Effectiveness of Implementation of Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Secondary Education Practices and Teaching Of Mathematics in Nyeri County, Kenya
Mugo, Nancy Wanjiru
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Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Secondary Education (SMASSE) inservice training has been ongoing since 2004 when it was introduced in Nyeri County. The programme is believed to enhance teaching practices for mathematics and science teachers, and better performance of the students. However, empirical studies have not conclusively on its implementation and contribution towards teaching mathematics. The purpose of the study was to establish whether effectiveness of SMASSE implementation has enhanced teaching in mathematics for in Nyeri County secondary schools. Specific objectives of the study were: to establish whether in the implementation of SMASSE, utilization of local resources, classroom practices as well as attitudes and beliefs of teachers and students towards mathematics promoted learning of mathematics in Nyeri County. Vygotsky‟s constructivism Theory of Learning was adopted while empirical reviews enable the researcher identify research gaps. The study adopted a survey design, a method of collecting information by administering questionnaires and by interviewing a sample of individuals. The target population consisted of 2191 and sample size was 346 respondents sampled using simple random sampling technique at 30% for head teachers (8), mathematics teachers (24), 15% for students (312) and all (2) SMASSE trainers. Data was collected using questionnaires which were first piloting in three purposively selected schools. Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Karl Pearson‟s moment correlation and multi-regression coefficient were computed to enable inference, conclusion and recommendations. Quantitative findings were reported by use of frequency tables. Qualitative data were analyzed through content analysis and presented through prose discussion based on their support to the quantitative analysis. The study findings were that the SMASSE INSET training programme can enhance the performance of secondary school students in mathematics. However, the programme has not been attended by majority of science teachers in Nyeri County. Teachers‟ classroom practices, attitudes towards ASEI/ PDSI approach influenced mathematics teaching. Students‟ attitudes towards mathematics also affected their performance in mathematics, and they cited that teachers did not cover the syllabus on time, meaning the teachers study plans were not effective. The supply of learning materials was effective though usage by teachers had challenges since they did not engage students in preparation. The inferential results affirm descriptive results and the study thus concludes that there is a significant relationship between effective SMASSE practices implementation and teaching in Nyeri County Secondary schools. The study recommends that the ministry of education should initialize teachers‟ sensitization programmes on SMASSE INSET training, thereby informing them of its importance in enhancing teaching in sciences and capacity to improve students‟ performance in class and national exams.