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INTRODUCTION

Background to the study

Every good and solid structure has a very strong foundation. This cannot be over

emphasized when academic pursuits are taken into consideration. In most developed

world, certain subjects have been given priorities which have therefore fed to the rapid

growth and development in those countries. Notable among these subjects are

mathematics, vocational, science and technology education. These are paramount and

essential to nation building as well as human resource.

Mathematics is a major subject which is studied throughout the academic ladder. The root

meaning and the meaning of this subject as put forward by same great philosophers

enables us to understand why it is so.

Euchle, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC as imagined by Raphael in this detail from

the school of Athens defines mathematics in so many ways. Mathematics form the Greek is

known as “mathema” meaning “knowledge, study, learning” which is the study of

quantity, structure, space and change.

Mathematician seeks out pattern and formulates new conjectures. They resolve the truth or

falsity of conjectures by mathematical proof. The research enquired to solve mathematical

problem can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.

Since the pioneering work of Guiseppe Peano (1858 - 1932), David Hilbert (1862-1942)

and others on axiomatic systems in the late 19th centuries, it has become customary to view

mathematical research as establishing truth by ingrains deduction from appropriately

chosen axioms and definitions. When those mathematical structures are good models of

real phenomena, then mathematical reasoning often provides insight or predictions.

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Through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning mathematics developed from

counting, calculation, measurement and the systematic study of the shapers and motions of

physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written

record exists. Rigorous augments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in

Euclch Elements. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the resigassance

when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid

increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that countries to the present day.

Galileo Galitle (1564-1642) said the universe cannot be read until were have learners the

language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in

mathematical language, and the letters are to triangles, circles and other geometrical

figures, nothing which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word.

Without these one is wandering about is a dark labyrinth.

Carl Frietrch Gauss (1777-1855) referred to mathematics as “the Queen of the Sciences”.

Benjamin Peirce (1809-1880) called mathematics “the science that draws necessary

conclusion”

David Hilbert said of mathematics “We are not speaking were of arbitrariness in any sense.

Mathematics in not kike a game whose tasks are determined by arbitrarily stipulated rules.

Rather it is a conceptual system possessing internal necessity that can only be so and by no

means otherwise.

Albert Einstein (1878-1955) stated that “as Fars as the laws of mathematics refer to reality,

they are not certain, and as a far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality”.

Mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including

natural science, engineering, medicine and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the

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branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other

fields, inspires and make use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the

development of entirely new mathematical disciplines such as statistics and game theory.

Mathematician also engages in pure mathematics for its own sake, without having any

application in mind. There is now clear line separating pure and applied mathematics and

practical application for what began on pure mathematics are often discovered.

Praline D. (1996) sees mathematics as a way in which we use informational ability of

calculation about numbers sizes and shapes.

Look at the above explanations about mathematics, in can be seen in general, that

mathematics involves processes like classification, application, investigation, sorting,

symbolization, generalization, abstraction etc. mathematics has numerous significance

which includes the following:

From the mathematics for Teacher Training Colleges in Ghana edited by J. l Martin,

mathematics helps students to design and play games such as ludo, oware, snake ladder

etc.

Again, students are able to recognize shapes and their properties through teaching and

learning of mathematics and applied in construction.

Moreover, mathematics is required ad a pre requisite for our study is different areas of

learning in today’s educational system. Serving a complaisant of science, technology,

economics, government etc.

It helps to develop the individual intelligent quotient (IQ) and also our ability to use

knowledge in dealing with specific problem and situations in life. Mathematics helps

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farmer to calculate for their earnings at the end of farming seasons. It also helps them in

taking measurements on a piece of land for their various cultivation.

Business men and women cannot be left out when taking about the importance of

mathematics. Mathematics helps them in the exchange rates and to do simple calculation

about money.

Mathematics as a subject has or many fields of study. Some of the areas include, algebra,

geometry sets etc. geometry is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape,

size, relative position of figures and the properties of spaces. (From the Wikipaedia).

Geometry across independently in a number of early cultures as a body of practical

knowledge concerning lengths, areas and volumes with elements of a formal mathematical

sciences emerging in West as early as their (6th century BC). By the 3rd century BC

geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euchld whose treatment that is Euclictead

geometry set a standard for many centuries to follow.

Geometry can be divided into two, plane and solid geometry. Plane geometry is about flat

shapes kike lines, circles, triangles, rectangle etc. they are two dimensional that is has

length and breath. Solid geometry is about three dimensional an object that is has length

and breadth and height like cubes, prisons and pyramids.

In the junior high school syllabus for mathematics shapes like triangle, rectangle and other

solid shape are supposed to be learnt.

A rectangle is a quadrilateral (four sides figure) which has two dimensions, the length and

breadth. The area can be known by multiplying the length by the breadth. Its perimeter

(distance around the rectangle) is calculated by using the formula21 +2b. The angle of each

side of the rectangle makes a right angle which making a total angel in the rectangle to be

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360O. the calculations about rectangle seen quite easy yet pupils of Agona Gospel

International J.H.S 2 find it difficult to get it.

The researcher became aware about pupils inability to solve the area of a rectangle during

his teaching practice at Agona Gospel International high school.

Agona is the district capital in the Sekyere South district. A town of about nine-

hundred and fifty people. The main occupation of the town is mainly farming. It has a

market day on every Tuesday which enables farmer to have a ready market and support

other businesses. The town has two senior high school and about ten basic schools both

public and private for a better education.

The researcher saw the need of a geoboard in his teaching and learning activity in the

classroom after an analysis performance exhibited by his pupils. The geoboard is a

severely shaped concrete teaching and learning material that provides a wealth of activities

for learning about area. It is made up of word which consist of a square array of nails or

pegs which rubber bands can be stretched on to form various polygons.

Statement of Problem

As part of the requirements for the award of the Diploma in Basic Education

Certificate, the researcher had his teaching practice at Agona Gospel International School

in Agona Ashanti.

The researcher taught the area of a rectangle in are of his teaching lessons in Basic stage

eight and is closing the lesson, gave his pupils exercises in order to assess their

understanding. The researcher was very surprised about the pupils output after marking the

exercise.

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A series of thoughts cropped up in mind to why after all his effort, the pupils still

performed abysmally. He asked himself “was the method of delivery wrong, were the

pupils psychologically alert or was the teaching and learning materials used”.

After all these struggle of thoughts, he finally detected that the teaching and

learning material used that is a match bore contributed uneasily towards, their low output

of work.

The researcher saw it expedient to use a better tried and tested teaching and learning

materials are alternative means to curb the situation. It is in this respect, that the researcher

deemed it appropriate to use the geoboard to enhance pupils understanding of the area of

rectangle. This will equip them with the visual over view of the subject matter rather than

sticking to the algorithms method.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to find out some measures that will be able to curtail

the problem of the pupils not able to solve problems involving the area of a rectangle.

Everything that is outstanding and distinguishable in life follows certain objectives,

sure the objectives of this study. The objectives were put down so that at the end of the

study pupil will be able to:

1. Identify the causes of pupil’s poor performance in finding solutions to problems involving

the area of rectangle.

2. Identify teacher attitudes towards the teaching of the topic, area of a rectangle.

3. Find out the strategies that should be used to enhance the understanding of pupils on the

concept of the areas of rectangle.

Research Questions

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The following are the questions that the researcher raised to guide him in the study.

1. What are the causes of pupil’s poor performance in finding solution to problem involving

the area of a rectangle?

2. What are the teacher attitudes towards the teaching of the topic, area of a rectangle?

3. What strategies should be used to enhance the understanding of pupils on the concept of

area of a rectangle?

Significance of the study

The following are some significant impact that the study seeks to make on pupils and

educational system as a whole.

To begin with, the research work will be essential to teachers to adopt the more practical

oriented approach of delivery. This will early enhance the understanding and performance

of pupils.

Secondly, the research will be of great benefit to educational policy makers in the country

to organize in-service training for all mathematics teachers and also to device a means of

addressing the poor performance of pupils in the field of mathematics.

Moreover, the research work will serve as a reference to students who would like to

research more into geometry in mathematics.

Again, the research will help parents as well as guardians to be abreast with the numerous

challenges their wards face in the school situation. This is because, the research spell out

clearly and categorically the militating factions that suppress their wards performance. It

will also inform parents the basic obligations and duties that parents and guardian are to

execute in order to help their wards improve their performance in the academic

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environment. Poor performance of certain pupils is as a result of physical, emotional and

psychological effects that pore on them.

Finally, just to talk about a few, it seeks to equip pupils to have a feel of varieties in terms

of lesson delivery. This is conjunction with pupils interacting with the teaching and

learning material help they gain better understanding of the concept of measurement.

Pupils will also generate interest in the lesson as it is activity centered.

LIMITATION

In every organized activity and study, there are some setbacks and factors that will mar the

progress of area effort. The same scenario is prevailing in this work. The under listed are

some of the problem that confronted the research in undertaking the research.

The major constraint was the finance for the research work. The cost of printing the report

was high, constructing the geoboard, transportation fares to libraries and the fee for interest

access hundred the smooth running of the research work.

Secondly, the researcher would have wished to review more literature as of him laying

hand on material was enormous. This made the researcher to make few books that were at

his disposal.

Again, die to the co-curricular activities on the schools calendar and other pronounced

holidays; the execution of the project work was delayed. Some of these activities include

games, match pass, educational talks and host of others. This limited the smooth

accessibility of data collection on the part of pupils.

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Time was another disturbing factor. This is because the researcher at times has to stop

teaching, learning as well as writing this report as the go. This made the researcher to

undertake this work in a rush which variably reduced the hundred percent work accuracy.

Finally, truancy on the other part of some pupils was another problem. This problem

emanated as a result of some pupils being responsible for their own lives that is they fend

for themselves. The male students in particular absent themselves especially on the market

day (Tuesday) which in the long run affected the researcher to erecting the interpretation.

DELIMITATION

It was within the interest of the researcher to expand the reach of this piece of work to

other classes and schools but restricted to only a specific class (i.e. Basic stage Eight) to

conduct such an exercise.

Also, even within the class not all the pupils appeared in the exercise during the

intervention. This was seen as a discriminative act on the part of the researcher. Instead of

using the whole class, ten pupils were selected for administering the intervention.

Another field of equal concern was the use of one method or activity in addressing the

problem. One can equally agree with use that our educationists and policy makers have

incorporated a lot of methods as well as teaching and learning materials at help one to

understand the area of a rectangle but the researcher was completed use only the geoboard

for the purpose of the study.

ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

Chapter one is the introductory part of the research work which involves

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 Background of the study

 Statement of the problem

 Purpose of the study

 Research questions

 Significance of the study

 Limitation

 Delimitation and

 Organization of the study.

Chapter two deals with the review of related literature. Under this, the researcher assessed

and advocated what other writers, authors and scholars have written on the topic.

Chapter three talks about the methodology used

 research design

 population and sample selection

 research instruments

 intervention process and data analysis

Chapter four deals with the report findings. The researcher has given an account of results

that have been tabulated, findings as well on discussing those finding for assumptions.

The last chapter, which is chapter five, contains

 the summary

 conclusion and

 Recommendation further study into the same problem.

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CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

The study of mathematics as a subject has caught the attention of many including

educationists researcher and other scholars. It is reviewing of this that, this part of the work

tries to review what some researcher and other scholars have written based on the topic.

Below is the review of the questions that were asked.

What are the causes of pupil’s performance on an area of rectangle?

According to Panella Lieback (1984), “a fanatic follower of Piaget might claim that we can

teach nothing to children because of their cognitive growth progresses to a predetermined

rate, just as their bodily growth does.

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An equally fanatic follower of Runner might claim that, we can teach anything to anyone”.

The truth lies somewhere in between these two extremes. The real truth is never the same

for two different children and here lies the challenges for the adult who tries to help

children learn maths. Children learn not only in different ways but different rates.

Researches has shown that we can expect the mathematical ability of seven years old to

vary roughly between the ability of an average five year old and an average nine years old

to vary between the ability of an average seven year old and an average fifteen year old.

If a child of eleven is asked to perform like an average seven year old instead of an actual

lower level that he has reached, you will be confused; he may resort in desperation to rules

as substitute for understanding. This is due to the rate of learning.

Skemp R.R (1989) stated that “most importance of pupil’s performance is the need for

them to have sufficient confidence to make effective use o whatever skill and

understanding they possessed whether this be little or much”. This therefore, means that,

most students lacks the spirits of confidence within themselves and thus lead the into be

inductive. In the nutshell, it is expected that students should contribute to the teaching and

learning of the topic no matter what the answers may be correct or wrong.

According to Pamela Licback, the causes of poor performance of pupils are the way

children learn mathematics and the way they are taught. This means that are of the major

causes of pupils poor performance to the study of mathematics in associated with poor

foundation to the teaching and learning of the subjects. A house is a strong as its

foundation, on we say, therefore if a child had a poor start to the study of the subject that

will have an adverse effect on the child as he or she grows. Thus the child may grow up to

become “maths phobic”. Simply because the basic skills and foundation were not followed

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at the early stage. In effect, the Childs interest and passion to the study of the subject was

not sustained initially.

Jean Piaget (1989) stated that, learning in distinct from cognitive development but in is

achieved through interaction with the environment. Thus, thinking and learning involve

taking the environment into concentration since this may greatly affect the child both

physically and mentally. Therefore, if the environment within which the child is learning is

not conducive, it will greatly affect his or her performance.

According to Dickson et al (1984) studies on children learn in mathematics suggest that

children failure in maths is school induced on grounds that there is too much emphasis on

standard algorithms and too little on development mathematical understanding. By this, he

meant that teachers place more emphasis and computation rather that helping pupils to

understand how to go about it in order to arrive at the answer.

Skemp (1986) argues that although maths is the most powerful and most indispensable,

many children try to learn it without much success because they manipulate symbol at

boarding to role memorization with little or no meaning of the rules. This means that the

child needs a good deal of concrete experiences alongside symbolic manipulation to make

meaning of what they learn.

What are the teacher’s attitudes towards the teaching of the topic; area of rectangle.

According to Beth et al (1983), when teacher talk at pupils, stamens work on written

assignment or answers specific narrows questions, there is little feedback or guidance from

the teacher. All these are done in an emotionless environment such as dependence on

authority, straight-thinking hands off learning and passivity. This writer is of the view that,

must teacher lack effective communication that should exist between teachers and pupils.

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Teachers who are found in this type of behavior can be described as laiser-faire leaders

who do not seek the welfare of their teachers.

Scrotch Belly (1974) assumed that the way in which teachers react to students influence

the pupil’s scholastic achievement. In this view, they found to interpret whatever the pupils

say positively which then spurs the pupils to a very higher height. Conversely, a student

who perform low in the class will be discouraged form excelling and will eventually

perform at a minimal level, this is an example of the self prophecy whereby people (e.g.

teacher) behave in a way that ultimately make their predictions (e.g. a child academic

achievement) come to pass.

There is however evidence that teachers often react to the students on the basic of such

ascribed characteristics as a race, religion, ethnicity, social status or gender. For example

the research literature on gender Stereotype and Markind (1954) documents that “the way

in which teacher treat boys and girls differently is to detriments of both”.

In the early grades, school personnel tends to favour girls for their ability to sit quietly and

for their verbal skills, thus making the boys feel uncomfortable. At the higher grades,

however, the schools tend to favour boys in terms of carrier interest. They are been

encouraged to explore their environment which leaves the girls out and make the powerless

at least in working and lower-middle class districts. This therefore contributes to the

problem of student’s performance in understanding the area of a rectangle.

Weedon (1994) in his work on the teacher’s perception of the sources of children learning

difficulties are mostly child related. This sort of perception invariably declares the teachers

efforts to strategize in a way to curb the situation (learning difficulties) with the pupils.

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When this is done, the problem becomes worse whereas if preventive measures were taken,

those problems would not have come up.

What strategies should used to enhance the understanding of an area of rectangle?

According to Moorey (2003) children should be encouraged to offer estimation before

camping out an activity. That is, when children are encouraged to take risks without fear of

ridicule when they provide a wrong answers. Children who are forced form the fear of

criticism will more readily experiment with ideas and mathematical language. Estimating

before the practical helps to dispel the believed that some children have mathematics

which may be either right or wrong. What is fundamentally important is that the process is

rery important than the product.

Mike Askew (1998), for many years, it has been an accepted wisdom in teaching the area

of rectangle that, starting with practical activities is the best. However, there is another

development that shows that, some people see maths as a practical object to develop

mental ideas. The pupils contain to rely on the physical to do mathematics. For example, in

trying to find an area of rectangle pupils must be allowed to use manila cards and placards

to construct rectangle for themselves and try to find the area of rectangle by measuring the

various parts. This will help them to grasp the concept, measurements rather than looking

at the pictures.

According to Treagust et al (1996) “improvement is classroom teaching and learning must

involve charge in students and teachers for both students and teachers changed is necessary

for active process of learning with understanding studies must learn and understand more

about measurement. Teachers too are not left out, they must learn and understand more

about learning, teaching and the students.

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Mucrey (1996) stated that “one of the must useful methods of learning is the discovery

method. In this approach pupils are guided to discover principles, rules or results by

carrying out relevant investigations all by studying mathematical patterns.

Discovery methods can be used to teach many topics in mathematics. For example, in

order to obtain the rule for finding the area of rectangle of different sizes, which are

divided into smaller square units. They will discover the rule that, the size of areas of the

rectangle in found by multiplying its lengths and breadth (in the same units) and giving the

answer in square units.

According to Martin J.L (1994), mathematical thinking is an essential parts of problem

solving and children will think for themselves when they are given the opportunity to ask

questions. Such discussion helps child to sort out problem is everyday life. They should be

encouraged to ask questions and discuss problem among themselves and with their

teachers.

Every mathematics lessons should create the room for pupils to sock into the lesson by

talking mathematics. They should also be given the opportunity to talk about their findings

and record their works.

According to Jack and Jores (1987) “teachers should assess pupils appropriately in a way

to identify their weaknesses and strengths. When this is properly done, it will serve as a

platform for stimulating their efforts and also provided a source of motivation for them.

Pupil’s flaws will be noticed and dealt with appropriately thereby helping the pupils to be

better off.

Kalejaiye (1985) stated in his book “ teaching primary mathematics” that, the choice of

teaching methods depend on many factors such as the level of class, the abilities of the

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pupils the nature of the mathematics topic and the facilities available in school. It is rater

unfortunate that teachers prefer to teach the class on a whole all the time. This approach

may not yield the desired educational results.

Weak pupils do not benefit much from large class of mixed ability when they are been

taught. Teachers should therefore divide the class into group for easy learning. The class

may be taught some part of the lesson before the pupils settle into their various groups for

further work and practice exercise.

This procedure will enable the teacher to attend to the weak groups and also give the more

able groups a difficult work.

According to Skemp R.R (1989), conceptual analysis is a pre-requisite for teaching maths.

It means that we must break what we want to teach in pieces before teaching a new idea.

This analysis will enable the teacher to see what are the contributory concepts and the

secondary concept we are sure the children have. It is mostly at the beginning that the

trouble lies. In some people, some important fundamentals concepts are never formed.

Therefore for such pupils mathematics is never an intelligent activity. Thus conceptual

analysis is the first major step in the application of physcholgy to teaching mathematics.

Teachers much analysis the concepts so that pupils can re-synthesize them in their own

minds.

The literature review discussed how other people reviewed the teaching of areas of

rectangle by using geoboard. For precision sake, three of the research question were clearly

deliver into define the boundaries of the research.

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Under the first research questions, six points were raised to satisfy the questions, what

pupils performed to the study of an area of rectangle. The under listed points were

reviewed.

1. Pupils or children learn at different rates. Those with a slow learning rates finds learning

different

2. Most pupils lack confidence in themselves thereby made the pupils ineffective to use their

skills.

3. Poor or weak foundation to the study of the subjects.

4. Unconducive or unfavourable environment also greatly affects the Childs learning.

5. School induced problems another contributing factor to children failure.

6. Pupils perform poorly due to role memorization of concept.

With the second questions four points were raided.

1. Lack of effective communication between teacher and the students.

2. Some teachers do expect higher performance from some students to the determent of the

lower achieved pupils.

3. Gender stereotype, ethnicity, race and religious on the part of some teachers are some of

the attitude some exhibit.

4. Teachers decisively feel that learning difficulties can be traced to child related problems.

The last research question is the strategies to enhance the understanding of an area of a

rectangle. Below is what came up.

1. Children should be encouraged to offer estimation before carrying out an activity.

2. Practical activities should be used when starting the lesson.

3. \teachers and students must be subjected to change.

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4. Teachers can resort to discovery methods of delivery to make their lesson interesting and

varied.

5. Pupils must be allowed to think mathematically on a form of problem solving.

6. Pupils should be assessed properly by mathematics teachers to diagnose their varied to suit

the topic to be treated.

7. Teaching methods should be varied to suit the topic to be treated.

8. There must be concept formation before learning a new idea

The next chapter deals with the methodological aspect of the study.

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

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This chapter elaborates on the procedures of data collection and analysis. This procedures

are the research design, the target population, sample and sampling procedures, the

instruments used for data collection and the intervention processes that is the pre-

intervention, interventions, post intervention and data analysis plan.

Research Design

The research design used was the action research design. An action research is a kind of

research activity in which the researcher deals with a situation with the view of improving

the quality within it. The action research is used because it is the demand of the institution.

The research design set out strategies planned and implemented to solve specific problem

in the schools situation. The action research has numerous strength some of which are

listed below:

1. It helps the classroom teachers to understand what actually goes on in teaching-learning

situation.

2. It enhances the teacher personal development and the improvement of his or her practices.

3. It equips teachers to understand the various methods or approaches to ease understanding

of all aspects of their own practices.

Nevertherless, there are weakness that are associated with this type of research design.

These are some of the weaknesses.

1. The boundaries or limits of the research is clearly define which makes it difficult to extent

it to other classes for more information.

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2. The time given to the researcher for the project is not adequate. This is because gathering

information and other materials that are relevant for effective execution of the work is a bit

cumbersome.

Population

The population is the group of interest to the researcher, the group to whom the

researcher would like to generalize the results of the study. That is in what group, exactly,

is the researcher interested. To whom does he or she want the result of the study to apply?

The researcher had his internship programme at Agona Gospel International as

already mentioned. The school comprises of Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High

School. Taking the pupils population into consideration, the kindergarten is made up of

about hundred pupils with five female teachers. The primary section has a population of

about three hundred pupils with ten teachers. The Junior High School section has a

population of about one hundred and fifty ppils with eight regular teachers. The girls in

the school form about sixty-five percent of the entire school population.

The researcher, out of the entire population was interested in retrieving information

from the J.H.S. 2 pupils.

The population helps the researcher to know the exact group of pupils, he is

working with. It also help him not to cross the boundary of retrieving information from

any other pupils outside the population.

One problem that the researcher may encounter is when the accessible population

does not give accurate responses to the researcher as needed.

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Sample Size

This talks about the group on which information is obtained. The J.H.S. 2 class

was used as the sample size. The total number of pupils in the class is fifty. Twenty six of

them are girls and the rest being boys (i.e. twenty four). The average age range of the

pupils was between 13-15 years. The researcher, out of the fifty pupils selected ten pupils

as the experimental group and the rest as the control group.

Sampling Procedure

Sampling is the process of selecting a number of individuals from a population,

preferably in such a way that the individuals are representative of the larger group from

which they were selected. Sampling can take two forms probability (random) sampling

and non-probability (non random) sampling.

There are so many sampling procedures under the two forms of sampling but the

researcher chose the purposive sampling procedure which is a non probability sampling.

This procedure enables the researcher to handpick the cases to be included in the sample

on the basis of their judgement of the particular knowledge about the issue understudy.

This method was chosen because after administering the pretest, the marks the

pupils obtained was not encouraging. Also this method is far strict.

Research Instrument

Research instrument are tools used to collect information from the sample selected

for the action research work. The researcher used the following instruments in data

collection, structured interview, test and observation.

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The researcher used observation because it is one of the oldest methods of data

collection. Literally, observation means a method of data collection that employs vision as

its main means of data collection. The researcher took about two weeks to observe how

the pupils ask and respond to questions, their attitudes and reaction towards the subject

(mathematics) and its teacher. This method has some advantages and disadvantages which

are listed below.

Advantages

- It is relatively inexpensive. It provides information when other methods are not effective.

- It employs a less complicated and less time consuming procedures of subject selection.

- It can offer data when respondents are unwilling to co-operate to offer information.

- It approaches reality in its natural structure and studies event as they evolve limitations of

observation.

- It cannot be employed when large groups or extensive events are studied.

- It cannot provide information about past, future or unpredictable.

- It cannot study opinions or attitude directly.

Test was also used to diagnose the extent of the problem and to determine the

effectiveness of the intervention. Test takes the form of tasks or series of tasks with the

view to obtaining information on an individual’s behavior in a specific area of study. It

can also be described as an attempt to determine how an individual would function in a set

of actual situations. It allows one to demonstrate his/her ability or competence in a

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specific area. The pretest conducted enabled the researcher to know the pupils

weaknesses.

Advantages

- It allows one to demonstrate his/her competence in a specific area.

- It is a way of observing and describing the characteristics of a person.

Limitation

- It is somehow expensive

- It requires a great deal of work to cause out with the test items.

The last instrument the researcher employed was a structured interview.

Interviews involve posing questions to respondents for answers in a face-to-face situation.

It represents a direct attempt by the researcher to obtain reliable and valid measures of

characteristics, believes, behaviours, attitudes and so on in the form of verbal responses

from one or more respondents.

The researcher used this method in retrieving information from teachers and others.

Advantages

- Flexibility: Interviews can be adjusted to meet many diverse situations.

- High response rate: Interviews attract a relatively high response rate.

- Easy administration: Interviews do not require respondents to have the ability to read.

- Opportunity to observe non-verbal behavior.

- Capacity to correct misunderstanding of respondents.

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Limitation

- Interviews are more costly and time consuming.

- They are attacked for the ‘interviewer factor’ and the possible bias associated with it.

- They are more inconvenient than other methods such as using questionnaires.

- It is less effective when sensitive issues are discussed than other methods.

Intervention

This is a series of concrete approaches put in place to solve a specific problem.

Pre-intervention

This is the procedure that the researcher adopted to diagnose the perceived problem

which must, certain suggest intervention. A number of days were used to gather

information on each step taken during the intervention processes. The pre-intervention

was used to define the problem before actual intervention. The pre-intervention was

conducted using a prepared lesson to teach the topic understudy. A test was conducted

after the lesson on the same day and pupils work was collected for making.

Intervention in action research is the set of strategies planned and implemented to

solve te specific problem to improve an education practice located in an immediate

situation. The intervention processes has been put into a step by step procedure which the

researcher consistently monitored.

The phases of the intervention with the teaching and learning materials include the

use of arbitoury unit at the first phase followed by the use of the geoboard.

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Activity 1

The use of arbituary units

The researcher went about introducing his intervention by helping pupils to know

what an area is.

Area is the measure of the surface an object possess. Pupils were asked to use their

exercise books to cover the surface area of their dual desk. In doing so, exercise books of

the same measure were used. After which pupils were asked to determine the number of

books that were used to cover the surface of the desk.

Again, they were asked to use their foolscap note book and their exercise book to

make a comparism. That is they were asked to determine which of their surfaces is bigger

than the other. They were able to achieve this by place one on the other and vice versa.

FOOLSCAP
NOTEBOOK EXERCISE BK
GHANA SCH

NAME:
SCHOOL:
DATE:
NAME:
SCHOOL:
DATE:

26
Other observation was the use of mathematics set cover match box and playing

card. In this, pupils were asked to arrange these object to determine which of them among

the three is bigger or has a larger surface. They did that by placing it on top of each other.

MATCH BOX

SAFE JOURNEY

It was observed that after the comparison, the mathematical set cover was bigger

than the playing card and that of the match box. Also the play card was bigger than the

match box.

At the end of the activity, pupils realized that with the usage of arbitrary units for

measurements, two or more objects can be differentiated by assigning to a container by

simply weighing them with the hands or by placing one on top of the other.

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Activity 2

The use of geoboard

This was the next activity that pupils were taken through. The geoboard is a

concrete teaching and learning material that provides a wealth of activities for learning

about area. It is made up of wood which consist of a square array of nails or pegs which

rubber bands can be stretched on to form various polygons. It is squarely shaped. Pupils

can make both regular and irregular shapes of their own on them and find their areas by

counting the squares enclosed by elastic band. The areas of many shapes can be calculated

by counting squares and half squares.

As part of the activity, pupils were asked to measure the distance between two

nails. It was noticed or discovered that the distance was the same i.e. equidistant. Pupils

were then asked to form any shape on the geobard by stretching the rubber band on the

geoboard. Various shapes were formed, both regular and irregular.

28
Furthermore pupils were engaged into other activities to know how to count the

enclosed squares made by the elastic band. In this activity, full squares and half squares

were counted. Squares which made less than half the whole were neglected and these that

were more than halves were counted as full squares.

The researcher asked the pupils to use the elastic band to form a shape which was

illustrated by the researcher. For example the figure below:

Example: Find the area and space units of the area bounded by the elastic band.

Solution

To find the area in space units of the area bounded by the elastic band.

1. Count the number of large squares whole and the squares more than half.

2. The counting should be recorded as follows

Number of large squares

Number of half squares

29
Number of squares more than half

Area of shape = in square units.

Also pupils were taught, the union square perfectly square centimeter is used to

cover the surface of the rectangle.

A – unit of square

Pupils were asked to find the square units in a row and column then the number of

square units that covered the rectangular surface.

The number of square units that were in a row is six and that of the column is four.

The total number of square units that covered the surface was twenty-four. The pupils

were asked to repeat the activity for at feast for different rectangular shapes made by

elastic band on the geoboard. A table was drawn out of the activity to represent their

findings as seen.

Table 1: Area of rectangle

Row (L) Column (B) Surface (A)

6 4 24

4 3 12

8 2 16

30
10 6 60

5 4 20

After this exercise, the pupils found out that the area of a rectangular region is

calculated by multiplying the row and the column. Thus the row in the length and the

column, breadth. Therefore, the area of a rectangular region is expressed as

𝐴𝑟𝑒𝑎 = 𝐿𝑒𝑛𝑔𝑡ℎ × 𝐵𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ

𝐴=𝐿×𝐵

Pupils were asked again to use the rubber band to form a rectangle on the geoboard.

The researcher went ahead informing the pupils that the area of a rectangle is

simply calculated by using it length and breadth. Therefore in general the area of any

rectangle is calculated by using the formula

Square units 𝐴=𝐿×𝐵

3cm 3cm
31

12cm 5cm
Solution

1. Pupils used rubber band to form a rectangle that has a length of 12cm or twelve square

units and breadth of 3cm or three square units. They then counted the square units that

were and within the bounded lines. It was realized that 36 squares units were covered by

the rubber band or 36cm2.

Illustrated as:

𝐴=𝐿×𝐵

𝐿 = 12𝑐𝑚 𝐵 = 2𝑐𝑚

𝐴 = 12 × 3

= 36𝑐𝑚2

2. Pupils used the same procedure as the first one and had 15 square units using the 5cm

length and the 3cm breadth.

Illustrated as

𝐴=𝐿×𝐵

𝐿 = 12𝑐𝑚 𝐵 = 2𝑐𝑚

𝐴 = 5×3

= 15𝑐𝑚2

Finally pupils were made to understand that both length and breadth are measured in

centimeters, therefore expression is cm. The unit of measurement of the area of rectangle

32
is square centimeters (cm2). Thus cm x cm = cm2. Pupils were also contained that refusal

bring the units of the area tenders the answer incorrect.

Post intervention

The researcher conducted a post test for both experimented and control group after the

remedial teaching. The experimental group put up an outstanding performance which

showed an improvement upon their weak performance. It can be concluded that the

intervention yielded a positive result.

Data Analysis

The data collected was geared towards the ten pupils who took part in the study. The

actual data has been analysis in the subsequent chapter which is chapter four which deals

extensively on data collection and analysis.

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CHAPTER FOUR

RESULTS, FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION

The chapter of the action research outlined and discussed the result of the study. It

also deals with how the raw material or data scores collected by the researcher from his

observation, questionnaire and tests to solicit information from the ten pupils and five

maths teachers. The information gathered have been well explained in a tabular form. It

also show the percentage score for each research question as well as the prefect and post

test respectively.

Research questions

1. What are the causes of pupils performance in finding an area of a rectangle?

2. What are the attitudes of teachers towards the teaching of an area of rectangle?

3. What are some of the strategies that should be used to enhance the understanding of area of

a rectangle?

Table 1:

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Reasons for pupils inability to find an area of rectangle

Responses Number of respondent Percentage (%)

Unconducive 3 30

environment 2 20

Poor teaching approach 5 50

Lack of solid foundation

to the teaching of

mathematics

Total 10 100

Taking a critical view at the table above, the outcome indicated that thirty (30) percent

representing three respondent are of the view that their inability to find an area of a

rectangle is due to the unconducive environment for the study in question.

Two respondent making twenty percent, said that, their inability to find an area of a

rectangle cares as a result of poor teaching approach.

The five respondents making fifty percent associated the problem of not being to find an

area of rectangle to lack of solid foundation to the study of mathematics.

From the result, it is vividly clear that pupils inability to find an area of rectangle is

from poor lack of solid foundation to the study of maths.

Table 2

Teacher’s attitude towards the teaching of mathematics

Responses Number of respondents Percentage (%)

35
Use teaching and 1 20

learning material

regularly

Use teaching and 2 40

learning material

seldonly

Never use teaching and 2 40

learning materials

Total 5 100

The above table shows the responses derived form teacher based on their attitudes towards

teaching of mathematics. From the table, one teacher representing twenty percent said that

he uses teaching and learning materials regularly. Two teacher representing forty percent

said, they are of teaching and learning materials seldonly. Two teachers also representing

forty percent never use teaching learning materials is their mathematics lesson.

From the analysis above, it could be said that teacher attitudes towards the teaching of

mathematics is neutral. This is because, twenty percent use teaching and learning material

regularity and the rest as discussed earlier.

Table 3

Strategies to be used to enhance the understanding of an area of a rectangle in pupils.

Responses Numbers of respondents Percentage (%)

When teaching and 4 40

learning materials is

36
used

If useful in everyday 3 30

life.

When its importance in 3 30

furthers education in

made clear

Total 10 100

The table three above, given an insight tinto the strategies that teachers can resort to, to

make their lesson lively. Four pupils representing forty percent said that should teachers

use teaching and learning materials is lesson delivery, pupils would be motivated to learn.

Three pupils representing thirty percent said that, if the usefulness of mathematics in

everyday life is made know to them, it will ginger them to comprehend the topic.

On the other hand, three respondents representing thirty percent said if teacher can tell the

importance of mathematics on furthering education, the performance will improve

tremendously.

The take of this is that, teachers must be using the learning and teaching mathematics to

catch the attention of pupils. Again, teachers should try, and make the pupils aware of the

importance of studying mathematics in relation to our everyday life on well as for

furthering education to a higher level.

Table 4

Results from pre-test. Below is the result of the pre-test conducted.

Scores Number of pupils Percentage (%)

37
0-2 5 50

3-4 3 30

5-7 1 10

8-10 1 10

Total 10 100%

The table above indicates pupils performance exhibited after the execution of the pre-test.

Out of ten pupils, fifty percent representing five pupils scored between zero and two

marks. Three representing thirty percent obtain the marks between three and forms only are

pupil was found to score between the range of five and seven. Again, are pupil

representing ten percent had a score between eight and ten.

Upon critical analysis, it was realized that eighty percent representing eight pupils perform

poorly when the pretest was conducted. Two pupils fell is the average making ten percent

and for the above average too. This therefore, indicated that pupils interest, understanding

and development of concepts were not addressed during the teaching of the topic. This

therefore makes them find it very difficult in finding the area of a rectangle.

Table 5 The post-test

Score Number of pupils Percentage (%)

0-2 0 -

3-4 1 10

5-7 4 40

8-10 5 50

38
Total 10 100

This table deals with the performance exhibited by the pupils during the post test. Within

the range of zero and two were of the pupils was found a victim. One pupils fell within the

range of three and four which represented forty percent had marks between five and seven

whiles fifty percent making five pupils had marks between eight and ten.

When the table is analyzed properly, it is obvious that the researcher recorded only one

pupil for the average who made ten percent out of the total. The remaining nine pupils

representing ninety percent excelled in the post test. This therefore, indicated that the

reuredial teaching effected by the researcher greatly improve the pupils performance.

Table 6

Comparison of pretest and post-test

Scores Pretest scores Post test scores

Number of pupils Number of pupils

0-2 5 -

3-4 3 1

5-7 1 4

8-10 1 5

Total 10 10

The table shows the comparison between the pretest scores and post test scores obtained by

the pupils. Upon observation, out of the ten pupils used for the pretest, eight of them had

below five marks whiles two pupils had a pair of five marks. It was rigidly clear that

39
pupil’s knowledge on an area of rectangle was below average. This made the researcher

intervened by using the appropriate approach to curb the problem. By so doing the

geoboard was deigned to the teach the concept. After the intervention, the researcher

conducted a post test to verify the depths of pupils understanding on the topic.

In conclusion, more pupils had above average which depicted a great performance on the

part of the pupils. This made it clear that when the height approach is used pupils’

understanding is enhanced.

The last chapter of the study is the chapter five. The following are captured over there:

summary of the entire project, conclusion, recommendations and area of further study.

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

40
This chapter is the final chapter of the action research report. It captures the summary

which covers all the captures of the work. The conclusion which deals with canperving the

findings that were identified by the researcher in other literatures.

Recommendation also follows, which comprised investigating proper measures in order to

improve upon the conduct of such a study on the obtain better result tomorrow. The last

portion of this chapter is the section that deals with starting the vital area that needs further

studies.

Summary

During the researcher internship program at Agona Gospel International Junior High

School Basic stage eight, the researcher came across a quite number of problems within the

class. Since all those problems cannot be addressed by one particular person, the researcher

manages to pick one peculiar problem that out across the fabric of the pupil’s performance.

By so doing, the researcher taught it cogent to address that problem to serve on the

baseline to solve the rest of the problem.

The problem of pupil inability to find an area of rectangle came to light when the

researcher noticed the pupils poor performance after finishing their exercise. A lot of

questions bombarded the researcher mind which made him devise a plan to curb the

situation.

In order to confirm pupils difficulty in finding an area of rectangle, the pretest was

conducted by the researcher. At the end of the exercise, the researcher managed to fish out

their difficulty and bid to address the problem. Information were gathered from other

literature and authorities who are well versed in the underlying topic. The outcome of the

literature review indicated that the causes of pupils inability to find an area of a rectangle

41
come as a desultory rote memorization, poor teaching approach, insensitive attitudes on the

part of teachers towards gender issues, unconducive environment to the teaching and

learning of mathematics, weak foundation or start to the study of the subject and the which.

Upon this outcome, the researcher saw literary wise to intervene. In the process of the

intervention the concrete, the geoboard was design and used is jiuxta position with other

activity method to teach the concept, area of rectangle foe the experimental group only.

The researcher the collected a data on pupils performance for both pretest and post-test in

which the results were tabulated and analyzed critically. The effort made by the researcher

by designing the geoboard as intervention had positive impact on the already weak

performance.

CONCLUSION

The work talked about pupil’s inability to find as area of a rectangle and for that matter, the

researcher devise a means by using geoboard to teach the concept for better

comprehension. The post test conducted underscores that if pupils perform better if the

basic skill involving the teaching of the concept is addressed properly. The appropriate

usage of teaching and learning materials greatly enhances pupils understanding.

RECOMMENDATION

In relation to the finding from the study the researcher managed to came out with the under

listed proposed for redress. The begin with, it is in the interest of the research that’s, in-

service training should be given to teacher especially the fresh area. This will help them to

treat challenging topics through effective communication, logical thinking thereby creating

a conducive and harmouum environment for learning.

42
Secondly, activities given to basic stage eight pupils to usher in the concept of finding an

area of a rectangle should be appropriately be used on their background and their interest I

mathematics.

Thirdly, teachers must been courage to use the basic and appropriate teaching and learning

materials for the teaching of mathematical concept.

In addition, teachers who teach mathematics in the colleges of Education must teach and

explains the mathematical concepts into detail to their students in order for them to deliver

diligently as expected.

Moreover, co-operated teaching should be encouraged in the school so that teachers will

rely on other colleagues to prepare and teach that topic for them.

Again, mathematics teaching when pupils have problem in certain areas of mathematics.

Finally, teachers must be away with gender bias.

Area for further studies. The under listed areas in mathematics should be considered when

are deem it appropriate to undertake a study in mathematics.

There should be a study on how to identify the faces, edges and vertices of objects (shape)

by using appropriate activity or approach.

Secondly, a study on how to find the perimeter of a rectangle by using appropriate teaching

learning material.

Finally, the researcher would have wished for a study to be done on how to find the length

of plane figures by making use of the meter rule.

43