Authors:PH Armah, W Osafo-Apeanti Abstract: This study investigated the effects of graphing software in teaching mathematics at senior secondary level in Ghana. The purpose was to determine the extent to which the effective use of graphing software as an instructional technology could improve the performance of students in mathematics. It also examined the effect of gender on these outcomes. An action research design with quantitative data was used. The sample consisted of 43 Form 2 students of Adiembra Senior High School, 13 males and 30 females. The sample was taught the concept of quadratic functions in accordance with the Senior High School core mathematics teaching syllabus for two weeks using the graphing software. The students were pretested and posttested. A t-test analysis revealed a significantly high performance in the posttest than the pretest. Thus, the use of technology improved academic performance in Mathematics. However, there was no significant difference between the performance of males and females. The study has therefore provided some empirical evidence about the effectiveness of graphing software in the cognitive gains of students in Mathematics. Research with larger samples is hereby recommended before any major implementation of the intervention. PubDate: 2013-09-09 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:OA Sofowora, B Adekomi Abstract: The study assessed the impact of a World Bank Assisted Project “STEP-B” on teaching and learning of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STM) in Nigeria. It also described the contribution of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife to the improvement of STM through research development, utilization of ICT, human resources and Educational Technology infrastructure in Post Basic Education Institutions (PBEIs) in Nigeria. A sample of 360 participants was used. They were selected from all the PBEIs through stratified sampling technique based on gender, course, department, unit and job prescription. Data was collected using a-34 item questionnaire designed by the researcher with six sections. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results revealed that there was a remarkable improvement in the teaching and learning of STM in PBEIs (F(4,233) = 6.112, P<0.00). A new creative, participatory and competency based learning method that is flexible, robust that incorporate web-based instruction (F(4,235)=2.248, p<0.04) was used. There was an increase in female enrolments in STM as a result of the different motivation and sensitization workshops (F(4,231) =8.109 , p<0.01). The project was effective in building staff and students capacity to utilize WBLS (F(4,234)=5.569 , p<0.01). There was also a reduction in the drop-out and failure rates among female students (F(4,233) =7.360 ,p<0.05). Keywords: post-basic education, science, technology and mathematics, competency-based training, web-based learning, gender disparity PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:JN Asante, DK Mereku Abstract: This study measured pre-service teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) basic school mathematics and found the relationship between the content knowledge and their Mathematical knowledge for teaching. MKT multiple-choice test was administered to 100 pre-service teachers from two colleges to assess their mathematical knowledge for teaching basic school mathematics in three content domains – fractions, number operations and number patterns. The results of the tests revealed that the general performance of the pre-service teachers on the MKT test was low. The responses were analysed using SPSS. The mean scores in the three content domains were – fractions (44.0%), number operations (40.4%) and number patterns (50.2%). The study revealed a moderate relationship (ñ=0.388; p<0.05) between the content knowledge and MKT of pre-service teachers. It was observed that the poor performance was due to the inadequate opportunities pre-service teachers have to practice what they learn in their pedagogy courses in college. Since pre-service teachers MKT is related to their content knowledge more has to be done for the pre-service teachers to see the inter relatedness of the two. It is recommended that the mathematics pedagogy courses should be made more practical, that is, pre-service teachers given ample opportunity to practice what they are going to teach at the basic schools. Keywords: content knowledge, mathematical knowledge for teaching, preservice mathematics teachers, teaching basic mathematics PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:F Bahmaei, NN Sadeghi Abstract: The present study deals with the influence of cooperative learning on the ability of students to solve the problems. The study also concerns the introduction of mathematical mediating artifacts as factors which effect the learning of mathematics by students. Experimental research method of pre-test and post-test types was carried out. Before the beginning of the study a questionnaire was given to students to elicit information about their accessibility to mediating artifacts, and the information gathered was effective for grouping the students. Doing so, 32 of the final-terms of BA Mathematics students were selected and were grouped into two equal peer-groups (groups of 16 pupils). After pre-test, the control group passed 15 sessions of traditional teaching (i.e. largely lectures), and experiment group carried out cooperative learning in the end, post-test was done and by analyzing the tests it was concluded that cooperative learning approach that involved the use of the dialectical method is much better than giving lectures, and it effects students` problem solving much more efficient. Keywords: cooperative learning, dialectical method, problem solving abilities, mathematical mediating artifacts PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:R Hanson, A Sam, V Antwi Abstract: The research looked into the misconceptions held by prospective teachers about atomic orbitals and hybridization. A total of 88 undergraduate students were used in the study in the University of Education, Winneba, Ghana. The participants responded to multiple choice and constructed response questions on hybridization at the start of the research. They answered the same set of questions at the end of a three week treatment period. The responses were analyzed and response categories established on their misconceptions. The post-test was to assess their gain in conception at the end of the treatment period. Results indicated that pre-service teachers had gross misconceptions about atomic orbitals and hybridization. Suggestions have been made for more effective teaching approaches to ensure better understanding of the concept. Keywords: atomic orbitals, hybrid orbitals, hybridization PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:EM Wilmot, JE Otchey Abstract: This study investigated the extent to which Ghanaian junior high school students’ attitude towards mathematics and the attitude of their teachers contribute to students’ achievement in mathematics. In all, 400 junior high school students in their third year (i.e., the ninth grade), comprising 230 boys and 170 girls, randomly selected from twenty junior high schools in the Central Region of Ghana, participated in the study. The results of the study indicated that, in general, each of the two independent variables, students’ attitude towards mathematics and their teachers’ attitude towards mathematics, contributes significantly to junior high school student’s achievement in mathematics in Ghana. The study recommended, among other things, that both in-service and pre-service junior high school mathematics teachers should be made aware of the impact of their attitudes on students’ achievement in mathematics. Keywords: students’ attitude, teachers’ attitude, mathematics achievement PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:H Bobobee, D Carboo, R Akuamoah, WJ Ntow Abstract: The study was carried out on water from lakes Kasu and Nyafie, two of the fresh water bodies situated near Asutsuare, an agricultural town in the lower Volta basin of Ghana to determine the level of water quality parameters. To be able to this, water samples were taken from designated points in both lakes. Sampling was done over a period of seven months (January to July) and the determination of the water quality parameters was carried out using GEMS Water Operational Guide as well as APHA’s Standard Methods for Examination of Water and Wastewater. The parameters measured were; temperature, pH, dissolve oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), conductivity, turbidity, suspended solids, dissolved solids and total solids. Others were nutrients and ions such as; nitrates, nitrites, phosphates, chlorides, sodium and potassium. The rest came under hardness of water, such as calcium, magnesium and total hardness. Though most of the values of the parameters fall within the acceptable limits of WHO values for potable water, turbidity values i.e. 68.0 NTU (Kasu) and 25.2 NTU (Nyafie) as well as BOD values of 73.8 mg/L for Kasu and 49.7 mg/L for Nyafie, were far beyond the WHO guideline limits (5 NTU – turbidity and < 3 mg/L – BOD) for drinking water, thereby reducing the potability, recreational and aesthetic values of the water in these lakes. Also, despite the fact that the mean DO values for the lakes (5.4 mg/L for Nyafie and 7.0 mg/L for Kasu) fall short of the WHO minimum value of 8.0 mg/L, the lakes cannot be said to be polluted to signal the unset of eutrophication.Keywords: water quality parameters, runoff water, fresh water bodies PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:B Odabasi Abstract: Hyperactivity and dyslexia disorder, which was discovered at begining of the the twentieth century, also affects academic life negatively. In this study, the relationship between hyperactivity/dyslexia disorder and emotional intelligence and success has been analysed. In this study, the first-year students of primary schools in the Istanbul Florya school district, who are diagnosed as dyslexic and hyperactive, were purposefully sampled the research. In total, 70 students were involved. The results of the study showed that academic success level of the dyslexic and hyperactive students is low. Yet, there is not any success level difference among dyslexic and hyperactive students themselves. Moreover, positive relationship between hyperactivity and emotional intelligence was found. Keywords: dyslexia disorder, hyperactivity, emotional intelligence PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:EID Ngman-Wara Abstract: The main purpose of the study was to explore pre-service secondary science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding science teaching. The study also compared pre-service secondary science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs with regard to gender and educational level. Data were collected by administering the science teaching self-efficacy beliefs questionnaire to 210 pre-service secondary science teachers. Statistical techniques such as mean scores, t-test and ANOVA were used to analyse the data. Results of the study showed that the pre-service secondary science teachers have very high level of secondary science teaching self-efficacy beliefs. The pre-service secondary science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and personal science teaching efficacy were gender-related with the males having higher selfefficacy beliefs towards science teaching than the females and the latter having higher personal science teaching efficacy than their male counterparts. It was also observed that the current science education programme of the University of Education Winneba has made little impact on the pre-service secondary science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs towards science teaching. Keywords: pre-service secondary science teachers, self-efficacy beliefs, PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:KD Taale Abstract: This study was an action research which employed regular classroom tests to help students learn and understand some concepts in electricity and magnetism. The participants of the study were 35 Level 200 B.Ed. (Basic Education, JSS Option) pre-service science teachers of the University of Education, Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana. The first phase of the study consisted of a pre-intervention test to gauge the level of the pre-service teachers. The second phase was the implementation of the intervention. The pre-service science teachers were taught for twelve weeks and made to take an essay-type test fortnightly on the concepts they have learnt within the week and the previous weeks. The study used qualitative and quantitative data gathering instruments, pre-service teachers’ fortnightly tests and end-of-semester examination. The test items used were teacher-constructed based on the cognitive level of the students and the instructional objectives stipulated in the course outline. Most of the responses the pre-service science teachers provided in the fortnightly tests reflected understanding of the concepts learnt. The tests motivated the pre-service teachers to learn which resulted in an improvement in their understanding of concepts in the concepts being taught. The outcome of the study shows that pre-service science teachers should be tested regularly in the classroom in order to maximize their learning output.Keywords: pre-service science teachers, regular classroom tests, concept of electricity and magnetism PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)

Authors:OR Ugwuadu Abstract: This study determined the effects of dialogic, peer and teacher – guided discourse patterns on students’ interest in biology. The study also determined the influence of the discourse patterns on male and female students’ interest in biology. Three research questions and five null hypotheses, tested at 0.05 level of significance, guided the study. The design of the study was quasi-experimental of non-equivalent comparative group design. A sample of 164 SSII students (94 males and 70 females) from three intact classes in Yola educational zone of Adamawa State participated in the study. The three intact classes were drawn from three Secondary Schools selected through purposive sampling technique. Discourse patterns were randomly assigned to intact classes in the sampled schools. The main instrument used for data collection was a Biology Interest Scale (BIS) which was both face and construct validated. The internal reliability coefficient of BIS was 0.84 established with Cronbach alpha method. The coefficient of stability was 0.75 and 0.75 for the first and second administration of the test respectively determined with test – retest method and calculated using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Method. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the research questions while ANCOVA was used to test the hypotheses. Result of the study shows that the three discourse patterns enhanced students’ interest in biology. There is no significant difference in the mean interest scores of male and female students taught biology using the three discourse patterns. It was recommended among others that three discourse patterns be adopted for effective teaching of biology in Secondary Schools. Keywords: guided discourse patterns, students’ interest in biology, cooperative learning strategy PubDate: 2013-08-07 Issue No:Vol. 10, No. 1 (2013)