Pre-service Teachers’ Perception of the Use of Instructional Media in Teaching Mathematics Classes in Secondary School

Pre-service Teachers’ Perception of the Use of Instructional Media in Teaching Mathematics Classes in Secondary School

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This research work investigated the perception of pre-service teachers of the use of instructional media in teaching mathematics in Secondary Schools. Mathematics, being an abstract subject, needs to become real and interesting to students with the help of trained teachers who can use these media effectively in order to reduce mass failure in the subject.

In collecting and analyzing the data of the study, a well structured questionnaire were distributed among three hundred pre-service teachers in University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka and Lagos State University (LASU) Ojo

From the analysis, it is revealed that the use of instructional media in teaching secondary school mathematics classes has significant effect on the academic performance of the students.




The use of mathematics in the society cannot be over emphasized. Akinsode (2000) pointed that from the past, mathematics has maintained an enviable position in our everyday activities. It has been the backbone of several human endeavor notably science and technology. Little wonder that here in Nigeria it has remain the core  subject from kindergarten to graduate school.However,mathematics education today appears to be in crises situation as it can be seen in the poor performances of students in private and public schools examinations and the general fall in standard. Just as students have difficulties in learning mathematics due to factors such as laziness, boring, the teacher equally have differences in achieving effective teaching in our school system due to the use of poor method of  teaching and teaching aids.

Mathematics is defined by some non specialists as the abstract science which investigates deductively the conclusions implicit in the elementary conceptions of spatial and numerical relations, and which includes as its main divisions geometry, arithmetic, and algebra. (Oxford English dictionary, 1933).It is also defined as the study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols. (American dictionary 2000).Mathematics is the science of structure, order, and relation that has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of object (encyclopedia Britannica)

Some specialist also defined mathematics as the science of quantity. In Aristotle’s classification of the sciences, discrete quantities were studied by arithmetic, continuous quantities by geometry. Auguste Comte’s definition tried to explain the role of mathematics in coordinating phenomena in all other field. He also defines mathematics as the science of indirect” measurement.The “indirectness” in Comte’s definition refers to determining quantities that cannot be measured directly, such as the distance to planets or the size of atoms, by means of their relations to quantities that can be measured directly.(1955)

Mathematics as we are all aware is the fundamental tools used to explain other scientific and technical concepts. Mathematics has been the only language that the developed countries like U.S.A, U.K, Germany, Japan, used to advance their technology. They have also used their technology to conquer the land, sea and the space, thereby making life worthy of living for their people. The special theory of relativity by Albert Einstem in 1905 helped us to build our understanding of space and time. The Newton’s law was launching satellites. Mathematics and mechanics also play a great role to enable the pilot, navigator, flight engineer, understand their work easier (Aderogha, k. 1990).

Faleye (2002), opined that Russia, United states of America, Great Britain, Germany, France, china, Japan and a host of other developed nations will forever nurture the wanders that mathematics has brought to them and will still bring.

According to ivowi (2003), for national development to occur, there need to be available a crop of human resource with sufficient knowledge and skills to interact with ideas and materials In order to produce required results. The problem of such interaction must be solutions to identified problems and which contribute significantly to the improvement of the society. Mathematics education among others is so important in the development of individuals and the society.

According to Akesode (2000), it is obviously for good reason that the Nigerian education policy insists on a foundation of mathematics. The concept of literacy goes hand in gloves with numeracy-ability to use numbers. A person, who lacks numeracy skill, will be useless to himself and the country. A numeracy skill no doubt is the language in different aspects of our life and the nation.

For instance, the health care delivery system, both the doctor and the patient will be in problem without mathematics. To document a patient’s ailment, mathematical instrument is needed. To say that the temperature of the patient is high or the blood pressure is low, the doctor has to have precise measurement I degree Celsius for temperature and millimeters of mercury for blood pressure. From diagnosis of diabetes through paternity testing using DNA to test HIV status, the language is mathematics. From a minor surgery of suturing an ulcer to major to major brain surgery or organ transplant, mathematics has a place especially with regard to precision of measurement.

In the defense sector, the manufacturer of military hardware and equipment is heavily dependent on mathematical concepts and skills. Without sound geometric calculations and computations involving projectile notion, a missile aimed at point A will end up in point B. ask the pilot of a modern day jet fighter or bomber and he will tell you that without mathematics, he will be unable to communicate with his plane.

The list is unlimited for planning purposes, population of an area is needed for this, and you need mathematics. In the popular program “kick polio out of Africa” the number of children immunized against this polio is to be calculated and the number of those not inoculated then derived, this is no other but mathematics.

Since mathematics plays a key role in the nation’s development, the need to have competent teachers, right method of teaching and above all, relevant instructional media to build future professionals who would champion the development of our nation from various fronts cannot be overemphasized.

The way teachers view the role of media in classroom teaching will to a large extent determine the level and degree of its usage. Teachers form an impression which is favorable or otherwise, depending on specific traits teachers attribute to media. Teacher perception of media is predicted upon what they feel media can do in teaching-learning process. However, evidence abounds that what teachers said were their reasons for not using media were not true (Zepp, 2005:Scrimshaw, 2004; SugarCrawley & Fine, 2004; Cohen, 1996; Hubbord,1999).

Educational technologists often employ the term instructional media to represent all of the    devices that teachers and learners use to support learning. However, for many educators the terms educational technology, instructional media, andinstructional technology are used interchangeably.There are a lot of definitions of media. Gagne (1970) defines that media are various components in learners’ environment which support the learner’s learn.Briggs (1970) defines media are physical means which are used to send messages to the students and stimulate them to learn. A little bit differences from the opinions of the two experts, The National Education Association defines that media are the forms of communication either printed or audiovisual. Scanlan states that instructional media encompasses all the materials and physical means an instructor and teacher might use to implement instruction and facilitate learners’ achievement of instructional objectives. This may include traditional materials such as chalkboards, handouts, charts, slides, overheads, real objects, flash card and videotape or film, as well as newer materials and methods such as computers, DVDs, CD-ROMs, the Internet, and interactive video conferencing.

According to Richard (1992), in general term, instructional media means television, radio and newspapers considered as a whole and as ways of entertaining of spreading news or information to a large number of people. Teaching materials which involves the use of different kinds of media such as visual and printed media are sometimes known as multimedia or mixed media. There are various kinds of media, but visual aids are the appropriate media for learners, particularly young learners.  Whatever the definitions of media are, there is a guideline which can be stated about media. Media is anything used to send message(s) from the sender(s) to the receiver(s), so it can be aroused the learners’ thought, feeling, and interest to gear the students’ learn. (Sadiman et al, 2002).

Sometimes, instructional media and teaching aids are used interchangeably. Both, instructional media and teaching aids, have functions to make learners easily to understand the teaching. However, some experts still differentiate between instructional media and teaching aids. When we talk about a board, either whiteboard or blackboard, which is being used by a teacher to inform learners about what he/she, is teaching, at the same time we also talk about instructional media and teaching aids. The board is teaching aids and what is on the board is instructional media. Here, we can say that teaching aids are the objects and the content of the objects is the instructional media.

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A good media is like a window. It should not be called attention to itself; itshould just have been let in the light. In general, teacher should use the instructional media in his or her best judgment. It can be facilitated learning or increasing the understanding of materials. Of course, communicating to facilitate learning can be a challenging process, and it is often required creative efforts to achieve a variety of implicit instructional goals (University of Saskatchewan,). Among the implicit goals that media can be helped by teachers to achieve are as follows: attracting attention, developing interest, adjusting the learning climate and promoting acceptance (of an idea).

Media is very useful in learning the mathematics. Teachers’ instructors and learners are helped by using media to achieve the learning goals. So, teachers should apply the instructional media in teaching – learning activities because:

1. Instructional media can be reached everything out of the class. There are so many things around the learners that cannot be reached by them, such as: bacteria, virus, etc. To know and see those tiny things, we must use a microscope as a media. We use a picture to present things which cannot be brought into the classroom such as: markets, stations, harbors.

2. Instructional media created the possible direct interaction between the learners and their environment.

3. Media produced some observation. The learners’ observation can be directed into the important things based on the teachers’ aims.

4. Media can be kept the basic, concrete and real concepts of the teaching.

5. The learners’ motivation are aroused by using media in learning.

6. Media integrated the experience from the concrete things to the abstract ones.

It is stated by De Porter and Hernacki (2000) in Quantum Learning that audio visual can be created optimally, physically, and mentally through learning environment.

According to Sukartiwi (1996), there are some advantages of using media in teaching-learning process which include , increase the learners’ motivation, avoid the learners bored, to make the learners easy to understand the instructional material,  and to make the teaching learning process more systematic.

In the Sydney Micro Skill, it is stated that instructional media are arisen the learners’ interest, stormed the learners’ brain to think concretely, found high understanding in learning efficiently and permanently

There are so many instructional media are used in teaching starting from the simplest or cheapest ones to the most complex ones, without the need of the electricity, up to the most expensive ones which needed the electricity. Vernon (1996) states that there are six kinds of media;

Drawing or teacher mode drawings: This media can be constructed and supported the topic which is being taught. The teacher can prepare it at home and apply it easily in the class to achieve the goals of the teaching and learning process.

Still pictures: This media can be shown into the real objects or the events of outside the class. A still picture is a record or a copy of a real object or event which may be longer or smaller than the real object or events, for examples: photograph, bulletin board material, brochure, etc.

Audio recording

Recording is a mode of magnetic, on disc, or on motion picture soundtracks. This is the reproduction of actual event of sound effects. Sound is presented in the sequence in which they actually happen unless the recording is edited. Audio recording may be used individually or displayed directly to the audience.

Motion picture and TV

A motion picture or video tape recording is a moving image on color or black and white produced from live action or from graphic presentation. Objects or events may be in normal motion and edited for abbreviating or high lighting. It can be silent or having sound. All types of audio-video electronic system can be appeared on a cathode ray tube or TV monitor.

Real object, simulation and models

This category includes people, events, objects and demonstration. Real objects as contrasted with other media are not substituted by the artificial objects or events. They are, in fact, life, often in its natural setting. There are countless real objects in the immediate community. As long as they are readily and economically available, use them. Simulation is the replication of real situation which has been designed to be as near actual events or process as possible. A model is a replica or reality. It is often in scale and may be in miniature, exact side or an enlargement.

There is no doubt that mathematics has become one of the passports to entering into any phase of educational system and job acquisition but the rate at which students fail this subject cannot be written off . Enormous benefits can be derived from the use of instructional media at all educational levels. Charts, models, real objects, textbooks and other illustrations can help to bridge the gap between teaching and learning.

Conventional instructional resources are not generally available in many senior secondary schools in Nigeria. Even where such resources are available, some teachers lack the requisite skills and creativity to use them effectively in their teaching. Some teachers also lack innovation in finding suitable local substitutes to help their students to understand their lessons.

The study reveals the use of instructional media such as real objects, models in addition to the use of the chalkboard, and textbooks will help stimulate the students’ interest and aid their understanding in mathematics.


Lack of pictorial support for class discussions lead to the teaching of abstract lessons, misunderstanding of concepts and skills, and ineffective learning which negatively affects learners performance and thereby, cause mass failure in most of internal and external examination on secondary school mathematics. It is in this view that this research was carried out to investigate preservice teachers’ perception of the use of instructional media in teaching secondary school mathematics classes.


This study intends to find out the following:

1)  The types of instructional media available for teaching mathematics in secondary schools.

2)  How the identified instructional media are used by teachers and students in the schools.

3)  The perception of male and female preservice teachers’ of the use of instructional media in teaching secondary school mathematics classes


The importance of mathematics in the life of students cannot be over emphasized. Therefore, this study is significant in the sense that it will be sensitized to know the state of teaching and learning in the secondary schools and its problem that instructional media usage can help solve. The nation will also know the alternative instructional media that would help raise the quality of teaching and learning in the school. It also made attempt to evaluate the extent at which instructional media would increase the rate of students’ interest, assimilation and good performance in mathematics.


The research questions include:

1. Is there any effect of the use of instructional media on the academic performance of students in mathematics?

2. To what extent do male and female preservice teachers differ in their perception of the use of media in teaching mathematics?


1.      There is no significant difference in the use of instructional media and academic  performance of students in mathematics

2.      There is no significant difference in the male and female preservice teachers’ perception on the use of instructional media in teaching mathematics.


This study is carried out on the preservice mathematics teachers at the faculty of education of University of Lagos, Akoka and Lagos State University, Ojo.


Some terms in the topic are defined below:


This is define as an abstract science which investigate deductively the conclusions implicit in he elementary conceptions of spatial and numerical relations. It is also define by the Webster’s dictionary as the systematic treatment of magnitude relationship between figures and forms, and relation between quantities expressed symbolically.

Instructional media

.Instructional media are tools in the hands of the teachers which are used for effective teaching. They are also seen as the physical means via which instructions is presented learners in an effective way. These are numerous in teaching and learning environment such as print, non-print, audio, audio-visual electronics, and non-electronics media


It is an academic process by which students are motivated to learn in ways that make a sustained, substantial and positive influence on how they think, act and feel. It is also an act drawing out the hidden talent in someone and ensuring he knows what he knew not.


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