Impact of instructional materials on academic achievement in mathematics in public primary schools in Siaya county, Kenya
Apondi, Jenipher A
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The purpose of this research project is to determine the impact of instructional materials on academic achievement in Public Primary Schools in Siaya County when compared to only abstract mathematics symbols. The project was based on four objectives including; to establish the impact of concrete materials on achievement in measurement involving money, to establish the impact of Geo board on achievement in Geometry, to determine the impact of Algebra tiles on achievement in Algebra and to determine the impact of place value blocks on achievement in mathematics number operations. The study adopted experimental design involving pre test, post test of treatment and control groups. The study was conducted in public primary schools in Siaya County. The target population was 20564 Children and 696 standard four teachers and sample size comprised of 392 children and 8 teachers of mathematics. The findings from the research project indicated that teachers have undergone an education system that had enlightened them on need to know when, why and how to use manipulative effectively in the classroom as well as opportunities to observe; first-hand impact of allowing learning through exploration with concrete objects. According to findings, it can be seen that the control group of schools had mean and standard deviation of 52.70and 13.57, respectively, while the experimental group of schools had a mean and standard deviation of 74.30and 8.74, respectively. The difference in performance of children in control group of schools and those in experimental group of schools was found to be statistically significant (t (8) = -5.482, p = .004, two tailed). This suggests that children who are taught mathematics using instructional materials perform better than those who are only taught mathematics using abstract mathematics symbols only. The difference in performance is due to interventions (treatment) done to the experimental group of schools. Instructional material had more impact in achievement in measurement involving money. Further findings show that children in control group scored higher marks when they used place value blocks than children in experimental group where instructional materials were applied. Geo board as an instructional material had big impact on geometry achievement as compared to only mathematical symbols in learning mathematics. Algebra tiles on achievement in Algebra as a concept in mathematics had greatest impact compared to only mathematical symbols. These findings show that children in experimental group scored higher marks than children in control group where instructional materials were not applied. Study recommends that since children taught mathematics using instructional materials perform better than those who are taught mathematics using abstract mathematics symbols only, they should be taught by use of instructional materials for better performance in mathematics. In study where impact of place value blocks in achieving basic operations on numbers in mathematics, Children in control group scored higher marks than children in experimental group where instructional materials were applied. Study recommends that all stake holders involved in the management of mathematics performance to rethink the way forward. Government and ministry of education need to encourage elementary teachers to use manipulative to help teach mathematics thereby positively affecting student learning. Incorporating manipulative into mathematics lessons in meaningful ways helps students grasp concepts with greater ease, making teaching most effective.
University of Nairobi