COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS
Background to the study
Gender bias has posed a lot of problems and great concern to educationists. Girls and women from middle and upper class parents are at advantage position when it comes to the provision of education, especially where there are boys and girls in the family. As for the upper class parents, they stand a chance of educating both boys and girls. On the other hand, parents that are poor are likely not to be able to send all their children to school.
Thus, when it comes to who is to go to school, girls and women are placed at a disadvantage. The usual reason is that, girls and women are taken for marriage and therefore, it is more important to educate the boy-child. This trend is prominent in the Northern part of Nigeria (NTI, 2004). Now the “big” question is in giving equal opportunities to both boys and girls, who among them will perform? Some schools of thought (NTI, 2004) attribute to background of a child, in the sense that a child from upper class parents will have access to qualitative education and will be exposed to a lot of things a poor parent cannot reach. However, it is not always true that children from middle and upper class perform better and achieve morethan those poor and uneducated parents, despite their exposures. It is rather possible to have children from high socio-economic status not performing well in school.
Children of the poor and uneducated or of low socio-economic status parents may perform well in school and consequently attain high educational status on the other hand. Ale (2009) states that mathematics is one of the basic ingredients to understand science and technology. He further argues that the gap that exists between the developed and the developing countries had their roots in mathematics accomplishments. Kuku (2009) declares that a nation cannot develop meaningful road to technology without mathematics. It suffices to say that for any meaningful road to technological development of any country, its citizenry must have a sound knowledge of qualitative and analytical subjects like mathematics, physics and others since the social and economic development of any country largely depend on them. Bassey (2015) says that mathematics has been exemplified from the fact that “mathematics is the door and key to science and technology”. However, in Nigerian society, the understanding of this science subject at the Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) is misplaced.
The teachers besides gender may be the key players; a teacher who is harsh will tend to discourage the students. More so, students’ perception of the subject (mathematics) would always influence their school academic performance.
The fact remains that apathy among the students is their greatest enemy which Interferes with their performances. Mathematics as the bed rock of science and technology must be significantly developed in order to meet up with the global practice and expected technological need of the nation and of its citizenry. Odilli(2016) postulates that mathematics is the queen of the science and no nation can hope to achieve any measure of scientific or technological advancement and development without proper foundation in school mathematics, but unfortunately, mathematics is one of the most poorly taught, widely hated and abysmally understood subject in the Nigerian school system. Most secondary school students particularly the girls do run away from mathematics. The postulation of girls’ students avoiding or running away from mathematics might have borne out of negative conceptions from other people that mathematics is difficult or it is abstract. This motivates the researchers to analyse the level of performance of male and female students of mathematics at Senior Secondary Certificate Examination level.
Education is one of the basic human needs. It enables human beings to lead a balanced life and contribute to society in the best possible way. Our Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) advised the Muslims to seek knowledge from cradle to grave. Education is a progressive development of the individual in all faculties: physical, intellectual and moral. As a result of disciplined growth of the entire personality, an educated person shows balanced development in all aspects. The teaching pedagogy is vital because method is nothing but a scientific way of presenting the ideas, keeping in mind the psychological requirements of the children. The better achievement of educational institutions can bring prosperity in a country. Responsible supervisory staff should be well trained for effective check and balance that helps the staff to solve the academic problems. In Pakistan educational supervision very scarcely takes advantages of the modern ideas and theories. Management keeps work of supervision-limited to the achievement of faculty staff (Government of Pakistan, 2009).The deficiencies impaired the quality of teaching and learning that contributed to health and safety problems for staff and students. Building design had been linked with teacher motivation and student achievement (Filardo, 2008). One of the most essential duties for administrators was to provide suitable facilities (Kowalski, 2006).
Mathematics occupies central position in education because mathematics is a science and the nucleus of all other sciences, which lays strong emphasis on both theory and practical. Mathematics is also called the science of reasoning. There were a few premises on which we based our reasoning. Reasoning in Mathematics is of two types: Inductive and deductive. When statements containing mathematical truths were based on general observations and experience, reasoning is called inductive whereas deductive type the statements are products of mind. The method of teaching is very important for teacher of any subject generally and for the mathematics teacher particularly. Method is nothing but a scientific way of presenting the subject, keeping in mind the psychological and physical requirements of the children. For effective learning of mathematics the method has to be as good as the content. It is through method only that it is possible to make a subject interesting and useful. While teaching a set of pupils with varying interests, aptitudes and attitudes, one should be aware of the psychological basis of teaching learning process. Communication of ideas and development of concepts in a precise manner based on a logical development of subject is the most important pre-requisite in teaching a subject like mathematics. Generally students were afraid of studying mathematics, as there are various reasons for that method being one of them. Pupils tend to learn mathematics through a meaningful approach rather than by a mechanical process. Education has many aspects e.g. learning, guidance and counseling, evaluation, teaching and testing. Testing is a process for accurate evaluation. An instrument used for testing is called test. Tests may be used as an evaluative, teaching, guiding, supervisory and research device (Garrison, 1960). Tests are used to measure the quality or genuineness. Achievement tests are used to measure students’ knowledge (Aiken, 1985), actual learning in education subject matter (Freeman, 2015).
Statement of the Problem
The major concern and an important function of the school system is to improve the academic performance of students and produce a pool of skilled manpower that will help a nation to grow and develop irrespective of their sex or gender. The Nigerian education system is faced with a lot of problems is continuous poor performance of students in both internal and internal examinations in almost every subject.
It is obvious that the Nigerian culture regards male as superior to their female counter parts, thus gender- role differentiation is very much pronounced in our society. This places a very serious constrains on the academic performance of male and female students in mathematics either directly or indirectly. Previous researches on the differences in classroom performance between male and female student’s shows mixed results while significant differences exist in some studies, others show no differences.
In view of the above, the researcher will compare the academic performance of male and female students in mathematics with special reference to ikere local government area
Objectives of the study
The specific objectives of the study were as under:
1. To compare the achievement of male and female students in the subject of mathematics in secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State
2. To compare the achievement of male and female students in the subject of mathematics in s secondary school level with respect to teachers’ teaching experience.
3. To compare the achievement of male and female students in the subject of mathematics in secondary school level with respect to teachers’ qualifications.
4. To examine gender difference in positive attitude of teachers towards students.
1. Does male students performance better than female students in mathematics in Ikere Local government area of ekiti state
2. To what extents does male and female students perform in mathematics with respect to teacher working experiences
3. Does male students perform better in mathematics than female students with respect to teachers qualification?
4. Does gender have posititve attitude towards students academc performance in mathematics
To achieve the above objectives following null hypotheses were tested:
1. There is no significant difference in the achievement of male and female students of mathematics in secondary schools.
2. There is no significant difference between the achievement of male and female students in the subject of mathematics in secondary school level with respect teachers’ teaching experience.
3. There is no significant difference between the achievement of male and female students in the subject of mathematics in secondary school level with respect teachers’ qualifications.
4. There is no significant gender difference with respect to positive attitude of teachers towards students.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of benefit to educational agencies and government ministry of education to reach a concrete conclusion as to what type of secondary school embarked on would be beneficial to the pupils and the government and help to achieve the national goals in education as stated in the curriculum.
Parents and guidance will have positive thinking and better understanding as to whether to send their children to either private or public secondary schools.
it will help to shed more light and endure useful information in the achievement of student in both private and public secondary schools.
Scope of the study
This study will compare the academic performance of male and female students in five selected secondary schools in Ikere Local Government Area of Ekiti State. Simple random sampling techques was used to selected five secondary schools in the study area. The study compare the performance of make and female students in mathematics.