Relationship between affective factors and achievement in mathematics among secondary school students in Ganze District, Kilifi County Kenya
Mweni, Nickson Tsofa
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Learning mathematics is a cognitive as well as affective endeavor with the affective factors playing major role in student achievement. The main purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between affective factors and students’ achievement in Mathematics in Ganze District, Kilifi County Kenya. Study was motivated by underrepresentation of females in advanced mathematics levels and related careers. The study was guided by the following three specific objectives: to establish the relationship between student attitude and mathematics achievement, to establish the relationship between student anxiety and mathematics achievement, and to assess the effect of confidence on mathematics achievement. This study employed descriptive survey research design. Target population comprised of both male and female students from secondary schools in Ganze District. The district had 4 zones with a total of 1620 male students and 1080 female students within the 20 schools among which 12 were mixed day secondary schools, 4 boarding schools and 4 single sex schools. Proportional stratified random sampling was done to ensure at least 50% of the schools were sampled from every zone. The study had a stratified sampled size of 250 students; mainly form 4 and 3 students of which 150 were male and 100 female. The affective factors (attitude, anxiety, confidence) formed the independent variables, learning factors in mathematics class room as intervening variables and mathematics achievement as the dependent variable. The valid and reliable research instruments included mathematics attitude questionnaire, mathematics anxiety rating scale, mathematics confidence questionnaire and mathematics test. Data were analyzed using SPSS program of IBM 2015 American version and presented in text and tabular forms. The mode of analysis mainly involved Correlational Analysis of Pearson Product moment correlation coefficient (rxy) indicating the statistical significant correlation value for either accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis, “there is no statistical significant relationship between affective factors and students’ achievement in mathematics”. The findings revealed females outweigh males at higher positive attitude; males outweigh females in lower anxiety; but no disparity in confidence. The researcher concluded attitude and confidence are directly proportional to mathematics achievement but anxiety is indirectly proportional. The relationship between affective factors and students’ achievement in mathematics is beyond gender differences and academic abilities; for females outweigh males in mixed day, males outweigh females in mixed boarding but no disparity in single sex boarding secondary schools. The following recommendations are made from the study: a) Mathematics teachers have to inculcate positive attitude classroom environment for better achievement since attitude is direct to achievement. b) Anxiety is indirect to achievement therefore mathematics teachers have to create friendly learning environment that avoid students being anxious toward mathematics. c) Mathematics teachers need to guide students through solving mathematics problems in order they develop self-confidence since confidence is direct to achievement. Lastly, the researcher suggested further research to be done on the impact of special teaching methods for students with negative attitudes, high anxiety and low confidence towards mathematics; effect of group discussion for female students with positive attitudes, low anxiety and high confidence towards mathematics under guidance; and effect of teachers` affective factors towards teaching and achievement in mathematics among students.