# 6th International Forum on Engineering Education (IFEE 2012) Abdul Halim Abdullah a,*, Effandi Zakaria b. Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi

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2 5 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) 5 66 Keywords: tric thinking; degree of of Van Hiele levels.. Introduction Geometry is an important branch of mathematics and it has been identified as a basic mathematical skill [-]. According to Sherard [4] and Hong [], geometry is important for students as it is also applied in other branches of mathematics. For instance, geometry is applied in other subjects such as engineering drawing, geometry drawing and so on. There are basically two objectives of geometry learning, which are to develop logical thinking skill and to develop spatial intuitions that refer to how one views space and area in real world [5]. NCTM [] has outlined four main objectives of geometry teaching and learning in which the session starts as early as preschool level up to grade. The objectives are to allow students to ) analyse characteristics and properties of two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes and develop mathematical arguments about geometric relationships, ) specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems, ) apply transformations and use symmetry to analyse mathematical situations, and 4) use visualisation spatial reasoning, and geometric modelling to solve problems. According to PPK [6], geometry is an important component in the secondary school mathematics curriculum. Knowledge and skills in this area and their application to related topics are useful in everyday life. Improving understanding in this area helps pupils to solve problems in geometry effectively. At the same time, pupils can also improve their visual skills and appreciate the aesthetic value of shapes and space. Therefore, geometry and spatial skill are interconnected. Spatial skill has a strong relationship with engineering, vocational, and occupational domains [7-9]. According to McGee [0] as cited by Mohd Safarin and Muhammad Sukri [] and intelligence. Spatial ability is also among the important abilities in subjects related to engineering such as Engineering Drawing and Civil Engineering. Among the concepts taught in one of the Form Four Engineering Drawing subjects named Geometric Drawing of Tangents are: Tangents, Ellipse, and Parabola; Polygons; Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Angles; and Circles. For Geometric Drawing of Blocks, it covers the isometric concepts of Oblique, Auxiliary View, and Orthographics []. In fact, almost all the concepts in Engineering Drawing are learnt by students as geometry topics in the mathematics curriculum. In the Malaysian education system, students are exposed formally to the geometry concepts for two- and three-dimensional shapes as early as in their Year One in the topic of Two- and Three-Dimensional Shapes []. At this stage, students are introduced to various two- and three-dimensional geometry shapes and the relationship between them. The introduction to these geometry-related topics is emphasised even more in the syllabus when the students are at the secondary school level and this is evident as 4% of the 60 topics in the Integrated Curriculum for Secondary School (KSBM) of Mathematics from Form One until Form Five consist of geometry topics [4]. However, the current teaching and learning practice in classroom does not reflect the importance of geometry in lives of students, and the emphasis that is supposed to be given to geometry topics in mathematics curriculum. Teacher teaching practice is still bound to the traditional approach that is teacher-centred [5-8]. According to Wan Mohd Rani [9], in terms of teachers teaching practice and attitude, more often teachers who teach mathematics use the blackboard to explain certain theorems, definitions, and concepts, and to show the solutions for the related problems [0]. Students are commonly fed methods and algorithms, which are then memorised without they actually understand the concepts []. Geometry learning should emphasise hands-on and mind-on approaches []. conducted in 999, 00, and 007 [5-7]. From the published reports, we can see similar trends. In the study conducted in 999, majority of the students stated that a lot of time is consumed in mathematics class listening to the concepts explained by the teacher [5]. In the study conducted in 00, the highest percentage of time taken by the students in mathematics class within a week was for listening to the lecture delivered by the teacher and for solving mathematical problems with guide from the teachers. These were followed by solving mathematical problems without the guidance from the teacher and revising the homework given [6]. In the study conducted in

3 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) , the highest percentage of time taken by the students in mathematics class was for listening to the lecture delivered by the teacher, which scored % and was followed by solving mathematical problems with the guide from the teacher, which scored 8%, and finally there was the discussion of mathematical problems with guidance from the teacher and the solving mathematical problems without the guidance, which both scored the same percentage, % [7]. In TIMSS 007 report [7], the percentage of Form Two students in Malaysia stating that they memorised formulae and procedures as an activity that consumed half or more of the time in mathematics class was as high as 69%. This was followed by explaining the answers (6%), relating the subjects learnt with daily life (55%), solving the problems on their own (48%), and identifying procedures to solve complex problems (6%). Furthermore, the percentages of students memorising the formulae and procedures, applying facts, concepts, and procedures to solve routine questions, and explaining answers, as reported by the teacher, were high compared to other activities, which are 58%, 65%, and 75%, respectively. y TIMSS that were conducted in 999, 00, and 007 [5-7]. From the published reports, we can see similar trends. In the study conducted in 999, majority of the students stated that a lot of time is consumed in mathematics class listening to the concepts explained by the teacher [5]. In the study conducted in 00, the highest percentage of time taken by the students in mathematics class within a week was for listening to the lecture delivered by the teacher and for solving mathematical problems with guide from the teachers. These were followed by solving mathematical problems without the guidance from the teacher and revising the homework given [6]. In the study conducted in 007, the highest percentage of time taken by the students in mathematics class was for listening to the lecture delivered by the teacher, which scored % and was followed by solving mathematical problems with the guide from the teacher, which scored 8%, and finally there was the discussion of mathematical problems with guidance from the teacher and the solving mathematical problems without the guidance, which both scored the same percentage, % [7]. In TIMSS 007 report [7], the percentage of Form Two students in Malaysia stating that they memorised formulae and procedures as an activity that consumed half or more of the time in mathematics class was as high as 69%. This was followed by explaining the answers (6%), relating the subjects learnt with daily life (55%), solving the problems on their own (48%), and identifying procedures to solve complex problems (6%). Furthermore, the percentages of students memorising the formulae and procedures, applying facts, concepts, and procedures to solve routine questions, and explaining answers, as reported by the teacher, were high compared to other activities, which are 58%, 65%, and 75%, respectively.. -Based Learning In the field of geometry, the best and most well-defined model for student levels of thinking is based Van [,4]. The levels are visualisation, analysis, informal deduction, formal deduction, and rigor. geometric shapes. The second level in the model is known as analysis level where students are able to identify the properties of certain shapes. The third level in the model is informal deduction where students are able to comprehend the relation between shapes and create the relationships. The fourth level in the model is formal deduction. At this level, students can appreciate the meaning and importance of deduction and the role of come to understand how to work in an axiomatic system. They are able to make more abstract deductions. which is informal deduction [5-8]. However, the geometry learning method that is done through memorisation and recall, and that is teachercentred cannot help students to enhance their level of geometric thinking [9]. This is in line with Abdul Halim dan Mohini [0] who states that the traditional geometry learning method does not encourage students to use their reasoning, which consequently makes it difficult for them to achieve the higher levels of geometric thinking as proposed by Van Hiele. Furthermore, according to Noraini [], Van Hiele contends that by using the traditional approach, level of geometric thinking of secondary school students will not be at the desired level. The

5 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) Objectives of the Study study strives to improve the teaching and learning process of geometry topics. This study specifically aims at at the level of geometric thinking of Form Two students. Level Level First learning session Second learning session Information Guided Orientation Explicitation Free Orientation Integration Information Guided Orientation Explicitation Free Orientation Integration Fig.. Phases of Learning Geometry 4. Methodology of the Study A quasi-experimental non-equivalent pretest-posttest control group design was used in this study. Ninety-four Form Two students were involved in this study, and they were divided into two groups, namely the control group medium. On the other hand, the control group learned the same topic using conventional methods. Ten students consisting of 5 students from each group were randomly chosen to be interviewed to identify their initial level of geometric thinking. The teaching and learning process was done within six weeks. After the teaching and learning process ended, the ten students were interviewed again to identify their final level of geometric thinking. Data collection in this study was done using an interview method. This qualitative method was conducted to interview method has been demonstrated by many researchers to be the most effective method to determine the level of geometric thinking, as it provides in-depth information about how the students think compared to other methods [5,4]. According to Atebe [4], the interview method is used to identify the levels of geometric thinking, as tests using pen and paper can not provide sufficient information about their levels. By using an interview method, the students have an opportunity to express their thoughts interactively during the interview sessions. Furthermore, according to Dindyal [4], the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods such that in interview can provide more accurate information about the level of geometric thinking. Other than that, by using the interview method, researchers can compare the answers given by the students on the same tasks [44]. The items used in the interview were those found in Van Hiele Geometry Test (VHGT), which was developed in a study by Usiskin [7]. The researcher has obtained permission from the developer to use the instrument. The Malay version of the items were obtained from a study by Tay [5]. However, the researcher only used the items from the first level to the third level, as many previous studies have shown that secondary inking. The distribution of the interview items is as shown in Table.

6 56 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) 5 66 Table. Distribution of the interview items Item Level of question Level - visualisation Level - visualisation Level - analysis 4 Level - analysis 5 Level - informal deduction 6 Level - visualisation 7 Level - visualisation 8 Level - analysis 9 Level - analysis 0 Level - informal deduction To identify the degree and level of geometric thinking of the students involved in this study, the researcher used the method proposed by Gutierrez [4]. The pre- and post-interviews from the students were transcribed first. Based on the answers given in the interviews, their level of geometric thinking was determined and the vectors were assigned based on the description shown in Appendix A. As proposed by Gutierrez [4], answers from the students who were at transition level, which is the level between two levels, were determined as being higher level. This was because those answers indicated that the students, to a certain degree of, came very close to achieving that particular higher level. Next, referring to Appendix B, each answer was assigned to one of the eight types of answers, depending on the mathematical accuracy and complete degree of reasoning. Finally, the degree of for a given level that was obtained by the students was determined by a vector quantity (level, type) suitable for all the items answered at that particular level. After the suitable vector quantity (level, type) for all the items answered in that particular level had been level and for each student based in the weight value assigned to each type of answer. The weight values are value was determined based on Figure. No Low Intermediate High Complete Fig.. Degrees of of a Van Hiele level 5. Data Analysis As mentioned earlier, ten students were randomly selected from each groups, with five students from both the control group and the treatment group. The profiles of the students are shown in Table.

8 58 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) 5 66 figure of a rectangle. Therefore, a (, 7) vector was assigned to him for item one as he was able to draw a Fig. 4. Rectangle drawn by Student F Item two represents a second level item. The item requires the student to explain the properties of a rectangle. Student F managed to explain the properties of a rectangle as much detail as possible. For the answers, (, 7) and (, 7) vectors were assigned to him. for a rectangle, all its interior angles are 90. Its opposite sides are parallel. Its opposite sides also have the same length. Its diagonal lines also have the same length. The sum of angles is 60. I think those are pretty much like that In item five, which represented the third level of geometric thinking, informal deduction, the student was asked whether rectangle was a I agree Some of the properties of a rectangle can be found in a parallelogram. In terms of the bisection of diagonal lines, the opposite lines have the same length, the opposite sides are also same The means for first level, second level, and third level of geometric thinking were calculated before the degree of his level of geometric thinking was determined. Table 5. Weight for the final level of geometric thinking of Student F Level Mean Degree one Complete two Complete three Complete Table 6 summarises the initial level of geometric thinking of the control group and the treatment group. The table shows that student A and B attained a complete on the visualisation level. However, they showed low on the analysis level, and they did not reach the informal deduction level. Student C attained an intermediate level for the first level, low level for the second level and did not score on the third level. Student D showed complete of the first level, an intermediate level for the second and did not score on the third. Student E attained a high rating for the first level, a low rating for second level and did not reach the third level. For the students in the treatment group, it was found that four students, namely Student F, G, H, and I, showed complete of visualisation level. Student J showed a high on the first level, while Student F showed a low on the analysis level. As for Student F, G, H and J, they were low on the analysis level, and they did not reach the informal deduction level. However, Student I managed to show an intermediate rating at the second level and a high rating at the third.

9 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) Table 6. Initial levels of geometric thinking for control and treatment groups Control group Student A Student B Student C Student D Student E Treatment Group Student F Student G Student H Student I Student J Level of geometric thinking Level of geometric thinking No No Low Low Intermediate Intermediate High High Complete Complete Fig. 5. Scatter plot for the degree of of the initial geometric thinking level for the students in control group Fig. 6. Scatter plot for the degree of of the initial geometric thinking level for the students in treatment group

10 60 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) 5 66 Based on Figures 5 and 6 above, it can be seen that both groups are balanced for the of geometric thinking. The majority of the students attained a complete of the first level of geometric thinking, which is visualisation. Almost all the students in both groups showed a low of second level, while almost all failed to reach the third level of informal deduction. Table 7 summarises the final level of geometric thinking of the students in both the control group and treatment groups. As shown in the table, almost all the students, namely Student B, C, D, and E, attained a high for first level thinking, with only Student A attaining complete of first level. Student A, B, C, and D showed an intermediate for second level. One student showed a high rating for second level. However, none of the students in the control group scored on the third level. For the students in treatment group, Student F, I and J managed to reach the three levels of visualisation, analysis and informal deduction. Student G showed a complete of first level, an intermediate of second level, and did not each the third level. Student H managed to attain a complete of first level, and a level high for the second and third level of geometric thinking. Table 7. Final levels of geometric thinking for control group and treatment group Control group Level of geometric thinking Student A Student B Student C Student D Student E Treatment group Level of geometric thinking Student F Student G Student H Student I Student J No No Low Low Intermediate Intermediate High High Complete Complete Based on Figure 7 and 8, it can be seen that there is a significant difference in the final levels of geometric thinking between the two groups. Students in the control group showed improvement in the first and second levels, although there were two students who showed degradation from a complete after first level.

11 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) However, all the students showed improvement in the second, analysis level, at which they improved from a low and an intermediate level to an intermediate and a high level. None of the students in the control group attained the third level, which is informal deduction. On the other hand, the students in the treatment group showed improvement for all the three levels, with all of them attaining complete of visualisation level. One student attained an intermediate, while another one scored a high Fig.7. Scatter plot for the degree of of the final geometric thinking level for the students in control group Fig.8. Scatter plot for the degree of of the final geometric thinking level for the students in treatment group of second level. Three other students attained a complete second level. As for the third level, only one student did not manage to score that particular level. The rest of the students managed to attain a complete and a high rate for the third level of geometric thinking. 6. Discussion and Conclusion From the analysis, it has been foun first level of geometric thinking, which is visualisation, as their initial level of geometric thinking. This finding is parallel with the the finding obtained in the study conducted by Chong [] and Noraini [] who find that majority of the students achieved the visualisation level of geometric thinking before intervention was introduced. This was highly probable because the visualisation level is the most basic level and does not involve the argumentative ability in students but is more about their perspective [46]. At this level, students recognise and identify certain geometric shapes based on the overall entity of the objects [,8,47]. This can be with the assistance of the lesson about the essentials of shapes, which the students have been exposed to in primary school [] geometric thinking in both the control and treatment groups. This means that the students in both control and treament groups showed improvement in their levels of geometric thinking after the teaching and learning process. However, after further in-depth analysis, it was also found that majority of the students in control group can only improve their level of geometric thinking from the first level, visualisation to the second level of geometric thinking, analysis. On the other hand, students in the treatment group showed improvement from the first level of geometric thinking to the second level of geometric thinking, and some of the students even showed improvement from the first level of geometric thinking to the third level of geometric thinking, informal deduction. These findings substantiate geometry using the GSP software play an important role in assisting students to advance to a higher level. These phases include information, guided orientation, explicitation, free orientation, and integration. The findings of this study are in accordance with previous studies that were conducted by [9,5,9,48,49,50]. This study has also found that improvement from one level of geometric thinking to a higher level of geometric thinking

13 Abdul Halim Abdullah and Effandi Zakaria / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 0 ( 0 ) References [] Hoffer, A.R. & Hoffer, S.A.K. Geometry and visual thinking. In T. R. Post (Eds.). Teaching mathematics in grades K-8: Researchbased mathematics, nd. ed. (pp. 49-7). Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 99. [] Hong, L. T. Van Hiele levels and achievement in writing geometry proofs among form 6 students.. Universiti Malaya [] National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston: VA [4] Sherard, W.H. Why is Geometry a Basic Skill?. Mathematics Teacher, 98, 9-. [5] National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Position Statements On Basic Skills. Mathematics Teacher, 976, 7, [6] Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum. Spesifikasi Kurikulum Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah Matematik Tingkatan. Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. 0. [7] Koch, D.S. The effects of solid modeling and visualization on technical problem solving. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg [8] Bertoline, G. R. & Wiebe, E. N. Technical Graphics Communication ( ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. 00. [9] Gillespie 995 [0] McGee, M. G. Human spatial abilities: psychometric studies and environmental, genetic, hormon and neurological influences. Psychological Bulletin, 979, 86(5), [] Mohd Safarin & Muhammad Sukri. Kajian awal terhadap kebolehan ruang pelajar-pelajar pengajian kejuruteraan di sekolah-sekolah menengah teknik. In Zaidatun Tasir. (Ed.), Smart Teaching & Learning: Re-engineering ID, Utilization and Innovation of Technology: Convention proceedings of the st International Malaysian Educational Technology Convention 007 at the Sofitel Palm Resort, Senai, 007, pp Kuala Lumpur: Bahagian Teknologi Pendidikan. [] Azaman Ishar, Ramlee Mustapha,Shafie Shamuddin & Mohd Shahril Othman. Kajian tinjauan terhadap permasalahan pengajaran dan pembelajaran lukisan kejuruteraan menurut persepsi guru. Paper presented at the Seminar Kebangsaan Pendidikan Teknikal dan 009. [] Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum. Kurikulum Standard Sekolah Rendah. Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia. 00. [4] Pusat Perkembangan Kurikulum. Sukatan pelajaran kurikulum bersepadu sekolah menengah. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia, 000. [5] Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Gonzalez, E.J., Gregory, K.D., Garden, R.A. & O'Connor, K.M. TIMSS 999 international mathematics report. Boston: Boston College, International Study Center [6] Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Gonzalez, E.J., Gregory, K.D., Garden, R.A. & O'Connor, K.M. TIMSS 00 international mathematics report. Boston: Boston College, International Study Center. 004 `. [7] Mullis, I.V.S., Martin, M.O., Gonzalez, E.J., Gregory, K.D., Garden, R.A. & O'Connor, K.M. TIMSS 007 international mathematics report. Boston: Boston College, International Study Center. 008 [8] Noraini Idris. Exploring the effects of T-84 plus on achievement and anxiety in mathematics. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 006, (), [9] Wan Mohd. Rani Abdullah. Laporan Kajian: Keperluan Guru-guru Sekolah Rakan Dalam Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik. SEAMEO RECSAM Pulau Pinang [0] Wan Mohd Rani 999 [] Lee Cheok Leon, Rohani Ahmad Tarmizi, Ramlah Hamzah & Halimatun Halaliah Mokhtar. Pelaksanaan pengajaran pembelajaran secara kontekstual bagi matematik menengah: tinjauan di sekolah menengah teknik, Wilayah Persekutuan. In Ahmad Fauzi Mohd Ayub & Aida Suraya Md. Yunus (Eds.). Pendidikan Matematik & Aplikasi Teknologi, 009, (pp. 67-8). Serdang: Penerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia., Ahmad Izani Mohd. Ismail. Koh Hock Lye & Low Heng Chin (Eds.). Integrating technology in the mathematical sciences, 004, (pp. 45-5). Pulau Pinang: Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia. [] Battista, M. T. Learning geometry in a dynamic computer environment. Teaching Children Mathematics, 00, 8, 9.

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