Science process skills application in practical assessments in Maara district secondary schools, Kenya
dege, N. M
Dege, N M
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Science assessment studies reveal very little attention on testing Science Process Skills (SPS) emphasizing practical examination which is understudied in secondary schools. SPS have been described as mental and physical abilities and compet encies which serve as tools needed for the effective study of science and technology as well as problem solving, individual and societal development. Lack o f data to explain the assessment methods used and the consistency of application in secondary scho ol biology practical makes the issues problematic. The availability and adequacy of facilities used for testing during the examinations which remain an issue for clarification. Biology is one of the most preferred science subjects in Kenya secondary school s, yet the extent to which practical science process skills are applied in assessment is largely understudied. The findings of this study give s basis to propose recommendations on how to solve problems associated with the application of science process ski lls in examinations. The study w as conducted in Maara district in Tharaka Nithi County. Data was collected using questionnaires and analysis biology KCSE practical papers. The target population comprise d form three secondary school students who take biolog y and their respective biology teachers. Stratified sampling method w as used so as to capture the full range of variation among the schools and student body. A pilot study was conducted to test the instruments for validity . Data w as collected using prima ry and secondary data , questionnaires were used collect primary data while secondary data w as derived f rom the existing literature. Statistical Package for Social Sciences w as used in data analysis. The findings of the research showed that most of the sch ools in Maara district do not adequately test students in science process skill in biology practical examination. Analysis biology KCSE practical examinations showed that drawing and measurement skills are not adequately tested. Students are also rarely gi ven practical tests. There is no enough facilities in the laboratories for use during practical test . Further research should be done on other science subjects such as physics and chemistry so as to establis h if the science process skills are tested in pr actical .