Relationship between Students’ Mathematics Final Grade at Secondary School and Primary Teachers Education: Case of Thogoto Teachers College, Kiambu County, Kenya
Karanja, Stephen Mwangi
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The importance of a teacher’s mastery of subject matter for effective teaching of Mathematics has long been recognized. Questions have been raised regarding adequacy of teachers’ knowledge of facts, concepts, theories and principles in Mathematics. This, in turn has focused attention upon the quality of Teacher Education Programs. This study, therefore set out to evaluate the relationship between students’ Mathematics final grade at secondary school (Mathematics content masterly) and at Primary Teachers Education (Mathematics pedagogical skills and knowledge masterly): case of Thogoto Teachers College, Kiambu County, Kenya. The objectives of this study were: (i) To establish the difference in students’ performance by gender in Kenya Certificate of secondary school Mathematics among Pre-primary School teachers. (ii) To establish the difference in students’ performance by gender in Primary Teachers Education Mathematics among Pre-primary School. (iii) To compare the time allocated to Mathematics content knowledge versus Mathematics pedagogical knowledge and skills, and (IV) To determine the extent to which prospective teachers’ KCSE Mathematics’ grades predicts PTE Mathematics grade. The study was conducted at Thogoto Teachers’ Training College. The study adopted correlation survey research design based on ex-post facto research methodology where secondary data of KCSE and PTE Mathematics scores of 160 randomly selected students from two consecutive academic years were obtained from examination archives. The study also adopted a descriptive survey research design to collect data by use of a guided questionnaire to interview 6 purposively selected Mathematics lecturers at Thogoto TTC. The data collected was sorted, coded and analyzed with the aid of SPSS software version 22. Data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics; Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and multiple regression analysis. The results were presented in terms of tables, graphs and charts. The study revealed that performance in Mathematics among female students is low compared to male students. The study also revealed that the PTTC Mathematics syllabus is designed for the purpose of teaching pedagogical knowledge among the Pre-Service teachers as opposed to subject matter content knowledge. It was also revealed that KCSE Mathematics performance predicts PTE Mathematics at 30-50%. The study recommends that PTTC lecturers should put into consideration Pre-service teachers entry grade in order to accommodate poor students in Mathematics subject matter during classroom instructions. The study also recommends that PTTC placement board should revise their selection criteria and include a minimum requirement of C- in Mathematics for admission to PTTC. The study also recommends that Centre for Mathematics and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA)should particularly target the newly recruited teachers for the in-service courses to improve their mathematical skills and finally the study recommends that the ministry of education, TTC administrators and parents should in conjunction provide incentives to female students to boost their performance in Mathematics.