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International Journal of Educational Science and Research (IJESR) ISSN 2249-6947 Vol.

2 Issue 3 Dec - 2012 21-36 TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.,

EFFECTS OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING AND COGNITIVE STYLE ON BASIC SCIENCE ACHIEVEMENT AND SELF-EFFICACY BELIEFS OF STUDENTS WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT
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NNODI NNENNA FLORENCE, 2ONUIGBO LIZIANA. N & 3EZE UCHE. N


1,2

Department of Education Foundations, University of Nigeria, Nsukka


3

Institute of Education, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

ABSTRACT
This study investigated the effects of problem-based learning and cognitive style on Basic Science achievement and self-efficacy beliefs of students with hearing impairment. The study also examined the interaction effect of problembased learning and cognitive style on Basic Science achievement and self-efficacy beliefs of students with hearing impairment. The study was a non-equivalent control group quasi-experimental design involving one treatment and one control group. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. Participants consisted of 65 junior secondary school class three students with hearing impairment drawn from two junior secondary schools for the hearing impaired in Rivers State, Nigeria. Three instruments, namely Group Embedded Figures Test, Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT), and Students Self-Efficacy Belief Scale (SSEC) were used for the study. The results showed that problem-based learning significantly improved students self-efficacy beliefs and their achievement in basic science. The findings of the study also showed a significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students achievement in basic science and a non significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs.

KEY WORDS: Problem Based Learning, Self-Efficacy Belief, Basic Science, Hearing Impairment, Cognitive Style and
Achievement

INTRODUCTION
Science is a catalyst and a driving force of change for national and international development and transformation. Wilson (1999) defined science as a systematic process of gathering knowledge about the world, organizing and condensing such knowledge into testable laws and theory. Science is a powerful tool for understanding and interpreting the world and the processes in human activities such as politics, industry, agriculture, communication (Eyestein, 2006). Therefore, science can be described as an integral part of everyday life activities and humanitys best hope for achieving sustainable development. The application of science in various fields of endeavour has been responsible for raising peoples standard of living. Countries that have made optimal use of science and tailored its processes to suit their environment and cultural values today are in the forefront of scientific and technological advancement (Okafor, 2000). In spite of the importance of science, the achievement of students in science related subjects has continued to decline not only in the developing countries but also in some developed countries. In Nigeria for instance, the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiners Report (2007- 2009) indicate students poor achievement in science subjects. Barchok, Changeiwo & Wachanga, (2007) report that in Kenya, secondary school students have continued to register below average achievement in science subjects. Naturinda (2012) asserted that in Uganda, Certificate of Education

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Nnodi Nnenna Florence, Onuigbo Liziana. N & Eze Uche. N

students continue to perform poorly in sciences compared to the arts. Performances on PISA indicate that students from Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Latvia, Portugal and Luxembourg recorded lower scores in science and mathematics. This scenario is worse for students with hearing impairment especially in Nigeria where their educational needs are poorly met. Ademokoya (1995) noted that hearing loss coupled with other factors of learning not addressed affect the learning outcomes of students with hearing impairment. Students with hearing impairment have some hearing loss which adversely affects their education and they require special education services and support for them to enhance their achievement in academics and other areas of life (Heward, 2009). Hearing impairment ranges from mild to profound. Students with mild hearing loss can benefit from verbal communications in schools especially with hearing aids. Individuals with hearing impairment depend more on sight to gain information (Okuoyibo, 2006). Hearing impairment affects the entire personality of an individual and when not properly handled may lead to some negative psychosocial development which could result in low self concept, self-esteem, and self- efficacy beliefs. Due to their impoverished language skill, they may feel different and incapable of participating fully in school activities normally engaged in by others. This suggests that for students with hearing impairment to experience success in school and enhance their self-efficacy beliefs they require appropriate intervention that will equip them with relevant problem solving skills. Educational researchers concerned with the learning of students with hearing impairment have focused on better ways of presenting curriculum content to such students so that they will experience success in learning. They work to see that they gain concrete experiences from their environment through exposure to different learning experiences. However, students with hearing impairment experience difficulty acquiring efficient, holistic and simultaneous information about people, events and situations in their environment generally. For them to learn effectively teachers need to consciously and consistently provide them with concrete and unifying experiences that would enable them utilize all their senses in making meaning of presented information. In a conventional Nigerian classroom, teaching is teacher-centered and comprises large groups of students where lectures, tutorials, structured laboratory experience and periodic tests of achievement characterize learning approaches. Students passively absorb information rather than actively acquire information and knowledge (Nandi, Chan, Chan, & Chan, 2000). This conventional teaching strategy does not give the learners with hearing impairment the opportunity to engage actively in the teaching and learning situation. The teaching strategies that have the potentials for making learners with hearing impairment active participants in the process of learning and also enhance their communication skills, teamwork and problem solving skills may be effective in promoting their learning outcome and self-efficacy belief especially in science. Problem based learning has been observed to facilitate the cognitive, social emotional, communicative and sensory motor development of normal students without noticeable impairment (Wood, 2003). This approach to teaching has been found to be interesting to both teachers and students and could help to promote the achievement of students with hearing impairment. Literature tends to indicate that problem-based learning (PBL) has the potentials for helping students to achieve more than the conventional teaching method (Simaranjeed, Kamisahn & Siti, 2005; Liu, Hsieh, Cho, & Schallert, 2006; Dehkordi & Heydarmejad 2008) however, there seems to be dearth of research information on the effects of problem based learning and cognitive styles on the self efficacy and achievement in Basic Science of students with hearing impairment.

Effects of Problem-Based Learning and Cognitive Style on Basic Science Achievement and Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Students with Hearing Impairment

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REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Problem Based Learning Problem Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences (Bilgin, Senocak & Sozbilir, 2008). It is an instructional arrangement which encourages a deeper understanding of the material rather than the superficial coverage. It is broadly defined as an approach which helps students to learn through analysis and resolution of open-ended, ill structured real world problems or dilemmas (Top & Sage, 2002). In PBL environment, students act as professionals and are confronted with problems that require them to (a) clearly identify an ill structured problem; (b) develop hypotheses; (c) assess, analyze and use data from different sources; (d) review the initial hypothesis as data are collected; and (e) develop and justify solutions according to evidence and reasoning (Gallagher, Stephein, Sher & Workman, 1995). The cooperative learning involved in PBL approach facilitates not only the acquisition of knowledge but also several other desirable attributes, such as communication skills, teamwork, problem solving skills, sharing of information, and respect for others. PBL is completely different from the conventional teaching method in its approach to teaching as it emphasizes much on the active participation of students in the teaching and learning situation. Simaranjeet, Kamisah & Siti (2005) investigated the effects of PBL with ICT on students achievement, attitude, communication and problem solving skills in Biology. Based on the MANOVA analysis conducted, the main effect for type of treatment, examination time and the subscales were found to be significant indicating that the main effects influenced achievement test scores. The study suggested that an integration of ICT in PBL is effective in teaching Biology for higher education. Akinlogu and Tandaolgon (2006) investigated the effects of PBL in science education on students academic achievement and concepts learning. The study revealed that the implementation of PBL positively affected students conceptual achievement. Sungar and Tekkaya (2006) on their own part carried out a study on the effects of PBL and traditional instruction on self-regulated learning. The authors used Motivational Strategies for Learning Questionnaire to investigate the effectiveness of PBL. Result revealed that PBL group had higher level of intrinsic goal orientation and peer learning compared with control group students. This study was carried out among students with hearing impairment to determine the effects of PBL on achievement and self-efficacy and how PBL could interact with cognitive style to affect the selfefficacy belief and learning outcome. Cognitive Style Cognitive style refers to the ways people think about the world around them and interact with it (Jonassen & Grabowski, 1993). Cognitive styles are distinctive modes of functioning that are observed within an individuals intellectual and perceptual experience. Cognitive psychologists and educators have long been interested in understanding the individual differences in cognition and their impact on learning and instruction. There are various classifications of cognitive styles available in the literature, among which are visual/haptic, visuallizer/verbalizer, leveling/sharpening, serialist/holist and field dependent/field independent (Altun & Cakan, 2006). Visual/haptic cognitive dimension describes individual preference for visual or tactile information. Visuallizer/verbalizer cognitive style is described as individuals preferences for attending to and processing visual versus verbal information (Jonassen and Grabowski, 1993). Leveling/sharpening cognitive style dimension describes how individual perceive images (Sanchez and Gunawardena, 1998). Seralist/holist cognitive style describes the way learners select and represent

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information. Field dependent/field independent is a measure of a learners perceptual and processing characteristics which influence the preferences and strategies learners use to perceive process, store and recall information (Chinien and Boutin, 1993). This study focused on field dependent and field independent cognitive style construct. As suggested by Witkin, Oltman, Raskin, and Karp (1971), there are three field related cognitive styles, Field dependent (FD), Field neutral (FN) and Field independent (FI). They contended that individuals have different cognitive styles and that can be detected on the basis of ones ability to distinguish figure embedded in a distracting surroundings. According to Nilforooshan and Afghari (2007), a field dependent person is influenced by external factors. They depend on the field and they do not perceive the parts embedded in the field. They are holistic, dependent and socially aware. The field independent person perceives a particular relevant item or factor in a field. They are analytic, independent and socially insensitive. They are able to extract messages or ideas from irrelevant information. They are able to break a complex structure into separate elements and make something different from it based on their previous experience (Mancy & Reid, 2004). Some studies have shown that cognitive style significantly influences students academic achievement (Jantarska, 2006), Ghotbi-Varzaneh, Ghamary, Saemi and Zarghami, 2011, Hsien .2011, and Adegoke 2011). On the contrary some other studies have shown that cognitive style do not significantly influence academic achievement (Atun and Cakan, 2006) and Rattun, 2009) A study by Mbakwem & Mkpa shows that there was no significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students achievement in social studies. Research has shown that field independent persons tend to achieve higher academically than field dependent persons (Tinajero& Paramo,1997) Field independence has also been correlated with more language success. Research has further shown that field dependent and field independent persons learn in different ways (Town, 2003). While field independent persons learn better in classroom situations that require analysis and attention to details, field dependent persons excel at learning the communicative aspects of language. The field neutral individual is midway between the two extremes of learning modes. They are neither dependent nor independent. Self-Efficacy Belief Self-efficacy belief is referred to as individuals judgment of ones ability in accomplishing a task at a designated level. According to Bandura (1997), self efficacy affects behavior in four ways. It influences choice of behavior, helps determine how much effort people will expend on an activity and how long they will persevere. It also affects individuals thought patterns and emotional reactions and it enhances human accomplishments and personal wellbeing. Research suggests that teachers can strengthen self-efficacy by linking new work to recent students successes, teaching the needed learning strategies, reinforcing effort and persistence, stressing peer modeling, and helping students to identify or create personal goals. (Margolis & McCabe, 2006). According to Pajares (2002), beliefs that an individual create and develop and hold to be true are vital forces in their success or failure in school. High self efficacy will not result in competent performance when requisite skills and knowledge are lacking (Santrock, 2007). Successful experience boasts efficacy while failure erodes it. This is applicable in all human endeavours. In a nutshell, through active participation, students will stand a better chance of having a deeper understanding of the concepts taught in science class. When students succeed in understanding a concept, the outcome may manifest on better self-efficacy beliefs and achievement. A study by Govindasany Muniandy and Jamaluddin, (2010) on the influence of cognitive style on students self efficacy belief they found that cognitive style does not significantly influence students self efficacy beliefs. Research has

Effects of Problem-Based Learning and Cognitive Style on Basic Science Achievement and Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Students with Hearing Impairment

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shown that active learning strategies are effective in fostering students self- efficacy beliefs. Studies by Eze (2003) and Govindasany, Muniandy and Jamaluddin, 2010 indicate that active learning strategy significantly enhanced the perceived self-efficacy beliefs of students. However there is a dearth of information on the extent PBL would interact with cognitive style to affect the self efficacy beliefs on basic science achievement of students with hearing impairment. It is therefore against this backdrop that the researcher investigated the effects of problem-based learning and cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs and achievement in selected science concepts. This study also looked at the interaction effect of problem-based learning and cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs and achievement in science concepts. This study was guided by three research questions and three hypotheses Research Questions What is the mean achievement scores of students with hearing impairment exposed to problem based learning and those exposed to conventional teaching method in Basic Science concepts as measured by their scores in Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT)? What is the mean self efficacy belief score of students with hearing impairment who are exposed to problem based learning and those exposed to conventional method as measured by their scores in Students Basic Science Self Efficacy Scale (SBSSEC)? What is the influence of cognitive style on science self efficacy beliefs of students with hearing impairment due to exposure to problem-based learning

HYPOTHESES
Ho1 There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students with hearing impairment exposed to problem based learning and those not exposed in Basic Science concepts as measured by their posttest mean scores on Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT)? Ho2 There is no significant difference in the self efficacy beliefs of students with hearing impairment exposed to problem based learning and those not exposed, as measured by their posttest mean scores in Students Basic Science Self Efficacy Scale (SBSSEC)? Ho3 There is no significant interaction of treatment and cognitive styles on students achievement and self-efficacy belief in Basic Science.

METHOD
The study is a non-equivalent control group Quasi-experimental design. Participants A total of 65 JSII students with hearing impairment drawn from two secondary schools for students with hearing impairment in Rivers state were used for the study. The two schools are within seven kilometers distance and served children from low and middle socio-economic status. Parental permission was obtained for the children to participate in the study. All the students have moderate or severe hearing loss as indicated in their audiology report. To be included in this study, the students must have been tested by certified audiologists in government approved hospital or institutions as having a moderate or severe hearing loss. Students were considered to have moderate or severe hearing loss if they have hearing loss ranging between 56 -70 or 71 -90 decibels on the audiology test respectively (Heward, 2009). The

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participants ages ranges from 16- 20 years with a mean age of 17.6 and a standard deviation of .97. The participants are post lingually deaf, that is, they lost their hearing after they had acquired speech. There are 34 males and 31 females. One intact class in a school was randomly assigned to participate in problem based learning while another class in another school was randomly selected to serve as the control group that were taught using the conventional science delivery method. The number of students taught using problem based learning were 36 students made up of 16 females and 20 males whereas in the control group there were 29 students made up of 15 females and 14 males. Instrument for Data Collection Three instruments were used for this study. They are as follows: Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT) Students Basic Science Self-Efficacy Belief Scale (SSEC) The Group Embedded Figures Test by Witkin, Oltman, Raskin, and Karp (1971) was adopted to identify the students cognitive styles. The GEFT is a standardized instrument with a reliability estimate of .82 (Miller, 1996). The test consists of 3 sections. The first section is for practice purposes, and it contains 7 items. The second and third parts are test figures. Both the second and third sections contain 9 items each and participants were given 10 minutes to complete each part. The instrument requires each individual to trace a specified simple figure that is embedded within a complex design. A subjects total score was calculated by a number of simple figures correctly traced in sections 2 and 3 of the test. Students who score 0 to 8 were defined as field dependent, those who score 9 to 14 were defined as field neutral and those who score 15 to 18 were defined as field independent learners. The psychometric properties of the instrument have been investigated in cross-cultural settings and accepted as quite reasonable. Reliability score of r= .82 have been shown to be acceptable (Alavi & Kaivanpanah, 2009). The Basic Science Achievement Test consists of 10 essay items drawn from National Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination on Basic Science which is conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO). It served both as pretest and posttest. The National Junior Secondary School Certificate Examination was adopted because it is considered as a standardized test developed by National Examination Council. The items covered the topics in the new Universal Basic Education (UBE) curriculum on Basic science for junior secondary schools, as designed by the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) and approved by the Ministry of Education. Students Basic Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs Scale is a 30 item questionnaire derived from the original version of the General Self Efficacy Scale (GSES) by Malthus Jerusalem and Ralf Schewarzer (1993). This instrument was adapted and modified by the researchers to ascertain students self-efficacy beliefs in accomplishing tasks in basic science and problem solving. Participants were asked to indicate their personal feelings about each statement by marking the letter that describes their beliefs. The instrument is on a four-point scale, with the positively skewed items weighted as Strongly Agree (SA=4), Agree (A= 3), Disagree (D= 2), Strongly Disagree (SD=1), while the negatively skewed items were reversed. The items of this instrument were reshuffled after pretesting and used for post testing. Intervention Prior to the commencement of treatment, the researchers enlightened the principals on the purpose of the study and what the students stand to gain if the study is properly carried out. The researchers then sought the cooperation of the

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principals of the schools and made a commitment not to disrupt the scheduled school programme but work to fit into free periods in the school Time Table. The students cognitive styles were identified using the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) by Witkin et al., (1971). The participants were given sharpened pencils and test booklets as well as the necessary instructions on how to take the GEFT as outlined in the manual. Time was allotted for questions and explanations after completing the practice items. The administration of GEFT took approximately 20 minutes. Based on GEFT manual, students who scored 0 to 8 were defined as field dependent, those who scored 9 to 14 were defined as field neutral and those who scored 15-18 were defined as field independent learners. Basic Science Achievement Test and Students Basic Science Self-efficacy Beliefs Questionnaire were administered to the students both before and after exposure to Problem-based learning to measure their achievement and self-efficacy beliefs in Basic Science concepts. The pre-tests were given before the PBL experience and the post-tests were given a week after the treatment has been completed. This pre-testing was used as a covariate in the study. The reason for administering pre-test was to ascertain the pre treatment entry points of the subjects and to ensure the homogeneity of the two groups. The researcher carried out this exercise with the help of some research assistants, who were adequately informed about the procedures involved in administering and collection of the instruments. The researchers formed four heterogeneous groups within the experimental class focusing on cognitive styles, to optimize interaction among students having various characteristics. Prior to treatment, the problem based students were exposed to a series of training sessions organized to prepare them on how to adopt problem based learning approach in learning and to also be aware of the strategies they can apply in solving problems. The students were instructed on the concept of problem based learning, the importance of problem based learning, how it is conducted and the steps involved. They learned to be metacognitively aware of what they know or the information they already have that can facilitate problem solving. They learnt to raise metacognitive questions and how to engage in reflective and analytical thinking. During the process, the instructor models the strategies for the students to observe and they kept practicing that until they achieved mastery. The students also learned to work in groups and norms that will help them to work cooperatively were stipulated. This enabled the student to develop the skills in group dynamics that enabled them to work together as a group. The problem based students were in four groups made up of eight students and one instructor who facilitated the learning process. To ensure that all participants are involved, they assigned roles to themselves as monitor, scribe, summarizer and presenter. They would sometimes exchange their roles as they continued to work in their various groups. They decide on aspect of the task to engage in, the procedure to follow and the deadlines for completion. The problem based learning began with an introduction of an ill-structured question which the students consider as educationally important and culturally relevant. One of the topics was water pollution and the teacher informed the students that, following the oil spillage in the area of study, the only source of water in the village is polluted and this has caused serious scarcity of drinking water. The questions that continue to bother the minds of people are the measures to be adopted to protect drinking water sources from pollution what other surrounding communities will do to protect their own water sources. They were required to define, discuss and analyze the problem.

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They also brainstormed on the various dimensions of the problem and participated on activities based on the problem presented. The students were guided to consult other materials on how to control pollution. They independently consulted textbooks, libraries, community leaders and interviewed pollution experts. The students later came together in a class group to discuss their findings and shared feedbacks. Students with visual impairment in the treatment and control groups in each school were exposed to the same basic science curricular units during the period of the study. The curricular contents used include four basic science concepts drawn from the Junior Secondary class three Basic Science curriculum as designed by the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council. The lesson goals for the two groups were the same but the activities were not the same. Students in the control group were not exposed to problem based learning. Rather, they were taught the basic science concepts by adopting the conventional method of teaching which is mainly teacher centred,. The control students were not divided into groups. A total of eight lesson plans on four basic science concepts were designed (four were based on problem-based learning method and the other four on conventional teaching method). The lessons lasted for four weeks, 40 minutes per session once a week. The regular classroom teacher implemented the process and the researchers were always in contact with the teachers to address practical or implementation difficulties as they arise. In addition, the researchers ensured the fidelity of the treatment process through a non participant observation approach. Method of Data Analysis The data generated from this study were analyzed descriptively and inferentially and presented in Tables below Mean and standard deviation was used to answer the research questions while Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 levels of significance.

RESULTS
Table 1: The Pretest and Posttest Mean Achievement Scores of Group Taught with Problem-Based Learning and Conventional Teaching Method on Basic Science Achievement Test (BSAT) Pretest Posttest Pretest/Posttest Groups N X SD N X SD Mean Gain Score Problem-based learning 36 7.61 5.21 36 33.36 7.39 25.75 Conventional teaching method Total 29 65 5.22 6.58 3.41 4.54 29 65 16.93 26.03 5.40 10.51 11.71

Data presented in Table 1 show the pretest and posttest science achievement mean scores of students in experimental and control groups. The students who were taught using problem-based learning approach had a pretest basic science achievement mean scores of 7.61 with a standard deviation of 5.21 and posttest mean score of 33.36 and a standard deviation of 7.39. This gives the pretest/posttest mean gain score as 25.75. The students who were exposed to the conventional teaching method had a pretest mean score of 5.22 in their basic science achievement test with a standard deviation of 3.41. Their posttest science achievement mean score was 16.93 with a standard deviation of 5.40. This gives a pretest/posttest mean achievement gain score of 11.71 which suggests that students who were exposed to problem-based learning environment did better in basic science achievement test than the students who were taught using the conventional teaching method. This provides support that problem-based learning improved basic science achievement more than the conventional teaching method.

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Table 2: Summary of One-way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students Post Treatment Achievement Scores in Basic Science (Treatment X Cognitive Style) Source Sum of Squares 5191.593a 9766.729 127.089 3371.76 498.40 Df 6 1 1 1 2 2 58 65 64 Mean Squares 865.27 9766.73 127.08 3371.76 249.20 162.27 32.39 F 26.72 301.58 3.92 104.11 5.32 5.01 Sig. Effect Size .000 .000 .052 .000 .006 .010 .734 .838 .063 .642 .089 .147

Connected Model Intercept Pretest Treatment Cognitive style Treatment* Cognitive Style 324.54 Error 1878.35 Total 51114.00 Corrected Total 7069.94 Significant at 0.05 Levels

The results presented in Table 2 show a significant difference in science achievement mean score of students in the two treatment conditions, F (1,58) = 104.11, p= .000. This is shown by the calculated F-value of 104.11 in respect of the treatment as main effect which is significant at .000 levels and therefore, significant at .05. This means that exposing students to problem-based learning significantly improved their achievement in basic science concepts. The null hypothesis of no significant difference in the mean achievement score of the treatment and control group is rejected. There therefore, a significant difference in the effect of PBL and conventional teaching method in favour of PBL. Table 2 above further indicates a significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students achievement in the selected science concepts, F (2, 58) = 5.01, p= .010. This is shown by the calculated F of 5.01 which is significant at .010 and also significant at 0.05 level of significance. This implies that problem-based learning is a major factor in students achievement in basic science but its effects are moderated by the cognitive styles of the students.
40.00

is

Cognitive Style of Students


Field Independent Field Neutral Field Dependent

35.00

Mean Postscienceachievement

30.00

25.00

20.00

15.00

Experimental

Control

Treatment Groups

Figure 1: Diagrammatic Representation of Treatment and Cognitive Style Interaction

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Inspection of the graph presented on Figure 1 suggests that there are some differences in achievement in basic science concepts based on cognitive styles in the experimental group with the field independent scoring the highest followed by the field neutral and lastly the field dependent, but the difference did not follow that order within the control group. The field neutral scored the highest followed by the field dependent and then the field independent. This tends to

imply that exposure to problem based learning reversed the trend of achievement by favoring the field independent more than the other cognitive styles. Table 3: Pretest and Posttest Mean Achievement Scores of Group Taught with Problem-Based Learning and Conventional Teaching Method on Students Self-Efficacy Questionnaire in Science Concepts (SSEQ). Groups Problem-based learning Conventional teaching method Total Pretest X 58.25 58.10 58.18 Posttest X SD 83.72 66.09 74. 35 6.24 7.37 12.15 Pretest/Posttest Mean Gain Score 25.47 7.99

N 36 29 65

SD 9.40 7.46 8.52

N 36 29 65

Data in Table 3 show the pretest/posttest self-efficacy scores of students who were exposed to problem-based learning and those who were conventionally taught. The students who were taught using problem-based learning had a pretest mean score of 58.25 with standard deviation of 9.40, while their posttest self-efficacy mean score was 83.72 with a standard deviation of 6.23. This resulted to a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 25.47. The students who were taught using conventional teaching method had a self-efficacy pretest mean score of 58.10 with a standard deviation of 7.46. They had 66.09 as their mean score in the posttest self-efficacy with a standard deviation of 7.37. This gives a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 7.99. This suggests that the students exposed to problem-based learning had a more positive self-efficacy belief as shown by their higher mean score. Table 4: Summary of One-Way Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students Self-Efficacy Beliefs in Science Concepts By Treatment Source Sum of Squares Df 6 1 1 1 2 2 58 65 64 Mean Squares 1233.20 6206.94 5.26 7009.47 101.34 33.86 35.41 F 34..83 175.30 .149 197.96 2.86 .96 Sig. Effect size .000 .000 .701 .000 .065 .390 .783 .751 .003 .773 .090 .032

Corrected Model 7399.178a Intercept 6206.94 Pretest 5.62 Treatment 7009.47 Cognitive style 202.68 Treatment* Cognitive Style 67.71 Error 2053.68 Total 368805.00 Corrected Total 9452.87 R Squared = .744 (Adjusted R Squared = .735

The results in Table 4 show that the treatment as a main factor in this study has significant effect on students selfefficacy beliefs in science concepts F(1,58)=197.96, p= .000. This is due to the fact that the calculated F-value of 197.96 in respect of the treatment as main effect is shown to be significant at .000 levels and therefore, significant at .05. This suggests that exposing students to problem-based learning environment enhances their science self-efficacy beliefs. This also means that the null hypothesis of no significant difference in the mean self-efficacy score of the treatment and control groups is rejected. The adjusted R Squared of .74 indicate that 74 percent of the change observed in students basic science self efficacy belief was as a result of exposure to treatment conditions

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The result of the analysis in Table 4 further shows that there is no significant interaction of treatment and cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs in basic science F(2,58)= 0.96, p=.390. This is shown by the calculated Fvalue of .96 which is significant at .390 but not significant at 0.05 levels. There is therefore, no significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive styles on students self efficacy beliefs in basic science. Table 5: Pretest and Posttest Mean Scores and Standard Deviation of Students Achievement in Science Concepts by their Cognitive Style Treatment Group Experimental Cognitive Style of Students Field Independent Field Neutral Field Dependent Field Independent Field Neutral Field Dependent Pretest X SD 8.73 8.00 5.72 7.36 2.88 5.22 5.27 5.79 4.45 2.80 1.45 3.41 Posttest X SD 3.29 5.01 9.08 5.13 3.55 7.39 Pretest/Posttest Mean Gain Score 28.67 26.40 21.19 9.82 13.00 12.44

N 15 10 11 11 9 9

Control

15 37.40 10 34.40 11 26.91 11 17.18 9 15.88 9 17.66

Table 5 shows the pretest/posttest mean achievement scores of students based on their cognitive style. Field independent students in the treatment group had a pretest mean score of 8.73 with a standard deviation of 5.27 whereas their posttest mean achievement score was 37.40 with a standard deviation of 3.29. This resulted to a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 28.67. Field neutral students had 8.00 as their mean score in the pretest science achievement with a standard deviation of 5.79, while their posttest mean achievement score in science concept was 34.4 with a standard deviation of 5.01. This gives a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 26.4. Field dependent students had a mean score of 5.72 in their pretest science achievement with a standard deviation of 4.45, while their posttest mean score for science achievement was 26.91 with a standard deviation of 9.08. This shows a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 21.19. The observed pretest posttest mean difference suggests that field independents achieved higher than the field neutral and the field dependent group had the lowest mean score. Field independent students in the control group had a pretest mean score of 7.36 with a standard deviation of 2.80 whereas their posttest mean achievement score was 17.18 with a standard deviation of 5.13. This resulted to a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 9.82. Field neutral students had 2.88 as their mean score in the pretest science achievement with a standard deviation of 1.45, while their posttest mean achievement score in science concept was 15.88 with a standard deviation of 3.55. This gives a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 13.00. Field dependent students had a mean score of 5.22 in their pretest science achievement with a standard deviation of 3.41, while their posttest mean score for science achievement was 17.66 with a standard deviation of 7.39. This shows a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 12.44. Data in Table 2 show a significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on the students posttest mean achievement scores in science concepts F(2,58)=5.32, p=.006. The calculated F-value of 5.32 which is significant at .006 levels, and therefore, significant at .05 levels, indicates the difference based on cognitive style. The null hypothesis of no significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on students achievement in science concepts therefore, is rejected. By implication, cognitive style has a significant influence on students achievement in science concepts. Further analysis using scheffe test to conduct multiple comparison on the different cognitive styles exposed to problem based learning showed a significant difference between field independents and the field neutral and field dependents and also between the field neutral and field dependents.

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Table 6: Pretest Posttest Mean Scores and Standard Deviation of Students Self-Efficacy Beliefs by their Cognitive Style Cognitive Style of Pretest Posttest Pretest/Posttest Students N X SD N X SD Mean Gain Score Field Independent 26 56.50 7.58 26 77.00 10.74 20.50 Field Neutral Field Dependent Total 19 20 65 58.53 60.05 58.18 9.94 8.23 8.53 19 20 65 72.94 72.25 74.35 13.28 12.74 12.15 14.41 12.20

Data in Table 6 revealed the pretest/posttest self-efficacy of students based on their cognitive style. Field independent students had a pretest mean score of 56.50 with a standard deviation of 7.58 in science self-efficacy beliefs while their posttest mean science self-efficacy score was 77.00 with a standard deviation of 10.74. This resulted to a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 20.50. Field neutral students had 58.53 as the mean score in their pretest science selfefficacy with a standard deviation of 9.94 while their posttest mean science self-efficacy was 72.94 with a standard deviation of 13.28. This gives a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 14.41. Field dependent students had a mean score of 60.05 in their pretest science self-efficacy with a standard deviation of 8.23, while their posttest mean score on science self-efficacy beliefs was 72.25 with a standard deviation of 12.74. This shows a pretest/posttest mean gain score of 12.20. Data in Table 4 show that there is no significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on the students posttest mean scores in science self-efficacy beliefs F (2, 58) =2.86, p=.065. The calculated F-value of 2.86 which is significant at .065 levels is not significant at .05 levels. The null hypothesis of no significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs in science concepts are, therefore rejected. By implication, cognitive style has a significant influence on students self-efficacy beliefs in science concepts

DISCUSSIONS
The result of the study revealed that students achievement in basic science shows significant difference on their posttest mean score as a result of the treatment given and this difference favoured the experimental group. Problem based learning therefore, was more effective in teaching basic science to students with hearing impairment than the conventional teaching method where the teacher gives out information with minimal students involvement in the process of learning. This result supports the recent findings of Liu, Hsieh, Cho and Schallert (2006) and Bilgin, Senocak, and Sozbilir (2008) who found through their studies that problem-based learning method is more effective than the traditional approach in the learning of science concepts. The significant achievement of the students with hearing impairment in the experimental group could be explained by the fact that the problem-based learning creates a learning environment in which students are given the opportunity to participate actively in the learning situation. Moreover, relevant literature indicates that group learning which is an essential component of problem based learning may be beneficial to all students and it was shown to be very vital in teaching students with special needs as it promotes communication skills, team work, problem solving, and respect for others (Wood, 2003). Problem based learning improves understanding, retention and development of lifelong learning skills. The gain made by the students in the problem based learning could further be attributed to opportunities it provides the students to seek information from various sources. The students spent more time on their own to seek for vital information that will help their group in solving problems. The result of this study also revealed that the group that was exposed to problem-based learning method made significantly higher mean score in their self-efficacy beliefs in science concepts than the group that was taught using

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conventional approach. This result is similar to the findings of Eze (2003), and Govindasany Muniandy and Jamaluddin (2010) whose results showed that active learning strategy significantly enhanced the perceived self-efficacy of beliefs of students. The possible explanation of the above findings is that exposure to problem-based learning environment not only improves students achievement in science concepts, but also accounts for better self-efficacy beliefs of the students in science concepts. This is due to the strong relationship between achievement and self-efficacy beliefs. This could further be explained based on the fact that problem based learning fosters deep learning. As the students interact with learning materials, engage in problem solving especially in areas, they consider important and culturally relevant they are likely to experience success and also have a feeling that they are achievers. This could boost their self efficacy beliefs. The result of this study revealed that students cognitive style has a significant influence on their achievement in science concepts. The result of this study is similar to the findings of many studies on the influence of cognitive styles on students achievement. For example, Jantarska, (2006), Ghotbi-Varzaneh, Ghamary, Saemi and Zarghami (2011), and Hsien (2011) found that cognitive style has significant influence on students achievement. On the other hand, the finding of this study is not in line with the findings of Atun and Cakan (2006) and Rattun (2009) who found that cognitive styles do not significantly influence students achievement. Consistently, research has shown that cognitive style has less to do with how intelligent or competent the students are. It is therefore, possible that the type of learning environment where these students were exposed may have contributed to the difference in their achievement in science concepts. The result of this study shows that cognitive style is not a significant factor on students self-efficacy beliefs. The result supports the findings of Govindasany Muniandy and Jamaluddin, (2010) which has it that there is no significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on students perceived science self-efficacy beliefs. It is therefore, possible that exposure to problem-based learning environment could have been responsible for the non significant difference in the influence of cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs. This could be attributed to the fact that successful experience boost efficacy. The results in Table 2 also revealed that there is a significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students achievement in science concepts. The findings of this study support Adegoke (2011) who reported that there were statistically significant interaction effects between teaching techniques and cognitive style of students. The results of this study on interaction of treatment and cognitive style contradicts the findings of Mbakwem and Mkpa (2003) who found that there was no significant interaction effect. The result of this study which shows a significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students achievement in science concepts implies that students achievement in science concept was moderated by their cognitive styles. The result of this study also revealed that there is no significant interaction effect of treatment and cognitive style on students self-efficacy beliefs. This is an indication that students self-efficacy belief in science concepts was not moderated by the cognitive style of students with hearing impairment.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The results of this study showed that problem-based learning method improves students achievement and also enhances their self-efficacy beliefs in science concept better than conventional teaching method. Students with hearing impairment therefore, should be encouraged and helped to acquire the necessary skills which they require to function effectively in a problem-based learning environment. This also requires that teachers should endeavour to use active learning strategies such as problem-base learning in teaching science subjects. Going also by the fact that one cannot give what one does not have, the findings of this study therefore, demands that there should be an urgent need for mass training

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of science teachers on the use of problem-based learning in Nigeria and elsewhere so that they would be able to assist students with special needs acquire the necessary skills needed in the application of problem-based learning method.

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