EFFECT OF CLASS SIZE IN TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS IN IKERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EKITI STATE.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page i
Table of Contents vii-ix
Background of the study 1-6
Statement of the Problem 6-7
Purpose of the Study 7
Limitation of the Study 7
Research question 7-8
Research Hypothesis 8
Delimitation of the study 8
Significance of the Study 9
Definition of Terms 9
Defining class size 10-16
The impact of student and teacher behaviour 16-19
Effects Of Class Size On Students’ Performance 19-21
Teachers Teaching Experience 21-23
Learning Method and Academic Performance 23-25
Attitude of the Students towards Learning 25
Teachers Knowledge of Subject Matter 25-26
Learning techniques and Academic Performance 26-27
Research Design 28
Area of the study 28-29
Population of the study 29
Sample and sampling technique(s) 29
Instrument for data collection 29
Validation of the instrument 29
Reliability of the instrument 30
Administration of the instrument 30
Data Analysis 30
RESULT AND DISCUSSION
SUMMARY RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Summary of the Study 37
Suggestion for further studies 39
This study investigate the effect of class size in teaching and learning of mathematics in Ikere local government area of Ekiti State. Therefore the study is designed to review characteristic of teacher and achievement in mathematics. The population for this study consisted of 1000 respondents in the school. The project has taken Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State as case study using five (5) secondary schools in the local government. The students questionnaire was divided into two section. Section “A” was designed for personal data of the students. Section ‘B’ was designed to find out the attitude of the teachers towards mathematics, twenty questions were constructed in section B. This study has considered various factors affecting student’s performance in mathematics among secondary schools. It has made the researcher to visit many schools, teachers both male and female to elicit information from them about the effect of class size on student academic performance. The general conclusion was that teachers characteristics play a significant role in the achievement of any subject. Conclusively, it was discovered that, teachers qualification enhance the achievement in mathematics contribute to students academic performance and also instructional materials and other equipment improve the achievement in Mathematics. As a result of the findings, appropriate recommendations were made to help eradicate or reduce negative attitude toward Mathematics to the barest minimum. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that trained and specialized teacher should be employed so as to have necessary achievement in Mathematics in all classes of the secondary schools.
Background to the Study
Adesina (2000) defined mathematics as the science that draws necessary conclusions and also the manipulation of the meaningless symbols of a first order language according to explicit, syntactical rules. Advanced mathematics is widely used, but often in an unseen and unadvertised way.
Husen (2000) state that education is widely regarded as a basic human right, a key to enlightenment, and a great tool for human and society development. Education is the key factor to industrial and technological development of any country in the world. Knowledge holds key to the attainment of the millennium development goals, which include, food security, eradication of child mortality, and reduction of the spread of HIV and AIDS among others. For any Nation to achieve her aims and objectives in education there must be good, dedicated and committed teachers. The teachers must possess characteristics that will enhance effective teaching and learning.
Therefore, teachers play a major role in the educational sector and their role is a major determinant of educational attainment of any students. However, for anyone to qualify to be a teacher he or she must obtain degree or National Certificate in Education, during the course of study the pre –service teacher will be exposed to both pedagogy and content knowledge in his or her field of study; psychology and philosophy courses that will prepare him or her for the teaching assignment.
As school population increases, class sizes also increase, the performances of students become an issue. According to Dror (2010), class size has become a phenomenon often mentioned in the educational literature as an influence on pupil’s feelings and achievement, on administration, quality and school budgets. In his words he noted that class size is almost an administrative decision over which teachers have little or no control. Most researchers start from the assumption that size of the class would prove a significant determinant of the degree of success of students. In fact, with the exception of a few, many studies have reported that under ideal situation, class size in itself appears to be an important factor. Class size refers to an educational tool that can be used to describe the average number of students per class in a school (Adeyemi, 2008).
Okoro (2009) reported that the class-size in secondary schools ranges between 35/40 students. He argued that few pupils per class are uneconomical, as they do not make full use of space, teachers and teaching materials. Adeyemi (2008) reported that average class-size influences the cost of education while capital cost could be reduced by increasing the average class-size in schools while Nwadiani (2016) argued that the higher the class-size, the lower the cost of education. He contended however, that most classrooms are over-crowded spreading resources thinly and thereby affecting the quality of education.
Ajayi (2010) supported the viewpoints and argued that in order to control rising capital cost of education, the average class-size could be increased. These points were also supported by Toth and Montagna (2009) who reported that the increase in enrollment in many institutions which has become major concerns of students could definitely lead to an increase in class size. Commeyras (2010) however, disagreed with these arguments and reported that effective teaching seems impracticable for teacher educators having large class sizes of 50, 75, 100 or more. In terms of outcomes, Schultz (2010) classified the outcomes of education into two categories from the economic point of view. These are consumption and investment.
Cohn (2011) referred to the consumption aspect as that related to benefits derived by students. He regarded the investment component as including a variety of outputs related to the enhancement of an individual’s or society’s productive skills. Thus, Blaug (2011) argued that the extension of education tends to raise the earnings of those who benefited from it. In this regard, Simkins (2011) reported that output “represents the immediate results of the system’s activities.” According to him, “the main outputs in education are expressed in terms of learning, that is, changes in the knowledge, skills and attitudes of individuals as a result of their experiences within the educational system.” He argued that the educational system is a productive system in the very sense that it produces outputs especially various forms of learning. He expressed that the components of the system could be represented in a model viz: Input Process Output.
Explaining the model, he alleged that the various inputs are processed in the production of outputs. Examinations in Nigerian schools dated back to the advent of formal education. Since then examinations have occupied a central place in the Nigerian educational system .According to him, examination has been “the sole criterion of quality” in Nigeria and “once a higher percentage of the pupils pass their external examinations, the school is considered to be of a high quality.” The importance of examinations in Nigeria even extended beyond this point. This importance as entrenched in the Federal Government of Nigeria National Policy of Education was in the fact that all secondary schools should gear their programmes to meet the requirements of model, he alleged that the various inputs are processed examinations being conducted for the School Certificate.
Fafunwa (2001) argued that “it is an educational truism that examinations control the curriculum and whoever controls a country’s examination system controls its education.” The WAEC Ordinance emphasized the importance of standards in its examinations. According to the Ordinance, standards must be such that the certificates awarded on the basis of performance in the examinations shall not represent a lower standard of attainment when compared with equivalent certificates of other examining authorities. These examining authorities were the Cambridge and London Universities Examinations Boards for the WASC and GCE examinations respectively. Although the SSC examination has replaced the WASC and GCE examinations in Nigeria it still uses the GCE ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards as its norms since it was pitched between the ‘O’ & ‘A’ level standards. The pattern of grading candidates’ score in the examinations was such that the distinctions grade was represented by A1 to B3. The credit grade was represented by C4 to C6. The ordinary pass grade was represented by D7 and E8 while the failure grade was represented by F9. It needs to be mentioned however, that the distinction and credit grades are the only requisite qualifications for admissions into universities in Nigeria and candidates must have at least five credits in five subjects including English Language in order to qualify for admission .The foregoing review has shown that class-size is a controversial educational tool that has varied from one country to another.
Several other related studies have tended to put more emphasis on the various predictors of student learning or achievement. Siegfried and Walstad (2010) found that study effort, age of a student, and a good match between student’s learning style and instructor’s teaching style have positive influences on student’s performance. Hancock (2015) in a study involving nine sections of a college statistics course (6 ‘normal’ sections and 3 ‘mega sections’ averaging 118 students) found no evidence that grade distribution was affected by class size, supporting the hypothesis that achievement was independent of class size. Hill (2010) investigated the effect of large sections (120 students) on student performance in an Accounting course and found that the size of the class did not have a significant effect on student performance. Contrary to expectations, the large class outperformed the small classes when controlling for attendance and university GPA. Hill concluded that large class size may be more of an expectations issue rather than a performance issue, since students reported that they felt the class size was too large.
Papo (2009) found that the size of the class taught does not have an impact on teaching effectiveness and the selection of teaching strategies by instructors. He concluded that teaching in large classes is not seen or perceived as a problem by students since the teaching and learning success may depend, in part, on what is taught. What the optimal size of class is for a particular course and teaching task remains a problem for continued research.
Okpala, et al. (2013) used the concept of the ‘education production function’ to analyze the effects of students’ study habits and academic effort on students’ performance in a Principles of Macroeconomics course. It was found that academic effort and study habits were significant in explaining academic achievement in four different sections of the course taught by the same instructor.
Skoro and Payne (2013) investigated whether assigning problem sets in economic principles courses increased learning and found no evidence that numerous short problem-set assignments had a direct effect on learning in a college economics course. However, the authors found a strong positive effect for class attendance in the experimental group.
Siegfried and Fels (2009) found that a student’s general aptitude is the most important determinant of learning and that socioeconomic background, prior economic courses, mathematical preparation, class size, textbooks and study effort did not seem to matter very much. Tay and Kennedy (2014), in a study involving large lecture classes, found that prior economics courses, gender, age, ethnic background, and being well prepared for classes significantly affected performance.
Durden and Ellis (2015) found that attendance did not matter for academic achievement in a Principles of Economics course unless a student had missed four (or more) classes during the semester. The results also show no gender-related differences in student performance. Henbry (1997) examined class schedule as a variable in student performance in a financial management course and found that students had a better chance of passing the course when a class was scheduled to meet more than once a week.
Statement of the Problem
It has been observed that Nigeria Schools appear to be densely populated while Classroom seem to be over-congested. It has shown the views of previous researchers on class-size in various countries. In view of the divergent opinions, the problem of this study was to determine what influence class-size had on the quality of output. This situation seems to be impairing effective teaching and learning process in higher institution and hence the reason for embarking on this project.
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