Problem – Based Learning in Teaching and Learning High School Geometry: Its Effects on Students’ Attitude and Performance

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CHAPTER 1
The Problem and Its Setting
INTRODUCTION
Rationale
New mathematics are discovered and invented everyday and there is a great manifestation of growing recognition of the need among the mathematics educators to increase the emphasis placed on problem solving for all students. (Paja 2001). Mathematics evolved over the past few thousand years in many stages. In high school mathematics in Philippine settings involve elementary algebra, intermediate algebra, geometry and advanced algebra. All of these were center in answering questions about real life. Ordinary people of all ages are endeavor of mathematics in which they constructs concepts, discover relationships, invent methods, execute algorithms, communicate and solve problems posed by their own real worlds. (Cangelosis, as quoted by Paja 2001).

Often times, mathematics is a difficult subject for students who has difficulty in memorizing formulas and using logical thinking. Students learn hardly anything of what they are taught but if they learn through hands on and minds on approach (Paja, 2001) and if it will incorporate into everyday activities and in subjects like languages arts, science, social studies, visual arts, music, physical education, life skills and performing arts. Posadas, as quoted by Paja 2001 said that they will learn more meaningfully and with longer retention.

Students in today’s generation are practical work learners, investigational learners and sociable learner. In relevant to that mathematics educators should explore another strategy of teaching that caters the needs of the students that we have today. According to Paja 2001 in his study on Practical Work Strategy in Teaching and Learning Plane Geometry: Its Effects on Students’ Achievement says that utilizing practical work strategy in teaching and learning plane geometry with the aid of manipulative materials has more reaching effect on students’ achievement in mathematical content and process skills than the traditional.

Problem – based learning is a student centered instructional strategy in which student collaboratively solves problems and reflects on their experiences. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem-based_learing). Dewey proposed that education should be built on the child’s interests and experiences (Ernest, 1991). Education becomes meaningful and real to students when it is connected to them personally, as opposed to using materials that may be abstract and unrelated to a child’s lived reality. (Douglas, 1994).

In today’s world of education, lots of researches that conducted promoting and encouraging active learning in mathematics. But still we are searching for other methods in teaching mathematics. In a particular University of Cebu – Main High School Department focuses merely on the tasks of improving students’ competence on conceptual knowledge. In teaching mathematics is usually it is a teacher – centered because less attempts for students to be involve in every class interaction, performing mathematical processes through investigation and discovery thus enhancing mathematics procedural skills.

This study aims to determine the effectiveness of problem – based learning on students’ attitude and performance in high school geometry in which we seek other strategy that caters the kind of learners that we have. It provide teachers with suggested teaching strategies that would greatly influence student’s motivation and enthusiasm as they develop deep understanding of the challenging topics in mathematics.

This study also offers a strategy that designed for individual learning and it encouraged to take responsibility of their group and organize and direct learning process with support from an instructor. Problem – based learning is used to enhance content knowledge and foster the development of communication, problem – solving and self direction learning skills.

THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
Problem – based learning (PBL) is an approach to...
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