Background of the Study
No one knows what the future will bring in mathematics education. The only thing certain is that the discipline will continue to change. It should be recognized that the discipline of mathematics education is only an infant. Most mathematics educators suggested that the real revolution lies a head. Each mathematics educators has special interest and strong feelings about forthcoming changes. All mathematics users and mathematicians must make every effort to know the present status and trends of our discipline and make worthwhile contributions for the future because no nation can hope to achieve any measure of scientific or technological advancement without proper foundation in school level. But unfortunately mathematics is one of the most poorly taught, widely haled and abysmally understood subject in Nigeria schools. Every individual in the world is aware of the benefits derived from mathematics which makes it a core subject at both primary and secondary school levels even in the post secondary level. Some think that mathematics is isolated from their everyday activities and problems. But mathematics is a service course for every activities of life, to pure and applied science, politics, music, economics, agricultural science etc. Both pupils and teachers should recall at any point in time during mathematics lesson and beyond that when students leave school, they are likely to take up careers which require basic numeracy and or specialized techniques in mathematics. A mathematics teacher can x- ray the application of mathematics concept in varied fields of life and activities as a good instrument to ‘be used in generating and sustaining students interest and retention in mathematics.One of the major weaknesses associated with learning of mathematics is their lack of interest in the subject (Ali 1982). This contributed more than anything else to their poor achievement in mathematics as observed by Oloyede (1984). This increasing wane of interest is culminating into real hatred of mathematics. Some authors have blamed pupils’ poor performance and lack of interest on the methods of teaching mathematics, which according to them are dull, and unrelated to the life and interest of the pupils. So many students easily forget formula and rules when they leave their present classes1 session due to poor presentation or use of learning1 teaching activities. To correct this error, Debyster (1979) pointed out that since the early stage’ of learning mathematics is largely concerned with acquisition of skills, a process which involves repetition, strategies and drill at frequent intervals are necessary and pupil should practice it everyday to enhance retention. This project work presents an ideal about what the future holds for mathematics. Rivers in Oforma (1991) wrote that songs were very important to pupils in primary school level because it help them to incorporate the sense of reality into the classes. He stated that it must not be used in a class merely as a kind of end- of – class relaxation. Mackey (1978) emphasized that songs help to capture the spirit of learning. Also to carter for individual differences, different songs could mean to have different effects on the pupils (probably gender wise) during the teaching and learning situation. The research composes different songs from different topics of primary school mathematics, which will be introduced into our primary school system, bearing in Mind that they could have some effects on the pupil’s performance and retention with respect to gender.
Statement of the Problem
Educational researchers worldwide have focused on identifying ways and means of reversing the deteriorating school pupils achievement in mathematics. They dealt in many areas but there is no evidence in Nigeria about the effect of songs in teaching and learning of mathematics. Therefore the problem of this study posed as a question, what effect has songs on pupils achievement and retention in some primary school mathematics?