The Congruence between Teachers and Learners Perceptions! Exploration of Relationship between Teachers and Learners Perceptions and Mathematics Performance in Lower Primary Schools in Kenya

Kamau Bonface, Ruth W Thinguri, Peter K. Koech, B. N Ngaruiya


The difficulties and problems hindering good performance in mathematics by Lower Primary school children seem to emanate from teachers and learners perceptions towards mathematics learning and performance. This may be due to the fact that the methods used at lower primary don’t agree with the ones initially applied by the children’s teachers at preschool level. The effect of that could result in creating a negative perception towards math learning and performance hence denying children a precious start to their future mathematics performance. There is a persistent indication that a discontinuity exists between pre-school learning methods and those in the lower primary schools. Teaching methods of the lower primary should be amended to make allowance for the stages of children’s development and provide opportunities to encourage children to improve in their ability to understand and apply mathematical concepts. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between teachers and learners perceptions and mathematics performance in Lower Primary Schools of the Makuyu Zone, Murang’a South District in Kenya. The objectives of this study were: - to evaluate the teachers’ perception on the value of pre-school mathematics; and to evaluate the children’s perception with regard to mathematics learning. This study used a descriptive survey design to achieve the set objectives. Purposive (deliberately) sampling was used to select a sample population of 60 pupils; a lottery (random choice) method of sampling was applied to get 30 teachers, whereas 10 head teachers were chosen through appointment (deliberate) sampling.  Open-ended questionnaires to collect data from the selected teachers and head teachers were applied; and for the children's responses, an interview schedule was employed. Observational checklists were also used where archival records were to apply. To test the construct validity and reliability of the research instruments, the researchers used 'split-half'.  The researchers pilot-tested the research instruments with a small representative group from the population. The data collected was analysed, using frequency counts and percentages.  It was presented in tables, bar graphs, pie charts and histograms as necessary to present a better picture of the findings. This study recommends frequent mathematics methodology seminars, workshops/in-service training for lower primary mathematics’ teachers. Paid study leave/time and promotions to enhance teacher motivation and creation of positive perceptions towards teaching of mathematic which will go along way in improving mathematics performance.

Keywords: Preschool; Mathematics Performance; Instructional Methods

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