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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Academic performance is a factor found among students and is it a function of many factors, some of which are within the student and the class room while others are out of the class room while academic objectives are paramount to students’ success in school attainment, goal commitment is sensitive to factors like hope and specifically agency hope and confidence in one’s abilities.
Students’ engagement is the ability of an individual to be in control of his or her own learning which means being accountable for all the facets of learning such as setting goal and self-monitoring process (Little, 2007). In one of the study done in United States of America, Derrick, Ponton, Confessor & Carr (2007) argued that a learner’s commitment is a manifestation of passion, want, resourcefulness, initiative and persistence in learning. Traditionally, learning can in people who assume that success is totally dependent on an individual’s personal efforts. A learner’s commitment as related to teachers method in which the learner is accountable for identifying and addressing gaps in their knowledge. Nowadays, a good number of students ignore and see the aspect of being responsible and accountable for learning and as such they face stress, unknown and use unproductive learning strategies.
Being discovered that most students in public schools go to school with no précised academic objective, no forecast for there tomorrow and may resort to non-academic activities. When you look at some countries closely, you will discover that there is still low academic achievement among secondary school students as the mean grade is always below the expected grade entry point of University. Low academic performance in mathematics results in class repetition, poor retention rate, truancy, school dropout and hopelessness in life. In some more serious cases, teachers have been abused by parents;they have been prevented from entering school compounds when students seem not to perform well in national examinations while some students have committed suicide. Howbeit, in a much as such challenges have been pointed out, it would be of paramount help to introduce and institute, let them know the effects of learner commitment on academic performance of secondary school students.
The study was centered on Edwin Locke & Gary Lotham’s (1990) goal setting theory which states that the procedures of setting goals and targets permit an individual to focus in other to make available a sense of direction and also helps one to attaingoals without distraction. The theory is linked to a learned style of goal directed thinking (autonomous) which is fostered by both pathway and agency thinking (Locke &Lotham, 2002). According to the theory, so long as a person is committed to the goal, has the requisite ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals; there is a positive, linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.
The engagement has two structureswhich is what pushes it to perform a certain action and turning motivation in visiblebehaviour. Also, it has been established that learner right, determination, involvement is the character of individual who display intentional behaviour with respect to their learning, free learners exercise self-control skills and impact their personal life through processes linked to freedom, power and change. Christian (2013) opined that self-regulated learners are lively searchers and refineries of information and they provoke, supervise and elaborate learning through settinggoal. The study therefore discovered that learners can show increase in cognitive, meta-cognitive functioning and self-efficacy through involvement with schemes that reinforce self-regulated learning in problem based learning. Okeke (2010) also opined that students seem to learn more when they are involved in all aspects of college life and that a committed student gives all her energy to academics, commits a great deal of time in campus, participates in students’ organization and activities and associates well with members of the faculty. When students feel to flow with college through commitment, they tend to feel better and seem to stay through to graduation. The commitment has significant positive influence for insistence and degree competition. In the same light, the engaged students pursue activities inside and outside the classroom that lead to academic success.
High test scorers used more self-regulatory methods to improve test preparation and performance compared to low performers and that self-regulation positively influenced test performance. Students that reach their goals in some countries have a sense of responsibility and therefore are less dependent on their peers and teachers for direction on what to and what not to do. On the other hand,the learner is centered on being effective is as it is not significantly related to academic scores. Ayodele (2008) also opined that students should acquire skills like communication, problem solving and social integration skills so that they will be responsible. In addition, students should have vivid learning goals while teachers should complement students for work well done.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
The increasing nature of poor academic performance of public secondary school students especially in external examinations like WAEC or JAMB in mathematics, many tend to shift the blame on the teaching methodology adopted by the teachers and lack of fund from the government to provide quality textbooks. However, these might not be the main reasons why students perform poorly in mathematics. It is clear from all indications that most secondary school students lack interest in mathematics thus hardly engage when the subject is being taught which might lead to poor academic performance.
It is yet to gather adequate research evidence to prove that it is a key factor on why students fail. Emphasizing the importance of student engagement to students’ academic performance in mathematics, Oluchukwu, (2000) asserted students’ engagement is an essential aspect of educational planning.
The high levels of students’ academic performance may not be guaranteed where instructional space such as classrooms, libraries, technical workshops and laboratories are structurally defective. However, little is known on the impact of student engagement on students’ academic performance in mathematics in Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the relationship between students’ engagement and mathematics achievement in senior secondary schools. Other specific objectives of the study include;
- To examine the level of students engagement in Nigerian classrooms.
- To examine the level of students performance in mathematics.
- To examine the factors affecting students engagement in Nigerian secondary schools.
- To recommend ways of improving students mathematics academic achievement.
- What is the relationship between students’ engagement and mathematics achievement in senior secondary schools?
- What is the level of students’ engagement in Nigerian classrooms?
- What is the level of students’ performance in mathematics?
- What are the factors affecting students engagement in Nigerian secondary schools?
- What are the ways of improving students’ mathematics academic achievement?
H0: There is no significant relationship between students’ engagement in mathematics and their academic achievement.
H1: There is a significant relationship between students’ engagement in mathematics and their academic achievement.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would be of immense benefit to the secondary schools in Nigeria and their managements as it would reveal the relationship between students’ engagement and mathematics achievement in senior secondary schools. The study would also be of immense importance to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the relationship between students engagement and mathematics achievement in secnior secondary schools.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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