Collaborative Learning and Skills of Problem-based Learning: A Case of Nigerian Secondary Schools Chemistry Students

  •  Abbas Babayi    
  •  Mohammad Arshad    


The role of chemistry in the development of any society cannot be overemphasized. Chemistry students are therefore expected to have improved learning and acquisition of problem solving skills to facilitate the expected development in modern society. Problem-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy which helps students develop problem solving skills and improved knowledge through collaborative and self-directed learning under teacher’s guide. It is supported by Cognitive and Constructive psychologists. However the learning process in Nigeria does not produce students with the required skills and knowledge, because of traditional instructions by teachers, poor learning environment and inadequate learning facilities. The purpose of this study is to investigate the roles of teachers and students in development of collaborative learning and skills in Nigerian Secondary Schools. The study used a qualitative approach with explanatory design. Fifteen (15) chemistry students and a teacher were purposefully selected from one Senior Secondary School (16 years) as participants. The participants received 6 weeks of PBL lessons using a topic purification of water. The researchers collected data during the intervention process through observations field notes and interviews after the PBL lessons were conducted. The data were transcribed, triangulated and analyzed using content analysis. The results showed that the students have improved learning and acquisition of problem solving skills including communication, teamwork and high-order thinking skills due effective collaborative learning activities among them. It is therefore recommended that collaborative learning approach be introduced in Nigerian Secondary Schools.

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