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The impact of student interest on the achievement of secondary school students in mathematics in ayobo ipaja L.C.D.A is very pertinent as some students draws motivation from some of their contemporaries, this is so because teenagers are easily influence by their pears. This research employs a survey and descriptive research method in the study. In the cause of the study, adequate data were collected, analyzed and interpretation given, through which the researcher arrived in some conclusion and recommendation made which in the opinion of the researcher will be beneficial to secondary school students.
1.1 Background of the studies
In the contemporary Nigeria, greater emphasis is being placed on Industrial and Technological development. As a result students are being encouraged to take up science related subjects. One subject that cut across all the sciences is mathematics. Today, mathematical methods pervade literally every field of human endeavor and play a fundamental role in economic development of a country. In our match towards scientific and technological advancement, we need nothing short of good performance in mathematics at all levels of schooling. Unfortunately performance of students in mathematics at the end of secondary education has not improved in the past decade (Umoinyang, 1999). Various factors have been adduced for poor performance of students in mathematics. The interest of students in mathematics have been related to the volume of work completed, students task orientation and skill acquisition, students personality and self concept (More, 1973), feeling of inadequacy (Callahan, 1971), motivation and self-confidence (Aiken, 1976), anxiety (Aiken, 1970), shortage of qualified mathematics teachers, (Ohuche 1978, Ale, 1989), poor facilities, equipment and instructional materials for effective teaching (Oshibodu, 1984, Akpan 1987, Odogwu, 1994), use of traditional chalk and talk methods, (Oshibodu, 1988, Edwards and Knight, 1994), large students to teacher ratio (Alele-Williams 1988) mathematics fright/phobia (Georgewill, 1990) and so on. Wentzel (1998) stated that interest in activities tends to increase the likelihood that individuals formulate goals relating to that activity and invest time and effort to achieve them. Moreover, individual characteristics such as intelligence, cognitive styles, and personality play an important role in learning and instruction as does the context of learning. Other research findings have shown that individual students’ characteristics variables such as motivational orientations, self-esteem and learning approaches are important factors influencing academic achievements.
More so it is conceived that students tends to draw motivation from the performance of their fellow student. What this means is that the student performance in mathematics is 60% percent dependent on the performance of his or her friends, this is because research has shown that teenagers are easily influenced by their pear group positively or negatively.
In the effort to improve students cognition and affective outcomes in mathematics and/or school learning, educational psychologists and mathematics educators, have continued to search for variables (personal and environmental) that could be manipulated in favour of academic gains. Of all the personal and psychological variables that have attracted researchers in this area of educational achievement, motivation seems to be gaining more popularity and leading other variables (Tella, 2003). All the above stated reasons, for persistent failure in mathematics, which have been proffered, bear relevant in one way or the other to the poor performance of pupils in mathematics. This has lead to a cycle of events that could be illustrated thus: When explaining the illustration above (Aremu, 1998) explained that; when pupils express lack of interest in the subject, it affects the way they react or listen to the teacher. And when many of the pupils believe that they cannot pass, the teacher is also affected. This is because aside of this negative response from the pupils, he/she as well is already being confronted by a lot of other factors (e.g., low income, low status in society, large teacher-pupils ratio) and so on. These may cause him or her to resorts to the easiest way of disseminating knowledge that is ‘chalk and talk’ without the use of instructional materials. He may not also bother to vary his teaching styles to suit individuals; therefore the cycle goes on (Aremu 1998). One unfortunate outcome of this is that, the negative attitude towards the subject is passed down from one generation of pupils to another and therefore the cycle keeps enlarging. What then could be done to break such a cycle of failure? This has been the question by many mathematics educators and researchers (Akpan 1987, Baya’a 1990). A lot of new and modified old methodologies have been proposed to improve performance in the subject (e.g., Ande, 1990; Akinsola, 1994; Broussard & Garrison, 2004) etc. Instructional materials have also been designed and developed to aid mathematics teaching and learning (Skemp 1989). All these are to help break this cycle of poor performance by motivating pupils to learn mathematics. This issued of motivating learners is seen as an important aspect of effective learning. In fact psychologists believe that motivation is a necessary ingredient for learning (Biehler and Snowman, 1986). They believe that satisfactory school learning is unlikely to take place in the absence of sufficient motivation to learn (Fontana 1981). The issue as relating to mathematics education would then be, is it possible to motivate pupils to learn mathematics? And how could it be done? One needs to therefore look at the effect of motivation on learning. The issues of motivation of students in education and the impact on academic performance are considered as an important aspect of effective learning. However, a learner’s reaction to education determines the extent to which he or she will go in education. The impact of motivation on education of mathematics of a child cannot be undermined. That is why Hall (1989) believes that there is a need to motivate pupils so as to arouse and sustain their interest in learning mathematics. “Motivation raises question on why people behave in the way they do it”. An individual could therefore, from psychologists’ point of view, be seen as politically, socially and academically motivated depending on the motive behind his or her activities. Based on the foregoing, research on Mathematics academic achievement should be considered a continuous process until there is evidence of improvement in interest and performances of the learners in the subject particularly the secondary school students. Essentially therefore, the present study is an effort in this direction. Hence the study investigates the impact of motivation on student’s academic achievement in mathematics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The impact of student’s interest on academic achievement of students in mathematics in senior secondary school is a major challenge, because most secondary school students have phobia for mathematics, which is the reason why vast majority tend to divert to the art subject. However this has not curtail some students interest and motivation that they sap from their fellow student who has a comparative advantage over them in the said subject.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study was to ascertain the impact of students interest on academic achievement of students in mathematics in senior secondary school in ayobo ipaja L.C.D.A. at the completion of the study the researcher intend to achieve the following objective:
i) The impact of students interest on academic achievement of students
ii) The role of pear group on the performance of secondary school students in mathematics
iii) The impact of interest or motivation on the performance of students in mathematics
iv) The causes of poor performance of secondary school students in mathematics
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
For the successful completion of the study, the following research question were formulated:
i) What is the impact of student interest on academic achievement of students?
ii) What is the role of pear group on secondary school students in mathematics?
iii) What is the impact of motivation on the students academic performance?
iv) What is the causes of students poor performance in mathematics of lately?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDIES
It is conceived that at the completion of the study the findings will be of immense benefit to the secondary school students on their choice of friends in their school in other to attain their academic objective, the study will also be of great benefit to the guardian, in order to guide this teenagers on the dangers of keeping wrong companies, the research will also be of benefit to the academia teachers, students researchers and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDIES
The scope of the study is the impact of students interest on academic achievement of students in mathematics in senior secondary schools in ayobo ipaja L.C.D.A. However the study has some constrain or limitations which include”
a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher have to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
c) FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic achievement or (academic) performance is the outcome of education the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved their educational goals. Academic achievement is commonly measured by examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how it is best tested or which aspects are most important procedural knowledge such as skills or declarative knowledge such as facts. In California, the achievement of schools is measured by the Academic Performance Index
SECONDARY SCHOOL IN NIGERIA
In Nigeria, secondary school starts from JSS1(7th grade) until SSS3(12th grade). Most students start at the age of 10 or 11 and finish at 17 or 18. Students are required to sit for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE). To progress to university students must obtain at least a credit in Maths, English and three other subjects in WASSCE.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDIES
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows
Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research question, significance or the study, research methodology, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlight the theoretical framework on which the study its based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
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