Adopting Successive Approximation Model For The Development Of Locally-Made Interventionary Manipulatives For The Teaching Ang Learning Of Mathematics In Basic Education Context: The Case Of Akrom M/A And Knust Primary Schools

Harry Barton Essel, Akosua Tachie-Menson, Abraham Asuama Yeboah


Manipulatives are concrete or virtual objects that enable pupils to visualize abstract mathematical concepts in concrete terms for easy comprehension. They play an important role in the success of effective mathematics education. Preliminary studies in the selected schools revealed that manipulatives were lacking in these schools and that made teaching and learning of some mathematics topics very challenging. This research sought to find out how mathematics is taught in the selected schools to establish the brunt on how the teaching and learning of mathematics is done with or without manipulatives. The two selected schools are public schools or government owned schools. The study is qualitative in nature employing the descriptive and quasi-experimental methods of research. The research instruments employed for the study were interview and observation. The accessible population for the study was 339. This was made up of 6 teachers, 199 teachers and 1 head teacher. The non-probability sampling techniques were employed specifically; convenient sampling was used to hand pick schools that were not too far from the researcher whiles the purposive sampling was used to judgmentally select the school that are been studied. Results from observation in both schools showed that, manipulatives were available for only addition and subtraction. Data from interviews showed that some topics in mathematics are challenging to teach without manipulatives. Successive Approximation Model (SAM) was used to design and develop mathematics manipulatives for five of the challenging topics to teach and learn which were tested in the selected schools to measure their effectiveness. The test scores revealed that pupil’s academic experiences in those challenging mathematics topics improved with the use of manipulatives; pupils’ participation in the classroom also improved drastically. It was recommended that, manipulatives should be available for all topics in mathematics to make teaching and learning easier and fun to improve academic performance of pupils in mathematics.

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