Humour-Supported Instructional Approach: A Method for Generating and Maintaining Interest in Mathematics for Secondary School Students in South Sudan Re-settled Communities

William D. Tap, David K. Mtetwa, Joseph C. Vere


This article reports the findings from the main study that investigated relative effects of an instructional approach aimed at generating and maintaining interest in mathematics for secondary school students living in South Sudan’s displaced and re-settled communities. The study compared interest-generating effects of two different instructional approaches on two groups of Grade 11 students over a twelve-week period. While the Humour-supported Instructional Approach (H-SIA) was applied to the experimental group (E-group; n = 53), the control group (C-group; n = 59) was taught using Regular Instructional Approach (RIA). No significant differences were found in the two approaches’ effects in generating and maintaining interest. A four (4) week pilot study conducted prior to the main study produced similar results. However, some new insights from the main study suggest that teachers’ teaching traits play a heavier and more central role in both methods than had been initially realised. This led to the conclusion that the two methods (H-SIA and RIA) have similar effects on learner interest. The equivalence appears strongly dependent on the teachers’ teaching traits, characteristics and teaching qualities for marshalling teachers’ teaching techniques or strategies which include humour into their pedagogical toolkit. H-SIA method, however, is more recommended because the literature indicates-and this is confirmed in this study-that the use of humour in the classroom setting provides students with additional reason, motivation and inspiration to learn.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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