**ABSTRACT**

The main purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of
cooperative learning and peer-teaching strategies on students’ achievement and
interest in Mathematics in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. In
addition, the study determined which of the two teaching strategies would be
more efficacious in enhancing students’ achievement and interest in
Mathematics. Six research questions and six hypotheses were formulated to guide
the study. The research work was quasi-experimental design type, specifically
the non equivalent control group design. Two hundred and eighty three
Mathematics students drawn from nine co-educational public schools within the
Ezeagu Education Zone of Enugu State were used for the work. Simple random
sampling technique was applied in choosing the schools as well as assigning
each of the teaching approaches to the sample schools. The cooperative learning
and peer –teaching groups were the experimental groups while the conventional
teaching method group was treated as the control group. Validated Mathematics
Achievement Test (MAT) and Mathematics Interest Inventory (MII) were
administered to the students as pretest and posttest for collection of data.
The MAT had reliability index of 0.98 while MII had reliability index of 0.93.
The mean scores were used to answer the research questions while analysis of
covariance (ANCOVA) was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of
significance. From the findings of the research work, teaching approach used in
difficult mathematics concepts is significantly responsible for the perennial
poor performance of students in secondary school mathematics and more of
cooperative learning should be used as it has better effect on students
interest and achievement in learning difficult mathematics concept than the
peer teaching, a number of implications were discussed. Recommendations and
suggestions for further studies were also made.

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**Background of the Study**

**Mathematics as a subject offered at junior and senior secondary school in Nigeria takes a central position in science and technology. Mathematics is also a science that deals with logic of space, quantity and arrangement (Kosmas 2004). Mathematics is all around us. It is the building block for everything in daily lives, including mobile devices, architecture (ancient and modern), art, money, and engineering and even sports Ali (2011).**

The objectives of mathematics
curriculum at the senior secondary School level include: to know and
demonstrate understanding of the concepts from the five branches of mathematics
(number, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and discrete mathematics) (Federal
Ministry of Education FME, 2007). Therefore, mathematics is to develop both the
individual and the entire society. It is a necessary prerequisite and integral
part of such Professions as chartered accountant, data analyst, data scientist,
investment analyst, research scientist to mention but a few.

Mathematics
education is required to meet up with increase in demand for science and
technology by private and government establishments. Without effective mathematics
education, the nation will likely impoverish. This is because the natural
resources which abound in Nigeria need to be harnessed, processed and converted
to needed products for optimum use. (Aduwa, 2010).

However, as important as mathematics is,
science educators have been lamenting over the poor achievement and interest of
students in the subject in the senior secondary schools for the past decades.
(Ifeakor, 2001 and Mari, 2002).The then ministry of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu
Rufai in 2012 stated government disapportment
at the opening ceremony of the 2012 national conference on Examination in
Abuja, and admitted that there was marginal improvement in the 2012 WAEC examination,
with just 39 per cent having a credit in some subjects including English and Mathematics.
Rufai regretted the poor performance of Candidates in public examination and it
has become worrisome. And out of 16,633 that sat for WASC in 2012, only 251 of
them were able to obtain five credit and above including English and Mathematics.
Also Ezeliora (2003) stated the poor performance of students in WASC and NECO
was very bad and if nothing is done about it a serious damage will be caused
and this will affect the upcoming students. Students poor performance and
interest in mathematics for quite a long time now, has resulted to inadequate
number of students offering mathematics oriented courses in tertiary
educational institutions in Nigeria. The persistent poor performance has also
contributed to poor economy, poor industrialization, lack of job and
starvation, to mention but a few. Professionals required to take care of those problems
can only be effectively produced through mathematics education.

Many factors have been attributed to the
observed poor performance and lack of interest in mathematics by students. Some
of these factors include teaching method used by mathematics teachers,
difficult nature of the topics/concepts, lack of equipment and instructional
materials etc. (Ali, 2002, Ifeakor, 2006; Nzewi, 2010; Nnaka, 2006; Ukwungwu,
2000).

Many mathematics concepts in the senior
secondary school curriculum are perceived to be abstract and difficult to
understand by the learners. West African Examination Council Chief Examiners reports ( 2003,2006) have
consistently highlighted some of the Difficult concepts/ topics the candidates
performed poorly as: Constructions, set, solid geometry, trigonometric function,
Probability, sequence, inequality, vectors on a plane, concept of function,
Introduction of complex numbers.

Kosmas and Russell (2004) reported that the concept
of equations is very difficult to understand. Tauten (2005) using hundred and
sixty SS III mathematics students randomly selected from 28 senior secondary
schools in seven states of the Nigerian Federation discovered that the students
perceived thirteen out of Twenty (65%) topics in mathematics as difficult. The
topics perceived to be difficult by students according to the study are: construction,
probability, plane geometry. The study also revealed that student’s gender has
no influence on their perception of difficult topics. However, the study did
not cover many other important topics which Examining bodies like West African
Examination Council, adjudged difficult to students.

Ali (2002) opined that the most important
factor for effective learning to take place in science is an interesting
instructional approach. Njoku (2009) maintained that teachers are under intense
pressure to cover the curriculum and get students ready for external
examinations. This makes teaching of mathematics inadequate as special approach
needed for the teaching of difficult mathematics concepts are over looked.
Learners therefore find the subject irrelevant to their daily experience and
survival needs in their socio-cultural and economic environment. Ezeliora
(2003) also attributed students’ poor performances in mathematics to poor
instructional approaches involving excessive teacher-talk, copying of notes,
rote-learning as encouraged by expository method of instruction. Poor instructional approach is therefore
recognized as a major contributor to poor achievement in mathematics. Nnaka
(2006), Nzewi (2010), Okebukola (2002) suggested a shift and going beyond the
conventional approaches of teaching Science, Technology and Mathematics, (STM)
for better performance and interest in STM education in the primary and
secondary schools. Shifting and going beyond the conventional teaching
approaches according to Nnaka (2006), implies adopting the innovative
approaches to teaching and learning STM. One of such innovative approaches to
teaching and learning of mathematics is the cooperative learning strategy which
is student centered.

Cooperative learning
is the deliberate instructional use of small groups of students who work
together to maximize each other’s learning. Cooperative learning is
theoretically based on the work of Psychologists like Levi Vygotsky, Jean
Piaget, and Jerome Bruner among others who, proposed that children actively
construct knowledge in a social context (Conway, 2013). The teacher therefore
should create room for cooperation amongst students for effective
cross-fertilization of ideas and knowledge sharing. No child learns effectively
in isolation. The teacher, who adopts
the cooperative learning strategy, organizes the students in small groups of
between four to six members. Each group should be heterogeneous in ability and
socio-cultural background; members work jointly through a given instructional
assignment until every member successfully understands, and completes the assignment.
Most at times one particular student is made the head to teach the other
students and that is where peer teaching come in. The students are also
rewarded in their groups. Another innovative strategy to the teaching and
learning of mathematics, which has been widely acknowledged, is peer teaching.

Peer- teaching is an
instructional strategy in which groups of children under the guidance of the
teacher work together through a given instructional assignment with brilliant
child, the peer teacher; providing assistance and instruction to others, the
peer students. Peer- teaching is also theoretically based on the conceptions of
the cognitive theorists like Vygotsky who proposed the zone of proximal
development. The proposal points to the child’s ability to profit from interaction
with more competent peers. (Igbo, 2004).

The teacher who
adopts the peer teaching strategy will identify the high, middle and low
achievers amongst the students. The high achievers are used as the peer
teachers and middle/low achievers are assigned in their small numbers to the peer
teachers for instruction and assistance. The teacher prepares the lesson plan
and reviews it for the peer teachers in sequential order. The teacher also
trains the peer teacher on how to inform, reward and relate to the students.

Both the cooperative
learning and peer teaching are child-centered instructional approaches, which
is an approach recommended on the National Policy on Education for teaching
sciences. (Federal Republic of Nigeria,F.R.N 2004,). Researchers have found in
different occasions the two approaches effective in tackling instructional
problems (Anaekwe.2009; Igbo, 2004; Okebukola, 2007). Okebukola (2012) found
cooperative learning effective in tackling the problem of large class in Biology.
Anaekwe (2008) investigated the effects of student’s interaction patterns on
cognitive achievement, retention and interest in Chemistry. The investigation
found cooperative learning efficacious. Igbo (2004) found peer teaching
effective in improving the learning disabled achievement in mathematics. Would
the peer teaching also be effective in improving of the achievement of normal
school children in mathematics? Therefore the need to explore the effect two
child centered instructional approaches: cooperative learning and peer teaching
on student’s achievement and interest in some perceived difficult mathematics
concepts so as to probably improve students’ performance in mathematics and
avert the problem of poor achievement and interest in Senior Secondary School
Mathematics.

Interest, an aspect of
affective domain is a construct that has to do with ones readiness to like or
dislike something. It could be aroused in individual by activity that tends to
satisfy the individuals needs (Geo science, 2007). Since more than sixty
percent of mathematics concepts are difficult (Tauten, 2005), students interest
in the subject can easily be at low ebb. Njoku (2003); Nwachukwu (2008); Suwaid
and Dambata (2009) showed that students interest in mathematics is low. However
while Njoku (2003) and Suwaid and Dambata (2009) maintained that low interest
leads to poor achievement in mathematics; Nwachukwu (2008) concluded that
relationship between interest and cognitive achievement of students in
mathematics is insignificant. Ezeliora (2003) and Ali (1998) maintained that students’
interest in learning mathematics could be achieved by mathematics teachers
through careful choice of the most appropriate teaching approach.

The appropriate
teaching strategy if used by the mathematics teacher can overcome such events
as lack of drive, timidity, self-Imposed isolation, poor previous experience
etc. that hinder interest in the students. Ezeliora (2003) specifically noted
that the conventional lecture method commonly used in teaching mathematics in
Nigeria is boring and uninteresting. Performance and interest in mathematics
could be enhanced if effective instructional approach is adopted in teaching
difficult mathematical concepts. Nwogu,(2001); Nzewi,( 2010); Okeke, (2007)
believed that there is disparity in performance and interest among boys and
girls in mathematics. Mari, (2002); Nwachukwu, (2008) claimed relative poor and
narrow participation of women in Science, Technology and Mathematics. Nzewi,
(2010) discussed the nature of science and teaching strategies as factors that
negatively influence female participation and performance in science and technology.
Also, Njoku; (2005) and Nzewi; (2010) identified teaching method as one of the
causes of sex-related differences in science performance. Boys perform better
than the girls when instructional approach adopted in sciences is competitive
while girls perform optimally in a cooperative academic environment (Nwachukwu,
2008).It is therefore believed that the use of cooperative learning could
reduce the gender gap between male and female students achievement and interest
in mathematics. As an important subject required for sustainable development
and nation building, mathematics should be taught, using effective
instructional approach capable of seeking for and maintaining high interest and
performance among students irrespective of gender. Since the conventional
teaching methods persistently used by mathematics teachers (Amaefule, 2002;
Ezeliora, 2003) cannot permeate the difficult mathematics concepts which
manifest in perennial poor students achievement, the researcher therefore
deemed it necessary to study the effects of cooperative learning and peer
teaching strategies’ on student achievement and interest in some difficult mathematics
concepts.

**Statement of the Problem**

Poor student’s achievement and interest in mathematics is
alarming in spite of the fact that many researchers have been carried out to ameliorate
the bad situation. Many instructional approaches have been proffered by
psychologists like Brunner, Paget, Gagne, for improved achievement and interest
in mathematics and other sciences strongly believed that the instructional
approach adopted by mathematics teachers in teaching mathematics is to a large
extent responsible for the observed consistent poor achievement and interest in
mathematics. The conventional teaching methods lack student’s cooperation and
interaction required for effective learning of the difficult mathematics
concepts. Adequate student’s cooperation and interactions are required for over
learning and transfer of learning in mathematics concepts, which are mainly
difficult, and abstract. Such cooperation and interaction are found in the
cooperative learning and peer teaching strategies. The work therefore intended
to investigate the effect of cooperative learning and peer teaching on
student’s achievement and interest in some difficult concepts in mathematics. The
study therefore intended to ascertain the effectiveness of cooperative learning
strategy and (peer teaching strategy on students’ achievement) and interest in
mathematics and the gender difference when taught mathematics using cooperative
learning and teaching strategies.

**Purpose of the study**

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of
cooperative learning and peer teaching strategies on students achievement and
interest in mathematics in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Specifically, the purposes of the study were to determine:

(a) Achievement level of students in some difficult mathematics
concepts in Senior Secondary School when taught using cooperative learning and
peer teaching.

(b) Achievement level of male and female students in some
difficult mathematics concepts in Senior Secondary School when taught using
cooperative learning and peer teaching.

(c) Whether gender would influence the achievement of
students in mathematics concept when taught with cooperative learning and peer
teaching.

(d) Interest level of students in some difficult mathematics
concepts in Senior Secondary School when taught using cooperative Learning and
peer teaching strategy.

(e) Interest level of male and female students in some
difficult mathematics concept when taught using cooperative learning and peer
teaching.

(f) The interaction effect of strategy and gender on achievement
in mathematics.

(g) The interaction effect of strategy and gender on interest
in mathematics.

**Significance of the Study**

**The result of this work will sensitize mathematics teachers to use effective instructional approaches for improved students understanding and achievement, when exposed to the findings of the study through workshop and seminars. It will also serve as an eye opener to teachers in other fields of learning to explore and adopt better instructional approaches in handling abstract and difficult topics and concepts in their own areas for improvement.**

The result of the work
will help to improve on students performance is mathematics and ensure better
quality mathematics candidates for the Senior Secondary School Certificate
Examination. Again, the work will help to produce more qualified candidates for
courses in science and technology in the tertiary institutions of learning,
which in turn will boost national wealth and development. The findings will
also benefit the curriculum planners. Like creating lifelong critical thinker,
promoting complex discussion, creating curriculum with meaning and purpose,
creating an environment of deep thinkers, and empowering teachers across all
content area to teach literacy. The results of the study would also contribute
to the pool of research in the area of education in mathematics in particular
and science education in general.

**Scope of the Study**

The study covered all
the SS 2 students in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State. The study
also covers the difficult mathematics topics to teach them which is
approximation and percentage error.

**Research Questions**

The following research questions were raised:

1. What are the mean achievement scores of students taught
some difficult like percentage error in mathematics concepts using cooperative
learning?

2.What are the mean achievement score of students taught some
difficult mathematics concepts like approximation using peer teaching?

3.What are the mean achievement score of students taught some
difficult mathematics concept using conventional method?

4. What are the mean achievement scores of male and female
students taught some difficult mathematics concepts using cooperative learning,
peer teaching and conventional teaching method?

5. What is the interaction effect of teaching strategy and gender
on students mean achievement scores in some difficult Mathematics concepts?

6. What are the mean interest scores of students taught some
difficult mathematics concepts using cooperative learning, peer teaching and
conventional (lecture) teaching method?

7. What are the mean interest scores of male and female
students taught some difficult mathematics concepts using cooperative learning,
peer teaching and conventional teaching method?

8. What is the interaction effect of teaching strategy and
gender on students’mean interest scores in some difficult mathematics concepts?

**Hypotheses**

The study will be guided by the following hypotheses to be
tested at 0.05 level of significance.

1. There is no significant difference in the mean achievement
scores of students taught some difficult mathematics concepts using cooperative
learning and peer teaching.

2. There is no significant difference in the mean achievement
scores of male and female students taught some difficult mathematics concepts
using cooperative learning.

3. There is no significance difference in the mean
achievement score of male and female students taught some difficult mathematics
concept using peer teaching.

4. The interaction effect of teaching strategies and gender
on student’s achievement in some difficult mathematics concepts as measured by
their mean achievement scores is not significant.

5. There is no significant difference in the mean interest
scores of students taught some difficult mathematics concepts using cooperative
learning and peer teaching.

6. There is no significant difference in the mean interest
scores of male and female students taught some difficult mathematics concepts
using cooperative learning and peer teaching.

7. The interaction effect of teaching strategies and gender
on student’s interest in some difficult mathematics concepts as measured by
their mean interest scores is not significant.

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**Item Type:**

**Project Material**

**| Attribute:**

**112 pages**

**| Chapters:**

**1-5**

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**MS Word**

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