Rewinders) a. Fashion designers and radio mechanics make use of
magnets to pick or search for small magnetic substances or iron materials
b. Rewinders make use of magnets to produce electric motors or Radio transformers
8. Modelling
a. Making models of simple objects, animals, human beings, etc with paper, clay
and other local materials a. wood carvers,
b. blacksmith,
c. beads maker These people can model objects using clay, iron, beads, etc.
9. Housing and Clothing
a. Types of Clothing material
a. Cloth seller
b. Fashion Designer/ Tailor
Cotton, woolen, synthetic, silk, rayon and rubber materials are used by these
people
10. Sounds
a. Making Sounds with Local Instruments
a. Hunters
b. Drummers
a. They use whistles to produce sound
b. Beat different kinds of drums
11. Bulbs, Cells and Batteries
a. Simple Electric Circuits
b. Battery cells and Bulb holders Electrician Electricians deal with light and
they can make these simple electrical connections for pupils to see.
12. Soap
a. Making soap with local materials
b. Making soap with common alkali
c. Major constituents of soap Local soap producers

Evaluation
As highlighted above, select two topics (different from any of the ones above)
from your NPEC Primary School Curriculum Modules, and state the resource material
from your community that is appropriate for teaching the topic.
Content/Content Element Resource Person Activity
1.

2.

Conclusion
Science learning can become exciting, interesting, enjoyable, stimulating,
captivating, attractive, arresting and fun to pupils if teachers can go the extra
mile by teaching pupils using the rich resources available in our community. The
use of these resources will help pupils to consolidate theoretical understanding
of scientific concepts, developing cognitive abilities, creative thinking and
scientific attitudes.

References
Erinosho, S. Y. (2000). Teaching Science for Effective Learning in Teaching
Effectiveness in Nigerian Schools. Published by Department of Curriculum Studies
and Instructional Technology, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. Pg. 176-177
Teacher Services. Community Resources for Science, practical support for great
science teaching. http://crscience.org/teacher/index.html. Downloaded on 27th
February, 2008