The teaching of mathematics in Soweto secondary schools through ' Creative Maths' (Malaysian) and 'Maths the Easy Way' (DET) programmes: a comparative study

Letho, Paul
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This study used a two-group, cross-over controlled experimental design to investigate which training programme best succeeds in improving student performance in mathematics. In this 'investigation two training programmes were compared both quantitatively and qualitatively in the analysis of the results. The Malaysian ‘Creative Maths’ (a foreign programme) and the DET ‘Maths the Easy Way’ (a local programme) were tested against each other in the teaching of mathematics basic sets theory using the small-group and whole-class teaching methods ,:: respectively. A sample of 40 students matched by age, sex, exposure, ^ mathematics arid' the same social background was selected by randomisation out of a population of 135 from ‘Rewutlwile’ Secondary School in Soweto to participate in this study. After selection students were divided and assigned to two groups of 20 participants each, termed control and experiment. Two mathematics teachers from this school volunteered to serve as group-tutors in this experiment in order to teach mathematics basic sets theory through these abovementioned programmes. They were highly^qualified and of the same age group, sex and teaching experience. A P^e-Test and -- : •{, . Post-Test 1 and 2 were all used as data gathering instruments. The quantitative/statistical data gathered were then analysed by means of Non-parametric tests - the Sign Test (Test o|EjSect , o f Treatments) andtlie WilcoxonMatched-Pairs Signed-Ranks orMann-WliitneyU te s tD ^ t of ^ \\i Differanpe Between the Treatments). The students' scores obtained from the tests admi|vstered 1 were compiled, analysed and matched against each other as averages within the respective J ^ p s , ; Questionnaires, interviews and classroom observations served as necessary instruments in g l ^ n S f qualitative data used strictly to supplement these experimental data. This investig&tioiyfevea&l that both programmes were effective in teaching ‘sets’ and in applying the, teack^iB W odtil n 1 -/ ; '■ v However, ‘Creative MMhs’ (known as Training Programme E) was slightly statistically than ‘Maths the Easy Way’ (known as Training Programme C) but thiff aiSej ence ! was not much. Because the former programme was effective at the 10% level and S e S tie r at the 5% level, quantitative data proved that ‘Creative Maths’ had a slightly improving student performance in comparison with ‘Maths the Easy Way', and thkf j': . teaching (through ‘Creative Maths’) was slightly more effectively used in th(.^ rtiathematies basic sets theory than whole-class teaching (through ‘Maths the Easy it was qualitatively proved that there were more positive perceptions held about than ‘Maths the Easy Way’ for improving student performance, i.e., the1 -Jas conceptualized as having a high potential for improving performance compared