Since time immemorial educating students has always been a primary challenge to all teachers especially with diverse learners. These learners, having different learning styles cannot easily adapt to the strategy the teacher applies to them in the classroom. In the Paradigm shift of education, learners must be active and involved in the learning process, it must be meaningful enough for the learners to fully absorb the knowledge they were able to create. Among the teachers, applying different teaching strategies other than the traditional one which mainly is a lecture discussion method is a great challenge; it is because most are not sure if indeed these teaching strategies would surely make a difference on the performance of their diverse learners.
The Mountain Climbing Learning Analogy, is a holistic instruction implementation that promotes an active learning, collaborative and student-centered environment integrating various teaching concepts to support the development of the students higher order thinking in mathematics. With this, the students become responsible for the knowledge they create inside the classroom, this empowerment shifts the classroom environment from being a teacher-centered to student-centered one. An additional concept is integrated as part of the instruction implementation process, the “pit stop” system modeled from the motor sport racing, assesses the students learning immediately after every sub-topic as opposed to the traditional one which is only done after the end of the entire topic, which contains several sub-topics topics in it. Resulting to a reduced information fed to the learners and the stress of having to go back on all the sub-topics during seatwork’s and lesson exams. The process also increases the retention of knowledge created by the students.
The study aims to determine the Effects of Mountain Climbing Learning Analogy on the Achievement and Attitudes of the First Year University students under the Basic Mathematics curriculum in the College of Education, Capitol University during the school year 2008-2009.
The study used a quasi experimental design. It focused on two groups of students from two different sections enrolled in Basic Mathematics subject from the College of Education. One section represented the Experimental group and the other, Control group. At the start of the treatment a Pre-achievement Test was provided to the students. The achievement test was constructed covering the following topics: Uses of percent in business, cost and markup, selling price and margin, commission, interest (simple, ordinary, compound). This test was face-validated, item-analyzed, and revised by the researcher. The achievement test consisted of 25 items. To measure the students’ attitude towards Mathematics, an Attitude Scale was given which consisted of 25 statements where respondents can either express their favorable or unfavorable feelings towards mathematics. It was only given at the end of the two weeks treatment together with the Post-Achievement test, the students’ agreement or disagreement to the statement is encircled on the 5-point scale.
During the treatment, the Control group was subjected to a traditional classroom instruction while the Experimental group was subjected to the Mountain Climbing Learning Analogy instruction. The experimental class has 27 students while the control class has 14 students. The topics used in the treatment were part of their lessons in the finals. The treatment lasted for two weeks.
The data gathered during the Achievement and attitude test of the two groups were tested for homogeneity of Variance using Levene Test, the results served as the basis for the use of T-Test for two independent unequal samples with unequal variance for further analysis and interpretation.
Results of the Pretest indicated that at the start of the treatment there were no significant difference on the result of the Pretest between the two groups, this ensured that both groups have the same level of knowledge on the topic and no biases exist at the start of the treatment.
After two weeks of treatment, results of the Posttest score has indicated that the scores of students in the experimental group improvement significantly compared to the scores of the students in the control group. While students in the control group were able to improve their scores at the end of the treatment. Still, students in the experimental group fared better during the Post Examination.
The data gathered likewise has indicated that only few students in the control group where able to improve their scores during the post test. While in the experimental group, majority of the students were able to improve significantly compared to their pretest performance. Results are all tested at 95% confidence level.
In the Attitude test, which was tested at 95% confidence level, indicated that there is no significant difference on the attitude of both groups towards mathematics. While most of the students from both groups harbor negative feelings toward the subject, interestingly they are still “not sure” in their overall perception towards mathematics. These perhaps can be conjectured that their perception towards mathematics depends on their experiences in the classroom.
With the application of the Mountain Climbing Learning Analogy in the classroom, the students were able to improve significantly in their performance during the posttest provided to them. This indicates that when the learners are involved in the knowledge creation process, learning becomes meaningful to them and they were able to appreciate and absorb the lessons presented. The students improvement in the Experimental Group is clearly noticeable, and can be seen as a big leap compared to their previous performances as well as against the Control Group which observes the traditional method of lecture and discussion wherein only few were able to improve as shown in their performance during the posttest exam.
Presentation shown during the Liceo De Cagayan University Faculty Research Forum 2009, Feb. 07, 2009 and 57th CUREXO IDS (Capitol University Research and Extension Office-Institute for Development Studies) Brown Bag Lecture Series, Feb. 24, 2009.