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Comparism Between Male And Female Achievement In Mathematics In Oshimili South Local Government Area Of Delta State




This study compared male and female achievement in mathematics in Oshimili south local government area of Delta State. In comparing their achievement, three research questions and three hypotheses were formulated. The research were carried out using casual comparative (expost-facto) design and a checklist with a population of 600 students’ WAEC grades and four (4) schools (private (urban & rural) and public (urban & rural)) Oshimili south local government area of Delta State. Frequency and percentage count and t-test were used to analyze data. The results revealed that there was a significant difference between mathematics performance between male and female students. These findings, consistent with previous Western studies, are discussed and educational implications of the findings suggested.



Background to the Study       

Academic performance is undoubtedly a research after the heart of educational psychologists. In their attempt to investigate what determines academic outcomes of learners, they have come with more questions than answers. In recent time, research has shown that learning outcomes have been determined by such variables as; family, school, society, and motivation factors (Aremu, 2015). Academic performance (most especially of secondary school students) has been largely associated with many factors. The desire for a high level of academic performance puts a lot of pressure on students, teachers, schools and in general the educational system itself. Therefore, academic performance is a key mechanism through which students learn about their talents, abilities and competencies which are important parts of developing career aspirations. It is the result got by students or grades awarded to them after final evaluation. It reflects in examinations written by students after the process of learning (Borah, 2016).

However, Mathematics occupies central position in education because mathematics is a science and the nucleus of all other sciences, which lays strong emphasis on both theory and practical. Mathematics is also called the science of reasoning. There were few premises on which we based our reasoning. Reasoning in Mathematics is of two types: Inductive and deductive. When statements containing mathematical truths are based on general observations and experience, reasoning is called inductive whereas deductive type, the statements are products of mind (Okolo, 2016). He further stated that studying of mathematics has been faced with serious controversy of gender differences among students of mathematics and this controversy has been if the male student performs better than the female students.

According to Okoli (2015) gender is one of such factors that have considerable effects on students’ academic performances. In its narrowest sense, gender means socially constructed sex roles of female or male. Consequently, there might be differences on academic performance in male and female. According to Morgan (2017) gender issues are currently the main focus of discussion and research in any society. Academic differences in participation and academic performance between male and female students were found in several different subjects examined at the secondary school level (Wamdeo, 2013). Gender has been found to influence the academic performance of male and female students, and has in turn called the attention of institutions of higher learning, governments and individuals in recent times, to investigate the extent to which gender influences academic performance.

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Gracia and Jenkins, (2014) have identified gender as one of the factors that explain academic performance of students, but research results regarding which gender group performs better than the other have not yielded conclusive results. Traditionally, male students’ academic achievement was considered superior to that of female students, especially in Mathematics and Science, because of their higher levels of innate spatial abilities (Benbow & Stanley, 2016). At the same time, female students’ performance was placed above their male counterparts in language because of their greater verbal and reasoning abilities (Wilberg & Lynn, 2013). Estronaut (2014), however, highlighted that, studies that have found a gap between male and female cognitive abilities have also found much overlap in their results. They observed that a male student can grasp the skills of language just as well as a female student. Similarly, many female excel in spatial skills just as well as their male counterparts. In the early stages of investigations into gender academic achievement gap, biological differences between male and female students, and childhood socialization were identified as the major contributing factors.

Bandele (2015) revealed that “the differences in students’ performance are always attributed to environmental or process variables. This is in line with section 18 sub sections 1 and 3 of the Nigerian constitution which guarantees education as a right for every Nigerian child”. In realization of the importance of mathematics, science and technology, the NPE stipulates that “Education will be used as an instrument for scientific, technological and cultural development of the society’’.

Oladunni (2015) opined that “there was no significant difference between achievement of males and females in mathematics”. Mukhtar and Iliyasu (2016) were on the view that “in most mathematics and mathematics related fields, there tend to be more male than females. For instance when we look at the ancient mathematicians including; Pythagoras, Thales, Euclid and Pascal, all of them were men’’. However, one begins to ask on the possible causes of such imbalance between male and female could it be female’s brain are weaker than those of males? According to Blasser (2012) “girls and boys start equal in mathematics and science performance in school, they appear to do equally well in both subject in elementary schools. Then some girls begin to lose interest in mathematics and science around the age of twelve. These girls then drop out from Mathematics Classes often forever closing the door on many career opportunities’’. This show that female’s student performed less than their counterparts, males. However student’s performance is not dependent on sex difference and this leads to continue verification and study on males and females performance in Mathematics. It is on this premises that made the researcher to investigate on comparative analysis of male and female performance in mathematic in Oshimili south local government area of Delta State.

See also  Factors Affecting Junior Secondary School Student’s Performance In Mathematics In Oshimili South

Statement of the Problem

Sex disparities in mathematics education, is like geographical disparities have historically been prevalent in almost all societies and in different aspect of learning. Female students feel that they cannot compete with their counterpart male students in learning Mathematics. However, the gender differences in Mathematics lead to our females to become backward unsuccessful personals in the area of science and technology. Many researches were conducted in the field of gender issues on mathematics and still reported that there is a gap between males and females performance. There is need to encourage females not to fear mathematics in their life and make it simple for them to become self-reliant, self-esteem, take care of their family and equate with wider knowledge in science and technology. In line with the above statement, the researcher wishes to investigate if some of this variable are factors responsible for gender performance in mathematics such as; incompetence of mathematics teachers, unconducive school environment, lack of students interest in learning mathematics, lack of teachers motivation to the student, lack of qualified mathematics teachers etc. Thus, this makes it imperative for the research to investigate on comparative analysis of male and female performance in mathematics in Oshimili south local government area of Delta State.

Research Questions

  1. Is students’ academic performance in mathematics in senior secondary school gender motivated?
  2. Is the academic performance in mathematics in senior secondary school influenced by school location?
  3. Is the academic performance in mathematics in senior secondary school influenced by school type?

Research Hypotheses

The null hypotheses below will be formulated to guide the study and test at 0.05 level of significant.

Ho1: There is no significant difference between male and female students’ academic performance in mathematics in senior secondary school.

Ho2: There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance in mathematics based on school location in senior secondary school.

Ho3: There is no significant difference in students’ academic performance in mathematics based on school type in senior secondary school.

Purpose of the Study

The broad purpose of this study is to examine the comparative analysis of male and female performance in mathematics in Oshimili south local government area of Delta State.

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Specifically, the study sought to:

  1. Find out whether male students perform better than female students in mathematics in senior secondary school.
  2. Find out how location of school can influence the academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary schools.
  3. Find out how school type can influence the academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary schools.

Significance of the Study

The findings of the study would be beneficial to mathematics students, mathematics teachers and the school administrator

This study would be relevant to the students because after going through this paper, they will be able to understand how they can influence their academic performance in mathematics and have understanding on how they can make necessary adjustment to help improve in their academic performance in school.

This study will be of great benefit also to mathematics teachers because it will enable them to be aware of how they can influence the academic performance of mathematics students in senior secondary school, having gone through the paper properly the teacher will be able to know the necessary measures to use in other to improve the academic performance of students such as the appropriate instructional materials to use to influence the teaching and learning processes.

The findings of this study will enable the school administrator to understand how to provide all adequate material needed to improve the performance of students in mathematics and then provide the needed materials.

Scope of the Study

The focus of the study is on the comparative analysis of male and female academic performance in mathematics in Oshimili south local government of Delta State.

Definition of Term

Influence: Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Gender: Gender can be defined as either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

Mathematics: The abstract science of number, quantity, and space, either as abstract concepts ( pure mathematics ), or as applied to other disciplines such as physics and engineering ( applied mathematics ).

Mathematics performance: Mathematics performance is the competency shown by the student in the subject mathematics. Its measure is the score on an achievement test in Mathematics.

Pages:  63

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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