Assessing the Relative Effectiveness of Three Teaching Methods in the Measurement of Student' Achievement in Mathematics

By Oche, Emaikwu Sunday | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Assessing the Relative Effectiveness of Three Teaching Methods in the Measurement of Student' Achievement in Mathematics


Oche, Emaikwu Sunday, Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

The purpose of this research work was to assess the relative effectiveness of three teaching methods on students' achievement in secondary school Mathematics. The design of the study was a quasi-experimental pretest posttest research design using intact classes. A sample of 150 students randomly selected from three secondary schools in Ogbadibo Local Government Area was used in this study. The instrument for data collection was a 25-item achievement test in mathematics (ATM) developed by the researcher for the purpose of measuring students' achievement in mathematics. The reliability coefficient for the instrument using Cronbach coefficient alpha was 0.95. In the study, two research questions were answered and two hypotheses were tested. The results indicated that students taught using activity method performed better than those taught using discussion and lecture methods; there was no significant difference in mean achievement between boys and girls when they are taught using activity method. Moreover, a significant difference exists in mean achievement scores of male and female students when they are taught mathematics using lecture method. The paper recommends among others that mathematics teachers should employ appropriate pedagogical methods in order to obviate cognitive dissonance and frustration associated with learning failures in mathematics

Keywords: relative effectiveness, three teaching methods, achievement, lecture method, discussion method, activity method.

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INTRODUCTION

There has been a drastic reduction in the standard of performance by students at all levels of education in Nigeria in the past decades. The fall in the standard of education in Nigeria is traceable to many factors which are rooted in psychological, physiological or environmental factors. Many persons seem to be perplexed as to what factors are actually responsible for the fall in standard of students' performance in schools. This puzzled state has eventually led many to attribute the fall in performance to: poor condition of service for teachers; lack of qualified teachers; inadequate supply of facilities and equipment; lack of motivation, lack of instructional materials; and wrong method of teaching (Emaikwu & Nworgu, 2005; Onah, 2012 & Emaikwu, 2012). The fall in standard of achievement by students at all levels of education has been awfully reported and acknowledged by all and sundry in Nigeria. To catch a glimpse of evidence of the terrible fall in the standard of performance in Nigeria, Agbo (2012) reported in the 'Nation Newspaper' of 4th June 2012 thus:

The ridiculous reduction in cut-offpoint for admission into Nigerian universities is at variance with the standard of excellence already set by some universities. To lower the cut-offmark to 180 out of 400, which translates to a mere 45 per cent, is to assume that all the Nigerian universities would stoop so low to woo failed students as their potential candidates for admission. With this policy in place in Nigeria, the international community will see nothing good in Nigerian university education which is now open to all - the good, the bad and the ugly. Unless we go back to that noble system, more than 60 per cent of candidates admitted into our universities will always be of poor quality that will surely create problems for their teachers who bear the brunt and pains of teaching "unteachable" students (p. 10).

This fall in standard of performance at post primary level is incontrovertibly attributable to pedagogical approaches adopted by teachers in schools. It has been reported that learning and understanding of school subjects have been frustrated by the clumsy methods and instructional materials used (Etukudo, 2006). To support this assertion, Salau (2009) submitted that many researchers have adduced that poor performance in public examination is traceable to teaching techniques by teachers. …

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