• Johnson M. ChangeiywoEmail author
  • P. W. Wambugu
  • S. W. Wachanga


Teaching method is a major factor that affects students’ motivation to learn physics. This study investigated the effects of using mastery learning approach (MLA) on secondary school students’ motivation to learn physics. Solomon four non-equivalent control group design under the quasi-experimental research method was used in which a random sample of 4 co-educational secondary schools was obtained in Kieni East Division of Nyeri District in Kenya. The 4 schools were randomly put into 4 groups. Each school provided 1 Form Two class for the study; hence, a total of 161 students were involved. The students were taught the same physics content. In the experimental groups, MLA teaching method was used while the regular teaching method was used in the control groups. The researchers trained the teachers in the experimental groups on the technique of MLA before the treatment. Two groups were pre-tested prior to the implementation of the MLA treatment. At the end of treatment period, all the 4 groups were post-tested using a validated Students’ Motivation Questionnaire, whose reliability coefficient was 0.76. Data were analysed using the t test, analysis of variance and analysis of covariance. The results of the study show that students exposed to MLA have significantly higher motivation than those taught through regular methods. Gender has no significant influence on their motivation to learn physics. The researchers conclude that MLA is an effective teaching method in motivating students; hence, physics teachers should incorporate it in teaching.


mastery learning approach regular teaching method secondary school physics students’ motivation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ary, D., Jacobs, L. C. & Razavien, S. (1979). Introduction to research in education. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  2. Block, J. H. (1971). Mastery learning. Theory and practice. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, B. S. (1984). All our children learning. New York: McGraw-hill.Google Scholar
  4. Buntting, C., Coll, K. R. & Campbell, A. (2006). Student views of concept mapping use in introductory tertiary biology classes. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 4, 641–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Catsambis, S. (1995). Gender, race, ethnicity and science education in the middle grades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32(3), 243–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cook, T. D. & Campbell, S. (1979). Quasi experimentation: Design and analysis issues for field settings. New York: Rand McNally.Google Scholar
  7. Coolican, H. (1994). Research methods in psychology (2nd ed.). London: Hodder and Sloughlon Education.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, D. & Sorrell, J. (1995). Mastery learning in public schools. PSY 702. Conditions of learning. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University.Google Scholar
  9. Deci, E. L. (1971). Effects of externally mediated rewards on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 105–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self determination in human behaviour. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  11. Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well being across life domains. Canadian Psychology, 49, 14–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dembo, M. H. (1994). Applying education psychology. White Plains, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  13. Fraenkel, J. R. & Wallen, N. E. (2000). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  14. Gall, M. D., Borg, W. R. & Gall, J. P. (1996). Educational research. An introduction (6th ed.). New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  15. Githua, B. N. & Mwangi, J. G. (2003). Student mathematics self-concept and motivation to learn mathematics. Relationship and gender differences among Kenya’s secondary-school students in Nairobi and Rift valley province. International Journal of Educational Development, 23, 487–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graham, J. M. (2006). Congeneric and essentially tau-equivalent estimates of score reliability: What they are and how to use them. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66, 930–944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guskey, T. & Gates, S. (1986). Synthesis of research on the effects of mastery learning in elementary and secondary classrooms. Educational Leadership, 4(8), 73–80.Google Scholar
  18. Hancock, D. (2004). Cooperative learning and peer orientation effects on motivation and achievement. Journal of Educational Research, 97(3), 159–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hohn, R. L. (1995). Classroom learning and teaching. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
  20. Joyce, B. & Weil, M. (1980). Models of teaching. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  21. Kenya Institute of Education, (K.I.E.). (2002). Secondary education syllabus. Nairobi, Kenya: Self.Google Scholar
  22. Kenya National Examinations Council (2008). Year 2007 Kenya certificate of secondary education examination report. Nairobi, Kenya: Self.Google Scholar
  23. Keraro, F. N., Wachanga, S. W. & Orora, W. (2006). Effects of cooperative concept mapping teaching approach on secondary school students’ motivation in biology in Gucha District. Kenya International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 5, 111–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Muni, E. K., Miano, P. M., Njeremani, D., Waweru, C. K., Muriithi, W., et al (2006). Secondary physics teachers handbook. Nairobi, Nairobi: Kenya Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  25. Rutheford, A. (2001). Introducing ANOVA and ANCOVA a GLM approach. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations; classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shihusa, H. & Keraro, F. N. (2009). Using advance organizers to enhance students’ motivation in learning biology. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 5(4), 413–420.Google Scholar
  28. Trochim, W. M. K. (2006). Research methods knowledge based (2nd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Atomic Dog.Google Scholar
  29. Wachanga, S. W. (2002). Relative effects of cooperative class experiment teaching method on secondary school students’ motivation to learn chemistry in Nakuru District, Kenya. Zimbabwe Journal of Educational Research, 14(3), 229–253.Google Scholar
  30. Wambugu, P. W. & Changeiywo, J. M. (2008). Effects of mastery learning approach on secondary school students’ physics achievement. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 4(3), 293–302.Google Scholar
  31. Zhaoyao, M. (2002). Physics education for the 21st century: Avoiding a crisis. Physics Education, 37(1), 18–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johnson M. Changeiywo
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. W. Wambugu
    • 1
  • S. W. Wachanga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Curriculum, Instruction & Educational ManagementEgerton UniversityEgertonKenya

Personalised recommendations