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Influence of attitude on performance of students in mathematics curriculum

Abstract

Sylvia A. Manoah, Francis Chisikwa Indoshi, Lucas O. A. Othuon

Mathematics is one of the core subjects in secondary school curriculum. Performance in the subject is crucial for students’ admission to scientific and technological professions. However, there has been persistent poor performance in this subject particularly in Kisumu East District as revealed by the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results for the years 2006 to 2008 with mean scores of 3.2282, 3.3691 and 4.0660 respectively. This may deny students access to the competitive professions. Factors contributing to this poor performance have not been exhaustively studied. The purpose of this study was to examine students’ attitude towards mathematics across gender with specific reference to objectives, content, methods and evaluation of mathematics curriculum. The study was conducted in public secondary schools in Kisumu East District and employed correlation design in which the dependent variable was performance and independent variable was attitude. The study sample was 986 Form 4 students, representing 33% of the population. Data collection instruments were Students Questionnaire (SQ) and Mathematics Test (MT). Quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient was used to determine the strength and direction of the relationship. The findings established that both girls and boys showed a neutral attitude towards Mathematics curriculum. Based on the results it is advisable that students’ attitude be enhanced as this will translate into improved academic achievement in the subject.

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