THE INFLUENCE OF AUDIO VISUAL MATERIALS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF GEOMETRY IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN RIVERS STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The influence of audio visual materials in promoting student’s academic achievement and teaching and learning in educational development cannot be over emphasized. The teaching of geometry in Nigerian junior secondary schools needs to be properly handled. The materials used by teachers to teach and drive home their subject points at the primary and secondary school levels of our education system is incontrovertibly a paramount important issue in practical classroom interaction and successful transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the students. Audio visual are materials which assist teachers to make their lessons explicit to students. They are also used to transmit information, ideas and notes to learners (Ijaduola (1997). Instructional materials include both visuals and audiovisuals such as pictures, flashcards, posters, charts, tape recorder, radio, video, television, computers among others. These materials serve as supplement to the normal processes of instruction. Geometry is a subject in mathematics that focuses on the study of shapes, sizes, relative configurations, and spatial properties. Derived from the Greek word meaning “earth measurement,” geometry is one of the oldest sciences. It was first formally organized by the Greek mathematician Euclid around 300 BC when he arranged 465 geometric propositions into 13 books, titled ‘Elements’. This, however, was not the first time geometry had been utilized.

As a matter of fact, there exists evidence to believe that geometry dates all the way back to 3,000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt! The West African Examination Council (WAEC) Chief Examiners (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006) consistently reported candidate’s lack of skills in attempting all the questions asked in general mathematics. WAEC Chief Examiners (2003, 2005) further observed that candidates were weak in geometry of circle and 3-dimensional problems, when they attempt geometry questions: only few of the candidates showed a clear understanding of the problem in their working. Which poses a serious challenge to solving geometry problems in future, and the need to try using audio visual material in teaching the topic. Obioma (1985), Obodo (1993) and Okereke (2006) reported gender as a significant factor in mathematics achievement and Onwioduokit and Akinbobola (2005) reported it as a significant factor in mathematics performance when mathematics students are taught with advance organizers. However Okonkwo (1997) reported gender as non-significant when students are taught with tangram puzzle game. Okereke (2006) attributed students’ poor performance to factors such as the society view that mathematics is diicult, shortage of qualified teachers, lack of mathematical teaching aids and lack of incentive.

The abstract nature of mathematics should be reduced through demonstration and practical methods. Agwagah (1997) observed that the problem of ineffective teaching can be tackled through planned and intelligent application of the mathematical teaching aids like the audio visual devise. Thus Agwagah recommended the use of teaching aids approach to the study of mathematics. The method of drill and verbal recitation makes learning boring and lacks motivation for further learning. Srinivasa (1978) had earlier recommended the use of mathematical teaching aids in teaching mathematics. According to Srinivasa, this will lead the students to formation of concepts out of experiences with discrete objects. In this case the vague theories and imaginary objects take real shape and the students understand better and perform better. It is important therefore to consider strategies that may help to improve the performance, with the view of considering their effect on teaching and learning of mathematics. Such strategies include the use of mathematical teaching aids (Ogunkunle, 2000). However, Teaching aids are the materials used for eective teaching and enhancing the learning of students. It can be anything ready-made or made by the teacher or made by students. Different teaching aids should be used in teaching mathematics like Charts, Manipulatives, Programmed Learning Material (PLM), computers and television. Studies have shown that secondary school students are exhibiting low interest in mathematics (WAEC 2005). This low interest of students in mathematics has been traced to poor achievement in examinations. In our match towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of good performance in mathematics at all levels of schooling. Unfortunately, achievement of students in mathematics at the end of the secondary school has not improved in the last decade (Umoinyang, 1999). Folorunso (2004) has linked poor performance trend in mathematics particularly to the lack of instructional resources in schools due to poor funding of schools. The poor funding of schools has hindered the principals from providing the teachers with adequate instructional resources.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Evidence from the studies reviewed shows that failure rate in mathematics at junior certificate examinations is high. This could be attributed to a number of factors; one of such factors is lack or total absence of instructional materials. In teaching and learning, instructional materials play a key role towards concretizing learning. Instructional materials make learning meaningful and help to improve students’ academic achievement. However these advantages of instructional materials have not reflected in the education system because of the dearth of these instructional materials in our schools. Hence, the need for alternative instructional materials called improvisation. Evidence of poor performance in mathematics by junior secondary school students point to the fact that the most desired technological, scientific and business application of mathematics cannot be sustained. This makes it paramount to seek for a strategy for teaching mathematics that aims at improving its understanding and performance by students. Evidence abound (Srinivasa, 1978; Ogunkunle, 2000), that lack of mathematics teaching aids and Mathematics teachers non-use of laboratory technique in teaching mathematics is one of the major factors that contribute to poor achievement in mathematics by secondary school students. Therefore the study is designed to find out the effects of using audio visual materials in teaching and learning of geometry on the achievement of Junior Secondary School.

THE INFLUENCE OF AUDIO VISUAL MATERIALS IN THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF GEOMETRY IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN RIVERS STATE