# A STUDY OF CORRELATION BETWEEN STUDENTSâ€™ PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS

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Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1 - 5 ::   Pages: 63 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis  ::   21 people found this useful

## EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

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ABSTRACT

The intent of this research was to ascertain whether there is a correction in students’ students’ performance in Physics and Mathematics. The Research data were extracted from some selected Senior Secondary Schools in Abeokuta-North Local Government, Ogun State during the period 2011. From each school and for the given period of time under investigation, West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) result was collected for five consecutive years. Also questionnaire items was also designed. The statistical tool used were percentage and correlation coefficient.

This work finds out that there is positive correlation in the performance of students in Physics and Mathematics, Students who perform better in Mathematics, in most cases do well in physics.

This research study suggested some solutions that may help to solve the problem associated with the mass failure in Mathematics and Physics in Senior Secondary Schools especially Science Students.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0       INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Mathematics has an age-old relationship with physics, chemistry and other natural science. In other words, mathematics serves in many of the branches of sciences. Mathematics is the bedrock of all science and technologically based subjects. Hogan and Koko (2000) quotes Herbert (1990) who viewed mathematics as the Queen and Servant of the sciences. He backed up his view with practical examples for instance, Herbert (1990) opined that measurement and other mathematical device are vital in the work of physicist.

Daniel (1995) from his lecture notes the study of mathematics and the sciences, particularly astronomy and physics often begins with the Ancient Greeks. There were other civilizations which predate or coexisted around the Eastern Mediterranean that had certain knowledge of these subjects, but in a short review of events such as this page, only some of the most significant people and events are mentioned. The most famous of all the Greek Philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are often quoted or paraphrased, because it is these three that are seen or having a most significant impact on the development of Western Civilization.

Akintade (2011) defines Mathematics as the field of study of size, numerations and the relations between them. He further views it as the tool with which man know how much, how many, how large, how fast, in what direction with what distance.

Johann, Ansie and Marietjie (2002) quote Vygotsky (186) that mathematics pedagogy based on Vygotskian theory approaches mathematics as a conceptual system rather than a collection of discrete procedures.

He noted that the possibilities of genuine education depend both on the knowledge and experience already existing with the student (level of development) as well as on the students potential to learn.

Hilbert (2004) said in the Twentieth Century the trend has been toward increasing generalization and abstraction, with the elements and operations of systems being defined so broadly that their interpretations connect such areas as algebra, geometry and topology. The key to this approach has been the use of formal axiomatic, in which notion of axiom as “self-evident truths” has been discarded. Instead the emphasis is on logical concepts as consistency and completeness. The roots of formal axiomatic lie in the discoveries of alternative systems of geometry and algebra in the 19th century, the approach was first systematically undertaken by the researcher in his work on the foundations of geometry.

Johann, Ansie and Marietjie (2002) said Mathematics is harder to pin down since it exist only in the human mind. Mathematics epitomizes the word “abstract”. But still this can’t be the complete story because many mathematical structures can be used to describe how physical Interact and the nature of the relationships among them

Physics on the other hand is the fundamental study of nature. In physics, we want to find out how stuff works.

Tuminaro (2002) carried out an investigation on the role of mathematics in physics requires an understanding of what to “use mathematics in physics “ we simply mean any time students smokes lechers  from mathematics such as equations, graphs etc to help them understand the physics. Mathematics in physics is viewed as a tool to understand nature.

Miller (1997) said in mathematics, the pure motions of numbers and other structures do not need physics to exist, explains or even justify them. But the surprising thing is that often some newly disco nerd abstract formulation in mathematics turns out years later to described physical phenomenon we hadn’t known about earlier.

Agnes Anthony and Julie (2009) said that mathematics is seen as a language used to described the problems arising in must branches of science and technology.

It is a subject that affect all aspects of human life at different degrees. This implies that, the social, economy, political, geographical, scientific and technological aspect of man is centered on numbers. Disciplines apart from physics where numbers are pre-dominant and form integral part of mathematics includes statistics, chemistry, account, arithmetic and engineering courses.

However, the performance of students in mathematics and science subjects especially physics hero been a great concern to the society. In Agnes (2009), Awokoya and Fafunwa (1995) both agreed in different researches we live in s world where science and technology have become integral part of the world culture. Therefore, for any nation to be relevant it must not overlook the importance of mathematics and science courses in our educational system.

She also said the poor performance in mathematics and other science especially physics has been a matter of serious concern to all well-meaning educators. Students performance in mathematics or physics over the years has been attributed to the fact that the subjects are difficult. In the same view, students performance in mathematics test has been observed to vary from department to department in secondary schools (science, art and commercial), it also varies from person to person and from school to school.

This study therefore

i.                    sought to provide data on the performance of students in mathematics as corrected to that of physics.

ii.                  Whether the gender or sex (Male or Female) determines the students performance in physics

Hogan and Koko (2000) said the classroom practitioners notably the professional teachers of sciences and even non- science teachers believe that no students can make a head way in science and technology without basic knowledge of mathematics. Most investigators in the sciences are of the option that competence in mathematics is an essential part in the study of most courses in physics.

David (2002) suggested that student’s initial level of physics concept knowledge might be largely unrelated to their ability to make learning gains in an interactive engagement course. Students pre- instruction algebra skills might be associated with their facility at acquiring physics conceptual knowledge in such a course.

Hudson (1996) said that every students in introductory physics (pre-calculus level) was required to take a diagnostic mathematics test. This test was constructed to have two questions on each of nine prerequisite mathematics skills that necessary for the study of physics at the level of the course.

Tall et al (2001) believed that precepts are at the root of human ability to manipulate mathematical ideas in arithmetic, algebra and other theories involving manipulable symbols. They allow the biological brain to switch effortlessly from doing a process to thinking about a concept in a minimal way.

Tall et al (2001) consider the word procedure out a step at a time, while the term process is used in a more general sense to include any number of procedure with “the same effect”. He further explained that those who are procedurally oriented are limited to a particular procedure, with attention focused on the steps themselves, whilst those have a more efficient use of cognitive processing.

David (2002) said that there have been many investigations into the factors that underlie variations in individual student performance in college physics courses.

He noted that Numerous studies report a positive correlation between students mathematics skills and their exam grade in college physics. However, few studies have examined students learning gain resulting from physics instruction, particularly with regard to qualitative, conceptual understanding.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Students in Secondary Schools in Nigeria especially science, engineering and technical education programmes and elsewhere are always required to do mathematics in addition to their respective major choices.

Hogan and Koko (2002) experience has shown that some students run away from the sciences and allied courses because of mathematics, physics and chemistry and experience has also shown that there  is variety in the performance of student in mathematics and physics when the result come out. However, despite student the result come out. However despite students attitudes in the above regard admission requirement into sciences (engineering and technical education) programmers still hold part to their demands. However, the available research evidence on the problem is inadequate. It is the absence or limited research evidence to indicate the relationship between students success in physics and mathematics in the selected schools that provided the focus of the problem for this investigation.

1.3              PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The purpose of this study ascertain whether correlation exist between students performance in physics and their performances in mathematics. Also, to consider other factors that determines students performance in general.

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

There are slight variations interims of data base, methodology approach and sample selections that make this research to be significantly difference from others.

This research project is also significant because it demonstrates the impact of mathematical skills on the success in physical serenest. This research will also provide important suggestions to improve standard and quality of students performance in physical sciences as a result of improvement in Mathematics.

1.5       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following questions will be raised and answer.

i.                    Is there any relationship between student performance in physics and mathematics?

ii.                  Whether girls who are good in mathematics are also good in physics and vice-versa.

iii.                Can age influence students performance in mathematics hence physics?

1.6       HYPOTHESIS

The following hypothesis will be tested.

Hypothesis 1:

H0:       There is no significant correlation between student’s performance in physics and    mathematics.

H1:       There is significant correlation between student’s performance in physics and         mathematics.

Hypothesis 2:

H0:       There is no significant correlation between student’s performance in mathematics   and their gender different (sex).

H1:       There is significant correlation between students performance in mathematics and  their gender differences (sex).

Hypothesis 3:

H0:       There is no significant correlation between students performance in mathematics    and their chronological age.

H1:       There is significant correlation between students performance in mathematics and  their chronological age.

1.7       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This research was carried out in some selected senior secondary schools in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State Nigeria.

1.8       DEFINITION OF TERMS

Correlation: This is a statistical tool that measures the degree of relationship between tow or more variables.

Mathematics: Mathematics is a science of measurement of quantity and quality. It is limited to all mathematical skills acquired at the secondary school level as this research is concern.

Physics: Physics is the study of matter in relation with energy. On the other hand, physics is the fundamental study of Nature.

Sciences: This comprises of all courses offered in the department of science

Student performance: This is the output elicited from the result of former test given to a student which determines their ability in the particular subject.

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