EFFECTS OF COOPERATIVE LEARNING AND PERSONALIZED SYSTEM OF INSTRUCTION ON ACHIEVEMENT IN MATHEMATICS OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

AUTHOR: OKAFOR ADOLPHUS ANIEROBY

DEPARTMENT: SCIENCE EDUCATION

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

This study investigated the effects of cooperative learning (CL) and personalized system of instruction (PSI)on achievement in mathematics of secondary school students. Five research questions and five hypotheses were formulated for the study. Quasi experimental design was used for the study in which two (intact classes) experimental and one (intact class) control group participated. From a population of 394 SS2 students in nine co-educational secondary schools, 159 students in three randomly selected co-educational secondary schools having 37, 34 and 88 students respectively in their intact class were used. The first experimental group which had 37 students was exposed to cooperative learning (CL);the second experimental group which was made up of 34 students was exposed to personalized system instruction (PSI) while the third group made up 88 student served as the control. The following concepts were used for the study: points, lines and angles; types of quadrilaterals, their properties and areas; basic definitions of trigonometric rations of sine, cosine, tangent and their application to solving problems in right angled triangles; circle theorems such as angle on diameter of a circle is a right angle, angles in the same segment of a circle are equal, opposite angles of a cyclic quadrilateral are supplementary and angle at centre of a circle is twice angle on the circumference; and factorization of simple algebraic expressions, difference of two squares and factorization by grouping. The cooperative group was subdivided into five small groups having 7,7,7,8 and 8 members in each. A prepared lesson based on a concept was given to the class leader each time there was a learning to direct the discussion on the concepts being learnt while other members joined in the group discussion, solved unit quizzes and problem. Some other members played other roles that were assigned to any of them (roles of observing the class member participation, questioning, time keeping and summarizing) all geared toward achieving group goals. The second experimental group that used personalized system of instruction (PSI)was such that every member was given a pack of printed study guides on the same course content used by the CL group. Each member of this group studies the lesson guides independently, going through the lessons thoroughly and solving unit quizzes. Each student mastered a unit of instruction before going to the next. Both experimental groups made use of research assistants and class teachers. The mathematics teacher of the control group kept the control group busy but used conventional method of instruction. An instrument called Mathematics Achievement Test (reliability 0.90) was developed and used as pre-test at the onset of study. The same test was administered as post-test after modification. After five weeks of mathematics instruction the post-test was administered. The data obtained, were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and analyses of covariance (ANCOVA)at 0.05 level of significance. The findings were that CL.and PSI were effective strategies in teaching mathematics concepts. The two experimental groups: CL and PSI performed significantly better than the control group. Those exposed to cooperative learning were however found to have performed significantly better than the PSI group. On further analyses of those taught by PSI, there was no gender differentiation. The females performed equally well as their male counterparts. Also, when cooperative learning was analyzed with respect to gender, there was no gender differentiation. Inclusion of CL and PSI amongst the current teaching strategies in mathematics education, were recommended. The limitation of the findings, implications and suggestions for further research were given.

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