The major purpose of this study was to compare the relative effectiveness of concept mapping, cooperative learning and learning cycle methods with the intention of identifying which one among them will be most appropriate for teaching biology. To guide this study, five hypotheses were stated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The design of the study was pre-test, post-test, follow-up post-test control group quasi experimental design. The sample of the study consisted of four mixed secondary schools, 259 students and eight biology teachers. The major findings of the study include: significant effect of the three instructional methods on achievement and retention; students in the learning cycle and cooperative leaning groups significantly out scored those in the concept mapping group on achievement and retention tests; students in learning cycle and cooperative learning groups did not significantly differ on achievement and retention tests; males and females in all the three groups did not significantly differ on the achievement test; and non significant interaction effect between sex and method of instruction on achievements. It was concluded that the adoption of either learning cycle or cooperative learning strategies will be appropriate for the teaching and learning of biology.
Key words: Concept mapping, cooperative learning, cycle, retention.
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