AJILEYE, Adewole Mukaila
Department of Mathematics
Osun State College of Education, Ilesa
For a country to be technologically developed there is need for efficient handling of mathematics at levels of education. The perennial low performance of pupils in mathematics has been attributed among other things to inadequate knowledge of subject matter content by teachers and poor instructional techniques. This paper highlighted the basic principles for effective teaching and learning of mathematics in primary school which is a fundamental stage of child education. It is hoped that if the enumerated procedures are properly followed, pupils will find learning of mathematical concepts more interesting and attractive.
On the 30th September, 1999, Nigeria government launched the Universal Basic Education (UBE). One of its aims and objectives is to ensure the acquisition of the appropriate levels of literacy, numeracy, manipulative and life skills, need for laying the foundation for lifelong learning (FRN, 2004). In order to achieve this laudable objective, there is need for effective teaching and learning of Mathematics which is one of the core subjects in both Primary and Secondary schools. Mathematics as a discipline has great input in the scientific and technological development of any Nation. Adetunji (2003) emphasized that Mathematics is a great heritage of human cultures and civilizations. A nation that is eager to develop needs the services of economists, technicians, engineers, technologists, environmentalists and so on. All these must be well trained in Mathematics.
The primary school is a very crucial and sensitive period in the life of the child. Children at this level are entering the concrete operational stage of Piaget, a stage at which children could learn concepts if systematically, methodically and appropriately presented. At this stage, children are introduced to the basics of education. Learning at this stage serves as foundation for future and whatever learns at this level becomes indelible in the memory of the children.
The primary school education is a foundation stone and bedrock for later education. For pupils to enjoy learning of Mathematics at this level, there is need to make the environment conducive. Sunder, Adarsh and Pankaj (2009) defined the environment as the aggregate of all external conditions as well as influences on life and development of an organism, human behavior and society. Hence, there are lots of works on the part of teachers to make teaching and learning of mathematics more interesting in our primary schools. Apart from heredity, environment we live in affects our performance (Flying and Sorrel, 1994) Salman (2005) considered poor method of teaching Mathematics at the primary school level as one of the major factors contributing to student’ poor performance in the subject in later life in secondary school level. Thus, there is need for teachers to acquire deep knowledge of the content of the mathematics so as to be able to pass same to the pupils and develop in them a good foundation. Okolo (2006) affirmed that teachers instructional strategies especially at the foundation level of teaching and learning is a vital aspect of the nation’s productive independence.
Competency in the teaching methods, skills and techniques are all needed for effective curriculum development. It is necessary for teachers to adopt methods that allow for peer interaction, inquiry, independent discoveries which is necessary for the problem-solving in mathematics. In this paper, attempts are made on the general principles of handling the topics in primary schools syllabus and brief strategies for the teaching some the elementary topics. SOME METHODS AND TECHNIQUES OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS