Relationship between Lower Primary School Teachers’ Mathematics Self-Efficacy and their Pupils’ Performance in Mathematics in Kericho Sub-County, Kenya
Kandie, Faith Jelagat
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Mathematics is a very important component of human activities and survival. It is useful in science, technology, commerce, economics, and education. Research shows that the acquisition and development of basic mathematical concepts and skills during early years forms the foundation for future mathematics achievement. For many years the performance in mathematics at the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) has been low as compared to other subjects. However, most of the studies done in Kenya have focused on the factors affecting mathematics performance such as the methods used by teachers to teach mathematics, availability of text books, teaching apparatus used, class size, and assessment practices and not on teacher self-efficacy. The present study therefore aimed is at investigating the level of lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy and how it is related to their pupils‟ mathematics achievement. The study also explored the relationship between teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy and factors such as type of school, teachers‟ experience, and teachers‟ performance in mathematics and professional qualifications. The study was guided by the Social Cognitive Theory by Bandura (1977). The research design that was used in this study was correlation design. The dependent variable was pupils‟ achievement in mathematics, while the independent variables were teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy, teachers‟ score in mathematics in KCSE examinations, teachers‟ professional qualifications, type of school, and teaching experience. The study was carried out in primary schools in Kericho Sub-County. The population for this study consisted of lower primary school teachers teaching in primary schools in Kericho Su-County and their lower primary school pupils. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 40 lower primary school teachers from 156 primary schools in the District. A questionnaire and interview schedule was used to collect data. Pilot study was undertaken in four primary schools in the sub-county. Reliability of the instruments was tested using test-retest method. Data was collected in three stages namely administration of questionnaires, conducting of interviews and administration of mathematics achievement tests. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Null hypotheses HO1 was tested using t-test for independent samples; while Null Hypotheses HO2, Ho3, and HO4 were tested using Pearson‟s Product Moment Correlation at .05 level of significance. The results showed that lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy was low (M=2.64). Results from t-test indicated that there was no significant difference in lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy between public and private schools (t=1.817, df=2, p>0.05) at 0.05 significant level. There was a correlation between lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy and pupils‟ performance in mathematics. Lastly, Pearson‟s Product Moment Correlation results indicated that there was a positive correlation between lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy and teachers‟ score in mathematics, teaching experience, and professional qualifications. It is recommended that there is need for concerted effort to enhance lower primary school teachers‟ mathematics self-efficacy to improve mathematics performance in Kericho Sub-County.