Influence of practical approach of teaching on student achievement in geometry in public primary schools in Thogoto zone, Kiambu County, Kenya
Mwangi, Peter Gachoka
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Over the years poor performance has consistently been observed in geometry. Geometry has an important place in primary school mathematics curricula. This study aimed at establishing the influence of practical approach on achievement in geometry in public primary schools in Thogoto zone, Kiambu County. The main objectives of the study determined the extent which mathematics teachers use the practical method. The study also established resources used, effects and errors and also investigated teachers and pupils’ attitudes towards geometry.This study was carried out in public primary schools in Thogoto educational zone, Kiambu County. The zone had twelve public primary schools with total population of 1035 pupils and 24 mathematics teachers. In this study one school was used for piloting and four other schools were used for the main study. Quasi experimental research and cluster sampling method were used. Four schools were randomly sampled from four clusters making up the zone. Three hundred and forty three pupils and eight teachers were randomly sampled from four schools sampled. Geometry standard tests and questionnaires were used to obtain data. Standard seven mathematics syllabuses content on geometry were analyzed to form ten questions. Geometry standard tests were administered to all standard seven pupils before and after teaching. Teaching and learning methodology data, gathered using teachers and pupils questionnaires. Data analyzed using excel and statistical package for social sciences (SPSS version 2.0). Frequency tables, graphs and pie charts were used. Findings showed that mathematics teachers within Thogoto zone used variety of methods while teaching geometry. There was general consensus among teachers that use of teaching/ learning resources improved teaching. T-Test analysis showed significant effect on performance when using practical approach. The critical value at p < 0.05 using 2-tailed t-table i.e. p (T > b) = α/2 with degree of freedom (df) = 298, b was 1.960 where α was infinity. The critical value at 10% significance level was 1.282, which was 10% in each lower and upper tail. The critical value at 5% significance level was 2.326 and 2.576 at 1% significance level. Findings indicated four conclusions. First, use of practical method in teaching geometry was very low, secondly, practical teaching was more effective method of teaching than other classroom teaching methods, thirdly, geometrical concepts that relates to shapes were easily understood by pupils and lastly, teachers and pupils had both positive and negative attitudes towards geometry teaching. The study recommended that, ministry of education should target to incorporate practical teaching of geometry in primary schools through SMASE program, emphasizing on improvisation of teaching and learning resources, organizing in-service training on syllabus interpretation and applications of practical approach in teaching, focusing on enhancing teachers understanding on practical teaching and improving creativity and attitude change in geometry teaching and learning.