Performance of Senior Secondary Students in Basic Map Work Skills

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Addis Ababa University


Being components of the overall geographic education, mapwork skills are means to the deep understanding of the other components. As a result, geographic education, whatever the level be, can not be complete without the mastery of at least the basic mapwork skills. Review of literature reveals that this fact is duely recognized by professional geographers, geography educators and curriculum experts including the Social Sciences Panel of the Ethiopian Ministry of Education. However, whether or not students in our schools have really developed such skills was not discovered up to the present . This study was aimed at the investigation of the extent to which students of Addis Ababa developed the basic mapwork skills by the time they complete their secondary education. A performa nce test was prepared and administered to 150 sample students of four government and two mission schools. Data relating to the overall academic performance of the students was acquired from the record offices of the concerned schools. The students also filled in questionnaires meant to gather information about the progress and problems ofiiiteaching mapwork skills in their res pective schools. Similar questionnaires were prepared to be filled in by geography teachers of the same schools. Besides filling in the questionnaires, Geography Department Heads and two most senior teachers of geography were interviewed. The data analysis revealed that the performance of students in basic mapwork skills is very low. Most of them were not able to answer correctly even half of the items in the test. The performance of students of mission schools was relatively better than that of students of government schools. The study also suggested that performance in mapwork skills is positively correlated with students' achievement in mathematics, geography and their grand average. Among the factors that negatively affected achievement in mapwork skills are found to be the chronic scarcity of teaching aids, shortage of time, unfavourable classroom conditions, lack of sufficient knowledge about mapwork skills on the part of the teachers, lack of interest on the part of the stud ents, and poor content structure of the map-reading textbooks being used.



Performance of Senior