The Modular Teaching Approach in College Algebra: An Alternative to Improving the Learner’s Achievement, Persistence, and Confidence in Mathematics Maxima J. Call]ado De La Scale University Philippines Abstract This experimental study used a pretest-posters design to determine the effects of the modular teaching approach on the achievement, persistence, and confidence in mathematics of 24 freshmen (12 high ability and 12 low ability students) from the College of Business and Economics, De La Scale University, Manila, who were enrolled in College Algebra during the first term, scholarly 2004-2005.
The topics considered were those identified as difficult by students who have taken College Algebra, and by mathematics teachers who have handled this subject, namely, Systems of Linear Equations and Quadratic Inequalities in One Variable. The t-test applied on the pretest and posters results of the two groups in all variables indicated significant differences at the . 05 level of significance. Keywords: achievement, persistence, and confidence in mathematics, assessment, experimental study.
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Introduction A considerably low achievement in mathematics and a relatively low self-efficacy mongo students who are impatient in solving mathematical problems pose real great challenge to present day mathematics educators. This challenge may be addressed by introducing new programs of instructions, new instructional materials, and new teaching methods and approaches. In the light of the preceding arguments, this study attempted to use the modular teaching approach in College Algebra and investigate its effects on the students’ achievement, persistence, and confidence in mathematics.
Following are some literature and the findings of studies related to the concern of this paper. On Modular Instruction It is a fact that no two individuals are alike in their physical, mental, and emotional development: one may grow faster, another can easily recognize concepts, and still others tend to be more mature as compared to others of the same age. Traverse, Packard, Sudan, and Reunion (1977) emphasized that a student may be recognized as an individual by giving him tasks specifically geared to his needs and interests, and by providing him with instructional materials that will allow him to progress at an optimal rate on his own pace.
An Intensive research on ten campanological tonsures AT learning sun as ten I energy AT Concept Formation (Burger, 1986) and the Theory of Reinforcement (Skinner,1968) brought about the idea of modules which adopts the same format as programmed learning. True enough, the learner has the enthusiasm to pursue his studies if he is given the feedback about his performance and he is able to repeat reading the material for better understanding of the concepts under consideration.
Achievement in Mathematics Cognizant of the differences among the students and motivated by a desire to determine the merits of the modular teaching approach, some related studies that ere conducted in the past are as follows: Silva (1992) and Coacher (1994) developed and evaluated modules on selected topics in Algebra; Jimenez (1987) and Aquinas (1988) in Geometry; Lunar (1987) in Industrial Mathematics, Valerian (1988) in Consumer Mathematics; Acadia (1985) and Paragon (1985) in Trigonometry; and Once (1992) in Statistics.
All these studies made use of secondary school students as respondents and compared the achievements of the experimental and control groups. Almost always, modular instruction was found to be as effective as, if not ore effective than, the traditional method based on the improved performance of the students in the respective subjects. Comate (1982), Young (1991) and Balloon (1993) asserted that modular materials have established their edge over other kinds of materials in education because these serve as enrichment for fast learners and as review or remedial materials for slow learners in a relatively short span of time.
Persistence in Mathematics Persistence in mathematics is about continuing to work on a mathematics problem even when the answer or method of solution is not apparent. This refers to the behavior of pursuing an activity firmly and working through difficult problems alone and not giving up easily on them. Ames (1992) found that elementary school students who attributed success to effort were more likely to exhibit a mastery of orientation, putting their emphasis on learning and understanding through hard work, meeting challenges, and making progress.
Solving mathematical problems require time and patience if students are to overcome obstacles and reach a satisfactory conclusion. Davis and Hers (1990) argued that one of the reasons for resistance, resentment, ND rejection on the part of the students is considerable impatience with the material under consideration. Parker and Withering (1999) cited that personality factors such as persistence, self-concept and attitudes towards mathematics play significant influences on mathematical ability.
Confidence in Mathematics consonance Is toneless Known as sell-menace or ten degree to wanly an Uninominal trusts his ability to achieve a specific goal. This refers to reliance, self-assurance, firm trust in one’s capabilities, assured expectation, and fearlessness in doing a certain activity. Chapman, Brush, and Wilson (1985) found that confidence was a crucial indicator for female participation in secondary and tertiary mathematics. This finds support in the findings of Boles and Contain (1997) and Porter, et. L (1999) who argued that confidence affects a person’s success in mathematics and that confidence in mathematics breeds success. In separate reviews conducted by Chunk (1989) and Pajamas (1996), they found that high-efficacy students are more likely to use a broader array of strategies, use them more flexibly, monitor their comprehension better, and process information at a deeper level. Dodd (1992) asserted that lack of confidence in oneself is the greatest obstacle to learning because beliefs govern action so that the belief that one cannot do something may render him unable to perform a task of which he is truly capable.
Success in mathematics requires a combination of confidence and hard work. In relation to this, Perkins and Floors (2002) asserted that to increase confidence in mathematics, students should be allowed to use methods they understand, even if these are not the ones prescribed in class. Objectives of the study The study investigated the merits of the modular teaching approach as an alternative o improving the learners’ achievement, persistence, and confidence in mathematics.
Specifically, the study sought to: (1) describe how the respondents’ levels of achievement, persistence and confidence change following modular instruction; (2) determine if the posters nears of the respective ability groups in all variables of the study are significantly different or not. ; and (3) gather the respondents’ reactions about the use of the modular teaching approach and the modules in College Algebra. It was hypothesized that using the modular teaching approach would improve the earners’ achievement, persistence, and confidence in mathematics. Methodology This study utilized the quasi-experimental method of research.