Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Enhancing Senior Secondary Students' Achievement in Algebra Using Inquiry Method of Teaching in Onitsha Educational Zone of Anambra State, Nigeria

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Enhancing Senior Secondary Students' Achievement in Algebra Using Inquiry Method of Teaching in Onitsha Educational Zone of Anambra State, Nigeria

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study investigated the effectiveness of inquiry teaching method on senior secondary one students' achievement in algebra. One intact class each from four schools was selected out of 32 secondary schools in Onitsha Education Zone of Anambra State. These schools were stratified according to gender. One male and one female school were selected by balloting for each group. The sample for the study comprised of 123 senior secondary one students. The design used was quasi-experimental. The instrument used for data collection was Algebraic Mathematics Achievement Test (AMAT). The instrument was administered as pre-test and post-test before and after the experiment which lasted for 7 weeks to both experimental and control groups. The internal consistency of the instrument was computed to be 0.83 using K-R21. Two research questions and two hypotheses were set out for the study. Mean and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions while analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test the null hypotheses. Result of the study showed that students in the experimental group taught algebra using inquiry method performed significantly higher than students in the control group taught the same content using expository method. Also, male students in the experimental group were found to benefit more from inquiry method than their female counterparts. The significance of conducting this study is that it has provided mathematics teachers with an innovative and an alternative teaching method of presenting algebra for easier understanding by the students-a method which is science and problem solving based. The study recommended that mathematics teachers should adopt inquiry teaching method in teaching mathematics in senior secondary schools.

Keywords: inquiry, inquiry method of teaching, exploratory method, Algebraic achievement test, teaching methods, experimental group and control group

INTRODUCTION

Mathematics is an essential tool for advancement of science and technology in this century. No nation can develop scientifically and technologically if it neglects mathematics. The formal education of any country especially Nigeria is primarily responsible for providing scientific and mathematics attitudes, fundamental skills, and ways of thinking as well as developing value in science particularly mathematics. These have made the twenty first century to witness an explosion of knowledge with so much new knowledge being discovered in every discipline of life, mathematics inclusive (Kurumeh, 2010).

According to Abakporo (2005) mathematics is the queen and substances of science and technology. Fafunwa (1990) and Fatunla (1992) all agreed to this fact that a nation can never become prosperous and economically independent without mathematics. For this reason the importance of mathematics competence of all learners at all levels of education particularly senior secondary school cannot be over emphasized. It is however disheartening that, going by the various Chief Examiners' Reports in West African School Certificates examinations and public out cries the achievement in mathematics is nothing to write home about. Abakporo (2005) again laments that if mathematics is really the "queen of science' and an essential tool for scientific and technological development, then common sense indicates that if nothing positive is done, the state of art of development in science and technology in Nigeria will be a mirage. Odili (2006) retorted similarly that, although more attention seems to be given to the course of teaching and learning of this important subject, yet no teacher saddled with the responsibility of teaching mathematics can say all is well with the teaching and learning of mathematics. (Sidhu 2006). Reports from different researches have also portrayed a poor state of Nigerian Students in terms of mathematics achievement. Odili (2006), Maduaburn and Odili (2006) and Ashikhia (2010) in separate studies revealed low academic achievement in mathematics. …

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