Impact of Cooperative Learning Approach on Senior Secondary School Students Performance in Mathematics

By Jebson, Sofeme R. | Ife Psychologia, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Impact of Cooperative Learning Approach on Senior Secondary School Students Performance in Mathematics


Jebson, Sofeme R., Ife Psychologia


This research work investigated the impact of cooperative learning approach on the performance of secondary school students in mathematics using some selected secondary schools. It employed one hundred and twenty students selected from the entire population of students offering mathematics at the senior secondary two (SS 2) levels of the selected schools. Quasi- experimental research design was used and the samples were grouped into groups A and B named experimental and control groups respectively. The experimental period was four weeks with a total number of sixteen hours of lesson delivery for each group. The experimental group was taught using the cooperative learning approach while the control group was taught using the conventional method. A Mathematics Test of Assimilation (MTAS) was administered to the groups and the result was analyzed using t-test. The analysis revealed that the experimental group has a mean score that is significantly higher than that of the control group (p<0.05). It was also observed that sex difference or gender has no significant influence on the performance of students in mathematics when taught using or not using cooperative learning approach (p<0.05). The research generally revealed that the experimental group performed better than the control group. This implies that cooperative learning approach has significant effect on students' performance in secondary school mathematics. It is therefore recommended that teachers of mathematics should work together toward the improvement of students' performance in mathematics.

Mathematics is for life and we do mathematics in one way or the other in our daily activities. The knowledge of mathematics is required now than ever especially with the current issue of science and technological advancement and attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It is on this ground that the Federal government of Nigeria accorded prominence to the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools. Mathematics occupies a central place in our school curriculum as it is made a compulsory subject for all learners in both primary and secondary schools as contained in the National Policy on Education (FGN, 2004). Every career a child may choose to pursue in life are full of things that requires application of mathematical knowledge and skills.

Mathematics is life giving water to science and technology. In other words, mathematics to science and technology is what water is to the fish. Just like Azuka (2000) said, mathematics permeates the whole society and its use seems to assume ever increasing importance as our society become more technological. Therefore, complex mathematics skills and thinking are not prerogative of scientists, engineers and technologist only, but they are used in everyday decision making by people. However, as noted by Ojo (1986), mathematics has for long time been notorious killer of ambitions among Nigerian students. The building of a nation technologically is the sole responsibility of all her citizens irrespective of gender, class, status and religion, (Kojiggiji, 2008) .

Science in general and mathematics in particular has long been criticized by students and teachers alike to be full of abstract ideas. It is a subject dreaded by several students in all tiers of education (Bello, 2006). In spite of the deliberate attempts to avoid mathematics by most students, the fact remains that it is a core subject in some disciplines. Over the years, efforts have been made by mathematics educators towards improving the teaching and learning of mathematics in Nigerian schools. Despite these diverse efforts, Agwagah (2005), Ale (1981) and Lassa (1984) revealed that mathematics education in Nigeria is still in a deplorable state at all levels of Nigerian education. Fasasi (2009), made effort to find solution to the ugly situation of poor performance in mathematics and identified teaching techniques of the teachers as one of the contributory factors. …

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