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COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF MATHEMATICAL GAME AND INSTRUCTIONAL ANALOGY AS ADVANCE ORGANIZERS ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT AND INTEREST IN MATHEMATICS

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ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of mathematical game and instructional analogy on achievement and interest of students in mathematics. Literature confirmed that game activity was more physical (hands-on) than analogy activity which was more intellectual (minds-on). The design was quasi- experimental that employed a pre-test, post-test` non-randomized control groups. A total of 200 mathematics students stratified and randomly selected from students’ population of 3900 were involved in the study. Two instruments: Mathematics Interest Inventory (MIntIv) and Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) were used for data collection and were validated by the experts and the reliability established to be 0.85 and 0.89 respectively. From the findings, it was observed that; game and bridging analogy teaching enhanced both achievement and interest in mathematics more than lecture method; The study recommended that mathematics teachers should provide instructional activities such as games and bridging analogy teaching before, within and after a mathematics lesson in order to relate mathematics to real life.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.0   INTRODUCTION 

1.1        Background of the study

1.2        Statement of problem

1.3        Objective of the study

1.4        Research Hypotheses

1.5        Significance of the study

1.6        Scope and limitation of the study

1.7       Definition of terms

1.8       Organization of the study

CHAPTER TWO

2.0   LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER THREE

3.0        Research methodology

3.1    sources of data collection

3.3        Population of the study

3.4        Sampling and sampling distribution

3.5        Validation of research instrument

3.6        Method of data analysis

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

4.1 Introductions

4.2 Data analysis

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1 Introduction

5.2 Summary

5.3 Conclusion

5.4 Recommendation

Appendix

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

For science and technology to successfully achieve the goals of sustainable development in any country, there is need to engage creatively in science and mathematics education. Bajah (2000) noted that no nation can make any meaningful progress in the information technology age, particularly in economic development without technology which has science and mathematics as its foundations. This is because the level of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) of any nation has been widely accepted to be indicative of that nation’s socio-economic and geo-political development.

In the National Policy on Education, Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004), mathematics is one of the core subjects to be offered by all students up till the tertiary levels of education. This compulsory nature of mathematics carries with it the assumption that the knowledge of the subject is essential for all members of the society. In fact, mathematics competence is a critical determinant of the post- secondary education and career options available to young people (Okereke, 2006). Stressing on the importance of mathematics, Ukeje (1986) described the subject as the mirror of civilization in all the centuries of painstaking calculation and the most basic disciplineforany person who would be truly educated in any science and in many other endeavours.

Despite the importance placed on mathematics, it is very disappointing to note that students’ performance in the subject at both internal and external examinations has remained consistently poor. Also, statistics show that mass failure in mathematics examination is real and the trend of students’ performance has been on the decline (Betiku, 2002; Maduabum&Odili 2006; WAEC, 2008; NECO,2009).Many variables had been identified by Betiku (2002) as responsible for the poor performance of students in mathematics. Such variables include governments, curriculum, examination bodies, teachers, students, home, and textbook. The government failed to train and recruit more qualified mathematics teachers with a teacher: student ratio of 1:80 that will handle the abstract curriculum that does not address to immediate use of mathematics in everyday life. Some of the available few mathematics teachers give the students impression that mathematics is meant for special people. Apart from these variables, some specific variables have been identified by Udeinya & Okabiah (1991) and Amazigo (2000) to include: poor primary school background in mathematics, lack of interest on the part of the students, lack of incentives for the teachers, incompetent teachers in  primary  schools, students not  interested in hard    work, the perception   that   mathematics   is   difficult,   large   class    syndrome, psychological fear of the subject, poor methods of teaching,and lack of qualified mathematics teachers, which results in teaching of  the subject by unqualified, untrained and in experienced auxiliary teachers.The poor performance in mathematics also emanated from anxiety and fear. Phobia has been observed by Aprebo (2002) to be an academic disease whose virus has not yet been fully diagnosed for an effective treatment in the class and the symptoms of this phobia are usually expressed on the faces of mathematics students in their classes. He further pointed out that the final output of this fear is spread to all subjects that relate to mathematics and this may result in learners refusing to improve their interest in mathematics. The WAEC Chief Examiner’s Report (2005) suggested that students’ performance in mathematics could be improved through meaningful and proper teaching. According to the report, teachers should help students develop interest in mathematics by reducing the abstractness of mathematics, and thence remove their apathy and fears of the subject. Thus it becomes pertinent to look for interventions that could be manipulated in order to find their effects on learning outcome. This could address the problems of teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. Based on this, the researcher used mathematical games and analogies as advanced organizers in teaching mathematics   students two units of JS2 mathematics contents and compared their effects with teaching without advanced organizer (using modified lecture method).

Mathematical games and instructional analogy are types of advance organizer learning strategies advocated by Ausubel (1962). Ausubelin Onwioduokit & Akinbobola (2005) described advance organizer learning strategy as a pedagogic strategy for implementing the programme principles of progressive differentiation and integrative reconciliation which involves appropriately linking the known with unknown. It is used to provide a conceptual framework which students can use to clarify the task ahead.

Obodo (1997) described mathematical games as activity in form of puzzles, magic tricks, fallacies, paradoxes or any type of mathematics which provides amusement or curiosity and stimulates mathematical thinking, excitement and spirit of competition and co- operation. Many reasons abound for using mathematical games. The games help to reduce the level of abstraction involved in teaching and learning a concept in mathematics, capturing the learner’s interest and providing for active participation of the students. Obodo further stressed that games do not only help in releasing tension and boredom in class but also provide an environment where the children can develop their individual and collective skills and acquire more knowledge.

Harrison & Treagust (1993) see analogy as synonymous with similarity and instructional analogy which they refer to as instances in instruction in which some less familiar domains or abstract concepts are made more understandable to the learner by making references to similar relations, objects or situations with which the learner is familiar. Researchers (Goswami, 1992; Bassok, 2001) across disciplines have shown that analogical reasoning may be central to learning of abstract concepts, procedures, novel mathematics and the ability to transfer representations across contexts.

Lecture (expository) method of teaching is a teacher-centered, student-peripheral teaching approach in which the teacher delivers a pre-planned lesson to the students with or without the use of instructional materials (Nwagbo, 1999). According to her, in using this method, the teacher ‘talks about the subject’ while the students ‘read about the subject’. However, the modified lecture method used in this study involves more than ‘talking’ and ‘reading’ about mathematics for it allows some interactive between the teacher and the students in terms of asking and being asked questions on the topic of discussion. Thus to some extent this interaction can help to improve the achievement and interest of mathematics students.

Although mathematics is recognized as abstract subject that can easily be learnt by high achievers only, literature (Ezenwa, 1996 and Nworgu, 2005) had shown that mathematics is more of boys’ than girls’ favourites. Strategies such as the use of mathematical games and analogies as advance organizers in teaching could help to enhance mathematics learning, appreciation and achievement. Hence the study intends to compare the effectiveness of mathematical game and instructional analogy as advance organizers on achievement and interest of male and female mathematics students.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Evidence of poor performance in mathematics shown by researchers (Okereke 2006; WAEC, 2005-2009, NECO, 2009), points to the fact that the current methods of teaching mathematics may not be exciting to the students. This may lead to students’ lack of understanding of the concepts, functionality and application of mathematics ideas. The WAEC Chief Examiners (2007, 2008 & 2009) consistently reported that students dodge questions on number and numeration and algebra and when an attempt is made they show lack of understanding of the concepts in their workings. The reports also show a general poor performance in the subject.

Mathematics is a veritable tool for functional education in all nations of the world. Its usefulness is noticeable in the fields of humanities, technology and science. Every individual needs some knowledge of mathematics for his or her day to day activities. Meremikwu (2008) described mathematics as an essential science which serves as the underlying knowledge for science and technology. To Iyekekpolor (2007), mathematics is the key to the solution of human problems. The Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN, 2008) recognized the importance of mathematics and made it compulsory at basic education and senior secondary education levels. In spite of the importance accorded to mathematics as a school subject in Nigeria, students’ achievement in the subject is consistently reported as low (Iwendi & Oyedum, 2012; Gimba, 2013). More so, analysis of annual results of the West African Examination Council (2002–2015) shows that less than 50% of registered candidates in Nigeria obtained credit pass in mathematics. Research (Abakpa & Agbo-Egwu, 2007; Anyagh & O’kwu, 2010; Nneji, 2013) identified poor strategies used in teaching and learning of mathematics as one of the main causes of students’ low achievement in mathematics. They observed that the inappropriate teaching strategies used by mathematics teachers are instrumental to learners’ inability to understand the basic Mathematical principles, computations or logical facts involved, thereby resulting to rote learning which lead to low achievement and hence low retention.

Due to the applicability of mathematics to every aspect of human activities it is made a compulsory subject. This is so because all individuals need some mathematical skills in order to contribute meaningfully to the society they live. This notable objective appears like a fantasy in Nigeria because of the persistent annual reports of low achievement in external examinations. Research evidence has it that the inappropriate teaching strategies used in delivering mathematics lessons are to blame for the low achievement. Thus, the present study examines the effect of advance organizers on students’ retention in mathematics in a desperate bid to improve on the unacceptable state of mathematics in Nigeria. Specifically, will advance organizers, when used in mathematics, improve students’ retention? Will advance organizers as an instructional strategy bridge the gap between male and female students in mathematics retention tests?

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of mathematical game and instructional analogy as advance organizers on the achievement and interest of junior secondary school students in mathematics.

Specifically, the study is designed to:

  1. Investigate the extent to which the use of mathematical games and Instructional analogy as advance organizers will enhance the achievement of mathematics students
  2. Compare the achievement of the students when taught mathematics with mathematical games, analogies, and when taught with modified Lecture method (without advance organizers).
  3. Find out if there is a significant change in interest of the students when taught mathematics using mathematical games, instructional analogy and modified lecture method.
  4. Compare the achievement of male and female students taught with mathematical games and analogies (advance organizers).
  5. Compare the interest of male and female mathematics students taught with mathematical games and analogies (advance organizers).

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

HYPOTHESES ONE

Ho: The use of game and instructional analogy is not effective in the teaching of mathematics in junior secondary schools

Hi: The use of game and instructional analogy is effective in the teaching of mathematics in junior secondary schools

HYPOTHESES TWO

Ho: There is no significant increase in the interest in mathematics with the use of games and instructional analogy in teaching of mathematics.

Hi:There is significant increase in the interest in mathematics with the use of games and instructional analogy in teaching of mathematics.

Read Also: EFFECT OF INQUIRY TEACHING METHOD ON STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT

 

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The findings from this study are beneficial to many people through improving the poor performance of mathematics learners. These people include; teachers, learners, curriculum planners, textbook writers, government and the society at large.

The study will help the teacher in proper implementation of the curriculum. From the advantages of mathematical games and instructional analogy, their use in mathematics classroom will motivate the teachers in handling the subject well by directing the students on how to apply mathematics in their day-to-day living. This is because the two strategies could help the teacher in entry behaviour testing, introducing novel concepts, teaching difficult concepts and provision  for active involvement of the learners.

The findings of this study will help secondary school students to remove some of the social apathy towards mathematics and that their achievement depends on their own active participation not only their teachers. Thus, the students will appreciate the need for their involvement in mathematics activities in their classroom and this may help them to acquire both mathematics skills and mathematics knowledge which will enhance capacity building and sustainable development. In other words, the students will be enabled towards achievement of national goals for mathematics education.

The knowledge of the use of mathematical games and bridging analogy teaching will help the curriculum planners to apply the strategies when reviewing mathematics curriculum. Thus the curriculum should be organized in such a way that it will enhance capacity building and sustainable development. Also the goals of the curriculum planners will be re-directed towards more on acquisition of performance skills in mathematics than on acquisition of knowledge. To achieve this aim, government and other education authorities will realize the importance of organizing seminars and regular workshops on mathematics to educate the in-service teachers on this need.It is expected that the results of this study would be helpful to mathematics textbook writers to design and apply the use of mathematical games and analogy in structuring their textbook. In this way the teachers will use them when seen in the teacher’s guide to improve their knowledge of the two strategies. The textual materials would gain an appeal and efficacy if adequate number of suitably structured mathematical games and analogies are used by the text- book writers at strategic positions in their texts.

Finally, the society will benefit from the study because if the study helps to improve students’ achievement and interest in mathematics, then the subject and its allied courses (engineering, pharmacy, industrial physics, etc) will be studied by many students in institutions of higher learning. If students study mathematics and its allied courses, our dream in the use of science and technology for capacity building and sustainable development will be fully realized.

1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study is primary concerned with comparative effectiveness of mathematical game and instructional analogy as advance organisers on students’ achievement and interest in mathematics. This study/project work covers some selected junior secondary schools. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following

  1. a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
  2. b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS

EFFECTIVENESS; The degree to which objectives are achieved and the extent to which targeted problems 

MATHEMATICAL GAME; A mathematical game is a game whose rules, strategies, and outcomes are defined by clear mathematical parameters. Often, such games have simple rules and match procedures, such as Tic-tac-toe and Dots and Boxes

ACHIEVEMENT; an achievement is something which someone has succeeded in doing, especially after a lot effort.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

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