Pedagogic Strategies Influencing Pupils’ Learning of Algebraic Concepts in Upper Primary School Classes in Laikipia West Sub-County, Laikipia County, Kenya
Mwangi, Samuel Wang’ombe
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This study was aimed at establishing the pedagogic strategies influencing pupils’ learning of algebraic concepts in upper primary school classes in Laikipia West sub-County, Kenya. The three objectives of the study were to establish; (i) the widely used pedagogic strategies in teaching algebra; (ii) the factors influencing the teachers’ choice of pedagogic strategies in learning of algebra; and (iii) the pedagogic strategy that contributes most to pupils’ learning of algebra in upper primary classes. In Kenya, researchers in the past have addressed the cause of poor performance in Mathematics at national level in Kenya Certificate of Primary Education but have not addressed the pedagogic strategies applied in teaching and learning of algebra in upper primary classes in Kenya with particular focus on Laikipia West sub-County. The researcher used a descriptive survey design. Descriptive survey included both qualitative and quantitative in data collection to obtain responses from both Mathematics teachers and pupils in the upper primary school classes where algebra is mostly taught. The target population was 85 primary schools and 581 trained teachers in Laikipia West sub-County. First stage sampling included a simple random sample to select 17 schools representing 20% of target population to ensure all categories in the population is represented. Two trained Mathematics teachers from each school teaching standard seven class were purposively selected. Moreover, simple random sampling was used in selecting two hundred and sixty (260) class seven pupils following their class registers. Data was collected through questionnaires for both teachers and pupils; achievement test for pupils, observation schedule and interview schedule were administered to Mathematics teachers. The research instrument was piloted to enhance the validity and reliability. The achievement test was used to test pupils’ competence in algebra guided by the syllabus approved by the Ministry of Education. Data obtained was analyzed using statistical package for social science (SPSS version 22.0). The study revealed that there was significant difference in the pedagogical strategy used by teachers (F = 427.53, P = 0.0001). Cooperative learning was the most used strategy. The most effective pedagogical strategies that contributes to pupils’ learning of algebra, was similarly found to be cooperative strategy, (χ2 = 29.001, P = 0.031). The study, therefore, concluded that poor performance in algebra by students can be attributed to lack of active participation in the Mathematics classroom.