THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Background of the Study
Science education is an integral part of the school education. So, the quality of science teaching is to be developed considerably so as to achieve its purposes and objectives (Haclao, 2008). Science teaching should enable the students to acquire knowledge that they can use in explaining, understanding and interpreting natural phenomena in the environment. Among the basics of science, Physics is the most fundamental and all inclusive of all the sciences. It is one of the subjects that need careful re‐examination to determine what improvement could be made to fully develop the students’ potentials in the subject. It’s being tagged as a difficult subject is almost a prophetic statement as shown in the performance of the Filipino students in various international assessments like in the Third International Science and Mathematics Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R) and in the International Assessment of the Students Achievement in Science (Physics) and Mathematics conducted in 2004, Filipino students ranked 36th out of 38 participating countries. (Angell et al.2004).
This study shows that the Science performance of the Filipino students specifically physics are deteriorating, hence, need a holistic approach, reforms and coordinated efforts of people concerned to improved their performance (Alcober, 2009). The declining performance of students is not only revealed in the International Assessments but also at the National Level and down to Division Level as well. For instance, the academic achievement of Hampipila National High School which is the main study of the researcher. These poor student achievements have prompted and encouraged educational researchers worldwide and the researchers to seek the factors which lead to student’s low performance in physics and optimize those which will lead to improved achievement of the students. Alcober (2009) stresses that this decline in the students’ performance in science maybe attributed to a variety of factors like 1) student factors such as study habits, attitude towards science, overall grade point in previous year level, GPA on previous science subjects; 2) teacher factors such as educational qualification of science teacher, attitude towards teaching science and classroom management; and other factors that influence learning. Several studies reveal also some factors that affect student’s performance like socio-economic, psychological and environmental factors. Some findings of research studies also stresses that student performance is affected by different factors such as learning abilities because new paradigm about learning assumes that all students can and should learn at higher levels but it should not be considered as constraint because there are other factors like race, gender, sex that can affect student’s performance. Arroyo (2005) mentions also that the performance of the students in school is related to the cognitive level of the students. Bacolod, et.al, (2004) stressed also that school is an important determinant of student’s achievement level. Keeping in view all of the variables discussed by different researchers, the researcher have chosen to focus on student’s mathematical ability, reading comprehensions and socio-economic status in terms of how well these factors affects students’ performance in Science (Physics) based on the fact that Hampipila National High School got a low grade in (NAT) National Achievement Test, 2010 and in the previous years. The school’s rating is declining from 2007-2010, 55%, 38%, 37% and 33%, respectively. The division achievement test (DAT) conducted by the Division of Leyte to all year levels where the students were randomly selected and tested in all subject areas, shows the same data which spiral to very low academic performance in science in Hampipila National High School (Hampipila NHS School Improvement Plan 2006-2010). The school is one of the low performing schools in the...