Use of low cost materials in teaching and learning of mathematics and its influence on pupils’ performance in primary schools of Kampala District
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The purpose of this study was to find the diversification of the low cost materials in the teaching and learning of mathematics in Kampala District Primary schools. The study was particularly guided by the three objectives: To identify available low cost materials that are used in the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools; To describe ways in which low cost materials are used in the teaching and learning process of mathematics; and To find out whether schools that use low cost materials perform better than schools that do not. The study used a sample consisting of 10 primary schools. The researcher sampled a total of 768 pupils (380 girls and 388 boys) and 30 teachers (17 female and 13 males). The data was collected using questionnaires, checklist, and mathematics achievement test. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics methods and Mann-Whitney U-test. The first research question focused on the availability of low cost for the teaching and learning of mathematics. Low cost materials were of two types; natural and artificial materials. Natural low cost materials comprised of seed counters, soil, dry parts of plants, charcoal, feathers, as examples. Yet artificial materials consisted of packing materials in form of paper boxes, reused bottles, old tyres, straw counters, just to mention a few. In addition to low cost materials , there were commercial materials like text books, tape measures, dusters, wall charts, chalk, geometry set and chalk board instruments. The second research question was concerned with the pedagogical approaches employed in the teaching and learning of mathematics while using low cost materials. It was found out that group and other participatory methods were being used in schools that had enough teaching and learning aids. The last and third research question reported on the performance of mathematics in schools and classes that were using low cost materials, commercial materials and where the materials were integrated. From the findings, the researcher drew the following conclusions: - low cost materials for teaching mathematics are available for various topics. There are more low cost materials used in lower primary than upper primary classes. All in all Schools and classes that integrated low cost materials with commercials materials, their performance was better than schools and classes that were not using low cost materials. From the conclusions, the researcher recommended that; teachers should use and integrate low cost materials to solve the problem of scarcity of teaching and learning aids to improve mathematics in and out side the classroom. Such findings raise the levels of use of low cost materials in the instructional process of mathematics and reduce on teacher centered lessons. The findings and conclusions raised a number of implications on the teaching and learning of mathematics. The teaching and learning of mathematics need to be addressed on the pupils’ experience in relation to the environmental components, hands on and social interaction with fellow learners. Finally, there is need for another study of the teaching and learning of mathematics with a focus on integration low cost materials in rural primary schools.