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Causes Of Students Lack Of Interest In Learning Mathematics In Oshimilli North Local Government Area Of Delta State




   The project work was carried out principally to investigate the causes of students’ lack of interest in learning mathematics in Oshimilli North Local Government Area of Delta State. The study was descriptive in nature and involved one hundred and eighty (180) respondents drawn from six (6) randomly selected senior secondary schools in Oshimilli North Local Government Area of Delta State. The twenty (20) items questionnaire which was used to generate data was validated by my project supervisor. The reliability of the instrument using cronbach’s alpha was used to ascertain the coefficient index of 0.638. Four (4) research questions based on the factors proposed as the possible causes of senior secondary school students lack of interest in mathematics were answered. The data were analyzed using mean and standard deviation. The result revealed that the teacher’s personality, methods of teaching, peer group influence and parental involvement are crucial factors that contribute to students’ lack of interest in mathematics in senior secondary school. It was recommended that school administrators should organize in-service lectures, training and workshops for teachers concentrating on how teachers can match their preferred instructional methods with the learning preferences and capacities of their students.



1.1        Background to the Study

Mathematics in the real sense is a science of space and quantity that helps in solving the problems of life, needing numeration and calculation. It is a science of magnitude and number that is very important in all subject areas. This is because all fields of studies are dependent on it for problem solving and prediction of outcomes. Mathematics can also be defined as the scientific study of quantities, including their relationship, operations and measurements expressed by numbers and symbols.

          Akinoso (2011), viewed mathematics as the basis for Science and Technology and tool for achieving Scientific and Technological development. The Nigerian Federal Government made Mathematics compulsory and one of the core subjects in Primary and Secondary levels of Education (FRN, 2004) which still remain the rallying point for all educational objectives in Nigeria.

          Despite the high position offered to Mathematics in the school curriculum, it is the most dreaded to learners among all subjects offered in the schools. Students therefore tend to respond to it with less confidence, negative feeling and anxiety. This situation got worsened by the compulsory nature of the subject at all levels of education leading to student’s poor performance in the subject.

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          This continuous poor achievement in Mathematics in Nigeria Primary and Secondary schools level may be attributed to student’s lack of interest in learning Mathematics. Interest plays a vital role in the study of any subject especially the sciences.  According to Merriam Webster dictionary, interest means “  a quality that attracts your attention and makes you want to learn more about something or to be involved in something”. Interest has to do with preparedness or the mastery of a subject matter, background knowledge that can enable the learner to cope with further or next higher level of learning of subject matter or relating learning tasks (Indigo, 2010). This suggests that mathematics interest test for Senior secondary school (SSS) level has to do with the mastering of Junior secondary School (JSS) level Mathematics that can enable the JSS three  Students cope with further learning of  Mathematics at the next higher level of Mathematics teaching in Senior Secondary school one (SSS 1) level. And Mathematics can be developed and used as an indicator of success in any science course (Indigo, 2010; Goolsby 2013 and Anigbo, 2016).

          Emphases should be laid on the teaching procedure of mathematics, a good Mathematics teacher should be concerned with the kind of understanding that he wants his student to develop. Student should be allowed to remember the definition of topic as their own assumption and try to find out some properties related to them and the previous mathematical or non- mathematical knowledge they have. In this way learner will enjoy the subject and they will improve their ability of mathematical power. But when this is relegated to the background, the students’ interest could be on the decline and may tell negatively on their performance.

          According  to Ukoha  &  Eneogwe (2016), in order to promote learning in the classroom, the teacher uses suitable methods and resources to place the student in direct link with the curriculum contents. Good teaching methods are important for increasing students’ engagement and success. Similarly, teaching method can inhibit learning.

           Mabula (2012) stated that students’ performance in science subject was affected by poor quality of  science classroom teaching and a decline in interest of student toward science subject like mathematics. Effective and efficient teaching methods that could help improve students’ interest and performance in mathematics are most desired. Active participation on the part of the student should be demanded by the teacher in order to sustain their interest.

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           We all know how powerful interest can be in guiding our behavior and making our choices. The desire to reengage in content over time, to seek answers to questions, to acquire more knowledge and to understand better promotes achievement and excellence in education as well as professional careers. Interest is an important construct determining the quality of education.

          Many factors have been identified in literature as reasons associated with students’ lack of interest in learning Mathematics. These include students’ factors, teacher’s factor, peer group influence, parental involvement, Mathematics anxiety, class size, instructional strategy among others. Therefore, the lack of interest of senior secondary students’ in Mathematics is a major problem for educators.

          The aim of this research work is to investigate the various causes of students’ lack of interest in Mathematics in Senior Secondary School.

1.2    Statement of the Problem

            Mathematics is a core subject in the 6-3-3-4 system of education in Nigeria. It is the foundation of science and technology. Inspite of the relevance of Mathematics to Mankind and the efforts of government to encourage and improve on its learning, the performance or achievement of students in the subject remains low in Nigeria. One of the factors which influence the choice of Mathematics and the performance of students in Mathematics is their level of interest. Students’ lack of interest can be attributed to a number of factors such as teacher’s personality (attitude), teaching methodology, Mathematics anxiety, peer group influence and parental factor among others. Among all these factors listed, the researcher wants to find out which of the factor either singly or combined are responsible for students lack of interest in Mathematics in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

          The purpose of this study is to find out the factors affecting students’ interest in the study of Mathematics in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State. The specific Objectives is to:

  1. Examine if teacher’s personality (Attitude) affect students’ interest toward the study of Mathematics.
  2. Find out if teaching methodology affects students interest in Mathematics
  3. Determine if peer group influence affects student’s interest in Mathematics
  4. Determine if parental involvement (factor) affects student’s interest in Mathematics

1.4     Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research question has been raised.

  1. Does teacher’s personality (attitude) affect students’ interest in Mathematics?
  2. What are the teaching methodology employed by senior secondary school teachers
  3. Does peer group influence affect students’ interest in mathematics?
  4. How does parental involvement affect students’ interest in mathematics?
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1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings of this study will be of immense benefit to the Ministry of Education (policy makers) in getting a workable curriculum for teacher’s training programme. This programme should produce competent teachers that will take up the challenges of teaching Mathematics that will influence students’ interest positively towards the study of Mathematics.

The finding of the study will help the school management to implement the curriculum in the best way possible to influence students’ interest towards the study of Mathematics which can be achieved by creating a conducive atmosphere in the classroom with robust time for effective teaching and learning.

The students will benefit greatly because they will get better learning experiences as a result of improvement in the teaching of Mathematics, which in turn will lead to positive change in students’ attitude towards the study of Mathematics.

The parents will notice a better attitude in their children towards the study of Mathematics which will lead to better performance of the children in external examination.  The study will be a valuable educational resource to future researchers and the society at large.

1.6 Scope of the Study

          The study covered Mathematics students in Senior Secondary School in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State. It focused on identifying the factors associated with students’ lack of interest in the study of Mathematics in senior Secondary Schools. The study is limited to senior Secondary Schools in Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State.

1.7 Area of the Study

           This research was conducted in Oshimili North Local Government Area in Delta State. Achalla-Ibusa, Akwukwu-Igbo, Ebu, Atuma-Iga, Ibusa, Illah, ukuala-Okpunor, Okpanam,Ugbolu are the towns/ villages that make up Oshimili North Local Government Area, Delta State.

1.8      Definition of Terms

Investigation: investigation is the process of inquiring into or following up a research or study.

Secondary School: A school for young people between age 10 and 18 years.

Teacher: this is a person trained over a period of time to carry out the task of teaching

Personality: A set of qualities that makes a person or thing distinct from another.

Pages:  55

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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