**ABSTRACT**

The
study focused on the effect of the laboratory method of teaching on the
achievement of J.SS II students in mathematics in Lagos state. A total of 90
JSS 2 mathematics students were involved in the study. The research design used
in the study was experimental/ control group research design. The research
instruments used for the study were the mathematic Achievement Test (MAT) which
was developed by the researcher and the instructional packages which are the
lesson plans for both the experimental group and the control groups. Two
hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The
results were analyzed using mean, standard deviation, t-test and analysis of
variance (ANOVA). From the findings, it was revealed that the use of
mathematics laboratory enhanced achievement in mathematics. The findings also
showed that no significant difference exist in the achievement of male and
female mathematics students taught using mathematics laboratory. It was
recommended that mathematics laboratory should be established in all schools
and laboratory method of teaching be adopted for the teaching of mathematics in
the secondary Schools.

** **

**TABLE
OF CONTENTS**

Title
page i

Certification ii

Dedication iii

Acknowledgement iv

Abstract v

Table
of contents vi

**CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION**

1.1
Background of the Study 1

1.2
Statement of Problem 7

1.3
Scope and limitations of the Study 8

1.4
Purpose of the Study 8

1.5
Research Questions 9

1.6
Research Hypotheses 9

1.7
Significance of the Study 10

1.8
Definition of Terms 11

**CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW**

2.1
The Nature and Importance of Mathematics 12

2.2
The problems of mathematics Education. 16

2.3
Previous efforts to solve the problem of

Performance
I Mathematics 20

2.4
Existing methods of teaching mathematics. 25

2.5
Gender effects on mathematics and the effect of

Age
in mathematics Achievement. 32

2.6
Summary/ Review. 38

** **

**CHAPTER THREE**

3.1
Research Design 40

3.2
Area of Study 40

3.3
Population of Study 41

3.4
Sample and Sampling Technique 41

3.5
Research Instrument 41

3.6
The validity and Reliability of Instrument 42

3.7
Procedure of data collection 42

3.8
Method of data Analysis 42

**CHAPTER FOUR: DATA
ANALYSIS**

4.1
Introduction 43

4.2
Research Questions 45

4.3
Hypotheses Testing 46

4.4
Summary of Findings 50

** **

**CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION OF
RESULTS, SUMMARY, CONCLUSION
RECOMMENDATION AND SUGGECTION FOR FUTURE RESEARCH.**

5.0
Introduction 51

5.1
Discussion of Results 51

5.2
Summary 53

5.3
Conclusions 55

5.4
Recommendations 56

5.5
Suggestions for Further Research. 57

**REFERENCES**

Appendix I

Appendix
II

** **

**
CHAPTER ONE**

**1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY**

The
place of mathematics in man’s way of life and development cannot be over
emphasized. Generally, mathematics is a very desirable tool in virtually all
spheres of human endeavour, be it science, engineering, industry, technology
and even the arts. No nation can develop scientifically and technologically if
it neglects mathematics (Azuka, 2003).

Okereke,
(2006) stated that mathematics is the foundation of science and technology and
the functional role of mathematics to science and technology is so multifaceted
and multifarious that no area of science, technology, and business enterprise
escapes its application.

Umoinyam,
(1997) referred to mathematics as the foundation of science and technology
without which a nation can never be prosperous and economically
independent.

According
to Oyedeji, (2000) a major objective of many curricular is to ensure that the
children are equipped with at least the basic mathematical skills which will
enable them to think mathematically and be able to apply this thinking to the
rapidly changing demands of the modern world. Hence mathematics skills are
essential to every individual in order to cope with life’s activities.

Mathematics
is a key subject in the school curriculum and is considered a knowledge that is
indispensable to the educated person. According to Azuka, (2003) all major
professions in life today require the knowledge of mathematics to practice.
These professions include engineering, accountancy, medicine, economics,
banking, technology etc. In offices, industries and other human establishments,
mathematics is needed for analysis, organization and evaluation of the
information needed in order to make new decisions.

Ukwu,
(1995) states that “it is the qualities and characteristics of this subject
make everything about it a matter of concern to every nation of the world.
Mathematics is made compulsory in both primary and secondary schools. In
Nigeria Universities today there is hardly any course one can study without a
show of evidence of little knowledge of basic principles of mathematics by way
of a least a credit pass in an ordinary level examination in the subject. In
fact almost all the institutions of higher learning have one or two mathematics
courses that the entire students take as general studies to equip them in their
various disciplines.

In
spite of the aforementioned importance of mathematics, it has been observed all
over the world that the subject has peculiar features, nature and structure
that make many people afraid of it and loose interest in it (Ukwu 1995),
Nigeria is one of those countries that suffer most effects of the problems of
poor performance and under achievement in Mathematics, (Azuka 2003).

Galadima
(2002) reported that almost every year students manifest poor performance both
in internal and external examinations in mathematics. Supporting this report
are the researches of (Odili, 1986), Salau (1995), Amazigo (2006), Agwagah
(2001) and Okereke (2006).

The
West Africa Examinations Councils (WAEC) chief examiners in mathematics (2003,
2004, 2005 and 2006) consistently reported candidates’ lack of skills in
answering almost all the questions asked in general mathematics. Abakporo
(2005) also reported that the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) had in
mathematics for 11 years a credit pass of not more than 36.91%. WAEC chief
examiners (2003, 2005) further observed that candidates were weak in Geometry
of circles and three dimensional problems.

According
to their report, most candidates avoided questions on three dimensional
problems, when they attempted Geometry questions, only a few of the candidate’s
showed a clear understanding of the problem in their workings.

Ojo
(1990) and Adetula (1987) have both attempted to find out some of the reasons
why students perform poorly in mathematics. Among the factors identified for
the poor performance and failure of students in mathematics in secondary
schools was the teachers’ failure to use the appropriate method of teaching.

Studies
like those of Habor Peters (2002) and Iji (2005) have pointed at teaching
approaches and strategies used in the classroom by mathematics teachers as one
of the root causes of the undesirable poor achievement of students in
mathematics.

Also
Okereke, (2006) attributed students’ poor performance to factors such as the
society’s view that mathematics is difficult, shortage of qualified teachers,
lack of mathematics laboratory and lacks of incentives.

Abstractness
attached to the teaching of mathematics by some teachers scares some students
who are supposed to be best in the subject.

Ukwu,
(2008) observed that the only way to make the teaching and learning of
mathematics effective, meaningful and interesting is by the use of
instructional materials or teaching aids and pleasurable activities the
learners like to do.

The
present status of teaching and learning of mathematics is far from being
satisfactory. Mathematics is not a spectator sport learning mathematics requires
active participation of the learners in the lesson and the best way to learn
mathematics is to actively engage in mathematics. Teachers should not dominate
mathematics lessons.

Teachers
follow age old methods such as lecture method (Talk and chalk) in a classroom.
As a result, the power of thinking understanding and retention are not
developed amongst students, owing to which the student show less interest
towards mathematics learning. Hence, the traditional methods being used all
along by teachers have failed to develop the skills such as those needed in
formulating, modelling and solving problems. Students are not always able to
remember and retain what they have previously learnt. Simple geometrical shapes
such as cubes, cuboids, pyramids, cylinders, cones to mention but a few are
studied in the classroom without presenting the real objects to the students.

The
abstract nature of mathematics should be reached through demonstration and
practical methods. In order to develop the skills and provide practical
experiences of mathematics concepts assumptions, assertions and rules, a
strategy is needed.

Agwangah,
(1997) observed that the problem of ineffective teaching can be tackled through
planned and intelligent application of the mathematics laboratory. Hence, in
search for the method of teaching that can cater for the cognitive affective
and psychomotor aspects of learning, the concern of this researcher is to
ascertain whether the students performance of mathematics in secondary schools
could be improved upon by using the laboratory method of teaching. Since
mathematics is a subject which has to be learnt by doing rather than by reading
the doing of mathematics gives rise to the need for a suitable method and a
suitable place. Laboratory method and mathematical laboratory are the proper
answer to it. This activity method leads the students to discover mathematical
facts. It is based on the principles of learning by observation and proceeding
from concrete to abstract.

Mathematics
laboratory is a place where students can learn and explore various mathematical
concepts and verify different mathematics facts and theories using varieties of
activities and materials (Igbokwe, 2000). The use of mathematics laboratory
helps to integrate theory and practical work in mathematics teaching and
learning. Ogunkunle, (2000) enumerated the advantages of using mathematics
laboratory which include:

i.
Display mathematical information

ii.
Avenue for experimentation through
practical work

iii.
Pool of storage of mathematical
materials for easy access

iv.
Removing abstractness and increasing
effective teaching/learning.

Based
on the advantages of mathematics laboratory, it is expected that teaching and
learning of mathematics using the mathematics laboratory may help to reduce
abstract nature of the subject and increase the students’ interest in the
subject.

**1.2 STATEMENT OF
PROBLEM**

Mathematics
is a subject feared and hated by students and it is made compulsory for every
school child and even in many professions and careers. Evidence of poor
performance in mathematics by secondary school students pointed to the fact
that the most desired technological, scientific and business application of
mathematics is not being sustained. This makes it paramount to seek for a
strategy for teaching mathematics that aim at improving its understanding and
performance by students. The lack of mathematics laboratory and non-use of
laboratory techniques in teaching mathematics is one of the major factors that
contribute to poor achievement in mathematics by secondary school students
(Ogunkunle, 2000). Therefore, this study is designed to find out the effect of
using mathematics laboratory in teaching on the achievement of Junior Secondary
School (JSS) mathematics students.

**1.3 SCOPE AND
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY**

This
study involve only 90 Junior secondary school (JSS II) students from three
schools in Surulere Government Area of Lagos State under Education District IV.
The research work was limited to elements within the sample frame owing to
constraints of time, finance, materials and personnel to assist in carrying out
this study.

**1.4 PURPOSE OF THE
STUDY**

The
purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of using mathematics
laboratory in teaching Junior Secondary School (JSS) students mathematics.
Specifically, the study seek the following

1.
To investigate the extent to which the
use of mathematics laboratory will enhance the student’s achievement in
mathematics.

2.
To compare the achievement of male and
female mathematics students taught.

**1.5 RESEARCHER
QUESTIONS**

This
study will attempt to answer the following questions;

1.
Is there any significant difference in
the performance of students taught with laboratory method and those taught with
the conventional method?

2.
Is there any significant difference
between the achievement of male and female students taught with mathematics
laboratory?

**1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES**

The
following will hypotheses were are formulated from the research questions:

Ho,:
There is no significant difference in the performance of the students taught
mathematics using laboratory method and those taught using the conventional
method.

HO_{2}:
There is no significant difference between the performance of male and female
students taught mathematics using the laboratory method and those taught using
the conventional method.

**1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY**

This
research is significant in the following ways:

1.
Identifying a better teaching method
that could be adopted by mathematics teachers so as to improve the performance
of students in mathematics.

2.
The abstract nature of mathematics will
be reduced and will increase the students’ interest in the subject.

3.
It will lead to self discovery of
mathematics concepts, rules and formulae by students themselves and mathematics
will no longer be a question of cramming formulae but a practical oriented
activity which will guide students to discover things by themselves.

4.
When people see, study, analyze and
synthesize what they are doing, there will be insight and any solution so
obtained from this scientific method of reasoning will be a confidence builder.

**1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS**

1.
Teaching method is the system or
orderliness that can be adopted to make learning effective.

2.
Learning: Is a relatively permanent
change in behavior or performance which comes as a result of practice,
experience or exposure rather than as a result of physiological changes.

3.
Performance: Level of achievement
exhibited by the learner in a course of study.

4.
Laboratory: a physical structure or room
used for scientific research. It is also place for making and storing teaching
aids and also a process of instructions.

5.
Instruction: Is the process whereby one
individual intentionally influences by structuring the environment of the
learner in such a way that the latter learns the desired behavior/objective.

6.
Secondary school: Post primary institution
preparing student for useful living within the society and also for higher
education.

7.
Education District: An Education
District encompasses all the primary and post primary schools in the local Government
areas of Lagos State.

8.
MAN: Mathematical Association of Nigeria

9.
STAN: Science Teachers Association of Nigeria

10. NERDC: Nigeria Educational Research and
Development council.

11.
NMC: National Mathematical Centre.

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