IDENTIFICATION AND EXAMINATION OF PHYSICS CONCEPT THAT STUDENTS FIND MOST DIFFICULT IN SENIOR SECONDARY TWO CURRICULUM IN NIGERIA
The purpose of this study is to identify and examine physics concepts that Senior Secondary Two (SS2) students in Nigeria, find difficult. All the sixteen (16) concepts of SS2 Physics curriculum were used. The Physics Concepts Checklist for Students (PCCS) and Physics Concepts Checklist for Teacher (PCCT) were used to gather the responses of students and teachers on the level of difficulty of the concepts. 600 students and 24 teachers were randomly selected for the study. The results show that 50% of the concepts in SS2 physics curriculum were considered difficult by the students while 44% of the concepts were considered difficult by the teachers. There is a relationship between the response of the students and teachers as seven of the concepts which were considered difficult or very difficulty by the students were also considered difficult or very difficult by the teachers. There is however a disparity in the responses of students and teachers on the level of difficulty of five concepts. SS2 physics curriculum is very important in senior secondary physics as it contains about 42% of the senior secondary school physics concepts. Lack of understanding of 50% of the concepts in SS2 physics curriculum by the students may lead to poor performance of the students in the West African Secondary School Examination (WASSCE). It is thus recommended that more attention be paid to the teaching and learning of these difficult concepts, so as to reduce the level of difficulty of these concepts and improve the performance of students in physics.