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This study investigated the different research studies on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics through meta-analytic procedure. Evidence from literature shows a lot of inconsistencies of the findings of the previous studies on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievements, interest and retention in mathematics. The aim of this study is to integrate the results of the findings of previous research studies on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics so as to arrive at a conclusive end point. Fifteen research questions and six hypotheses guided this study which used meta-analytic research design. The population of the study consisted of all published and unpublished previous research reports on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics. A sample of 201 independent research reports from the primary studies on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics carried out in Nigeria from 1988 to 2012 were purposively drawn and used for this study. This sample is made up of 128, 51 and 22 research reports on achievement, interest and retention in mathematics respectively. Percentages, statistical transformations and effect sizes were used to analyze the data for the research questions while the Winer combined test was used to test the hypotheses at 0.05 levels of significance. The findings of the study showed among others that: (i) the results of the previous studies on effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics are positively significant at 0.05 levels. (ii) The overall mean effect of teaching methods on students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics are respectively significant at 0.05 levels. (iii) The mean effect sizes for all the 128, 51 and 22 studies examined on effect of teaching methods on students achievement, interest and retention respectively in mathematics are 0.52, 0.54 and 0.55 respectively which represents high effect sizes in all of them. (iv) There is variation in the mean effect sizes associated with the five categories of teaching methods examined under students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics with cooperative learning method category having the largest effect size in all of them. (v) The percentage variance in students’ achievement, interest and retention in mathematics attributable to teaching methods generally are 26.52%, 29.16% and 30.25% respectively. Based on the findings of the study, it was recommended among others that students in teacher training institutions and the already serving teachers should be trained in the techniques of using cooperative learning methods in teaching mathematics through seminars, workshops, conferences and in-service programmes.
Background of the Study
The knowledge of mathematics is paramount in the success of every man in his numerous day to day activities in life. Mathematics education holds the potency of making individuals to relate mathematics knowledge to everyday problem being encountered and hence develop the individuals to a level that they are intellectually and economically stable. Right from the pre-historic days of the early human societies to the present “hitec” age, mathematics has played a fundamental role in the economic development of many countries of the world (Popoola, 2002).
In every country, regardless of the level of economic, scientific and technological development, mathematics has to be taught to a number of scientists, technical specialists, scientific researchers etc. The service of these professionals will be continuously required for the well-being of the people and for the development of the society. Nigeria as a country needs to strive for scientific and technological breakthrough in order to cater for her domestic and international needs to enable her assert her greatness among the United Nations member states.
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