Differentiated Instruction in Mathematics: Its Effect on the Level of Critical Thinking Skills of Grade 7 Students
Alfredo E. Dailo 1, Rosana R. Dailo2
Sta. Catalina National High School
Quezon Division, Region IV-A (CALABARZON), Philippines
This research used a quasi-experimental research design, specifically the non-equivalent control group pretest-posttest design. Cluster random sampling was used to determine the respondents of the study. The respondents of the study were Grade 7 students at Sta. Catalina National High School during the school year 2019-2020. Two sections among the Grade 7 students taking mathematics under the researcher for the school year 2019-2020 were selected as respondents – one section was used as curriculum compacting (experiment) and the other one was used as a flexible grouping (experiment). Each section had 30 students each such that the study will have a total of 60 student-respondents. This research study was conducted for five weeks and utilized McKenzie’s Multiple Intelligence Survey instrument in assessing the student’s multiple intelligences. The researcher crafted a 40-item multiple choice test covering the topics of undefined terms in geometry, angles, polygons, and quadrilaterals to assess the level of critical thinking skills of student-respondents. Both independent and dependent t-tests were utilized to determine the significant difference between the pre-test and post-test results of the experimental and control groups. Based on the findings, before exposing students to differentiated instructions, their level of reasoning skill was an apprentice for both flexible grouping and curriculum compacting. However, their levels of problem-solving skills were apprentice and novice, for flexible grouping and curriculum compacting, respectively. After using differentiated instruction, the student’s level of critical thinking skills from both groups was at a proficient level. Findings also showed that the mean pretest and mean posttest scores of each group of respondents were significantly different for both measures of critical thinking skills. This suggested that the two forms of differentiated instruction that were employed in this study are effective in developing students’ critical thinking skills, especially in discussing basic concepts of Geometry. This experimental study found out that flexible grouping and curriculum compacting as forms of differentiated instruction can significantly improve the critical thinking skills of the students, then it is recommended that teachers may utilize flexible grouping and curriculum compacting as forms of differentiated instruction in Geometry.
Keywords: differentiated instruction, curriculum compacting, flexible grouping, critical thinking skill, problem-solving, reasoning