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AN INVESTIGATION INTO STUDENTS PERCEPTIONTOWARDS THE TEACHING AND LEARNING OF MATHEMATICS
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Teaching is a complicated system that influences what happens in classrooms via the interplay of components such as instructors, students, curriculum, the local environment, and others (Stigler and Hilbert, 1998). Rubenstein (2004) advocated for teaching as a difficult and time-consuming job. The knowledge foundation that underpins mathematics instruction comprises knowledge of mathematics, knowledge of links among mathematical concepts, knowledge of student learning, and understanding of school culture, among other things. A key part of the teaching process is the formation of a learning community, which includes pushing students to make sense of mathematical concepts and assisting students in their development as learners. Rubenstein (2004) said that instructors are seen as one of the most significant variables influencing students’ success and the teaching process, and that this is supported by research.
In order for mathematics learning to be effective, students and instructors must interact in such a manner that students have the chance to optimize the amount of information they acquire. In a learning environment, there are many different methods in which students and instructors connect with one another. Some interactions result in student learning, such as classroom discussions, questions posed by instructors, and queries posed by students. Instructive strategies that provide a measure of two-way communication include cooperative group work, peer tutoring, and a slew of other feedback systems such as assignments, examinations, and electronic responses systems such as the personal responses system (PRS) and the personal data assistant (PDA). Two-way communication refers to the exchange of information about what is taught and what is learned between two people. However, there exist instructional tactics in which students sit quietly in classrooms where there is just one-way contact between instructors and students, which are called one-way communication strategies. On the campuses of several colleges and universities. Consider the professor as the fabled “Sage on the stage,” and the didactic lecture as the standard method of imparting knowledge. Although the lecture is an effective method of transmitting information from a teacher to a large group of students, simply telling information to someone does not imply that learning has occurred. In order to determine whether learning has occurred-infant to ensure that learning has occurred-there must be teacher-student assessment interactions in addition to instructional interactions to determine whether learning has occurred-infant
Student-teacher assessment interactions occur when instructors acquire information on students’ learning and utilize that information to assist students better comprehend ideas and principles, as well as apply knowledge, rather than simply learn things. It is characterized as follows for this sort of assessment interaction, which is known as formative assessment: It is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust on-going teachers and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust on-going teachers and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes (council of chief school states officers, 2008). According to this definition, formative assessment is a process that may employ tests or various other types of assessments, but it may also employ interactive instructional strategies such as classroom discussion, assignment homework quizzes project investigations electronic response system or oral question in order to guide and improve students learning. Formative assessment is a process that may employ tests or various other types of assessments, but it may also employ interactive instructional strategies such as classroom discussion, assignment homework quizzes (Angelo and Cross 1993, Fennell, 2006) It may be difficult to create an interactive learning environment in the mathematics classroom where pupils are actively involved in mathematics learning, especially for younger students.
Students may feel self-conscious about their own lack of mathematics subject knowledge, and they may be hesitant to participate fully in class discussions or react directly to instructors’ spoken questions on mathematics. Furthermore, this complicated negotiation of instructor speak, student chat, and classroom dynamics while keeping focused on the job at hand necessitates the development of certain skills and knowledge. Classroom dynamics are described as a social endeavor (Cobb and Bauersfield, 1995), in which the classroom serves as a learning community where students are encouraged to think, criticize, argue, and agree with one another, as well as to disagree and agree with one another. It is possible that this dynamic will function successfully, resulting in the formation of a learning environment in which students’ critical thinking and mathematical reasoning skills will improve, their learning will flourish, and students will take increased responsibility for their own learning.
As defined by the authors of Motani and Garg (2002), an effective learning environment is one in which students and instructors communicate freely, continually and without any inhibitions. Pupils’ learning is not left to chance in this sort of learning environment; rather, instructors are able to determine whether or not their students comprehend the desired notion. The installation and utilization of an immediate feedback system have proven to be critical to this accomplishment. Instantaneous feedback allows instructors to act as soon as a student misunderstands a concept or principle that is critical to the achievement of learning goals. Changing a teaching technique, using a new example, or providing alternate explanations are all possibilities for a teacher. The act of making these modifications demonstrates to students and parents that instructors acknowledge and respect that prior attempts to teach the idea or principle were ineffective.
In general, mathematics has played a significant part in the evolution of society, both locally and globally, and has become more vital. However, the focus of this research will be on instructors’ perceptions of mathematics teaching in schools with 50 percent to 100 percent students who are mathematical learners, as well as students’ perceptions of mathematics learning in these schools. The fact that just a small percentage (about 0.52 percent) of the thousands of students who graduate from secondary school each year pick mathematics as a field is something that may be seen. Even those who wish to pursue a career in the field do so because there are no other options available. Because of a scarcity of trained mathematics instructors in certain schools, students who have studied economics, geography, biology, and physical education, among other subjects, are assigned to teach mathematics. This sort of structure has a detrimental influence on the performance of pupils in mathematics and linked subjects like as science and applied science, which are of critical significance to the nation’s social, economic, and technical well-being, respectively.
More specifically, the research will urge mathematics instructors to stay up with reform and progress in the educational literature in order to be skilled enough to fulfill their responsibilities. If instructors recognize this, they will be able to recognize the degree of learning achieved by their pupils. Finally, the research will aid in the improvement and resolution of some of the issues that secondary school mathematics teachers have experienced while teaching mathematics, which will in turn serve to enhance the performance of students in mathematics.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Specifically, the purpose of this research was to examine several facts related to the teaching and learning of mathematics at the secondary level in Nigeria. This is a topic that has been explored, however there are some facts that have not been addressed by the study as of this time. It is still unknown how the educational environment impacts the development of studying attitudes towards mathematics, but this overview covers a wide range of topics, including an evaluation of teaching materials (Motani and Garg, 2002). Because of this, the researcher feels it is important to explore and discover elements that influence students’ views about mathematics as a topic. As a result, the current research was driven by the need to determine whether or not the views of senior secondary school students toward mathematics had a role in their attitudes about mathematics in general.
The current research is designed to look at the most significant school-related variables of students’ likelihood to like and dislike mathematics from the perspective of each individual student. The current research has a specific significance in that it should be able to detect and categorize the various perspectives and outcomes of different students.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to investigate into students perception towards the teaching and learning of mathematics. Specifically, the study will be guided under the following:
- To examine whether teachers qualification affect the teaching of mathematics.
- To find out whether lack of attention in class affects students learning of mathematics.
- To evaluate if lack of teaching aids affects the teachers in teaching of mathematics
- To investigate how to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions will be addressed in this study:
- Does teachers qualification affect the teaching of mathematics?
- Does lack of attention in class affects students learning of mathematics?
- Does lack of teaching aids affects the teachers in teaching of mathematics?
- How can there be an improvement in the teaching and learning of mathematics?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant to the teacher as it would identify their deficiencies and limitations as regards the teaching and learning of mathematics and make necessary adjustments where necessary. More so, as mathematics becomes part of daily life, the need for proper teaching and learning has become extremely essential. Because of this increase in need demands have also been placed in school to educate students and make them “ mathematically equipped.
This study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study willexamine whether teachers qualification affect the teaching of mathematics. The study will also find out whether lack of attention in class affects students learning of mathematics. The study will further evaluate if lack of teaching aids affects the teachers in teaching of mathematics. Lastly, the study will investigate how to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics. Hence this study will be delimited to Edo 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 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Mathematics: Mathematics in a strict sense is the abstract science which investigates deductively the conclusion impact in the elementary concept of spatial and numerical relation.