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Causes and Effects of Mathematics Anxiety Among Senior Secondary School Students in Port Harcourt City

Abstract

This study was on causes and effects of mathematics anxiety among secondary senior secondary students in Port Harcourt city. Three objectives were raised which included; To examine the perception of students on the causes of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school, to examine the level of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school and to identify the solution to the problem of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from selected secondary school in Port Harcourt. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).

Chapter 1: The Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to investigate the causes of mathematics anxiety among secondary school students in Lagos state. Specifically, this study seeks to:

1)      To examine the perception of students on the causes of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school.

2)      To examine the level of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school.

3)      To identify the solution to the problem of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school.

Research Hypotheses:

The research is guided by the following hypotheses

HO1: there is no perception of students on the causes of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school

H1: there is perception of students on the causes of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school

HO2: there is no level of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school.

H2: there is level of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school.

Chapter 2: Literature Review (Theoretical framework)

The theory which underpins this study is the Transactional model of test-related emotions by Smith and Ellsworth (1987). Many researchers Liebert and Morris, Zeidner cited in Bentil (2020) that test anxiety is prompted by two main factors; namely, worry and emotionality. To these researchers, the worry factor entails the cognitive components of test anxiety which results in the student having gloomy expectations, being absent-minded, self-criticism, and irrational outcomes which have been discovered to negatively correlate with academic performance.

The emotionality factor relates to physiological attributes such as heart rate, feeling of sickness, sweating, tense muscles, etc. (Liebert & Morris, 1967; Zeidner, 1998). Some scholars have offered other models in explaining test anxiety such as Skills-Deficit Model and the Cognitive-Attentional Model. Therefore, the outcome of research based on this theory could be used in making inferences on other examination anxiety theories. The study also adopted the cycle of math avoidance model by Pries and Biggs’ (2001) to explain why students experience math anxiety. According to this model, in the first phase, the person experiences negative reactions to math situations. These may derive from past negative experiences with math, and lead to a second phase in which a person avoids math situations.

Chapter 3: The Methodology (Population of the Study)

According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.

This study was carried to examine causes and effects of mathematics anxiety among senior secondary school students in Port Harcourt city. Selected secondary schools Port Harcourt forms the population of the study.

Chapter 4: Data Analysis (Decision)

Since the X2 calculated value is greater than the critical table value that is 16.0 is greater than 5.991, the Null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative hypothesis which states there is perception of students on the causes of mathematics anxiety among students of secondary school is accepted.

Findings

The calculated X2 = 8.6 and is greater than the table value of X2 at 0.05 significant level which is 7.815

Chapter 5: Summary/Conclusion

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain causes and effects of mathematics anxiety among secondary senior secondary students in Port Harcourt city. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of causes and effects of mathematics anxiety among secondary senior secondary students.

References

Arem, C.A., 2003. Conquering Math Anxiety. 2nd Edn., Brooks/Cole-Thomson Learning, Pacific Grove, ISBN-10: 0534386342, pp: 193.

Arem, C.A., 2009. Conquering Math Anxiety. 3rd Edn., Cengage Learning, Belmont, ISBN-10: 0495829404, pp: 215.

Bidin, J., N. Sharif and Z. Kassim, 2003. Kegelisahan matematik di kalangan pelajar menengah rendah di perlis. Proceedings of the 13th National Symposium of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics Anxiety Among Secondary School, Perlis.

Elenchothy, D., 2007. Kebimbangan matematik dan hubungannya dengan pencapaian pelajar tingkatan empat di daerah Klang. M.Sc Thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Harper, N.W. and C.J. Daane, 1998. Causes and reduction of math anxiety in preservice elementary teachers. Action Teacher Educ., 19: 29-38.

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