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IMPACTS OF SCAFFOLDING- ENRICHED COLLABORATIVE STRATEGY ON TEST –ANXIETY, PERFORMANCE AND RETENTION IN GEOMETRY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN NIGER STATE, NIGERIA
This study was designed to investigate the Impacts of Scaffolding- enriched Collaborative Strategies on Test- anxiety, Performance and Retention in Geometry among Senior Secondary Schools in Niger State. The study was borne out of the poor performance of students in Geometry area of mathematics in both internal and external examination as reported by WAEC Chief Examiners (2010). A quasi-experimental research design was used. From the total population of Sixty-two thousand, Two hundred and Forty-nine (62,249) Students in Two hundred and Eighteen (218) Senor Secondary Schools in Niger State, a total of Three hundred and Eighty( 380) Senior Secondary Schools Two(SSSII) Students were randomly selected from three (3) Senior Secondary Schools in three (3) Educational Zones using simple randomly techniques. The experimental group one has sample size of One hundred and Thirty-Five(135) Students were exposed to Scaffolding enriched Collaborative Strategy( SCS), while the experimental group two with sample size of One hundred and Twenty( 120) Students was exposed to Collaborative Learning Strategy( CLS) and control group with sample size of One hundred and Twenty-Five( 125) Students exposed to Conventional Teaching Strategy( CTS). Four (4) instruments were developed and used for data collection. They are: Geometry Performance Test (GPT), Geometry Achievement Test (GAT), Geometry Retention Test (GRT) and Geometry Test Anxiety (GTA). They were validated and reliability coefficients estimated as r=0.79, r=0.69 and r=0.87 respectively. The hypotheses were tested using t-test statistics. The results revealed that (i) there was significant difference in the
performance scores of students taught geometry using SCS and CLS than those taught with CTS. (ii) There was significant difference in the retention ability of students exposed to SCS and those exposed to CTS. (iii) There was significant difference in the retention ability of students exposed to CLS and those exposed to CTS. (iv) There was no significant difference in retention ability of students taught geometry using SCS and those taught with CLS. (v) There was no significant difference in reducing test- anxiety of students exposed to SCS and than those exposed to CLS. (vi) There was significant difference in reduction in test- anxiety level of students exposed to SCS and CLS than those exposed to CTS. Based on these results, the following recommendations were made: (i) SCS should be adopted in teaching geometry in secondary schools since the strategies have enhanced better performances among students. (ii) Since SCS promotes retention ability, then the teachers of mathematics should constantly use the method. (iii) SCS could serve as a viable alternative to the CTS in teaching geometrical concepts.
Mathematics as one of the science subjects taught in the primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Nigeria, deals with the study of numbers, shapes and space which involve problem-solving activities and a very powerful way of communication. Benjamin (2007) describes mathematics as the science of pattern and relationship which can be expressed in symbols. It involves clarification of the problem, reduction of consequence and formulation of alternative as well as development of appropriate tools as part of the modern mathematicians‟ craft (Tisha, 2008). He further gives a full description of mathematics as context of reasoning analytically about particular types of quantitative and spatial phenomena. Mathematics consists of thinking in a logical manner, formulating and testing conjectures, making senses of things, forming and justifying judgments, inferences and conclusions. Mathematics is done when recognizing and describing patterns, constructing physical and/or conceptual models of phenomena. It is also creating a symbol system to assist in representing, manipulating, and reflecting on ideas and inventing procedures to solve problems. Mathematics concepts taught at the secondary school level in Nigeria are in seven major areas namely: Number and Numeration, Algebra, Mensuration, Geometry, Trigonometry, Statistics and Probability.
Geometry is an aspect of mathematics which deals with the study of different shapes. The shapes can either be plane or solid shapes. A plane shape is in 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. Examples of plane shapes are: triangle, rectangle, square, rhombus, circle and trapezium. Examples of solid shapes are cubes, cuboids, cone, pyramid, cylinder and sphere.
Geometry is a vital branch of mathematics which forms the building block of engineering and technical graphics. It has been observed that student have not been demonstrating strong conceptual knowledge of the course. Many students in the secondary schools were not adequately prepared for geometry courses (Senk, 2005). Duru (2010) found that there is too much emphasis placed on formal symbolism and naming in the curriculum while relational understanding was underestimated. Students in the senior secondary schools often lack experience in reasoning about geometry. They would have been capable of developing good reasoning about geometry situations, if they had substantial experience in geometry during their junior classes.
Learning mathematics with understanding is the main goals of teaching the subject at secondary schools level as opined by the (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics [N.C.T.M], 2000). Students must be mathematically competent for them to have meaningful and productive lives. It is not enough for an individual to have mathematics knowledge but mathematics power is what is needed to succeed in life (Hassan, 2010). Mathematics is the language of science and technology geared towards scientific/ technological development and all other activities of human development. For instance, automobiles, bicycles, furniture, cell phones, computers, which demand mathematics, input in their manufacturing processes (Gotring, 2005,
Musa, 2006 & Obioma, 2011). Mathematics is an academic subject in secondary school which one cannot afford to neglect because of its importance in all aspects of life. This led the Federal Government of Nigeria to make it one of the core subjects and spelt out the objectives of teaching mathematics, so as to develop interest in the subject and provide a solid foundation for everyday life. Efforts are also being made to develop computational skills and foster the desired level of accuracy to a degree relevant to the problem at hand and develop necessary background for further education. It is in recognition of this that our curriculum planners included mathematics as one of the major and compulsory subjects in our schools (Federal Government of Nigeria [F.G.N], 2013).
As a result, Nigerian tertiary institutions have pegged a credit pass in mathematics as a pre-requisite for admission into the science, social science, technical and engineering courses. The need is even so apparent today that to study any of the arts courses, at least a pass in O/level mathematics is required. The already mis-conceived idea about mathematics by most secondary school students in particular and the public in general that it is difficult, needs to be thrashed. No doubt, there are evidences of discontentment in the performance of students in mathematics at the senior school certificate examinations (Galadima & Okogbenin, 2012, Agwagagh, 2013 & Odetola & Salman, 2014).
National Teachers Institute (N.T.I, 2010) has outlined strategies of teaching mathematics in secondary schools. These strategies include: guided discovery, problem solving, reception, auto-instructional and mastery learning methods. Extensive studies have been conducted on the effect of each method and their relative
limitations on students‟ academic achievement, retention and level of anxiety (Birgan, 2010, Gimba, 2013). All strategies regardless of how they may be in terms of techniques, materials or procedures must meet certain requirements if they are to be effective in bringing about the desired learning outcomes.
These requirements are what Robert Gagne called “the conditions of learning” these refer to such things as Clear objective, meeting of pre-requisites, attention to the task, need for practice, knowledge of results (feedback) and reinforcement. Instructional strategies are simply methods of putting together these required six (6) conditions for learning.
For any strategy to be effective, it must account for all the conditions of learning for any given learning task. The strategy used successfully by one mathematics teacher may be unsuccessful with another Mathematics teacher or even the same mathematics teacher under different circumstances. It is very sad to note that strategy used in the teaching of Mathematics in our secondary schools is teacher-centered, verbal presentation of ideals and generalization of facts (Salisu, 2013).
Based on the report submitted by West Africa Examination Council [WAEC](2010) that the conventional learning strategy is deficient in meeting the needs of majority of learners. The conventional learning strategy is described as teacher centered and didactic with learners simply listening, copying notes, doing class work and doing assignment. It emphasizes „Talk and Chalk‟ in the teaching of mathematics and is indeed an oral presentation. The strategy offers very easy coverage of the syllabus and faster dissemination of scientific information, fact and
mathematics formulae. The strategy allows easy handling of large classes without stress.
Kajuru and Ado (2010) have highlighted some limitations of the strategy which includes it does not promote meaningful learning of mathematics as it appeals to hearing only. The conventional teaching strategy, most often is found to favour the educationally advantaged children (gifted, high ability students) at the detriment of the educationally disadvantaged ones. This strategy has not been successful in promoting students‟ interest in learning mathematics, which would enhance their high achievements in geometry (Abakpa & Igwue, 2013).The teaching strategy used by teachers is one of the most important areas that researchers have put focused their attention on. Oluloye (2010) has submitted that teachers should improve their teaching methods in order to enhance better understanding and application of geometry among students so as to improve students‟ achievement as shown by the current West Africa Examination Council[ WAEC](2010) result.
Collaborative and cooperative learning are learning instructions in which peers work together on a learning task, with the goal of all learners being to benefit from the social interaction. Abdullahi (2009) has stressed that cooperation and collaboration can be treated as synonyms. It is the most widespread and common strategy in teaching mathematics in Western Countries for the time being. It promotes teaching and learning process more than traditional instructional method as cited by (Abdullahi 2009 & Chianson et al.2011).
Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually (Jenna el.at 2009).
The group tends to learn through discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of others ideas and information discussed is retained in long term memory. Research by Chianson et al. (2011) suggests that students who worked collaboratively on computational problems earned significantly higher scores than those who worked alone. Students who demonstrated lower levels of achievement improved when working in diverse groups. In addition, students working in collaborative (cooperative) group tend to be more intrinsically motivated, intellectually curious, caring of others and psychologically healthy (Abdulrrahim et al. 2005).
The idea of collaborative learning has a lot do with Vygotsky‟s idea of social learning and zone of proximal development. There are some ways that gives best practices for collaborative learning in the classroom. There are: establish group goals, keep groups midsized, establish flexible group norms, build trust, promote and open communication for later tasks, create group roles, create a pretest and post-test, allow groups to reduce anxiety and establish group interactions. Students need to respect and appreciate each other‟s view points. For instance, class discussions can emphasize the need for different perspectives. Create classroom environments that encourage independent thinking. Collaboration is a learning process, if that it is managed correctly, it is powerful tool that can allow educators to impart new ideas and information to both small and large groups (Mamman & Isah, 2014). Thus, effective caregivers engage in regulating dialogue with children almost naturally. A key phenomenon of such interaction is that caregivers maintain the dialogue just above the level where children can perform activities independently. As children learn, adults change the nature of their dialogue so that they continue to support the child but they should also give the child increasing responsibility of the task. For example, the adult
might say “Now, see if you can find next the pieces of the puzzle yourself”. Jerome Burner and his colleagues called this Scaffolding. It takes place within a child‟s zone of proximal development, a level or range in which a child can perform a task with help. Scholars like Clare (2012), Hmelo-Silver (2006) and Tisha(2008) are of opinion that the instructional strategy that is being explored to find its impact on teaching and learning is scaffolding learning strategy. The approach recognizes the important role of social interaction within learning environments which benefit many students and provide opportunities to participate fully in classroom activities. In this approach, teachers‟ pay special attention to the nature of social interaction in the classroom.
In the mathematics discourse, students and teachers serve both social and cognition functions and this affects students opportunities to learn and retain what they have been taught (Hartman, 2002). Ugwuda (2008) has reported that students taught using the scaffolding strategy performed better than those taught using the conventional strategy. Chang and Chen (2002) have stressed that the scaffolding strategy is a useful strategy in teaching mathematics. That it could be used and popularized for teaching and learning mathematical concepts since it makes learners to be independent and problem- solvers. The scaffolding instructional strategy is therefore, a suitable teaching strategy that will definitely alleviate the problem students‟ encounter in solving mathematical concepts.
The scaffolding strategy is a teaching strategy that originated from Vygotsky‟s socio-cultural theory and the concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) in 1978(Ugwuda, 2008). It is a teaching strategy that was cleverly named for the practical resemblance it bears with scaffolds used at
construction sites (Obioma, 2011).Scaffolding is a learning process designed to promote a deeper level of learning. It is the support given during the process which is tailored to the needs of the student with the intention of helping the student achieved his/her learning goals (Clare, 2012).
According to Sawyer (2006) instructional scaffolding is of three types: contingent scaffolding, reciprocal scaffolding and technical scaffolding. Scaffolding may involve modelling behaviours, coaching and prompting, thinking out a loud, dialogue with questions and answers, planned and spontaneous discussion as well as doing other interactive activities to bridge the cognitive gap. This can also include peer mentoring from more experienced students. These supports in the scaffolding strategies are referred to guidance, all of which depend on the instructor‟s approach.
Studies have shown that higher level of guidance has a greater effect on scaffold learning, but it is not a guarantee of more teaching (Jumaat et al, 2014). The impact of higher amount of guidance is dependent on the level of detail (Reingold, 2008). The scaffolding learning approach is most effective when it contributes to the learning environment. Scaffolding is gradually applied, modified and finally removed according to the needs of the student. This learning process should never be in place permanently whenever the goal of the student is achieved.
Test-anxiety is a term used for several conditions that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry during a test. It is also seen as a cognitive behavior a rising from self-doubt and self-depreciation. Mathematics anxieties affect students‟ confidence in the subject (Josiah et al, 2014). Many students who suffer from mathematics anxiety have little confidence in their ability to master the subject and
this, in turn brings about poor performance. Mathematics anxiety involves a feeling of tension and apprehension about performing mathematics. It is associated with delayed acquisition of core mathematics and number concepts leading to poor mathematics competence. Garba (2013) has described mathematics anxiety as the panic helplessness, paralysis and mental disorganization that arises among some people when they are required to solve mathematics problem.
However, scaffolding when used with collaborative strategy can assist a great deal to reduce level of test-anxiety. Since group learning provide a source of support and create more relaxed learning atmosphere that allow for positive learning experiences. Groups use some stress-reducing strategies as long as they remain on task (Smagorinsky, 2007). Thus the present study was conducted to examine the impact of scaffolding enriched collaborative strategy on test-anxiety, performance and retention in geometry concepts among senior secondary school students.
Retention can be defined as the ability to retain materials or things that have been learnt or experienced. According to Desiree (2009) and Ahmad (2010), retention is the ability to retain and later recall information or knowledge gained after learning. Geometry retention is the ability to recall geometry concepts. Most students view mathematics as very abstract and difficult in understanding, assimilating and retaining the concepts. The Chief Examiner, West Africa Examinations Council [WAEC] report (2006) has revealed that one of the problems encountered by students in mathematics is their inability to recall mathematical processes. This is associated with methods by which it is being taught in the class. Hence mathematics concepts need to
be taught to the students in a way or method that touches their subconsiousness. This can trigger quick reproduction of the concept being taught or experienced.
Using a teaching strategy such as the scaffolding learning strategy both high and low ability learners would be able to collaborate in terms of learning and retaining the concept they have learnt in a mathematics class. West Africa Examinations Council Chief Examiner (WAEC, 2006) reported that the general performance of candidate over the three years 2004-2006 is indicative of poor quality of education at the senior secondary school level. WAEC maintained that the low level of performance calls for assessment and review of the methodologies for the teaching and learning of mathematics.
The depressed state of mathematics education at all levels of educational institutions in Nigeria has been a source of concern to mathematics educators, mathematicians, parents, government and all stakeholders. Despite the role of mathematics in national development, its study has not been effective in meeting the demands of national development in Nigeria. Students achievement in mathematics examination especially geometry, both internal and external from year to year, has never been encouraging as contained in the report of chief examiner (WAEC, 2005). This situation, therefore, calls for concerted efforts in identifying solutions to the problems of mathematics education in our institutions of learning.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The teaching of Mathematics has been a subject of consideration in secondary school education in Nigeria but students continue to record poor performance in Geometry as reported by the Chief Examiner, West Africa Examination Council[
WAEC] (2005, 2006, 2008 & 2010). Josiah et al, 2014 has stressed that some of major among problems that contribute to consistent poor performance of students in Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) mathematics examinations are:
Acute shortage of qualified professional mathematics teachers:
Poor knowledge of mathematics content by many mathematics teachers;
Adherence to odd teaching methods in spite of exposure to more viable alternative;
Students negative attitude towards mathematics, and
Undue emphasis on syllabus coverage at the expense of meaningful learning of mathematics concepts.
The identified problems do not create conducive environment for mathematics education to thrive in this country. Most students cannot comprehend geometrical expressions coupled with their high level of test anxiety and low retention rate towards mathematics in general. These cause tremendous consequences on their understanding and performance. Thus, it has become necessary to search for a teaching method which is capable of improving the students‟ performance, retention and reducing test-anxiety.
Furthermore, few researchers have tested the impact of scaffolding- enriched collaborative strategy on test-anxiety and performance in geometry. Based on this, the study investigated the impact of scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy on test-anxiety, performance and retention in geometry among secondary school students in Niger State.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study was designed to find out the Impact of Scaffolding- enriched Collaborative Strategy on Test-anxiety, Performance and Retention in Geometry among Secondary School Students. It has the following objectives:
Assess whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will do perform better in the subject than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Examine whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will improve retention ability than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Determine whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will reduce level of test-anxiety than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Examine whether students who were taught Geometry using collaborative learning strategy will do perform better in the subject than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Assess whether students who were taught Geometry using collaborative learning strategy will improve retention ability than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Examine whether students who were taught Geometry using collaborative learning strategy will reduce level of test-anxiety than those who were taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Assess whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will do perform better in the subject than those taught using collaborative learning strategy.
Examine whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will improve retention ability than those who were taught using collaborative learning strategy.
Determine whether students who were taught Geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy will reduce level of test-anxiety than those who were taught using collaborative learning strategy.
1.4 Research Questions
The study will attempt to answer following research questions:
What is the impact of scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and conventional teaching strategy on the performance of students taught Geometric concepts among senior secondary schools?
What is the impact of scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and conventional teaching strategy on the retention ability of learning Geometric concepts among senior secondary schools?
Will students taught Geometric concepts using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy that have reduction in test-anxiety than those taught using conventional teaching strategy?
What is the impact of collaborative learning strategy and conventional teaching strategy on the performance of students taught Geometric concepts among senior secondary schools?
What is the impact of collaborative learning strategy and conventional teaching strategy on the retention ability of learning Geometric concepts among senior secondary schools?
Will students taught Geometric concepts using collaborative learning strategy that have reduction in test-anxiety than those taught using conventional teaching strategy?
What is the impact of scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and collaborative learning strategy on the performance of students taught Geometric concepts?
What is the impact of scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and collaborative learning strategy on the retention ability of learning Geometric concepts among senior secondary schools?
ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā Ȁ ̀⠀ ⤀Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Ā ᜀ Will students taught Geometric concepts using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy that have reduction in test-anxiety than those taught using collaborative learning strategy?
The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested at P ≤ 0.05 level of significance:
Ho1: There is no significant difference between the mean performance scores of students taught geometry concept using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho2: There is no significant difference in the retention ability of students taught geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho3: There is no significant difference in the level of test-anxiety of students taught geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho4: There is no significant difference between the mean performance scores of students taught geometry concept using collaborative learning strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho5: There is no significant difference in the retention ability of students taught geometry using collaborative learning strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho6: There is no significant difference in the level of test-anxiety of students taught geometry using collaborative learning strategy and those taught using conventional teaching strategy.
Ho7: There is no significant difference between the mean performance scores of students taught geometry concept using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using collaborative learning strategy.
Ho8: There is no significant difference in the retention ability of students taught geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using collaborative learning strategy.
Ho9: There is no significant difference in the level of test-anxiety of students taught geometry using scaffolding-enriched collaborative strategy and those taught using collaborative learning strategy.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will hopefully uplift the standard of mathematics education in the following ways:
Mathematics Students: will have the opportunity to participate fully in the classroom discussions since collaborative and scaffolding strategies promote working together, sharing ideas and also arriving at joint decision. These may reduce mathematics anxiety and promote mathematics retention. It will also provide useful method of teaching mathematics based on understandings rather than on the conventional learning strategy.
Mathematics Teachers will find the result of this research a useful resource for training teachers as well as handling students of different abilities based on their previous knowledge. The social interactions that teachers and students have in collaborative and scaffolding strategies will assist them learn to work in groups and
increase their capacity of working cooperatively together, respecting the view of one another. In collaborative and scaffolding learning process, teachers are engaged in professional tasks such as curriculum evaluation, curriculum revision and curriculum development.
Policy Makers and School Administrators may wish to incorporate the use of scaffolding enriched collaborative strategies as a means of mathematics instruction in secondary schools. If done, it would create room for better achievement, reducing test- anxiety level and there will improvement in the retention ability of learners.
Furthermore, Mathematics Educators and Curriculum Planners will find the study beneficial if the strategy proves effective in helping students to access more advanced knowledge, skills and interest in mathematics. It would be included among the active instructional strategies in the teaching and learning of mathematics in our secondary schools in Nigeria.
Professional Bodies like the Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) will be encouraged to organize workshops seminars and conferences for mathematics teachers on the use of the strategy.
Researchers in the Mathematics education can benefit from the study. This study will serve as base for further studies in algebra, trigonometry and statistics. It will also serve as a source of current information on mathematics education. High anxiety level acquired at the secondary school level could continue to hurt the students at post secondary education, if the trend is allowed to continue. It has consequence on scientific and technological development of our country. Since the knowledge of
mathematics used in modern our world of science and technology, the findings are expected to throw more light on how geometry lessons should be taught using the lesson model developed. This would help in reducing test-anxiety level; promote high retention memory and good academic performance. The findings of the study will also add new knowledge to the existing literatures.
1.7 Basic Assumptions
This study is based on the following assumptions:
It is assumed that the Senior Secondary School two (SSS11) students used for the study have acquired knowledge of geometry in mathematics and were also taught by well-qualified mathematics teachers.
It is assumed that the students were not taught using collaborative strategy enriched with scaffolding.
It is also assumed that the students were not taught using the collaborative learning strategy.
1.8 Scope of the Study
This study was conducted to examine the Impact of Scaffolding –enriched Collaborative Strategy on Test-anxiety, Performance and Retention in Geometry among Secondary School Students in Niger state. The study was delimited to (380) Senior Secondary School (SSS II) students in (3) senior secondary schools within (3) local governments of Niger State. The public schools were selected for the study because they were averagely the same. The variables covered were scaffolding – enriched collaborative strategy, test-anxiety, retention performance and retention. The
tests used were Geometry Performance Test, Geometry Achievement Test, Geometry Retention Test and each contained 40 objective questions. Geometry Test-anxiety contained 10 statements. The geometric concepts taught in the study were delimited to length of arc, chord, segment, cube, cuboids, cylinder, cone, sphere and hemisphere. The lesson models of scaffolding –enriched collaborative strategy and collaborative learning strategy were used.