Trash to Math: Integrating Environmental Education in Teaching Grade 8 Mathematics
Joneil B. Medina
Amelia T. Buan
Raph Jerson C. Managing
Medina, J., Buan, A. & Managing, R.J. (2018). Trash to math: Integrating environmental
education in teaching grade 8 mathematics. In M. Inprashitha, S. Rerkjaree, N.
Luanganggoon, P. Saenna, W. Patham & P. Janta (Eds.), 11th International Conference
on Educational Research: Innovations for Capacity Building and Networking (pp. 157-
172). Thailand: Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University.
Trash to Math: Integrating Environmental Education in
Teaching Grade 8 Mathematics
The purpose of this research is to document an attempt to integrate Environmental
Education concepts and skills in teaching rectangular coordinate system, linear equations in
two variables and slope in Grade 8. Three methods are combined in this integration:
interdisciplinary contextualization, inductive method of teaching and project based method to
address the problems of low learner engagement and undesirable behavior towards
environment. Results showed that there is no significant improvement in the learners’ scores.
However, the average ratings of their project are described as “good”, “satisfactory” and
“very satisfactory”. Furthermore, the learners perceived many aspects of the unit positively:
the contextualized lessons, the project and the way of teaching.
Keywords: Mathematics Teaching and Environmental Education
Contextualized approach of teaching mathematics is expected in teaching Mathematics
according to the K-12 framework for mathematics. This is geared toward the development of
critical thinking and problem solving skills among Filipino learners. Contextualization
includes the environment. In fact, the Department of Education has mandates on
implementing Environmental Education (EE) in all public education institutions (DepEd
Order No. 52, s. 2011). To this end, by the experience of the authors, integrating Mathematics
and EE is rarely practiced.
If the integration of EE have been actualized, there should have been a notable effect to
the learners’ behavior. Yet, in the case of Maria Cristina National High School, Sawali, Maria
Cristina, Iligan City, improper waste disposal is still quite rampant. A study of Ronau and
Karp (2001), entitled 3RZHU RYHU WUDVK LQWHJUDWLQJ PDWKHPDWLFV VFLHQFH DQG FKLOGUHQV
OLWHUDWXUH Results suggest that by integrating mathematics and science using experiential
project based approach yields favorable results in developing skills among the learners. By
allowing the learners to be engaged directly in collecting data, the learners develop
conceptual understanding of graphs and their interpretation.
Addressing environmental awareness is not the only component necessary for
integration. The teaching of mathematics is also considered. By assessing prior levels of
engagement among the learners through observation, the researchers noted that the learners
are accustomed to direct slow-paced instruction resulting to the development of passive
learning style as observed. Engagement is one of the long-listed problems in mathematics
instruction. It is often associated with motivation and pedagogy. One study in the Philippines
suggest that there is a way of increasing engagement among learners in mathematics
classroom. Bautista (2013) noted in his study that by presenting multiple-solution tasks in
teaching mathematics, even his rarely participating learner has been found to be actively
engaged in group and discussions.
To this end, the researchers wishes to increase environmental awareness and engagement
of the learners in teaching linear equations and slope among grade 8 learners at Maria
Cristina National High School.
Contextualized teaching of mathematics is one of the means in deepening learners’
understanding of mathematical concepts. Furthermore, to develop the learners’ critical
thinking, they should be given opportunity to build their own knowledge through active
learning. However, contextualization and active learning is not often practiced in many public
secondary schools. Thus, in the particular case of Maria Cristina National High School, this
study documents the integration of EE into teaching linear equations and slope through
project based approach.
In particular, this study wishes to answer the following questions:
1. What are the activities in the unit and how are they contextualized?
2. Is there a significant difference on the learners’ performance in pretest and posttest?
3. What is the perception of the learners about:
a) Unit implementation
after the unit implementation?
4. What are the difficulties encountered by the learners during the unit implementation?
5. What is the quality of the learners’ outputs?
Action Research Framework
This framework (Fig. 1) describes the intended set-up for the unit implementation. Two
main problems are addressed in this study (in dark green boxes). Project based method is the
primary vehicle of integrating EE and Mathematics with sub-approaches: Mini-Lesson and
Inductive Method of Teaching Mathematics. Each sub-approach is to be implemented in the
context of openness and collaboration. These methods are hoped to develop decision making
on solution proposal, problem solving skills and reflection. These skills would hopefully
address the problems.
Description of Innovation
As prescribed in the K-12 curriculum guide for mathematics, mathematical concepts
should be taught within contexts relevant to the learners, one of which is their environment.
In teaching the unit of slope and linear equation, EE is integrated by contextualizing
problems and situations based on the 1) locality (the school), 2) environmental issues (local
and global) and 3) developing environmental investigation skills through the project. The EE
topic of solid waste issue is tackled through the different situations and problems.
To develop the reasoning skills and shift learners to active learning, in general the study
utilizes inductive approach of teaching mathematical concepts. Classroom instruction starts
with presenting a situation or a problem whereby the learners generate multiple ideas and
solutions. The ideas and solutions are then processed by the teacher through questioning
leading the learners to make connections among the concepts discussed, hence, building their
own knowledge. Furthermore, the teacher throws how and why questions to develop higher
order thinking skills. It is important to note that the teacher becomes a facilitator of learning.
Project based approach have been found effective in engaging learners to solve real life
problems and simultaneously learning important academic content (e.g. Ronau and Karp,
2001). By embedding the two previously discussed innovations in the whole context of
project based approach, the unit is designed such that at the end of the unit, the learners will
by themselves propose a realistic solution to address the unit question “How can you
minimize the incidence of improper waste disposal [in their school]?” The level of PBL
implementation is not at its 100%, according to Krajcik & Blumenfeld (2006), PBL is
composed of the following features: 1) Driving Question/s; 2) Situated Inquiry; 3)
Collaborations; 4) Using Technology Tools to support learning and 5) Creation of Artifacts.
Operationally, Project Based Approach in this study is an approach of teaching the unit with
the aim of creating a project proposal at the end of the unit. Here, there exist a driving
question, collaboration, the use of technology and creation of artifacts (a product).
The strategic combination of these three innovative approaches form part of this study’s
intervention to address the problems of low engagement and inappropriate behavior towards
This study is a descriptive action research utilizing qualitative-quantitative methods of
describing the data. With the aim of describing the process and implementation of a
mathematics unit with EE, qualitative data will be utilized to paint a picture of the classroom
interactions during implementation. The qualitative data will be taken from learner
interviews, field notes and audio-video recordings. Quantitative methods of describing data
will also be used to describe frequencies, scores and quality of learner outputs.
The study is implemented at Maria Cristina National High School, Sawali, Maria
Cristina under the division of Iligan City, province of Lanao del Norte, Region 10.
This study utilizes researcher made materials and adopted some others. The following
instruments have been used in this study:
8QLW3ODQThis unit plan is made by the researchers in conjunction with the Department
of Education’s standards. This unit addresses four competencies listed under the first grading
period of mathematics 8.
'LVFRXUVH *XLGHV Discourse guides are detailed guides in conducting the classroom
discussion. Included in the discourse guides are the situations or problems to be presented,
the possible ideas and answers of the learners and the development of concepts addressed.
This guides also includes the evaluation and assignment for each lesson.
5XEULFVThere are many rubrics adopted for the study. These are rubrics for slide show
presentation, oral presentation, group work assessment and peer and assessment rubrics. All
adopted materials’ contributors are duly referenced, and the contents are revised in
accordance to the need of the study.
,QWHUYLHZ*XLGHAt the end of the implementation, all learners, by group, in each class
will be interviewed for purposes of extracting their perception and views.
$FKLHYHPHQW 7HVWThe achievement test is an adopted test from the standard material
endorsed by the Department of Education. Only select items will be considered as the
competencies addressed in the adopted test are more than what is addressed in the unit
The subjects of the study will comprise 2 whole Grade 8 sections of Maria Cristina
National High School. Research subjects are purposefully selected in favor of the
Originally, the unit plan is composed of six parts: Getting Started, Coordinate System
and Lines: Data and Graph, Analysis of Trends in Graphs, Modeling Trends Mathematically:
Slope, Understanding Environmental Impact of Waste Disposal and Wrapping up the unit.
And, it addresses four mathematics standards for grade 8: Introduction to Coordinate System,
Coordinate System and its uses, Modeling Linear Equation and Slope with EE integration on
Issues of Solid Waste Disposal. The main goal of the unit is that the learners will investigate
their immediate surrounding by gathering data that is involved in solid non-biodegradable
waste. For each standard, a Discourse guide is developed to guide the teacher in the
7HDFKHUPDGHYLGHRGetting started with the unit, the teacher introduces a video on
improper waste disposal. This video is 2 minutes long and is made using pictures
taken at the school itself. It partly documents parts of the school showing incidence of
improper waste disposal during its foundation day celebration. Compared to a generic video
on improper waste disposal, this video was made very relevant as the learners are very
familiar with the school and the event shown (see Figure 4). To jump start the unit, the
teacher throws questions related to the video to generate ideas and lead them to the driving
question of the unit, ‘how can you minimize the incidence of improper waste disposal’.
&RQWH[WXDOL]HG 3UREOHP ,QWURGXFLQJ WKH FRRUGLQDWH V\VWHP To introduce the first
topic, a task is given to the learners by group. This task involves locating certain parts of the
school that may be a potential paste producer, at the same time, the learners will also locate a
place where they can properly deposit them:
The learners are to work by group. And each group will present their answers on the
board. The class will identify which place in the school is frequently identified as the top
contributor to waste and they will reason out why is this so. Second, the teacher, through
questioning, shall establish the concept of location and will extend the discussion on
describing locations relative to a fixed point. To further the efficiency of describing locations,
the teacher introduces the local map overlaid with a grid. The learners will then trace paths
from a fixed point (the basketball court) to the canteen. With their paths different from one
group to another, the teacher will facilitate the discussion, such that the learners realize that
the paths are all equivalent to a generic path defined by <no. of steps> right or left, and <no.
of steps> up or down or vice versa. The teacher shall further practice the learners with other
locations found in the local map with grid.
&RRUGLQDWHV\VWHP6WDQGDUGL]DWLRQAfter the learners describe certain locations in the
school given the assumed grid and steps, the skill will be firmed up by a follow-up task that
will become a springboard for discussing the mechanics in plotting point and identifying
coordinate in the coordinate system. This problem is contextualized based on the locality of
the school and most of the learners’ local addresses. In this problem, the learners practice
identifying ‘coordinates’ given an assumed ‘origin’.
6WDUWHU6XUYH\A starter Survey is assigned to the learners, days prior the discussion of
this discourse guide. This assignment serves as a model for the problem to be introduced in
this discourse. The survey requires each group to track one kind of non-biodegradable
garbage improperly disposed around the area assigned to them, be it inside the classroom or
outside the classrooms. Each day as the learners collect their data, they are required to report
to the teacher and let the teacher sign the form given to them.
&RQWH[WXDOL]HG 3UREOHP RQ WKH FRQFHSWXDO GHULYDWLRQ RI VORSH The problem is
contextualized to the school. It talks about a learner in Maria Cristina National High School
who had a project in her Scouting subject, monitoring paper waste in the school. It presents a
set of data collected each day and its daily cumulative totals. The learners are tasked to give a
prediction on the missing entry after a series of data is given. Furthermore, the graph of the
problem serves as a model for them in the creation of their project.
The contextualized problem is processed where several possible answers are considered.
Answered may be arrived by making use of different patterns and any “logic” sensible for the
learners. However, to generalize a set of given data, getting the average is considered the best
basis for predicting the next data entry.
Upon establishing that the best way to predict the missing data entry is by getting the
average increase of the totals per day, the problem will be extended to predicting the entries
for the days beyond Friday of that week. The teacher then will challenge the learners to
describe the whole set of data by establishing the relationship between the totals per day and
the number of days, that is, (total number of days) = (average increase) *(number of days).
This equation is the first model of linear relationship relating the dependent variable y (the
totals) and the independent variable x (number of days). This will become the jumping board
for the next topic where the y - intercept is also discussed to formally introduce the slope-
intercept form y= mx + b.
Discourse 4 is composed of a series of exercise in determining “trends” using the prior
concept of fining constant increase or decrease. Then, a graph with increasing trend will be
introduced with a y-intercept not equal to zero (See Fig. 4). The learners will figure out how
to revise the previous model y = (average)*x. Each graph is also contextualized in a manner
relevant to environmental education and the learners. From these series of exercises of
graphs, slope will be conceptually derived as the ratio between the rise and the run.
Furthermore, the liner equation form, y=mx+b will be formally named as the slope-intercept
&RPSDULVRQRIVFRUHVIURPSUHWHVWDQGSRVWWHVWRI6HFWLRQ$The mean scores of the
pretest and post-test are 5.143 and 4.429, respectively. The mean difference of -0.714 shows
an increase in the means scores. As reflected in Table 1 the ρ-value of 0.1514 signifies that
there is no significant increase in the scores, since it is greater than α = 0.05.
Grade 8 Section A Respondents
Degrees of Freedom
*Not significant at = 0.05
&RPSDULVRQRIVFRUHVIURPSUHWHVWDQGSRVWWHVWRI6HFWLRQ%The mean scores of the
pretest and post-test are 5.526 and 6.000, respectively. The mean difference of 0.474 shows
an increase in the means scores. As reflected in Table 2 the ρ-value of 0.3114 signifies that
there is no significant increase in the scores, since it is greater than α = 0.05.
Grade 8 Section B Respondents
Degrees of Freedom
*Not significant at = 0.05
During the unit implementation, the learners underwent series of activities and class
discussions. After the unit implementation, during the interview, the learners noted the things
they liked about the class in general and the difficulties they encountered. Frequencies in this
aspect are not referring to the number of learners but the number of unique responses during
the group interview. The responses were clustered into themes as follows:
Best things that happened in the Unit Implementation
Solving problems (e.g. slope of a line, rectangular coordinate system,
finding the average, plotting activity)
Data gathering on the collection of garbage (non-biodegradable)
Creating and designing the PowerPoint Presentation (includes chart
Having Fun while Learning
Manners of Presenting a lesson (e.g. making it understandable to the
learners, discussing it well)
Presentation of Outputs (Oral and slideshow)
Collaboration (e.g. Teamwork, cooperation, sharing of ideas)
Use of Technology (e.g. laptops, projector)
The learners were interviewed on the things they liked during the implementation.
After transcribing, 53 individual responses were recorded. These responses were clustered
into 8 themes as listed above. Among the themes, solving problems was the most liked as it
was the most frequent response among the learners. This is followed by data gathering on the
collection of garbage with 13 responses and creating and designing the PowerPoint
Presentation which includes their chart making with 5 responses. While ‘having fun while
learning’, ‘manners of presenting a lesson’, ‘presenting the outputs’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘the
use of technology’ take the bottom places. Hence, it can be observed that the learners
positively perceived many of the aspects of the unit as implemented.
However, the learners also encountered many difficulties as listed above. Twenty
responses were classified under solving problems. Other problems relate to the language
used, skills (data gathering, creating graphs, reporting, making interpretation and
conclusions) and lastly, on groupings.
Difficulties happened during the Unit Implementation
Solving problems (Slope, word problems about tons, plotting, getting the
average, using the formula)
Use of English in writing and speaking
Creating Graphs in PowerPoint Presentation
Reporting and Oral Recitation
Making Interpretation and Conclusions
Not Having Teamwork
The learners are also asked about the lessons given to them. Their answers are clustered
into contextualization, content and dynamics of activities.
Lessons usually talk about waste and its disposal
Problems and tasks are contextualized in school
Lessons talk about environmental issues
The learners noticed that the lessons usually talk about wastes and that the problems are
usually in school setting. Lastly, learners noted that there are environmental issues tackled in
the lessons. Table 5 shows the frequency of the responses per theme. Other learners on the
other hand noted things that got their attention in the content of the lessons: ‘there are data,
charts and graphs used’, ‘… plotting and coordinate system’, ‘problems’ and ‘linear equation,
slope and its derivation’. Table 6 shows the frequency of responses of the learners clustered
under each theme.
There are data, charts and graphs used
We usually talk about plotting and coordinate system…
Lessons usually have problems
We usually talk about linear equations, slope and its derivation
Furthermore, some commented that activities are challenging, nice or interesting and
need team effort. Table 7 summarizes the frequency of responses classified under the theme,
Dynamics of Activities.
Dynamics of Activities
Activities are challenging
Activities are nice or interesting
Activities calls for team effort
As the intervention calls for an inductive means of teaching, the learners were asked of
their observations on the teacher’s way of teaching. Many learners noted that teaching style is
good, interesting and enjoyable. But some also said it was just ‘ok’ (see Table 8). Hence, it is
not surprising to note that there are also learners that said, there is no change in teaching
style, although some said that discussions are easier to understand, and more examples are
given (see Table 9).
Perception on Teaching style
Teaching style is “good”, “interesting” or “enjoyable”
Teaching style is “ok”
Change in Teaching Style
There is no change in teaching style
Discussions are easier to understand
The teacher has more examples and board works than before
Characteristics of the teacher
The teacher exerts effort
The teacher often asks many questions
The teacher often speaks in English
The teacher jokes to make us understand better
Out from the learner responses, the learners perceived that following characteristics the
teacher showed during the implementation as listed in the table above. Also, in the table
below, the learners perceived the following effects of the teaching style to their own learning
with respect to language use and participation.
Perceived Effects of the teaching style
Teacher’s use of the English language makes us learn and speak English
The teaching style encourages learner participation and study
Questioning is of paramount importance in utilizing inductive method of teaching.
The following themes (Tables 12 and 13) were generated from the learner responses: purpose
of questioning and perceived effects of questioning. The learners thought that the questions
were asked to make them understand, think and learn better and that questions are used to
clarify learning. As perceived by the learners, this in turn affects the learner as it increases
self-confidence, although some says it rattles them.
Purpose of Questioning
Questions are asked to make us understand, think and learn better
The teacher asks questions to clarify whether we understand or not
Perceived Effects of Questioning
Questioning increases self-confidence
Questioning also makes us feel “afraid”, "rattled", "ashamed to answer"
Questioning challenges us
The project as the over arching vehicle of delivering the lesson ought to make learning
more relevant and hands-on for the learners. Their perception is as follows:
Perception towards the project
The project made us learn some skills (typing, slide making)
Project is very good or enjoyable
Project is “ok”
Project is the best thing that happened in math class so far
Project is hard
Table 14 shows the general perception of the learners about the project. Four
responses reflected that the project made the learners learn some ICT-related skills, the same
number of responses reflected that the project was enjoyable and is ‘ok’. A few responses
noted that the project is the best thing so far and it is challenging. The learners particularly
noted that they liked the following about the project as their responses reflect in Table 15.
Things they liked most include slide show making and collection of data. The learners also
encountered several difficulties (Table 16) and shared their ways of how they address them
(Table 17). One of the most notable challenges is that of team work and collaboration and
this is often solved by making sacrifices (that is, working for the group even if others are not
helping), others say that it is addressed through the leader’s initiative. Following the problem
of cooperation is the supplication of ideas, construction of sentence and grammar. This
problem is often answered by the teacher’s guidance, questioning and encouragement,
exploration (trial and error) and teamwork.
Things liked about the project
Slide show making and processes (designing, encoding, inserting
Collection of garbage or data
Group work in general
Difficulties encountered during the project
Teamwork and cooperation is not always observed
Idea, sentence construction and grammar for the slides
Difficulty creating/inserting the graph/chart in the slide
Time allotment given the proximity of their homes
Collecting of garbage or data
Conflict arise among members
Ways of resolving difficulties and challenges
By teacher’s guidance, questioning and encouragement
Solved problems on cooperation by sacrificing for the group
Solved difficulties through the “leader’s” initiative
Solved difficulties in inserting chart in the slides by exploring (trials)
Solved problems in slide making by team work
Change in behavior towards the environment is one of the aims of this unit. The
following tables presents the learners’ perception of the environment: the changes, change of
actions, feelings and insights learned after the implementation. Twelve responses were
recorded noting about the change in the environment (Table 18). Half of the responses
indicates that there is more pollution now than before, a quarter saying that there are lesser
trees and another quarter of the answers reflect that there are no changes in the environment.
These perceptions led some of the learners to share further their thought on the changes of
their action (Table 19). Others also noted some changes in their feeling towards the
environment in the form of concern (Table20) and finally, Table 21 shows the insights of the
learners about the environment.
Changes in views about environment
There is more pollution now than before
There are lesser trees now than before
There are no changes in the environment
Changes in actions towards others and the environment
I try throwing garbage properly now than before
I try to inform others about proper waste disposal
Feelings that emerged toward the environment
Feeling concerned about the environment
There is a need to clean my surroundings
There is a need to plant trees
Learning and insights about the environment through the lessons
Realized the importance of environment
Reusing, recycling and composting are means to reduce garbage
Improper waste disposal destroys the environment
Segregation of garbage
Garbage can be a source of income
6OLGH VKRZ SUHVHQWDWLRQ The learners’ output is rated according to the following
components: 1) Context/text, 2) Background & Text, 3) Graphics, 4) Animations and
Transitions, 5) Spelling, punctuation & grammar and 6) Layout. Each component will bear
equal weight in the over all score, with the scale 1 as lowest and 5 as highest.
Figure 4 shows the summary of the scores garnered by the five groups in section A. The
least average score is 19.33 while the highest average score is 24.33. The groups generally
garnered good to very satisfactory average ratings. And among the different components,
Animations and Transitions the lowest average rating while Context/Text garnered the
4.33 4.67 4.67 4.33 4.33
3.67 4.67 5.00 3.67 3.67
AG1 AG2 AG3 AG4 AG5
Slide Show Rating (Section A)
Spelling, Punctuation& Grammar
Animation and Transitions
Background & Text
2.67 3.33 3.67 3.33 3.67
2.67 3.67 3.33 2.67 3.33
3.33 3.00 3.00 3.67
3.67 3.33 3.33
3.67 3.67 3.33
AG1 AG2 AG3 AG4 AG5
Oral Presentation Rating (Section A)
Participation in Team
Response to Audience Questions
Eyes & Body
The average ratings garnered among group ranges from 21.00 to 25.67 out of 35 points.
Organization; Eyes and Body and Explanation of Ideas and Information are components on
the average, were rated as ‘Good’. Voice; Presentation Aids and Participation in Team
Presentation were also rated ‘Satisfactory’. Only the component Response to Audience
Questions was rated ‘Very Satisfactory’.
On the section B, average ratings range from 22.00 to 29.67out of 35 points. Eyes and
Body; Response to Audience Questions and Participation in Team Presentation are
components rated as ‘Good’. And the rest of the components are rated ‘Very Satisfactory’.
3URSRVHGVROXWLRQVThe answers of the different groups in the proposed solutions are
also analyzed and are classified into themes and level of involvement. Themes generated for
the classification include 1) Information/Practice, 2) Recycling/Production and 3)
Organizing. In this classification, the nature of the proposal is considered. The scope of
‘Information and/Practice’ are proposals which involves information drive toward self and
others and the practice of virtue. ‘Recycling/Production’ involves any proposal that involves
a creation of an artifact, or the utility of such materials to meet a desired entrepreneurship.
Lastly, ‘Organizing’ category are proposals that involves the invocation of authority of a
system to institute change. The themes generated overlaps with other teams, for example,
AG1 proposed that they will tell the president of each zone to recycle plastic waste to make
plastic bag and make Christmas design. Hence, their proposal can be classified both under
Recycling/Production and Organizing.
Furthermore, these solutions are subdivided into levels of involvement: 1) Personal,
2) Small group, 3) School-wide and 4) Community Levels. Each level defines a certain extent
of involvement. Personal level involves the “me or we” group. Small group involves several
“classes” without encompassing the whole school. School-wide absolutely means any project
that is to be institute wide and lastly, Community level involves at the minimum, a Purok
level government to be involved.
Implication to teaching
There is evidence that contextualization of lessons proved to make the lesson more
relevant to the learners, especially if the lesson is contextualized locally. learners react
positively to documented events that they are familiar with and are used to motivate them to
start the unit. Furthermore, using the locality engages the learners due to its familiarity and
would prompt learners to reason more due to the existing reality. Hence, contextualization is
a strategy offering a richer learning experience to the learners as the K-12 curriculum (2016)
guide would put it.
Learners’ performance in the pretest and post test, indicates that there is no significant
increase in their scores. This might be addressed further by using a more reliable parallel tests
rather than repeating the pretest and the post test since as observed, during the post test, the
learners did not take the exam seriously.
Learners perceived the unit with much liking on solving problems, using if technology
collaboration. These perceptions from the learners imply that their learning experience
become richer due to the use of technological tools, problem solving situations and
collaborative activities. Specific perceptions such as the impact of teacher’s language is also
quite notable: ‘Teacher’s use of the English language makes us learn and speak English’.
This perception implies that the teacher should be consistent in language use for the learners
to practice the language better.
The learners perceived the inductive means of teaching, through questioning, quite
positively. learners thought that ‘questions are asked to make them … think better’ and that
questioning ‘increases their self confidence’ almost equally as ‘it rattles and challenges
them’. This perception implies that well planned and well structured questioning can increase
the learners’ thinking capacity while it challenges them it also increases their confidence over
time. This would support the results of various researcher on TMPS on learners’ critical
thinking or reasoning.
Project becomes a means for the learners to learn new skills while they enjoy the
activities. While there have been a number of difficulties the they encounter, they also
manage to resolve the challenges in various ways. This observed perception of the learners
would imply that the project exposed the learners to handle challenges such as initiating
motions in the group, handling uncooperative members, collaborative construction of ideas
and exploring unfamiliar situations or tasks. Hence, the project was a good avenue for the
learners to start learning some basic 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration
and perhaps, creativity and critical thinking. Hence, collaborative projects as prescribed in the
project-based learning method should really be encouraged in mathematics classroom.
Contextualizing the lessons with environment themes is also found to have an effect on
learner perception in terms of their changed perception and action towards the environment.
One notable response says ‘I try throwing garbage properly now than before’. This can either
be a reality or just the best thing to do (even if they are not doing it yet). But, in support to
this claim, there is also a feeling of concern towards the environment. Hence, at the very
least, the contextualization affected the way they think about the environment.
On the learners’ performance for the project, the learners performed well. Some at the
‘good’ level while most were as ‘satisfactory’ and ‘very satisfactory’ levels. Their artifacts
produced (the slides) were also rated ‘good’ to ‘very satisfactory’. Moreover, the learners’
proposed solutions have been analyzed and have yielded into some a matrix of category in
terms of its nature and its scope. It can be noted that three out of the 10 groups proposed
solutions that is organizing in nature encompassing school wide and community level. This
can only imply that prompting the learners to see real life problems through projects can
allow them to think deeply on solutions to the extent of proposing actions that are
‘legislative’ in nature. This can be associated with systems thinking which is also an
important skill in EE. Contextualization of EE into the projects makes it possible to create the
opportunity for the learners. Hence, EE can be effectively taught within other disciplines.
In conclusion, integrating Environmental Education to mathematics through
interdisciplinary conceptualization, inductive method of teaching and project based method
holds a potential in engaging the learners to meaningful learning experience. Though the
pretest and post test results did not yield to significant finding, it can be noted however, that
the learners performed ‘very satisfactorily’ in the final output and performance. The learners
also perceived many beneficial effects from the contextualization of the lessons, the teaching
method and the project itself.
The aims of engaging the learners in a mathematics class is well achieved and the desired
change in behavior towards the environment is also partially observed through their
perception and the observation of the implementer.
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