The effect of spatial ability and a manipulative experience on achievement in solid geometry problem - solving in selected girls secondary schools in Central Kisii district
Mburu, James Keya
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The persistent poor performance in the KCSE mathematics examinations in general and in three-dimensional solid geometry problem solving in particular, as was evidenced by the KNEC examination candidate's performance reports, formed the problem of this study. The study focused on the improvement of spatial ability and enhancing achievement in solid geometry problem solving, with interest in the female student. A quasi-experiment determined whether; there was a relationship between spatial ability and achievement in solid geometry problem solving, and whether improving the teaching/learning process using various manipulative learning environments (MLE) impacted positively on the student's achievement in solid geometry problem solving. A sample of 90 students was obtained by random stratification from the population of the study, which consisted of form 1 students from three girls-only secondary schools. For female students with different levels of spatial and mathematics skill backgrounds, the findings indicated that; spatial ability, and achievement in solid geometry problem solving were positively correlated (r>or=O.89,p<0.01), achievement in solid geometry problem solving of the female students benefited significantly from the improved manipulative learning environment F (2,81)=18.17,p<. 05,and there were differences in achievement when differences in spatial ability were statistically controlled. Based on these findings it was recommended that when teaching the areas of solid geometry, teachers should use models and real life connections and multi-sensory teaching and learning approaches where possible.