Effective teacher training for the improvement of mathematics education in the Bahamas

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This research is concerned with the development of the secondary mathematics curriculum in the Bahamas. In order to determine whether students assimilated mathematical ideas into a schematic structure, and could retrieve and use them as final behaviours outlined in the syllabuses, data from two diagnostic tests administered to pupils of 13+ and 15+ years respectively, were analysed. For the former age range, 377 pupils completed an Objective Test containing 50 items; and for the latter age range, 241 pupils attempted a Choice-Type Test with the instruction to choose any 10 of the total of 14 questions. On each of these tests, the following indices per question are presented: popularity, facility, mean ability, and discrimination. Reliability and validity were calculated and determined by KR20 formula. The most important finding of this research is that a massive percentage of underachievement is occurring in the high schools, thus reflecting instructional ineffectiveness as well as inefficiency at learning tasks. The strength and clarity of the evidence compels the inescapable conclusion that a well thought-out programme of inservice education for teachers of mathematics must be mounted in the Bahamas as a matter of urgent necessity


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