The teaching approach that teachers adopt is a crucial factor that may affect students’ motivation and achievement in Chemistry. Innovative and research based teaching methods that enhance effective and efficient teaching of chemistry should be used. Such methods promote cognitive, psychomotor and affective characteristics of the learners. Recent developments in science education show that there is need to expose learners to basic concepts in a given topic. This prepares them psychologically for related but more challenging topics or units ahead and ensures that every learner masters the concepts taught before proceeding to the next unit of study. In line with these developments, this study investigated the effects of Cooperative Mastery Learning Approach (CMLA) on secondary school students’ motivation and achievement in chemistry in Kenya’s Bomet East and Bomet Central Sub-Counties. Chemistry performance at KCSE level has been low and has continued to decline over the years in these sub-counties. Solomon Four Non-equivalent control group design was used, in which samples of four co-educational district secondary schools were drawn from the schools in the County. A total of 205 Form Two students were involved. Students in all the four groups were taught the same chemistry content of the topic: Effect of Electric Current on Substances. In the experimental groups, CMLA teaching strategy was used while Conventional Teaching Methods were used in the control groups. Two groups were pre-tested prior to the implementation of CMLA treatment. At the end of the treatment, all the four groups were post-tested using Students’ Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ) and Chemistry Achievement Test (CAT). The instruments were validated with the help of experts in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Educational Management of Egerton University. The SMQ and the CAT were pilot-tested to establish the reliability coefficients which were found to be 0.82 and 0.78 respectively hence acceptable for the study since each of the values was greater than 0.70. Data collected were analysed using mean, t-test, one-way ANOVA and ANCOVA. The SPSS computer package was used in data analysis. All statistical tests were subjected to a test of significance at 0.05 α-level. The findings indicate that the motivation level was significantly higher for students taught using CMLA compared to those taught using conventional teaching methods. Students taught using CMLA achieved significantly higher scores in CAT than those taught using conventional teaching methods. However, there was no significant gender difference in motivation and achievement when boys and girls were taught using CMLA. This implies that the CMLA is suitable for teaching both male and female students. In addition, education authorities in Kenya should encourage chemistry teachers to use the teaching approach. Moreover, teacher education institutions should make it part of their teacher training curriculum content.

Background to the Study
The ultimate goal of teaching science subjects in secondary school is to develop members of society that are sufficiently literate and that possess relevant skills needed for technological innovations as well as meet the manpower requirements for the development of a country.

Theories in economics and sociology link the level of scientific and technological development in a country with its national development (Opare, 1996). Science and Technology Education (STE) is regarded as a vehicle for economic and social development in a country (Shumba, 2003).

Since independence, Kenya’s Ministry of Education has been advocating for the need to improve the teaching and learning of science. Its main objective is to create a foundation of a technologically oriented workforce in line with the national development (Ministry of Education, 2003). Despite the increase in provision in terms of resources and facilities, schools generally have not been able to make significant improvements in science. This will have a serious repercussion on the country’s effort towards becoming a scientifically and technologically advanced nation by the year 2030 (Kerich, 2004; Republic of Kenya, 2008). This is because, in order to achieve this vision it would require nothing short of good performance in science at all levels of schooling.

One of the challenges teachers are facing is how to improve students’ performance nationally in chemistry as its pass rates at Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education level is the lowest compared to that of biology and physics (Njoku, 2007). Since chemistry is one of the important subjects in the fields of medicine and natural sciences, the country will not be able to produce sufficient number of doctors, dentists, pharmacists and natural scientists to meet the demand of the country’s socio-economic development (Wachanga, 2005). This implies that scientific and technological development cannot be achieved unless the necessary scientific infrastructure is put in place, which in itself presupposes an adequate system of education. Thus without a strong base in STE, the development of a country is in shambles (Barchok, 2006).

Currently, science is perceived as something having universal value, and perhaps more importantly, an essential component of the core curriculum for all (Osborn & Wittrock, 2003). Advocates of formal education perceive science and mathematics as an essential component in developing the intellectual and critical abilities of an educated and rational individual, that is, somebody who is open-minded, holds a commitment to evidence, rather than dogma (Osborn & Wittrock, 2003). One of the prime aims of modern science education is to enhance creativity among learners (Okere, 1996). Science education should therefore develop the ability of the students to reason, understand and bring out their ability to use inventively and originally the theoretical knowledge and skills acquired. Kenya needs to develop through STE, a human resource capacity for rapid industrialization which will ensure economic growth and sustainable development (Changeiywo, 2000).

Science is an integrated subject encompassing three subjects in Kenyan secondary school curriculum, that is; Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The inclusion of these science subjects is to help Kenya as a country to achieve its national objective of self reliance and economic development (Barchok, 2006). The subjects are also supposed to equip her citizens with knowledge, skills and scientific attitudes necessary to help them solve problems in their day to day living.

Chemistry as a branch of science offered in Kenyan secondary school curriculum is introduced to the learners for the first time at secondary school level. The knowledge of chemistry is important in understanding the composition, properties and behaviour changes of matter that form the environment around us and the teaching of the subject aims at developing scientific concepts, principles and skills (KIE, 2002). Chemistry has contributed tremendously to mankind in a number of ways such as improvement of health, supply of foodstuff, increased comfort, convenience and pleasure, increasing efficiency of industrial processes and reduction of dependence on natural materials (Wachanga, 2005).

Although science is essential for mankind, there has been a general decline in its’ academic performance of secondary school students at KCSE level. Students in Kenya perform poorly in mathematics and sciences (Changeiywo, 2000).This is particularly the case in chemistry examinations as shown by the results in Table 1. These results show that students’ performance in chemistry compared to that of the other two science subjects is relatively low....

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 104 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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