EFFECTS OF UNITING AND SEPARATING KOLB-LEARNING STYLES ON PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN ZARIA , KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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EFFECTS OF UNITING AND SEPARATING KOLB-LEARNING STYLES ON PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN ZARIA , KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA   

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effects of converging and diverging Kolb – learning styles preference on the academic performance of secondary school students in Mathematics in Zaria, Kaduna state. Three objectives, three research questions and three null hypotheses were formulated. The study was on the effect of two Kolb – learning styles for teaching of Mathematics in Kaduna state. A quasi experimental control design was used involving pre and post test. A total of 2773 students was the population of the study. One Hundred and Twenty students (120) were randomly selected for the experiment using simple random sampling (volunteers) method. Algebra Concepts Performance Test (ACPT) was adopted as an instrument for data collection and Kolb – learning style inventory (KLSI). The data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics while null hypotheses were analyzed using independent sample t – test at P ≤ 0.05 level of significance by the aid of computer software SPSS 16.0 version. The following findings were made; (i) significant difference was observed on the performance of students exposed to converging and diverging Kolb – learning style preference. (ii) Significant difference was observed on the academic performance between male and female students exposed to KLS teaching methods.  (iii) It was observed that Kolb – converging learning style was more effective than the Kolb – divergent learning style as discovered in this study. On the basis of the findings some recommendations were made. The major recommendation is that Mathematics teachers should identify students learning style preference so that students would participate actively in the learning / teaching algebraic concept for the improvement in the academic performance at the Secondary school level among others.

 

 

 

 

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CHAPTER ONE

THE PROBLEM

 1.1 Introduction                                                                  

A strong background in mathematics is critical for many career and job opportunities in today’s increasingly technological society. However, many academically capable students prematurely restrict their educational and career options by discontinuing their mathematical training early in secondary school. This was reported by Eccles, Meece and Wigfield in Akinsola and Areelu (2014).  Nokoe (2008) argued that, mathematics carries an optimal degree of consistency, certainty and credibility to guide the Sciences. The great misconception about mathematics is the notion that mathematics is about formulae and computations that need to be memorized. This is worrisome, especially as mathematics is considered as the bedrock of all scientific and technological breakthrough and advancement of all activities of human developments. It is the only language and culture common to all studies (Uzo, 2002).

Mathematics is an expanding and evolving body of knowledge as well as a way of perceiving, formulating and solving problems in many disciplines (Odili, 2011). Alechenu (2012), described mathematics as the ―queen‖ of the sciences without which it would be difficult for people to study other sciences like physics, chemistry, and biology and computer science/information technology. Underscoring the importance of science and technology to national development, he said, ―We hope our government will properly address the issue of scientific transformation of our grown dynamics and processes as a nation‖ (Alechenu, 2012).

Mathematics is one of the subjects that is taken very seriously in the school system, irrespective of country or level of education. It has been described as a model of thinking (Iji, 2008), which encourage learners to observe, reflect and reason logically about a

 

 

problem and in communicating ideas, making it the central intellectual discipline and a vital tool in science, commerce and technology (Imoko & Agwagah, 2006).

According to Salman (2005) mathematics is a precursor of scientific discoveries and inventions. It is the foundation for any meaningful scientific endeavour and any nation that must develop in science and technology must have a strong mathematical foundation for its youths. In terms of curriculum relevance, mathematics is compulsory at the secondary school level and a prerequisite for moving from the junior to the senior secondary school and to the tertiary level of education .However, due to the immense benefit of the subject (Mathematics) to individual and the societal development, the achievement of students at the final year secondary school examination revealed under achievement (Jaggi 2006). Therefore, the use of methods or strategy that would make mathematics easier and reduce the failure rate should be used.

According to Amoo  in Areelu  (2014) poor learning interest and  assimilation of Mathematical ideas, concepts, principles, processes and teacher‘s failure to use appropriate and stimulating teaching methods are responsible for students‘ poor performance in Mathematics in Nigeria (Akintola 2000 & 2014). The teacher is the most important  determinant of what takes place in the classroom. This is because, strategies of teaching Mathematics effectively in the classroom originates from the teacher (Akinsola & Olowojaiye, 2005; 2008).These issues of students‘ poor performance in Mathematics are brought about as a result of students‖ inactivity in the classroom which is characterized  by the traditional method of teaching in our secondary schools (Akinsola & Ifamuyiwa, 2008). For effective teaching of mathematics, the use of methods and styles that would simplified mathematical concepts should be used. Therefore, this study is to determine  the effectiveness of  kolb learning  styles preference on academic performance in algebra among senior secondary school students.

1.2    Statement of the Problem       

Despite several studies carried out to enhance academic performance in Mathematics by secondary school students. The areas that are found difficult to students in both internal and external Mathematics examination in Mathematics include algebraic processes domain. National Mathematics Council of Nigeria (NMC), 2009 reported that the most disturbing problems that students have in SSCE and other examination bodies are identified mostly in algebraic processes. Algebra is an important domain in mathematics and indeed everyday life, but most problematic to learners. Irish Chief Examiners report

(2010) identified algebra as an area of weakness over some past number of years. Questions related to algebra are often the lowest scoring questions on the paper or continually avoided by students. The current teaching methods such as lecture method in schools are inadequate to enhance students‘ performance in Algebra. With this, the challenge is to find ways to make the power of   algebra available to all students and to find ways of teaching that allow students learn with understanding and generate a genuine interest on the topic. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of converging and diverging Kolb Learning Styles on the academic performance in algebra among Senior

Secondary School Students in Zaria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study 

 The major purpose of this research work is to find out the effects of converging and diverging Kolb – learning styles on performance in Algebraic concepts among secondary school students in Zaria.

Specifically, the objectives of the study are to:

  1. Examine the effectiveness of Kolb converging and diverging learning styles on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School students when taught algebraic concepts
  2. Compare the effects of Kolb diverging learning style on the academic performance of Senior Secondary School male and female students when  taught algebraic concepts.
  3. Compare the effect of Kolb converging learning styles on the academic performance among Senior Secondary School Male and Female students in algebra.

1.4        Research Questions

  1. What is the difference between the mean academic performance of Kolb – Diverging, Kolb – Converging learning styles and the lecture method among Senior Secondary School Students in Algebra?
  2. How does Kolb – Diverging learning style affect the Male and Female Senior

Secondary School Students Academic Performance in Algebra?

  1. What is the difference between the mean performance of Male and Female Senior

Secondary School Students Academic Performance in Algebra using Kolb – Converging learning style?

 

  • Null Hypotheses

This study has the following null hypotheses to be tested at P ≤ 0.05

Ho1 There is no significant difference between the mean performance of students taught Algebraic concepts using Kolb Diverging and Converging learning styles  and those taught with lecture method.

Ho2 There is no significant difference in the mean performance of male and female students taught algebraic concepts using Kolb Diverging learning style.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in the mean performance of male and female

students taught algebraic concepts using Kolb Converging learning Style.

 

 

 

  • Significance of the Study

This study was aimed at determining the impact of converging and diverging kolb –  learning styles on Senior Secondary School students performance in Mathematics in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria. Therefore, the study will be significant in the sense that;

The findings would afford the Mathematics teachers and pre – service teachers who will not only lay emphasis on the content and methodology of teaching Mathematics but also consider students learning styles preference as a very important aspect of teaching

Secondary School Students would find the result from the study useful for it would serve as a mirror to examine their learning styles preference in Mathematics and other subjects which would motivate their interest as well as their academic performance in the subject.

The result of this study will be beneficial to curriculum planners by creating awareness on the importance of identifying students learning styles preference for effective teaching and learning , so that such consideration can be made when designing the curriculum and relevant facilities that can be used in Mathematics as a subject

This study will be of great significance to the government at all levels for it will be in line with the federal Government effort to improve the teaching of Mathematics syllabus, which will make the government provide adequate and relevant facilities and equipments needed for effective teaching and learning of the subject.

1.7        Basic Assumptions

The following assumptions are made for the study that:

  1. Learning style preference which can serve as interest motivator in the learning of algebraic concepts is not applied in the secondary school
  2. Secondary school studentsin Zaria do not learn Algebraic concepts in Mathematics through their learning style preference.

1.8       Scope and Delimitation of the Study

 The study was carried on   public senior secondary schools in Zaria Education Zone of Kaduna State. It  investigated some aspects that constitute students‘ poor performance in Algebra especially the method by which the teacher imparts the knowledge as he / she examines the classroom situation. The study was delimited to two Kolb – learning styles (converging and diverging) only and conventional (lecture) methods. The study covered four public senior secondary schools (two coeducational and two single schools). In each sample school, students‘ participation was voluntary that is those who identified their learning styles preference and activities were carried out in the afternoon so as not to disrupt their normal lessons with their classmates. The content area of the study covered some algebraic concepts which include Algebraic expressions, change of subject formulae, linear inequalities, simultaneous equation and variation.

The study did not extend to the retention ability of both converging and diverging learning styles and also retention ability of male and female students. The finding of this study did not involve the other type of learning styles; that is accommodating and assimilating learning styles of which learners learn differently from converging and diverging learning styles. Some topics in algebra were not covered because of time frame of the study. Only five topics were involved during the study.

EFFECTS OF UNITING AND SEPARATING KOLB-LEARNING STYLES ON PERFORMANCE IN ALGEBRA AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN ZARIA , KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA   

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