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

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Abstract

This study investigated the factors affecting junior secondary school student’s performance in mathematics in Oshimili South. The population of the study was 3390 junior secondary school students and 31 junior secondary teachers while the sample of the study was 100 students and 10 teachers drawn through simple random sampling technique. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. Four research questions were formulated to guide the study.  The instrument used for data collection was a structured questionnaire which was structured by the researcher and validated by two experts. The validated instruments were administered to the students and teachers after which data was collected and analyzed using mean statistics. Based on the analysis the study revealed that students’ negative attitude, teachers’ incompetence, lack instructional materials, and home background affect junior secondary school students’ performance in mathematics. On the basis of the findings, it was recommended among others that teachers should encourage students to develop positive attitude towards mathematics to improve their performance and to improve the standard of education, government should as the matter of necessity train and re-train teachers for better teaching and learning of mathematics, government should employ competent teachers to teach mathematics and teachers should as much as possible make sure they use instructional materials in teaching mathematics to ensure better understanding of any topic taught.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • Background to the Study

In modern day technology driven economy, the knowledge of mathematics has become necessary. Importance of mathematics in Nigerian educational system and the nation’s technological development cannot be overemphasized. This is why mathematics was considered as one of the most important subjects in Nigerian schools particularly at junior secondary school level. The junior secondary school education is the foundation of all the formal education to come. It is the most important level of education in an educational system because it forms the basis or background for learning.

Mathematics is not only considered as important on its own as a field of study and research, but also essential to almost every field of intellectual endevour. For example, modern transportation by road, rail and air, as well as communication involving telephone, fax, the internet, radio and television would have not been possible without mathematics (Onyeneho, 2015).

Leopoid (2010) remarked that the brilliant performance of any child motivates him/her to focus on his area of specialization and do more. He also remarked that failure on the part of any student to perform better in the academic usually affects such a child psychologically in their next attempts. This forms the concern of teachers, parents and the government. According to Odumosu (2011) Mathematics has been regarded as the bedrock of science and technology. The progress of science could be determined by the extent to which mathematics has entered into its methods and contents. Adeyegba (2005) in Odumosu (2011) observed that there is hardly any area of science that does not make use of mathematical concepts to explain its own concepts, theories or models. In a similar view, mathematics is regarded as the major tool available for formulating theories in the Science, Engineering, and Economics as well as in other fields (Abiodun, 2013). Mathematics without any doubt remains the most serviceable science subject to all disciplines and fields of human work and study. According to Leo (1998) in Onyeneho (2015), Mathematics enhances students critical thinking in domains involving judgment based on data and stimulates the type of independent thinking required beyond the confines of textbooks.

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Mathematics is the creation of human mind, concern primarily with ideas, processes, and reasoning. It is much more than arithmetic, the science of numbers and computation. Mathematics is a way of thinking, a way of organizing logical proof used to solve different problems in science, decision making and industry.

Ukeje (2013) described the importance and the attention given to Mathematics as stemming from the fact that without Mathematics, there is no science, without science, there is no modern technology, and without modern technology, there is no modern society. Ale (1989) in Simeon and Francis (2012) Opined that mathematics is the queen of science and technology and also a tool for scientific and technological development. Ojerinde (2013) defined mathematics as “the communication system of those concepts of shape, size, quantity and order used to describe diverse phenomena”. It is a language of size, order and symbol: just like English. Madu and Hogan (2010) opined that Mathematics is made up of a set of concepts, facts, principles, and operations that are fundamental to the existence of every individual. Stephen (2011) saw Mathematics as a set of precise and logical language, which not only lead to interesting activities in their own right but can also be applied to everyday life and is used as description or models in science and other areas.

Stephen (2011) described mathematics as the mother or queen of all sciences and that diverse phenomenon in physical, biological and economic situations can be communicated through the concept of shape, quantity, size and order. To Marut (2014) it is the mother and language of all sciences”. More complete but related to Marut’s definition is that offered by Aminu (2010) that” is not only the language of science” it is the essential nutrient for thought, logic, reasoning and therefore progress, while Olosunde and Olaleye (2010) believe that mathematics is the fundamental science that is necessary for understanding of most fields. According to Ajayi (2011) Mathematics is the queen of all sciences and servant to all discipline. The summary of the matter is that of Abubakar (2015) who said Mathematics is the foundation of all science and also very embodiment of precision and brevity.

Mathematics as a subject affects all aspects of human life at different levels. For example in research, budget, trade, science and technology, manufacturing, transportation to mention but a few make use of mathematics.

Mathematics is seen by society as the foundation of scientific technological knowledge that is vital in social-economic development of a nation. It is in realization of the vast applications of mathematics that made Eraikhuemen (2013) posit that a disciplined and ordered pattern of life can only be achieved through the culture of mathematics. Unfortunately, students’ achievement in this important subject over the years has not been encouraging at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Students’ beliefs about their competence and their expectations for success in school have been directly linked to their levels of engagement, as well as to emotional states that promote or interfere with their ability to be academically successful.

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Attitude determines the effort a student is likely to put in his/her learning of the subject (mathematics).It is therefore necessary for mathematics teachers to strive and sustain positive attitudes towards mathematics for good performance in all levels of education (Benson, 2012). Students’ attitude towards mathematics influences the efforts they put in understanding and practicing mathematical concepts and skills. Educators, trainers, and researchers have long been interested in exploring variables contributing effectively for quality of performance of learners. These variables are inside or outside school and affect students’ quality of academic achievement. These factors may be termed as student factors, family factors, school factors and peer factors (Crosnoe, Johnson & Elder, 2014).

It is therefore an irrefutable fact that the effective learning of mathematics is contingent on some factors. School, students and teacher factors all impinge on the learning of mathematics. It is against this backdrop that the study seeks to determine factors affecting junior secondary school students’ performance mathematics in Oshimili South.

1.2   Statement of Problem                                

Despite the urgent need to improve student’ performance in mathematics, the reverse is the case as the students’ performance particularly in junior secondary schools, there seem to be no improvement. Over the years the academic performance of junior secondary students in mathematics is nothing to write home about due to the adverse factors. The following factors have been identified in different research findings to be responsible for students’ academic performance in mathematics: Non-challant attitude of students to learning, Incompetence or poor teacher’s performance in accomplishing teaching task as well as their negative attitude to work and poor teaching habits, Lack of instructional materials and teaching aids, Over population or overcrowded classroom, Regular movement of parent from one geographical area to another as a result of work transfer. Students’ performance in mathematics at junior secondary school level has caused mixed reactions among the general public as to what might have been responsible. Hence, the present study will provide evidence that will either support refute the previous findings. It is against this backdrop that the study aimed at determining the factors affecting junior secondary school students’ academic performance in mathematics in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to find out the factors affecting students’ academic performance in junior secondary schools. Specifically, the study aimed at finding out:

  1. The effect of Junior Secondary school students’ attitude on their performance in mathematics in Oshimili South.
  2. The effect of teachers’ competence on junior secondary school students’ performance in mathematics in Oshimili South.
  3. The effect of lack of instructional materials on junior secondary school students’ performance in mathematics Oshimili South.
  4. The effect of home background on junior secondary school students’ performance in mathematics in Oshimili South.
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1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were formulated to guide the study:

  1. How does Junior Secondary school students’ attitude affect their performance in mathematics in Oshimili South?
  2. How does teachers’ competence affect junior secondary school students’ performance in mathematics in Oshimili South?
  3. How does lack of instructional materials affects Junior Secondary School students’ academic performance in Oshimili South?
  4. How does home background affect Junior Secondary School students’ academic performance in mathematics in Oshimili South?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The findings and recommendations of this study will go a long way in helping students, parents, teachers and the government.

The study will help students to develop interest in mathematics for improved academic performance in the subject and other science related subjects.

It will also go a long way in helping the teachers to know how important it is to use instructional materials in teaching for better understanding of what is been taught and to apply divers methods of teaching with real life examples of the applicability of mathematics to encourage the students develop interest in the subject.

Parents will also benefit from the findings of this study in that it will help them understand how important it is for them to encourage their children to learn mathematics and closely monitor their learning progress.

This study will also be an addition to existing literatures in the field of mathematics education and help the government to make policies that will encourage students to develop interest in learning mathematics.

Finally, the findings of the study would be of help to professional bodies like Mathematics Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) because it will enable them understand various factors affecting students’ performance in mathematics and take necessary actions by working together with the government to ensure that competent teachers are employed to mathematics and other science subjects, relevant instructional materials are made available and students are encouraged to learn mathematics.

1.6 Scope of the Study                   

This study focuses on factors affecting junior secondary school (JSS II & III) students’ academic performance in mathematics in five selected public junior secondary schools in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta state, with particular emphasis on the influence of students’ attitude, teachers’ competence, lack of instructional materials and home background on students’ performance in mathematics.

1.7 Area of the Study

The study was carried out in Oshimili South Local Government Area of Delta State. The Local Government is situated in capital city of Delta state (Asaba). The inhabitants of Oshimili South Local Government are mostly civil servants, business men and women, and famers. The choice of the area was necessitated because it is the state capital where education ought to be of high standard which can help boost the economy of the state through the application of mathematics knowledge.


Pages:  60

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF               

Chapters: 1-5                                          

Source: Imsuinfo

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.

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