SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS LEARNING PATTERN AND ITS IMPACT ON STUDENT ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
For years, educators have been looking for better ways to teach mathematics to all students. All male and female students must receive a proper math education.
Math education prepares students to meet society’s demand for a knowledgeable and adaptable workforce (Best, & Kahn, 1993). School administrators work hard to raise all students’ educational attainment so that they can all strive for the highest level of achievement. Although the government and the local community work together to promote education, there are still some issues that must be addressed. Mathematics has always been a difficult subject for many students to master, according to (Best & Kahn, 1993). Over the last two decades, there has been a significant decline in the overall standard of student achievement in mathematics.
Nigeria has a high level of education. According to research data from mathematics classroom practice in Nigeria, the decline in student performance in mathematics is anchored in and traceable to mathematics instructors’ instructional tactics.
Teachers and researchers on Nigerian mathematics classroom practice have also acknowledged that inconsistencies in students’ mathematical performance can be traced back to the passive and strict classroom practices used by mathematics teachers during classroom instruction. There is also evidence that Nigerian students struggle with higher order thinking tasks in the classroom, particularly concepts that require the demonstration of knowledge, comprehension, and skills.
Mathematics is a required subject in Nigerian schools. Students must obtain the necessary marks and scores to graduate.
pass or gain admission to the university of their choice, but it is worth noting that the majority of students are afraid of mathematics. This implies that mathematics classroom engagement is not a static, monotonous field of textbook problems or a formula-driven problem-solving environment. In their desperation, students and teachers looked for solutions to improve academic performance. One of their solutions was to use small group discussions.
Ardalan (2005) demonstrated that by critically assessing their mathematical reasoning in small-group discussions, students were able to construct new, more stable forms of reasoning and thus improve their mathematical comprehension. It has been shown that students who were able to debate their points of view, for example, about an assignment with peers or
Those who were able to learn in a small group before being given the correct solution in front of the entire class learned significantly more than those who were unable to do so (Ardalan, 2005).
When small-group conversations are used in mathematics instruction, a problem is frequently presented, followed by individual or small-group student work on the issue, and then a whole-class discussion is orchestrated by the teacher (Larsson & Ryve, 2012; Miller et al., 2006).
Meaningful group discussions can lead to cognitive gains by engaging students in in-depth reflection on their ideas. By discussing ideas and considering others’ opinions, learners are challenged to reflect on their current concepts as well as incorporate new ideas into their existing knowledge. The cognitive processes involved in asking questions and providing explanations also contribute to learning.
in response to inquiries, and expanding on one’s ideas to provide these explanations (Cohen, 1994; Slavin, 1996). Best and Kahn (1993) demonstrated how engaging in collaborative discussion within a community of inquiry assisted instructors in exchanging knowledge and co-creating new understandings. Ardalan (2005) emphasized the importance of incorporating collaboration in multimedia-based problem-solving settings, claiming that group conversations are the source of problem-based learning success.
1.2 THE PROBLEM’S STATEMENT
The goals of using small-group and whole-class conversations in teaching vary; one goal is to give students the opportunity to explain their own mathematical concepts while also listening to those of others, allowing them to notice similarities and differences. It is believed that doing so will aid students in developing a better understanding of mathematical concepts. ideas and improve their ability to articulate their mathematical thinking (Denscombe, 2010). While small-group discussions allow students to debate mathematical ideas, research has shown that they may struggle to develop fruitful discussions on the subject. However, simply having students debate mathematical concepts does not ensure that significant learning occurs (Denscombe, 2010). It has also been proposed that students’ lack of communication skills (Ardalan, 2005), students’ lack of constructive cooperation (Ardalan, 2005), and instructors’ failure to provide appropriate assignments (Gillies & Boyle, 2010) reduce the impact of classroom discussions. Teachers are frequently confronted with a wide range of student responses, and it can be difficult for teachers to know how to respond to these comments in an effective manner (Forslund Frykedal & Hammar Chiriac, 2010).
Gillies and Boyle, 2010). As a result, encouraging classroom discussions based on students’ previous mathematical thinking or concepts is a difficult educational endeavor (Denscombe, 2010). Teachers play an important role in facilitating effective small-group discussions and whole-class debates (Webb, 2009). (Wang, 2001). According to Denscombe (2010), students need help focusing their mathematical reasoning on important mathematical ideas.
1.3 THE STUDY’S OBJECTIVES
The primary goal of this study is to evaluate the learning pattern of small group discussions and its impact on student academic performance in Mathematics. Other goals of this research include:
i. To investigate the impact of small group discussions on academic performance in mathematics.
ii. To discuss the difficulties that students face in small group discussions in schools.
iii. In order to compare
Students’ math achievements in small group discussions were compared to those in the regular classroom setting.
1.4 QUESTIONS FOR RESEARCH
This study is guided by the research questions listed below.
i. What are the advantages of small group discussions in mathematics academic performance?
ii. What difficulties do students face when participating in small group discussions?
iii. Does the academic performance of students participating in small group discussions differ from that of students in traditional school settings?
1.5 THEORIES OF RESEARCH
The following hypotheses will be tested in this study:
H0: There is no significant difference in math achievements of students in small group discussions with those in the normal classroom setting.
HA: There is a significant difference in math achievements of students in small group discussions with those in
the normal classroom setting.
1.6 THE STUDY’S SIGNIFICANCE
This study will be very useful to educators because the results will show if small group discussions are effective and improve students’ academic performance. This study will also be useful to students because they will know whether or not participating in small group discussions will benefit them.
Finally, this study will be archived as a resource for future research and reference.
1.7 STUDY OBJECTIVES
This study will concentrate on the learning pattern of small group discussions and its impact on student academic performance in mathematics. It will also focus on the difficulties that students who participate in small group discussions face. This research will also look at how effective small
Discussions in groups are.
Students from Uyo High School in Uyo will be enrolled as participants in this study.
1.8 THE STUDY’S LIMITATIONS
This study will be limited to small group discussions about learning patterns and their impact on student academic performance in mathematics, with no other subjects being studied. This study will also be limited to the effectiveness of small group discussions and will not offer solutions to small group discussion challenges. Finally, because this research will be limited to Uyo High School in Uyo, the findings will not be applicable to the rest of the country or the world.
1.9 TERM DEFINITION
Discussion: the act or process of discussing something in order to
to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.
A learning pattern is a coherent set of learning activities that learners typically use.
Academic performance is the assessment of student achievement in a variety of academic subjects.