This study investigated the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy  on interest, retention and performance in geometry among Junior Secondary Students. The study adopted quasiexperimental design involving pretest, posttest and postposttest using one experimental and one control groups. A pretest was administered before the treatment to establish the equivalence of the experimental and control groups.  Four junior secondary schools with a population of 212 students were randomly selected. The sample was divided into two groups Experimental and Control Groups namely;GSS Pambegua, GGSS Kawo, GSS Bomo and GGC Kwoi with 109 male and 103 female students as experimental and control respectively. The effectiveness of conceptual-demonstration strategy with experimental classes was compared with the effectiveness of the conventional method of teaching geometry in the control classes.  Geometry Performance Test(GPT), Geometry Retention Test (GRT) and Geometry Interest Scale (GIS) data were analysed to determine the effectiveness of the two instructional strategies and the three research questions and hypotheses were tested using Means, Medians, Standard Deviation, T-Test Analysis and Mann-Whitney  reliability coefficient of p≤ 0.05. The results showed that students taught using conceptualdemonstration teaching strategyperformed significantly higher in geometry test than their counterparts exposed to conventional method of teaching. The researcher recommends among others for the improvisation of conceptual-demonstration teaching strategy within the context of mathematics teaching in junior secondary schools and the mathematics teachers should continue to use and adopt conceptual-demonstration teaching strategy more into strain of their classroom practice.










1.1       Introduction

Mathematics is described as the queen of science. It  is not only the language of science, but the essential nutrient for thought, logic, reasoning and progress Azuka (2013). Mathematics is the body of knowledge centered on such concepts as quantity, structure, space and change and also the academic discipline that studies them.

Benjamin (2004) called it ―the science that draws necessary conclusions. Teaching mathematics is much like building a house (Gluck, 2000). If the foundation is weak, many difficulties will appear later. Students’ understanding of the basic mathematical concepts help them move to the next logically connected concepts. Progress made in mathematics will imply a positive relation in science and technology. For this and many other reasons researchers and educationists have continued to explore avenues in which to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics at all levels.   

Traditional methods used in most mathematics classes do not allow students enough time to fully reach the required understanding. According to Hartshorne & Boren (2000) one way to strengthen students’ understanding of mathematics is the use of manipulative materials. Recent studies show the importance of the use of conceptual-demonstration models at all grade levels (Thomas and Chinnappan,2007). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 2013) also encouraged the use of concrete models at all levels. The NCTM’s curriculum and evaluation standards (2002) for junior secondary and senior secondary schools emphasize the use of conceptual-demonstration strategy in representing mathematics and processes.

―Learning can be more effective with the use of conceptual-demonstration materials


designed to reflect underlying mathematical ideas. It was underlined that engaging students in examining, measuring, comparing and contrasting a wide variety of shapes develops essential learning skill (NCTM, 2002). kanaya, Light and Culp (2005) developed the strongest arguments in favor of the conceptual models. Piaget (1973) studied the stages of cognitive development of children from birth to maturity.

According to Piaget (1973), understanding comes from actions performed by an individual in response to his or her environment. These actions change over time from very physical actions to partially internalized actions that can be performed with symbols. According to Piaget’s theory, this is a continuous process of accommodation to and assimilation of the individual environment. The cognitive development starts with the use of physical actions to form schemas, followed by the use of symbols. Piaget emphasized that learning involves both physical actions and symbols that represent previously performedactions.Therefore, learning environments should include both conceptual-demonstration strategy and symbolic models of the ideas to be learned. However, these models should be consistent with the development of schemas at the various development levels. A child’s learning at the beginning of his or her cognitive development should be made meaningful with conceptual models, while at more advanced levels may be replaced by symbolic models. Children up to the age of 12 can use symbols only after they have experienced the ideas to be learned through the manipulation of conceptual models. Hence, at these ages, conceptual experiences should facilitate the learning of most of mathematical ideas.

 Kanaya (2005) study supports Piaget’s findings, that described three ways of knowing: enactive, iconic and symbolic. He said that a growing human being acts towards his or her environment through direct actions, imagery and language. A child starts to play with objects, by touching, smelling and tasting, he/she experiences the characteristics of the objects. Later, the child develops mental images and remembers the objects. Even later, he/she connects names with the objects. According to Bruner (2006), after children learn to distinguish objects by colour, size and shape, they begin mastering the concept of numbers. Later in school, when children learn new mathematics concepts, they need to go in the same sequence from solid objects to pictorial and then to abstract symbols.

In Nigeria priority is accorded to the teaching and learning of mathematics in school curriculum as stipulated in the National Policy on Education (FRN 2014). The National Policy on Education (FRN 2013) emphasizes the need to equip students with knowledge that will enable them effective life in the modern age of science and technology. In spite of the importance of mathematics in the country’s scientific and technological development, students perform poorly or in some cases fail the subject especially in external examination conducted by West African Examination Council

(WAEC), National Examination (NECO), National Board for Technical Education Examination (NBTE), Interim Joint Matriculation Examination and IJMB.

Despite various efforts in Nigeria, mathematics has not secured its rightful position in the mind of students because of the problems associated with its instruction and students attitude. The resultant effect of this problem is that performance of students has become poorer as the test items moved from those requirement ability to recall, to those involving understanding and problem solving (Nigeria Education and Research Development Council work shop 2014).

Researchers and finds by people have attributed poor performance in mathematics in Nigeria to many factors, such as lack of qualified mathematics teachers, lack of teaching materials and lack of incentives to the available qualified teachers to mention but few. Taking into consideration for example, Science

Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN 2000) in their annual conference highlight that prominent among the causes of students  poor performance in mathematics includes the following: (i) acute shortage of qualified professional mathematics teachers  (ii) exhibition of poor knowledge of mathematics teachers  (iii) overcrowded mathematics classroom  (iv) adherence to old teaching method in spite to exposure to more viable alternative  (v) students negative attitude toward mathematics and  (vi) undue emphasis on the syllabus coverage at the expense of meaningful learning of mathematics concepts to mention just a few. The situation is not quite different in Kaduna State Nigeria with regard to the teaching and learning of mathematics as a subject. The researcher being a teacher and also an assistant examiner in the marking of WAEC/NECO for the past six (6) has observed the deplorable condition of teaching, learning and students performance in both internal, junior (JSEC) and external examination (SSCE) .

This situation led to low enrollment in the tertiary institutions. These catalogues of problems do not create conductive environment and the right channel for mathematics education to thrive in the state and in the nation at large. This calls for an urgent need to constantly seek ways of improving the teaching and learning of the subject at all levels of education.

It is to be expected that once it is ascertained that the use of conceptualdemonstration strategy at all levels will improve geometry learning at secondary school levels. Teachers and students will be encouraged to use as one possible means of fighting failure and frustration in teaching and learning geometry in mathematics. It is hoped that this strategy of teaching would encourage the participation of students, increase their interest, self-confidence and enhance greater interest in learning geometry.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

The persistent  poor performance of students in public schools both in internal and external examination in Nigeria today is a serious and challenging issue to the education sector; government, stakeholders, students, parents and well-meaning Nigerian. From the researchers` ten years teaching experience it was observed that, the overall pattern of intellectual transaction between teachers/students could be  described as being teacher dominated and extremely theoretical. Many teachers do not consider the use of instructional method as one among the problems causing students failure/frustration in the study of mathematics. Teachers continue to use one particular method (lecture method) year after year with no much innovation, even if the result at the end is discouraging. Students these days have great difficulty in understanding, comprehending and assimilating contents of mathematics which they are exposed to. They neither understood the basic principles, logic, fundamental principles, nor do they understand processes that give rise to mathematical facts. Hence, they resort to learning by rote memorization, which resulted in consistent gross mass failure and forming negative attitudes. This can be seen from NECO/BECE examination results of Kaduna state from 2009 to 2014 in Table 1.1.




Table 1.1         Summary of NECO/BECE results in mathematics from 2007 to  2014

Year          %P            %F

  • 3 75.7
  • 9 64.1
  • 4 67.6
  • 4 81.6              2013        24.5             75.5

2014        39.7             60.3

Source: Kaduna State Ministry of Education. Headquarters, Kaduna (2015).


This problem is a source to worry the researcher and many stakeholders. The researcher investigated whether the use of conceptual-demonstration strategy in geometry approach would help to alleviate some of these problems. Would the use of

Geometry Performance Test Questionnaire (GPTQ) approach prove better in

improving students understanding of geometry and hence improve their performance  better than the conventional? It is in view of this, the researcher notice that at present there is research gap in establishing the effectiveness of the relationship between the

conventional method and conceptual-demonstration strategy (CDS) in mathematics at

Junior Secondary School (JSS) level.

In the light of the above reasons, the major concern of this study investigated the effectiveness of using CDS in search for greater performance, retention and developing positive attitude in mathematics among junior secondary school students in Kaduna State.



1.3       Objectives of the Study:

The main objectives of this study was to find the effects of Conceptual-demonstration strategy on interest, retention and performance in geometry among junior secondary school students of Kaduna State, Nigeria. Specific objectives are as follows:

1.Examine the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy  on interest towards geometry among JSS students.

2.Investigate the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy  on retention ability of JSS students in geometry.

3.Determine the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy on academic performance in Geometry among Junior Secondary Students.

1.4.   Research Questions                                                                    This research work was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy on interest among JSS students’ in geometry?
  2. What is the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy  on retention ability  among JSS students
  3. What is the effect of conceptual-demonstration strategy on performance in geometry among JSS students.

 1.5       Hypotheses

            The following hypotheses were formulated and tested at 5% level of significance:  

H01   There is no significant difference in the interest level of JSS students taught geometry with CDS and those taught to lecture method.

H02 There is no significant difference in the retention ability of students that were taught using CDS and conventional group toward learning of geometry.


H03  There is no significant difference in the performance  of JSS students that were taught with CDS and their counterpart that were taught with the conventional teaching method.

1.6.      Significance of the Study

There is need in mathematics teaching to develop conceptual understanding in students rather than encourage memorization, which favors procedures and activities. According to Mana (2005), the conceptual framework that students develop as they learn science makes remembering a consequence of understanding. When students understand a concept quantitatively, they can easily understand and remember it and therefore, be able to apply the knowledge to solve problem. Mathematical shapes are of importance in the sense that, they help man to understand his capabilities and his environment, therefore there is need to make investigation into way by which students could attain meaningful learning of good mathematical shapes. The conceptualdemonstration strategy (CDS) technique used in this study intended to bring about such meaningful learning and thereby, improve students performance and retention level follows:
<li>The result of this research will provided insight into the factors responsible for poor academic performance of students in geometry, which when objectively carried out could be used by teachers in providing ground for class control, inclusiveness, classroom management procedures, students
engagement and motivation and content coverage that are overly complain by both the teachers and students.

  • The study showed how to overcome the difficulties in teaching some concept of
  • geometry that are identified to be difficult.

    1. The result of the study also guide text books publishers to reframe their text books on activity based and more of work sheet that promote thinking and deemphasize rote learning.
    2. The finding of this study benefits students because their varying differences are considered, also their interest appears to enhance their motivation and learning in the classroom.
    3. The finding of this study helped professional bodies and association such as

    Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to training the prospective members on the effective use of conceptual-demonstration strategy in teaching geometry.

    1. The result of this study will add to existing mathematics education literature for the researchers to review and perhaps open a gateway for further research.
    2. The result will help the school administrators to encourage teachers to use innovative strategies and methods of teaching that recognizes students` diversities in learning


    1.7       Scope/Delimitation of the Study

    This study covered all junior students I-III of secondary schools in Kaduna State. The analyses and interpretation of the result was based on students’ National Examination Council (NECO), performance in examinations for the period 2009 – 2014. Due to geographical spread of the schools and the large number of students that offer the subject in the State, four divisions were used (Kafanchan, Anchau, Kaduna and Zaria) to represent the State. The Geometry Interest Scale (GIS) which is a multiple choice objective test was used to test the level of interest of  the students toward geometry concepts and the Geometry Performance Test Questionnaire  (GPTQ) which covered Plane Shapes in Geometry was used to elicit information from teachers and students .  



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