Application of Smasse's Asei/Pdsi Principles when Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools of Nakuru District

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Nyakwama, Joyce Kwamboka
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The importance of mathematics education can best be acknowledged through the multiple roles it plays both in the life and development of an individual and of the society, hence the need to make mathematics education more accommodating of student needs. In the attempt to improve performance in mathematics, it is no longer a matter of having trained teachers in a school but teachers whose classroom practices can enhance student achievement. Quality teaching and learning is reflected in high student achievement in an increasingly competitive society where good performance in mathematics is imperative as a prerequisite for any significant advancement. The Kenyan government has continued to intervene so as to enhance achievement in mathematics. One major intervention by the government is the Strengthening Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) project. This joint initiative between-the governments of Kenya and Japan was intended to provide quality t '" In-Service Training (INSET) for teachers in order to enhance teaching and learning hence, achievement in mathematics and sciences. Teachers have had to keep abreast by attending the INSET. Since the INSET's launch, significant student achievement particularly in mathematics is yet to be realized in national examinations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the application of the principles of Activity-Student-Experiment- Improvisation/Plan-Do-See-Improve (ASEVPDSI) by mathematics teachers in secondary schools of Nakuru District, with the aim of facilitating greater understanding about the use of principles for enhanced student achievement. Specific objectives of the study were: to assess school preparedness in terms of resources; to investigate how actual instructional sessions are conducted, and to determine prevailing views on ASEIIPDSI principles. Reviewed literature covered aspects of the objectives of this study. The descriptive survey design was used for this study whose target population was 4,040 subjects among them 45 principals, 45 mathematics Heads Of Department (HOD), 118 mathematics teachers and 3,826 form three students: Convenience, stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select a total sample':Qf~,40respondents (10 secondary schools, 10 principals, 10 HODs, 40 teachers and 480 students. Questionnaires, interview schedules and class observation schedules were usedto collect data. Piloting of instruments was done and the split-half method followed by the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula was used to determine the reliability of the instruments. Instrument validity was determined through appraisal by experts. Data obtained from the study was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software, version 17.0 and presented using simple descriptive statistics such as tables, graphs, charts and figures. Data obtained through interviews was reviewed, transcribed, organized into coherent categories and coded for analysis using the SPSS computer software and then presented and discussed thematically. Findings from the study revealed that the schools had adequate, professional and SMASSE trained teachers, school facilities and teaching-learning resources were fairly adequate while mathematics instructional sessions were teacher-dominated with little or no active involvement of students. Prevalent during lessons was the use of text books and the chalkboard, lessons lacked extensive student activities. Application of ASEIIPDSI principles was invisible, teachers' and students' attitude towards mathematics and ASEIIPDSI principles was relatively positive albeit factors that hinder their application.