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PART 3: THE EFFECTS GAMES & SIMULATIONS METHOD ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF MATHEMATICS ON NIGERIAN SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

Students may be confused even when real object are made use of to solve mathematics problems not to talk of when only symbols as used to do this. It’s hoped that when illustration with physical object coupled with dramatization is made use of in teaching different concepts in mathematics, students’ understanding might improve. The lecture method, of teaching has been described as a verbal and one way communication channel during which the teacher speaks and the students listen with little or on contribution to the learning process while games and simulations method is seen as doing by example method of teaching with the students participating and handling instrument during the learning process. Numerous mathematical games exist which are used in teaching and learning of various concepts and skill in mathematics. Some of these games include Ludo, drought or checkers; azego or okwe(igbo), number games and puzzle and monopoly. Etc.

These games mentioned above provides enjoyment and recreation. They also simulate mathematical thinking and also generate excitement and spirit of competition. Mathematics games also provid reinforcement to both losers and winners. For the losers the will try to overcome their defeat, the winners will endeavour to maintain their lead.

Owa (1988) identified two kinds of games as concept and logical games. The concept games are introduced during lessons before logic games. It is used to ascertain the previous experience students’ have and the extent to which the concept have developed while logical games are in teaching attribute discrimination. Games and simulation methods being a method which compels the learner to learn to teache by example and the students learn through seeing and touching as major means of communication in the classroom learning. Ezeani and Maduewesi (1999) declared that different methods of teaching should be used in the class by skillful teachers so as to effectively teach his class.

The went further to say that a skillful teacher user as many method as possible because of the fact that there is no single methods which will be described as best for every situation. Hence, the success of using different methods depend greatly on the teachers analysis of the education purpose of such subject, the ability and age of the students in the class and the subject matter that will be treated. Thus a proper teaching and learning situation can be achieved by making use of other appropriate teaching methods. B58 GYRG58 ZX5

PART 2: THE EFFECT OF GAMES AND SIMULATIONS METHODS ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF J.S.S.2 (junior secondary school class 2) MATHEMATICS IN NIGERIA

The questions in my previous blog post on this topic, could not be answered without students being engaged in authentic learning. Authentic learning requires the learner to ammunicate an in-depth understanding of a problem or issues rather than memorize sets of isolated facts and it our result in achievements that have relevance beyond school (Bettina T.O and Lankard T.O, 1997). Therefore, for authentic learning to take place in mathematics, method or style of teaching needs to be innovative.

Adewuyi (2001) noted that the style of teaching employed by teachers is a potent factor in motivating learners to learn. According to him, mathematics is subject, which is very easy to make difficult and very difficult to make easy. The perennial methods of teching mathematics through listening, looking and learning have not been successfull and if anything, it has resulted in making students dislike mathematics. Akinsola, 2002).

Coudron (1997) as stated in Akinsoka (2002) offers the following suggestions to teachers for targeting instruction to individuals.

– Focus on outcomes rather than technique.

– Make learning experiential.

Give students control over their own learning.

– Respect learners ability to engage in parallel thinking.

– Highlight key point.

– Motivate Learner.

– Provide Challenges.

The suggestions above might not be possible using a single instructional strategy or style. So a combination of strategies might be required. Providing motivational environment, challenging and making learning experiential, demand active participation by students.

Simulation-game instructional strategy might be an antidote. The present situation of mathematics at all levels of education more especially the secondary school nowadays is becoming very deplorable. Most students prefer art subjects instead of mathematics. Obodo (1997) stated that performance of students in mathematigcs is at a very poor state.

It’s on this basis of problem facing Nigeria students in learning mathematics that i chose this topic “the study of the effect of games and simulations on the academic achievement of J.S.S.2 mathematics”.

Methods of approaches used by the teachers in presenting their lessons. Morris, Randel, Wetzel and White Hill (1992) pointed out that game significantly improved learning in a computerized drill and practice mathematics lesson for third to sixth graders over those who did not have the game opportunity, even though the game playing students did fewer exercises because teachers who used the game to teach did not cover enough ground as teachers who did other wise. Considering the way many students learn mathematics, it’s absolutely nothing to write home about. That is why Adenira (1993) observed that teachers struggle to teach mathematics against the nature of children; hence the children does up disliking mathematics. He stressed further that the traditional learning method of memorization has done much harm to the learning of mathematics. Therefore if a child is asked of what if learnt after one month if may not be able to recall the information.

THE EFFECT OF GAMES AND SIMULATIONS METHODS ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF J.S.S.2 (junior secondary school class 2) MATHEMATICS IN NIGERIA. PART 1

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Mathematics, according to Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary is defined as the science of number quantity and space. The dictionary explains that Arithmetic, Algebra, Trigonometry and Geometry are some of the branches of mathematics. With the above definition, it is important to know that mathematics is applicable, to all human endeavours. One can imagine the place of our growing technology, engineering, telecommunication, banking and administrations without the application of mathematics principle. The National Certificate in Education (1993) stated that mathematics had been tremendously useful in many aspects of human endeavours. Nigeria students should be taught “what mathematics is” and “how it works”. There students are expected to acquire scientific skills and concepts of organizing information, investigation, interpreting and making decisions. Such skills could only be developed through the adequate use of teaching methods in the teaching of mathematics.

Studies in mathematics education show the difficulties students have acquisition of mathematical concepts. Various studies (Akinsola, 1994, 1997), popoola, (2002) have shown that an instructional strategy is crucial to the understanding of mathematical concepts. Effective instruction requires to be outside the realm of personal experience unto the world of the learners (Brown, 1997). It is the learners who must be engaged for learning to occur, the learner is the one who must take the commitment to learn, Newman et al (1995) pointed out that for learning to be meaningful (authentic) it must be individually constructed. Learning takes place as students process, interpret and negotiate the meaning of new information. To Brown (1997), Learning is heavily influenced by the prior knowledge, values, expectations, reward and changes that shape the learning environment.

What then can we use to shape the learning environment?

How do we teach mathematics in a way that students can use it, apply it, in general work with it?

What is the appropriate didactic approach that will permit students to broaden their instrument in solving real life problems?.

PART 3: PROBLEMS OF STUDY OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

Continuing our research. Despite the importance attached to technological advancement, there has been a decrease in the number of students passing mathematics at all levels of education especially senior school certificate examinations. This ugly trend does not argue well for a country in dire heed of technological development. The importance of mathematics as the bedrock for any technological breakthrough cannot be overemphasized. Nigeria quest for technological developments will be a mirage, if a great of importance is not attached to mathematics.

PURPOSE OF STUDY WAS TO:

1. Determine the possible difficulty areas experienced by mathematics students at JSS (junior secondary schools) in Anaocha L.G.Area.

2. Find if male and female students (gender) experience same difficulties.

3. Make appropriate recommendations on suitable remedies for improvements.

4.Encourage students imbible the concept that mathematics, is a primary language for supporting children in science and technology.

The following research questions guided the study

i. What mathematical areas do students find difficult?.

ii. What reasons do most students give for finding the areas difficult?

iii. Do male students experience the same difficulties in the same areas as female students do?

THE FOLLOWING HYPOTHESIS GUIDED THE STUDY

H 1: There will be no significant difference (P,0.05) between areas in geometry found difficult by make and female students of junior secondary school students.

H 2: There will be no significant difference (P<0.05) between the areas found difficult by male and female students of JSS 2 students in algebra.

H 3: There will be no significant difference (P<0.05) between the areas found difficult by male and female students of JSS2 students in arithmetic.

H 4: There will be no significant differences (P<0.05) between the areas found difficult by male and female students of JSS students in all GEOMETRY,ALGEBRA,ARITHMETRIC AND STATISTICS COMBINED.

PART 2: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION

Science and technology is the bedrock of any developing nation. Nigeria as a developing nation with a teeming population of unemployed school leavers who needs better mechanized agricultural system. Self employed technologists and technologically developed intellectuals to help in the nation’s development.

The solution to there quest is to embrace science education. Science education bridges the gap between the knowledge of nature and that of the learner. Everyone needs well-constructed bridges, comfortable accomodation, modes of entertainment good roads, health facilities are developed from concepts of mathematics and allied sciences. In nigeria today, there has been a decrease in the number of students passing mathematics in secondary schools and in teachers handling the subjects.

It becomes imperative to expose pupils, early in life to the applications of mathematical concepts in schools for self reliance. The importance of mathematics as a bedrock for technological development cannot be over-emphasized since no nation can raise her technology higher than the citizens’ level in Mathematics. For governments to catch up with demands for scientific advancement, she has been promoting the teaching and learning of mathematics through the following ways:

i. Investing adequate sum of money to promote mathematics teaching at all levels of education.

ii. Supplying printed materials in the form of textbooks mathematics and othe sciences.

iii. Sponsoring teachers willing to acquire further training in mathematics.

iv. Providing schools with adequate facilities for mathematics.

At this levels, it becomes reasonable to investigate why students in our secondary schools do not perform well in mathematics in their junior and senior school certificate examination. A research work by CHUKWUA (1986) revealed that many variables have contributed to the poor performance of students in mathematics in nigerian secondary school and this will have adverse implications for the technological development of nigeria as a nation.

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