Exploration of Mathematics Teaching Strategies to Learners with Dyscalculia in Public Day Secondary Schools in Kericho County
Talam, Josphine Chepkorir
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Mathematics all over the world plays a pivotal role in individual or learner’s lives, it is a bridge to science, technology and other subjects offered in any formal educational system. Mathematics has long been recognized worldwide as important in the understanding of other subjects like chemistry, biology, and physics. Learning disability is a dynamic and expanding condition that is found across all ages. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mathematics teaching strategies used in teaching mathematics to learners with dyscalculia in Kericho County. Guided by Jean Piaget’s theory, the study adopted a descriptive design which used mixed model research with both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The study was carried out in Kericho County. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to carry out the study. The pilot study was done in 35 randomly selected public day secondary schools in different localities within the County to effectively analyze the methodologies of teaching the subject in the region. Data from the research instruments, namely mathematics teachers’questionnaires and mathematics students’questionnaires was coded and analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS v25) to obtain descriptive statistics. To ensure validity, face and content validity was conducted. Aslo, the Cronbach Coefficient Formula was applied to guarantee reliability. The results revealed that thirty eight percent (38%) of the mathematics teachers in Kericho County assessed students’ records to identify dyscalculia problem. The findings also revealed that 19 out of 300 randomly sampled students, which represent 6.3% of the total sampled students, suffered from dyscalculia. Further, lack of experienced special needs teachers and poor cooperation from the relevant stakeholders such as parents, guardians, and other staff among others were major challenges that teachers faced when dealing with dyscalculic learners. Also, reviewing the previous lessons and maximizing the use of homework were some of the major interventions that helped in increasing dyscalculic learners’ performance. Besides, some of the major teaching strategies include peer tutoring and ensuring presence of mathematics symbols and terms displayed in mathematics lessons. The study concluded that majority of the students who score less than 25% marks were struggling with mathematics and not dyscalculic. Also, majority of the teachers may have confused dyscalculic students with those who struggled. The researcher recommends that progressive records should be used to establish if the learners are dyscalculic or they are merely struggling with mathematics. The government should ensure a conducive environment to enhance performance of dyscalculic students. It should also ensure that schools have enough teachers with special needs skills.