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**Factors affecting the learning of mathematics among primary school pupils in AkureSouth local government area of Ondo State**

**ABSTRACT**

The study examined the factors affecting the learning of mathematics among primary school pupils in AkureSouth local government area of Ondo State. It has been observed that pupils shy away from the study of science. This is a negative attitude that brought about poor performance of student in basic science subjects. The study used survey research design. It was as a result of this that prompted the research into the problem of teaching and learning science in primary schools. The research aimed at identifying the problems and suggests solution to there. As a result of these two research questions were raised. (1) What factors are responsible for difficulty in the teaching and learning of mathematics in primary schools?

(2) What strategies could be adopted to enhance better teaching and learning of mathematic in primary schools?

Some factors such as quality and quantity of teaching staff attitude of students, physical facilities, parents and government were investigated. Three different questionnaires were administered to one hundred and fifty (150) mathematics pupils and thirty (30) teachers drawn from twenty (20) primary schools in AkureSouth local government area of Ondo State in order to collect data. In administering it likert rating scale was used and simple mean was used to analyzed it. Some of the finding are:

- The teaching and learning environment is not conducive
- The foundation of teachers in science subject is poor
- The pupils have foundation in science

- For effective teaching and learning to take place, the government should send science teachers for training
- It has become necessary for government to provide the necessary infrastructures and facilities that will enhance teaching and learning of basic science in the primary schools.

**TABLE OF CONTENTS**

**PAGES**

**TITLE PAGE**i

**CERTIFICATION**ii

**DEDICATION**iii

**ACKNOWLEDGEMENT**iv

**ABSTRACT**vi

**TABLE OF CONTENT S**viii

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**1

Background of the Study 1

Statement of the Problem 8

Purpose of the Study 9

Significance of the Study 9

Delimitation of the Study 11

Research Questions 11

**CHAPTER TWO**

**REVIEW OF LITERATURE**13

Concept of Parental Involvement 13

Parental Involvement and Academic Performance 16

Peer Group Prior Achievement and School

Academic Performance 19

Peer Group Composition and Pupils

Academic Performance 21

Parental Involvement and Pupils’ Behaviour

and Their Academic Performance 23

Peer Group Learning Environment and Pupils

Academic Performance 26

Summary of Literature Review 28

**CHAPTER THREE**

**METHODOLOGY**30

Research Design 30

Population for the Study 31

Sample and Sampling Technique(s) 31

Instrumentation of Data Collection 32

Validation of the Instrument 32

Administration of the Instrument 32

Data Analysis Technique(s) 33

**CHAPTER FOUR**

Discussion of Finding 48

**CHAPTER FIVE**

**SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION**51

Introduction 51

Summary of Findings 51

Conclusions 52

Recommendations 53

Limitation of the Study 55

Suggestions for Further Studies 55

**REFERENCES**57

**QUESTIONNAIRE**59

**CHAPTER ONE**

**INTRODUCTION**

**Background of the Study**

Mathematics has been of great importance because of its importance to human race, most especially in daily activities. Mathematics plays in the world’s current technology development, this is because without Mathematics counting might not be possible. In our century, it is the soul of the prosperity of nations and it is an economic and technological development as well as improving the quality of life of the individuals and the society at large Farrant (2010). Mathematics, as a school subject, has over the years gained prominence in the school curriculum worldwide.

In the last five decades, the world has witnessed Mathematics curriculum innovations and several changes in the teaching of the content in different levels of education. Inocoridge and Bybee (2012) Yoloye (2013) identified the objectives of teaching Mathematics to include: Knowledge of Mathematics academic discipline to acquire the skills of scientific method, having clear explanations for societal issues through increasing interest Mathematics literacy and societal goals, for personal needs and for career awareness.

In Nigeria, the Mathematics is taught in school subjects like Biology and Physics. Some of the most distinct characteristics of Mathematics are experimentation, observation and discovery. It provides the development of skills of pupils asking questions and making investigations, making hypothesis, inference of results and experiment to pupils.

(Acikgoz, Kaygusuz & Oncl, 2010) laboratory method is after used in Mathematics and it is targeted that pupils do trial and error activities. Therefore, the laboratory applications are integred part of Mathematics (Orbay , Ozdogan, Oner, Kara & Gumus 2013). The success of Mathematics programmes depends largely on the classroom teachers. They constitute the most important agent in the ongoing exercise to revolutionize the teaching and learning of Mathematics. According to (Awotua-efebo, 2011) Mathematics teachers have the potentials for enhancing the quality of education by bringing life to the curriculum and inspiring to curiosity and self directed learning.

Some definite demands on the teaching of Mathematics were made by Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN). This means that there are some demands made of the teacher if he or she is to teach his or her course effectively. So also are some demands, made of the pupils if they are to benefit maximally from the programme. Some of these demands, according to (STAN) Mathematic Teacher Association of Nigeria, are as follows: Demand of the teacher are the quality of the teacher skills and successfulness teacher seeking new information on new teaching techniques, regular in service training, regular or frequent evaluation of the pupils re-thinking of the teachers approach in the class to assess the class and be able to modify his teaching method if such an approach is not working adequately and how well equipped are the laboratories demands made of the pupils are wrapped round aims and objective of the STAN.

Some of these demands are: pupils should be able to recall should be able to relate their experience to other subjects, should be able to communicate effectively, should be able to apply their knowledge to new situations. The above listed demands constitute themselves into a number of definite problems in the classroom. Generally, the education of a nation is evaluated in part by the quality of its teachers, the quality of teachers itself depends largely on the kind of training they received both at the academic and professional levels for these reasons teachers of Mathematics need good training to enable them meet a better requirement and enough training to enable them meet a better requirement and enough academic information in a variety of the basic Mathematics subject.

Akpan (2012) observed that Nigeria problems have been that at implementation he said that a visit to primary and secondary school Mathematics teacher will show that the nursed hope in curriculum reform are expensive venture in the past decade. So therefore, turning out, in the nearest future qualified and dedicated scientist, engineers, medical doctors etc from these schools are in serious danger.

Furthermore, Akueshi (2010) warned that the world is developing scientifically and technologically in very sphere of human endeavours; we should thrive to join this technologically training or else we shall be left behind and it will be disastrous and unpleasant. As a result of poor teaching method poorly equipped Mathematics laboratories over dependence on print materials; pupils performed poorly in Mathematics subjects in Nigeria.

Despite all the efforts made by government to promote Mathematics education in Nigeria coupled with several research works that has been carried out, the problems of teaching and learning Mathematics are still persisting.

According to Adebayo (2012) on educational policy 2010, he stated that hack of finance to execute the project, shortage at manpower lack of facilities and lack of policy itself (i.e the planning and implementations) are factors responsible for poor performance in Mathematics subjects in our primary schools. Adeyemi (2013) and Adeyegbe (2010) stated that even though a number of Mathematics curriculum reforms were inquiry based and problem-solving in style research finding have continued to show that teaching and learning in Mathematics remain problematic.

Ayodele (2012) stated the problems as in adequacy of textbooks, lack of learners interest, unqualified mathematics and psychological fears of Mathematics subjects as factors responsible for poor performance in Mathematics subjects textbooks are not adequately available. The ones that are available are written by foreigners with their language and cultural background, making it difficult for indigenous teachers try to complement by writing textbooks, most of their work lack in standard, probably because they are horridly written just to bridge gabs, without adequate research.

Most laboratories are not well equipped, school relly more on imported laboratory apparatus and equipment and grants are never enough large class sizes in Mathematics subjects teaching and lack of incentives for teachers. One teacher to twenty-five (25) pupils are the recommended still remains a dream is schools classes are over populated to the tune of fifty (50) and above. Inadequate Mathematics teachers, approach to Mathematics teaching Mathematics is an abstract course and will only be understood through practice.

Some teachers do not put effort in improvisation of teaching aids and most importantly pupils attitude and aspirations: Some pupils attitude has made up their mind that they are not going to study Mathematics, therefore will not waste time on Mathematics subjects.

Poor primary school background in Mathematics subjects as factor responsible for the poor performance at pupils in the Mathematics subjects with these problems in mind the researcher decided to investigate suggest ways in which they could be successfully met. Hence, this study intends to investigate factors affecting the learning of Mathematics among primary school pupils in Akure South local government area of Ondo State.

**Statement of the Problem**

**This study will be carried out in an attempt to identify the factors affecting the learning of Mathematics among primary school pupils in Akure South local government area of Ondo State. The teaching and learning of Mathematics have standards to be followed by Mathematics teachers if effective learning by pupils is to be acquired.**

Despite the fact that government has invested a lot on Mathematics education, there are some persistent problems in our primary schools. This will invariable affect the use of instructional materials in the teaching-learning activities because (a) the pupils population may be much (b) the incompetent teacher who lacks the pedagogical skills may not be able to utilize the materials effectively even when they are available. Moa Dowell (2011) conducted a survey of Mathematics teaching in primary schools in Nigeria.

Adesenuga (2013) also commented that if any Mathematics is to be taught well, it should be taught practically, hence the need for sufficient materials for effective teaching of Mathematics within and outside the laboratory. In view of the above, it is, therefore, important to significant improvement in the availability of these materials and qualified teachers.

**Purpose of the Study**

**The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors affecting the learning of Mathematics among primary school pupils in Akure South local government area of Ondo State and suggest ways to enhance the teaching and learning of basic Mathematics in primary schools. Toward the achievement of this aim the study set out the following objectives.**

- To identify the factors that militates against teaching and learning of Mathematics.
- To examine the strategies that could be remedy the difficulty in the teaching and learning of Mathematics subjects.
- To make suggestions on the ways to enhance the teaching and learning of Mathematics in primary schools.

**Significant of the Study**

**The Mathematics curriculum is designed to help students acquired basic scientific skills and improves the performance and achievement as well. This study tends to uncover the challenges and proffer solutions to teaching and learning of Mathematics to the pupils, parent, teachers, government and the entire society. If the result of this research is properly initialized it will:**

- Promote the ideals that teaching and learning of Mathematics. Thus, it will increase the pupils interest in Mathematics.
- Motivate the parent to contribute to solving the challenges facing the teaching and learning in primary school especially in Akure South local government area.

- Make the government, through of the ministry of education to realize to need for provision of Mathematics equipment to schools and posting of qualified Mathematics teachers to primary schools it is not the issue of jack of all trades master of none. Teaching has attained professionalism and specialization.
- Help the Nigeria society in their quest for improved technology and industrialization.

**Delimitation of the Study**

**This study is delimited to all primary schools in Akure South local government area. It is limited to the pupils offering Mathematics students and teachers.**

**Research Questions**

**To guide this study, the following research questions were raised and answered after thorough investigation.**

- What factors are responsible for the difficulty in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in primary school based on teachers’ perception?
- What factors are responsible for the difficulty in the teaching and learning of Mathematics in primary school based on pupils’ perception?
- What strategies could be adopted to enhance better teaching and learning of Mathematics in primary school based on teachers’ perception?
- What strategies could be adopted to enhance better teaching and learning of Mathematics in primary school based on pupils’ perception?