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ATTITUDE OF LEARNERS ON PROBLEM SOLVING IN MATHEMATICS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTON

Background of the Study

          A problem consists of a question to be answered but not every question to be resolved constitutes of problem. For example consider the question. What says the time? Surely this is a problem for many five years old children. Most children of this age are interested in telling and yet few can indicate it by glabing at a clock. On the other hand an adults knowledge and experience has provided an algorithmic procedure for telling time at a glance. For a question to be a problem, it  must present a challenge that can not be resolved by some routine procedure known to the students.

A challenging question becomes a problem to an individual only to the extent that the individual accepts the challenge. Therefore, the tetrm problem refer to challenging questions that have been presented in such a way that students accept the challenge.

Problem solving is the process of accepting a challenge and striving to resolve it. Solving problems requires students to enagage in process and hopefully to become skilful in selecting and identifyfing relevant conditions and concepts researching for appropriate generalizations, formatting plans and employing periously acquired skills. It is imperative that to clarify meaning of the term attitude. As a concept, attitude is an elusive term.

Different authors see attitude as one thing or the other. Any definition of attitude shows that it is a hypothetical construct that is not tangible, but has to be inferred from the world or experience (Thurstone, 2009). This implies that attitude is an index of an individuals thoughts and feelings about people, objects and issues in the environments.

Rockeach (2003) sees attitude as emotional response of individual and perception towards a matter. This means that attitude is highly related to responses.

Attitude as a factor that affects academic performance of students cannot be underestimate. It is one of the factors that determine the performance of learners in certain subjects. (Ajen,2011; Denux, 2013). Thus, attitudes are crucial in understanding the way people perceive the world around them, as they bertermine what a person will see and hear and think, do, thus making them central to life (Jahoda and Warren, 2015; Oppenhim, 2009 and Oskamp, 2014).

In this context, attitude formation and change is an important part of identifying and explaining an individual’s attitude to an object or issue. Various attitude formation and change theories like functional theory (Kate, 2010 and arnoff, 2010), cognitive dissonance theory (Hovland, 2013) and social judgement of attitude change theory (Sherif and Sherif, 2005) have been postulated. Each of the attitude change theories suggests that attitudes are not inherited, rather, they are learnt, changed and could be investigated. The functional model theory for this investigation. The theory mainly associated with (katz, 2010 and Sarnof, 2012) stipulates four major function of attitudes.

Attitudes is an important concept in learning. Among learners, it denotes interest or feeling towards studying particular subjects when motivational factors such as interest, attitude and aspiration are inculcated in the learners, they tend to spend more time studying the particular subject. Students understand better when they spend more time studying and will therefore achieve to expected standard (Twoli, Maundu, Muindi, Kiio and kithinji, 2015) this is only possible when they have a positive attitude towards a particular subject.

Adebayo (2009) says that students attitude to the school work is one of the factors which affect students success. In essence, success in academics work depends greatly on their attitude.

Aminu (2010). Observed that performance of leaners can be assumed to be cumulative effects of the teacher’s effort in teaching. This means that academic performance is the result of what teacher has been teaching which is been evaluated through acquired knowledge of the teacher.

Ukpong (2010), defined attitude as a state of personal line of action which may be exhibited overtly by actual choice. According to the author attitude is classified into two; positive and negative. Positive attitude refers to favourable mental disposition which is directed to a target stimulus. It prepares one’s mind and gives one the will power towards responding to a target stimulus. Negative attitude refers to a dislike and aversion for the stimulus in question. For example, a teacher who enjoys good working relations and fair treatment at school is bound to develop positive attitude to work and pupil will follow.

This attitude may lead to improved performance of students and attainment of educational goals. The reverse is the case if a teacher does not enjoy good working relations. Teaching of problem solving is the action by which a teacher encourages students to accept challenging questions and guides them in their resolutions.. teachers attitude to the teaching of a subject affect the learners attitude. Education is a continuous process in life. It is the process of training and developing the knowledge, skill and character of people. It is also the process by which the latest abilities of individuals are developed so that they may be useful to themselves and the society (Olaniyonu, Adekoya and Gbenu, 2008) meaningful improvements in the quality of education that students receive are determined by the quality of teachers (Anderson, 2011). Therefore quality teaching and learning are sine qua non for students. Attitudes plays an important role in their academic achievement. Attitude is a description of the observable outcome of teacher and student performance in different activities of institutions. Attitudes may be positive or negative and effective or ineffective.

The meaning of attitude is to conduct or carry oneself or attitude in what we do, especially in response to outside stimuli (UNESCO, 2006) anything that an organism does not involves action and response to stimulation (UNESCO, 2006) to reach the goal of excellence in the academic sphere, and to optimize academic achievement to a maximum review of academic achievement and its implications. For educationist and policy makers would be meaningful. A formal beginning explore the determinants of academic achievement as made with Binet’s attempts to predict children’s academic achievement for their intelligence scores. (Karnes, 2014). Research evidence shows that students problem solving attitude is very important in achievement of student in mathematics. The importance of problem solving was also emphasizes in the report of Benin mathematics education should provided a child with necessary basic skills in numeracy and also expose him to ways of applying these skills to his problem in everyday life.

Hilgard (2009) says that, whenever a goal oriented activity is blocked,  whenever a need remain unfulfilled, a question unanswered or a perplexity unresolved then  the subject faces a problem.

Statement of the Problem

          The basic problem of this research is to find out the attitude of the leaners on problem solving in mathematics in secondary schools and the effect it has towards their academic performance on the subject.

Also, the study is to examine the relationship that exists between the students’ attitude and their academic performance. This study will also consider those factors that are likely to affect learning.

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Updated: 1st March 2018 — 7:58 pm

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