Problems in Learning Mathematics: Comparison of Brunei Junior High School Students in Classes with and without Repeaters

  •  Lawrence Mundia    


The study compared the mathematical problems encountered by Brunei students in first year (Form 1 with no repeaters) and second year (Form 2 with many repeaters) of lower secondary school. Participants consisted of 67 Form 1s and 46 Form 2s.  Results from the Wide Range Achievement Test and the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery indicated that the students had wide ranging difficulties in learning mathematics under the ongoing inclusive education and SPN21 curriculum reforms. Form 1 females significantly outperformed their male counterparts on both tests.  A significant gender difference in performance among the Form 2s was obtained only on the Woodcock-Johnson test in favor of males.  Overall, Form 1s significantly performed better than the Form 2s on both tests. Scores from Form 1s on the two tests correlated negatively and insignificantly whereas scores of Form 2s on the same instruments had a positive and significant relationship.  Scores of the Form 1s and Form 2s on both tests were negatively related. Performance differences and error analyses of selected challenging items are discussed to inform and guide possible remedial interventions. Findings demonstrated that mere repetition of a class or grade was neither therapeutic nor advantageous unless factors that disable learning were identified and addressed.


Key words:

Mathematics; learning difficulties; assessment; errors; remediation.

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