EFFECT OF MIND MAPS ON STUDENTS’ INTEREST AND ACHIEVEMENT IN MEASURES OF CENTRAL TENDENCY IN MATHEMATICS
The purpose of this work was to investigate the effect of Mind Maps on students’ interest and achievement in measures of central tendency. To ascertain the effect of teaching method and gender on the learners’ interest and achievement, four research questions and six null hypotheses guided the study. The design used for the study was the quasi-experimental design, specifically, the non equivalent pre-test, post-test control group design. Three hundred and fifty Junior Secondary one students were selected from four purposively sampled schools in Nsukka education zone. Two intact classes were randomly drawn from each of the four schools. Two instruments namely, the Measures of Central Tendency Achievement Test (MCTAT) and the Measures of Central Tendency Interest Scale (MCTIS) were developed and used for the study. Mean, standard deviation and analysis of covariance ANCOVA were used to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses. The study revealed that the use of Mind Maps teaching strategy enhanced the achievements and interest of male and female students. The study also indicated that though female students were more interested, the male students performed higher in measures of central tendency achievement test. However, the results also indicated that the Mind Maps teaching strategy could be used effectively in teaching both male and female students. It was recommended that mathematics teachers should adopt Mind Map in teaching measures of central tendency and other topics in mathematics.
LIST OF TABLES
The Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE) results in mathematics from the year 2000-2005 …
Design Format The Sample of Junior Secondary One Students used for the Study
Table of Specifications on Measures of Central Tendency for The Mean and Standard Deviation scores in Measures of Central Tendency Achievement Test (MCTAT) of Subjects in the Experimental and Control Groups
Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students Scores in Measures of Central Tendency Achievement Test (MCTAT
The Mean Achievement Scores and Standard Deviation of Male and Female Subjects
The Mean Interest Scores and Standard Deviation of Measures of Central Tendency Interest Scale (MCTIS) Scores of Subjects
Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) of Students’ Score in Measures of Central Tendency Interest Scale (MCTIS)
The Mean Interest Scores and Standard Deviation of Male and Female subjects Taught with Mind Map Strategy
Background of the Study
The broad aim of secondary education within the overall national objectives is: Preparation for useful living within the society and preparation for higher education. Specifically, the secondary education should: Provide an increasing number of primary school pupils with the opportunity for education of a higher quality irrespective of sex, or social, religious, and ethnic background; diversify its curriculum to cater for the differences in talents, opportunities and roles possessed by or open to students after their secondary school course; equip students to live effectively in our modern age of science and technology; develop and project Nigerian culture, art and language as well as the world’s cultural heritage; raise a generation of people who can think for themselves, respect the views and feelings of others, respect the dignity of labour, and appreciate those values specified under our broad national aims, and live as good citizens; foster Nigerian unity with an emphasis on the common ties that unite us in our diversity; inspire its students with a desire for achievement and self-improvement both at school and in later life (F.R.N. 2004).
Mathematics according to Butler and Wren, (1951) can contribute to the realization of the general aims of education and mathematics education in particular by:
Developing habits of effective critical thinking. This means developing logical reasoning both inductively and deductively;
Providing competence in the basic skills and understanding for dealing with number and form;
Fostering the ability to communicate thought through symbolic expressions;
Developing the ability to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant data and to make relevant judgment though the discrimination of values;
Developing intellectual independence and aesthetic appreciation and expression;
Advancing the cultural heritage through its own total physical and social structure.
The role of mathematics in the society has been variously recognized and acknowledged as the key to the science and technology based courses, and as useful to man in his daily living (Aminu, 1990). In support of this Ale, (1994) stated that mathematics is the backbone of knowledge. Eguavon, (2002) also remarked that mathematics is the pivot of all civilization and technology development. According to Dedron and Itard, (1974) mathematics arose from the need for areas and volumes. Furthermore, Adegboye, (1999) described mathematics as universal language of communication. It is proved to be the sharpest tool through its application in different subjects and in every day life. Mathematics helps to enumerate, calculate, measure, collate, group, analyze and relate knowledge (Osafehinti, 1986). All these were signals given to mathematics as a descriptions tool for sustainable development. Odo, (1990) pointed out that mathematics is a model for thinking, developing scientific structure, drawing conclusion as well as for solving problems. Perhaps it is because of the importance of mathematics that the study has been made compulsory in secondary schools.
In spite of the social, cultural and disciplinary values of mathematics world wide, the annual WAEC examination results indicate poor performance of students in senior secondary certificate examination (S.S.C.E) in mathematics as many of the candidates scored zero or marks within zero range (Chief Examiner’s Report, 1996-1998). Factors identified by the Chief Examiner’s Report as being responsible for the poor performance include poor preparation of students for the examination and failure to observe the rubrics. Furthermore, Chief Examiners’ Report (2000) stated that many of the questions demanded fundamental understanding of the subject. The questions were devoid of guess work. The rubrics were clear and unambiguous, yet the candidates performed poorly. One of the suggestions for remedy by the Chief Examiners’ Report was that teachers should emphasize to the students that the concepts of the senior secondary school mathematics depend on their understanding of mathematics concepts at the junior school level. Hence, students’ poor performance in mathematics at a higher level is a reflection of a weak foundation in mathematics at the lower level. In other words, performance at the higher level depends on what is learned at the lower level.
However, from the Chief Examiners’ Report, (2002) the summary of candidates’ weakness on the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in Nigeria included reading median from ogive. Again, the performance of the candidates did not improve significantly in 2003. The difficulty level of the paper was of the required standard. The rubrics were clear and unambiguous. A summary of candidates’ weakness include use of histogram to estimate the mode (Chief Examiners’ Report 2003). Again questions from measures of central tendency comes out every year at both junior and senior secondary certificate examinations (J.S.C.E and S.S.C.E.) respectively. Based on the continuous poor performance of students on median and mode the researcher chose the topic. According to the secondary school curriculum measures of central tendency (mean, median and mode) are first taught in J.S.I.
Table 1 below shows the failure rate of students in J.S.C.E results in mathematics from the year 2000 to 2005. This poor performance as mentioned earlier is carried forward to the senior secondary school level.
Table 1: The Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE) results in mathematics from the year 2000-2005
TABLE ON REQUEST
Source: Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB) Nsukka Zonal Office
Table 1 shows that only 20% of the candidates scored credit and above on the average for the five schools in the year 2000, 08% in 2001, 26% in 2002, 13% in 2003, 06% in 2004 and 12% in 2005.
Students’ poor performance in mathematics at the Junior school level as reflected in table 1 above is carried forward to the senior school level. Teachers are mostly blamed for students’ poor performance in mathematics for instance, Agwagah, (1993) recognized that, the teaching of mathematics still follows the traditional pattern which is identified to be ineffective and a major factor responsible for the poor performance of students in mathematics. Adedayo, (2001) stated that the problem of failure at the secondary school level has always been attributed to teachers’ failure to use appropriate method of teaching. Obioma, (1984) also attributed pupils’ poor performance in mathematics to be dependent on the teachers’ use of inappropriate methods of teaching such as descriptive and lecture method. Consequently students loose interest in learning.
When one is interested in an activity he is likely to achieve highly in that activity. In other words interest is believed to be an important variable in learning. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, interest is condition of wanting to know or learn about something or somebody. It is quality that arouses concern or curiosity. However, interest to do something implies giving ones attention to something because the person enjoys finding out about it or doing it. When something is interesting, it attracts attention of people because it is special and exciting. Okpara, (1985) asserted that although pupils’ poor performance in school subjects may be related to their lack of interest and commitment to their studies and inadequate support from their parents and even the government, all that the teachers are used to, is the conventional (talk or lecture, descriptive) methods rather than strategies that involve pupils’ participation. Ammo, (2002) also relate the failure of students in mathematics to the teachers’ incompetence or ineffectiveness and lack of interest in the subject by the students.
According to Oyadiran, (1991) students display poor performance due to lack of interest in the subject, inadequate preparation and failure to us instructional materials to teach mathematics, there is lack of consideration given to materials like textbooks. Consequently students are scared of the subject.
Other factors identified by Amoo, (2001) that are responsible for students’ poor performance in mathematics are the overloaded and unrealistic nature of the curriculum, teacher “teach all” policy at primary and Pre-Primary levels of education, delay in the payment of teachers’ salary, poor environmental background which a child encounters before he leaves home for his immediate environment, recruitment of unqualified mathematics teachers and the societal call for certificate without proficiency lead students to cheat in order to pass examination (that is through examination malpractice).
The question then is what is the way out? Identification of a problem they say, is a step towards its solution. To the researcher, there is need to search for a strategy where students must be given sufficient opportunity for creative activity where each can bring out his own measure of talent and thereby display his personality. This process might be enhanced by having the students in small groups, to discuss about the concepts taught and connections to be drawn. Consequently, the students develop awareness of his or her own knowledge organization. Hence this study was motivated by the desire to adapt mind map in the teaching of measures of central tendency in junior secondary schools.
Mind Map according to Wikipedia encyclopedia (1998) is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving and decision making.
Mind map according to Hugh, (2003) is a convenient graphical tool that helps one think and learn by putting complex thoughts or interconnected ideas into simpler forms or ideas. He concluded that mind map can be used to take lecture notes, plan an essay / dissertation /thesis, outline a presentation / seminar, revise a topic being studied, make notes from textbooks, summarize articles / chapters, organize one’s thought about any topic (whether academic / emotional / personal).
Mind map, or radiant thinking as it is sometimes called, is a fairly good techniques that allows one to both brainstorm and structure his thoughts using graphics, colours, and words in a free-ranging map (Kennedy, 1999). Furthermore, Brinkmann, (2001) stated that mind map may show connections between mathematics and the rest of the world. As a mind map is open for any idea someone associates with the main topic, non mathematical concepts may also be connected with a mathematical object. Thus it becomes obvious that mathematics is not an isolated subject but is related to the most different areas of “the rest of the world”.
The researcher defines mind map as a diagram used to develop and organize information in such a way that the central (main) idea is in the centre from these, other sub-ideas are developed and organized. Simply put, it is a mnemonic technique for sorting out both simple and complicated ideas. In other words, the structure of a mind map allows one to organize hierarchically mathematical knowledge.
The special structure of a mind map according to Hemmerich, (1994) has an open structure, one may just let one’s thoughts flow, every produced idea may be integrated in the mind map by relating it to already recorded ideas. Mind maps drawn by students provide information about the students’ knowledge. The student, in small groups, construct mind maps as by it students have to discuss about the concepts to be used and the connection to be drawn. The students’ growth in the understanding of a topic can be checked when asking them to create a mind map. In other words, the connections students make as the map is drawn enables the teacher to assess or evaluate their achievement. Each mind map has a unique appearance and strong visual appeal. Thus, the learning process is speeded up and information recalled faster.
From the foregoing, students achieve poorly in mathematics. The researcher sees the need for a teaching strategy that will improve the achievement of both male and female students in measures of central tendency. Thus, the researcher investigated how the use of mind maps affect students’ performance in measures of central tendency in statistics.
Statement of the Problem
Secondary education has been acknowledged as preparation of the child for useful living within the society and preparation for higher education (F.R.N, 2004). Any inadequacies and deficiencies at that level are likely, to adversely affect the childs’ learning at subsequent levels and living within the society.
Despite, this recognition accorded mathematics as the key to the science and technology based courses, and useful to man in his daily living students still perform poorly on the subject Aminu (1990). Research results reveal that the methods presently in use by teachers of mathematic are the traditional, talk or lecture rather then the strategies, that involve students’ participation (Agwagah 1993). Probably, the non-use of innovative methods that are problem solving oriented such as concept maps, mind maps and so on could be the main cause of poor performance of students in mathematics.
Mind maps however, has been used as an effective strategy in enhancing students’ achievement both in mathematics and other subjects outside Nigeria (Brnkmann, 2002). There is no evidence in literature of the use of mind maps in the teaching of secondary school mathematics here in Nigeria. Therefore, the problem of this study, put in question form is: to what extent will the use of mind map positively affect male and female students’ achievement and interest in measures of central tendency?
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of the study was to find out the effect of mind maps on achievement and interest of junior secondary school students in measures of central tendency.
The study specifically intended to:
Determine the effect of mind map on the achievement of students taught measures of central tendency.
Determine the influence of gender on the achievement of students.
Determine the effect of mind map on interest of students in measures of central tendency.
Determine the influence of gender on the interest of students in central tendency.
Determine the interaction effect of method and gender on students’ achievement and interest in mathematics.
Significance of the Study
Evidence of poor achievement in mathematics especially in measures of central tendency as a result of factors earlier highlighted is the motive behind the present study to investigate the effect of mind maps on the achievement and interest of secondary school students in measures of central tendency.
Findings of the study would be of immense benefit to:
Secondary school teachers as they would acquire new instructional strategy. This will make the teaching of mathematics more interesting and thus improve teachers’ effectiveness. This could secure the attention of the students in the course of instruction and therefore enhance greater interest and learning of mathematics by students.
The results of the study could sensitize curriculum planners on the use of mind map for teaching measures of central tendency.
The result of the study would make students have a better understanding of the central tendency. Their involvement in creating mind maps might generate interest and hence facilitate better achievement.
The result would furnish the teacher training institutions such as Institutes of Education, Faculties of Education, and Colleges of Education with useful methods, learning strategies and materials that are useable in secondary schools since educational institutions organize in-service (Sandwich) courses for secondary school teachers. Thus the in-service trainers would acquire the knowledge and as well disseminate the information.
The use of mind map would furnish the text book writers with additional information and variety in the manner of presenting the mathematical materials and instructions that will work in Nigerian school setting.
The result from this study might be introduced during workshops, seminars and conferences. Supervisors and inspectors of education will also benefit from such conference at the state and federal levels. This, it is
hoped will ensure improvement in mathematics methodology in the school to enhance achievement and to generate students’ interest in the subject.
Scope of the Study
The study will be limited to junior secondary one (JSI) students in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. The J.S.I students will be used because measures of central tendency is contained in their curriculum. The topic covered the following contents.
Mean as the average
Median as the middle number
Mode as the number with the highest frequency
Word problem on mean, median and mode
The topic will be used because it is one of the topics in mathematics that students find difficult as highlighted earlier.
The research questions formulated to guide this study are as follows:
What are the mean achievement scores of students taught measures of central tendency using mind maps method and those taught with conventional method?
What are the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught measures of central tendency with mind maps?
What are the mean interest scores of students taught central tendency with mind map?
What is the influence of gender on the mean interest scores of students in central tendency when taught with mind maps?
The following hypotheses were formulated to guide this study, and tested at .05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught central tendency using mind maps and those taught using conventional method.
H02: There is no significant difference in the mean achievement scores of male and female students in central tendency.
H03: There is no significant interaction effect of method and gender on the mean achievement of students in measures of central tendency.
H04: There is no significant difference in the mean interest scores of students in central tendency when taught with mind maps and those taught with conventional method.
H05: There is no significant difference in the mean interest scores of male and female students in central tendency.
H06: There is no significant interaction effect of method and gender on the mean interest of students in measures of central tendency.