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MATHEMATICS READINESS TEST MATHRET FOR SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS

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MATHEMATICS READINESS TEST MATHRET FOR SENIOR DARY SCHOOL TS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Mathematics is considered by many people, institutions,  and  employers of labour, among others, as very important. Mathematics is considered indispensable because it has substantial use in all human  activities including school subjects such as in Introductory technology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics including Agricultural science. Its unique importance explains why the subject is given priority as a school subject. Infact, the International Association for the Evaluation of onal Achievement (IEA) (2004) has also associated the learning of mathematics with basic preparation for adult life. Also, mathematics is used for analysing and communicating information and ideas to address a range of practical tasks and real-life problems (Gray and Tall, ). Again, employers in the engineering, construction, pharmaceutical, financial and retail sectors, have all expressed their continuing need for people with appropriate mathematical skills (Smith, 2005). This situation demands that every child should be included in mathematics instruction right inside the classrooms (Sydney, 1995; Hill, 2001), at the level of education.

There is ample evidence to show that all over the world, majority of Secondary School students’ performance in mathematics  have  been variously reported by individuals and group of persons to be generally poor. For instance, at the international scene, the situation reported by the  al Research Council in the late s is of the view that students

study of mathematics is getting  worse worldwide especially with regard to  the enrolment and performance of minority groups in mathematics/science courses (Ezeife, 2002). Locally, similar reports on students’ poor performance on mathematics were noted (Chief Examiners’ report, 1993- 2000; Raimi, 2001; Igbo,  2004;  Aguele, 2004). It is unfortunate that the general performance of students in mathematics has been observed to be poor (Agwagah, 2000; Ekele, 2002; Kurume, 2004). This situation cannot be allowed to  continue escalating without proper check. Several reasons including (Usman and Harbor- Peters, 1998; Harbor- Peters, 2001; Ikeazota, 2002 and Igbo, 2004), have offered reasons for these consistent poor performance in mathematics. Some noted that it was associated with poor teaching of the subject (mathematics) by teachers. Specifically, accusing fingers have been pointed at the way mathematics is taught in schools, and the lack of relevance of mathematics content to the student’s real life experiences (Ezeife. 2002). Some reported that students detest mathematics, suggesting that the students are not working hard enough or learning the subject seriously. For instance, the inability of students  to change to a thinking mode suitable for the particular problem, for example,  to alter between a numeric, graphic, or symbolic form of representing mathematical ideas deterred them from solving a wide range of mathematical problems (Tall, 2005).

Other researchers (Usman and Harbor- Peters, 1998; Unodiaku, 1998; an Aguele, 2004) have also examined the incidence of errors as determinant of students’ achievement in mathematics. Among these errors are the

process errors committed by students while solving mathematical problems. Teaches inability to diagnose these process errors among other factors according to Harbor- Peters and Ugwu (1995); and Aguele ( 2004)  has contributed to the poor performance of students in both internal and external examinations over the s. Therefore, if poor performance of the students in mathematics is to be halted, these errors or weaknesses relating to the process skills should be identified among JS 3 students for further learning of mathematics in SS1 level. It becomes necessary, therefore to investigate the students specific areas of weakness as indicated by the process errors they committed. The mathematics readiness test (MATHRET) indicates the frequency of these process errors, from which one can find out the extent students entering the senior possess the knowledge of the Js 3 mathematics curriculum contents in readiness for  senior mathematics work. This situation demands that a mathematics readiness test ( MATHRET) need to be developed with which to know whether the JS 3 students posses the background learning experiences that can enable them cope with SS1 mathematics work. Okonkwo (1998) developed and validated mathematics readiness test for JS 1 students. Also, Obienyem (1998) identified mathematical readiness levels of JS1 entrants. Both studies were centred on pupils of primary six intending to resume new mathematics programme in JS1 level. This and the paucity of instrument for determining the readiness level of JS 3 students intending to resume new mathematics programme in SS1 level and remedying mathematics deficiencies of Nigerian students and for the  improvement of the teaching and learning of the subject motivated this researcher to

develop and validate a mathematics readiness test for senior students.

MATHEMATICS READINESS TEST MATHRET FOR SENIOR DARY SCHOOL TS

MATHEMATICS READINESS TEST MATHRET FOR SENIOR DARY SCHOOL TS

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