Innovative Mathematics Teaching Approaches: Do Teachers put them into Practice?
Despite the significance attached to mathematics, poor performance in the subject continues to be a problem. To upgrade the quality of mathematics and science education in secondary schools and address the problem of poor performance, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST) in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) initiated the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) programme, which promotes the use of an innovative teaching approach known as Activity-Student-Experiment-Improvisation-Plan-Do-See-Improve (ASEI-PDSI). This paper reports findings on a study on the implementation of the ASEI-PDSI approach in mathematics lessons that was conducted in Nyamaiya Division, Nyamira County, Kenya in the year 2012. The study sought to investigate, among other things, the extent to which mathematics teachers understand the ASEI-PDSI approach and the extent to which mathematics teachers use the ASEI-PDSI approach. The major finding of the study was that there is minimal use of the ASE-PDSI approach by teachers in mathematics lessons, despite teachers having a sound understanding of the approach. The implication here is that there is more to implementation of innovative teaching and learning approaches than professional development and teachers’ understanding of new methodologies.