EFFECT OF JIGSAW IN LEARNING TACTICS ON ATTITUDE AND PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS, ZARIA, NIGERIA.

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EFFECT OF JIGSAW IN LEARNING TACTICS ON ATTITUDE AND PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS, ZARIA, NIGERIA.  

ABSTRACT

The study investigated the Impact of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy on Attitude and Performance in Algebra among Senior Secondary Schools Students in Zaria metropolis, Kaduna state, Nigeria. The study adopted a pretest, posttest quasi experimental design. The population consisted of 1757 senior secondary school students made up of 950 males and 807 females. Simple random sampling technique (ballot method) was used to select four schools as study sample with a total of 234 students. 115 made the experimental group while the control group was made up of 119 students. The research was guided by three research questions and three hypotheses. Three instruments: Students’ Attitude Assessment Scale (SAAS), Pre – Algebra Achievement Test (PAAT) and Algebra Achievement Test (AAT) were used for data collection. The research questions were answered by descriptive statistics; mean and standard deviation while the hypotheses were analyzed using Mann-Withney Test and t test statistic at p < 0.05 level of significance. The findings of the study showed a significant difference between the attitude level of students taught algebra using Jigsaw I Learning Strategy and those taught by lecture method. It also reveals a significant difference between the performance of the experimental group and the control group in favour of the experimental group. Finally it showed that there is no significant difference between the performance of male and female students taught algebra using jigsaw I learning strategy. Based on the findings, it was recommended that Jigsaw I Learning Strategy should be used in teaching algebra and mathematics in general in senior secondary schools. It was also recommended that professional bodies like Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN), Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) and research centers like Nigerian Educational and Research Development Council (NERDC) should incorporate Jigsaw I Learning Strategy in the science curriculum at every level of learning mathematics to encourage the use of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy in schools especially at primary and secondary schools.

CHAPTER ONE

THE PROBLEM

1.1        Introduction

 Despite the important role Mathematics plays in our society, there had been persistent poor performance in the subject globally. Therefore, appropriate pedagogical approaches should promote not only students’ memory and comprehension, but also

facilitate their acquisition of competencies, skills of communication, independent thinking and team work (NASRV, 2008). Recently, although there have been efforts to change from teacher-centered approaches to student-centered approaches in an attempt to provide students with greater skills and knowledge, lecture-based teaching continues to be the most prevalent teaching method in institutions (Thanh-Pham, 2010).    Cooperative learning is a methodology that employs a variety of learning activities to improve students’ understanding of a subject by using a structured approach which involves a series of steps, requiring students to create, analyze and apply concepts (Sahin, 2010). Cooperative learning utilizes ideas of Vygotsky, Piaget, and Kohlberg in that both the individual and the social setting are active dynamics in the learning process as students attempt to imitate real-life learning. It is a teaching strategy which allows students to work together in small groups with individuals of various talents, abilities and backgrounds to accomplish a common goal. Each individual team member is responsible for learning the material and also for helping the other members of the team learn. Students work until each group member successfully understands and completes the assignment, thus creating

an “atmosphere of learning” (Johnson & Johnson, 2000).

Jigsaw I Learning Strategy is one of the cooperative learning models that reduces conflict among students, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience (Sahin, 2010). This approach has been claimed to minimize the competitiveness in the learning environment by encouraging students to work together (David & Roger, 2010). In addition it has promoted more positive student attitudes toward their own learning, enhance more positive relationships between participants, develop self-esteem and cohesiveness, and improve learning skills

(Sahin, 2010).

There are two major theoretical perspectives associated with cooperative learning: motivational and cognitive (Terwel, Herfs, Mertens, & Perrenet, 2010). First, students perceive because their success or failure is dependent upon their ability to work together as a group, students are likely to encourage each other to do whatever helps the group succeed. They are also more likely to help each other with the task(s) at hand. Elaborative thinking is promoted because students give and receive explanations more often (Shindler,

2010). Therefore, cooperative learning increases student motivation to do academic work (Heeden, 2013). The other theory is that cooperative learning helps students acquire critical thinking skills. Because cooperative learning creates a situation in which students must explain and discuss various perspectives, a greater understanding of the material is

obtained.

Zakaria, Chin & Daud, (2010) argued that the conceptions, attitudes, and expectations of students regarding mathematics and mathematics teaching have been considered to be a very significant factor underlying their school experience and achievement. In their subsequent work, they further stated that students’ success in achieving their goals encourages them to develop positive attitudes towards mathematics and other problem solving activities. Positive attitudes are assumed to have significant effect on students’ achievement. According to Abiam and Odok, (2013) the variable

‘attitude’ is one of the most potent factors that relates to achievement.    Studies on the impact of gender on mathematics achievement are yet to produce conclusive results. Swetman (2005) opined that girls develop negative attitudes towards mathematics as they grow older. However some other studies (Johnson & Johnson, 2005) also reported no significant gender differences in mathematics abilities and achievement.

According to Brush, (2007) girls’ confidence to study mathematics tends to match that of boys in the primary school years but this confidence deteriorates more rapidly as they go through secondary school. Kiamanesh, (2014) also observed that female students are less successful in learning mathematics, due to their low interest and confidence in learning mathematics and their low academic expectation. He further asserted that, girls initially have more positive attitudes towards mathematics than boys do, but as they continue in

school, girls’ attitudes become more negative.

The situation in Nigeria is that, academic performance in Mathematics education is still deplorably low, both in certificate and non-certificate examinations (Nwoji, 2009). This poor Mathematics performance is further worsened by gender imbalance leading to the problem which now constitutes a major research focus across the globe (UNESCO, 2003). This raises a serious concern since if the trend is unchecked it could undermine gender equity in Nigerian education system.

 

 

1.2       Statement of the Problem

A major problem facing Nigerian secondary education is the poor performance of students in core subjects, especially mathematics. Without a credit in mathematics the student cannot pursue most science and technology courses at institutions of higher learning in Nigeria, as such, Nigeria‘s quest for technological advancement and economic emancipation is being undermined by the continued poor mathematics achievement of senior secondary school students in external examinations.

It is common knowledge that the economies of the industrialized nations are driven by science and technology. Hence, Nigeria’s vision to be among the top 20 world largest economies by the year 2020 justifies the emphasis she places on “science, technical and vocational education” As a result, students in Nigeria are being encouraged to take up science-related subjects, and one subject that cuts across all sciences is mathematics.

In her match towards scientific and technological advancement, Nigeria needs good performance in mathematics for students at all levels of schooling. However, the poor performance of students in mathematics at the end of secondary education over the past decade is a big challenge to policy makers and stakeholders in Nigerian educational system. The poor achievement in mathematics in Nigerian secondary schools is assuming alarming proportions; as such ministry of education is worried about the poor performance in Mathematics in West African Examination Council. This poor performance is evidenced in WAEC result of year 2011 to 2015, where less than 40% of Kaduna state students obtained credit and above in mathematics in each of the 5 years.    Many factors have been identified by researchers as the causes of the low mathematics achievement among secondary school students. These include inadequate facilities in the schools, inadequate qualified teachers, poor attitude towards the subject by the students and teachers, mathematics anxiety, culture/beliefs, gender stereotypes, lack of role models for girls, and the ineffective instructional methods used by teachers are among those widely examined in the study of the causes of poor performance in mathematics among students. Therefore, this study investigated the Impact of Jigsaw I Learning

Strategy on Attitude and Performance in Algebra among Senior Secondary Schools

Students in Zaria

1.3       Objectives of the Study

                      The main objective of this study is to find out the Impact of Jigsaw I Learning

Strategy on Attitude and Performance in Algebra among Senior Secondary Schools

Students in Zaria metropolis. Thus, the specific objectives of this research work were to; 1. Investigate the effectiveness of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy on Performance of  Students in Algebra in senior secondary schools in Zaria.

  1. Determine the influence of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy on Students’ Attitude towards algebra in senior secondary schools in Zaria.
  2. Investigate the effect of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy on Gender difference in

Performance in Algebra.

1.4       Research Questions

Three research questions corresponding to the objectives of the study were asked, for answering. They include:

  • How does Jigsaw I Learning Strategy influence students’ performance in algebra in senior secondary schools in Zaria metropolis?
  • How does Jigsaw I Learning Strategy influence students’ attitude towards algebra in senior secondary schools in Zaria metropolis?
  • Is there any significant difference between the mean performance score of male and female students taught algebra using Jigsaw I Learning Strategy?

1.5        Statistical Hypotheses

            The following hypotheses were stated and will be  tested at p ˂ 0.05 level of          significance;

H01: There is no significant difference between the performance of students taught  algebra using Jigsaw I Learning Strategy and those taught using conventional  lecture method.

H02      There is no significant difference between the attitude of students taught algebra  using Jigsaw I Learning Strategy and that of those taught by lecture method.

H03: There is no significant difference between the performance of male and those of the female students taught algebra using Jigsaw I Learning Strategy.

1.6        Significance of the Study

 This research work is significant as the findings of this study could help improve classroom teaching and learning of mathematical concepts. It could hopefully reduce the problem of poor performance in mathematics as Jigsaw I Learning Strategy could boost learners’ achievement level and create a relaxed, interactive and interesting classroom environment for effective learning.

The findings of this research could enjoin mathematics teachers to adopt Jigsaw I

Learning Strategy in teaching as it could help break challenging mathematics concepts  into smaller sub-units, as such making the teaching process easier and more interesting for the teacher. It can also guide teachers on how to use Jigsaw I Learning Strategy as a means of enhancing participation of students in meaningful activities that involve social interaction amongst students.

The findings of this study could also help students in developing the right attitude towards learning mathematics, as Jigsaw I Learning Strategy could make complex mathematics concepts seems simple and as such interesting.

The result of this research could also help authors of mathematics textbooks by equipping textbook writers with appropriate teaching methods like the Jigsaw I Learning Strategy. This could help them in the structure and write-up of their future publications.  The findings of this research could also be useful to educational planners, school administrators and principals of schools. It could expose them to the realities of modern educational practices, and make them encourage their staff to adopt Jigsaw I Learning

Strategy in their everyday teaching.

This study is also significant to professional bodies and associations such as

Science Teachers Associations of Nigeria (STAN), Millennium Development Goal (MDGs), State Education Resource Centers (SERC) and other related bodies in training their prospective members on the effective use of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy. These, in the long run could avail the country with Jigsaw I Learning Strategy compliant personnel.

1.7       Scope and Delimitation of the Study

 This research work investigated the impact of jigsaw I learning strategy on attitude and performance in algebra among senior secondary schools students in Zaria. The sample was four secondary schools from which SS2 students were used for the study. This was because the study was on senior secondary school students; SS3 is an examination class while SS1 students were yet to fully settle down in the senior class, as such SS2 students are the most appropriate for the research. Five topics in algebra were used, namely: algebraic fraction, simultaneous equation, quadratic equation, arithmetic progression and geometric progression. These are the aspects of mathematics students were reported to perform poorly in our standardized school examinations (Iji, Ogbole and Uka, 2014). The research area covers all single-sexed public secondary schools in Zaria metropolis. Singlesexed schools were chosen because the researcher was also interested in finding the effect of Jigsaw I Learning Strategy on students’ gender. Three instruments were used in the course of the research, they are; Pre Algebra Achievement Test (PAAT) pre test, Algebra

Achievement Test (AAT) and Students Attitude Assessment Scale (SAAS). PAAT and AAT comprise of 50 objective questions of four multiple choices; this gave clarity in the choice of responses. SAAS also comprises of 30 statements on respondents’ attitude

towards algebra.                                                                                                           

 A simple random sampling technique (ballot method) was adopted and four senior secondary schools from a total of 10 schools. The selected schools were: Barewa College Zaria with 230 students, GGSS Zaria with 135 students, GSS Chindit with 216 students and GGSS Chindit female with 110 SS2 students. A simple random sampling technique (ballot method) was used to select one SS2 intact-class in each school. The total sample size was 234 students, which was in agreement with Krejcie and Morgan (1971) table for determination of sample size for a given population.

1.8       Basic Assumptions

 For the purpose of this research work, it was assumed that; the students were being taught by qualified mathematics teachers.

EFFECT OF JIGSAW IN LEARNING TACTICS ON ATTITUDE AND PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS STUDENTS, ZARIA, NIGERIA.  

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