THE IMPACT OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS IN MATHEMATICS TEACHING ON STUDENTS' ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The importance of mathematics in human existence and growth cannot be overstated. In general, mathematics is a highly valued instrument in almost all fields of human endeavor, including science, engineering, industry, technology, and even the arts. No nation can progress scientifically or technologically if mathematics is ignored (Azuka, 2022).
According to Okereke (2022), mathematics is the cornerstone of science and technology, and its functional role in science and technology is so varied and diverse that no sector of science and technology can be lucrative or profitable without its use.
Mathematics, according to Umoinyam (2022), is the cornerstone of science and technology, without which a nation will never be affluent and economically independent.
According to Oyedeji (2022), a primary goal of many curricula is to provide students with at least the fundamental mathematical abilities that will enable them to think mathematically and adapt this thinking to the fast changing needs of the modern world. As a result, mathematical abilities are vital for every individual to cope with life's tasks.
Mathematics is a core topic in the school curriculum and is regarded as essential information for the educated individual. According to Azuka (2022), all main occupations nowadays require understanding of mathematics in order to practice. Engineering, accounting, medical, economics, banking, technology, and other professions are examples of these. Mathematics is required in offices, factories, and other human enterprises for the analysis, arrangement, and assessment of information required to make new judgments.
According to Ukwu (2022), "it is the attributes that make everything about it a topic of concern to every nation of the world." Math is now required in both primary and secondary schools. In Nigerian universities nowadays, there is almost no programme that can be studied without demonstrating a basic understanding of fundamental mathematical principles by at least a credit pass in an ordinary level test in the subject. In reality, practically all higher education institutions provide one or two mathematics courses that all students take as general studies to prepare them for their respective specialties.
Despite its relevance, it has been seen all over the world that the topic has distinctive traits, nature, and structure that make many people fearful of it and lose interest in it. (Ukwu 2022), Nigeria is one of the countries that bears the brunt of the consequences of poor performance and underachievement in mathematics (Azuka 2022).
Galadina (2022) noted that practically every year, pupils do poorly in both internal and external mathematics tests. This report is supported by the studies of (Odili, 2022), Salau (2022), Amazigo (2022), Agwagah (2022), and Okereke (2022).
The West African Examinations Councils (WAEC) chief examiners in mathematics (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019) repeatedly highlighted applicants' lack of ability to solve practically all general mathematics problems. According to Abakporo (20222), the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) had a credit pass of no more than 36.91 percent in mathematics for 11 years. WAEC chief examiners (2019, 2020) also found that applicants lacked proficiency in Geometry of Circles and three-dimensional issues.
According to their study, most applicants avoided three-dimensional issues, and when they tackled Geometry questions, only a few candidates demonstrated a thorough knowledge of the topic in their workings.
Both Ojo (2022) and Adetula (2022) sought to discover some of the reasons why pupils do badly in mathematics. One of the variables found for students' low performance and failure in mathematics in secondary schools was instructors' inability to employ the right technique of instruction.
Studies such as those of Peters (2022) and Iji (2022) have identified one of the core reasons of students' low mathematics success as the teaching styles and strategies utilized in the classroom by mathematics teachers.
Ukwu (2022) found that the only method to make mathematics teaching and learning successful, relevant, and exciting is to employ instructional materials or teaching aids as well as delightful activities that learners like.
The current state of mathematics education and learning is far from adequate. Mathematics is not a spectator sport; studying mathematics needs active engagement of the learners in the session, and actively engaging in mathematics is the greatest approach to learn mathematics. Mathematics lectures should not be dominated by teachers.
In a classroom, teachers use time-honored approaches such as the lecture method (talk and chalk). As a result, students' ability to comprehend, grasp, and retain information is not developed, and as a result, students exhibit less enthusiasm in mathematics study. As a result, traditional approaches utilized by instructors have failed to build abilities such as those required in creating, modeling, and solving issues. Students do not always recall and retain what they have previously learned. Simple geometrical shapes, such as cubes, cuboids, pyramids, cylinders, and cones, to name a few, are studied in the classroom without exposing the pupils to the real items.
Mathematics' abstract character should be achieved through demonstration and practical approaches. A plan is required to improve abilities and give practical experiences with mathematical ideas, assumptions, claims, and rules.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Mathematics is a topic that students despise and despise, but it is required for every school child and in many professions and jobs. Evidence of low mathematics performance by secondary school students suggested that the most desirable technical, scientific, and business applications of mathematics are not being sustained. As a result, it is critical to establish an approach for teaching mathematics that aims to improve students' knowledge and performance (Ekpo, 2022). One of the key issues contributing to secondary school students' poor mathematics success is a lack of mathematics laboratories and the utilization of laboratory approaches in teaching mathematics (Ogunkunle, 2022). As a result, the purpose of this research is to determine the impact of implementing a mathematics laboratory in the classroom on the accomplishment of Junior Secondary School (JSS) mathematics students.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the impact of instructional materials in mathematics teaching on students' academic performance. Specifically, other objectives of the study are:
i. To determine the extent instructional materials is used in mathematics teaching in secondary schools.
ii. To determine whether the use of instructional materials in mathematics teaching affects academic performance.
iii. To examine the effects of instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools.
iv. To examine the challenges of using instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions will be answered in this study:
i. To what extent is instructional materials used in mathematics teaching in secondary schools?
ii. Does the use of instructional materials in mathematics teaching affects academic performance?
iii. What are the effects of instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools?
iv. What are the challenges of using instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is important in the following ways:
1. Identify a better teaching approach that mathematics teachers could use to increase student performance in mathematics.
2. The abstract aspect of mathematics will be diminished, and students' interest in the subject will rise.
3. It will lead to self-discovery of mathematical ideas, principles, and formulas by students, and mathematics will no longer be a matter of memorizing formulae but of practical action that will guide students to find things on their own.
4. When individuals observe, research, evaluate, and synthesize what they are doing, they will gain insight, and any answer derived from this scientific approach of reasoning will boost their confidence.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is focused on the impact of instructional materials in mathematics teaching on students' academic performance. Specifically, this study is focused on determining the extent instructional materials is used in mathematics teaching in secondary schools, determining whether the use of instructional materials in mathematics teaching affects academic performance, examining the effects of instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools and examining the challenges of using instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools.
Teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State will be the respondents of this study.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to the impact of instructional materials in mathematics teaching on students' academic performance. Specifically, this study is limited to determining the extent instructional materials is used in mathematics teaching in secondary schools, determining whether the use of instructional materials in mathematics teaching affects academic performance, examining the effects of instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools and examining the challenges of using instructional materials in mathematics teaching in secondary schools.
Teachers and students of selected secondary schools in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State will be the respondents of this study, hence further research is required before the findings of this study can be used any where else.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Impact: A marked effect or influence.
Instructional materials: Instructional material, also known as teaching/learning materials, are any collection of materials including animate and inanimate objects and human and non-human resources that a teacher may use in teaching and learning situations to help achieve desired learning objectives.
Academic performance: Academic performance is the measurement of student achievement across various academic subjects.
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