**ABSTRACT**

The purpose of this study is to find out Mathematical ability, attitude and interest towards mathematics, mathematics achievement of students and identifying factors affecting their learning mathematics in Lagos state government secondary schools. There were three government secondary schools in this city. The study had done on 346 sample students and 39 sample Mathematics teachers from these schools. The mainly used instrument for data collection is questionnaire, achievement test for grade 9 and 10 differently, interview, and classroom observation. Quantitative analysis had adopted for the data collected through questionnaire and achievement tests while qualitative analysis for the data collected through interview and classroom observation. The collected data was analyzed using mean and grand mean that could have extracted through SPSS. The findings from the respondent result showed that there was significant difference on Mathematical ability, attitude and interest towards mathematics with in government schools while no significant difference observed between male and female students on attitude. On the other hand there was statistically difference on mathematics achievement among the schools, between male and female in both grade 9 and 10 there was significant difference on factors affecting students’ learning mathematics among schools but family economic status, teaching method, peer pressure, sequence of content were some common problems that observed in these schools. In order to improve students’ attitude and, factors affecting learning mathematics, reduce gender difference in mathematics achievement. The researcher had recommended that teachers should assist their students, give awareness to students’ family on the application of mathematics to real life, training teachers how to manage large class size and recruiting, and train more female mathematics teachers that service as a role model brings change on gender difference.

**CHAPTER ONE**

**Introduction**

**1.1. Background of the study**

Based on experiences with mathematics at school, students‟ develop general attitudes about its nature and value and about their own abilities and interest in doing it (Hannula M., 2003). Attitudes and behaviors are frequently measured using self-report which enable economic survey method to be employed on a large scale which holds that instructional methods that are highly effective with novice learners .Further more students attitudes and behaviors have been found to be influenced by school and class room factors (Samuelson J. & Granstrom K., 2007). Attitude seen as cognitive and effective orientation or disposition towards an object, idea, person, situation…etc. (Fiske & Taylor, 2008 as cited in Mohamed & Ismael, 2011).

Early findings showed that girls tend to have more negative attitudes towards mathematics than boys do and those attitudes tend to become more negative as pupils moves from elementary to secondary school (Rosetta & Petro, 2007). The general attitude of the class towards mathematics related to the quality of teaching and social, psychological climate of the class and to develop positive attitudes needs individual effort and mathematics anxiety can reduced through systematic destinations (Haladyna T. et al, 1983). However, recent evidence suggested that collaborative approaches could promote positive attitude among students. More over attitude measures need substantial refining. (Ma & Kishor, 1997; Di Martino & Zhan 2001 as cited in Mohamed Z.G., 2012) distinguish two basic approaches to define Attitudes towards mathematics: Frist a simple definition describes it as the degree of effect associated with mathematics that is Attitude is the emotional disposition towards mathematics. The next was three component definition distinguishes emotional response, believes and behaviors as component of attitude (Fiske & Taylor, 2008 as cited in Mohamed & Ismael, 2011).

Ma.X. & J. Xu. (2004) reported that mathematics confidences, attitudes towards mathematics, affective Stacey found that students with positive attitude towards mathematics progressed to more effective behavioral and developed conceptual understanding.

In those exhibiting, more behaviors that are reflective were better able to connect their work to the underlying mathematical concepts.

Following common approaches in attitudinal research with in mathematics education both self-concept (believes about one‟s ability to learn and person task) and anxiety (feeling of tension that hinder learning processes and performance). Attitude may affect an individual behavior in the presence of attitude-objectives in predictable ways. This predicative relationship does not always hold, however and the likelihood that exhibited behaviors corresponds with predicted ones is higher when attitude are stable and strongly held, embedded in the individuals believe system, concern a domain which is individual knows well, are formed from personal ,relevant experience, and are considered important by the individuals (Kebede, 2007).

Different research study shows that there are different factors that facilitate learning, for example readiness, motivation mental set, mental health and teachers‟ personality. Likewise, a number of studies indicated that students learning and achievement correlated highly with educational attainment of parents (Habtamu, 1996). For instance, students whose parents had less than high school education obtained lower grades in mathematics than those whose parents had higher level of education (Sileshi, 1995).

Research has shown that parents educational level not only impact students‟ attitude towards learning but also impact their math‟s achievement scores (Tadese, 2006). Accordingly, students‟ success or failure in mathematics depends on attitude toward mathematics. In addition to students attitude towards mathematics there are also factors affecting students learning mathematics.

Research findings indicated that there are different factors affecting students learning of mathematics. Some of the factors that affect students to learn are Demographic factors such as gender, parents‟ educational level and socio economic status , next Instructional factors such as curriculum instructional strategies and methods, teacher‟s competency , and school context and facilities and the third factor is Individual factors such as self-direct learning arithmetic ability, and motivation or concentration.

However, these are not the only factors affecting students learning mathematics at secondary school level.

Students at elementary grade level may or may not have good base for mathematics, because there is no one size fits all package for math‟s education different factors can affect how well students grasps mathematical concepts. Most students at secondary level have trouble with math than any other subject. This is because math is a cumulative subject previously learned math skills are the foundation on which new skills had built. If you fail to understand some math skills today, this will keep you from understanding a new math skill tomorrow (Andualem, 2006)

In conclusion, several studies had done on relationship between students‟ attitude and students‟ performance in mathematics and these studies showed there was positive relationship between the two ( Mohamed, and Ismail, 2011). Hence, students‟ attitude towards mathematics is a major factor that might influence the performance of the student. So, this study was investigated students‟ attitude towards mathematics and factors affecting their learning in government secondary schools Lagos state secondary schools.

**1.2. Statement of the problem**

Problems related to learning Mathematics are common phenomenon among students around the world. This holds true in Nigerian context too; a number of factors do influence student‟s Mathematics achievement positively or negatively. One among these factors is student‟s attitude towards Mathematics. The direct relationship between Mathematics achievements and attitudes as well as their reciprocal influence well documented.

In the Nigerian context, the number of schools and number of students is incompatible. There are a large number of students in each class where this became a barrier to the learning of Mathematics. Many studies indicated that reduced class sizes lead to improved student achievement (Glass, Cahen, 1982; Robinson, 1990, Voekl, 1992; as cited in Yohannis, 2007). According to Nor Fadilah (1992) some prominent factors that contributed to difficulties in learning mathematics are students dislike in mathematics that they may have stem from psychological incidences such as fear endurance ,perseverance and other associated factors. Having these issues in mind in the curriculum model developed by Johnson (2001, cited in Yohannes, 2007).Socio-economic, culture and school based factors with items such as method of teaching, availability of teaching-learning materials work load and motivation are final strategies to be adopted to improve learning and achievement (George M. & George R. 2012).

Several studies had been conducted to find out the relationship among students „attitude towards mathematics, academic achievement of students and Factors affecting students learning; most of this study showed that there was a positive correlation between students „attitude towards mathematics and academic achievement of students and also in problem solving (Mohamed et al. 2011). Similarly, students‟ attitude towards problem solving in terms of patience, confidence, and willingness had positive relation with students‟ mathematics achievement (Mohamed Z.G., 2012).

The aim of this researcher was to find ways how to solve problems facing to students on their mathematics achievement, solution to factors affecting secondary school students‟ in learning mathematics and ways to develop positive attitude towards mathematics.

Since Adama is a City that found in Oromia region in which series problem observed on students‟ attitude towards mathematics, their mathematics achievement and factors affecting learning mathematics. The study focused to determine the attitude of students towards mathematics, correlation among students‟ mathematics achievement, attitude towards mathematics and factors affecting students learning mathematics in government secondary schools of this city. In addition to this, the purpose the study is to figure out ways how to solve factors affecting students learning mathematics and to develop positive attitude towards mathematics for good performance and success in their achievement.

**1.3. Objectives of the study**

1.3.1. General objective of the study

The general objective of the study is to identify students‟ Attitude towards Mathematics and Factors Affecting their learning in government secondary schools of Lagos state. It also has the following specific objectives:

1. To assess the students‟ attitude towards mathematics at secondary school level.

2. Examine the status of secondary school students‟ mathematics achievement.

3. Identify factors affecting students‟ learning mathematics in secondary schools.

4. Investigate a correlation among students‟ achievement, attitude and factors affecting learning mathematics Lagos state.

**1.4. Research Questions**

Based on the objectives the study attempted to answer the following research questions:

1. What are the attitudes of secondary school students towards mathematics?

2. What is the status of students‟ mathematics achievement?

3. What are the factors affecting students‟ mathematics learning in secondary schools?

4. What is the correlation among students‟ mathematics achievement, attitudes and factors affecting their learning mathematics Lagos state?

**1.5. Significance of the study**

Students‟ concerns can significantly affect their ability to learn and understand the subject: Furthermore, their anxiety and attitudes may greatly affect how they perceive their own mathematical competence.

This study particularly (significantly) used to address students attitude towards mathematics and factors affecting their learning at government general secondary schools. The study helped the society (parents of students), students and teachers in Lagos state.

This research study designed to show ways how to overcome students‟ problem toward mathematics education in some specific area. It had believed that the study would have significances of giving insight to policy makers at different level of education, Adds to the knowledge we have about the barriers and possibilities in learning and teaching Mathematics in Nigeria secondary schools and indicates possibilities to explore and overcome the barriers encountered. In addition, the study was expected to indicate some general problems and needs of secondary school students attitude and achievement in math, in turn, these would help those concerned with devising appropriate measures to minimize the problem of teaching and learning mathematics. Furthermore, findings of this research would lay out foundation for further investigation.

**1.6. Delimitation of the study**

Although the problem observed throughout the country in, all grade level. This study had done in Oromia region at Lagos state government secondary schools. In conducting the research, previous experiences indicated that, it was difficult to include all relevant variables to the criterion variable at a time. So due to the problem the study had delimited to government secondary school students.

**1.7. Limitation of the study**

One of the instruments applied in this research was classroom observation on students‟ activity; however, students had taken from six different sections of government schools there were problem faced to the researcher on observation time. Students‟ disciplines in the class were not good for observation and there was problem on getting permission from school administrative body.

In addition, rearrangement of observed students behaviors and variation among the teacher‟s inability, methodology, way of assessment etc. had its own limitation on this study. However, the researcher used different options to get a clear observation in each school. On the other hand, there was problem with interviewed mathematics teachers. On time of appointment for interview, some need another appointment day by giving reason that it coincided with their classroom teaching and some had not found in the school compound at time of appointment.

The other was problem on Achievement test given to selected students. The students were not volunteer to come and take the test on opposite shift of their learning time. The researcher gets those selected students after the end of their second semester working time. For clarity of the research also document review on student result were necessary for the quality of the study but almost all school record offices were not volunteer to give information properly; the information they were given to the researcher were vague and not clear and they were not volunteer to show student‟s result on the roster. So document review guide not used in this study. In addition, the process of filling questionnaires by students without assistance was not easy. However, efforts had made in such a way that the questions were set in a very simple way so that they could understand and fill in the questionnaires while the researcher and some assistant teachers as a supervisor was there to help them in clarifying things, which are not clear.

**1.8. Organization of the study**

This thesis has five major chapters. Chapter one constituted the introduction, which focuses mainly on the background, statements of the problem, objectives, research question, significance, limitation, and delimitation of the study, organization of the thesis, ethical consideration and definition of key terms. Unit two deals with reviews of different literatures about students‟ attitude towards mathematics and factors affecting students‟ learning and related issues can be reviewed.

Unit three contains research design and methodology which includes data source, sample size determination, sampling techniques, method of data collection instrument and method of data analysis. Unit four contains discussion and analysis of the results and unit five was presented summary, conclusion and recommendation.

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