**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**Background to the Study**

Concept mapping is a great way to build upon previous knowledge by connecting new information back to it. When new knowledge is integrated with and connects to existing knowledge that new knowledge is easier to understand and to remember. A concept mapping is a visual organization and representation of knowledge. It shows concepts and ideas and the relationship among them. The effect of concept mapping in the teaching and learning of mathematics cannot be overemphasized. It graphically illustrates relationships between information. Concept mapping encourage understanding by helping students to organize and enhanced their knowledge on any topic and help students learn new information by integrating each new idea into their existing body of knowledge, Concept mapping idea help to measuring the growth of students learning. As students create concept maps they are able to reiterate ideas using their own words. It provides an accurate, objective way to evaluate particular areas requiring additional explanation to complete students’ understanding.

As the use of visual learning technique such as concept mapping is achieving growing recognition in education, students in secondary schools are still not performing to expectation in mathematics. Consistent mass failure has been observed in both internal and external examination (Information of Nigeria Education 2009)

Certain key factors have been identified to continue more to the problem of poor achievement in mathematics. These include lack of proper digestion and utilization of research findings mathematics teacher, sex-stereotyping, transfer of poor attitudes of older students to the younger one, poor self-concept toward mathematics, instructional and classroom characteristics, societal factors and school factor (Nwoji, 1999).

Mathematics being one of the cure subjectsthat contribute to scientific and technological development, need to be taught consciously, methodically and purposefully through the use of conceptmapping. Students need modes of instruction that are suitable for the increased emphasis on problem solving, applications and higher order thinking skills.

For effective teaching and learning of mathematics, concept mapping has been identified as major method for fostering learning in mathematics class (Jeff, 2008). Students in mathematics class were able to use branching to show more complex association. Students found it valuable to explore their own thinking. They also found that they were able to detect assumptions in their thinking, see that many of their views were essentially reproduction for what they heard from other sources and that their views were not systematically or rationally obtained as well as the influence of various socialization forces on their thinking.

This study therefore, considers the effect of concept mapping in the teaching and learning of mathematics in Junior Secondary School.

**Statement of the Problem**

Despite stringent measure and strategies employed by government researchers and educators to ensure that educational standards are maintained in the teaching and learning of mathematics students whom after passing through all these vigorous educational practices still perform below expectations in both internal and external examination.Teachers’ preparation, understanding and mastery of mathematics content, teacher attitude and method of teaching has been identify by Ayo (2007) as major factors responsible for this failure.

Concept mapping in the teaching and learning of mathematics would have serve as panacea to this problem but teachers lack the appropriate understanding and effective use of concept mapping. In the view of this, the major statement of problem for this study includes;

- Does concept mapping improve conceptual understanding of Junior Secondary School students in mathematics?
- Does concept mapping in the teaching and learning of mathematics affect student performance in mathematics?
- Does concept mapping improve Junior Secondary school Students’ attitude and beliefs about mathematics?

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**Purpose of the Study**

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of concept mapping on the teaching and learning of mathematics among Junior Secondary School in Ikere Local Government Area of EkitiState.

**Research Questions**

The following four research questions were raised to assist the study

- Is there any difference between the pre-test achievement scores of students exposed to the concept mapping strategy and the exposed to the regular teaching method?
- Is there anydifference between the post-test achievement scores of students exposed to the concept mapping strategy and the exposed to the regular teaching method?
- Is there any difference between the student analysis, synthesis and evaluation levels of cognition after being expose to the concept mapping strategy and the regular teaching method?
- Is there any difference in the effect of concept mapping between male and female students in mathematics?

**Research Hypotheses**

The following hypotheses were generated from the above research questions and tested at 0.05 level of significance

- There is no significant difference between the pre-test achievement score of students exposed to the concept mapping strategy and the exposed to the regular teaching method
- There is no significant difference between the post-test achievement of students exposed to the concept mapping strategy and the exposed to the regular teaching method
- There is no significant difference between the student analysis, synthesis and evaluation levels of cognition after being expose to the concept mapping strategy and the regular teaching method
- There is no significant effect of concept mapping between male and female students in mathematics.

**Significant of the Study**

The significance of this study is that it will assist teachers in enhancing effective ways and methods of teaching mathematics at Junior Secondary School. The study will assist teacher in knowing way of mapping out strategies of preparing scheme of mathematics topics and how to relate previous knowledge of students to the new concept to be taught.

Government curriculum planner and school administrators will found the study useful by guiding them on the choice and preparation of mathematics contents.

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**Scope of the Study**

The study is delimited to concept mapping in mathematics. It only focuses on Junior Secondary school in Ekiti State. The study is also delimited to both private and public secondary school students’ in the Local Government and mathematics teachers were considered in the study

**Definition of Terms**

The following terms were operationally defined below;

**Concept Mapping:** This is an ideal way for measuring the growth of students’ learning and deals with relationship between previous knowledge and new concept.

**Teaching:** This is the process of transferring ideas through methods by the teacher to the students’ in order to ensure learning.

**Learning:** This is the process of acquiring new ideas which involve change in behavior after acquiring new concept.

**Mathematics:** This is a broad-ranging field of study in which the properties and interactions of idealized objects are examined.

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