AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE INFLUENCE OF GENDER IN THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS
1.1 Background to the Study
The proliferation of information and knowledge has resulted in a rise in the number of problems that students need to address both inside and outside of the classroom. Students, in order to choose material that is more relevant and reliable, are need to exercise caution and cautious judgment due to the explosion in the amount of available knowledge(Femi-Oyewo et, 2020). This would involve the development of reasoning abilities that would allow children to separate relevant information from other types of information that may or may not be relevant.
The act of supporting assertions or viewpoints with arguments, premises, justification, and evidence is what is meant by “reasoning.” However, pupils have a significant amount of work to do in order to develop their reasoning abilities. It is necessary to have healthy study routines and attitudes, as well as healthy reinforcers and influencers in the surrounding environment. A great number of educators have observed that learning is an active process that does not take place in a static environment. The process of learning is driven by a wide variety of causes and effects. Because of this, it is essential that educational research efforts be focused on the study and analysis of how the aforementioned factors contribute to the learning experiences of students. Because of this, the emphasis of this research is on the learning routines and mentalities of students, as well as how these factors have an effect on the development of their reasoning abilities. It is envisaged that student learning may be successfully boosted by capitalizing on what students already possess within themselves, namely the ability to self-regulate their study habits and to constructively guide their attitudes towards learning.
The proverb that “attitude is the key to success” is one that the vast majority of people are familiar with. There are many other quotations that may be found that adhere to this ideology. In the field of education, research reveals that positive attitudes held by students regarding a topic are directly related to academic achievement. In general, mathematics is a topic that a lot of people don’t enjoy, which has prompted academics to study the relationship between a student’s attitude and their ability to learn mathematics. The way in which one feels about mathematics plays a significant part in the processes involved in learning mathematics. It has an impact on the pupils’ mathematical accomplishments. Attitudes toward mathematics are influenced by factors such as the teaching technique, the support provided by the structure of the school, the students’ families, and the students’ attitudes about school.
Even when instructors feel they are teaching mathematics in an authentic and context-dependent manner, the way that mathematics is often portrayed in the classroom and perceived by students has the potential to turn off a significant number of pupils from the subject (Barton, 2020). Having a positive attitude toward mathematics means generally enjoying working with mathematics and having confidence in one’s own ability to do it, but it does not mean that a student will display this positive attitude toward the whole area of mathematics all the time. Having a positive attitude toward mathematics means generally enjoying working with mathematics and having confidence in one’s own ability to do it (Robson, 2019). Students like mathematics, but those who fail to complete their education because of it have a different perspective on the subject. This points to the fact that mathematics is a challenging and difficult subject area to study. It is the student’s mindset that plays a significant role in the amount of weight that he or she gives to the significance of mathematics. Learners are able to enhance their flexibility and applicability as a result of this. Students’ approaches to mathematical problems are largely determined by students’ general beliefs, which in many instances direct them down unproductive avenues. It has been shown that students have a very procedural and rule-oriented perspective of mathematics. Furthermore, students tend to believe that mathematical problems need to be easily solved in a limited number of stages, with the end aim being to simply get “correct answers.”
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According to them, the responsibility of the student is to learn mathematical knowledge and to be able to show that knowledge, while the responsibility of the instructor is to impart this information and to ensure that pupils have gained it (Frank, 2019). Students may be prevented from realizing that there are alternate techniques and approaches to many mathematical problems, multiple ways of defining ideas, and even different constructions as a result of different beginning points if such beliefs are held. As a direct result of this, kids could lose out on important components of the mathematics experience, such as generating their own questions, hypothesizing connections, and putting their hypotheses to the test. It’s possible that they approach the assignments in the math class with a very limited frame of mind, which prevents them from establishing their own approaches and gaining confidence in their ability to cope with mathematical concepts.
The expectations that students have of what a mathematics classroom should be like are closely related to these concepts. If the instructor engages in any novel actions, the pupils may immediately create an overt or covert response, which will further delay the learning process. How durable are such notions and expectations, after they have been implanted in the brains of students? Are they only an effect of the general atmosphere of the mathematics classroom, or do they take on a life of their own in some way?. In spite of the recent interest that has been shown in this subject, very little is known about the ways in which these general views of students can be influenced and, more specifically, about the effects that curriculum approaches can have on improving students’ views and attitudes regarding mathematics. In a comparative examination of the elements that influence mathematics success, Burstein (2020) discovered that there is a clear relationship between students’ attitudes towards mathematics and student achievements.
This was one of the key findings of the research. In addition to this, he discovered that student gender accounted for 25 percent of the difference in students’ attitudes toward mathematics that was observed in England, while success attribution accounted for 26 percent of the variation in attitudes reported in Norway (belief about success in mathematics). The ideas and attitudes that students bring to school have the ability either to help them learn or to hold them back. Because students’ attitudes toward a subject can be related to educational achievement in ways that reinforce higher or lower performance, Gibbons, Kimmel, and O’Shea (2021) had the opinion that students’ attitudes about the value of learning science may be considered as both an input and outcome variable. This is because students’ attitudes toward the subject can be related to educational achievement in ways that reinforce higher or lower performance. This indicates that students who do well in a topic tend to have more positive attitudes about that subject, and students who perform well in a subject likely to have more positive attitudes toward that subject. An analysis of the research that were referenced above revealed mixed findings about the connection between students’ attitudes and their level of academic accomplishment. In light of this context, the current research will attempt, among other things, to determine whether or not there is a connection between students’ attitudes and their level of academic accomplishment in mathematics.
1.2 Statement of Problem
What perspectives do pupils in secondary school have on the subject of mathematics and its study? How do the attitudes that students have about the topic of mathematics effect their academic accomplishments and the study habits that they develop? And how exactly does it have an impact on their overall academic and educational experiences?(Frank, 2019).
These are some of the topics that we thought had the potential to be intriguing, and as a result, we chose to conduct a case study of secondary schools that took part in an experience of mathematics curriculum. The scope of our study included a variety of topics, such as the dynamics of the educational process and the perspectives held by the students who took part. Within the scope of this study, a special emphasis is placed on the learning practices and academic accomplishments of senior secondary school students with regard to the subject of mathematics, as well as the ways in which these things influence the students’ perspectives on the subject.
1.3 Objective Of The Study
The general objective of the study is to investigate into the influence of gender in the academic achievement of students in mathematics. specifically the study identified:
- To examine the extent to which students attitude influence their academic achievement in mathematics.
- To find out the challenges student face in the learning of
- To investigate ifinstructional method influence students academic achievement in
- To evaluate if gender influences student interest in mathematics.
1.4 Research Hypotheses
The following research hypotheses will be tested in this study:
Hypothesis 1: The extent to which students attitude influence their academic achievement in mathematics is low.
Hypothesis 2: Instructional method does not influence students academic achievement in mathematics.
Hypothesis 3: Gender does not influences student interest in mathematics.
1.5 Significance of the Study
It is the view of the researcher that at the successful completion of this study, it will be useful to both teachers and students, educational planners, educational institutions and those who are concerned with the formulation and implementation of educational policy as regards the new policy on education at all level.
Also it will help parent and government to identify those variables under the teaching of mathematics like poor students study habits, limited time allocation for mathematics teaching, poor teaching aids etc that are responsible for students poor performance in mathematics through a critical examination of these variables.
This research is also expected to help the teachers identify the needs, to manage the classroom effectively and even apply appropriate method of mathematics teaching that will enhance students performance in mathematics through understanding the usefulness of effective classroom management and the use of appropriate teaching method. Also via understanding the needs ofstudents and society at large, this study will help the curriculum planners to plan and evaluate the secondary school curriculum effectively.
Finally, it is expected that the this study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature
1.6 Scope of Study
The study will examine the extent to which students attitude influence their academic achievement in mathematics. The study will also find out the challenges student face in the learning of mathematics. The study will further investigate if instructional method influence students academic achievement in mathematics. Lastly, the study will evaluate if gender influences student interest in mathematics. Hence this study will be delimited to Akwa Ibom State.
1.7 Limitation Of The Study
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend 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), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
1.8 Operational Definition of Terms
Influence: the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.
Gender: either of the two sexes (male and female),
Academic achievement: It is the ability to study and remember facts and being able to communicate your knowledge verbally or written.