Impact of school based practical assessment on learner achievement in biology in Secondary schools in Kakamega county, Kenya
Performance in Biology at certificate of secondary Examinations (KCSE) has been poor in the recent years. This has been attributed to many factors among them teaching and learning styles. This research investigated the impact of practical process skills observation, experimenting, drawing and measurement on learner achievement in Biology at secondary schools level in Likuyani sub-county. The design for the research was quasi-experimental and involved pre-test, post-test with control and experimental groups. A sample of 400 participants from form 1,3 and 4 purposively drawn from 8 secondary schools were used in the study. A total of 8 teachers took part in the research on basis of willingness. Four research questions guided the research. Achievement test in biology and a teachers questionnaire were used for data collection .Data collected were analyzed using SPSS based on mean, standard deviation and t-test. The results revealed that practical process skills pedagogy was more effective mode of teaching and learning because students in experimental class where practical process skills observation, experimenting, drawing and measurement were integrated performed better. They had superior mean scores with t values for t-test less than p values. Practical approach to teaching from research showed had significant positive impact on performance in Biology in secondary schools. Experimental group that integrated practical approach to instruction performed better because better teaching strategy .Findings would be useful to education ministry to guide curriculum review. This may influence teacher training especially area of pedagogy and ministry to strengthen quality assurance unit to oversee schools undertake holistic science teaching and assessment through acquisition of practical process skills.