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Effectiveness of a Language Based Program in School Mathematics on Students Understanding of Statistics

Author(s): Wekesa, D. W.

Journal: Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education
ISSN 1305-8223

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 79;
Date: 2006;
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Keywords: Students Understanding | Statistic Education | Mathematical knowledge.

Mathematical knowledge and understanding is important not only for scientific progress anddevelopment but also for its day-to-day application in social sciences and arts, government, business and managementstudies and household chores. But the general performance in school mathematics in Kenya has been poor over theyears. There is evidence that students have problems in understanding and interrelating the symbols and speciallanguage structure as used in mathematics. Nevertheless in a recent study, a program called Socialized MathematicalLanguage (SML) module was designed to enhance student’s learning outcomes in school mathematics. The study wascarried out in a real classroom setting that involved comparisons between the treatment and control groups. A SolomonFour Group quasi-experimental design was employed to involve four high schools in Bungoma District. A total of 156form two students enrolled in four intact classes from the selected schools were exposed to the same content in statisticsfor a period of two weeks. Three dependent measures namely the Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT), theMathematics Skill Test (MST) and the Mathematics Classroom Environment Questionnaire (MCEQ) were used toassess the effectiveness of the program on students’ academic achievement in understanding of statistics, their skillperformance and perceptions of the classroom environment during statistics lessons. The results affirm statisticallysignificant learning gains in favour of the treatment groups. The study concludes that the use of SML program has amajor implication for school mathematics instruction in the area of statistics.
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