**ABSTRACT**

This study
investigated the effects of higher-level cognitive questions and interactive
learning strategies on students’ academic achievement in Mathematics in senior
secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial Districts of Edo State, Nigeria.
Six research questions and six null hypotheses were raised to guide the study.
The quasi-experimental research design was adopted for the study. The
population of the study consisted of all the seventy one (71) public schools
SSS II students in Edo Central Senatorial District numbering 3,485. The sample
used for the study comprised 600 students drawn from senior secondary schools
in Edo Central. The schools randomly selected for the study was randomly
assigned to the two treatment groups (Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and
Interactive Learning Strategies) and the control intact classes. All the groups
received Mathematics instructions for a period of five weeks. Data for analysis
was collected using the Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) made up of forty
(40) objective test items. Data collected were analysed using the Univariate
Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). The pre-test scores were used as the
Covariate. The results of the tested hypotheses revealed that there was a
significant difference between the use of higher-level cognitive questions and
the conventional method of teaching on students’ achievement in Mathematic
(p<0.05). Significant difference between the use of interactive learning
strategies and conventional method was also found in favour of ILS. Lastly, the
interaction effect of higher-level cognitive questions, interactive learning
strategies and gender on the achievement of students in Mathematics was found
to be not significant (p>0.05). It was recommended that Mathematics teachers
should avail themselves of the uses of these unique techniques of higher-level
cognitive questions and interactive learning strategies in the teaching of
Mathematics to ensure effective learning among students in Edo Central
Senatorial Districts of Edo State.

**
INTRODUCTION**

Background to the Study

**CHAPTER ONE**

Background to the Study

For any nation to developed and be sustained, it needs to
place priority on the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering
and Mathematics (STEM) which form the bedrock that provides the springboard for
the growth and development of the nation.
The Federal Government of Nigeria in her national policy on education
(2004) stipulated that secondary school education should prepare students to
effectively cope in this modern world of Science and Technology. It may suffice
us to know that the proper handling and teaching of Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics to students, will be positive result-oriented, if
teachers see the need to vary their methods of instruction. This will lead the students in mind training
that will enable them understand the world around them, acquisitions of
appropriate skills, capacity building and the competencies to live as
individuals. This will enable them to contribute their quota to the growth and
development of their immediate and larger society through Mathematics Education
as one option.

The importance of Mathematics
Education cannot be overemphasized. It remains the gateway to various
professions such as Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing, Agriculture, and
many other fields of endeavour. It is the tool available for formulation of
theories in sciences, for explaining observation and experiments in the field
of inquiry. That is why (Roger cited in Aguele, 2004) described the neglect of
Mathematics works as an injury to all
knowledge, since the ignorance of it, is the lack of knowledge of science and
other fields of endeavour.

In spite of the great importance of
Mathematics in the growth and sustainable development of the nation, the
secondary school students’ achievement in the subject is outrageously
discouraging. According to Abiodun (1997), any short fall in Mathematics,
constitutes a drawback to the attainment of the aims and objectives of Science
and Technology. This is the gross mistake which many of the third world
countries including Nigeria, are making.
They assumed that Science and Technology can be acquired without
realizing the necessity of possessing a strong background in Mathematics
knowledge as the first pre-requisites of Science and Technology.

In recent past,
substantial changes in content have taken place in Mathematics curricula,
especially at the secondary school level. These changes were made in
realization of the importance of Mathematics in nation’s Science and
Technological development. The introduction of the new system of education, the
Universal Basic Education (UBE) which is the 9-3-4, was also a contributor to
the changes. These changes in content have been accompanied by many
recommendations for improving the teaching and learning of the subject (Aguele,
2004). According to Buhari (l994), in spite
of the attractiveness and novelty of these innovations in the teaching and
learning of Mathematics, there seem to be no evidence to substantiate the
potency of the approaches made. Findings from the available studies revealed
that teaching and learning of Mathematics are characterized by rote memory of
some basic processes and abstract presentation of facts and principles (Aguele
2004).

From the above, it seems that despite the
effort to provide development changes, there have been no desired improvements
on students’ academic achievement in the subject. Students’ achievement in the
Senior School Certificate Mathematics Examinations seems to remain poor. The
mass failure and consistent poor achievement in Mathematics which students have
shown for some decade now casts serious doubt on the country’s high attainment
in science and technology (Ifamuyiwa, 2010). In Romans chapter 6 verse 1 the
Holy Bible put forth this question, “shall we continue to sin so that grace
shall abide…?” This poor situation in Mathematics has to be remedied. It should
not be allowed to continue unabated.

The poor
achievement of students in Mathematics according to (Okebukola in Oriahi,
2007), has been attributed to the following:

2.
Poor teaching method in the form of excessive talking,
copying of notes and rote learning of textbook’s materials adopted by
Mathematics teachers.

3.
Expository rather than inquiring method of Mathematics
instruction which does not predispose students to experimentation (practical).

4.
Shortage of Mathematics teachers, inadequate facilities and
lack of instructional materials for practical.

5.
Negative attitudes towards work by Mathematics teachers and
lack of man power.

Research
findings in education tend to indicate that the instructional strategies
adopted by the teachers have influence on the three domains of learning
(cognitive, affective and psychomotor) as well as the outcomes of the students.
Barton (2008) is of the opinion that the use of quick flip questions for
critical thinking based on the original work of Bloom’s Taxonomy which gives
room for Higher Level Questions is used as instructional strategy in
Mathematics class. Another dimension of making all categories of learners
benefit is the use of Interactive Learning Strategies during classroom
instructions. Interactive learning strategies give room for students’
participation in learning process to interact with their teachers and
classmates.

During
instruction, teachers usually ask questions to elicit one piece of information
or another from the students. This may take the form of verbal or written
questions. Questions are used by teachers to investigate whether the students
are listening and subsequently understanding the lesson that was being taught. Good
questioning skills are an integral part of any successful Mathematical
experience; it provides avenue for students thinking and helps them to make
good sense of judgment of the Mathematics content being taught. Questioning
skills is a vital tool in the introduction of a topic in any Mathematics lesson
and in informal assessment. Waston and Young (2000) stated that as many as
fifty thousand questions are commonly asked by teachers in a year compared to
ten questions asked by students.

It is very important that students must communicate their
thoughts and reasoning, often clarifying and making sense of the Mathematics
than remaining passive in the classroom. It may suffice to know that
questioning has a high eve of interaction. It is therefore necessary that
through the question and interactive strategies, the teacher plays the role of
helping the students to make Mathematical connections, help them to observe and
to make sense of the concept being taught irrespective of any instructional
method applied.

Questions are
categorized by many researchers according to the thinking levels by Bloom and
Krathevohl (1956) into cognitive level which is determined by students’
responses as required by the teacher. Bloom’s Taxonomy divides the way people
learn into three domains (Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor). The focus of
this study is on the cognitive domain which emphasizes intellectual outcome.
This domain further divides into levels which are arranged progressively from
the lowest levels of simple recall to the highest, evaluating information.
These cognitive levels are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis,
synthesis and evaluation. These levels are also categorized into two aspects
according to the levels of cognitive learning. The first aspect is called the
“low level” which covers Knowledge, Comprehension and Applications while the
second called “high level” covers Analyses, Synthesis and Evaluations Bloom and
Krathevohl (1956). The categorizations of questions into different levels are:
to improve thinking skills of students at any age.

For the purpose
of this study, emphasis was on the High Level Cognitive Questions. More
frequently, questions are classified into subdivisions of the taxonomy:
Higher-order Thinking Questions (often referred to as higher-level thinking, or
H.O.T) and the lower-level thinking questions. The lower level- question refers
to a factual question which has only one expected response drawn directly from
the content of instruction and has to do with information learnt. These are
questions on the knowledge level.

Higher-level
cognitive questions are open ended questions that extend knowledge beyond
factual recalling or repeating learned skills. It makes the students to use
their previous knowledge in exploring and developing new concepts and procedures.
Identifying questions for specific higher-level cognitive questions especially
applying and analyzing, sometimes depends on the context or setting. For
instance, what is the nutritional value of mushrooms? The level of thinking in
this question depends on the situation but in the question such as, “did the
lesson on nutrition state the value of the mushroom? In this case, the response
would require a recall. When the lesson provided a list of foods but did not
include mushrooms, the response to this question would be more challenging and
require critical thinking (Arends, 1997).

Learning is
being promoted through the use of Higher Level Cognitive Questions because it
makes the students to think more deeply about the topic of discussion. Martion
and Maher (1999) stated the function of Higher Level Cognitive Questions being
used by teachers to provide more adequate explanation, justification or
generalization from students. This simply means that the use of Higher Level
Cognitive Questions is appropriate teaching strategy which could enable
teachers explore the thoughts of their students. This strategy appears to be
lacking in the teaching of Mathematics because most teachers either dodge the
use of the style or are ignorant of the use of this style to improve on
students’ ways of critical thinking that will likely enable them to perform
better in Mathematics class. They are mostly used to the conventional method of
instruction. According to Oriahi (2007) the conventional method of instruction
largely frustrates the development of concrete ideas and imaginative
perceptions and understanding required for the solution of practical problems.
This may lead the students to have poor achievement in Mathematics.

Morgan and
Saxton (1991) stated the following advantages for Teachers’ Higher Levels
Cognitive Questions.

i) The act of asking questions helps teachers keep students
actively involved in lesson.

ii) Students are given the opportunity to openly express their
ideas and thought.

iii) Questioning students enable other students to learn from
their mates.

iv) It helps teachers pace their lessons and
moderate students’ behaviour.

v) Helps to evaluate students learning and for revision purpose
when necessary.

When a proper
consideration is not given to the use of questions, as an instructional skills,
Mathematics teachers will be void of the opportunity of creating dynamic and
interactive dialogue in the classroom that can promote an environment for
students to actively analyze and process information for better responses to
questions. Through questioning strategy in the classroom, Mathematics teachers
can inculcate in their students an enriched Higher Level Critical Thinking and
learning in natural ways; since Higher Level Cognitive Questions and thinking
help to establish the manipulation of information and ideas which give room for
the development of new ideas and understandings.

From the above, it is worthy to
note that Higher Level Cognitive Questions go beyond memorization and factual
information (cognitive-level questions). It requires students’ frantic effort
and adequate time to think critically about cause-effect relationships for an
effective solution for problems in complex situations. Failure to understand
where to use lower-level questions and higher cognitive-level questions which
are also referred to as divergent questions, is one of the challenges in
question strategy in Mathematics.

Thomas and Place
(2001) investigated the patterns of students’ responses to Higher Level Cognitive
Questions by student gender. Their findings revealed that a higher level
cognitive question that promotes analysis, synthesis and evaluation, encourages
students to think critically and interact freely, is regarded as a powerful
learning tool. Questions such as: How is the formula for finding the perimeter
of a rectangle similar to circumference of a circle? A card is drawn from an
ordinary pack of 52 playing cards. What is the probability that the card is a
queen of hearts and why? How would you simplify this equation: 9x + 27y = 153?
While lower level questions only deal with memorization of facts that rely on
the recollection of information. For instance, what is the formula for finding
the area of a rectangle? What is the name of the main card in a playing card? 9
x3 = 2. Thus Wimer and Colleagues (2001) assumed that higher level cognitive
question leads to higher level learning. Findings from Wilen, (1991) declared
that efficient teachers are more likely to ask higher level cognitive questions.
Teachers therefore should be able to use effective question strategy that
contributes to students’ learning gains which will improve positively on their
academic achievement.

Since changes shape the occupational outlook
of today’s students, teachers on their own must begin to embrace the need to
inculcate “Higher-Level Cognitive Questioning” in their students during
classroom instructions to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. It is no longer enough for high school
graduates to simply rely on knowing just the basic facts and skills. To be
successful, students must master decision-making, prioritizing, strategizing
and collaborative problem solving of the concept. Teachers therefore should be conversant with
the fact that students should be given the chance to express their responses
freely so that their exploration of ideas will flow. In higher-level questions
and interactive learning strategies, students are expected to expantiate more on
their responses by asking why they gave such responses and participate freely
among themselves.

According to
Knezevic (2011), contemporary teaching strategies are directed towards adapting
teaching to the spirit and needs of the learner in this modern time, society is
in permanent evolution and general knowledge is expanding. So there are also
changes in opinions related to social interaction. In other words, since the
society is growing tremendously, the teacher has to move positively along with
the trend of time. That is, since there is increase in general level of human
knowledge, the teacher has to put in his or her best to broaden the horizon of
teaching. That means, there should be a change in the planning, programming,
implementing and evaluating the previous learning strategies or teaching
styles.

Roeders (2003) said that modern teaching
expects a continuous learning, creativity and exploration from an individual.
Students are expected not only to manage their own potentials, knowledge,
skills and habits but also to discover and examine their own talents and areas
of interest. Only a positive (rich) environment full of stimuli and challenges
for students is required to achieve these potentials. Therefore, only through
engaging students in interactive learning strategies of teaching that significant effects of learning
can be achieved cognitively, socially, emotionally and all round development of
the child. Teachers therefore should make maximal use of these strategies of
teaching to enable the students to go beyond acquiring professional knowledge
and skills and also be exposed to personality development such as, creativity,
self-confidence, self-esteem and social competence (Knezevic, 2011).

Recent studies also raised
concern and point to the issue of gender and students’ achievement in
Mathematics. Studies have been carried out on differential performance of
students in primary and secondary school Mathematics. Some of these studies are
longitudinal while others are within specific levels. Results from these
studies have tended to show difference of none relating to sex. It may suffice
to know the implication of Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive
Learning strategies on male and female students. Has sex a way of reacting to
questions? Does gender have anything to do with classroom interaction? Do males
benefits more than the females or equally? Can these strategies (higher-level
cognitive questions and interactive learning strategies) be used for all
categories (male and female)? What are the implications of teachers’ confidence
in asking questions and creating avenue for interaction in the classroom? Do
they possess the ability or inability of asking higher-level cognitive
questions and to use interactive learning strategy in Mathematics classroom?
Hence, there is the need to investigate the effects of Higher Level Cognitive
Questions and Interactive Learning Strategies on achievement of senior
secondary school students in Mathematics.

**
Statement of the Problem**

1)
Government and other stake holders have been making efforts
to improve on the achievement of students in Mathematics in secondary schools.
Yet, reports from the West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiners
(2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015) have continued to indicate candidate’s
lack of skills in answering most of the questions generally asked in
Mathematics. Evidence from the West African Examination Council Chief
Examiner’s report of percentage passes and percentage failures, 2010-2015 are
as follows: In 2010, 41.5% passes and
58.5% failures. In 2011, 38.3% passes and 61.7% failures. In 2012, 37.7% passes
and 62.3% failures. In 2013, 38.5% passes and 61.5% failure. In 2014, 38.1%
passes and 61.9% failures. While in 2015, 37.7% passes and 62.3% failure were
recorded, West African Examination Council Chief Examiners’ Report (2010-2015)

From the above, it was showed
that the percentage of students that passed Mathematics between 2010 and 2015
range from 37.7% to 41.5% while the percentage of students that failed
Mathematics within the same period range from 58.5% to 62.3%. Could the poor
achievement of students in Mathematics be linked to the only one-way
conventional teaching method (Lecture method) which is most commonly used in
secondary schools? This method does not make for meaningful understanding of
the concepts of Mathematics. It is teacher-oriented method whereby the teacher
is active while the students are passive in the class. The students are not
given the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings and cannot
interact with their teacher and classmates. This method also serves as canopy
for the weak ones to hide. This further compounds the issues of consistent poor
achievement in Mathematics.

2)
The low students’ achievement in Mathematics is raising alarm
in the educational sector. Many teachers, parents, community, government, the
business sector and other stake holders in educational sector are worried over
the poor performance of students in Mathematics, despite the efforts of the
government, teachers, Ministry of Education, Mathematic Association of Nigeria
(MAN) and Science Teacher Association of Nigerian (STAN).

3)
It has been observed by Schoenfeld (2007), that most of the
methods adapted by Mathematics teachers in the teaching of Mathematics have not
been able to provide an effective remedy to this problem of poor achievement in
Mathematics, or inability to involve students in interactive section during
instruction.

4)
In spite of what is
known about teachers’ qualities and student achievement in Mathematics in
several states of Nigeria, it is not to the researcher’s knowledge that any
study has been carried out on Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive Learning
Strategy on students’ achievement in Mathematics in secondary schools in Edo
Central Senatorial District. This research was therefore carried out to fill
this knowledge gap in the study area and also extend the frontiers of the
search to advance solution to the problem of persistent low achievement in the
subject by the impact of Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive
Learning strategies within Mathematics classroom on students’ achievement in
Mathematics in senior secondary schools in Edo Central Senatorial District.

**
Purpose of the Study**

The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effect
of Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive Learning Strategy on
students’ achievement in Mathematics in senior secondary schools in Edo Central
Senatorial District. Specifically the study sought to:

1) determine whether the use of
higher-level cognitive questions have any effect on students’ achievement in
Mathematics;

2) ascertain whether the use of
interactive learning strategy have any effect on students’ achievement in
Mathematics;

3) determine whether the
achievement of students taught using higher-level cognitive questions differ
from students taught using interactive learning strategy in Mathematics;

4) determine whether the gender
of students has any significant effect on their achievement when taught
Mathematics using higher-level cognitive questions;

5) ascertain whether gender of
students has any significant effects on their achievement when taught using
interactive learning strategy; and

6) ascertain whether there is
any interaction effect of higher-level cognitive questions, interactive
learning strategy and gender on the achievement of students in Mathematics.

**Research Questions**

The following
research questions were raised to guide the study:

1. Do the uses of higher-level
cognitive questions in Mathematics classroom have any effect on the
achievements of students?

2. Do the uses of interactive
learning strategies in Mathematics classroom have any effect on the
achievements of students?

3. What are the mean achievements
scores of students taught using the higher-level cognitive questions in
Mathematics classroom and those taught using the interactive learning
strategies?

4. What are the mean achievement
scores of male and female students taught using the higher-level cognitive questions
in Mathematics classroom?

5. What are the mean
achievement scores of male and female students exposed to the use of
interactive learning strategies in Mathematics classroom?

6. Is there interaction effect
in the use of higher-level cognitive questions, interactive learning strategies
and gender on students’ achievement in Mathematics?

**
Hypotheses**

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the
study and tested at the 0.05 level of significance.

1. There is no significant difference between the
mean achievement scores of students taught Mathematics using the higher-level
cognitive questions and those taught with conventional strategy.

2. There is no significant difference
between the mean achievement scores of students taught Mathematics using
interactive learning strategies and those taught with the conventional
strategy.

3. There is no significant
difference between the mean achievement scores of students taught using
higher-level cognitive questions and those taught using interactive learning strategies
in Mathematics classroom.

4. There is no significant
difference between the mean achievement of male and female students taught
Mathematics using higher-level cognitive questions.

5. There is no significant difference between the
mean achievement of male and female students taught using interactive learning
strategy in Mathematics classroom.

6. There is no significant
interaction effect of higher-level cognitive questions, interactive learning
strategy and gender on students’ mean achievement in Mathematics classroom.

**
Significance of the Study**

This study would be of benefit to educational
administrators, policy makers, and proprietors of institutions of learning,
stake holders in educational sectors, authors of Mathematics textbooks,
curriculum planners, Mathematics teachers, Curriculum planners, examination
bodies, students and prospective researchers. As the findings would be working
documents and a guide to them, by
including Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive Learning Strategies
in Mathematics as a strong determinant of teaching skills. In other words, to
provide adequate and relevant Mathematics education curriculum, there would be
need for a database concerning instruction procedures for effectively teaching
the content of such curriculum.

The findings of
this study would be of immense benefits to Mathematics teachers by providing
guidance for the use of Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive
Learning Strategies in the teaching of Mathematics. It would also improve their
questioning and interactive learning techniques in the course of teaching the
subject. In this way, some of the existing gaps in the knowledge of methods of
instruction in Mathematics would hopefully be filled.

The findings of
this study would also enable Mathematics Curriculum planners, examination
bodies such as the National Examination Council (NECO), to plan alongside with
the use on the questions and interactive learning strategies. Recommendations
based on findings in the study would help them to make informed decision about
how to set questions for candidates in public Mathematics in examinations.

On the part of
the students, it would help to promote independent student thinking and
involvement in an interactive learning process which will enable students make
good reflections to the steps that were discussed in class during examination
to enable them achieve their educational objectives.

Furthermore, the findings of this study would be an open
avenue for prospective researchers in related studies. The materials and
methodology will be available for other researchers. This study is also of the
anticipation that there would be inducement of other researchers into classroom
instructional procedures, aim at remedying Mathematics phobia developed by
secondary school students.

It is therefore necessary for government to
give public enlightiments of the uses of HLCQ and ILS methods of instruction in
Mathematics organising workshops, seminars and conferences for all stakeholders
in Education.

**
Scope of the Study**

This study
examined the effect of Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive
Learning Strategy on students’ academic achievement in Mathematics in secondary
schools in Edo Central Senatorial District of Edo State, Nigeria. The district
comprises of five (5) local government areas namely: Esan Central, Esan North
East, Esan South East, Esan West and Igueben. The study was carried out in
selected public Secondary Schools by students in class two (SSII) in Edo
Central Senatorial District. The researcher decided to make use of Edo Central
Senatorial District of the State only due to the experimental nature of the
study. The choice of SSII was due to the fact that certificate classes students
may not be available for experimental
study.

The dependent variable, Mathematics academic achievement
of students in Mathematics covered four (4) areas namely: Algebraic expressions,
Linear equations, Simultaneous equations and Quadratic equations in senior
secondary schools class two (SSS 2).

The independent variables covered two teaching strategies
(Higher-Level Cognitive Questions and Interactive Learning Strategy).

**
Operational Definition of Terms**

The following terms were operationally defined for the
study.

Higher-level Cognitive
Questions: These are questions that
cover analysis, synthesis and evaluation in the cognitive level of knowledge in
Mathematics at the senior secondary school two (SSS II) level. These questions
allow for critical thinking and create room for expantiation on the responses.

Lower-level Questions: These
are questions that cover knowledge, comprehension and application in the
cognitive level question that allows for memorization and recall of previously
learnt materials in Mathematics at the senior secondary school two (SSS II)
level.

Interactive Learning
Strategy: This refers to teaching style that promotes an atmosphere for
students’ attention and participation in Mathematics at the senior secondary
school two (SSS II) level in Edo Central Senatorial District. It is the process
of making the class interesting, exciting and creates fun, involving
teacher-students and students-students involvement in the concepts taught in
the class.

Question
Style: This
refers to ways by which teachers help the students to make sense of the concept
being taught and Mathematics connections in secondary schools in Edo Central
Senatorial District

Intention of Teachers’
Questions: These refer to teachers’ questions used to bring about
reasoning from students in Mathematics at the senior secondary school two (SSS
II) level in Edo Central Senatorial District.**================================================================**

**Item Type:**

**Ph.D Material**

**| Attribute:**

**191 pages**

**| Chapters:**

**1-5**

**Format:**

**MS Word**

**| Price:**

~~N~~

**3,000**

**| Delivery:**

**Within 30Mins.**

**================================================================**

## No comments:

## Post a Comment