**ABSTRACT**

This study is designed to find out the effectiveness of an assessment Supported Instructional Model (ASIM) on (SS 2) students’ achievement and interest in indices and logarithms. It also tried to determine whether any of the ability groups (high and low) gained more than the other from the model. Non equivalent control group quasi-experimental designed was employed in the study. The study was guided by four (4) research questions and six (6) null hypotheses. A sample of two hundred (200) SS 2 students was assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental and control groups were taught indices and logarithms using assessment supported instructional model (ASIM) and convention method respectively. Two researcher-constructed instruments – Mathematics Achievement Test on Indices and Logarithms (MATIL) of 24 items and Mathematics Interest Inventory on Indices and Logarithms (MIIIL) of 25 items were used for data collection. Mean and standard Deviation were used to answer the research questions while ANCOVA was used to test null hypotheses at p < 0.05. The results revealed among others that ASIM was more effective in fostering achievement and facilitating interest in indices and logarithms. That the high ability students benefited more significantly than the low ability students in both achievement and interest in indices and logarithms, from ASIM. Interaction effect between instructions and ability groups was significant in achievement and interest as revealed by the study. The findings had tremendous implication curriculum planners, teacher educators, teachers and the learners. Based on the findings recommendations were forwarded.

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**Background of the Study**

Teaching is a unique and dynamic profession. This is because education is a veritable instrument and the cornerstone for the building and sustenance of any nation. Whatever a nation becomes depends on the type and quality of education provided for her citizenry because no nation can rise above her education system. Since the school is the mirror of the society and an agent of social change (Ukeje, 1997), teaching becomes a process of nation building and the teacher an architect of nation building. This implies that the future of any nation depends on the professional qualification and competence of the classroom teacher, because there exists a strong tie between his/her instructional activities, the eventual outcome of his/her instruction and the development of the nation. Hence the responsibility of a teacher is made more comprehensive by the fact that his/her effectiveness is measured in terms of how much the learners will benefit from his/her professional expertise or be led astray by those actions of his/her that undermine professionalism,

Nigerian government is very much aware of the importance of education in general and science education in particular for her technological advancement and thus stipulates a ratio of sixty to forty (60–40) in favour of science and technology related courses in the conventional universities, eighty to twenty (80–20) in universities of technology and seventy to thirty (70-30) in polytechnics (Ogunleye, 1999). Other efforts to give science education befitting consideration include: the reintroduction of ministry of science and technology in 1985 by government which formulated the science and technology policy which led to the establishment of Federal University of Technology (FUT) and Federal University of Agriculture (FUA); the establishment of science schools at federal and state level; and the establishment of Federal College of Education (Technical) in the country between 1987 and 1989.

However, positive advancement in science and technology cannot be achieved without effective and efficient mathematics education. Hence the importance of mathematics education in science and technology cannot be overlooked. For instance Ukeje (1997) stated that “the increasing importance and attention given to mathematics stems from the fact that without mathematics there is no science, without science there is no modern technology and without modern technology there is no modern society”. This implies that mathematics is not only the queen of science and technology, but also an indispensable single element in modern societal development.

With all the importance of mathematics education to Nigerian economy, for many years mathematics has witness a flood of persistent high failure. And this sordid situation made the Nigerian government to be very unhappy. Various examination reports have tried to identify factors, which could have contributed to the observed poor performance. The general consensus using WAEC chief examiners report of 2009 is that the poor performance in mathematics is as a result of remarkable lack of well organized human resources, teaching materials and facilities in teaching and learning mathematics at secondary education (Badru, 2004). In the same vein, Betiku (2002) stated that a cluster of variables has been implicated as responsible for the dismal performance of students. According to Betiku, these include: Government related variables; Curriculum related variables; Examination body related variables; Teacher related variables; Students related variables; Home related variables and Textbooks related variables.

STAN (1992) on the other hand identified prominent problems of teaching mathematics as (i) acute shortage of qualified professional mathematics teachers; (ii) exhibition of poor knowledge of mathematics contents by many mathematics teachers; (iii)

overcrowded mathematics classrooms; (iv) adherence to old teaching methods despite the exposure to more viable alternatives; (v) students negative attitudes towards mathematics; and (vi) undue emphasis on syllabus coverage at the expense of meaningful learning of mathematics concepts, just to mention but a few.

In an elaborate attempt to improve the study of mathematics, Nigerian government made the teaching and learning of mathematics compulsory at primary, secondary, and higher education levels in science related disciplines. This is because man cannot do without mathematics in all his endeavours. According to JAMB Brochure (2009/2010) only one out of nine faculties in Nigerian Universities does not require credit in O level mathematics. The table in appendix L justifies the statement above.

The mathematics curriculum for secondary students was planned in consonance with the broad aims and objectives of secondary education as spelt out by National Policy on Education (FRN 2004). In order to reflect these aims and objective, Federal Ministry of Education drew up the general objectives of mathematics education to include the following:

- To generate interest in mathematics and to provide the solid foundation for everyday living.
- To develop computational skills;

- To foster the desire and ability to be accurate to degree relevant to the problem at hand;
- To develop precise, logical and abstract thinking.

- To develop the ability to recognize problems; and to solve them with related mathematical knowledge.
- To provide necessary mathematical background for further education.

- To stimulate and encourage creativity (Obodo, 2004).

There are various good teaching methods mathematics teacher would need in order to accomplish the aims and objectives of secondary mathematics education as drawn by the Federal Ministry of Education. These methods according to Obodo (2004) include: problem solving approach, discovery approach, target task approach and laboratory approach. The approaches can facilitate effective teaching and learning of mathematics, if properly employed and administered by professionally competent mathematics teachers. They will also go a long way to enhance both achievement and interest in mathematics.

The above could be achieved if the right calibers of teachers are produced. That is why Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) in recognition of the importance of education in the education process pointed out that one of the objectives of teacher education is in the production of highly motivated, conscientious and efficient classroom teachers for all levels of our educational system. The aim is to provide teachers with emotional, intellectual and professional background adequate for their assignment and make them adequate to changing situations. This implies that teachers should possess unique qualities, which include: dedication, honesty, intelligence, love, humility, and ability to impact knowledge and ideas that will help in shaping the behaviours of students towards the derived goals of the nation.

The ability to teach effectively is of prime concern to educators. The teaching methods used for effective teaching consist of varying and complex sets of skills and activities. One scheme for defining the characteristics of effective teaching according to Knox and Morgan

(1985) is to categorize behaviours identified as effective into five (5) broad categories: Teaching ability; professional Competence; Evaluation/Assessment of Students; Interpersonal Relationship: and Personality traits. In null shell, these five identified broad categories of behaviours are all concerning the principal actor of instruction (the teacher).

According to Fajemidagba (2001), effective teaching has three components: - preparation, execution and assessment. Preparation phase is the planning stage at which instructional objectives and suitable instructional materials are selected. The planned lesson is actually delivered using relevant instructional strategies at the execution stage. At the assessment stage, the teacher determined the achievement of the intended objectives. From the foregoing discussion, it can be deduced that effective teaching or instruction cannot be divorced from assessment. In other words, assessment and instructional strategies are integral part of teaching and learning process. This is because there is no effective teaching without assessment just like there will be no assessment without teaching taking place.

Researches have shown that teachers’ influences affect student’s achievement, interest and attitudes towards science subjects in general and mathematics in particular. Obodo (2004) among others observed that the behaviour of some mathematics teachers deviates from the expected normal behaviour of teachers. They tend to exhibit very queer characteristics which scare many students away from studying mathematics. Some mathematics teachers create the impression to students that mathematics is difficult and not meant for everybody to study except for those with exceptional endowment like themselves who teach the subject.

Alio (2000) and Ozofor (2001) have also shown that achievement level of students in science subjects in general is affected by such factors as ability and interest. Aiken (1985) defined achievement as the level of knowledge, skills or accomplishment in the area of endeavour. While Lawal (2001) stated that achievement tends to focus on the principles, rules, tenets, facts, and formulae which learners have mastered as a result of the teacher’s instructional decision-making activities in various subjects. Whereas Ezike and Obodo (2004) defined interest as the feeling of intentness, concern or curiosity about an object. It could be defined as the quality that arouses concern or curiosity, which holds a child attention on an object. It therefore, implies that interest can be regarded as the situation or condition of wanting to enquire or learn about some phenomena. While ability according to Schunk (2004) is the quality or skill required to do or act mentally or physically. It therefore implies that ability has to do with efficacy and competency of an individual to carry out activities successfully using his/her skills. Educationally, ability has to do with what a person has acquired through specific study training in a given instructional sequence in the classroom and what he/she is capable of doing if exposed to certain educational programme. According to him ability can group into high ability group and low ability group.

In view of the above, an urgent need to instantly find ways for improving the teaching and learning of mathematics is very much necessary. Efforts could be geared towards evolving new strategies and total transformation of the mathematics education programmes. Such efforts should include among others the integration of assessment and instructional strategies as integral part of teaching and learning of mathematics.

Assessment, according to Stevens (1972) in Ogunniyi (2000) is a process of assigning numbers, letter grades, or words to characteristics or attributes of objects, person and events according to certain formulation or rules. Assessment and instructional strategies are integral part of teaching and learning mathematics. Thus, as learning is comprehensive, therefore the methods of teaching and assessment for mathematics should themselves be comprehensive. Assessment in education is concerned primarily with finding out whether the expected changes in the learners’ behaviour have occurred or not. If not then why and how can it occur? Whereas instructional assessment is primarily concerned with how well an instructional programme was designed, developed, implemented and how well it is being managed. This implies that instructional assessment is concerned with determining the strengths and weaknesses of specific instructional programme, determining whether or not students have acquired certain skills and whether or not a particular teaching method adopted was effective.