A study of attitudes and sex differences in performance of mock mathematics by Std.8 primary school pupils in Moitanik location, Narok district
Samumkut, Michael Laboso
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The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between attitudes towards Mathematics by pupils and their actual performance in the examination in Moitanik location of Narok district. The study also aimed at finding out whether there is significant sex difference in mathematics performance by pupils in the primary schools. The sample used consisted of 39 pupils (28 boys and 11 girls) from 4 selected mixed primary schools. Objectives questionnaire items were used to extract attitudes of pupils towards mathematics. Mock examination results were obtained from respective head teachers. The main findings of the study were: - (1) There was some relationship between attitudes of boys towards mathematics and their actual performance. But there was nearly zero correlation between attitudes of girls towards mathematics and their actual mathematics performance. (2) There was significant sex difference among primary pupils in the selected schools. It is suggested that positive attitudes of pupils towards mathematics should be encouraged by creating favourable atmosphere for learning, forming group-work among pupils, motivating individuals and evaluating pupil’s work constantly. In order to rectify sex difference in mathematics performance, it is suggested that teachers should apply all methods known to them so as to assist girls to perform equally with boys. It is therefore important to understand individuals' weakness. It is further suggested that research should be carried out on a wider area (in the whole division or even district), and to investigate other possible factors such as cultural norms, teachers' attitudes towards mathematics and social interactions among teachers and pupils.