Investigating Colleges of Education Students’ difficulty in understanding Circle Geometry
Keywords:circle geometry, pre-service teachers
Geometry is one of the key branches of mathematics. It has numerous applications in real life, yet students at the Colleges of Education, Ghana find it extremely difficult to learn resulting in their poor performances in examinations. This study intended to investigate the factors responsible for students’ difficulty in circle geometry and to suggest ways by which the identified factors can be overcome. The study also examined whether there was any significant difference in the average test scores between male and female students in circle geometry. A sample of 352 level 100 students was selected purposively from a population of 2940 level 100 students for the study. The main research instruments for data collection were questionnaire and teacher-made test. The four points Likert rating scale was used in administering the questionnaire and it was analysed using percentages. The findings showed that, the factors responsible for students’ difficulties in circle geometry at the Colleges of Education in Ghana were: Lack of instructional aids, students’ psychological fear for circle geometry, poor foundation of students in basic school mathematics, poor preparations on the part of some mathematics teachers and large classes but no significant difference in performance were found with respect to gender. Based on the findings, the study recommended among others that mathematics tutors at the Colleges of Education in Ghana should try as much as possible to relate the teaching of circle geometry to real life situations in order to reduce the perceived abstract nature of circle geometry.