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Effects of cooperative and individualistic learning strategies on students’ map reading and interpretation

Sunday B. Adeyemi
Elphinah N. Cishe


Current conventional methods of teaching Geography in Nigeria has not improved students’ performance in the subject. Hence, there is the need to expose students to other learning strategies that can improve their performance in map reading and interpretation. This study conceptualised relative effects of cooperative and individualistic learning strategies on secondary school students’ achievement in map reading and interpretation. The study employs pretest, posttest, control group, quasi-experimental research design. Subjects comprised 164 senior secondary II (SSII) geography students, made up of 109 boys and 55 girls, drawn from three secondary schools in Ilesa East and West Local Government Areas of Osun State, south-west, Nigeria. Three instruments were used to collect the requisite data – Numerical Ability Test (NAT), Map Reading and Interpretation Achievement Test (MARIAT) and Treatment Implementation Guides on Cooperative, Individualistic and the Conventional learning strategies. Three null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. Data collected were analysed using ANCOVA, Multiple Classification Analysis (MCA) and Scheffe Post-hoc Analysis. Treatment had a significant main effect on students’ map reading and interpretation [F (2, 163) = 35.181, p < 0.05]. Cooperative learning strategy was the most effective for the dependent measure. It was also found that numerical ability had a significant main effect on the dependent measure [F(2,163)=16.949; p<0.05], with high numerical ability subjects performing better than their average and low ability counterparts. Results also showed that gender has no significant main effect in map reading and interpretation as revealed by table 1 [F (1,163)=0.566; p>0.05]. It was concluded that the cooperative learning strategy was more effective in improving students’ achievement in map reading and intrpretation. Also, high numerical ability subjects performed better than those in the average and low numerical ability  groups. Gender has no influence on students’ achievement in map work. It was recommended that geography teachers be given on-the-job training in the use of cooperative learning strategy in classes, and that remedial classes should be organised for students with poor mathematical background. Geography teachers are enjoined to encourage students, particularly the females to show more interest in the study of geography through pieces of advice and the stimulating ways they handle the subject amongst others.

Keywords: Cognitive Theory, Gender, Learning Strategies, Map Reading, Numerical Ability

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eISSN: 0855-6768
print ISSN: 0855-6768