A survey of mathematics literature and related problems encountered in teaching mathematics in absence of basic course book in secondary schools in Kenya: a sample survey of government aided schools in Kisumu District
Walwende, Shadrak Adero
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This study was carried out in Kisumu District in Nyanza province of Kenya. It attempted to find out mathematics textbooks, which were in current use in secondary schools for the teaching of the 1984 mathematics syllabus draft, (Appropriate mathematics). No specific textbook had yet been recommended by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology. The study sought opinions of mathematics teachers about which textbooks most adequately and effectively covered the said syllabus. Their opinion on the role played by course books in comparison to use of a variety of textbooks in teaching a mathematics program was also sought. The study utilised a simple empirical survey methods of inquiry to gather the data. The sample of the study of the study was forty-two trained mathematics teachers drawn randomly from a random sample of fourteen government aided secondary schools in Kisumu District. Descriptive statistics was employed in the analysis of the collected data. Among other findings the study established the following: (1) Out of sixteen different textbook series identified in schools, six were more popular as teacher reference texts. Of these six, three textbooks featured significantly as main class textbooks. (2) No single textbook was found to adequately and effectively cover the said syllabus. One textbook, Mathematics for Kenya schools by Patel and Kumar. Was however thought suitable for the syllabus that needed to be supplemented by two other texts also found in the study. (3) Teachers saw more advantages in teaching mathematics by use of a variety of textbooks instead of using basic course books, which on the other hand were indicated to be useful for thorough and accurate coverage of a syllabus and for enhancement of continuity in the teaching of topic after topic in the course. The study recommended that: (1) In the absence of suitable textbooks for the current mathematics syllabus, teachers needed to be more committed to their preparatory duties. Instead of relying on single class textbooks, they ought to be adventurous in search of other reference materials for their teaching. (2) Schools needed to provide a variety of relevant, and quality reference textbooks to the mathematics staff for their daily use in preparing proper schemes and lessons notes. (3) The curriculum planners and developers together with the Inspectorate should strengthen their efforts in providing suitable textbooks and other related guidance to teachers to buy the necessary instructional strategies in the teaching of mathematics.