EFFECT OF USING MATHEMATICS TEACHING AIDS IN TEACHING MATHEMATICS ON THE ACHIEVEMENT OF MATHEMATICS STUDENTS
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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Mathematics is the foundation of science and technology and the functional role of mathematics to science and technology is multifaceted and multifarious that no area of science, technology and business enterprise escapes its application (Okereke, 2006). Ukeje (1986) described mathematics as the mirror of civilization in all the centuries of painstaking calculation, and the most basic discipline for any person who would be truly educated in any science and in many other endeavours. Despite the importance placed on mathematics, researchers (Odili, 1986; Salau, 1995; Amazigo, 2000; Agwagah, 2001; Betiku, 2001; bioma, 2005; Maduabum and Odili, 2006; Okereke, 2006) had observed that students lack interest in the subject and perform poorly in it. Ukeje (1986) observed that mathematics is one of the most poorly taught, widely hated and abysmally under-stood subject in secondary school, students particularly girls run away from the subject. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiners [2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006] consistently reported candidates’ lack of skill in answering almost all the questions asked in general mathematics. WAEC Chief Examiners [2003, 2005] further observed that candidates were weak in Geometry of circles and 3- dimensional problems. According to their reports, most candidates avoided questions on 3-dimensional problem, when they attempt geometry questions; only few of the candidates showed a clear understanding of the problem in their working. WAEC  also reported candidates’ weakness in Algebraic expression and word problems among others. Obioma (1985), Obodo (1993) and Okereke (2006) reported gender as a significant factor in mathematics achievement and Onwioduokit and Akinbobola (2005) reported it as a significant factor in physics achievement when physics students are taught with advance organizers. However Okonkwo (1997) reported gender as non significant when students are taught with tangram puzzle game. Okereke (2006) attributed students’ poor performance to factors such as the society view that mathematics is difficult, shortage of qualified teachers, lack of mathematical teaching aids and lack of incentive. The abstract nature of mathematics should be reduced through demonstration and practical methods. Agwagah (1997) observed that the problem of ineffective teaching can be tackled through planned and intelligent application of the mathematical teaching aids. Thus Agwagah recommended the use of teaching aids approach to the study of mathematics. The method of drill and verbal recitation makes learning boring and lacks motivation for further learning. Srinivasa (1978) had earlier recommended the use of mathematical teaching aids in teaching mathematics. According to Srinivasa, this will lead the students to formation of concepts out of experiences with discrete objects. In this case the vague theories and imaginary objects take real shape and the students understand better and perform better. It is important therefore to consider strategies that may help to improve the performance, with the view of considering their effect on teaching and learning of mathematics. Such strategies include the use of mathematical teaching aids (Ogunkunle, 2000). However, Teaching aids are the materials used for effective teaching and enhancing the learning of students. It can be anything ready-made or made by the teacher or made by students. Different teaching aids should be used in teaching mathematics like Charts, Manipulatives, Programmed Learning Material (PLM), computers and television.
- Charts – It can be used to display formulae, symbols, mathematical and geometrical figures. Charts can be used for making students familiar to the symbols and for memorization of basic formulae. Even it can be used to bring to the students two-dimension geometry and the graphical representation in a better way.
- Manipulative – They are objects or materials that involve mathematics concepts, appealing to several senses that can be touched and moved around by the students (not demonstrations of materials by the teacher). Each student needs material to manipulate independently. With students actively involved in manipulating materials, interest in mathematics will be aroused. Canny (1984) has shown that mathematics instruction and students’ mathematics understanding will be more effective if manipulative materials are used. Models can be used to make things concrete like three dimension figures in geometry.
- Programmed Learning Material (PLM) – It is a self-learning material in which learner can proceed at his own pace. It has the characteristics of all sequential steps, learner’s response, self-pacing, immediate feedback, reinforcement and self-evaluation. It is helpful in acquisition of concepts like fractions, number systems, etc. and can be used as a remedy for slow learners for a specific content.
- Computers and Television – Computer can be used for multimedia presentation for the concepts that requires visualization and imagination. Computer can also be used for providing Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI), it is similar to PLM i.e. it is a computerized PLM. Television can be used to show some good mathematics education.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Evidence of poor performance in mathematics by secondary school students point to the fact that the most desired technological, scientific and business application of mathematics cannot be sustained. This makes it paramount to seek for a strategy for teaching mathematics that aims at improving its understanding and performance by students. Evidence abound (Srinivasa, 1978; Ogunkunle, 2000), that lack of mathematics teaching aids and Mathematics teachers non-use of laboratory technique in teaching mathematics is one of the major factors that contribute to poor achievement in mathematics by secondary school students. Therefore the study is designed to find out the effects of using mathematics teaching aids in teaching on the achievement of Junior Secondary School (JSS) mathematics students.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of using mathematics teaching aid in teaching JSS students in mathematics. Specifically, the study sought the following;
- To identify the availability of instructional material at the secondary stage
- To identify the extent of use of instructional material at the secondary school stage
- To investigate the immediate impact of mathematics teaching aids
- To investigate the extent to which the use of mathematics teaching aids will enhance the achievement of mathematics students.
- To find out the relationship (association) between the availability and the effect of using teaching aid.
1.4 RELEVANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- To what extent does the use of mathematics teaching aids affects the achievement of mathematics students?
- Is there any significant difference between the achievement of male and female mathematics students taught with mathematics teaching aids?
- is there any significant interaction effect of treatment and gender on student achievement in mathematics.
1.5 RELEVANT RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
Ho1: There is no significant difference in achievement of mathematics students taught with mathematics laboratory and those taught with lecture method (P < 0.05).
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the achievement of male and female mathematics students taught with mathematics laboratory (P<0.05).
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The availability and the use of instructional material have a strong relationship with academic performance of students at the secondary school stage. However, exploring the best methodology of teaching leading toward effective learning based upon use of teaching aids will provide guidelines to bring improvement in quality of teaching. In this connection the study will be helpful in the following ways:
- To revitatilize the teaching training program in the light of the study.
- To improve and to make effective the process of learning, for the future student depend largely upon proper education of teachers.
- The findings will provide useful information for curriculum reforms.
- The study will help the decision-makers to understand the cause of low quality of teacher’s instructional competence, so as to increase instructional competence, workable strategies could as well be developed.
- It will help to share their experiences with others, especially with students through two way communications
- It will provide classroom teachers valid base to seek means for extending their students horizon of real experiences and first hand knowledge.
- It will facilitate the role of teacher by offering a performance blueprint and consistent criteria for evaluating teaching outcomes.
- It will enable the teacher to judge appropriateness of teaching aids.
- As prediction of teacher performance has increasingly become a concern psychology, sociology and education, those wh define themselves as educational psychologist, educational sociologist, program planners or policy developers can broaden their horizon of thinking.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
- Junior Secondary school of the public schools is used.
- Aggregate marks of the two classes ie experimental and control group are taken as prior achievement (PA) of students.
- Instructional material includes textbooks, chalkboard, teaching guide, science guide, math kit, and science kit, audio-visual aids (maps, models & charts).
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Instructional material: instructional materials are to be defined as items that are designed to serves as a major tool for assisting in the instruction of a subject or course. These items may be available in bound, unbound, kit or package form and may consist of hard backed or soft backed books, consumables, learning laboratories, slides, films, and filmstrips, recordings, manipulatives, electronics media.
Academic performance: can be defined as the outcome of education, the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goal. Academic achievement is commonly measured by examination or continuous assessment.
Mathematical teaching aids: mathematics teaching aids are to be defined as items that are designed to serve as a major tool for assisting in the instruction of a mathematics subject.
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