Effect of improvised instructional materials on students performance in mathematics

Effect of improvised instructional materials on students performance in mathematics


Effect of improvised instructional materials on students performance in mathematics. A quasi-experimental pre-test, post-test control group design was adopted for the study. Two research questions were raised and two hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance. The population of the study comprised 1,350 SS2 students from 12 public secondary schools in Anambra state. The sample comprised 68 SS2 students selected from two out of the 12 public secondary schools using intact class. Simple random sampling technique was used to select the two schools from which the two intact classes were selected. The instrument used for data collection was Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT), and the data was analyzed using mean for the research questions, and t-test for the hypotheses. The results indicated that students who were taught with improvised instructional materials had better academic achievement in Mathematics, and that gender has no significance effect on the academic achievement of students who were taught Mathematics with improvised instructional materials, Based on the findings, it was recommended among other things that Mathematics teachers should try to improvise instructional materials for the teaching and learning of Mathematics in secondary schools.

























Background to the Study

The concept of Mathematics is quantitative and geometrical in nature. This has given rise to diverse approaches to the teaching and learning of the subject in accordance with different purposes for which it is used (Williams, 2007). In trying to emphasize the importance of Mathematics to human activities, Bangbose (2011) says that it is used as a measuring tool for calculation and numerical analysis in our everyday life. While Olatin and Aquiobe (2007) highlighted Mathematics instructional materials as all geometry objects or the means of communicating process that stores and distributes human experiences through quantitative reasoning. Under the 6-3-3-4 educational system in Nigeria, Mathematics is one of the core subjects for students at the senior secondary school level (NPE, 2004). It is a compulsory subject for all students at the Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE).

Mathematics is necessary for anybody wishing to advance in any academic career, whether it is science or art. As a result of the importance attached to the subject, teachers make conscious effort using relevant teaching strategies with or without instructional materials to the teaching of the subject. Their efforts are not being felt, since most of the necessary materials are not made available, worse still, funds are not made available to procure at least some of these instructional materials due to insufficient funding being allocated to education annually. Thus, improvisation came into place as an alternative measure to procure instructional materials locally or handmade.

Improvisation is the make-shift of a learning material. According to NTI (2005), it is the technique of originating a totally new tool, instrument, material devise or modifying existing one for a particular purpose. Improvisation is done either where the readymade material is not available or where it is available but could not be relevant to the instructional objectives. According to Akinmoyewe (2006), improvisation of instructional materials in teaching Mathematics, makes the class active and worthwhile because of the inherent advantage that is imbedded when improvised instructional materials are used in learning. Improvised instructional materials promote quick understanding and give first hand learning experiences which is not easily forgotten. They afford the students the opportunity for individual studies by promoting individualization instruction and self studies in Mathematics.

Academic achievements of students refer to the progress students make in school as measured by their scores. For students to learn effectively, they ought to be actively involved in the teaching and learning process. Olatin and Aquiobe (2007) said that it is worrisome that the performances of students have continued to deteriorate year after year. They are of the view that if the situation remains like this, it will affect both economic and technological growth of the country.

Study by Miciano (2005) show that the use of instructional materials has significant effect on the performance of students in Mathematics. Why studies by Ikwuka and Ezigbo (2015), and Adamu (2009) proved that the use of instructional materials and instructional tape recorder enhanced the performance of students in Basic education and English language respectively.


The influence of students’ gender in their achievements had been a concern to researchers, yet no consistent result had emerged. A considerable amount of research carried out on gender differences in Mathematics have suggested that boys achieve better result in Mathematics, and used more superficial learning skills than girls. It further showed that boys had greater interest and performed better in Mathematics, while girls had lower achievements and greater dislike for the subject than their male counterparts (Niem, 2000 & Osa 2008). While Akin (2006) reported that girls achieved better result than the boys.


It is a common practice among Mathematics teachers in secondary schools to adopt conventional and theoretical method as a way of teaching Mathematics. Many Mathematics teachers in secondary schools in Oshimili South local government area seem to follow this trend of using conventional and theoretical method for teaching Mathematics. Some of them said that there is unavailability of instructional materials; some seem to have no interest in making use of instructional material, while some others seem to lack the skills and competence for using instructional materials in teaching. Looking at the poor academic performance of students in the Senior Certificate Examination as reported by Olatin and Aquiobe (2007), there is the need for Mathematics teachers to use instructional materials to improve teaching and learning of Mathematics. Unfortunately, most of the secondary schools in Oshimili south lack these instructional materials which teachers will use to impact the knowledge and skills required. These compelling observations triggered the desire for this study to find out the effect of improvisation of instructional materials in senior secondary students’ academic achievement in Mathematics.


Statement of the Problem

Evidence from the studies reviewed shows that failure rate in biology at senior certificate examinations is high. This could be attributed to a number of factors; one of such factors is lack or total absence of instructional materials. In teaching and learning, instructional materials play a key role towards concretizing learning. Instructional materials make learning meaningful and help to improve students’ academic achievement. However these advantages of instructional materials have not reflected in the education system because of the dearth of these instructional materials in our schools. Hence, the need for alternative instructional materials called improvisation.

Objectives of the study

The main objective is to examine on the effect of improvised instructional materials on public secondary school students performance in mathematics

Specifically, the study set out to:

  1. Improvise instructional materials to teach senior secondary students Mathematics.
  2. Investigate the effect of improvised instructional materials on the academic achievement of senior secondary students in
  3. Investigate the effect of improvised instructional materials on the academic achievement of male and female secondary students in Mathematics.
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