The use of drawings to increase Pupils’ performance in Mathematics

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There have been series of concerns raised on the general performance of pupils in mathematics in Ghana. Attainment in mathematics is generally low and this is evident in what pertains at the Ayigya M/A Primary School A, where performance of pupils in mathematics was observed to be low in relation to one other school. This study describes an interventional program for improving pupil performance in mathematics through the use of drawings. The study employed the Quasi-experimental and Action research methods with interviews, observation, achievement test and Likert scale assessment to examine how teaching and learning of mathematics is done in this school. It was also used to find out how drawing interventions can improve mathematical performance of pupils and to compare the performance of pupils in mathematics before and after the intervention. Using the purposive and convenience sampling of the non-probability sampling technique, a sample of 69 respondents comprising 62 pupils and seven teachers of Ayigya M/A Primary School A were selected for the in-depth study. Pupil performance was obtained by analysing the continuous assessment cards from the previous year. Pre- and post-test assessments were administered to measure improvement in pupil performance. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS statistical analysis software and Microsoft Office Excel to generate tables and charts. The study found that the teachers only use the standard textbook when teaching without considering the individual abilities of the pupils. The teachers also seldom integrate practical activities to explain mathematical concepts. Class participation was also found to be very low. With regards to the interventions, the study revealed that drawing exercises significantly improved pupil performance in mathematics over the study period. The interventions employed also heightened pupils’ interest in the learning of mathematics. Their confidence and self-esteem also greatly improved and their problem solving skills were enhanced. The intervention activities also afforded the pupils a broader range of learning styles. It is recommended that to better integrate drawings into mathematics teaching and learning, mathematics teachers should acquaint themselves with the adapted model of Thomas & Switzer (2001) and implement it in their mathematics teaching. This model involves the introduction of mathematics concepts; presentation of scenario to initiate drawing activities; manipulation of drawing tools and materials; ensuring that the pupils draw; understanding of mathematics concept and improvement in mathematics performance.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Art Education.