The educational system encompasses various components such as teachers, students, curriculum, and administrators. Of these, teachers play a crucial role as the quality of education heavily relies on their competence. Teachers assume multiple responsibilities, including planning activities, instructing, disciplining, motivating, and guiding students. Effective use of teaching strategies is essential to instill lasting behavioral changes, constituting the essence of learning. Mathematics, a subject of paramount importance across educational levels, is considered a thinking model that fosters observation, reflection, logical reasoning, and effective communication of ideas. Despite its significance, students often exhibit a lack of enthusiasm for mathematics, viewing it as challenging. This perception leads to a nonchalant attitude and poor performance in tests and examinations, posing a national concern. Addressing the high failure rates in mathematics remains a pressing issue for researchers.
The heart of education lies in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Various factors influence students' interest in mathematics, including their attitudes, the availability of instructional resources, and teaching techniques. Among these factors, the instructional strategy employed by teachers emerges as the most influential in shaping students' attitudes and achievements in mathematics. Research indicates that adopting effective instructional techniques can significantly enhance students' performance and attitudes toward mathematics.
Different educators have proposed various methods of teaching mathematics, and teachers should consider these methods based on the nature of the topic, students' interests, maturity, and available instructional materials. A comprehensive understanding of different teaching methods allows teachers to create their own approach, incorporating the strengths of various methods.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Mathematics faces a lack of popularity among students at different educational levels across the state and country. Several factors contribute to this, including the teaching strategies employed by mathematics teachers, which may obscure the subject's simplicity and interesting nature. Additionally, the gender of learners and negative attitudes toward mathematics, stemming from a misconception of its complexity, further contribute to the challenge.Top of Form
Bottom of Form
1.2 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of teaching strategies or methods on the learning of mathematics. Specifically, the study is designed to:
(1) Investigate the various teaching strategies or methods adopted by teachers in teaching mathematics
(2) Examine the attitude and interest of students towards the study of mathematics.
(3) Find out more innovate and modern teaching strategies or methods teachers can adopt that can enhance positive attitude of students towards the subject, mathematics.
1.4 Significance of the study
Mathematics is one of the important and interesting subjects in the curriculum of education, which finds its use and importance across all the facet of human endeavour, yet, majority of students lack interest and develop negative attitude towards studying it, either as a subject or as a discipline. This disparity between the simplicity of the subject matter and the attitudes of students towards it is where this study finds its relevance.
This study will be useful to students who have negative perception towards mathematics, as it hinges on the various teaching strategies that will reflect the simple nature of the subject, which can arouse students’ interest to prefer it as a subject or a course of study amongst other courses.
Teachers also stand to benefit greatly from this study as it investigates the various teaching strategies that can be employed in teaching mathematics to regain students’ interest, and also to enhance their performance in both mathematics and other related subjects.
This research can also enable the ministry of education to enact policies that incorporate modern teaching methods into the curriculum to facilitate the teaching and learning process in mathematics.
The immediate community will also benefit immensely from this study, as its effect will produce and prepare citizens who are logically and analytically well equipped, who will contribute positively to the growth and development of the larger society.
1.5 Research Questions
The following questions were constructed to guide the researcher in this study;
(1) To what extent does teaching strategies influence students’ learning in mathematics?
(2) To what extent does students’ attitude influence their learning of mathematics?
(3) How does the teacher’s characteristic influence the learning of mathematics?
(4) To what extent does gender of the learner influence the learning of mathematics?
1.6 Research Hypotheses
The following null hypotheses were constructed to test the level of significance of this study at 0.05 Alpha:
(1) There is no significant effect of teaching strategy on students’ learning in mathematics.
(2) There is no significant effect of students’ attitude on learning of mathematics.
1.7 Assumption of the study
Teaching strategy/technique has either negative or positive effect on the learning of mathematics by students in the junior secondary school.
The sex of the learner can influence the learning of mathematics.
It is also assumed that the size of the class and the teacher’s ability to manage the class during active learning goes a long way to determine the quality of learning of the subject matter.
Furthermore, it is generally assumed that the teaching-learning process has been carried out under a conducive atmosphere.
1.8 Scope of the study
This research is delimited to the following;
(1) Junior secondary school students only (JSS1 to JSS3).
(2) It is delimited to junior secondary schools in Eket local government area.
(3) It is also delimited to investigating teaching strategies employed by teachers and its effect on students’ attitude towards learning mathematics
1.9 Limitation of the study
Several factors impeded this research study even though it was accomplished. They are listed as follows;
(1) There was the problem of lack of fund to cover the entire secondary schools in Eket Local Government Area being the population area of the study
(2) There was also the problem of scarcity of research materials in some areas of review of related literature.
(3) It took the management some time in granting the researcher audience which brought about delay in the administration of the instrument.
(4) The respondents (junior secondary school students) were not excited at the filing of the instruments (questionnaires). Questionnaires distributed to the respondents were received grudgingly and researcher retrieved from some of them while those retrieved were not properly filled.
(5) Problems caused by power failure during the typing of the work which contributed to the delay in the timely submission of the research work.
1.10 Operational Method/definition of Terms
Teaching: refers to the process of imparting knowledge, information, skills etc to a learner.
Strategy: this refers to various techniques or methods used by teachers to help students to learn the desired course content and also to arouse and sustain their interest in it.
Learning: refers to the process of acquiring knowledge, information or skill which leads to a permanent change in behaviour of the learner.
Mathematics: is a branch of human enquiry/subject involving the study of numbers, quantities, data, shape, space and their relationship, generalization and application to real life situations.
Gender: This refers to male and female as used in the study