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Poor achievement of secondary school students in mathematics examinations is alarming. WAEC (1 996) expressed the view that persistent poor achievements of students in mathematics despite its core miniature in school curriculum, are a good pointer to students poor interest in mathematics. WAEC blamed the situation on the  lack of retention of learned unintelligent contents. WAEC (1998) observed that poor achievement of student in school certificate mathematics has mostly been noticed in geometry arid trigonometry. Thus, there is need to develop more games for mathematics instructions in schools especially those that would cover geometry arid trigonometry. Hence, the researcher developed four games for mathematics instructions
The purpose of this study was therefore, to find out the effects of the four researcher developed games on students mathematical achievements, interest and retention, ,and to find out if male subjects and female subjects would benefit .equally from the four games.

Six research questions and six hypotheses formulated guided the study. Out of three single sex secondary schools in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area, xri’
two were purposively sampled. All the available 221 students of JS I1 in both schools were used for the study. Intact classes in both schools were randomly assigned to experimental aid control groups. Before the  experiment started pretreatment item (test items and interest inventory) were administered to both groups and data collected. The experiment lasted for four weeks. At the end, the same pretreatment items were re-organized and administered as post treatment items and data collected. After two weeks of post test, the same pretest was administered as retention test and data collected. The data generated were treated to ANi:OVA at P5 .05. From the results, the researcher’s developed games improved students’ achievement, interest and retention. Also, male subjects benefited more than the  female subjects under the games. It was recommended among others that ‘teachers should be encouraged to use the researcher’s developed games as teaching strategy in Maths so ‘as ‘to”improve learning in schools.



Background of the Study

One of tlie five mail1 national objectives of Nigeria, which was endorsed as the necessary foundation for the National Policy on Education, is the building of a just and egalitarian society (FME 1998). ‘I’ll us Nigeria’s Philosophy of Education is based on the integration  of the individual into a sound and effective citizen, and equal education opportunities for all citizens of the nation at the primary, secondary and tertiary level, both inside and outside the formal school system. On page 16 of the National Policy on Education the broad aims of secondary education are:-
I . Preparation for useful-living within the society, and

  1. Preparation for higher education.
    ‘1’0 achieve these aims, the policy included mathematics as a core subject.

The  objectives of mathematics education as outlined in National curriculum secondary schools include:

a. Equipping the learners with the potentiality of explaining the world of space and numbers;
b  To generate and sustain curiosity motive in the learners so that they will be
thirsting for  further knowledge;
c  inculcate the attitude of appreciation of the elegance of man  and the natural  environment.
The  study of  mathematics occupies a central place in pre-tertiary curricula provisions” (Obioma 1988: 10). It is because of importance of mathematics in intelectual developent that compelled govert~mellt to ~iiake riiatl~enlatics
co~npidso~i-lyl s eco~ida~scyh ools.
Despite this coinpulso~yn ature, many students still fear mathe~l~aticasn, d
achieve very poor in it. WAEC (1996:35) it1 its repost, wrote, “very pously, o~ily
thirty nine percent of all the students who sat for the WAEC examination in
r~~atl~ematsicusc ceeded”. These poor achievements of students in illatliernatics
have bee11 blamed on the teaching strategy. The question now is, would the use of
tlie Sour resea~cller’s developed games help stirdents acliieve better in
itla tllematics? *,,, ..”f..%.,,..,+ * .
‘The use of games endeavours to introduce elements of reality in the /
teacliing-leanling . situations. According to Onwuka, (198 1 :204). “Mathernatical
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games are ilr~portants purs to increase motivation to learn by participation ill the
classsoor~l”. Hall (1976) identifies games as tlie subsets of activities with special
cliaracteristics within context of simulation. Thus, games recreate arid refresh
mind, and by so doing make learning novel and non-monotonous.
Altliougll games recreate and refresh tnind, to what extent coriltl the use of
the researdlers developed games Ilelp male and fernales studeilt achieve in
~natlle~natics’T?h is extent has been verified in this study.
I.)iSfererlce in male and female students’ acllieve~nents in rilatlieniatics has
worried s~1101ai~sil l the field of mathetnatics. Obodo ( I99 I ) bliiuled the
discrepancy of the sex achievements in mathematics on parental upbrillgi~igw hen
lie wrote, “Pa~cvits in early stage of life socialize fernales out of ~niitlle~iiatics
acliieve~ile~its”E. nielone (1 993) inferred in her work on factorizatio~io f algebraic
expressioli that under the same conditions, males tend generally to acliicve better
tlian females. The researcher developed four games alld verified the extent both
sexes benefited from the use of the four gatnes in teaching and learning of the
selected niatlle~naticst opics.
Tlie achieve~netits~ Ftndes-mdfe males in mathenlatics are closely linked
with the interest they have in the subject. Lassa (1984) observed that teaclier’s
attitude and wrong strategy have caused low interest of students in ~iiatllelnatics
If + …
right fimn the prinia~ys chool.
‘l’lie use of visual aid in tlie teacl~ing of inathematics helps to make the
abstract nature of mathematics concrete, and this invariably increases tlie student’s
i~iterest in the subjects (Obodo, 1990). He therefore, urged itiatheinatics teachers
to colnlneiice the teaching of mathelnatics with visual aids so as to rekindle the
interest of their students in mathematics.


13111 Ihvid ad Oxford (1988) liad lal~iented that games, siniulators and
otlier ~liii-joi~~ ~structio~aiiadls were lacking in scliools and this had beell Illole
acute ill tt~~der-developedc ountries. The four games, wliich the researcher
developed. -vere used to hai~iess intellectual power through interest generation.
Rut pet sistent failure in mathematics examiiiatio~isr educes studelits’ interest ill the
subject (Ezike 199 1).
These persistent failures have been blamed on lack of retention of leanled
materials in ~~iatliematics. Lack of textbooks with Nigeria backgroutld ill
t~~atlieti~aticcosn tent litnits the extent to whicli stude~~trset ail1 ~iiatlie~iiatics
contents leai~it( Obodo 199 1). -.H edso.&served that mathematical studies under
dilapidated roofs, broken chairs, desks and chalkboards could not support
co~np~~eliensiaonnd retention of learned materials in mathematics. He observed
I’ I .-
that conducive classroom and good teaching aids enliaiices co~nprelie~isioann d
l’his had lead to the thinking that the use of the four researcliers developed
games for teaching some tnatlleniatics contetits may help in internalizing some
tnatl~etriatics processes leanit. Hence, the researcher’s four games were used to
verify the exte~ltth ey could enhance retention of contents learnt usi~lgs uch games.
Statement of Problem
l’he students’ continuous dwindliiig acliievenlents, interest arid retelitioli ill
rnatlle~ilatics are alarming. WAEC (1 996) in its atlnual report expressed the view
that very poor acllievetnents of students in mathematics despite ~tcso re nature in
sc1iooI c~~rrirr~lalrle~ na good pointer to student’s poor interest in ~~latlletnatics.
WAEC’ )latiled the persistent poor acllievenlent and poor interest on lack of
retentior] of leanled rnathernatics contents. This document raised an alarm aid
called teachers of lnatllelnatics tq device better strategy of teaching ~natl~einaiics
‘l’llis alarm has been on for years, and the situation colnyelled tilathe~natics
educators to experi~ilent on the use of games as teachhg strategy. I’lie use oI’
games has been found to be-uSekil’.iil”te’aching liiatlielnatics, and tliits enhauces
acllievement in ~natlleinatics (Arne 1987) improves students interest in
~natliematics (Qffordu 1989 and Nwosu 1989), and helps in retention of learned
0 _…
1 materials in trlatlletnatics (Ezike 1991). But unfortunately, these games are not
f’o~t~in~ ds cliools for itlstructions. The negligible few games in some schools are
restrictive it1 scopes, neglecti~ig georiiet~y and trigo~ionietry. Obodo ( 1997)
observed that Tailgram, Jigsaw puzzles and some other garnes liave been found
capable of itnproving student’s acliieve~ne~iit~, ~tereasrtid retenti011i n ~natlie~natics
but Iiolie of tliem were foulid in scliools for ~natlie~naticisn stt-uctio~~sW AEC
(1998) observed that poor achievement of students in scliool certificate
~iiathematics has niostly bee11 rioticed in geotiletly ad trigo~lonietry. ;III~ these
areils appear to have defied all the alternative teaching strategies put ihrward by
riiathe~natics edi1cato1.s.
I’lir.(.~-~l( !ly situatio~ish ave created tlie need to evolve more garlies for
~natlie~naticsii istructions and increase tlie scope to cover geoliietry arid
trigono~~iet~j7r’ 1ie reseatdier lias developed four garnes for teaching selected
~i~athematictos pics namely; Business Card Game for teaching profit aid loss,
Algebraic Card Game for teacl~irig simple equations, Geomehic Card Game for
teacliitig polygo~is, and Squared Number Game for teaching I3ythagot.as ‘I’heorem.
‘T’llis study iuvestigated ~lictth~i.-*tkoef~ t*h~es~ee f~o ur researchel-‘s developed
garlies for teaching selected mathematics topics could improve students’
acl~ievemerit, i~iterest atid retention. It also investigated whetlies both riiale aid
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female students could benefit equally




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