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Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

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Abstract

The study focused on enhancing SHS students’ understanding and performance in aspects of integrated science using cooperative learning strategies. The research was conducted in Gomoa- Potsin T.I Ahamadiyyah Senior High School. The design of the research was action research. The study used 52 students, and these students were exposed to cooperative learning strategies. Students completed a 7-week unit on the basic principles of genetics, Mendelian genetics, and the inheritance aspect of integrated science.

The data of the study was collected by using pretest and posttest items. The students’ pretest and posttest scores were subjected to Microsoft excel and percentages of the mean. The results affirmed that when students have the opportunity to cooperate with other colleagues in learning, their academic performance would be enhanced. Furthermore, teachers who guide students through cooperative learning are bound to reduce their workload as students do most of the learning on their own.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 Introduction

 This chapter discusses the background of the study and the statement of the problem. It also throws light on the purpose of the study and research questions. Furthermore, the chapter addresses the significance of the research study, delimitation as well as limitations of the study; lastly, the chapter contains definitions of terms used in the study.

1.1. Background to the Study

In general, most students have developed negative stereotypes about mathematics as a subject. Most students perceive mathematics as a difficult subject that only exceptional students can pursue. Several reasons have been suggested for these negative attitudes of students towards mathematics; some of these include students’ undesirable experiences in previous mathematics courses with instructors, lack of needed skills to learn and apply mathematical concepts, lack of motivation to work hard in mathematics classes, home backgrounds, School and classroom environments, biases of peer group, the media’s portrayal of mathematicians, and students perceptions of rewards associated with learning  (Rogers & Ford, 1997).

Mathematics anxiety, the fear of mathematics learning, and apprehension toward mathematicians and mathematics-related activities are also results of these factors (Rogers & Ford,1997). The way mathematics is taught in the various Junior High Schools, Senior High, and colleges plays a major role in shaping students’ attitudes toward mathematics. Students of Junior High School always regard mathematics as being a difficult subject especially, the non-science students.

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Ghanaians are confronted daily with situations that require the use of mathematical information to make informed choices and decisions at every turn. Modern life also requires general mathematical literacy for every Ghanaian citizen and this is why the study of mathematics is compulsory for all students at the basic level and secondary levels of education in Ghana. This is the only way by which the country can create a mathematics culture toward achieving the country’s strategic program of mathematics, science, and technological literacy in the shortest possible time (Teaching Syllabus for  SHS Mathematics,2007).

Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

This necessarily raises the question of how to improve students’ attitudes toward mathematics, and whether the way we teach mathematics in Ghana plays a significant role in this challenge. In short, it is not only what we teach but also how we teach it. These are important factors that one needs to take into consideration in how to improve student success (Moore, 1989). It can be seen that mathematics is a course that does not depend only on one method of delivery for its progress.

It has been observed in most Junior High Schools in the country that, the method of delivery of most mathematics lessons is lecture mode and mostly teacher-centered. Due to this, learning mathematics has been more abstract than concrete, hence making it difficult for students to understand the basic concepts in mathematics and hence fail woefully in its application in examinations and real-life situations.

As Albert Einstein puts it “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in School” Because science is more abstract to students, they try to memorize without an understanding of the concept and hence forget everything after writing their examination. Therefore, a strategic effort to improve mathematics education should be adopted by every School and the country at large in other to have a holistic approach in making mathematics a better and understandable subject through various forms of research in that area of study. This strategic effort researcher thought should be used, is the use of different delivery approaches in the teaching and learning process.

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Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Mathematics is one of the basic essential subjects that a learner needs a good pass in it to be able to enroll in high school and even to various tertiary institutions. Most teachers of mathematics especially in Ghana mostly use one method of delivery thus the traditional method of delivery is mostly said to be the lecture method. This however has not been of help to the learners since learning becomes more abstract than concrete hence making it difficult for them to understand and this leads to their failure in mathematics, therefore making them unable to enter into tertiary institutions.

However, there are several methods of teaching and learning of mathematics. One of these methods is students engaging in rote learning of mathematics. Biechle and Snowman (1997) highlighted the importance of the learner’s thinking processes using Ausubel’s suggestion that whether a student engaged in meaningful or rote learning depended on the learner’s intention or learning set in addition to the nature of the learning task.

They indicated that every child has unique cognitive structure and many students believed that memorization is the only way to learn. Therefore, these students use a rote memorization approach to learn even logically organized problem or discovery problems.  It is however noted that the performance of students especially in mathematics at both the JHS and SHS level in Ghana is on a continual decline.

For example, there was a sharp decline in student performance as  47.1%  excelled in Elective Mathematics in 2013 as against 75.1% in 2012 while 36.8% excelled in Core Mathematics in 2013 as against 49.9% in 2012 (VEDICTMATHGHANA, 2014). The cause may probably be due to Ghanaian teachers’ inability to vary their teaching methods. Most of the teachers use the lecture method or the traditional method of teaching; they do not use a variety of teaching methods.

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1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to improve the attitude and performance of JHS one students of Ahafoman Junior High School through the use of cooperative strategies.

1.4 The objective of the study

Based on the purpose of study, the objectives of this researcher are to:

  • Analyze students’ response to questions in order to determine their understanding of concepts in mathematics.
  • Use cooperative teaching and learning strategies to improve students’ understanding of concepts in mathematics.
  • Determine the performance of students after the use of cooperative learning instructional strategies

1.5 Research  Questions

The study underlines the following research questions:

  • What is the attitude of students in mathematics after the use of the cooperative learning instructional approach?
  • What is the difference in the performance of the students in mathematics before and after being exposed to cooperative learning instructional strategies?
  • What is the gender difference in students’ performance in mathematics before and after exposure to cooperative learning strategies?

1.6 Significance of the Study

The results of the study will serve as a guide and provide teachers with an innovative approach to the delivery of mathematics lessons. The research would help teachers in the use of cooperative learning instructional strategies in the classroom. It would also help educational curriculum designers to place more emphasis on cooperative learning instructional strategies in the designing of the curriculum. The attitude of students towards mathematics will change from negative to positive.

Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem 

Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

Using Guided Discovery Methods to Assist Senior High School Students to Overcome their Difficulties in Pythagoras Theorem

Mr. Harrison

Project Gurus is a subsidiary website owned by Harrilibrary Integrated Services which was registered under the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria that was established in 1990 vide Companies and Allied Matters Act no 1 1990 as amended, now on Act cap C20 Laws of Federation of Nigeria. Our aim and objective is to assist students all over the world on their educational research works. We are committed toward assisting students at all level of education in their academic work. We have a team of seasonal writers who are vested with the current knowledge in research work. For more information contact on via Email @[email protected] or WhatsApp us on +2348127963962

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