1Robert Vandelun Tsebo,
2M.S. Kurumeh, Ph.D
College of Education, Katsina-Ala.
2Department of Curriculum & Teaching,
Benue State University, Makurdi.
This study assessed the differences in mathematics achievement in developmental approach. One hundred and sixty five students were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups in four selected mixed secondary schools. The experimental groups were exposed to developmental learning approach, while control group were taught using conventional strategy. A quasi experimental design was adopted for the study. Data collected was analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while analysis of covariance was used to test research hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance. The findings revealed that there was significant difference between the mean achievement scores of male and female in favour of male. Based on the findings, it was recommended that teaching methods that are learner friendly, activity packed and practical innovative, authors of mathematics textbooks should include group activities in their exercises that practically utilized developmental approach.
The education in Nigeria has been of the changing pattern from reading and writing during the colonial period to science and technology in the modern time. There is need for good knowledge of mathematics if this country is to advance technologically.
Realizing the importance of mathematics to science and technology, government has intensified efforts in its teaching and learning at all levels of education. up. It is in this view that Agwagah (2001), said mathematics is a pivot on which other sciences revolve and serves as a means of sharpening man’s reasoning ability and developing his personality. In his contribution Dayyabu (2008) opined that it is in recognition of this important role of mathematics that the national policy on Education (2004) made mathematics a compulsory subject for all students’ right from pre-primary to senior secondary school levels. If the teaching of mathematics is to serve the purpose of science and technology development, then it must be passed to the learner in such a way that he is not denied of the active part that an individual will play in his/her mental development.
Despite its importance, there exist a large number of failures in mathematics in school certificate examination. Moseri, P.O. Onwuka, P.I. & Smart, I. (2010) opined that for a period of ten years from 2000 – 2009 the result reveals low achievement of below 40% credit pass in the subject. The low achievement is due to incompetence on the part of the teacher, improper methods of teaching in the class. This can be minimized if teachers are equipped with modern methods such as developmental approach which has direct improvement on students learning and genuine understanding.
It has been observed that gender gap in mathematics education has become worrisome and a concern to all. Adaramola (2011) found gender highly significant in mathematics solving ability in favour of males. Shafi, & Aralu (2010) also found out that male learners consistently obtain significant higher mathematics achievement score than their female counterparts. The question is to what extent the use of developmental approach will positively affect the male and female students’ achievement in the study of mathematics.
Developmental learning approach is a process that emphasizes group or cooperative efforts among students in the classroom. It stresses active participation and interaction among students as well as independent thinking through deductive reasoning and problem solving (Tobias 2001). The approach encourages collaborative learning; small groups of between 8-10 are used for discussions for a given task in the classroom. The use of small group in developmental approach establishes helping behaviour among the students. Students can get help and support from other group members immediately in a non competitive learning situation.
In review of studies on developmental approach, DePree (1998), opined that the method could significantly increase mathematics confidence for such under represented group like female. It was also found that small group instruction/individual has a significant effect on the course completion rates as compared to conventional approach (lecture method).
The method is used for remediation of some specific experiences in mathematics and also serves as a motivation in learning mathematics. Students who have specific weakness in mathematics and some disabilities benefit very much when developmental method is applied. According to DePree (1998), some deficiencies in mathematical skills, which are pre requisites to success in science, are remedied.
According to Eniayeju (2010), in comparing gender differences in achievement there is low achievement on the part of the female where females dominate the group interaction, while there is no significant difference in achievement with mixed group of equal number of males and females. The study used intact classes with unequal number of male and female students in the groups.
Statement of the Problem
The progress of any nation depends on her scientific and technological advancement that can only be built on sound mathematics knowledge (Kankia, 2008). The low achievement in mathematics raised questions on the standard techniques used by mathematics teachers in secondary schools. A lot of studies have been conducted on the effect of various methods of teaching and learning of mathematics that were found effective and promote achievement in mathematics. Agwagah (2004), and Kurumeh, (2006) looked at constructivism and Diennes Block approve respectively and found them effective in classroom practices and recommended their use in secondary schools.
The study is to explore another teaching strategy that would improve students’ achievement in mathematics. Recently, we are concerned with methods that are student centered approaches. Hence the teaching and learning of mathematics should be centered on the students for maximum self-development (FRN, 2004). The problem of the study is: Would developmental approach facilitate students achievement to mensuration?
Purpose of the Study
The study is to find out whether there exists significant difference between the performance of students taught with developmental approach and those taught with conventional approach. Hence the study will determine the effects of developmental approach on students’ achievement in Mathematics, and the effects of developmental approach on male and female students’ achievement in mathematics.
- What is the difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught mensuration using developmental approach and those taught using conventional (traditional) approach?
- What is the difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught using developmental approach?
- There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught mensuration using developmental approach and those taught by conventional method.
- There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught mensuration using developmental approach.
The study employed a Quasi-experimental design using non-randomized control group, pretest-post-test design. It is referred to when it is not possible for the research to randomly assign subjects to the experimental and the control groups (Emaikwu, 2008). This is done because randomization would disrupt the schools’ already set dreams of classes used for the experiment.
Population and Subject
The population of study comprised 5,206 of all Junior Secondary II students in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State in the 71 grant aided schools. One hundred and sixty five (165) Junior Secondary II students were drawn from four co-educational secondary schools since gender factor was considered in the study.
The instrument used for the data collection was designed standardized tests. The instrument was used to have two scores; pre-test scores and post-test scores. Note of lessons on developmental approach for (E.G.) and conventional method for (CG) adopted.
The research assistants were given the lesson notes prepared after orientation on their usage before treatment. This instrument was tested and a reliability coefficient of 0.74 was established using the Cronbach Alpha Reliability Test. Data collected were analyzed using mean, standard deviation to answer the research questions while research hypotheses were tested at 0.05 using ANCOVA.
The data collected was subjected to various statistical techniques such as descriptive statistics (Mean-scores and Standard deviations) for each group as set out in table 1 and 2.
Table 1: Mean achievement and standard deviation scores of the experimental and control groups on pre-MAT and Post-MAT.
Results from table 1 show that the mean achievement scores of the experimental and control groups on pre-MAT were 42.61 and40.06 respectively with mean difference of 2.55. This shows that the subject had different levels of achievement before the commencement of the study. The results of post-MAT had mean difference of 6.86 in favour of the experimental group.
In table 3, the result analysed showed F-ratio of 0.190 with level of 0.664 which is higher than significant level of 0.05. Hence the null hypothesis of no difference is upheld (accepted). This implies that there is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of experimental and control group.
Table 2: The mean achievement and standard deviation scores of male and female students in the experimental group on Pre-MAT and Post-MAT.
The mean difference of 1.8 in Pre-MAT show that both male and female do not differ much in their achievement. The post MAT score of male and female seems not to be high.
Table 3 also showed F-ratio of 5.248 with a P –value of 0.023 which is lower than level of 0.05. The F-ratio of 5.248 is statistically significant. This implies that significant difference exists in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught using developmental approach. Hence the null hypothesis of no difference is rejected. This implies that there is a significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught using developmental approach in favour of the male students
Summary of analysis of covariance on post – test scores.
Table 3: ANCOVA Analysis on MAT Score
|Source of Variation||Type II sum of square||DF||Mean square||F||Sign Decision|
|Corrected model||5009.165(a)||4||1252.291||12.701 .000||S|
|GROUP *Sex||398.196||1||398.196||4.093 .046||S|
KEY: S – Significant
Discussion of Findings
This study is carried out to compare the effect of developmental approach on the teaching/learning of mensuration with the conventional approach of teaching. The study reveals that, students in experimental group who were taught mensuration using developmental approach scored higher than their counterparts in control group who were taught mensuration using the conventional approach. This is illustrated in table 1 with mean gains of 20.92for experimental group and 12.51 for control group.
The ANCOVA analysis indicates that there is significant difference in the achievement of male and female students. Hypothesis 2 indicates that male students achieved significantly higher than the female students. This result agrees with the findings of Onwuka, & Iweka (2010) that the male students had a higher mean achievement scores, thereby performing better than the female students. The higher achievement of male students contradicts the findings of DePree (1998) that the method could significantly increase mathematics confidence of such group like female.
The study carried out on developmental approach in learning showed that, this teaching/learning method was effective in the achievement of students in mathematics. The engagement of students in developmental approach participation activities will equally enable students to develop proper mathematical skills, knowledge, attitude and values which they can apply in future for sustainable living.
The study revealed that developmental approach can facilitate students’ achievement in mathematics. It is hoped necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the new approach is used in secondary schools for better performance in mathematics. This can be done through refresher courses for teachers already in the field.
Authors of mathematics textbooks should include group activities in their exercises that practically utilized developmental approach which emphasize small groups’ discussion in the classroom for better performance and understanding among the students.
Teaching method used in the classroom should be learner friendly, activity packed, and practical innovative. These are meant to engage, motivate, arouse and sustain students’ interest which facilitates the use of developmental approach.
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