THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNING DEVICES IN MATHEMATICS: INPUT ON MATHEMATICS PERFORMANCE DETERMINED THROUGH MNEMONICS
A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School
Rizal Technological University
In Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree
Master of Arts in Mathematics Education
MC CARLO V. TRINIDAD
Mathematics is considered the mother of all learning in both arts and sciences. It is important in almost every field: measurement in fashion, angles in sports, technology and economics. This perspective on mathematics has gained more attention with the rapid advances of information and communication. Mathematics is not just computation but a tool for understanding structures, relationships and patterns to produce solutions for complex real life problems. Mathematics is a necessity for people of all ages to be successful in life. But nowadays, many students hate Mathematics because of the hard concepts, computations and formulas they need to memorize every time they discuss the subject. These are some problems that contribute and affect a lot in the learning process. Students need a strong push to their task correctly. A new idea, concept, approach, instruction and strategy in teaching will give the students courage to cope with their difficulties in Mathematics. This will also set their mind that Mathematics is an easy subject to deal with.
Teachers and other math educators generally believe that students learn more effectively if they are interested to learn especially in Mathematics. Therefore, continual attention should be directed towards creating, developing, maintaining and reinforcing positive attitudes.
Another reason why students have a hard time understanding the Mathematics subject is they cannot ever remember facts or figures which have just studied a few hours ago, much less apply them in actual life situations.
The teacher must be versatile in teaching and should be automotive or those that will be needed throughout life. In order to meet the needs of the Filipino students a breakthrough of knowledge is necessary. This is to contend effectively with the problem that school is experiencing when it comes to the studies of the students, bearing in mind factors like individual differences and uniqueness. Then, there is a need to redirect the content scope and strategic elements of education in order to meet the democratic criterion of the society that is characterized by dynamism, change and pragmatic flexibility. The curriculum is not the straight jacket, a compact package or prescribed course of study. While it provides content and direction, it is silent on matters of approach and dispensation. This is where the creative mind of the educators will come in, creating and using different approaches or strategy in teaching the Mathematics subject. One case is the mnemonics as strategy to help students remember the concept taught.
A form of innovation to classroom instruction, mnemonic is a device to make memorization of formulas or different concepts in mathematics easy. Mnemonics will bridge the gap between the gap of hardship experienced by the students and teachers dilemma and in teaching. Mnemonic will serve as a device to facilitate instruction for the students and teachers in mathematics.
The learning of every facts or information will be easier when it is associated with other things. Recall will be easier and frequent reviews will prevent forgetting. Mental ability of the students in studying their lessons is the main topic of this research.
A new trend in learning that might come in handy and is necessary not only in mathematics but also to other fields of education in mnemonics. In this research, a vital study is presented to help students and even the teachers in teaching mathematics in Junior High School level.
The research main core revolves around the function of the mind, the memory. With the mnemonics as tool, this study was concerned.
The stage theory of memory was developed about forty years ago as an attempt at explaining how memories are stored in the brain. It says that there are several systems memory uses to store information that all have different storage mechanism. Short term or working memory and long term memory are the main system used. Some people also think that there’s another kind of memory that comes before the other two, which is referred to as sensory registered, which only holds information for a second or two.
It is thought that long term memory has an incredibly large capacity. Working memory is often referred to as a “loading dock” for long term memory since everything that enters long term memory has to pass through working memory and this is the basis of the stage theory of memory. Although most things never make into long term memory, if they spend enough time in working memory they will be placed into long term storage from the “loading dock”.
Things in working memory are lost very quickly. As we go through life we note all sorts of details in the world around us only to forget them few minutes later if even that. One theory that explains this idea is decay, which is first coined by Edward Thorndike: over the time memory “erodes” and become less distinct, only leaving the major details to enter long term memory. The other main theory is displacement, a term originating with Sigmund Freud: as new things enter working memory other things are pushed out and not all of them make the cut for long term memory. For now it is thought that both are partially right and no matter which is right it’s fairly clear that nothing stays for more than a few minutes in “short term” memory so that our memories do not become clogged with useless details such as the color of the car behind you on the road.
Pushing something into long term memory can be difficult. The most common approach is called rehearsal: repeating something so its stay in working memory longer and is more likely to be pushed into long term memory. This theory has been tested using free recall and it seems very likely that this is the best approach to storing something long term. We even subconsciously repeat important moments to ourselves that we want to be remembering so they’ll be pushed into long term memory (Gleitman, H., et. al., 2011).
All people in this world are teachers but only few of them are chosen to be a professional and also many teachers in this world but only a handful of them are good. A good teacher produces good quality of students who are responsive to the socio-economic development of the country. A good teacher trains his/her students to improve their achievement that they can be used in their everyday life. In other words, if the teacher is good, the output of the student is also good. But a teacher has used varied strategies, approaches, techniques and processes in order to mold his students to become good citizens of the changing world.
In connection to this, according to Laqui as cited by Alelaimat and Ghoneem (2012), educators agree that the best teaching approaches is the one which lead to better education, and help teacher to succeed in initiating the favoured changes with students, furthermore, this teaching approach includes planned procedures which teacher utilizes in dealing with his students in order to make education easy and smooth.
This is where the study of mnemonics fits in. Mnemonics is a tool designed to help ease the problem of most students when it comes to memorization of the concepts in mathematics. The use of mnemonics will surely benefit the students and would create a change in their study habits. Mnemonics provides a means whereby the learning of the actual materials can progress much more rapidly than learning each item by note. This research will test the effectiveness of mnemonics.
The conceptual model of this study utilized the Coomb’s Input, Process and Output (IPO) Model. It presents the paradigm showing the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics.
The input frame shows the use of mnemonic as tool in teaching mathematics.
The process frame involves the gathering of data using questionnaire, consisted of the different topics in Mathematics and can be solved with the aid of mnemonics.
The output frame refers to the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics.
The arrow extending to the output to input box represent the feedback shows the determined performance of the students in mathematics using mnemonics.
Conceptual Framework Showing the Performance of the Student-Respondents
In Mathematics Using Mnemonics
Statement of the Problem
The main purpose of the study is to determine the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics. However, the following questions were sought to answer:
1. What is the profile of the student-respondents in terms of:1.1 gender;
1.2 section; and
1.3 grade level?2. What is the level of performance of the student-respondents in Mathematics using mnemonics as revealed by the pre-test and post-test result?
3. Is there a significant difference on the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics as revealed by the pre-test and post-test result in terms of their profile?
Based on the stated problem, this study tested the null hypothesis that there is no significant difference on the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics as revealed by the pre-test and post-test result in terms of their profile.
Scope and Limitation of the Study
The study attempted to determine the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics. The checking of mnemonics will be achieved through the evaluation of the mathematics specialists and in improving the performance of the students.
The student-respondents are the low performing students from grade 7 to 10 of Pililla National High School for the SY. 2018 – 2019. Also the faculty-respondents were teachers of Pililla National High School who were currently teaching or handling Mathematics. Student-respondents were selected using sampling technique and the faculty-respondents were chosen using purposive sampling technique in the sense that all teachers in Math were concerned.
Significance of the Study
The results of the study are deemed significant to the following individuals/groups:
Students. This study may help students to enhance their memory of complex words or ideas and promotes better retention of materials to be learned.
Mathematics Teachers. This study is significant to teachers in all stages of their careers looking for a new way to engage and teach their students.
Administrators and Department Chairmen/Heads. The study may help them in planning and conducting relevant in-service training for teachers to encourage them in developing and improving existing instructional strategies that will be beneficial to the students and school. Thus, encouraging the teachers to develop the skills in producing different researchers, journals, instructional materials and the like that will lead to the growth in the efficacy and efficiency of the instructors.
Learning Institutions. The study may assist different learning institutions for providing them another instructional strategies for the academic growth of students in the learning process. The study all aims to encourage these institutions to design an instructional strategy that will address all the needs of the students especially in improving their memory about important information. Of course, instructional strategies should be aligned with the mission and vision of every learning institution. Furthermore, the study encourages the teaching workforce to become globally competitive.
Department of Education (DepEd). In line with the objectives of DepEd, the outcome of the study may help the department to develop effective programs to enhance quality instruction. Hence, encouraging more teachers to create or develop instructional strategies that will help students to uplift their performances. Consequently, it may also increase the globally competitiveness of the teachers.
Future Researchers. This study may serve as a reference for the other researchers who would like to deal with the development and improving instructional strategies.
Research Method and Design to be Use
The researcher will use descriptive method of research to determine the performance of the student-respondents in mathematics using mnemonics.
Descriptive research according to Sevilla, as cited by Felix, et. al. (2011) is a fact – finding study with adequate interpretation of findings. This method is designed to gather information about the present condition and the principal aim of this method is to describe the halter of situation that exists at the time of study.
Moreover, as cited in the study of Tongohan (2011), the descriptive method of research is designed to gather information about existing conditions. It also involves the descriptive, gathering, analysing, classifying and tabulating data about the prevailing condition and the making of adequate and accurate interpretation about such data.
The following statistical treatment will be used in the study:
To determine the profile of the student-respondents, frequency, percentage and rank will be used.
To determine the level of performance of the student-respondents, pre-test and post-test will be administered and computed using mean and standard deviation.
To determine the significant difference on the level of performance of the student-respondents with respect to their profile, One-way ANOVA will be used.