Secondary school students in Kenya have continued to perform poorly in mathematics in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) national examinations. This raises concern for all stakeholders in education due to the importance they attach to mathematics. The factors that are attributed to the students‟ dismal performance in the subject include; inadequate facilities in the schools like the text books and qualified teachers, poor attitude towards the subject by the students and teachers, gender stereotypes, lack of role models, and the instructional methods used by teachers. This study sought to address the problem of ineffective instruction by teachers by finding out if the use of Jigsaw Cooperative learning Strategy during instruction of Surds and further logarithm in mathematics to form three students had effects on their performance. Surds and further logarithm are topics that are performed poorly in the KCSE. There is however inadequate documented information in research conducted in Kenya on effects of the use of Jigsaw Cooperative learning Strategy on students‟ achievement in mathematics. Solomon four non-equivalent control group design was used in the study. The two experimental groups received the Jigsaw cooperative learning Strategy as treatment and two control groups were taught using the conventional learning/teaching methods. A simple random sample of four district secondary schools was selected from Laikipia East District. The sample size was 160 students out of population of about 20,000 students in the district. A mathematics achievement test (MAT) was used for data collection. The instrument was piloted in a school which was not used in the study in the Laikipia East District. The instrument used had reliability coefficient of above the required threshold of 0.70. The instrument was validated by education experts from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Data was analyzed using t-test to test hypotheses at Coefficient alpha (ά) level of 0.05. Findings of this study show that learners taught using Jigsaw cooperative learning strategy performed better than those taught using Conventional learning methods. The results also show that there is no significant difference in achievement of girls and boys when taught using Jigsaw cooperative learning strategy. The findings are expected to be useful to students and teachers in secondary schools because they will be able to identify learning strategies which will enhance achievement in mathematics. Policy makers, curriculum developers and education officers are likely to benefit from this study in deciding on the appropriate learning strategy for learners to improve the quality of education in the country.

Background information
Mathematics is offered as one of the core subjects in primary and secondary school education in Kenya. At tertiary levels, general mathematics is offered in nearly all science based programmes where it is not a core subject. This emphasizes the importance attached to the subject in development of science and technology. According to Cockroft (1982) quoted in Githua (2002), the knowledge of mathematics as a tool for use in everyday life is important for the existence of any individual and society. Mathematics is used as a filter in employment and placement because it is associated with clear thinking and ability to solve problems in everyday life (Orton & Frobisher, 1996). Mathematics as a discipline is applied to all other disciplines such as military, research, applied science and commerce. According to Cockroft (1982) quoted in Githua (2002), mathematics is a dispensable tool in the development of science and technology. It is also a fact that without advances in sciences and technology no country can make meaningful progress in improving the quality of life of its people. Mathematics equips students with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem- solving skills, and the ability to think.

Despite the important role mathematics play in society, there has been persistent poor performance in the subject globally. For instance, the United States of America (U.S.A) is viewed as a global leader in many aspects, including finance. medical research, higher education, sports and scientific fields; yet, according to the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA,2007) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS,2007), the U.S.A is still very far from being world class in mathematics and science education. In Africa the poor performance is still registered in mathematics for instance, South Africa participated in TIMSS in 1995 and South Africa learners came last with a mean score of 351 which was lower than the international benchmark of 513. In Kenya, the performance in mathematics has continued to be very poor as is reflected in candidates‟ work at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) mathematics examinations results (K.N.E.C, 2010). The students‟ mean score in mathematics at K.C.S.E national examinations by gender in the year 2009 and 2010 are shown in Table 1.

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Item Type: Kenyan Topic  |  Size: 91 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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