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The study focused on the effect of laboratory method of instruction on senior secondary school students’ achievement in geometry. The study employed quasi-experimental design. The study was conducted on four secondary schools. In two of the schools intact classes of SS II was assigned to the treatment group while in the other two secondary school the intact classes of SS II were assigned to the control group.

The treatment group was taught Geometry using Laboratory Instructional Approach. While the control group was taught Geometry using Conventional Teaching Approach. Simple random sampling technique was adopted in choosing the four secondary schools out of whichSS II students were selected from the sample schools. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study.

A total of two hundred and forty five (245) SS2 students were used as sample for this study which contains one hundred and forty five males and one hundred females. The experimental group was one hundred and twenty three (123) while the control group was one hundred and twenty two (122) students. Geometry Achievement Test (GAT) was used to collect data for the study. The data was analyzed using mean, standard deviation and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).

The result revealed that laboratoryhad significant effect on students’ academic achievements in Geometry. The study also revealed that the difference in the mean achievement of male and female students taught using laboratory should be used by teachers in the teaching and assessment of students in Geometry.



Background of the Study

Mathematics could be defined as the communication system for those concepts of shapes, size, quantity and order used to described diverse phenomena both in physics and economic situation (Bakke, 2013). He further seen mathematics as a tool for use in science technology and industries. This definition connotes that all sciences draw their inspirations from mathematics and in fact implies that mathematics is the language of all the sciences.

(Okereke, 2006) defined mathematics as the foundation of science and technology and the functional role of mathematics to science and technology is multifaceted and multifarious that no area of science, technology and business enterprise escape its application. (Microsoft Encarta, 2007), defined mathematics as an educational subject taught primarily for the development of thinking skills and reflections on oneself, environmental and social issues and organizing ones experience for possible solution(s) to problem.

(Foin, 2013). On the other hand, Otunu-Ogbisi (2009) defined mathematics teaching as the act of imparting and acquiring of skills, knowledge, aptitude, abilities and attitude capable of making the individual functional and productive for effective all round achievement of a nation’s developmental goals.

Odumosu, Oluwayemi and Olatunde (2012) in an attempt to enumerate mathematics application areas described mathematics as the carpenters’harmer, barber clipper, hair dressing comb, journalist pen, broadcasters microphone, doctors stethoscope and lawyers wig. He further qualified mathematics as an important ingredients in manufacturing industries and essential tool in economic activities, bride in science, ladies in waiting for engineering, and chiefbrides’ maid of social sciences, cosmetology of arts and unavoidable servant of management sciences.

Hence, the application of mathematics to problem areas depend on the understanding of the concepts and the principles of mathematics to the people. (National Science Foundation, 2002) stipulated that in this, is to enable students acquire and widen their knowledge, skills and outlook in mathematics because of its applications to many areas of life. However, for students to have the conceptual understanding in different ways, they should know how and when these different mathematical representations can be used for different purposes.

Geometry is the shape, size and other properties of figures and the nature of space are in the province of geometry. (Adu, 2014) stated that geometry is an aspect of mathematics which deals with the study of different shapes. These shapes can either be plane shapes or solid shapes. A plane shape is a geometrical form such that the straight line that joins any two points on it wholly lies on the surface. A solid shape on the other hand is bounded by surface which may not wholly be represented on a plane shapes are; triangles, rectangles, squares, rhombus, circle, trapezium, kite etc. examples of a solid shapes are; cubes, cuboid, cone, pyramid, cylinder, sphere etc.

Euclidean geometry is concerned with axiomatic study of polygon, conic sections, sphere, polyhedral and related geometric objects in two and three dimension in particular with the relation of congruence and similarity between such objects.

The unsuccessful attempt to prove the parallel postulate from the other axioms of Euclid led in the 19thcentury to the discovery of two different types of non-Euclidean geometry. The 20th century has seen an enormous development of topology which is the study of very general geometric objects called topological spaces with respect to relation that are much weaker than congruence and similarity.

Branches of Geometry

The branches of geometry are; algebraic geometry, differential geometry, analytic geometry, Euclidean geometry and non-Euclidean geometry, projective geometry and topology. Topology as one of the branches of geometry is the youngest and most sophisticated branch of geometry, focuses on the properties of geometric objects that remain unchanged upon continuous deformation.

They are a lot of teaching methods. Some of these methods are;

  • Lecture method
  • Discussion method
  • Demonstration method
  • Inquiry method
  • Process approach method
  • Simulation method
  • Use of radio programme method
  • Television method
  • Drama method
  • Role playing method (Samantha, 2015).

With the use of the above teaching methods, students, achievement in geometry is still poor. There is therefore need to look for a new method which will help in reducing poor achievements of students in geometry. Laboratory method should therefore be applied to enhance students’ poor performance in geometry.

This method has been described as a special room built for teaching by demonstration of theoretical phenomenon into practical terms (Mboto, 2002). With this, students were able to translate what they read in their texts books to practical realities with the help of the laboratory experiences thereby promoting their understanding of the learnt concepts. The mathematics laboratory is a unique room or place with relevant and up-to-date equipment known as instructional materials designated for the teaching and learning of mathematics and other scientific or research work, whereby a trained and professionally qualified person (mathematics teacher) readily interact with learner (students) on specified set of instruction (Adenegan, 2003).

In a school where there is no mathematics laboratory, the teacher together with the student can readily improvise and create what we call the mathematics corner in the classroom. The teacher can start by creating a corner in the classroom as mathematics corner where he/she can be depositing periodically mathematics equipment’s or ask the students to bring with pride and boldness local mathematics materials like the different geometrical shapes so as to facilitate a successful take off and unhindered success of the establishment.

The mathematics corner can contain some of the equipment found in the mathematics laboratory but not as full and well organized and assembled as what we found in the laboratory. Farombi (2007) argued the saying that seeing is believing is the effect of using laboratories as students tend to understand and recall what they hear. Laboratory is very important and essential to the teaching and learning of mathematics (geometry) and success in any science courses, which is dependent on the laboratory provision made for it.

There is a general consensus among science educators that laboratory occupies a central position in science instruction. It could be conceptualized as a place where theoretical work is practicalized and practical’s in any learning experiences involve students on an activities such as observing, recording, counting, measuring, experimenting and carrying out field work. These activities could not be possibly carried out without a well-equipped laboratory. There is usually a strong move to emphasize the dependence of mathematics teaching on the existence of a well-equipped mathematics laboratory.

Mathematics laboratory is relatively new in the teaching and learning of mathematics (Ebele, 2008). It is a practical oriented classroom or place where materials useful for the effective teaching and learning of mathematics are kept. It is the latest design to make mathematics real. The term laboratory method is commonly used today to refer to an approach to teaching and learning of mathematics which provides opportunity to the learners to abstract mathematical idea through their own experience that is to relate symbol to realities. It is uncommon in our schools today possibly as a result of fund or the absence of any government policy on the provision of such laboratory facilities. In fact, its non-existence in our schools is one of the major contributory factors to mass failure in mathematics.

The following reasons will help to solve the problem of low achievement in geometry according to (Adenegan, 2003), the function of mathematics laboratory include.

  • Permitting students to learn abstract concepts through concrete experiences and thus increase their understanding of those sides.
  • Enabling students to personally experience the joy of discovery principles and relationships.
  • Arousing interest and motivating learning.
  • Cultivating favorable attitudes towards mathematics
  • Enriching and developing creative problems solving ability.
  • Allowing for individual differences in manner and speed at which students learn.
  • Making students to see the origin of mathematical ideas and participating in mathematics in the making.
  • Allowing students to actually engage in the doing rather being passive observer or recipient of knowledge in the learning process.

Based on the above reasons it is expected that teaching and learning of students should be in the laboratory.

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to and differentiating between masculinity and femininity. Gender identity refers to a personal identification with a particular gender and gender role in the society. The term woman has historically been used interchangeably with reference to the female body through more recently this usage has been viewed as controversial by some feminists.

There are qualitative analyses that explore and present the representations of gender. However, feminists challenge these dominant ideologies concerning gender roles and biological sex (Okereke, 2006) reported gender as a significant factor in mathematics achievement. Onwioduokit and Akinbobola (2005) reported it as a significant factor in physics achievement when physics students are taught advance organizers, however, Okonkwo, 2008) reported gender as non-significant when students are taught tangram puzzle game.

(Okereke, 2006) attributed students poor performance to factors such as the society view that mathematics is difficult, shortage of qualified teachers, lack of mathematical laboratory and lack of incentive.

The issue of gender and mathematics achievement had attracted the attention of some researchers. The performance of both male and female students vary from place to place. But the most remarkable differences may occur due to spatial and mechanical test and such ability might be attributed to the cultural influences of the students background (Offor, 2007); Ochu and Atagher, 2010) substantial amount of research in learning and teaching of geometry is focused on the effectiveness of manipulative,(Raymond and Leneback 2006), (Miller, 2003) and computer applications (Glickman and Dixon, 2002) on students ability to generalize patterns and solve geometry relations.

Although these students have produced exciting results, the majority of them favour the use of computer applications in developing students’ abilities and interest in solving geometric problems.

Although research findings like that of Etukudo (2012) an improvement on students’ performance in geometric expressions stated that the method of drill and verbal recitation makes learning boring and lacks motivation for further learning. This is the reason why the researcher used the laboratory method of instructional approach to revaluating geometric expressions to expand this study.

Therefore, the focus of this study is to ascertain the effects of laboratory method of instruction on students’ achievements in geometry.



Statement of the Problem

In spite of the vital role mathematics plays in the scientific and technological development, in the world today (Nigeria and Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in particular) students’ achievement in mathematics has not been encouraging. A number of educators Imoko and Agwagah, 2006) and Iyekekpolor, 2007) observed that mathematics has the lowest performance index among school subjects in Nigeria.

In addition, the achievement of students in mathematics has been persistently or constantly low over the past decades (Obioma, 2005, Detun, 2005). The poor achievement in mathematics points to the fact that most desire technological advancement and application of mathematics may not be achieved. Hence, students finds it difficult to understand the teaching and concept of mathematics and if this is allow to continue it will bring down the technological advancement of the nation and therefore put the nation into jeopardy.

There is therefore the need to fashion out an approach to teaching mathematics that will help to enhance the student ability to perform better.

This study therefore intends to find out the effects of laboratory method of instruction on senior secondary school students achievement in geometry.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of laboratory method of instruction on senior secondary students’ achievements in geometry. Specifically, the study seeks to;

  • Find out the effects of laboratory method of instructional approach on students mean achievements scores in geometry.
  • Examine the effects of laboratory method of instruction on mean achievement scores of male and female student in geometry.
  • Obtain the interaction effect of gender and methods on students mean achievement in geometry.


Significance of the Study

The results of the study will be beneficial to;

  • Students
  • Teachers in mathematics
  • Science teachers
  • Curriculum planners
  • Future researchers
  • Ebonyi State Ministry of Education

As the teachers acquire improved skills,students’ stands to gain. As pedagogy becomes more qualitative, students’ achievement is bound to improve.

The study will serve to provide the mathematics teacher with the depth knowledge of the use of laboratory instructional method. This will equip the teacher with the vital skills for the application of the concepts in practical classroom situation.

Science teacher in general will stand to gain from the outcomes of this study to the theory and practice of laboratory instructional approach.

The curriculum planners which includes; Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) will benefit from this study as they will form a vital topical issue for consideration in teacher re-training workshops, conferences and seminars.

It will be beneficial to the future researchers as it will help them to minimize the idea that mathematics is difficult. Hence, it will bring to their mind a positive thinking idea towards mathematics which will bring advance technology in the nation.

The ministration of education will find this study encouraging by the use of laboratory method of instruction. This could be used to justify the need for curriculum innovation and teacher capacity building.


Scope of the Study

The study focused on the effects of laboratory method of instruction on senior secondary school students’ achievement in geometry. Only SS2 students in Abakaliki Education Zone were considered. The reason for choosing SS2 class is because it is not an examination class. Content area is on geometry.

Research Questions

The following research questions guided the study

  1. What are the effects of laboratory method of instruction on students’ achievement in geometry?
  2. What are the effects of laboratory method of instruction on mean achievement scores of male and female students in geometry?
  3. What are the interaction effect of gender and method on students mean achievement in geometry?


The following null hypotheses guided the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significant.

Ho1: There is no significant. Difference in the mean achievement scores of students taught geometry sing laboratory instructional method and those taught geometry using conventional teaching method.

Ho2: There is no statistically significant difference is the mean achievement scores of male and female students taught geometry using conventional teaching method.

Ho3: The interaction effect of gender and method on students mean achievement in geometry is not significant.


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