# Strategies For Motivating And Maintaining Students Interest In Mathematics

## Abstract

This study was carried out to examine the strategies for motivating and maintaining students interest in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State as a case study. The study was specifically set to determine whether the use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics, determine whether the adoption of one-on-one interaction strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue in the teaching of mathematics helps to motivate and maintain students interest in the subject, and determine whether adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of mathematics teachers of some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 65 respondents and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables. While the hypotheses were tested using Chi- square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that the use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics. Furthermore, the study revealed that the adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics. Therefore, it is recommended that Mathematics teachers should be encouraged to adopt instructional materials in teaching mathematics topics/concepts. This will make mathematics gain popularity, capture the learners‟ interest, challenge their intellect and result in better performance. To mention but few.

## Table of Content

- Title Page
- Certification
- Dedication
- Acknowledgement
- Table of Content
- List of Tables
- Abstract

### Chapter One:

#### Introduction

- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Problem
- 1.3 Objective of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypothesis
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of the Study
- 1.8 Limitation of the Study
- 1.9 Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organisations of the Study

### Chapter Two:

#### Review of Literature

- 2.1 Conceptual Framework
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review

### Chapter Three:

#### Research Methodology

- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration

### Chapter Four:

#### Data Presentation and Analysis

- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Data
- 4.3 Answering Research Questions
- 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

### Chapter Five:

#### Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendation
- References
- APPENDIX
- QUESTIONNAIRE

## Chapter One

### Introduction

#### 1.1 Background of the Study

Mathematics is a compulsory subject for all students at the secondary school level in Nigeria. This is necessitated by the fact that knowledge of mathematics is essential for all members of society [Skemp 1989]. In our match towards scientific and technology advancement, we need nothing short of good performance in mathematics at all levels of schooling. Learning mathematics can develop students’ ability to think in quantitative terms but also can improve skills such as analysis and problem solving. People believe that mathematics is a subject that is difficult and unattractive, but through technical assistance and some ways with innovation approaches in teaching mathematics, mathematics can have an attraction and sharpen students’ creativity as well. To be able to talk to students how important mathematics is having understanding students’ beliefs in learning mathematics so as to find ways to improve students’ performance and achievement in mathematics [Skemp 1989]. He state that there were significant different between students’ beliefs base on institutions and mathematics grade and there were no significant differences among beliefs base on gender, secondary education, and major.

In the last fifty years, researchers had curiosity with the effect of motivation. They studied students’ motivation and learned a great deal about the effect of motivational practices on school learning. It pointed to more simple aspect, such as achievement motivation, intrinsic motivation, and goal orientation as well as teacher practices which promote motivational beliefs. To be able to talk further about motivation in learning mathematics, it is essential to know what motivation actual mean. Motivation is defined as an internal state arouses, direct, and maintains behavior [Land 1983]. This simply means motivation is a reason of students’ thinking in a given situation. In self-Determination Theory, motivation is distinguished between different types based on different reasons or goal-intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to doing something it is certainly interesting or enjoyable. While extrinsic motivations refer to doing something because it leads to separable outcome [Land 1983].The examples of intrinsic motivation are personal interest in a satisfaction, subject, or pleasure in learning tasks. Whereas the examples of extrinsic motivation are awards, parent and teacher praise, and value. Various factors have been adduced for poor performance of students in mathematics.

The interest of students in mathematics have been related to the volume of work completed, students task orientation and skill acquisition, students personality and self-concept, feeling of inadequacy, motivation and self-confidence, anxiety, shortage of qualified mathematics teachers, poor facilities, equipment and instructional materials for effective teaching, use of traditional chalk and talk methods, largepupils to teacher ratio, mathematics fright/phobia and so on[Jaji 1992]. (Murphy, 1987; Murray, 1984) stated that interest in activities tends to increase the likelihood that individuals formulate goals relating to that activity and invest time and effort to achieve them. Moreover, individual characteristics such as intelligence, cognitive styles, and personality play an important role in learning and instruction as does the context of learning.

Other research findings have shown that individual students’ characteristics variables such as motivational orientations, self-esteem and learning approaches are important factors influencing academic achievements. In the effort to improve students cognition and affective outcomes in mathematics and/or school learning, educational psychologists and mathematics educators, have continued to search for variables (personal and environmental) that could be manipulated in favour of academic gains. Of all the personal and psychological variables that have attracted researchers in this area of educational achievement, motivation seems to be gaining more popularity and leading other variables [Rosenberg 1980].

#### 1.2 Statement of the Problem

Konesappillai (1995) found that inability by teachers to use motivational techniques in the teaching of mathematics was a major reason why children dislike mathematics. Skemp (1987) was alarmed by the large number of intelligent children who seemed unable to do mathematics in schools. He felt that this was a strange contradiction because if a child had adequate intelligence, then why would he/she fail to learn mathematics. Hargreaves (1994) who argued that one major reason why teachers fail to effectively communicate what they are teaching was their inability to plan for motivational strategies in their teaching. Research has also shown that only a limited number of children become interested in mathematics in the first place and very few care to choose mathematics at higher levels of learning because they find the learning of mathematics too abstract and less stimulating (Murphy, 1987; Murray, 1984).Isaacs (1996) believed that a problem of this kind arises as a result of the use of teaching strategies by teachers which are not sensitive to the needs of students. In his discourse on teaching mathematics and motivation, Land (1983) stated that mathematics learning could be made more interesting and meaningful to students if learning takes place in somewhat unusual, innovative ways which allow learners the opportunities to demonstrate their creativity in solving problems.

#### 1.3 Objective of the Study

The purpose of this research study is to examine the strategies for motivating and maintaining students interest in mathematics. Specifically, the study is aimed at;

- Determine whether the use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.
- Determine whether the adoption of one-on-one interaction strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.
- Determine whether the use of mother tongue in the teaching of mathematics helps to motivate and maintain students interest in the subject.
- Determine whether adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.

#### 1.4 Research Question

The following questions will guide this study.

- Does the use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics?
- Does the adoption of one-on-one interaction strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics?
- Does the use of mother tongue in the teaching of mathematics helps to motivate and maintain students interest in the subject?
- Does adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics?

#### 1.5 Research Hypotheses

- Ho: The adoption of motivation strategies have no significant effect in maintaining students interest in Mathematics.
- Ha: The adoption of motivation strategies has a significant effect in maintaining students interest in Mathematics.

#### 1.6 Significance of the Study

The study is important for the government, stakeholders involved in policymaking, and secondary school administrators since it highlights significant tactics that inspire teaching staff to perform well at their jobs. It has identified measures in particular that will help to boost teacher morale and working circumstances while also counteracting issues that reduce teacher motivation. This study gave a nice comparison for various motivating tactics in different regions of the world on an international level. In the education sector, particularly among the impoverished in rural and urban areas.

#### 1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study boarders on the strategies for motivating and maintaining students interest in mathematics. However, the study will be delimited to some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State.

#### 1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited to extention teachers as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other aspect of agriculture. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.

#### 1.9 Definition of Terms

##### Motivation:

A physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behavior or a drive that is arrived at 14 a goal or incentive is defined as motivation.

##### Mathematics:

Mathematics in a strict sense is the abstract science which investigates deductively the conclusion impact in the elementary concept of spatial and numerical relation. It has also be defined as a science size and numbers of which arithmetic algebra, trigonometry and geometry are the branches.

#### 1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

## Chapter Five

### Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

#### 5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the strategies for motivating and maintaining students interest in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.

#### 5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the strategies for motivating and maintaining students interest in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State as a case study.The study was specifically set to determine whether the use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics, determine whether the adoption of one-on-one interaction strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics, determine whether the use of mother tongue in the teaching of mathematics helps to motivate and maintain students interest in the subject, and determine whether adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 50 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are mathematics teachers of some selected secondary schools in Eleme LGA, Rivers State.

#### 5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

- The use of appropriate instructional materials and method helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.
- The adoption of one-on-one interaction strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.
- The use of mother tongue in the teaching of mathematics helps to motivate and maintain students interest in the subject.
- The adoption of reinforcement and reward strategy helps to motivate and maintain students interest in Mathematics.

#### 5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends;

- Mathematics teachers should be encouraged to adopt instructional materials in teaching mathematics topics/concepts. This will make mathematics gain popularity, capture the learners‟ interest, challenge their intellect and result in better performance.
- Mathematics teachers should take care of individual differences of students by offering different experiences for different learners varying contents, language, rate of learning, material of instruction and the goals of learning according to individual differences.
- Mathematics teachers should introduce motivation to encourage students‟ participation and to achieve social, academic, economic and political recognition.
- Professional development should provide opportunities for work shops or courses that would refresh our teachers‟ minds of the importance of building positive relationships with their students. The workshops or courses should be designed to encourage selfreflection, peer coaching or action research.
- Teachers need to attend more training on the use of motivational teaching strategies with regards to the teaching of mathematics in particular.
- Schools need to monitor more regularly how teachers plan for the use of motivational techniques so as to identify areas where the teachers need assistance for them to improve. • School headmasters, supervisors and principals need to target teacher use of motivational techniques during class observations so as to be able to capture early the weaknesses of the teacher and offer professional assistance, and crucially, these schools administrators need to ensure that workloads for teachers leave them with time to plan adequately for the use of motivational teaching methods.

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