Exploring the challenges faced by teachers in the teaching of mathematics in large classes: a case of a secondary school in Kisumu County, Kisumu west sub-County in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Veronica Sarungi


AKU-East Africa


It is unclear as to what specific number of learners in a particular classroom would qualify a class to be called a large class. The manner in which teachers handle classes that have few students may not be the same as how they would handle large classes. This implies that as the number of learners increase in a given class, the increase would in most cases come with challenges that may affect the quality of teaching and learning in such classrooms. Mathematics, being one of the most important subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) category of subjects, needs to be taught actively using activities. This study sought to explore the challenges that teachers in the large classes faced in the teaching of mathematics especially in the secondary schools. It employed a qualitative approach of a case study design of a single public secondary school in Kenya. The data collection methods included interviews, document analysis, and structured and unstructured observations. The participants were three teachers purposively sampled from the teachers of mathematics and two students in the form two classes who were sampled using stratified random sampling. The data obtained was coded into different themes and analysis was done based on those themes formed. Findings showed that teachers were grappling with heavy work load, minimal individual attention, less active learner participation, inadequate use of teaching and learning resources, and inadequate time for assessment and provision of quality feedback. The study report recommends that teachers of mathematics in large classes need to be flexible in their teaching strategies to accommodate other ways of active learning like group work during the class instruction.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library