The study examined the effects of the guided inquiry teaching strategy on the academic achievement of senior secondary II students in respiration in Jos North Local Government of Plateau State. The study used a quasi-experimental research scheme. A sample of 120 high school science students (SS2) was selected by random sampling from 2 urban schools and 2 rural schools, including boys and girls, with 30 students each in the experimental and control groups. . The research instruments included subjects of the CAT Achievement Test. The CAT contained 30 multiple-choice questions with four options (A-D) and 5 essay questions. The students were divided into two groups. Experimental and control groups submitted respectively to the research teaching strategy and traditional teaching strategy. The t test statistics were used to analyze the data. The main findings revealed that science students taught using the inquiry teaching strategy and performed much better than their taught counterparts using the traditional teaching strategy. As a result, the study concluded that the educational survey teaching strategy produced significantly higher academic achievement for students in biology. Therefore, the study recommends, among other things, that the use of the teaching strategy of teaching through research be encouraged in all secondary schools offering biology to their students in the states of Plateau and Nigeria. In addition, the government must sponsor teachers to attend various workshops and seminars on appropriate topics. Effective use of the teaching strategy of research.


       1.1   Background to the Study 

Biology is the scientific study of interaction of chemical substances that constitute atoms or the subatomic particles; protons, electrons and neutrons. It is an integral part of the science curriculum both at the senior secondary school as well as higher institutions. At this level, it is often called “general biology” which is an introduction to a wide variety of fundamental concepts that enables students to acquire tools and basic skills useful at the advanced level. One of the objectives of science education is to develop students’ interest towards science and technology. The development of any nation today depends greatly on its technological and scientific advancement. Teachers are expected to device ways of motivating their students to develop positive attitudes towards science and science related disciplines (Sola and Ojo, 2007). Biology, in particular is central to many of the scientific fields of human endeavors; therefore, teaching ofbiology should be given serious attention. 
Science teachers have always recognized the importance of practical work as a means of introducing learners to the scientific process of experimentation.To this end, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Union of pure and Applied Biology (IUPAC) have participated in numerous international meetingsto promote inexpensive experimental based teaching in biology. Inquiry teaching strategy is a style or teaching strategy of teaching where the learner is seeking to discover and create answers to recognized problems through procedure of making a diligent search, some time with minimum guidance from the teacher (Callahan, et al 1995). Science process skills are based on scientific inquiry and teaching science by inquiry involves teaching students science process skills, critical thinking, scientific reasoning skills used by scientists (Pratt and Hackett, 1998) and inquiry is defined as an approach to teaching, the acts scientists use in doing science and it can be a highly effective teaching strategy that helps students to understand concepts and use of process skills (Yagger and Akcay, 2010). Inquiry teaching strategy is also a term used in science teaching that refers to a way of questioning, seeking knowledge, information or finding out about phenomena, it involves investigating data and arriving at a conclusion (Sola and Ojo, 2007). In inquiry situation students learn not only concept but also selfdirection, responsibility and social communication. It also permits students to assimilate and accommodate information. It is the way people learn when they are left alone. 
Cheval and Hart (2005), classify inquiry teaching strategy into three (3) classes, namely: structured inquiry, guided inquiry and open inquiry. All these types of inquiry can be useful to students to learn science when taught appropriately. Structured inquiry is the most teacher-centered of the three types of inquiry. This type of inquiry is commonly seen in science classrooms in the form of laboratory exercises. The teacher provides fairly structured procedures for the inquiry activity, and students carry out the investigations. Structured inquiry could be described as the most traditional approach to inquiry (Cheval and Hart, 2005). The open inquiry on the other side is a type of inquiry which requires the least amount of teacher intervention and is student centered. Students, in this case, often work in groups and plan all phases of their investigations, while guided inquiry falls in the middle of the inquiry instructional spectrum. This type of inquiry is commonly used when students are asked to make tools or develop a process that results in a desired outcome. For example, a science teacher gives his seventh grade middle school students materials to create a rocket but no instructions for designing the rocket. The students must use their own knowledge and creativity to design the rocket so that it will launch properly, fly a certain distance, and land without becoming disassembled. The teacher provides the problem and materials and the students develop the rocket using their own scientific process or procedure (Cheval and Hart, 2005). In this study, guided inquiry will be used. Students will be given a set of topic and materials to develop teaching strategy to find answers to the given problem. The lecture teaching strategy is used primarily to introduce students to a new subject, but is also a valuable teaching strategy for summarizing ideas, showing relationships between theory and practice, and reemphasizing main points.Biology activities deals with telling and showing, therefore, a lecture-demonstration teaching strategy is a teaching technique that combines oral explanation with “doing” to communicate processes, concepts and facts. It is particularly effective in teaching a skill that can be observed. 
Demonstration is usually accompanied by a thorough explanation, which is essentially a lecture. Lecture teaching strategy according to Garba(1996), is a traditional teaching strategy of transmission of knowledge; it is essentially a one-way process. The current Nigerian classroom whether primary, secondary or tertiary institutions level, tends to resemble a one-person show with a captain but often comatose audience. Classes are usually driven by “teacher-talk” and depend heavily on textbooks for the structure of the courses. Teachers serve as pipelines and seek to transfer their thoughts and meanings to passive students. There is little room for student-initiated questions, independent thought or interaction between students. Therefore, the study is aimed at determining the effect of guided inquiry teaching strategy and the traditional teaching strategys on students’ academic achievement  in biology at the senior secondary school level. Guided Inquiry teaching strategy is chosen in this study due to its scientific nature and it is student-centered and it involves all scientific process.

       1.2   Statement of the Problem   

Students’ persistent poor performance in biology has been partly ascribed to inadequate teaching and instructional teaching strategys adopted by teachers. In supporting this view, Derek (2007), reported the seriousness of the deplorable performance of secondary school students in biology and identified the  persistent use of the traditional teaching strategys of instruction as one of the major shortcoming affecting the learning and higher achievement in biology . Many students find biology to be a hindrance in attaining their aims and objectives. Donald, (2000) said students wishing to read medicine cannot do so unless they credit biology. It is therefore necessary to properly groom the students right from the secondary level to enable them improve their academic achievement in biology. Poor performance of students in biology, particularly biology, has assumed a serious dimension as reported by West African Examination Council (1991). In the light of this, science teachers need to seek suitable ways of tackling the current massive failure in biology if they are to halt the drifts of science students to art and social biology.

       1.3   Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this study are to:
1.                  determine the effects of guided inquiry teaching strategy and traditional teaching strategy on the performance of biology students in senior secondary schools in Plateau state;
2.                  determine the effects of guided inquiry teaching strategy on the performance of students in biology in Plateau state;
3.                  determinethe effects of guided inquiry teaching strategy on theperformance of male and female students in biology in Plateau state; and
4.                  determine the differencein the performance between urban and rural students in biology   taught with guided inquiry teaching strategy in Plateau state.

       1.4   Research Questions  

1.                  What is the effect of guided inquiry teaching strategy and traditional teaching strategy on the Performance of students in biology in senior secondary schools in Plateau state?
2.                  What is the effect of guided inquiry teaching strategy on the academic        Performance of students in biology in Plateau state?
3.                  What is the effect of guided inquiry teaching strategy on the performance of male and
female students in senior secondary school in biology Plateau state? 
4.                  What is the difference in the performance of students in biology in senior
secondary schools taught with guided inquiry teaching strategy in Plateau state?                              

       1.5    Null Hypotheses 

                         The following null hypotheses were tested:  
                  Ho1:  Guided inquiry teaching strategyand traditional teaching strategy have no significant effect on the
performance of biology students in senior secondary schools in Plateau state;
Ho2: There is no significant effect of guided inquiry teaching strategy on the academic
performance of biology students in Plateau state;
                  Ho3: Guided inquiry teaching strategy hasno significant effect on the performances of male and
female studentsin biology in Plateau state;
                  Ho4:  There is no significant difference in the performance between urban and rural
students taught biology with guided inquiry teaching strategy in Plateau state.

                1.6       Basic Assumptions

This study has the following assumptions
1.                  It is assumed that most biology teachers in the secondary schools do not make use of appropriate biology teaching strategys in secondary schools in Plateau state.
2.                  It is also assumed that teachers are employed to teach Biology without  considering their area of specialization, educational qualifications and training.
3.                  It is assumed that teachers do not use appropriate Biology teaching strategys.
4.                  Learning by doing could enhance and motivate students to improve on        their performance in biology.

       1.7   Significance of the Study 

          The findings of this study will help in the following ways:
The biology teachers will utilize the findings of this study in their biology classrooms; helping students’ understanding of biology concepts through guided inquiry teaching strategy. Students at the senior secondary school (SSS) level in Plateau state and other states can be encouraged and motivated by this research.Active involvement of students helps to develop self-confidence and positive attitude to biology through this research.The study will provide information for educational planners and curriculum designers in the Federal Ministry of Education. They will support the use of inquiry teaching strategy in senior secondary schools by carrying out effective quality assurance for teachers in order to improve teaching/learning situations currently existing in senior secondary schools in Plateau state.
It  is  hoped  that  the  students  will  find  Biology  very  interesting  as  it  will  equip them for job opportunities  in  industries  in  both private and public sectors such as manufacturing and processing industries, industries related to petroleum, chemical, ceramic, polymer, food, electronics, the environmental,  mining,  pharmaceuticals and health- related industries, agriculture industries,    government agencies, including  forensic science and patents, defence, education and research, and areas related  to biotechnology.

       1.8     Scope of the Study

This study on Effects of guided inquiry teaching strategy on academic achievement  of biology students is delimited to senior secondary schools in Jos north and Jos south local government areas of Plateau state, Nigeria. The study involves senior secondary two (SS2) biology students with a total population of five thousand, nine hundred and thirteen (5,913).It is delimited to a consideration of the effects of inquiry teaching strategy on students’ performance in biology in Plateau state. 

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