Background of the Study
Mathematics remains very important to most disciplines and field of human endeavor. It has continued to play significant roles in nations. Hence, for any nation to survive and develop it has to improve on its teaching and learning of mathematics in schools which is the basis for technological development .This explains why mathematics is one of the core subjects for every students at the secondary school, Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN 2004).This policy also makes mathematics an important subject in the 6-3-3-4 structure, that every child must study it for six years in primary schools, three years in junior secondary school and three years in senior secondary school as a compulsory subject. Ayorinde (2007) stressed that mathematics is important because it is very much needed for the pursuit of higher education in science, technology, social science, education and in some art courses. As a condition for admission into tertiary institution, a candidate seeking admission to study any science or related course is required to have a credit pass in West African School Certificate Examination (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). For example the university of Nigeria Nsukka, University of Ibadan and university of Lagos, require that ‘all candidates seeking for admission to study any course must have at least five credit passes in relevant subjects at one sitting including mathematics and English (UME,2008/2009)’.Despite the importance and usefulness of mathematics in Nigeria educational system, development of the nation at large through the study of science and technology, the student’s performance in mathematics both in internal and external examinations have continued to deteriorate year by year (Agwagah and Ezeugo,2000).
The WAEC Chief examiner’s report (2009) revealed disheartening and alarming poor state of student’s achievement in mathematics in secondary school. For instance, the statistic published by West African Examination council (WAEC) in 2010 revealed that for the past ten years (1999- 2009) less than 40% of Nigerian students obtained credit passes, each of the years in the senior secondary school examination. Also the nation was alarmed by the result released by National Examination Council (NECO) in 2010 which indicate that over 92.8% of the students who took the senior certificate examination (SSCE) in 2009 could not obtain the minimum qualification for entry into Tertiary Institution. One major cause of this unfortunate situation was the poor performance in mathematics. A closer look at the WAEC annual performance report for the past six years (2009-2014) reveals very low performance. Many variables have been identified by Imoko and Agwagah (2006), Iyekekpolor (2007) and Anyagh & Okwu (2010) as being responsible for student’s low interest and poor performances in mathematics. Such variables include curriculum, examination bodies, teachers, students, environment and textbooks. Also Obioma (2005) and Okereke (2006) identified poor primary school background, lack of interest on the part of the students, incompetent teachers in primary schools, students not being interested in the mathematics and perception that mathematics is difficult. In addition large class syndromes, psychological fear of the subject, poor method of teaching and lack of qualified mathematics teachers are other causes of poor achievement in mathematics identified by Obioma (2005). The (WAEC) Chief Examiner’s Report (2009) suggested that teachers should help students to improve their achievement and develop interest in mathematics by reducing the abstract nature of mathematics. It becomes necessary to look for inventions that could be manipulated in other to sustain their interest. Interest is an important variable in learning because when one becomes interested in an activity, one is likely to be more deeply involved in that activity. Interest is a subjective feeling of concentration or persisting tendency to pay attention and enjoy some activity or content (Imoko and Agwagah, 2006). Though some children may be intellectually and physically capable of learning, they may never learn until their interest is stimulated. Once the students are stimulated, they will continue to learn as long as the teacher is capable of sustaining their interest in the subject matter.
Statement of the Problem
Students’ continuous deteriorating achievements in mathematics are glaring and alarming. It is obvious that students register very poor achievements in both junior and senior secondary school certificate examinations over the years in mathematics. Researchers have observed that one of the reasons for poor achievements in mathematics in both junior and senior secondary school certificate examinations over the years have been as a result of poor method of teaching and lack of interest in the subject. Hence, to achieve effective method of teaching mathematics, a teacher must put in place some strategies and activities that would arouse and sustain the interest of students in the subject. ‘The perennial methods of teaching mathematics through listening, looking and learning have not been successful; the method has only resulted in making students dislike mathematics. Studies continued to show low interest and achievement among boys and girls in mathematics; however female students seem to be more affected negatively by mathematics beliefs than their male counterpart. Researchers revealed that even in a mathematically talented group of students, girls demonstrate a lack of confidence in their abilities and these affect their interest and achievement in mathematics. Hence, the problem of this study is to answer the question; what is the effect of Slide game on students’ achievement and interest in algebraic concepts?