Students’ Attitude towards Mathematics as a Predictor of their Academic Achievement in the Subject
This study was aimed at investigating the current issues related to the role of affective domain in enhancing effective learning. In particular, the study aimed at investigating whether or not students’ attitude towards mathematics can serve as a predictor of their academic achievement in the subject, and whether or not there exist any significant difference between boys and girls in their attitudes towards mathematics. A descriptive correlational design was employed in the study with the population of 114,504 senior secondary school students spread across the 34 local government areas of Katsina state, Nigeria. The subjects were a sample of 383 students from 8 schools, selected using mixed / multistage sampling procedure and the Research Advisors 2006 guideline. The Modified Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale (FSMAS) was the instrument for data collection, and the data collected were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. It was found that there was a significant relationship between students’ attitudes towards mathematics and their academic achievement in the subject (r= .756, P = .00). Similarly, the findings revealed that significant gender difference exist in students’ attitudes towards mathematics (t= 5.736, P = .00) in favour of male students. Based on the research findings, it was concluded that students’ attitudes towards mathematics predict their academic achievement in the subject and that students have different attitudes towards mathematics. It was recommended that mathematics teachers in the country should have a means of assessing students’ attitudes towards mathematics. Students identified with positive attitudes should be encouraged, while those with negative attitudes should be guided appropriately.
Keywords: Students’ Attitude; Predictor; Academic Achievement; Mathematics.