The Comparative Effects of Analytical and Synthetic Approaches on Students’ Conceptual Understanding of Derivatives: The Case of Dr. Abdulmejid Hussein College of Teachers Education, Jijiga, Ethiopia.


Volume/Issue : Volume 6 - 2021, Issue 2 - February

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This study sought to investigate the effect of analytic and synthetic teaching-learning approaches on understanding of concepts of derivative in introductory calculus course. The subjects of this study were 2nd year mathematics students in Dr. Abdulmejid Hussein College of Teachers Education in Somali Regional State. A total of Eight-two students were participated in two equal sections, each section contained 41 students, in the study. The students in the two sections were arbitrarily assigned as control group and experimental group and taught by synthetic approach and analytic approach, respectively. As tools of data collection, Achievement Tests were used for the pre-test, the post-test and the delayed post-test to serve as data for student performance. The pre-test was given just before the experiment began and the post-test was given immediately upon completion of the experiment. The two groups were also tested again after three weeks for the delayed post-test to see which of the approaches resulted in better long term learning. The means of the aggregate mean performance scores were compared by the use of independent sample t-test at 05probability level. Results revealed that there was no significant mean difference between the two sections on the pre-test and delayed post-test scores but there was a significant mean difference between the post-test scores, in favor of the section taught by the analytic teaching approach. Preference towards the teaching method used was also investigated. The result of the five-point scale preference Questionnaire revealed that most of the students in the analytic group preferred the analytic approach whereas the synthetic group students preferred the synthetic approach. The preference of the students towards the respective teaching approach used was also compared using t-test. It showed a significant mean difference. The effect of the students’ preference towards the respective methods on their performance was also analyzed using Linear Regression and obtained no significant effect. A systematic classroom observation check list for eight successive periods also supported this result. It was recommended that course instructors in mathematics should implement the analytic approach as often as necessary to tap into its many advantages in maximizing students’ educational outcome in mathematics regardless of their preference.

Keywords : Analytical Method, Synthetic Method, Teaching of Derivative Concepts.


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