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Project Topic:

THE EFFECT OF MATHEMATICAL BACKGROUND ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN PHYSICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS WITHIN ABEOKUTA

Project Information:

 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1 - 5 ::   Pages: 63 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis  ::   15 people found this useful

Project Department:

EDUCATION UNDERGRADUATE PROJECT TOPICS, RESEARCH WORKS AND MATERIALS

Project Body:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

1.0     INTRODUCTION        

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY 

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY     

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.5     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

1.7     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

1.8     DEFINITION OF TERMS     

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS

CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

REFRENCE

APPENDIX

CHAPTER ONE

1.0            INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND STUDY

Physics is one of the most important science subjects in secondary schools and it plays an important role in the technological development and industrial revolution of any nation. The knowledge of scientific skill in physics is of tremendous use in solving diverse problems of humanity and providing solution to natural and artificial problems in the world at large. Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) education play a dominant role in the developmental effort of nations (Esiobu, 2005) and Akinyemi & Orukotan, 1995)

Science and technology are seen as the foundation of national power and productivity.

Technological advancement seems to be the gateway to present day economic growth, social well- being, political power and military superiority. It means that the knowledge of physics contributes to the cognitive reservoir that facilitates the sustenance and advancement of technologically oriented society. Physics links the principle learnt and the phenomena observed in the classroom to applications in engineering and allied fields.

The importance of physics cuts across human endeavour such as medicine, pharmacy, agriculture, petroleum engineering, geology, engineering, industries and computer.

The feats of science and technology are in every facet of human endeavour. It could be rightly said that every sector of the society now depends on science and technology for proper functioning and mathematics as the creation of human mind (Awofala et al., 2013) is the universal language used to describe the problems arising in most branches of science and technology

Mathematics, the creation, representation analysis, interpretation of numbers and symbols affects all aspects of the human environment significantly but at varying degrees. The social, economic, political, geographical, scientific and technological aspects of man’s life centre on number. One very important fact is that all other disciplines of numbers- Arithmetic, statistics, accounts etc. are integral parts of mathematics.

The earliest civilization of mankind came through mathematical manipulation. The pyramid of Egypt constructed several years ago still remains tourist attraction to date. The construction of the pyramids involved sound and intelligent mathematical calculation.

The marriage of mathematics to the evolution and development of the civilization and overall advancement of human world confirms its importance. Owing to its numeral and symbolic nature, it is more married to the scientific and technology facets of our world than to any other aspect. It occurs and reoccurs in physical and natural sciences which are mainly represented by physics and chemistry in our secondary schools. Based on this circumstance, it is an established fact that mathematics is and remains a dominant contributing factor to the performance of student in physics and chemistry and the control tool of mathematics remains the basic skills underlying all scientific and technological skills. Mathematics is a subject that is related to other science subjects such as physics and chemistry in areas like Number and numeration–fractions, logarithms indices, Algebraic processes – solution of equations, variation, graph, and also in volume and students often perform poorly in the sciences (Jegede et al., 1992; Mkpananga, 2005).

Although, science has been accepted by many people including students as the bedrock for technological development they still feel that mathematics is not necessary for achieving good performance in science. The reason for this can be attributed to the controversy surrounding the nature of mathematics (Hailikari et al., 2007) and one question beckoning for answer is under what branch of studies should mathematics be classified? While one school of thought agrees that mathematics is a science another argues that mathematics must be an art. This later school of thought is based on the fact that mathematics, in its application is purely an art. On the other hand students view mathematics as a difficult school subject and so many of them try to avoid it.

The physical sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) are studied in our secondary schools as separate subjects having little or no direct relationship with one another even when the same teacher teaches the two or more of these subjects. The lack of coordination, integration and purposeful planning makes students fail to understand the interrelatedness among the various subject fields in mathematics and physics. So this study focuses specifically to examine the effect of mathematical background on students’ academic performances in Physics.

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Most secondary school science students seem not to understand the inter-relatedness of mathematics and physics. Mathematics and science in primary and secondary schools share common objectives and it is desirable, for a better academic achievement, for those who major in science to select mathematics as their minor as this will be of immense benefit. Physical sciences are deeply rooted in mathematics, and as such they should not be studied in isolation of mathematics.

The poor approach of teachers to the inter-relatedness of these subjects or the total lack of it makes the students believe that mathematics is not necessary for them to perform well in physics. Unfortunately for them mathematics has been accepted as the compulsory pre-requisite for admission into universities. In addition, poor grounding in mathematics is manifested in their overall performance in physics which over the years have faced a continuous downward trend in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination results.

In spite of all the advantages derived and the recognition given to physics as one of the core science subjects and as a pivot upon which technological and economic development rest, there are wider gaps between curriculum planner intention, the implementers, that is, physics classroom teachers and what goes on in the classroom. This has led to the negative perception of students that physics is a difficult school subject. More often than not the interrelatedness of mathematics and physics is not always emphasized in physics teaching.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY     

The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of mathematical background on students’ academic performance in physics in secondary schools within Abeokuta. The outline of the objective are:

1.     To ascertain if there is a relationship between students’ mathematical background and their performances in physics.

2.     To find out if mathematical background helps students’ performances in Physics.

3.     To know if poor mathematical background is the major reason for students’ poor performances in physics.

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The relevant research questions related to this study are:

1.     Is there any relationship between students’ mathematical background and their performances in physics?

2.     Is mathematical background needed to enhance students’ performances in Physics?

3.     Is poor mathematical background the major reason for students’ poor performances in physics?

1.5     SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 

This study is important to science students in secondary schools because it educates them on the indelible relevance of mathematical background on their performances in physics. Mathematics and physics are closely related and one should be held in higher esteem above the other. The findings from this research is not only useful to students but equally useful to teachers. In order for students to excel excellently in physics they must be well grounded in mathematics. So this study specifically focuses on the effects of mathematical background on students’ academic performance in physics in secondary schools within Abeokuta.

1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study is restricted to the effects of mathematical background on students’ academic performance in physics in secondary schools within Abeokuta.

1.7     LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Some of the major constraints the researchers encountered in putting up this research include lack of time, lack of willingness to give information by respondent and also limited resources

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