Inquiry-Based Learning and Environmental Education in Nigeria: An Analysis of Students’ Acquisition of Manipulative Skills in Geometric Construction

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This paper perceives geometric construction as an important aspect of environment education. It examined the effect of IBL on students’ acquisition of manipulative skills in geometric construction in education zone B of Benue State, Nigeria. The study also investigated whether the skills acquisition could be affected by gender and ability levels. Sample for the study comprised of 300 Senior Secondary 1 students selected from six schools within Education Zone B of Benue State using a multi-stage sampling technique. The study adopted a quasi-experimental non equivalent pretest-posttest design. Intact classes were assigned to the experimental and control groups. Data was generated using Geometric Construction Manipulative Skills Test (GCMST) which was the research made essay test. The reliability of the instrument was computed using Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation Coefficient and found to be 0.98. The study was guided by three research questions and three hypotheses. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation to answer the three research questions and inferential statistics of Analysis of Covariance was used to test the three hypotheses. Hypotheses tested reveals that students exposed to IBL exhibited greater manipulative skills in geometric construction (F=392.69; p=0.002) than those exposed to conventional methods. In addition, male and female students taught using IBL did not differ significantly in acquisition of manipulative skills (F=1.58; p=0.211). Also, High and low ability students did not differ significantly in demonstration of geometric construction skills acquired (F=0.14; p=709). Based on these findings, the study recommended among others that mathematics teachers should use IBL in teaching students practical mathematics skills. It concluded that IBL is a framework for outcome-based education which is a trust towards greater learner-centred pedagogy therefore it should be considered a useful addition to the variety of existing mathematics teaching approaches that attempts to involve learners more in their own learning.
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Inquiry-Based Learning, Geometric Construction, Manipulative Skills, Gender, Ability Level, Nigeria, Benue State