Gender Differences in Mathematics Achievement and Retention Scores: A Case of Problem-Based Learning Method

John T. Ajai, Benjamin I. Imoko

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Abstract


This study was undertaken to assess gendered differences in mathematics achievement and retention by using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). The design of the study was pre test – post test quasi-experimental. Four hundred and twenty eight senior secondary one (SS I) students from ten grant-aided and government schools sampled using multistage sampling were involved in the study. Two hundred and sixty one male students and one hundred and sixty seven female students were taught algebra using PBL method of instruction. Algebra Achievement Test (AAT) constructed by the researchers was the main instrument used for data collection. Two hypotheses were raised for the study and tested using t-test at .05 level of significance. The study revealed that male and female students taught algebra using PBL did not significantly differ in mean achievement and retention scores, thereby revealing that male and female students are capable of competing and collaborating in mathematics. In addition, the finding of this showed that performance is a function of orientation and not gender. The studies recommend the use of PBL by mathematics teachers to overcome the male image of mathematics and enhance students’ (male and female) achievement and retention.


Keywords


Problem-based learning; gender; achievement; retention; mathematics; algebra

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