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Can Games and Active Learning Improve Academic Performance in Mathematics

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The poor performance in Mathematics has been a major concern for all sectors of the society over the past few years. The ministry of education continues to see results that are less than favourable. Many of our schools have shown poor performance of Mathematics in all public examinations.

Based on an article published in the Sunday Gleaner, Sunday December 27, (2009) , the educational community in Jamaica has been desperately searching for some answers to the enormous crisis facing the teaching and learning of Mathematics in the public-education system, which has broad implications for the future prospects of the competitiveness of the Jamaican workforce.

The situation as described is a great problem and of such the Ministry of Education has taken some initiative to improve the standard of education. Teachers themselves have tried numerous strategies. However, to date, the desired improvement and performance have not been yielded. Though the challenges are many the government seeks to ensure that all students are equipped with the fundamental knowledge and skills that will enable them to be full stakeholders in and beneficiaries of development.

Background of the Study

Mathematics is a branch of study that deals with logic, decision making, assumption, precision, clarity of thoughts and the ability to solve problems manner usually by following a series of steps in a calculative manner. Math should be seen as a subject not merely for getting an academic qualification but rather a subject that prepares you for the future irrespective of your career choices. Math is prominent in all aspect of life. It can be seen as an everyday tool. This science equips pupils with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world.

The more students know about Math, gives them the competitive edge to compete in the very competitive world that now exist. As it is, Mathematics is important for all members of the society, for its use in the workplace, business, school, and for personal decisions. If we just envision the activities in which we engage each day we would realize how important math really is.

Importance of Mathematics. Mathematics abilities and skills influence the student's capacity to comprehend, critically think, analyse thoughts and make rational decisions. The acquisition of Mathematics skills is essential for one's success in society, a large number of students continue to have difficulty developing vital numeracy skills. One's initial experiences with Math are very much essential to their achievement in school and for promoting success.

The development of early Mathematics skills is essential for a child's positive attitude towards their academic environment. Students who struggle with mathematics thinking in their early years may very well lag behind throughout their school life.

Every area of our lives require some sort



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