Games for Teaching Mathematics in Nigeria: What Happens to Pupils’ Engagement and Traditional Classroom Dynamics?
Mathematics education is under threat in Nigeria. Young people report it as boring and difficult; teachers say young people are not engaged, even when they are achieving academically. Meanwhile, digital games are a part of everyday childhood. They are now being used to benefit young people academically as they have been shown to help motivate reluctant learners. This action research case study aims to determine if a digital educational game can stimulate interest and engagement with mathematics. SpeedyRocket, a digital educational game was designed and used in the classroom in three schools in rural Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria to teach pupils about estimation, as part of the mathematics curriculum. The evaluation was carried out with the pupils through a combination of a pupils' mathematics attitude questionnaire, and classroom observation. The results demonstrate significant improvements in attitude to and engagement with mathematics across the target group, after two weeks of using SpeedyRocket. Learners became co-creators of their own knowledge, sharing ideas, forging new learning pathways, competing, and cooperating with one another. Furthermore, the findings from this study provide insights into the changes that occur in the dynamics of the traditional classroom through the introduction of digital technology, especially in settings where it has not been previously used.