1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.
Mathematics subject cannot be overstressedin every scientific subject of educational system achievement in Nigeria. It is the central value and backbone of any successful scientific subject in academic setting. However, one does not need to tell any individual or the society about the importance of Mathematics. Obodo (2001) asserted that the importance of Mathematics education in Nigerians educational system and the nation’s technological development has been recognized. This is why Mathematics was considered as one of the most important subject in Nigerian schools. According to Odumosu (2001), Mathematics has been regarded as the bedrock of science and technology. Altbach (2002) in Fasasi (2009) supported this fact when he noted that the progress of science could be determined by the extent to which mathematics has entered into its methods and content. Adeyegba (2005) in Odumosu (2012) observed that there is hardly any area of science that does not make use of mathematical concepts to explain its own concepts, theories or models.
In similar view, Mathematics is regarded as the major tool available for formulating theories in the science, engineering and economics as well as in other fields (Abiodun, 2007). Uhumuaubi and Umori (2005) in Useni (2012), revealed that mathematics has always been regarded as the language of science. Mathematics without any doubt remains the most serviceable science subject to all discipline and field of human work and study. To Marut (1999), it is “the mother and language of all science”. More complete but related to Marut’s definition is that offered by Aminu (1985) that “is not only the language of science”, it is the essential nutrient for thought, logic, reasoning and therefore progress, while Olosunde and Olaleye (2010) say that is the fundamental science that is necessary for understanding of most fields. According, to Ajayi (2011) Mathematics is queen of all science and servant of all discipline. The summary of the matter is that mathematics is very important and covers all areas of life and sciences.
The discipline of mathematics presents many challenges to learners. Mathematics has often been termed as the gate keepers of success or failure for secondary school graduation and career success. It is essential that mathematics become a pump rather than a filter in the pipeline of Nigerian education. A lack of sufficient mathematical skill and understanding affect one’s ability to make critically important educational, life and career decisions.
Students fall below their expectation and level of mathematics achievement for a variety of reasons. When asked why they were not as successful in mathematics, many people reply that “they never understood mathematics” or “never liked it because, it was too abstract and did not relate them to things around”. These reasons and others can be categorized, in general, as environmental factors and personal or individualized factors.
Environmental factors before now have not been considered as one of the factors that affect academic achievement in secondary schools; hence, it has little or no attention in educational discourse and consideration. But over the past decade remarkable studies have indicated a correlation between the environment and academic achievement of students.
Environments plays major role in the life of every individual whether students, teachers, employer or employee. Though some people are yet to believe that environment brings about better achievement. Udoh (1980), in his article “the environmental health problems of Nigerian schools”, identified some unhealthy practices in Nigerian schools. These include siting of schools, inadequate facilities, and poor ventilation amongst others. Most of the school does not have lighting, insufficient facilities, medical health facilities, sick buildings and no ventilation. Under these conditions the health of student and teachers according to Udoh (1980) may be adversely affected, which will in turn reflect on students achievement.
Therefore, for the students to carry his learning effectively and efficiently, it is necessary that learning takes place in conducive environment. Hence, it is pertinent to critically look at the environmental factors, that influences academic achievement of students, measures that can help improve them, and make some recommendation, because at the very heart of our educational mission, is the goal of improving academic achievement.
Studies have shown that environmental factors to a large extent affect both the physical and psychological potentials of an individual. This has led to contention that many students fail to develop their potentials due to inadequate environmental situations.
Hence, there are some environmental factors which have contributed to poor achievement of students which are home background, inadequate school facilities, misuse of technology such as internet and school climate such as teacher-student relationship.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Environmental factors have adverse effect on better or successful achievement of students in mathematics in secondary schools in Nigeria. The focus and indeed the intent of this study is to analyze some major environmental factors that affect both the teacher and the learners, thereby posing poor achievement of students in mathematics in secondary schools in Oyo town.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this studyis to identify environmental factors and its effects on students’ achievement in Mathematics. This is expressed in the following specific objectives. To:
- Examine whether home background affects students’ achievement in mathematics.
- Find out if peer pressure affects achievement of students in mathematics.
- Examine whether school environment has effect on the achievement of students in mathematics.
- Examine whether the use of technology and media affect the achievement of students in mathematics.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions are used as a guide:
1.What influence has home background on the achievement of students in Mathematics?
- How does peer group pressure affect the students’ achievement in Mathematics?
- How does the school environment affect the achievement of students in Mathematics?
- What influence has the use of technology and media on the achievement of students in Mathematics?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H01: There is no significant relationship between home background and students’ achievement in Mathematics.
H02: There is no statistically significant relationship between peer group pressure and student’s achievement in Mathematics.
H03: There is no significant relationship between the school environment and students’ achievement in Mathematics.
H04: There is no statistically significant relationship between the use of technology and media and students’ achievement in Mathematics.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be useful to many people who may want to know the environmental factors that could make or mar students’ achievement academically in mathematics. Therefore, the study is significant in the following regards:
(a) It will provide empirical evidence to schools, parents and students about the nature of home and family background, and how it affects the academic achievement of students in mathematics.
(b) It will help in improving students’ achievement irrespective of their background and other environmental factors.
(c) It will help the teacher and the school management to improve on the school environment and school facilities so as to improve students’ achievement in mathematics.
(d) It will help the student to make appropriate use of technology and media as well as manage their peer pressure to improve their achievement in mathematics.
(e) It will provide awareness for all the stakeholder of secondary education to provide favorable environment for teaching-learning process. These include the state government, proprietors and proprietress, the teachers, parents, students and all other persons involved in day to day running of the schools.
1.7 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Apart from the time-frame and shortage of finance, the major limitation to this research is the inability of the researcher to cover the whole secondary school in Oyo town as the title suggest. Hence, the work will only cover some secondary schools in Oyo Township.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Academic Achievement: knowledge attained or skills developed in school subjects by test scores.
School: A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students (or “pupils”) under the direction of teachers.
School Environment: A school’s physical environment includes the school building and the surrounding.
Secondary School: is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a primary education and may be followed by university (tertiary) education.
Environmental Factors: An identifiable element in the physical, cultural, demographical, economic, political, regulatory or technological environment that affects the survival, operations and growth of a phenomenon.
Mathematics: is the science that deals with the logic of shape quantity and arrangement. It is all around us, in everything we do. Mathematics is the building block for everything in our daily lives including mobile devices, architecture (ancient and modern),art, money, engineering and even sport.