Background of the Study
Education is a systematic training and instruction designed to transmit knowledge and developed skills in individuals. This involves a continuing development of relevant knowledge, skills and habit whose broad understanding and application enable individual to contribute meaningful towards the growth of their society (Mbah, 2012). It is believed that the quality of a nation’s education is proportional to the level of its prosperity. Nigeria having realized the effectiveness of education as a powerful instrument for national progress and development, advised her educational philosophy and methodology to match the ideals and challenges of changing economics and social structure of modern society (FME, 2013). The policy is geared towards producing individual who will not only possess the capacity to solve his problem but also contribute to the development of his society. A number of several subjects such as mathematics etc. are included with the expectation that when properly taught, a more effective learning will be the result; hence, the realization of the goal of Nigerian education as stated in the National Policy on Education (Oche, 2012).
There are certain subjects that are classified as core subjects. While others known as elective (FME 2013). Core subjects, are those subjects which students compulsorily offer while electives subjects consist of subject from which students can freely make their choice. At the Junior Secondary School level, Mathematics is a core subject which should be taught. This is because; the concept such as geometry in Mathematics plays an important role to an individual day to day life and also the nation at large. Mathematics is one of the core subjects that is taken very serious in the school system irrespective of country or level of education. It has been described as a model of thinking (Iji, 2008), which encourages learners to observe, reflect and reason logically about a problem and in communicating ideas, making it the central intellectual discipline. The literally meaning of Mathematics is “thing which can be counted” therefore one can think that counting has vital role in our daily life, imagine that there were no mathematics at all, how would it be possible for one to count numbers of the family, number of students in the class, days in the week or in a month or years? As rudiment or a basic level, one need to be able to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide. Mathematics is a leading logical science upon which other science depends;
Mathematics can be defined as the communication system for concepts of shapes, size, quantity and order used to describe diverse phenomena both in physical and economic situation. Mathematics is a tool used in science, technology and industries. The definition connotes that all sciences draw their aspirations from mathematics and in fact, implies that Mathematics is a language of sciences. Ezeugo and Agwagah (2000), in their study looked at mathematics as a scientific tool in realizing the nation scientific and technological aspirations. Also Usman (2002) considered mathematics as a subject that encroaches into all aspects of human endeavour and further described mathematics as the life wire in the study of various disciplines. It is this importance of mathematics that compelled the Federal Government of Nigeria to make mathematics a compulsory subject from the Primary School through Senior Secondary School education. However, literature reviews constantly show the low performance of students at all levels of education in the subject (Suleiman, 2010). Other reports on the same subjects matter have over the years indicated poor academic performance and general negative attitudes of students towards the subject (Tali, 2012; Sherax, 2014; Jackson and Martins, 2014). Furthermore, geometry an aspect of Mathematics contributes immensely to helping students develop the skills of critical thinking, problem solving ability, conjecturing, deductive reasoning, logical argument and proof. Geometric representations can be used to help students make sense of other areas of Mathematics. Geometry is an important source of mathematical thinking. It helps to sharpen man’s intuition and ability to think logically as well as kindle his interest in observations. It comprises of theories and logical proofs which could be very interesting if well understood. To highlight the importance of teaching geometric concepts effectively, Ogunkunle (2000) opined, “Geometry is supposed to assist students to:
Clarity and enlarge their store of concepts
Aid in the use of geometric instruments
Acquaint students with good geometrical notations
Develop insight into analogous properties
Systemize the initial geometric information and extends its application in everyday life.
Geometry constitutes 38% of the Mathematics Curriculum and it is the worst performed topic in all Nigerian external and internal examinations making the overall subject performance very poor (Tsoho, 2011). Since Geometry involves a lot of application to real world situations and proofs. The researcher decided to examine whether guided-discovery and demonstration method of teaching can best handle the difficult and challenging concept like geometry. There exist a number of teaching methods available for teachers to use and they include lecture method, discussion method, demonstration method, problem solving method, laboratory methods, guide discovery method and plaway method to mention just a few. This study compares two teaching strategies (Guided discovery and Demonstration Methods of teaching mathematics with a view to determining which of them will be more effective and will result in better learning and greater performance through which the teaching and learning of geometry at Junior Secondary Schools in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State may be improved. Therefore, feasible ways of improving the performance has remained an area of great concern for researchers. The deplorable state of mathematics achievements is attributed to a number of factors ranging from teachers competency on the subject matter, learners attitude and perception, the curriculum, instructional strategies and materials, (Oluwatusin, 2010). Similarly (Yara & Otieno, 2010) identified other factors as problems associated with language of instruction, learners of instruction, curriculum problem, learners characteristics, lack of relevant mathematics textbooks, inadequate instructional resources. This calls for remedy as learners exhibit a lot of apathy towards mathematics. Therefore, for any successful teaching/learning process, it is pertinent that every teacher should decide the suitable instructional strategies to aid the teaching and learning process. These strategies become teaching strategies when teachers independently select appropriate ones and use them effectively to accomplish tasks or meet goals. Effective instructional and learning strategies can be used across grade levels and subject areas, and can accommodate a range of student differences. Instructional strategy adopted by the teacher can be manipulated to bring about improvement in performance of students. Hence teaching and learning of mathematics consistently generates interest among scholars. Over the years, several studies have been shown by the researchers that good instructional strategies are capable of improving the performance of Junior Secondary School Students in mathematics and other subjects. (Ihendinidu, 2008). Although the researcher has listed many instructional strategies, this study will be limited to two (Demonstration and Guided-discovery teaching strategies).
Guided-discovery method: A teaching method whereby the students is featured as the active participant, where the teacher assumes the roles of a facilitator, mediator and assessor of learning have been found to be superior in developing students’ abilities in applying concepts and personal growth, developing positive attitudes, fostering motivation and encouraging appropriate group social skills (Welbery, 2009). An approach of instruct through which students interact with their environment by exploring and manipulating object is regarded as discovery teaching (Ormrod, 2000). Discovering teaching has been described as a process of allowing the student to take the leading role in his own learning experience. This method encourages students to actively use their intuition, imagination, and creativity because the method starts with the examples until they discover the interrelationship. Bruner (1961) believes that classroom learning should take place through inductive reasoning that is by using specific examples to formulate a general principle. For instance, if students are presented with enough examples of triangles and non-triangles, you will eventually discover that the basic properties of triangles must be. The teacher therefore acts as a facilitator and guides, making it possible for the learner to reach mutually agreed upon goals. The teacher serves as a resource person to stimulate, motivate, clarify and explain. The idea is that students are likely to remember concepts they are discover on their own.
Demonstration method of teaching, according to Clark (2005), is based on simple but sound principle that we learn by “doing”. This method is particularly effective in teaching a subject like mathematics that can be observed and then performed. The demonstration method has the advantage of being a good way of motivating students to learn and also believed to save time and materials as well as show how to avoid breakages and accidents. However, it does not allow pupils/students to develop manipulation demands for carrying out activities on their own; as such, demonstration method is a method that is suitable for most categories of learners. Demonstration method is a valuable to people who want to learn new skills or ability or even to learn a better way of doing something, Godwin (2004). Infact, it is the basic method for introducing new skills to the learner, developing understanding and for setting people to accept new and better ways of doing things. The demonstration is done by the teacher while the students watch. This teaching method can only be effective if it is properly chosen and used. Demonstrations, when used by a skillful teacher, are conducive to the development and maintenance of interests among pupils.
Demonstration is a method of teaching where sight and hearing are the major means of communication, Martin (2005). It is of the researchers’ believe that the use of guided-discovery and demonstration teaching strategy in mathematics will help Junior Secondary School Students removed some of the social apathy towards mathematics and that, their achievement depends on their active participation not only their teachers. Thus the students will appreciate the need for their involvement in mathematics activities in skills and mathematical knowledge which will enhance capacity build and sustainable development. In other words, the student will enabled towards achievement of national goals for mathematics education. This is why the present study sought to compare and investigate the efficacy of both guided-discovery and demonstration teaching strategy on the performance of Secondary School Mathematics Students in Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria.
Statement of the Problem
The problem of this study is to evaluate the extents to which guided-discovery method and demonstration method enhanced the performance of mathematics students in schools. This has been described over the years that there exist the problem of students low academic achievements in public and internal examinations and it is attributed to poor attitudes of student in learning mathematics it was observed that poor performance in geometry has become prominent especially at basic mathematics level and this may be due to the fact that traditional methods like lectures. Rote learning and unguided discovery are being used by teachers (Kaura, 2014). The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Examiners report (2005 and 2013) revealed that students have problems with geometric areas of mathematics which is lack of essential rudiments of geometry at lower levels of education. The report identified that students have difficulty to accurately measure, draw and construct and prove identities or use of formulae in geometry, virtually students suffer skills and abilities needed in geometry. Pathetically, shameful failure in students’ academic performance in Nigeria is no longer news in the recent years. This axiomatically noted in the public’s unhappiness which became more prominent following the annual release of the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination results. The situation is so pathetic that stakeholders keep on wondering why this level has persistently failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the society. The following table indicates the state of consistence poor performance in public examination from 2006 to 2014 sun news, 2011 and vanguard, 2014.
EFFECT OF GUIDED-DISCOVERY AND DEMONSTRATION METHOD ON JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT’S PERFORMANCE IN GEOMETRY.