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Effective Communication in Teaching and Learning of Science Subjects

A Study on the Use of Effective Communication in Teaching and Learning of Science Subjects in Ogidi Educational Zone


The study investigated on the use of effective communication skill in teaching and learning of science subject in Ogidi Educational Zone, Anambra State. Three research questions guided the study. The descriptive survey research design was adopted. The sample consisted of 100 science teachers and 200 science students randomly selected from the 420 science teachers and 22,000 students in Ogidi Educational Zone. The instrument used was structured questionnaire developed by the researcher, and was validated by experts in science education. Data collected were analysed using mean. The result shows that the use of effective communication in teaching of science subjects is important and in achieving its effectiveness, the teacher should pay attention to the comfort of his/her students in the classroom. They should make their message clear with good and simple language to avoid lack of clarity. In addition, the study went further to identify the various types of communication skills such as; verbal and non-verbal communication skill and also it shows the barriers to an effective communication such as; interference, psychological and school environment. Based on these findings, conclusions were reached and the researcher recommend that teachers should pay attention to the comfort of they student in the classroom. Seminars, conferences and workshops should be organised for the teachers. And also teachers should make there lesson interesting for easy understanding. Educational implications were also made.



Background to the Study

Science is one of the important subjects in our secondary schools. As a result of this, its teaching and learning in our secondary schools should be well analysed. This will obviously go some way to check the lack of interest towards this subject by the students as well as producing capable and effective students in this vital area. The primary task of a science teacher is the transmission of selected experience in science to his student’s level of understanding.

It is the duty of a science teacher to translate these science languages into a language that his/her students can understand. According to Rosen (2004), we know that young people leave school afraid of science language, regarding it as alien and inaccessible, other mutter like an incantation or sheltering behind it, some conceal their own ideas and doubts hoping that the words themselves will work on their own accord. They cannot use these language flexibly, they are chained to it’s formulation.  How can they be helped towards this language in such a way that it develops the persons thinking rather than retard their thinking?

All the help the students need to understand science subjects can be given to them with the use of effective communication in teaching. Effective Communication can be used effectively only by an effective teacher because they, only can understand what an effective communication means. Communication is the activity or process of expressing ideas and feelings or of giving people information. To an ordinary man, communication means passing on of a message or information from one person to another. This means that communication starts from the source and ends somewhere (ie destination or receiver).

Communication is an important key to a successful classroom management, which lies in an effective organisation of the classroom and planning for instruction. But no matter how excellently organised and planned a teacher is, some of the students will at a point fail to engage in classroom work or will disrupt other students. For effective communication to take place, it needs careful planning regarding the kind of information that need to be given out to the students, and the type of tool best suited to achieve the goal. Kounn (2001) found out that what distinguished a good teacher from a poor one was not so much of how he? She coped with off-task behaviour but rather how they kept the classroom lesson going. Effective communication helps the teacher to know more about classroom management skills. It is a dispensable tool for a successful accomplishment of the goals of the classroom.

The fundamental of classroom management at the secondary school level are based upon the effective communication of the goals and expectations as well as willingness to articulate and enforce behaviour standards. Ready-made theoretical models are available, all of which agree on what seems to be the nature, forms and function of communication. Communication occur when people involved in the process, share a common meaning by the act, be it verbal pictorial or symbolic. Effective communication does not take place unless the receiver correctly interprets the information being transmitted. The use of effective communication in the classroom is successful to the extent to which the senders of a message and the receiver have similar comprehension of the content of the message. In order to instruct, direct, stimulate or develops an understanding between the teacher and the student, there must be communication.

In communication, we talk of noise, coding, decoding and feedback. Noise is anything that disturbs the channel and prevents the message from being received. According to Anessen (1991), for many reasons, things do not always go as planned in the classroom, interruptions, misjudgement about readiness and attention, shifts in interest and various spontaneous digressions all operate to alter one’s instruction, such factors influence the flow and success of instruction. The teacher must be reading classroom society minute by minute, sensing its mood and making decisions about what to do next. Therefore during teaching and learning some of the things that disturb the teacher’s communication from getting to the students may come from the teacher or the students. Those barriers that can be from the teacher can be, tiny writing on the chalkboard. Teacher’s voice not been audible among others. While the barriers from the students can be emotional problems, bad eye sight, noise, previous knowledge among others. One important aspect of communication is understanding, a teacher may communicate with his students but they may not understand him, why does these happen? It happens because when the message reaches the student, through the sense, he must give meaning to what he has seen, heard, felt, touch or tasted and these can be referred to as interpretation or decoding.

Feedback is what helps the teacher to know whether he/she has communicated very well or not. Communication can be effected in a variety of ways, which can be classified as

  1. Verbal communication
  2. Non verbal communication.

Verbal communication may be inform of speaking and writing while Non verbal communication can be inform of facial expression, gestures, body movement and various types of signs.

Nevertheless, good classroom communication affords opportunity for desirable interaction in the classroom, thus enabling the teacher to detect and solve student’s problem, which in turn helps the students understanding. Communication helps in diffusing rumours and reducing the incidence of tension which can lead to unruly behaviour. With proper classroom communication, it gives the teacher the opportunity to understand the background of every student and such understanding, place him in a good position to offer valuable advice in respect of each student.

Statement of the Problem

This study was undertaken as a result of series of classroom problems, and the poor performance of students on science subjects in Ogidi Educational Zone, since some might be inherent in the communication patterns utilized in our secondary schools. it is a fact life that we all consider ourselves to be good communicator, but all too often, there is a difference between what we say and what we think we have said and between how we feel we have treated or handled people and how we feel they have been treated. When such “gaps” occurs between intent and actions, it is stated that communication breakdown has occurred.

The problem of this study is therefore to investigate on the use of effective communication in teaching and learning of science subjects in Ogidi Education Zone.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose if this study is to ascertain the use of effective communication in teaching and learning of science subjects in secondary schools. Specifically, the study is aimed at ascertaining the;

  1. Types of communication skills that exist in our secondary schools.
  2. Factors that hinders the use of communication skills in classroom teaching.
  3. Extent to which teachers mode of communicating students, affect classroom learning situation.

Significance of the Study

This study will be of great importance to students, teachers, government, organisation and general public at large.

To the students, the researcher will aid in increasing their motivation to learning and understanding their teachers very well.

To the teachers the research will make their job easier because it helps them understand their students mood when he enters the class, whether they are ready or not and know the type of skill (communication skill to use for the students to understand.

To the government, the study will help them know how they communicate with their people without them confusing their words which they have on mind. It also helps the government in seeing the need to increase funding in Education to avoid certain barriers in teaching and learning. Finally, the study will be of great benefits to the general public by enjoying the output of students that is well informed and adequately skilled.

Scope of the Study

The scope of the study covers juniors and senior secondary school (JSS and SSS) science teachers and students in Ogidi Education Zone.

The researcher will concentrate mostly on.

  1. The types of communication skills that exists in our secondary schools.
  2. The factors that hinders the use of communication and how to overcome them.
  3. The extent to which teacher’s mode of communication affect classroom learning situation.

Research Questions

  1. What are the types of communication skills that exist in our secondary schools?
  2. What are the factors that hinder the use of communication skills?
  3. To what extent does teachers’ mode of communication affect classroom situation.



In this chapter, the researcher is interested in reviewing related literature under the following subheadings;

  1. Meaning of communication
  2. Methods of communication
  3. Types of communication
  4. Barriers to effective classroom communication and
  5. Developing communication skills.

Meaning of Communication

According to Harlow (2001), communication is an activity which involves the transmission of information in the form of ideas, opinion, feeling to other people. Harlow (2001) further pointed out that the sender or communicator is responsible for the success of the message, should be fail at any stage of sending the information then it becomes likely that the receiver will act in a way very different from the way which was intended or expected. Supporting these view given by Haelow, etal.

Koontz and Weinhrich (2001) maintain that the transferred information must be understandable to the receiver since nothing can logically be called information unless it becomes meaningful to the receiver. In order words, the stressed that “communication is the means by which behaviour is modified, change is effected, information is mode production, goals are achieved and organised.

Snowman (2006) sees communication as various kinds of behaviour that take place between organisation and which modify the behaviours of both sending and receiving organisations.  Here, the author sees it as what takes place in the behaviour of the sender and the receiver. He tends to pay attention to what happens to the source of the message and the receiver both internally and externally.

Dike (2008) sees Educational Communication as the type of communication by which the respondent will be able to retrieve what is communicated to him. In effect to these, after the teacher might have taught the students, he asks the students questions based on what he taught them. If the students were able to answer the question correctly, it then shows that learning has taking place which by implication means that what has been communicated were effectively decoded. According to Snowman 2006, p.43), a person can only become aware of the various types of communication and what factors determines their effectiveness through proper understanding during the communication process” he also sees communication as “a moving ideas translated in the signs from a communicator (ie. The teacher) who formulates a message to the listener (ie the students) who in turn interprets the message.

Edward (1991) “communication is an interaction process in which there is an implicit contract between the communicants” Bichler (2001) sees communication as a process that involves sharing of codes of verbal and non verbal symbols.

The communication process can occur at different levels, it could be initiated by a super-ordinate to sub-ordinate, which is vertically downwards. It could be vertically upwards. Among students, communication is initiated from an equal to another, in that instance, the communication process is just horizontal. Not that we have used the word “initiate” to indicate that once the communication has been started by super-ordinate, the cyclical process is stated and the person does not remain vertically downwards or upwards. In any complete communication process, there are five main elements they are;

  1. The receiver
  2. The message
  3. The medium
  4. The sender
  5. Feedback.

We can examine how these components operate in a simple communication exchange.

  1. The Sender: the sender is the source of the message, he initiates the communication cycle. He is the message originator that initiate the communication cycle.
  2. The Message: it is a systematic set of symbols which is the actual physical product of the source. It is difficult to talk of message except in relation to individual receivers.
  3. The Medium: is the channel in which the message is been sent. It is the network of channels, connecting the sender the receiver. Just as goods many reach their destination by various means of transportation media, message may reach a receiver through many kinds of communication media.
  4. The Receiver: is the listener of the message itself and he decides the message. The effectiveness of the communication process is measured by the self impact it has on the receiver, as meaning reside ultimately in people not in words or expressions.
  5. The Feed Back: it is result of the message, it tells us how the receiver feels, whether he understands the message or not. Every teacher receives constant feedback from the students, this feed back could be expressed in many ways like:

Behaviour: Student’s behaviours can portray how the ongoing lesson is being received by them. If there is a lot of walking up and down, it may be an indication that the students are not benefiting very well from the lesson, which means that all is not well with the lesson

—This article is incomplete———–This article is incomplete———— It was extracted from a well articulated quality Project, Research Work/Material

Project Topic: A Study on the Use of Effective Communication in Teaching and Learning of Science Subjects in Ogidi Educational Zone

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