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ANXIETY AS CORRELATES OF STUDENT'S ACADEMICS PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS IN ETINAN LGA

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ANXIETY AS CORRELATES OF STUDENT'S ACADEMICS PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS IN ETINAN LGA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study

Mathematics is largely regarded as critical to any nation's economic, scientific, and political progress.Because of this widespread phenomena, every nation in the world has made mathematics a mandatory subject in all aspects of the school system. Mathematics ideas are commonly known at a young age. When a test is missed, it causes anxiety, which includes feelings of tension, worry, or dread that interfere with math performance. Mathematics anxiety is a problem that affects certain secondary school pupils because they fail to understand its fundamentals (Ayob & Yasin 2017). According to Odiri (2015), student' mathematical expectations rise as they advance through school and begin their adult lives at home and at work. Students must have a strong mathematical foundation in order to function mathematically literately in the future. A solid foundation entails far more than rote application of procedural knowledge. According to a 2004 Ontario Ministry of Education study, all students should be able to understand, make sense of, and apply mathematics, as well as create connections between topics and detect patterns throughout mathematics. According to the research, pupils must be able to express their reasoning, have the mental flexibility to handle new areas of mathematics, and be eager to continue practising mathematics.

Over the years, educational scholars have paid close attention to pupils' fear of learning and grasp of mathematics. Researchers have explored several relevant elements, including: According to Cargnelutti Tomasetto and Passolunghi (2017), everyone who has studied Mathematics or Statistics in any higher institution in Nigeria will agree that the experience is torturous and frequently a simple drill and drudgery. Karjanto (2017) went on to say that the attitude of Mathematics teachers at the tertiary level is also very prevalent at the secondary level, where Mathematics teachers actually mystify Mathematics and students have the impression that Mathematics is such a difficult subject that it should be reserved for exceptional students. At the elementary level, most instructors (most of whom are not equipped to teach mathematics) mystify the subject. It invariably gives pupils/students the incorrect impression (fear; concern) that mathematical topics are extremely difficult to grasp. Among these impediments, the emotive component is frequently disregarded. In a simplified term. mathematics anxiety is commonly used to describe the emotional and mental pain that some students experience when striving to grasp Mathematics. In practise, however, it is relatively inadequately defined. Radii, Videnovi, and Baucal (2015) explored how some aspects of Mathematics, such as its accuracy, logic, and concentration on problem solving, cause anxiety in some people. Mathematics anxiety has been shown in studies to have a detrimental impact on math performance and accomplishment. Several scholars have also hypothesised that math anxiety contributes to observed gender inequalities in math achievement and course enrollment trends.

Though research studies show that student achievement in mathematics is a function of many interrelated variables that can be classified as student factors, school factors, and home factors, many researchers regard student anxiety as a key factor to consider when attempting to understand and explain student achievement in mathematics. There is consequently a need to better explore the causes that cause mathematical anxiety in students, which affects their performance.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The decline in performance in Mathematics by students has created anxiety in students and strengthens the perception that they are weak in Math. Mathematics anxiety may influence mathematics attitude towards mathematics problems directly or indirectly where students develop avoidance behaviors towards mathematics. First, mathematics anxious students may avoid mathematics courses or subjects dealing with mathematical tasks and this may mean that these students do not gain competence or mastery of mathematics operations. Second, mathematics anxiety may influence mathematics attitude. Math's anxious students may attempt to evade particular classes and their anxiety may directly affect their ability to success.

According to Gunderson, Park, Maloney, Beilock, & Levine (2018), most students experience math anxiety since elementary school. This fear is transferred by school teachers through teaching methods. Traditional methods such as lecturing; teaching basic skills without an emphasis on the concept has been identified as a factor that contribute to Mathematics anxiety. Research by Haciömeroğlu, (2017) opined that instructional methodologies that are used for teaching embrace a key role in children’s ambitions to pursuing future career choices related to mathematics. The old teaching practices such as expectations on correct answers, fear of making errors, and rote calculations and memorizations are said to be the contributing factors to students’ anxiety and attitude towards mathematics in basic classrooms. According to Yeo et al. (2015), teachers can influence Mathematics attitude and anxieties in students when they embarrass Tomohiro and Mezuk 227 them in front of others, assign many complex assignments and when they delay in helping students solve problem after consultation Other Three major Mathematics anxiety factors (Environmental, Emotional and Social factors) have been identified to be mainly responsible for Mathematics anxiety among students which in the long run affects academic performance.

Several research studies support the fact that students’ success in Mathematics depends upon the learners’ disposition (fear or confident) in the subject as this determines their ability, willingness to learn, choice of action and response to challenges. More so it determines the level of engagement, interest, personal effort without which one can hardly perform. Upon this premise the researcher seek to examine anxiety as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics in Etinan LGA, Akwa Ibom State

1.3 Objectives of the study

The primary objective of the study is to anxiety as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics in Etinan LGA, Akwa Ibom State. The specific objectives is as follows:

  1. To find out the level of Math anxiety among students in Etinan LGA

  2. To investigate factors that contributes to mathematics anxiety among secondary school student in Etinan LGA

  3. To ascertain whether student Math anxiety influences their academics performance in mathematics

  4. To seek recommendations on how to improve students interest towards learning and achievement of mathematics.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the level of Math anxiety among students in Etinan LGA?

  2. What are the factors that contributes to mathematics anxiety among secondary school student in Etinan LGA?

  3. Does student Math anxiety influences their academics performance in mathematics?

  4. In what way can students maths anxiety be eradicated to improve learning and achievement of mathematics.

1.5    Significance of the study

        The need for this research is to elicit useful information that could be the problems associated with teaching and learning of mathematics in secondary schools. Not until useful ideas to the problems militating against mathematics education is unraveled, through a research of this kind, we will not be able to suggest useful and workable solutions to the problems.This study would help in understanding the importance and influence of the affective construct regarding teaching and learning which is hopped would appeal to stakeholders to take the necessary measures. This focused on the main students 'beliefs and perceptions about mathematics which are considered significant factors underlying school experiences with the hope that this would add student voice to the factors known to influence learning. The importance of the study was for exposition and also for reference purposes as would give impetus to the development of further research that seeks to understand the effect of student attitudes on learning. Interest change therefore, requires determining factors driving the attitude and using that information to bring out the necessary change i.e. helping students to learn and bring out their best potentials. These efforts may define the obscure role of the teacher in molding the learners’ attitudes and motivating them towards learning the subject. Continued attention should then be directed towards creating, developing and reinforcing positive attitudes towards the subject.

1.6    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

       The scope of this study borders on anxiety as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics. This study is a quantitative survey that will cover five secondary schools selected in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwaibom State. Both sexes of teachers and students shall be used as subjects to get information on the teaching and learning of mathematics through a self-report instrument (questionnaire).

1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study. Moreover, the case study method utilized in the study posed some challenges to the investigator including the possibility of biases and poor judgment of issues. However, the investigator relied on respect for the general principles of procedures, justice, fairness, objectivity in observation and recording, and weighing of evidence to overcome the challenges.


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