The Extent and Effectiveness of the use of Problem Solving Approach in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics in Senior High Schools: A Case Study of Sefwi Wiawso Municipality in Ghana

Authors : Charity Kpobi; Cephas Koletey Ashiangmor; Francis T Oduro

Volume/Issue : Volume 8 - 2023, Issue 7 - July

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Globally mathematics is seen to be one of the most crucial subjects of the school curriculum. As it is known to help improve students’ cognitive skills. Even though it is an important subject that cannot be separated from human life, most students worldwide find it challenging. This situation is not different in Sub- Sahara Africa and in Ghana, where there is a reflection in an increasing rate of student failure in Mathematics. The teaching method used in teaching and learning mathematics is predominantly teacher-centred rather than student-centred. However, research had proved that using the problem-solving approach in teaching and learning mathematics would help improve student performance. This study, therefore, sought to determine the extent of use of the problem-solving approach and its effectiveness in teaching and learning mathematics in Sefwi Wiawso Municipality. Method: The study employed a cross-sectional quantitative survey design with the use of a questionnaire, checklist and achievement test as a multiple data collection instrument. A total of 380 first- year students and 13 teachers from 4 selected schools in the municipality were sampled to participate in the study. To select the participant for the study a multi- stage sampling design was used. Four schools from the municipality were purposively selected. Secondly, random sampling was used to select three classes from each school except St Joseph Senior High School where four classes were used. Finally, 13 classes with their respective teachers were used for the study. The data collected were entered into SPSS and analyzed using SEM. Result: The result shows that the use of the problem- solving approach in teaching and learning mathematics was observed to be significant in student performance and it was also observed that other factors contribute to the performance of students in mathematics Conclusion: In regard to these findings, the extent of the use of a problem-solving strategy for teaching and studying mathematics was effective. There was a positive correlation between the usage of problem-solving strategies and their effectiveness in students' achievement and this correlation is statistically significant at a p-value of less than 0.05%. Students' use of problem solving approaches and mathematics performance does not depend on their age. Even though it had a positive effect on problem solving approach it was insignificant. With respect to the findings, it can be concluded that if both genders receive the necessary training and had the same chances, gender will not have any effect on problem-solving and mathematics performance. The researcher also concluded that even though the problem-solving approach is very effective in students' performance, other factors also contribute to their performance in mathematics.

Keywords : A problem solving approach; mathematics; students; teachers.


Paper Submission Last Date
31 - December - 2023

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