**The Perception of Students Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics for Admission Into Office Technology and Management**

**Chapter One**

** PURPOSE OF THE STUDY**

The aim of this study was to determine the perception of students towards the introduction of credit in mathematics into office technology and management programme.

Specifically this study sought to;

To find out the extent to which students perceive mathematics as a difficult course.

To examine the extent to which poor mathematics background affects the performance of students.

Determine the extent to which the teaching method of the lecturers affects students’ performance.

Determine the extent to which inadequate instructional facilities affect students’ perception.

**CHAPTER TWO**

**LITERATURE REVIEW**

**CONCEPTUAL REVIEW**

**Concept of Attitude**

Attitude can be defined as a favourable or unfavourable evaluative reaction towards something or someone exhibited in ones beliefs, feelings, or intended behaviour. It is a social orientation an underlying inclination to respond to something either favourably or unfavourably. Attitude could also be defined as a consistent tendency to react in a particular way often positively or negatively- toward any matter. Attitude possesses both cognitive and emotional component. Fazio and Olson (2004) say attitude are important to educational psychology because they influence social thought, the way an individual thinks about and how he\she processes social information.

Psychologists define ‘attitude’ as any strong believe or feeling or any approval or disapproval toward people and situations (Boyd, Landford, Loeb & Wyckoff. 2008). There are favourable and unfavourable attitudes toward people, politic, academic subjects and so on. People favour the things they think are good and helpful and oppose the things they think are bad and harmful (Boyd, Landford, Loeb & Wyckoff. 2008), in this context, students’ attitude towards academic is a crucial factor in learning and achievement.

Research suggests that there are three different components of attitude. These are the cognitive, the affective, and the behavioural components of attitude (Maio & Haddock, 2010).

Cognitive component: the cognitive component of attitude refers to the beliefs, thoughts, and attributes that is associated with an object. Many times a person attitude might be based on negative or positive attributes they associate with an object. An example is that a person might think that mathematics is difficult. Affective component: the affective component of attitude refers to your feeling or emotion linked to an attitude object. Affective responses influence attitudes in a number of ways. For example many people are afraid\scared of mathematics. So this negative affective response is likely to cause them to have a negative attitude toward mathematics. Behavioural component; the behavioural component of attitudes refer to way one behaves when expose to an attitude object, the idea that people infer attitudes from previous actions. An example is a person choosing to run away from mathematics class upon seeing a mathematics teacher. Hence the cognitive, affective and behavioural components are interacted and interconnected. Since cognitive, affective and behavioural components are interacted and interconnected they are applicable to my study.

According to Goldstein (1994), attitudes have the following characteristics.

- Attitudes are evaluative: they involve positive or negative responses such as liking and disliking.
- Attitudes are learned: attitudes are acquired and not taught and they are targeted towards an object, idea or person. An attitude cannot be a general feeling.
- It serves important functions as it help to process information about the world and its interpretation.
- They are ending: unlike moods and emotions which can change rapidly, attitude tends to be relatively stable over time.
- Consistency of an attitude: the consistency of an attitude relates to the strength of an individual feeling towards a particular object in different settings and situations.

Sperling (1982) suggested four functions of attitude for an individual. The functions are;

- The adjustive function: This shows that students tend to adopt positive attitudes towards things which reward and negative attitudes towards the things that punish. Students hate mathematics because it punishes, thus adjust attitudes negatively towards it.
- The ego-defensive function: This refers to how students attitudes tend to defend their self-image. This means that if a student has negatives self-image, the student transfers that image to mathematics. For example, student may have a negative self-image of not being able to do very difficult things. If that student has perceived mathematics as difficult subject, obviously such student develops negative attitudes immediately.
- The value-expensive function: Some students may give positive expressions to the central values held by a student and to the concept which the student has. For example, suppose this student is seen as having liberal outlook (example of a central value or concept) and considers mathematics as a subject with liberal outlook or that requires the qualities of a person with a liberal outlook, then the student would express negative attitude to mathematics.
- The knowledge function: The student has need to give adequate structure to universe. This need can be served by the attitude which the student holds. If the student has a negative structure to the universe with regard to calculations, such student develops negative attitude to mathematics. Knowledge of mathematics which is thoroughly acquired by a student may not, after all, be practiced because of the intervention of negative attitude between knowledge and practice. This indicates that when a student develops a negative attitude towards mathematics, such student will never do well in it no matter how such student may practice it due to the intervention of negative attitude towards the subject. This attitude works hand-in-hand with the students “will-power that is the will to succeed”.

**CHAPTER THREE**

**RESEARCH METHOD**

This chapter comprises the following subsections: design of the study, population of the study, sample and sampling technique, instruments for data collection, validation of an instrument, reliability of an instrument, method of data collection and method of data analysis

**Design of the Study**

The design of this study is correlational research design. According to Nworgu (2006) this type of study seeks to establish what relationship exists between two or more variables. Usually such studies indicate the direction and magnitudes of the relationship between the variables. Correlational research design employs a special group of statistics known as correlation co-efficient or regression analysis for data analysis. Nworgu stated that it should be made clear that correlation studies do not establish causation. That two variables X and Y are highly related does not necessarily imply X causes Y or that Y causes X. it could be the case that both variables are related to the another variable which actually causes both X and Y.

**Sources of Data**

The data for this study were generated from two main sources; Primary sources and secondary sources. The primary sources include questionnaire, interviews and observation. The secondary sources include journals, bulletins, textbooks and the internet.

**Population of the study**

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 constitute of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description (Prince Udoyen: 2019). In this study the study population constitute of all the students and staff in the department of office technology and management of Federal Polytechnic Nekede Owerri, Imo state.

**CHAPTER FOUR**

**RESULTS**

This chapter deals with the presentation of results. The results of the data collected and analyzed for the research questions and hypotheses were presented in this chapter. The results are presented in line with the research questions and hypotheses that guided the study.

**CHAPTER FIVE**

**DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION,RECOMMENDATIONS**

In this chapter, discussion of the result presented in chapter four was made. The discussions were organized under the following sub-headings: Discussion of results, conclusion, implication of the findings, recommendations, limitation of the study, suggestions for further study and the summary of the study.

**Discussion of Results**

The discussion was done under the following sub-heading;

Relationship between Students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics

Result on Table 1 is correlation coefficients of the relationship between students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics. Results showed that the correlation between students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics was 0.40. This means there was a moderate positive relationship between students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics. Hence, there was a significant relationship between students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics. This finding portrays that attitude do plays an important role in either to predict or to affect students’ mathematics achievement as 16% of students’ attitude accounted for the variation in academic achievement in mathematics. The finding of this study support the findings of other previous researchers such as (Leung, 2002; Lim, 2010; Samuelsson Granstrom, 2007) who found that achievement correlated positively with attitudes. This finding is also supporting the finding of Schenkel’s (2009) who in the study of elementary school, found positive correlation between students’ attitude and academic achievement. Student attitudes were found to have the potential to either facilitate or inhibit learning of mathematics. By virtue of this finding, this research has joined the school of thought that relates student attitude significantly to students’ academic achievement.

**Relationship between Students’ self-concept Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics**

To answer research question 2, students’ self-concept Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics scores were correlated and the correlation coefficient obtained was 0.39 as shown on Table 3. This means that, there exist a direct positive relationship between students’ self-concept and their academic achievement in mathematics but the relationship was moderate. Hence, there was a significant relationship between students’ self-concept and their academic achievement in mathematics. This finding suggests that the views that students hold about their academic competence and capabilities are valuable variables that have the potential to facilitate the realization of students’ goals in a range of settings including the school. This result is in line with the previous findings of Oluwatayo (2011) and Kamba (2009) who found that there is a moderate relationship between Mathematics self-concept and Mathematics achievement. The moderate correlation between self-concept Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and achievement in Mathematics in the present study is an indication that the way the students thought of, felt about, acted towards, valued and evaluated themselves in Mathematics moderately related to their academic achievement in Mathematics. This result is also in line with the findings of Irwin (1999) who stated that positive self-concept is a central fact when considering optimal academic achievement. In addition, Brookover, Thomas & Patherson (1997) demonstrated that a positive significant correlation between self-concept and academic performance exists, even when intelligence scores are controlled. Thus, the way one sees himself is very critical to how that person approaches work, determination and the energy that goes into impetus to succeed

**Differences in the relationship students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and the academic achievement in mathematics based on gender**

Male students’ responses on students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics and their academic achievement in mathematics scores were correlated and the correlation coefficient obtained was 0.38 as shown on Table 5. This means that, there exist a direct positive relationship between male students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics. Table 5 also shows that, female students’ responses on students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics scores were correlated and the correlation coefficient obtained was 0.44 as shown on Table 5. This means that, there exist a direct positive relationship between female students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics. The difference in the relationship between students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics based on gender was 0.06 in favour of female students. Hence, there was a significant relationship in the difference between students’ attitude and their academic achievement in mathematics based on gender. This finding corroborates the results of other researchers that claim that boys and girls present very similar attitudes towards mathematics (Ma & Kishor; 1997, Nicolaidou & Philippou; 2003, Kogce, Yildiz, Alytun & Altundaz; 2009, Mohammed & Waheed; 2011). Gender has also been found to have an effect on academic achievement. However, most surprising is the fact that the female gender achieved better than the male gender in academic achievement. Although the issue of findings in respect to gender and academic achievement has been controversial, generally, with some maintaining that males are better, and others insisting that females were better. Although this finding is supported by the finding of Olufemi and James (2014) who stated that more female students show positive attitude toward mathematics than their male counterpart. However both male and female students have almost the same attitude toward mathematics. In addition, it was discovered by Iroegbu (2013) that gender had a statistically significant effect on academic achievement. The direction of the results showed that the female gender scored higher than the male gender in academic achievement in senior secondary school subjects. This means that females achieved better than males in examination.

**Conclusion**

Based on the investigation into students’ attitude Towards the Introduction of Credit in Mathematics as correlates of their achievement in NEKEDE it can be concluded among others that female students reflected better attitude and high self-concept as compared to the male students in mathematics and there is a significant inter-relationship between students’ attitude, self-concept and their academic achievement in mathematics.

**Recommendations**

Academic achievement is not a gender issue, both genders should be encouraged to excel in academic achievement since equal opportunities is provided for both genders. Students should be discouraged from forming stereotyped attitude and self-concept towards certain subjects, because of their sexes. This will boost positive competition between males and females, and enhance academic achievement and excellence.

Teachers should work towards the development of positive attitude and positive self-concept of the usefulness of mathematics, by planning for the affective domain in their classroom. Teaching and learning should be organized to take account of individual student differences and teachers should be educated to understand the origins and implications of gender differences and to develop pedagogical skills to accommodate and modify these as appropriate. Teachers should be trained in skills to use materials within a critical gender framework, thus enabling students to study materials critically from a gender perspective. Textbooks and other curricular materials should be critically evaluated for their gender inclusivity. When a mathematics curriculum is presented in a framework familiar to both girls and boys, both genders are readily involved.

Counseling services should be provided in schools so that students having problems in academic subjects can be attended to through the combined efforts of the school and the home. This will help students build their positive attitude and positive self-concept since attitude and self-concept has a positive relationship with academic achievement of students in mathematics.

The school environment is a powerful agency of nurturing students to have high self-concept. The teachers therefore should engage the learners in both curricular and co-curricular activities to enhance their self-concept. Teachers should guide and counsel students constantly to avoid a state of despair. Majority of the students who could not improve in academic achievement did not see the urge to adjust and developed a stereotype thinking that will enhance their grades

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