Teachers’ Perceptions of the Usage of Calculators in the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics at the Junior High School Level in Ghana (Published)
Educational technology is recognized as an essential component of the instructional process and thus, uses of calculators have been recommended to be introduced in Junior High Schools in Ghana. However, teachers’ attitudes towards the use of calculators have not been established. The purpose of the study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions towards the use of calculators in mathematics instruction in JHS in Ghana. Descriptive research design was used and data were collected from mathematics teachers using questionnaires. The results indicated that teachers have positive perceptions towards the use of calculators for mathematics learning. The finding is helpful to curriculum developers and they can integrate the use of calculators in mathematics teaching and learning in JHS in Ghana.
Perceptions of Teachers on the Use of Computers to Teach Mathematical Hyperbolic Graphs at Grades 10 To 12 (Published)
This study explores the perceptions of teachers on the use computers in the teaching and learning of graphs in Mathematics. A comprehensive review of extant literature showed that there are multiple benefits of using computers in the study of Mathematics. This qualitative study involved the soliciting of research data from participating teachers through use of the interview schedule. 9 teachers integrating computers in teaching were purposively selected from the sampled schools owing to their possession of rich information for the treatise. Findings indicated that learners and teachers enjoy using computers in the teaching and learning of Mathematics. The study recommends that the Ministries of Higher Education and Basic Education collaborate to ensure computers are integrated in all possible subjects, to particularly benefit Mathematics as a subject and that teaching Mathematics using computers be an established culture from early grades.
Evaluating Teachers’ Professional Development for ICT Use: Towards Innovative Classroom Practices (Published)
This paper describes an evaluation study designed to investigate the impact of an ICT-Instructional digital innovation in teaching Mathematics, English and Integrated Science subjects from the teacher capacity building professional development programme to classroom implementation at senior high school levels in Ghana. Interviews and survey data were used for data collection following a week professional development programme on the instructional digital learning training. The study demonstrated that the teachers increased in ICT proficiencies but this was limited to their own professional development and not so much of classroom implementation of ICT which results when transfer of learning takes place from training to practice. The study reported that teachers faced a complex mix of factors that when combined, contributed to challenges in transferring the ideas gained in the training programme to the classroom situation. It was evident from the findings that more systematic efforts are needed at the school levels and at the level of stakeholders who implement in-service teachers’ professional development programmes to move the goal of transforming teaching and learning through ICT-based innovations. Based on the outcomes, the study discussed recommendations to help smoothen the transition from teacher professional development programmes to actual classroom implementations in Ghanaian senior high schools and such similar contexts.
Integration of Mathematics and Informatics as a Base for Training in Information Technology (Published)
This paper develops a proposal for a joint Mathematics-Informatics course as a means of improving information technology skills. The structure of such a course should be based on common content line, thesaurus, organizational forms and education methods, and application and programming facilities between the two disciplines
Utilization of Matlab as a Technological Tool for Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Schools (Published)
The focus of this paper is to describe the use of MATLAB as a technological tool for the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. Application of this software in the teaching of some difficult topics like vectors and matrices, distance between two points on a co-ordinate plane, graphs of sine, 3D bar, simultaneous and quadratic equations were demonstrated using the MATLAB. Some recommendations were made on how MATLAB can be applied to enhance in the pedagogical process.
Mathematics education is crucial in the development of any nation and anchors as one of the implications for the attainment of vision 20:2020 by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This paper discusses the challenges of mathematics education programmes to the nation’s development as well as the importance of mathematics in facilitating the private and public sectors of the Nigerian economy towards the attainment of vision 20:2020. Finally, some recommendations were made on how to enhance the role of mathematics in the transformation of the nation.
Learning Trajectories in Mathematics and Chemistry on Secondary School Students’ Understanding of Word Problems in Rivers State, Nigeria (Published)
The study investigated the effects of using Learning Trajectories (LT) in Mathematics and Chemistry on secondary students’ understanding of word problems in Rivers State, Nigeria. The study used a quasi-experimental pre-test /post- test control design. A sample of 84 (54 male :30 female) senior secondary two (SS2) students was purposively selected from Federal College of Education (Technical) Demonstration secondary school Omoku in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area. Four research questions were answered and four research hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. Data was obtained through a Test of Basic Skills on Word Problems (TBSWP) designed by the researchers. The reliability coefficient index r=0.82.Mean scores were used in analyzing the research questions while z-test was employed in testing the hypotheses. The findings revealed that learning trajectories (LT) [rigid operational, flexible operational, basic operational levels etc] enhanced students’ academic achievements in mathematics. Based on the findings, it was recommended that the use of learning trajectories to teach mathematics should be encouraged in senior secondary schools.
Developing Entrepreneurial Skills in Secondary School Students through Effective Mathematics Education in Aba, Nigeria (Published)
Unemployment is a global issue which increases every day. Developing entrepreneurial skills could be a way of reducing, if not eliminating it. There is the need to make students self-reliant. These skills cannot be developed without efficient and effective knowledge of mathematics. That is why this study considers how entrepreneurial skills can be developed through mathematics education. This study was conducted in Aba metropolis of Abia State, Nigeria. Aba being one of the major centers of commerce in Nigeria was selected as to identify some of the skills and discuss how the knowledge of mathematics can assist develop them. A survey research design was used for this study with 200 senior secondary school (sss 1) students and 80 teachers selected randomly from 40 secondary schools. The instrument of study was structured questionnaire. Data collected were analyzed and research questions answered using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation, and co-relational statistics of Pearson moment correlation. Among others, it was found that both students and teachers need knowledge of mathematics to be good entrepreneurs. There is strong positive relationship between mathematics and entrepreneurial skills. It was recommended that there is need to enhance the mathematical background of students, and teachers with strong mathematical background should be used in teaching entrepreneurship education.
This paper focus mainly on gender differences in guessing tendencies in mathematics. Despite the inherent advantage of essay or free-response questions in terms of ease of construction, elimination of guessing and development of written skills, multiple choice item format is widely used because it leads to the development of objective assessment questions. Expost-facto survey design was used. A sample of 110 students (56 males and 54 females) was drawn through purposive sampling from selected schools in Delta North Senatorial District of Delta State. Final year (SS III) students of 2012/2013 academic session were used for the study. The 50-item objective test items in May/June, 2010 Mathematics administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) was the instrument used for the study. The paper concluded that there is no significant difference in the mean guessing score of male and female students in Mathematics.
FACTORS INFLUENCING STUDENTS’ MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE IN SOME SELECTED COLLEGES OF EDUCATION IN GHANA (Published)
Academic performance is affected by a number of factors including admission grade, social economic status, school background and many more. Students’ personal factors and school based factors are the focus of the study described in this paper. The study was a descriptive study in which a survey research design was adopted. Three Colleges where randomly selected for the study. A total of 50 students from these Colleges participated in the study. Data for the study was collected through student’s questionnaire. The findings revealed that inadequate teaching and learning materials as well as lecturer method of instruction are some of the factors which affect students’ performance. The study also revealed that teachers and students’ self-motivation also influence mathematics performance. On the basis of the findings, the following recommendations were made; interactive method of teaching which are core to improving students’ holistic understanding of mathematical concepts needs to be used by mathematics teachers. Also stake holders need to provide adequate teaching and learning resource to the Colleges of education.
TRENDS ANALYSES OF STUDENTS’ MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE IN WEST AFRICAN SENIOR SECONDARY CERTIFICATE EXAMINATION FROM 2004 TO 2013: IMPLICATION FOR NIGERIA’S VISION 20:2020 (Published)
This study analyzed trends of Students’ mathematics performance in May/June West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nasarawa State, Nigeria from 2004 to 2013. The main objectives were to investigate the pattern of students’ performance for ten (10) years (2004 to 2013) in Nasarawa State, and to infer the implication of the observed and predicted mathematics performance on Nigeria’s vision of 20:2020. The study used secondary data. The WASSCE mathematics results of 302, 225 Students who sat for May/June WASSCE from 2004-2013 were collected from the Education Resource Centre, Ministry of Education Lafia and used for the study. The study mainly employed AutoRegressive (AR) time series analysis. The study revealed that: (i) performance pattern was unstable over time, (ii) the observed and predicted performance rates indicated that less than 50% of the candidates passed at credit level over the reviewed period. The study discovered that mathematics performance in Nasarawa State has been persistently poor over the years reviewed similar to what has been reported for the whole nation and could continue from 2014 to 2020 based on the forecast. It further observed that the Nigeria vision 20:2020 might not be realized as planned unless urgent steps are taken to improve performance in mathematics. This is because mathematics serves critical role in the development of human capital in Science, Technology, Engineering and other key sectors of the economy. Based on the findings, the study recommended among others, that policy makers should review the existing mathematics curriculum and enforce its implementation.
CHARACTER EDUCATION MODEL IN MATHEMATICS AND NATURAL SCIENCES LEARNING AT MUHAMMADIYAH JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (Published)
This study aims to describe the practicality and effectiveness of character education models integrated in the learning of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is based on broad-scale trials were conducted at Muhammadiyah Junior High School of Malang City. Type of research is class action research-based lesson study with full reference to the Susilo (2009). This study was conducted in two cycles, refers to the Spiral Model of Kemmis & Taggart (1988) and Lesson Study which refers to Lewis (2002). The results of an analysis of the feasibility study observation sheet and teacher responses indicate that the model developed is included in the category of practical on the cycle I and is very practical in the cycle II. This model is practical for several reasons, namely 1) the development of models adopt a pattern that has been set by the government, was developed based on the conditions and be flexible, 2) the model allows teachers to implement and adapt to the conditions of the school or class being taught, 3) model has been developed passed the stage of planning, implementation, and evaluation involving teachers through the process of discussion and trial and supported by the feel of lesson study. The effectiveness of the model is included in the category of less or low in Cycle I and quite good in Cycle II. The values of the characters are already being integrated in the learning of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Although the values of the characters that appear only include medium category, but gently push the teacher models for students’ attention to aspects of the character
WHAT ROLE SHOULD THE SCHOOL, AS A LEARNING COMMUNITY, PLAY TO ENHANCE STUDENTS’ MATHEMATICS ACHIEVEMENT AT THE SHS LEVEL? (Published)
The purpose of this study is to advance the understanding of what mathematics classrooms need to enhance students’ opportunity to learn mathematics. The study looked specifically as role should the school, as a learning community, play to enhance students’ opportunity to learn mathematics at the SHS level. The research was conducted in two districts (Gomoa West and Efutu) in the Central Region of Ghana. The study included an extensive literature survey in order to identify related studies in Ghana and other countries. The analysis was based on quantitative and qualitative data gathered in schools with similar learner demographics characteristics, including both high-achieving and low-achieving schools. The quantitative analysis was based on close-ended questionnaire issued to both students and teachers whereas the qualitative analysis was based on open-ended questionnaire also issued to both students and teachers. A semi-structured interview of Heads of Mathematics Department of the selected schools was also included in the study. The findings of this research indicated that School, in order to improve students’ mathematics learning opportunities, should:- Provide curriculum materials, Organize in-service training for teachers, Improve assessment methods, Extend short mathematics instruction periods, Improve teaching methods, Motivate mathematics teachers and recruit competent mathematics teachers. The conclusion is that, for a country to achieve the expected success in mathematics at her SHS educational level, a critical consideration should be given to the findings of this research with all stakeholders acting to fulfill its respective role.