Thursday, 25 July 2013

Secondary Mathematics

Secondary mathematics is required to contribute to the established objectives of elementary education. This is why it becomes clearer for any country which longs for national growth in science, industries and technology not to neglect mathematics (Iji, 2007). In regards to this, the Federal Government of Nigeria (1982), identified the following as the general objectives for Nigerian secondary school mathematics:

1.  The inculcation of permanent literacy and numeracy and the ability to communicate effectively.
2.  The laying of a sound basis for scientific and reflective thinking.
3.  Citizenship education as a basis for effective participation in the contribution to the life of the society.
4.  Character and moral training and the development of sound attitude.
5.  Developing in the child, the ability to adapt to his changing environment.
6.  Giving the child opportunities for developing manipulative skills that will enable him to function effectively in the society within the limits of his capacity.
7.  Providing basic tools for further educational advancement including preparation for trades and crafts of the locality.
With these objectives and objectives in mind, Ezike and Obodo (1991), Okurumeh (1991) summarized the secondary mathematics education objectives as follows
1.  To develop a kind of competence in the basic skills and understanding for dealing with number and form.
2.  To understand mathematics concepts such as mathematical process, facts or principles.
3.  To develop a habit of effective critical thinking which will lead to effective and objective thinking.

Assessment Defined

        Assessment is the systematic process of organizing, measuring information or data into interpretable forms on a number of variables (Okpala, Onocha & Oyedeji, 1993). They also stated that, “it is the testing of the cognitive ability of students”.
        According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2010), assessment refers to the act of judging or forming an opinion about the actions, performance of somebody. Assessment therefore can be seen in school process such as teaching, teachers/students interactions, school management, the plan and design of the curriculum as well as physical infrastructure.
        As defined by Palomba and Banta (2012), assessment is the systematic collection, review and use of information about educational programme undertaken for the purpose of improving students’ learning and development. They further stated that it is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning which involves making our expectations explicit and public setting appropriate as well as criteria and high standards for learning quantity. So, systematically gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards and using the resulting information to document explains and improve performance.
        Onwuegbu and Okobia (2000) stated that assessment involves the utilization of many assessment instruments at a predetermined interval to find out what the learner has achieved in teaching process in terms of cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain.

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