The Effect of Student Perception on Teaching and Learning Mathematics
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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 Ntaturu North Local Government Area of Bamenda 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. These are need for students and the general public reorientation on mathematics.
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 unwrittingly 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 modeled.
According to them, the subject is interrelated and combined with other subjects to make the realization of the nations 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 every day 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 examines 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 grap the knowledge as emitted by the teacher on instructor.
Lakatos (1996) noted that early attempt to develop a methodological foundation of mathematics attempted to vindicated 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.
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 systemDoglas (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 behavior 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 Bamenda State.
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.
In order to carry out this study the following research questions were raised.
How do the students perceive mathematics?
Do the teaching methods apply in mathematics affect student perception of the subject?
How does the classroom environment affect student’s perception of mathematics?
To what extend do the instructional materials used in teaching mathematics affect student’s perception of the student.
Scope of the Study
The Researcher examine is scope of study from the case study of Ntaturu North Local Government Area of Bamenda.
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.