Some effects of an activity approach to teaching geometry in the high schools in Afghanistan Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/kw52jc562

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  • The purpose of this study has been to investigate the effects of an activity approach to teaching geometry in certain high schools of Afghanistan. A brief review of the historical background of mathematics education especially in Afghanistan has been presented in this study. Students in the activity approach were involved in a Learning process using solution keys and practical activities to supplement lecture and textbook presentation. This approach was compared to traditional methods which consist of lecture, use of a textbook, and recitation based on memorization only. Participants in this study were students in two high schools in Afghanistan. Eight teachers were involved and a total of 602 students were randomly selected to participate in the study. Selected students were divided into experimental and control groups by means of an "even and odd" procedure. There were seven classes in each group, with each teacher teaching one or two classes in one of the groups. The activity approach consists of 48 activities (24 activities for each of the ninth and tenth grades) which were introduced as learning modules supplementing the presently used traditional approach. Six hypotheses were stated claiming no difference between the two approaches in common learning outcomes for students learning geometry, such as over-all achievement in understanding concepts, creative thinking, ability to recall concepts, ability to solve problems, ability to explain facts, and ability to set up step-by-step proofs for various theorems. The hypotheses were all tested statistically and were rejected in favor of their alternatives. Since there was no standardized test appropriate for testing the content of high school geometry programs in Afghanistan, three intermediate tests and a comprehensive final examination were constructed by a committee consisting of the experimental as well as the control group teachers. The tests and the final examination were administered to both groups at the same time. The tests together with the final examination were designed to measure the six specific learning outcomes in geometry mentioned earlier. The experimental design employed was a "post-test only control group design. " The design was supplemented by three intermediate tests administered every other month during the 32 weeks (one academic year) duration of this study. The statistical analysis which consisted of computation of related mean scores for each one of the six specific learning outcomes in geometry and for each test including the final examination was computer processed. Finally a Student-t-test was used to draw conclusions related to each of the learning outcomes. Conclusions The following conclusions were drawn from the analysis of the data and from testing of the hypotheses. In comparison to the traditional approach, the use of activity approach: 1. Significantly improves a student performance in overall understanding of geometry. 2. Helps students achieve higher levels in creative thinking. 3. Helps students develop greater ability to explain geometric concepts. 4. Helps students improve their ability in solving geometric problems. 5. Helps students develop the ability to recall geometric concepts better. 6. Helps students to develop greater ability in setting up complete proofs for geometric theorems.
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