**PROBLEMS**

OF TEACHING AND LEARNING CONSTRUCTION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

OF TEACHING AND LEARNING CONSTRUCTION IN SECONDARY SCHOOL

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**Background of the study**

The place of Mathematics

in the life of any nation cannot be overemphasized because it is linked with

the place of development in that nation. According to Betiku [2001] science,

Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) has been widely acclaimed to be the

index of measuring any nation’s socio-economic and geo-political development.

Among science and Technology courses, according to the National Policy on

Education 2004, Mathematics is one of the core subjects to be offered by all

students till the tertiary levels of education. This compulsory nature of

mathematics carries with it the assumption that the

knowledge of the subject is essential for all members of our society.

Mathematics competence is a critical determinant of the Post-Secondary

educational and career options available to young people [Ojo, 1986]. Also,

Barrow and Woods [2007] emphasized the need to make mathematics a compulsory

subject at the primary and secondary levels if scientists, technologists and

engineers are to be produced. In our Universities, the teaching and learning of

Mathematics should be taken very serious. The quality of mathematics that will

pave way for the much needed pursuit in science and technology at the higher

level is a matter of concern. Quality has to do with the attainment of

standards and standards ensure accountability. Obodo [2000], lamented the poor

state of mathematics instruction in Nigeria and averred that the problem of

quality of mathematics instruction and learning are from diverse sources. The

teacher has been accused to be responsible for the low quality of student

performance in our secondary schools [Cooney, 1994].

in the life of any nation cannot be overemphasized because it is linked with

the place of development in that nation. According to Betiku [2001] science,

Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) has been widely acclaimed to be the

index of measuring any nation’s socio-economic and geo-political development.

Among science and Technology courses, according to the National Policy on

Education 2004, Mathematics is one of the core subjects to be offered by all

students till the tertiary levels of education. This compulsory nature of

mathematics carries with it the assumption that the

knowledge of the subject is essential for all members of our society.

Mathematics competence is a critical determinant of the Post-Secondary

educational and career options available to young people [Ojo, 1986]. Also,

Barrow and Woods [2007] emphasized the need to make mathematics a compulsory

subject at the primary and secondary levels if scientists, technologists and

engineers are to be produced. In our Universities, the teaching and learning of

Mathematics should be taken very serious. The quality of mathematics that will

pave way for the much needed pursuit in science and technology at the higher

level is a matter of concern. Quality has to do with the attainment of

standards and standards ensure accountability. Obodo [2000], lamented the poor

state of mathematics instruction in Nigeria and averred that the problem of

quality of mathematics instruction and learning are from diverse sources. The

teacher has been accused to be responsible for the low quality of student

performance in our secondary schools [Cooney, 1994].

Despite the

relative importance of mathematics, it is very disappointing to note that the

student’s performance in the subject in both internal and external examinations

has remained consistently poor. [Salau, 1995]

relative importance of mathematics, it is very disappointing to note that the

student’s performance in the subject in both internal and external examinations

has remained consistently poor. [Salau, 1995]

Mathematics

educators have put up noble and spirited efforts aimed at identifying the major

problems associated with the teaching and learning of mathematics in the

nation’s schools. Despite all these noble efforts, the problem of poor

achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head in the nation’s

public examinations.

educators have put up noble and spirited efforts aimed at identifying the major

problems associated with the teaching and learning of mathematics in the

nation’s schools. Despite all these noble efforts, the problem of poor

achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head in the nation’s

public examinations.

This

research examines the core topics in geometry where the problems of teaching

and learning occurs most in mathematics. Topics such as plane and solid shapes,

measurement of plans and solid shapes, polygons, Geometrical ratio, geometrical

transformation, latitude and longitude etc are topics that are generally

identified to be difficult by both students and teachers.

research examines the core topics in geometry where the problems of teaching

and learning occurs most in mathematics. Topics such as plane and solid shapes,

measurement of plans and solid shapes, polygons, Geometrical ratio, geometrical

transformation, latitude and longitude etc are topics that are generally

identified to be difficult by both students and teachers.

Geometry is

an aspect of mathematics which deals with the study of different shapes. These

shapes may be plane or solid. A plane shape is a geometrical form such that the

straight line that joins any two points on it wholly lies on the surface. A

solid shape on the other hand is bounded by surfaces which may not wholly be represented

on a plane surface.

an aspect of mathematics which deals with the study of different shapes. These

shapes may be plane or solid. A plane shape is a geometrical form such that the

straight line that joins any two points on it wholly lies on the surface. A

solid shape on the other hand is bounded by surfaces which may not wholly be represented

on a plane surface.

Statistics

have shown difficulty in teaching and learning of mathematics, geometry in

particular, has resulted in mass failure in examinations. The mass failure in

mathematics examinations is real and the trend of student’s performance has

been on the decline [Nigerian Educational

Research and Development Council, 1995]

have shown difficulty in teaching and learning of mathematics, geometry in

particular, has resulted in mass failure in examinations. The mass failure in

mathematics examinations is real and the trend of student’s performance has

been on the decline [Nigerian Educational

Research and Development Council, 1995]

A cluster

of variables has been implicated as responsible for the dismal performance of

students. These include, government related variables, curriculum-rebated

variables, examination body related, teacher, student, home and text-book

related variables. A part from these variables, Amazigbo [2000] has identified

poor primary school background in mathematics, lack of incentives for teachers,

unqualified teachers in the system, lack of learner’s interest, perception that

mathematics is difficult, large classes and psychological fear of the subject

as factors responsible for the dismal performance of students in the subject.

of variables has been implicated as responsible for the dismal performance of

students. These include, government related variables, curriculum-rebated

variables, examination body related, teacher, student, home and text-book

related variables. A part from these variables, Amazigbo [2000] has identified

poor primary school background in mathematics, lack of incentives for teachers,

unqualified teachers in the system, lack of learner’s interest, perception that

mathematics is difficult, large classes and psychological fear of the subject

as factors responsible for the dismal performance of students in the subject.

Osafemnti

[2001] contends that curriculum changes in mathematics have occurred in several

countries for one reason or the other, but more importantly because of the

desire to improve school

mathematics teaching to meet the ever changing needs of society, science and

technology. In Nigeria, curriculum changes have occurred and for a long time,

the tendency has been to transfer unquestionably, syllabus from the advanced

countries based on the universality of the Subject. Such undertakings, looses

sight of some problems usually raised by curriculum change. Osafemnti [2001]

outlined the following problems with curriculum changes in Nigeria.

[2001] contends that curriculum changes in mathematics have occurred in several

countries for one reason or the other, but more importantly because of the

desire to improve school

mathematics teaching to meet the ever changing needs of society, science and

technology. In Nigeria, curriculum changes have occurred and for a long time,

the tendency has been to transfer unquestionably, syllabus from the advanced

countries based on the universality of the Subject. Such undertakings, looses

sight of some problems usually raised by curriculum change. Osafemnti [2001]

outlined the following problems with curriculum changes in Nigeria.

1. Failure of the mathematics to relate to the child’s environment

and thus the child cannot see the importance and immediate application of

mathematics, in particular geometry in his day to day living.

and thus the child cannot see the importance and immediate application of

mathematics, in particular geometry in his day to day living.

2. Each new curriculum has always taken the teachers unawares because

they had never been involved in the development of the curriculum.

they had never been involved in the development of the curriculum.

3. The Nigerian Educational system has been constituted in such a way

that teachers training, curriculum development and classroom practice are three

separate activities. Therefore, curriculum changes have taken place without due

consideration for the training of teachers who will use them both at the

pre-service and in-service operational and training levels.

that teachers training, curriculum development and classroom practice are three

separate activities. Therefore, curriculum changes have taken place without due

consideration for the training of teachers who will use them both at the

pre-service and in-service operational and training levels.

4. Non-availability of instructional materials such as text books,

workbooks, slides, film stripes, etc. to meet the pedagogical demands of the

new curriculum imposed on teachers.

workbooks, slides, film stripes, etc. to meet the pedagogical demands of the

new curriculum imposed on teachers.

For a topic like geometry which is the bedrock of engineering and

technological development, the issue of adequate physical facilities cannot be

over emphasized. The physical facilities such models will help grasp the idea

of geometry which seems to be abstract. It is the facilities in terms of

infrastructure, equipment and materials that afford the students the

opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge. As Solarin [2004] observed on a

general note, that secondary schools lack facilities and equipment for

teaching. According to him, such a situation where teachers are forced to

discuss theoretically, practical aspects of the subject is not good enough.

technological development, the issue of adequate physical facilities cannot be

over emphasized. The physical facilities such models will help grasp the idea

of geometry which seems to be abstract. It is the facilities in terms of

infrastructure, equipment and materials that afford the students the

opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge. As Solarin [2004] observed on a

general note, that secondary schools lack facilities and equipment for

teaching. According to him, such a situation where teachers are forced to

discuss theoretically, practical aspects of the subject is not good enough.

**Statement of the Problem**

The poor

performance of students in mathematics and geometry in particular has been a

thing of concern to mathematics educators, parents and government. The chief

examiner’s annual reports in mathematics in the Senior School Certificate

Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

and National Examinations Council (NECO) are good testimonies of those facts.

Mathematics educators have put in effort aimed at identifying the major problems

associated with secondary school mathematics. Despite all these noble efforts,

the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head.

It is based on this fact that this research identified geometry as a core

difficult area where student’s performance has always been low.

performance of students in mathematics and geometry in particular has been a

thing of concern to mathematics educators, parents and government. The chief

examiner’s annual reports in mathematics in the Senior School Certificate

Examinations (SSCE) conducted by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC)

and National Examinations Council (NECO) are good testimonies of those facts.

Mathematics educators have put in effort aimed at identifying the major problems

associated with secondary school mathematics. Despite all these noble efforts,

the problem of poor achievement in mathematics has continued to rear its head.

It is based on this fact that this research identified geometry as a core

difficult area where student’s performance has always been low.

**Purpose of Study**

This study

is aimed at:

is aimed at:

1. Identifying the factors that contribute to the difficulty

in teaching and learning of geometry

in teaching and learning of geometry

2. Examining the strategies that could remedy the difficulty in the

teaching and learning of geometry.

teaching and learning of geometry.

3. Identifying student’s attitude towards the teaching and learning

of geometry.

of geometry.

**Research Questions**

1. What factors are responsible for the difficulty in the teaching

and learning of geometry in secondary schools?

and learning of geometry in secondary schools?

2. What strategies could be adapted to enhance better teaching and

learning of geometry in secondary schools?

learning of geometry in secondary schools?

3. What are the students attitude toward the learning and

teaching of geometry?

teaching of geometry?

**Significance of the Study**

Piaget (1971) and van Hiele (1986) made significant

research work relating to the thought processes and the sequence a person goes

through in learning. Many more studies have also been done by various

researchers in the field of spatial cognition, but very little impact on

classroom has resulted (Ada, 2010).

research work relating to the thought processes and the sequence a person goes

through in learning. Many more studies have also been done by various

researchers in the field of spatial cognition, but very little impact on

classroom has resulted (Ada, 2010).

Nigeria

students have over the years experienced varieties of difficulties in the

learning of geometry and transformation geometry. If learning difficulties

experienced by students could be investigated and explained by using the van

Hiele’s levels for transformation geometry learning in this study, then the

result of the study and its recommendation will provide useful information for

teachers, society, school administrator and curriculum developers on how to

ease students’ difficulties in the teaching and learning of transformation

geometry in the classroom. This study will make contributions to mathematics

education by way of providing information with regards to the students’ difficulties

in transformation geometry that involved rotation. It will also contribute to

the improvement of policies that addresses the difficulties that students face

in learning transformation geometry. A valuable contribution will be made from

this study as the outcome may suggest better and more improved teaching

strategies that could help the teacher towards a more effective teaching of

transformation geometry in schools.

students have over the years experienced varieties of difficulties in the

learning of geometry and transformation geometry. If learning difficulties

experienced by students could be investigated and explained by using the van

Hiele’s levels for transformation geometry learning in this study, then the

result of the study and its recommendation will provide useful information for

teachers, society, school administrator and curriculum developers on how to

ease students’ difficulties in the teaching and learning of transformation

geometry in the classroom. This study will make contributions to mathematics

education by way of providing information with regards to the students’ difficulties

in transformation geometry that involved rotation. It will also contribute to

the improvement of policies that addresses the difficulties that students face

in learning transformation geometry. A valuable contribution will be made from

this study as the outcome may suggest better and more improved teaching

strategies that could help the teacher towards a more effective teaching of

transformation geometry in schools.

**Definition of Terms**

The

following terms are used throughout the research report and they are defined

here to establish a clearer and concise meaning.

following terms are used throughout the research report and they are defined

here to establish a clearer and concise meaning.

**Mathematics:**This simply implies the

study of measurement, number and quantities.

**Concepts:**General idea about

something, this involves understanding the components of a phenomenon.

**Creativity:**In an attempt to define

creativity we look at personality trait of creative individuals. Such

individual are always thinking, are always prepared to listen to others

opinion, are critical of their work, are analytic and original; have adaptive

flexibility, spontaneous flexibility, word fluency, the capacity to puzzled,

they are motivated, confident, intellectually persistent and moral

communication to work.

**Curriculum:**Planned experiences

offered to the learner under the guidance of the school.

**Syllabus:**A document containing

content which learners are expected to know before being examined.

**Manipulative:**Concrete

material, e.g. Tangrams, Geoboards and Pattern blocks.

**Geometry education**: Mathematics is

an activity of solving problems concerning shapes, vision and location.

Geometry education concern itself with theories, principles and methodologies

in the teaching of geometry

**Shapes**: Geometry shapes

embedded in spatial objects and create an opportunity to move from

two-dimensional perception and vice versa.

**Problem solving**: May include

working and making a drawing, create your own problem, think of a similar

problem that was solved successfully in attempting to solve a problem. Problem

solving is teacher centered in the sense that the teacher can direct students

at the said strategies.

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