1.1       Background to the Study

Visual materials are instructional aids that enable the teacher to teach the students to the understanding. What a child sees brings more clarity to him. Wales (2002) is of the opinion that the use of instructional resources would make discovered facts glued firmly to the memory of students. Selection of materials which are related to the basic lesson taught by the teacher helps in depth understanding of the lesson by the students thereby arresting their interest and thus motivating them to learn. The effectiveness of any instruction therefore depends on how able the teacher is able to communicate effectively with the students. This can be achieved through the use of visual materials.

According to Balogun (2006), visual material is an integral part of teaching-learning situations that helps to bring about permanent and meaningful experiences. Moreover, they reduce verbalism on the part of teachers, motivate learners and ensure better retention and transfer of knowledge (Ibidapo and Fagbemi, 2001).

Visual Material Utilization and Academic Achievement in Biology

In a nutshell, visual materials simply refer to a wide variety of equation of knowledge, skills and morals. This includes real objects, specimens, chalkboard and models, mockups, charts, television and other projected and non-projected materials and devices, which facilitate learning.

Biology is a natural and pure science that deals with the study of life and the existence of nature and living things in it. Biology is one of the subjects taught at secondary school level. It aims at introducing students to their environments, explaining natural phenomena and other things about the environment they are living in, for the purpose of creating awareness to the students as well as enhancing their creativity and understanding.

The need for visual materials is very indispensable for teaching students at the secondary school level because students at this age (11-18) can hardly learn in abstraction in enumerating such factors. Eshiet (2004) observed that the use of visual materials have become very popular in science teaching thereby creating impact on the academic performance of students. It becomes justifiable to examine the effect of visual materials utilization on the academic achievement of students in biology.

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