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Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences

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An Evaluation of Grades 9 and 10 Mathematics Textbooks Vis-À-Vis Fostering Problem Solving Skills

A Buishaw, A Ayalew

Abstract


This study sought to evaluate the adequacy of integration of problematic situations and general problem-solving strategies (heuristics) in grades 9 and 10 mathematics textbooks. Grade 9 and grade 10 mathematics textbooks were used for analysis. Document analysis and interview were used as data gathering instruments. Document analysis was carried out on the two textbooks using Mathematics Material Analysis Instrument (MMAI) developed by Karen (1997). Interview was held with two experts from Institute of Curriculum Development and Research about the backgrounds of textbook writers. The content analysis result revealed that grades 9 and 10 mathematics textbooks have coded value of 2. This value of (2) implies low level of inclusion of problematic situations and general strategies of problem solving (heuristics). One Sample t-test analysis has also ascertained that the coded values (observed) are significantly less than the expected value. The interview made with experts from ICDR portrayed that textbooks are prepared by subject specialists who were recruited through the bid system. Besides, the interview result indicated that training was not given to the text writers before or during preparation of textbooks. This implies that grades 9 and 10 mathematics textbooks foster more memorization of facts than developing students’ problem solving skills. Based on these results recommendations are forwarded.

Key words: Problem-solving, Mathematics textbook analysis, Heuristics




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