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Effects of Teaching Methods, Gender and School Location on the Performance of Secondary School Students in Mathematics

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Effects of Teaching Methods, Gender and School Location on the Performance of Secondary School Students in Mathematics.


Title Page
i Dedication
ii Certification
iii Acknowledgement
iv Table of Contents
vi List of Tables
vii Abstract


1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
41.3 Purpose of the Study
41 .4 Research Questions
51.5 Research Hypotheses
51.6 Significance of the Study
61.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

2.1       Introduction
82.2  Effect of Teaching Method on Students’ Performance in Mathematics
92.3  Effect of Gender on Learning Mathematics
122.4  Effect of School Location on Student Achievement in Mathematics
152.5  Critique of the Review


  • Introduction 17
  • Research Design 17
  • Population of the Study 18
  • Sample and Sampling Techniques 19
  • Instrumentation 21

5.5.1 Validation of the Instrument                                                                                         21

3.5.2 Reliability of the Instrument                                                                                          21

  • Administration of the Instrument 21
  • Approach to Data Analysis 22


  • Introduction 23
  • Data Presentation 23
  • Hypotheses Testing 25
  • Discussion 28


  • Introduction 30
  • Summary of Major Findings 30
  • Conclusion 31
  • Recommendations 32
  • Suggestion for Further Studies 32

References                                                                                                                   34

Appendices                                                                                                                  37



 This study was carried out to investigate the effects of teaching methods (Discovery and lecture method), gender, and school location on the performance of secondary school students in mathematics. A proportionate random sample of 356 senior secondary students was drawn from 20 secondary schools from Kano central senatorial zone using Morgan and Krejcie (1970) table for determining sample size.

The sample was drawn from urban/rural dichotomy and gender-wise. The sampled students were put into two groups i.e. experimental and control groups. Four different mathematics topics were taught to both groups using discovery and lecture methods for experimental and control groups respectively.

Pre-test and Post-test were administered on both groups before and after treatment respectively. The results of the data collected from their performance were analyzed using t-test statistics. The results of the study revealed that the experimental group performed better than the control group.

The result also showed that boys performed significantly better than girls and urban students performed better than their rural counterparts. It was therefore recommended that teachers should adopt the use of the discovery method in teaching mathematics. The cultural stigma which relegates females to mere housekeepers should be discouraged in our society.

Moreover, the government should come to the aid of schools mostly in rural areas with necessary teaching materials to facilitate the teaching and learning activities.


  • Background to the study

Mathematics being the pivot at which all the sciences are turning and the remarkable role it plays in sciences and technology, especially during this era of the computer age, made it necessary to include in the mathematics curriculum a wide range of activities that could be applied to solve scientific and other related problems

The vital role played by mathematics in sciences and technology coupled with changes in our modern society called for the reposition of mathematics education so as to keep abreast with these changes in our contemporary society.

Upon all attempts by various governments to popularize the teaching and learning of mathematics, poor results were and are still being recorded in our secondary schools through universities. This is an indication that something has gone wrong in teaching mathematics.

Odili (2006) classified problems of teaching mathematics into three broad categories viz.

  1. Mathematics Issues: This comprises of content curriculum, organization, and understanding of ideas
  2. Pedagogical issues: This consists of instructional methods, classroom organization, the teacher himself, and the government, he further observed problems of classroom organization to include the number of students per class, size of the classroom, availability of spaces and facilities. He opined that in our school no class has fewer than 50 students and managing such students will be difficult by one teacher
  • Psychological Issues: This encompasses individual differences, attitudes, interests and

Despite the fact that teaching mathematics is faced with multifaceted problems, accusing fingers are always pointed to the teachers and hence were held scapegoats for student’s poor academic performance. The truth of the matter is that unless all the problems are squarely addressed, it would be impossible to realize the objective of teaching mathematics

The choice of this topic emanated from the yearning call on the current world trend on the promotion of gender equality, empowerment of women, and eliminating of gender inequality, so as to ensure fair role expectation from both sexes towards the development of a society.

The success or failure of students in mathematics studies has always been attributed to student and teachers’ attitudes, commitment, and enthusiasm towards mathematics. The mental readiness of a student will significantly determine whether he is internally or externally motivated to learn mathematics. The teacher’s character, personality, and how he portrays himself to his students influence students’ attitudes towards his subject.

Lack of proper counseling also contributed to the student’s poor academic performance in mathematics. Most mathematics teachers just teach mathematics without relating it to a real-life situation. Teachers should lead students to come to understand how mathematics education permeates into almost all aspects of human endeavor. This will consequently establish a strong bond between mathematics and other disciplines.

Though some aspects of mathematics are abstract in nature, effort should be made by the teacher to teach it in such a way that all students would be carried along in solving problems. That is to say that mathematics should be taught in an explorative approach (discovery method) in which students should be an active participant in identifying the source and solutions of their problems.

The Discovery method or scientific method as it is alternatively called is a method of teaching that employs the use of audiovisual aids which adds a variety to the methods of teaching by giving depth and breadth which makes the learning process more pleasant and meaningful.

Frecmont (1989) suggested that by deriving mathematical expressions from a physical experiment and using symbols to describe inherent relationship youngster may be helped to learn the language of mathematics and thus improve their result.

The lecture method, on the other hand, is usually a talk and chalk method without much participation of students in the teaching and learning process, in the lecture method, students are passive receivers of information with minimal participation in solving a problem in the class.

It is not uncommon in our secondary schools to find that many students were and are still running away from mathematics class simply because they have already imbibed the idea that mathematics is a difficult subject and they, therefore, consider it an object of fear.

This ugly trend coupled with the mystification of the subject by some mathematics teachers calls for proper counseling of students by disabusing their minds from an erroneous conception of the dreadful nature of mathematics. Igboko (1980) strongly advocated the discovery method since it has the following advantages over the lecture method.

  1. It encourages initiative and imaginal
  2. It leads learners to discover rather than to tell him the matter at hand.


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