EFFECTIVENESS OF DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS’ ATTITUDE AND ACHIEVEMENT IN MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS IN MERU COUNTY, KENYA
MERCY WANJA MUTHOMI
Mathematics is a fundamental human activity. It is a way of making sense of the world. Achievement in mathematics has been dismal in the world and Kenya in particular. This has caused deep concern in many countries over the years. In Kenya, mathematics competence is necessary for entry into science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines in college and as such performance in mathematics is of concern to everybody. New innovative teaching approac hes such as Differentiated Instruction are being employed to improve achievement and attitude towards mathematics. The purpose of the study was therefore to investigate the effectiveness of Differentiated Instruction on students’ attitude and achievement i n mathematics in secondary schools in Meru County in Kenya. The study sought to determine whether there was a difference in achievement when students were instructed using Differentiated Instruction approach in the topic of probability in mathematics. The study investigated whether there was any relationship between the Differentiated Instruction and students’ attitude towards mathematics. The study employed the Quasi-experimental design and in particular Solomon Four -Group design. The research was carried out in 8 provincial secondary schools in Meru County, Kenya. Stratified random sampling technique was used to draw the participating schools. Simple random sampling was used to select and to assign participating schools in experimental and control groups. The subjects were form three students and the sample size was 374 students. The research instruments used were the Mathematics Achievement Test and Attitude Towards Mathematics Inventory for students. The reliability coefficient for ATMI was 0.764. Descrip tive statistics (mean, standard deviation, percentages) and inferential statistics (one-way ANOVA and t-test) were used for data analysis. The hypotheses were tested at α = 0.05 level of significance.
From the study there was evidence that differentiated i nstruction significantly improved the students’ achievement in mathematics and had little or no influence on students’ attitude. It was also found out that when students were taught using differentiated instruction, gender did not affect their achievement in mathematics. The findings of this study may help the curriculum developers to facilitate and guide future decisions on formulating instructional approaches such as differentiated instruction that are effective in classrooms to improve achievement in mat hematics