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EFFECT OF TEACHERS, QUALIFICATION ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF STUDENTS IN MATHEMATICS
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Mathematics is defined as the way of reasoning that promotes the habit of accuracy, logical systematic and orderly arrangement. Mathematics also provides us with powerful theoretical and computational techniques to advance our understanding of modern world and societal problems and to develop and manage the technology industries that are the backbones of our economy.
Quality education is a concern and challenge to all nations of the world. This is due to the rapidly changing technology and job demands that have forced the focus of education to oscillate. Today, we live and work in era dominated by computers, world – wide communication and a global economy.
A teaching qualification is one of a number of academic and professional degrees that enables a person to become a registered teacher in a primary or secondary school. Such qualification includes, but is not limited to the Postgraduates Certificate in Education (PGCE), the professional Graduates Diploma in education (PGDE), the Bachelor of Education and National Certificate of Education (NCE).
Primary education is the first stage of compulsory education. It is preceded by pre-school or nursery education and is followed by Secondary education. In most countries, it is compulsory for children to receive primary education although it is permissible for parents to provide it .The major goals of primary education are achieving basic literacy and numeracy among all pupils, as well as establishing foundations in science, mathematics, geography, history and other social sciences.
Typically, primary education is provided in school where the child will stay in steadily advancing classes until they complete it and move on to high school/secondary school. Children are usually placed in classes with one teacher who will be primarily responsible for their education and welfare for that year .The continuity with a single teacher and the opportunity to build up as close relationship with the opportunity to build up a close relationship with the class is a notable features of the primary education system.
In most schools, teaching of mathematics is, handled by those that have only a supplementary training in mathematics e.g. graduates of physics, chemistry, biology, and even economics. The need to improve students’ achievement in mathematics is extremely critical.However; students’ performance in mathematics depends on a complex interplay of factors both within and outside the classroom. These factors range from teacher qualification to the professional development the teachers have received to support their teaching, to student socio-economic backgrounds and to the teaching practices the teachers use to accomplish their professional practice.
For many years, educators and researchers have debated which school variable influence student achievement (Darling 2000).Ferguson(1991) concluded from his research in Texas ,’’Good teachers have distinguishable impacts on students examination scores’’(p.465).Sander (1998) found that the ‘’single factor affecting academic growth of populations of students is differences in effectiveness of individual classroom teachers’’(p.27).
Examining relationships between teachers certification, college/graduate school year, years of experience and student achievement in mathematics may help teachers and school administrators gain better insights to students performance. According to the Alabama teacher equity plan (2006), well prepared teacher is the critical ingredient in student learning.
The No child left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 requires that all teachers in core academic subjects be highly qualified. NLCB stipulates that to be considered highly qualified, teachers must demonstrate that they have sufficient subject – matter knowledge and teaching skills to be effective teachers. Specifically, highly qualified teachers must: -
1. Have obtained full state certification as a teacher passed the state teacher licensing examination and hold a license to teach.
2. Have demonstrated subject matter competency in each of the academics subjects he or she teaches, and
3. Hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Ontario’s Education Minister, Jante Ecker (1999), indicated that governments must require teachers to have sufficient skills and knowledge in order maintain teacher certifications and to provide the highest level of education students.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The background knowledge of rudiments in mathematics can never be over-emphasized. The instructor (teacher) of mathematics at the lowest level education (primary school) must be qualified since this stands to be the foundation on which “all” is built. If the foundation is weak, it will be difficult to build on it. The teachers at secondary school level try there best but to no avail. Why? It’s because they’re building on “nothing” and weak foundation. Phobia and negative attitudes towards learning mathematics could be erected right from there depending on the quality of the teacher that first introduced the “innocent” students to the subject.
This alarming situation and the need to improve students learning and achievement in mathematics in Nigeria point to the need to investigation the effect of teacher’s qualification on the academics performance of students in Mathematics in primary schools.
1.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to determine the relationship between student’s performance and teacher’s qualification and the extent to which they predict student’s achievement in mathematics in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State.
1.3 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The researcher work will be relying mainly on the information collected from class teachers in some selected primary schools in Yewa South Local Government. The schools are:-
1. St. Paul Anglican School Owode Yewa
2. Yewa South Local Government Awuko Alagbon
3. Community Primary School Owode Yewa.
4. Peto Nursery/Primary School Owode Yewa.
5. Great Grace Children School.
6. Best Legacy Nursery/Primary School Owode Yewa.
7. Holy Child Nursery/Primary School Owode Yewa.
1.4 METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
The method of data collection is through self report questionnaire called Mathematics Teaching opinionate scale (Matos). The instrument will be divided into three sections that collect information concerning teachers’ background (qualifications, subject major and years of experience); Data about students’ performance in mathematics will be collected from mathematics test. The mathematics test will consist of 1 paper that will test students’ knowledge of basic mathematical skills on fraction and decimals, rounding off numbers to given decimal places, percentages, ratio, proportions and rates.
1.5 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The research work is limited only to Yewa South Local Government area of Ogun state. Schools were randomly selected and data collected based on the student performance in Mathematical test, teachers’ qualification, subject major and years of experience.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether or not there is significant difference in teacher qualification that might predict the academic performance of primary school pupils in the mathematics test. This study will investigate the following research questions;
a. To what extent do student scores on math test differ according to the teacher’s subject major?
b. To what extent do student scores on math test differ according to the type of teacher fraction?
c. To what extent do student scores on math test differ according to the teacher’s total number of years of teaching mathematics in primary school?
d. To what extent do student scores on the math test differ according to the teacher’s number of mathematics period per week?
1.7 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
i. There is no statistically significant relationship between students’ performance in mathematics and teachers qualification.
ii. There is no statistically significant relationship between students’ performance in mathematics and teachers’ subject major.
iii. There is no statistically significant relationship between students’ performance in mathematics and teachers’ years of experience.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1. Student academic performance: Refers to the display of knowledge attained or skilled developed in school subject designated by test and examination scores or marks assigned by the subject teacher to the students. This shows a valued judgment placed on various means of evaluation of teaching-learning.
2. Mathematics: Is a very desirable tool virtually all spheres of human endeavors be it science, engineering, industry, technology, and even the arts it is a key subject in the school curriculum and is considered a knowledge that is indispensable to an educated person
3. Mathematics Test: This is a criterion test which includes varieties of questions. The questions require pupils to choose out of four options and individual pupils are scored into 4 levels.
4. Teachers’ qualification: - Research shows that mathematics teachers quality is unevenly distributed in schools and students with the greatest needs tend to have access to the least qualified and least effective teachers (Peske and Haycock 2006)
5. Subject Major: - Area of concentration of individual teacher.
Teaching Experience: - Teachers will be categorized according to whether or not they had more than five years of teaching experience mathematics. Peske and Haycock (2006) said that years of experience and educational background are useful indicators for measures of teacher quality. Yet while they are associated with characteristics, they do not guarantee success in student’s academics performance
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