EFFECTIVENESS OF PEER MENTORING IN ENHANCING THE MATHEMATICAL PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS OF COLLEGE STUDENTS IN BICOL UNIVERSITY
The students’ performance in mathematics across levels in the country has been persistently low as shown by 2003 TIMMS results where the Philippines is ranked 41st among 45 countries (Mullis, Martin, Gonzalez & Chrostowski, 2004). An institutionalized peer-mediated academic support system can help in addressing the student’s academic needs and problems. The Institutionalized Peer Academic Assistance Program (I-PASS) in Mathematics was implemented to enhance the problem solving skills of 60 BEED students of BU College of Education with BSED Mathematics major students as mentors during the 1st Semester SY 2012- 2013. Data were gathered using parallel pre-test and posttest results in problem solving, documentary analysis, focus group discussions, interview and questionnaires for mentees, mentors, and concerned officials of the college. The student’s peer mentoring program was found effective in terms of enhancing the problem solving skills of both mentors and mentees whose test results showed a mean gain of 3.72 and 4.74, respectively. The t-test of the I-PASS and non-I-PASS participants’ posttest results in problem solving in Mathematics (t = 0.002484143, p<0.01) revealed a significant difference. Its features such as open to all students, free, voluntary, based on learning needs, used developmentally appropriate learning materials, individualized and group learning strategies, supervised by discipline experts, and based on pedagogical principles, were acceptable to all the stakeholders, contribute to make the program academically sound and valid, and help ensure its sustainability. The students’ participation in peer mentoring led to useful insights and favorable beneficial experiences. The university-wide implementation of I-PASS can help in proactively minimizing the students’ difficulties in mathematical problem solving.
Keywords: peer-mentoring, marginalized students, peer assisted learning, at risk students, student support system
Research and Development Center