USE OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIAL AS A TOOL IN ENHANCING TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS
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1.1 Background of the Study
Instructional materials play an important role in teaching Mathematics . The teaching and even the learning process would never be complete without full utilization of instructional materials in whatever form. The teacher uses instructional materials suited for the level of understanding of the students. Instructional materials are based on the topics to be discussed by the teacher. Teachers should plan for the instructional materials to be used in the class and prepare all important or necessary things to use and make sure that the instructional materials are neatly done and an eye catching for the students. The instructional materials serve as a simple motivation not only for the students but also for the teachers in their learning process. It can help the students in reinforcing in their new learning. The teacher uses instructional materials that help the students to improve their knowledge, abilities and skill from the information in using the instructional materials. It can help the students in their development in learning Mathematics and to their upbringing. Teachers use instructional materials to transfer new ideas or information from one student to another. Some of the instructional materials that can be use are power point presentation, books, Articles, SIM, visual aids and other materials for subject development. Some of the teachers use books as their way of imparting knowledge to their students. Some of the teachers use games as the medium of instruction in their classroom setting. In Mathematics , games are more effective for the students to learn the subject matter. Games are informal way of teaching. It includes goals, rules and reward for the students to learn. Most of the time, students are interested in learning when the teacher uses games as their instructional materials. With the use of instructional materials, the teacher has less talk when it comes to discussion of the lesson. The students learn the subject matter in Mathematics on their own understanding with the help of the instructional materials together with the supervision of the teacher in charge. With the use of certain instructional materials the students uplift their confidence in learning the topics in Mathematics . Most of the students learn Mathematics topic with the use of instructional material like the power point presentation. Since we are now in the internet world, the students are engaged with the computer in their everyday life situation. When the lessons in Mathematics are introduced with the help of our technology, the students have an extra interest with the subject matter. Students are active in participating in the lesson since the lesson is presented in computer. One of the commonly used instructional materials is the modules. Modules are made for the students to understand Mathematics with the use of examples given in the modules. The students will have a guide in the modules on how to execute the given task. It can help the students to familiarize with terminologies and process involved in Mathematics . Modules can be done in anywhere, anytime as long as it engaged the interest of the students. With the help of the instructional materials, students can be exposed with the different methods of learning Mathematics . It is rest assures that the students will acquire new ideas or knowledge about the topics in Mathematics with the use of instructional materials.
Mathematics is one of the core subjects offered at all level of education
Mathematics is a very important subject and a requirement for higher learning in a number of science-related professional courses like medicine, agriculture, pharmacy. Mathematics is a natural science that deals with the living world: How the world is structured, how it functions and what these functions are, how it develops, how living things came into existence, and how they interact to one another and with their environment (Umar, 2011). It is a prerequisite subject for many fields of learning that contributes immensely to the technological growth of the nation (Ahmed, 2008). This includes medicines, pharmacy, nursing, agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and many other areas (Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011).
In contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is placed on science and technological development. As a result students are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects and one subject that most students opt for is Mathematics Today, Mathematics pervades literally every field of human endeavour and it plays a fundamental role in educational advancement. Nigeria’s need for an effective scientific and technological development appears to be overwhelming as she is going through hard times in her history especially with regard to her economy. This hard condition has partly resulted to a poor living standard of the people. Agommuoh and Nzewi (2003) acknowledged that science and technology have always been recognized as critical factors in the process of development. Science and Technology can provide the basis for Nigeria’s social, economic and political well-being. Therefore, many people in Nigeria have come to realize that Mathematics can be applied to solve many problems facing the nation, especially as a result of the technological breakthrough in the advanced countries. Eno (2005) predicted that in a short time to come, only people with appropriate and appreciable knowledge and skills in science and technology disciplines would be required in the job market.
The implication of this is that economic survival, relevance and social mobility will depend considerably on the level and appropriateness of the knowledge and skills an individual has acquired through science education. Science education is needed to dispel ignorance, poor cultural practices and beliefs in the society. Nigerians are still enslaved by diseases, poverty and ignorance and these calls for effective science education that is relevant to the improvement of the society. Instructional materials are essential and significant tools needed for teaching and learning of school subjects to promote teachers’ efficiency and improve students’ performance. They make learning more interesting, practical, realistic and appealing. They also enable both the teachers and students to participate actively and effectively in lesson sessions. They give room for acquisition of skills and knowledge and development of self- confidence and self- actualization. Ibeneme (2000) defined instructional materials as those materials used for practical and demonstration in the class situation by students and teachers. Ikerionwu (2000) saw instructional materials as objects or devices that assist the teacher to present a lesson to the learners in a logical and manner.
Mathematics as a science subject is practical based. Therefore, to effectively implement the new curriculum it requires that both the teachers and students should extensively carry out many activities using modern, current, and suitable instructional materials. The importance of instructional materials to the successful implementation of the new Mathematics curriculum cannot be overemphasized. This is because the use of instructional materials is essential for effective behaviour change in learners (Jimoh, 2009). Okobia (2011), noted that when the students are given the chance to learn through more senses than one, they can learn faster and easier. Iherionwu (2000) referred to instructional materials as objects or devices which help the teacher make learning meaningful to the learner. They are materials used to aid the transfering of information from one person to another (Adeoye, 2012).
Poor achievement in Mathematics can be attributed to many factors such as: poor method of teaching, unavailability of laboratory facilities, lack of instructional materials, inadequate time allocation and large class size. According to Etukudo (2009), poor achievement in Mathematics is incontrovertibly attributed to poor instructional delivery approach adopted by teachers in schools. To support this assertion, Salau (2009) submitted that many researchers have adduced that poor achievement in public examinations is traceable to instructional delivery approaches adopted by teachers. The resultant effect is the low achievement and low retention level in students outcome both in internal and external examinations. This implies that the mastery of Mathematics concept might not be fully achieved without the use of a good instructional delivery approach that utilizes instructional materials. West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s report (2005-2010) stated that the persistent poor achievement of students in Mathematics at Senior Schools Certificate Examination leaves one in doubt about the effectiveness of instructional materials and instructional delivery approaches popularly used by the Mathematics teachers for the teaching and learning of Mathematics .
Poor teaching methods adopted by teachers at senior secondary school level in Nigeria have been identified as one of the major factors contributing to poor performance of students in Mathematics (Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011; Kareem, 2003; Umar, 2011). The conventional teaching method is classroom-based and consists of lectures and direct instructions conducted by the teacher. This teacher-centered method emphasizes learning through the teacher’s guidance at all times. Students are expected to listen to lectures and learn from them. The persistent use of this method makes students passive rather than active learners. It does not promote insightful learning and long–term retention of some abstract concepts in Mathematics (Ahmed, 2008; Ahmed & Abimbola, 2011; Kareem, 2003; Umar, 2011). And the only way out of this ugly situation is for the teacher to make the teaching of Mathematics concept relevant through the use of necessary and adequate instructional materials in the teaching and learning process of Mathematics in senior secondary schools.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
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1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the use of instructional to enhance teaching and learning of Mathematics secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State.
Specifically, this study sought to:
1. Investigate the availability of instructional materials for the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
2. Determine how often Mathematics teachers use instructional materials to teach Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
3. Investigate the reason why instructional materials are not effectively used during Mathematics teaching and learning in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
4. To determine the impact of instructional materials on the attitude of Mathematics students towards the teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State.
1.4 Significance of the Study
This study which is concerned with investigating the use of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State is bound to be of immense benefits to students, teachers, school authorities, curriculum planner, educational stakeholders and Ministries of Education at different level of government.
The finding from this study will be of immense benefit because it will enhance the learning processes of the students and thereby improve on their overall academic performance, since it will increase the motivation of the students, add clarity to the topics taught and make learning more interesting.
Also, the result from this study will help to re-emphasis the need for Mathematics teachers of secondary schools on importance of making the use of instructional materials a factor to be considered in promoting teaching and learning of Mathematics . And this in no small measure provides a basis that compliments and supports the use of teaching skills and enhances effectiveness.
The findings will further help to reveal and create awareness among the school authorities of the importance or otherwise of the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools.
Furthermore, finding from this study has much significance on the ministries of education at all government level in Nigeria. This is because it will serve as a source of information to the government that the non-provision of instructional materials to teaching and learning of Mathematics is one of the problems leading to poor academic performance in the subject.
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study will be delimited to investigate the impact of instructional materials in teaching and learning of Mathematics secondary schools in Ilaje Local government Area of Ondo State. The study will cover all the Mathematics students in five (5) secondary schools within Ilaje Local Government.
1.6 Research Questions
The following research questions are to guide this study:
1. Are instructional materials available for the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
2. How often do Mathematics teachers use instructional materials to teach Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
3. What are the problems hindering effective use of instructional materials during Mathematics teaching and learning in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
4. Do instructional materials have impact on the attitude of Mathematics students towards the teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State?
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Academic performance: Is defined as successful completion, through effort, of the acquisition of academic content and skills mostly determined by the grades or scores that the student gets in a test.
Effective learning– is learning which develops understanding of learning in the changing world. Effective learning involves individuals moving beyond making connections of new ideas to old ones into restructuring their thinking radically by changing the connections among the things they already know or even discard some long-held beliefs about the world.
Learning- is the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviours, skills, values or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information.
Teaching: Teaching is the concerted sharing of knowledge and experience, which is usually organized within a discipline and more generally, the provision of stimulus to the psychological and intellectual growth of students by teachers.
Assumptions of the study
The researcher assumes that there is lack of use of instructional material in teaching of Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. Also, the researcher assumed that if instructional materials are properly used in teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State, the academic performance of the students will become better and improved.