Research Article

Developing in-service mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills to teach trigonometry: Using cooperative teaching and learning approach

Richard Kyere Asomah 1 * , Douglas Darko Agyei 1, Forster D. Ntow 1
More Detail
1 University of Cape Coast, GHANA* Corresponding Author
Contemporary Mathematics and Science Education, 4(1), 2023, ep23001,
Published Online: 15 October 2022, Published: 01 January 2023
OPEN ACCESS   588 Views   443 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


The study is aimed at enhancing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and skills of in-service mathematics teachers (IMTs) using cooperative teaching and learning approach (CTLA). A sequential multiple case study was employed to develop eight IMTs knowledge and skills to design, develop, and enact lessons in trigonometry. The lessons were anchored on CTLA in two phases of a professional development arrangement (PDA) initiated in the study. The analysis of classroom observation, interview, CTLA lessons and the independent sample t-test is suggestive of significant improvement in the IMTs PCK. Further, although, the IMTs were rooted in teacher-centered pedagogies and encountered challenges, they effectively incorporated CTLA as a pedagogical tool in the teaching and learning of trigonometry. As a result of which, IMTs exhibited an enhanced content knowledge. Implications and recommendations for effective PDA in incorporating CTLA as an innovative pedagogical strategy for the teaching of mathematics at high school are discussed.


Asomah, R. K., Agyei, D. D., & Ntow, F. D. (2023). Developing in-service mathematics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and skills to teach trigonometry: Using cooperative teaching and learning approach. Contemporary Mathematics and Science Education, 4(1), ep23001.


  1. Addae, B. D., & Agyei, D. D. (2018). High school studemts’ attitudes towards the study of mathematics and their perceived teachers’ teaching practices. European Journal of Educational and Development Psychology, 6(2), 1-14.
  2. Asomah K. R., Wilmot E.M., & Ntow, F. D (2018) What is happening in Ghanaian junior high school mathematics classrooms: A look at students’ perception. The Oguaa Educator, 12(1), 69-87.
  3. Asomah, R. K., Agyei, D. D., & Assamah, G. (2022a). A SWOT analysis of e-learning integration in University of Cape Coast. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 3(4), 1-8.
  4. Asomah, R. K., Assamah, G., Commey-Mintah, P., & Boateng, F. O. (2022b). The use of social-media and IT application tools for teaching in Ghanaian universities: Case of University of Cape Coast, Ghana. European Journal of Education and Pedagogy, 3(5), 24-31.
  5. Asomah, R. K., Dennis, H., Alhassan, M. N., & Aseidu, J. K. (2019). Ghanaian public and private junior high school mathematics classroom learning environment: A look at students’ attitudes. African Journal of Educational Studies in Mathematics and Sciences, 15(1), 89-99.
  6. Assan-Donkoh, I., Susuoroka, G., Baah D., Baah-Duodu, S., & Puotie, Z. (2019). Cooperative learning strategy in teaching and learning of circle theorem in mathematics: A case of Nana Brentu Senior High School in Aowin Municipality in Ghana. Open Science Journal of Mathematics and Application, 7(1), 1-13.
  7. Baghcheghi, N., Koohestani, H. R., & Rezaei, K. (2011). A comparison of the cooperative learning and traditional learning methods in theory classes on nursing students’ communication skill with patients at clinical settings. Nurse Education Today, 31(8), 877-882.
  8. Blackett, N., & Tall, D. (1991) Gender and the versatile learning of trigonometry using computer software. In F. Furinghetti (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 144-151).
  9. Bonk, C. J., & Cunningham, D. J. (1998). Searching for learner-cantered, constructivist, and sociocultural components of collaborative educational learning tools. In C. J. Bonk, & K. S. King (Eds.), Electronic collaborators: Learner-cantered technologies for literacy, apprenticeship, and discourse (pp. 25-50). Lawrence Erlbuam Associates.
  10. Bores-García, D., Hortigüela-Alcalá, D., Fernandez-Rio, F. J., González-Calvo, G., & Barba-Martín, R. (2021). Research on cooperative learning in physical education: Systematic review of the last five years. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 92(1), 146-155.
  11. Bosson-Amedenu, S., Teku, E., Vivian, N., & Osei-Asibey, E. (2021). A study of cooperative strategies that enhance individual mathematical achievement among college of education students in Ghana. Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, 6(1), 28-32.
  12. Buchs, C., Gilles, I., Dutrévis, M., & Butera, F. (2011). Pressure to cooperate: Is positive reward interdependence really needed in cooperative learning? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(1), 135-146.
  13. Choi, J., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. (2011). Relationships among cooperative learning experiences, social interdependence, children’s aggression, victimization, and prosocial behaviors. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(4), 976-1003.
  14. Core Practices Consortium. (2020). Core practice.
  15. D’Eon, M., & Zhao, R. (2022). Five ways for facilitators to get a grip on small group learning. Canadian Medical Education Journal/Revue Canadienne de Léducation Médicale, 13(2), 82-88.
  16. Dalinger, T., Thomas, K. B., Stansberry, S., & Xiu, Y. (2020). A mixed-reality simulation offers strategic practice for pre-service teachers. Computers & Education, 144, 103696.
  17. Darling-Hammond, L. (2017). Teacher education around the world: What can we learn from international practice? European Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 291-309.
  18. Edekor, L., K., & Agbornu, S. (2020). Cooperative learning strategy and students’ performance in mathematics in junior high school in Hohoe Municipality, Ghana. American Journal of Educational Research, 8(9), 693-697.
  19. Farouq, S. M. (2017). Ghanaian senior high school students’ error in learning of trigonometry. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 12(8), 1709-1717.
  20. Fernández-González, C., & Franco-Mariscal, A. J. (2021). Teaching the plant kingdom using cooperative learning and plants elements: A case study with Spanish secondary school students. Journal of Turkish Science Education, 18(1), 17-31.
  21. Gerring, J. (2007). Case study research: Principles and practices. Cambridge University Press.
  22. Gillies, R. M. (2003). The behaviours, interactions, and perceptions of junior high school students during small-group learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 137e147.
  23. Gillies, R. M., & Ashman, A. (1996). Teaching collaborative skills to primary school children in classroom-based work groups. Learning and Instruction, 6, 187e200.
  24. Gillies, R. M., & Boyle, M. (2010). Teachers’ reflections on cooperative learning: Issues of implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(4), 933-940.
  25. Gur, H. (2009). Trigonometry learning. New Horizons in Education, 57(1), 67-80.
  26. Guskey, T. R. (2002). Evaluating professional development. Corwin Press.
  27. Hamadi, M., El-Den, J., Azam, S., & Sriratanaviriyakul, N. (2022). Integrating social media as cooperative learning tool in higher education classrooms: An empirical study. Journal of King Saud University-Computer and Information Sciences, 34(6), 3722-3731.
  28. Havenga, M., & Swart, A. J. (2022). Preparing first-year engineering students for cooperation in real-world projects. European Journal of Engineering Education, 47(4), 558-576.
  29. Ho, A., Watkins, D., & Kelly, M. (2001). The conceptual change approach to improving teaching and learning: An evaluation of a Hong Kong staffs development programme. Higher Education, 42(2), 143-169.
  30. Johnson, D. W, Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. (2014). Cooperative learning: Improving university instruction by basing practice on validated theory. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 85-118.
  31. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1998). Cooperative learning and social interdependence theory.
  32. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. (2007). The state of cooperative learning in postsecondary and professional settings. Educational Psychology Review, 19(1), 15-29.
  33. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. A. (1991). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. Interaction.
  34. Jurkowski, S., & Hänze, M. (2015). How to increase the benefits of cooperation: Effects of training in transactive communication on cooperative learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(3), 357-371.
  35. Kaymak, S., Kassymbek, Z., Kalamkas, A., & Saydenov, F. (2021). The effect of cooperative learning on students’ academic achievement. Management, 9(6), 495-503.
  36. Kendal, M., & Stacey, K. (2003). Tracing learning of three representations with the differentiation competency framework. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 15(1), 22-41.
  37. Kim, T. K., & Park, J. H. (2019). More about the basic assumptions of t-test: normality and sample size. Korean Journal of Anesthesiology, 72(4), 331-335. https://10.4097/kja.d.18.00292
  38. Michaelsen, L. K., Watson, W. E., Cragin, J. P., & Fink, L. D. (1982). Team-based learning: A potential solution to the problems of large classes. Exchange: The Organizational Behaviour Teaching Journal, 7(4), 18-33.
  39. Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldaäna, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook. SAGE.
  40. Nam, C. W., & Zellner, R. D. (2011). The relative effects of positive interdependence and group processing on student achievement and attitude in online cooperative learning. Computers & Education, 56(3), 680-688.
  41. Ning, H. (2011). Adapting cooperative learning in tertiary ELT. ELT Journal, 65(1), 60-70.
  42. Oloyede, E. O., Adebowale, O. F., & Ojo, A. A. (2012). The effects of competitive, cooperative, and individualistic classroom interaction models on learning outcomes in mathematics in Nigerian senior secondary schools. International Scholarly Research Notices, 9(1), 61-81.
  43. Opitz, C. (2008). SEL overall plan.
  44. Ormrod, J. E. (2004). Human learning. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
  45. Prawat, R. S., & Floden, R. E. (1994). Philosophical perspectives on constructivist views of learning. Educational Psychologist, 29(1), 37-48.
  46. Shafiuddin, M. (2010). Cooperative learning approach in learning mathematics. International Journal of Educational Administration, 2(4), 589-595.
  47. Slavin, R. E. (2013). Cooperative learning and achievement: Theory and research. In W. M. Reynolds, G. E. Miller, & I. B. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology: Educational psychology (pp. 179-198). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  48. Tanner, K., Chatman, L. S., & Allen, D. (2003). Approaches to cell biology teaching: cooperative learning in the science classroom—Beyond students working in groups. Cell Biology Education, 2(1), 1-5.
  49. Teng, M. F. (2022). Effects of individual and group metacognitive prompts on tertiary-level students’ metacognitive awareness and writing outcomes. The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 31(5), 601-612.
  50. Van Ryzin, M. J., & Roseth, C. J. (2019). Effects of cooperative learning on peer relations, empathy, and bullying in middle school. Aggressive Behavior, 45(6), 643-651.
  51. Vernon, D. S., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (2022). The social and academic effects of cooperative LEARN strategy instruction in inclusive elementary classes. Learning Disability Quarterly, 45(3), 185-198.