THE EFFECT OF STUDENT PERCEPTION ON TEACHING AND LEARNING MATHEMATICS (A CASE STUDY OF IGBOEZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE)

THE EFFECT OF STUDENT PERCEPTION ON TEACHING AND LEARNING MATHEMATICS (A CASE STUDY OF IGBOEZE NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ENUGU STATE)

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ABSTRACT

Mathematics is one of the most important subjects not only in schools but in our daily lines. Virtually everyone engages in. The application of mathematics is one way or the other. However, mathematics is seen to be a difficult subject by most students. The result of such poor perception is mass failure during examination and general lack of interest. The cross-sectional survey design was applied in the study. Questionnaire was the instrument used for the collection of data. The questionnaire was distributed to 300 students randomly selected from the five schools used as sample. The area of study in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu state. The likert rank order was used for analyzing the data. The findings of the study include the poor training of teachers in mathematics, in appropriate or none use of instructional materials harsh classroom environment. The study recommended that mathematics teachers should be given up-date in the subject through training workshops, seminars and courses. There is need for students and the public reorientation on mathematics.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0     Background of the Study

Mathematics is said to be the queen mother of all subjects particularly the natural science. This is assumed to be so because in all spheres of human life, one may not easily avoid the use and application of mathematics. Even within the pre-literate society, though unwittingly, the application of mathematics in games, agriculture, domestic chores, move-merit among others could not be questioned. Odonwodo and Ezeugwu (2009) affirmed that mathematics is developed in order to enhance our ability to understand predict and possibly control the behaviour of the system being modelled.

According to them, the subject is interrelated and combined with other subjects to make the realization of the nation’s educational aim possible. For them, the importance attached to mathematics in the school curriculum from the primary to tertiary level affects accurately the role of the subject in over contemporary society. In all ramification knowledge of mathematics is essential to the conduct of everyday living in engineering, commerce, natural and social science. Dioglas (1995) emphasized that the progress of any nation depends upon her scientific education capable of making the citizens effectively functional in the natural and applied sciences.

In view of the fact that mathematics is quite crucial in our daily life, it becomes therefore expedient that subject becomes part of the communication skill; just like the use of English language in the schools. To achieve this both the teacher and the learner are crucial.

Unachukwu and Ebenebe (2009) opined that the learning process, the condition of the learner and the learning process, the school environment play important role in the achievement of a learner. Teachers have important role to play if effective learning is to be felt. Teachers as specialist are expected to have good knowledge, skill, values and attitudes suitable for age, experience and social environment of the learner.

A teacher must influence his students to ethnic logically to examine facts, to distinguish between facts and opinion and to weigh evidence rationally in drawing conclusion. On the other hand, for change to occur, the learner should be attentive, focused and eager to grasp the knowledge as emitted by the teacher or instructor.

Lakatos (1996) noted that early attempt to develop a methodological foundation of mathematics attempted to vindicate it as a discipline free of error that did justice to its arrogant and secular epithets as the most perfect of all sciences. Others begun to doubt the dogmatic assumption that mathematics was actually as a prior infallible enterprise whose methodology could be perfectly delineated and whose development was amenable to being formulated through a formal and universal system.

1.1     Statement of the Problem

Mathematics, like every other field of study is built upon fundamental laws and principles (Odonhodo and Ezeugwu 2009). This post suggests that for one to learn mathematics like other subjects these are expected procedures, principle and laws governing the subject which the learner and the teacher ought to adopt. However, Mohammed and like (2005) noted that many students say that mathematics is a difficult subject to understand. This explains why in some schools, more students one found in the arts and social science where unknowingly they feel that they core from mathematics only to meet a course that has direct link to mathematics in their course of study.

Thurberg and Collettle (1985) described mathematics as a tool or servant of science and science without mathematics is unthinkable. As aptly stated by Coorve and Coorve (2000) that most undergraduates concentration on the combination of subjects where mathematics is not required. For them, such students place themselves in disadvantage position where at last they face the application of mathematics in their academic research projects. Anyam (2006) observed that in the West African School Certificate Examination, students have always recorded the highest failure in mathematics. Such mass failures have prompted so many students to change their plan. Some opt for courses that they hitherto never planned to study while others take to other endurances completely out of the school system.

Doglas (1995) observed that mathematics is already playing an important rule in the field of engineering computer, medicine and social science. Since mathematics is part of our daily life both in the school programmes and daily life both in the school programmes and daily understandings yet the expected change in behaviour among the learners is yet to be achieved in most schools. It becomes the view of the researchers therefore to take critical look at the effect of student’s perception on learning mathematics with particular reference to secondary school in Igbo Eze North local government of Enugu State.

1.2     Purpose of the Study

The following formed the purpose of this study. They include.

·        To examine the students’ perception of mathematics.

·        To examine whether teaching methods apply in mathematics affect student’s perception of the subject.

·        To investigate the extent to which classroom environment affect student’s perception of mathematics.

·        To examine the extent to which the instructional materials used in teaching mathematics affect student perception of the subject.

1.3     Research Questions

This study answered the following questions:

i.                   To what extent do students perceive qualification of teachers as a factor that influences teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Igboeze North LGA, Enugu State?

ii.                 To what extent do students perceive methods of teaching as a factor that influences teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Igboeze North LGA, Enugu State?

iii.              To what extent do students perceive instructional materials as a factor that influence teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Igboeze North LGA, Enugu State?

iv.              To what extent do students perceive attitude as a factor that influences teaching and learning of mathematics in senior secondary schools in Igboeze North LGA, Enugu State?

1.4     Scope of the Study

The Researcher examined the scope of study using the case study of Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu.

1.5     Significance of the Study

When completed, the study will be of immense importance in the following ways.

·        It will change the poor perception of some students in mathematics.

·        It would assist teachers in mathematics on the best approach to apply when teaching the mathematics.

·        It would be of value to schools on how best to apply the needed instructional materials for teaching mathematics.

·        It would be of important to government by educating them on the need to procure needed instructional materials for teaching mathematics.

·        It would be a veritable instrument to teachers on how best to handle the classroom environment especially in teaching subject like mathematics.

·        The study would contribute to the improvement of learning strategy among students especially in mathematics.

1.6     Definition of Terms

For the purpose of the study, the following terms have been defined within the context of their usage in the study.

Behaviour: This refers the expected students conduct during lesson.

Classroom: This refers to a place where teaching and learning take place.

Classroom Environment: This refers to the condition of a place of learning both in human and materials.

Instructional Materials: This refers to any materials used to enhance teaching and learning.

Learning: This is referred to as the process of change in Behaviour as a result of teaching.

Perception: Perception refers to feeling knowledge and idea of something.

Teacher: Someone who transfers knowledge to a learner.

Teaching Method: This refers to the style/method applied in the process of teaching in order to capture the learners’ interest.

Student: This is referred to a learner in the secondary and tertiary institution.

Mathematics: This is referred to as the science of numbers used as model in teaching other sciences.


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