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A STUDY ON THE COLLABORATIVE METHODS OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOL
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Collaborative method of teaching is a method of teaching in which students are allowed to interact with the teachers and other students on a subject matter during the lesson. It also known as interactive method of teaching or collaborative learning (CL).
Collaborative learning is an educational approach to teaching and learning that involves groups of learners working together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a product. In the Collaborative learning environment, the learners are challenged both socially and emotionally as they listen to different perspectives, and are required to articulate and defend their ideas. In so doing, the learners begin to create their own unique conceptual frameworks and not rely solely on an expert's or a text's framework. In a Collaborative learning setting, learners have the opportunity to converse with peers, present and defend ideas, exchange diverse beliefs, question other conceptual frameworks, and are actively engaged (Srinivas, H., 2011).
Despite the term of collaborative learning (CL) has been used in a wide variety of ways across different disciplines and fields, there is a lack of consensus upon definition of the term (Jenni, R. & Mauriel, J., 2004). While there is no consensus on what CL is, there are some underlying features that will be identified. Collaboration has become a twenty-first-century trend. The need in society to think and work together on issues of critical concern has increased (Austin, J. E., 2000; Welch, M., 1998) shifting the emphasis from individual efforts to group work, from independence to community (Leonard, P. E. & Leonard, L. J., 2001).
Collaborative learning represents a significant shift away from the typical teacher-centered or lecture-centered milieu in college classrooms. In collaborative classrooms, the lecturing/ listening/note-taking process may not disappear entirely, but it lives alongside other processes that are based in students’ discussion and active work with the course material. Teachers who use Collaborative learning approaches tend to think of themselves less as expert transmitters of knowledge to students, and more as expert designers of intellectual experiences for students-as coaches or midwives of a more emergent learning process (Smith, B. L. & MacGregor, J. T., 1992). Collaborative learning occurs when small groups of students help each other to learn. CL is sometimes misunderstood. It is not having students talk to each other, either face-to-face or in a computer conference, while they do their individual assignments. It is not having them do the task individually and then have those who finish first help those who have not yet finished. And it is certainly not having one or a few students do all the work, while the others append their names to the report (Klemm, W.R., 1994). There is persuasive evidence that cooperative teams achieve at higher levels of thought and retain information longer than learners who work quietly as individuals ( Further evidence comes from Samuel The shared learning gives learners an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus become critical thinkers. Proponents of CL claim that the active exchange of ideas within small groups not only increases interest among the participants but also promotes critical thinking (Gokhale, A.A., 1995).
This study is aimed at examining the collaborative or interactive methods of teaching mathematics in secondary schools.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Collaborative method of teaching has been an effective method of teaching mathematics in secondary, however, one of the Major challenges of the collaborative learning is a short time given for each mathematics class in secondary school. Most teachers find it difficult to cover their syllables when they adopt the collaborative method of teaching. The major part of the class would be spent on listening to the opinion of students on the subject topic.
In collaborative method of teaching, students are given questions to tackle and the student who complete their task early are told to assist those struggling with their questions. This approach makes students very lazy and they tend to show a lackadaisical approach towards their tasks since they know others will still assist them.
Another major challenge of this method of teaching is poor response from the student. The method involves an interaction between the teacher and the students, most times students are not always responsive considering the nature and complexity of mathematics. These reasons brought a need to carry out a study on the collaborative methods of teaching mathematics in secondary schools.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the collaborative methods of teaching mathematics in secondary school, using ikorodu LGA as a case study. The outlines of the objective are:
1. To find out if mathematics teachers of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA know about the collaborative method of teaching.
2. To ascertain if mathematics teachers of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA teach their students using the collaborative method of teaching.
3. To know the effectiveness of collaborative method of teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA.
4. To determine the relationship between collaborative method of teaching mathematics and the performances of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA.
5. To ascertain the factors hindering the effectiveness of collaborative method of teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The relevant research questions related to this study are:
1. Do mathematics teachers of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA know about the collaborative method of teaching?
2. Do mathematics teachers of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA teach their students using the collaborative method of teaching?
3. What is the effectiveness of collaborative method of teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA?
4. What is the relationship between collaborative method of teaching mathematics and the performances of secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA?
5. What are the factors hindering the effectiveness of collaborative method of teaching mathematics in secondary schools in Ikorodu LGA?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings from this study would help teachers to know the effectiveness of collaborative method of teaching. This study also educates some teachers who do not know about collaborative method of teaching on the relevance of this method of teaching.
The factors that hinders the effectiveness of collaborative methods of teaching is also addressed in this study. The findings from this study can also act as template for other research work.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is restricted to the study on the collaborative method of teaching mathematics in secondary schools. Some selected secondary schools in Ikorodu Local government are used as a case study.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The limitations encountered during this study are lack of adequate resources on the subject of study; most of the respondents are not ready to be interviewed and also inadequate time
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Collaborative: involving two or more people working together for a special purpose
Learning environment:: can refer to an educational approach, cultural context, or physical setting in which teaching and learning occur. The term is commonly used as a more definitive alternative to "classroom"
Mathematics: is the study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.
A teaching method: comprises the principles and methods used by teachers to enable student learning.
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