Chapter1THEPROBLEMBackgroundof the StudyMathematics is one ofthe cornerstones of civilization. It is evident in all societies and culture.
It permeates all walks of life. It plays an important role specifically in thisage of scientific and technological advancement. In fact, Mathematics enablesother disciplines to advance the frontiers of knowledge. Mathematics has indeedbecome an indispensible tool in the study of courses, such as maritimeeducation, information communication technology, engineering, teachereducation, and industrial technology.
These courses, among others, require asolid background and training in Mathematics; they require literacy in Mathematicsto enable college graduates to develop their critical thinking and to use widevarieties of Mathematics methods in solving problems when they join inworkforce. ( Deauna, 1990).In addition, Mathematicsplays an important role in man’s life. Sibayan (2003 ascited by Litong, et al.)noted that Mathematics knowledge, adeptness and skills are basic ingredientsfor a learned man because numbers are part of everyday life. Man findssituations and many of the ordinary activities involve application of Mathematics.
The level of mathematical thinking and problem solving needed in everyworkplace has increased seriously. In such a world, those who understand andcan do Mathematics will have opportunities that others do not. Therefore, thequality of teaching and learning Mathematics has been of great challenge andconsider as the major concern of all educators. According to Fisco(1993), a math teacher who is creative, diligent, and resourceful should alwaysconsider giving meaningful activities that easily captivate the attention,curiosity, and sense of wonder of students. A mathematics teacher shouldrealize that the best lessons in life come from the actual experiences, so hemust develops activities in such a way that students would experience learningin a more desirable manner. While the importance of Mathematics is acknowledged,at the same time, the low quality of mathematics education in the country isnoted. It has been observed that many students are not quite interested inmathematics for certain reasons; (1) some say it’s a boring subject; (2)mathematics teachers accept only their own solution to math problems and do notdiscuss other alternatives; (3) seemingly, some teachers cannot explain thereason behind the errors in the math exercises; (4) students are simply notinterested to learn Mathematics because it is a complicated subject so they arejust contented with a passing mark; (5) some claim that they do not haveadequate mathematics background in basic education; (6) many students aresimply too lazy, perhaps due to lack of proper motivation on the part of theteacher, so they don’t exert effort to enhance their Mathematics skills to alevel proportionate to their capability;(7) other students may have difficultycoping with the medium of instruction; and (8) some have poor study habits.(Navarrro, 1996)At present, many ofthe children of the lower class families and those of the middle class familiesas well, do not get beyond high school.
It is a fact that only a fraction ofthe high school learners can go to college. For the majority of them secondaryeducation marks the end of their formal education. Thus Mathematics educationin the secondary level should aim at helping these people to be functional in Mathematics.
Functional knowledge in Mathematics should equip them for practical parenthoodand a vocational and technical job.Instructional designis an effective way to ease problems related to the quality of teaching andlearning Mathematics. Knowing the factors affecting Mathematics performance isparticularly important for making the best design decisions that will suit to theK-12 curriculum (an educational system implemented last June 2011 by theDepartment of Education (DepEd).
“K” stands for Kindergarteen whereas “12”represents the succeeding 12 years of basic education. This is an initiativemade by the government to ensure that every student is completely equipped withenhanced basic life skills for lifelong learning and employment here andabroad.) The concern about Mathematicsachievement has been observed in the K-12 curriculum where Grade 11 and 12 haveit as one of their core subjects. The current debate among curriculum plannersis what students should learn to be successful in Mathematics.
A central andpersisting issue is how to provide instructional environments, conditions,methods, and solutions that achieve learning goals for learners with differentskills and ability levels. It is then important for educators to developinstructional approaches and techniques to ensure that students becomesuccessful learners.Instructional alonecannot produce better learning and achievement. The instructional designer mustknow crucial barriers that affect student learning and build a bridge betweengoals and students performance. The researcher have long been interested inexploring the barriers that affect the teaching-learning process contributingeffectively to the performance andachievement of Senior High learners in Mathematics under the K-12 Curriculum.
These barriers are inside or outside school and effect student’s quality ofacademic performance. Identifying these barriers will also help educators toutilize limited resources including financial resources and time moreeffectively. In an effort to understand the barriers associated withmathematical achievement, the researcher will focus in many barriers such asstudents personal barriers that includes students attitude, study habits,school pressure and school satisfaction. These barriers that inhibit or preventthe learners from participating in activities will affect their academicperformance. Learner’s engagement in Mathematics will depend in many motivatingfactors as well as their confidence in their ability to succeed and theiremotional feeling toward the subject.This study will alsoanchor on the concepts that a student’s academic performance in Mathematics isaffected by barriers such as student’s attitude and study habits. Attitude.
Astudent’s academic performance in mathematics is affected by various factors–the student’s attitudes, among others. De Torre’s article (1987) claimed thatproper attitudes toward work and study contribute better performance in variousfields of endeavor. Haynes,et al. (1988) made a study on gender and achievement status difference inlearning factors among black high schools students.
They found out that therewere significant differences between male and female students on studentsattitudes toward their lessons. Asimilar study on the influence of study habits and attitudes on academicperformance revealed that attitudes of students toward school work affectedtheir academic performance (Ayson,1982). Abenes(1985) made a study on the relationship of students’ attitudes towards theiracademic performance in mathematics. He found out that there were significantrelationships between students’ attitudes towards school work and theiracademic performance.
Study Habits. Thestructural concept of habit as an enduring aspect of personality has beenpopular in efforts to conceptualize what students are like in terms of theiracademic performance. Inlike manner, Weinert and Kluwe’s article (1987) suggest that sound study skillsand habits involve adjusting practices to (1) difficulty of the materials; (2)time available for studying; (3) what is already known about the material ; (4)purpose and importance of assigned task/ lesson; and (5) standards to be met. Inaddition attitude towards school work and study habits are influenced bydifferent factors surrounding the learner. Learning is habit formation and canbe conditioned. Situation and connected response-reward and/ or satisfactionreduce the need and hasten the learning or performance.
Learning takes placewhen any change in behavior occurs (Andres and Francisco, 1989).Learning needto be organized in terms of the learners interest, abilities, and activities.The learner should be made the starting point, the center of learning ( Kaplanand Saccuzzo, 2001). It is the learner who determines both the quality andquantity of learning. If the aim of a curriculum or an academic program is tolet the learners grow in terms of knowledge, habits, skills, abilities, andattitudes, the original nature and experiences of the learner must be made asthe starting point in accomplishing such growth. Being a mathematicsteacher, the researcher feels that she has an important role to assume. As aresult she is motivated to undertake this study focus in finding out theexisting barriers in teaching-learning process in mathematics subjects of theSenior High School learners in Tubao District.
The research questions willreveal the major barriers in teaching-learning process of mathematics andpropose possible solutions in order to overcome the identified barriers. It ishope that in the light of the findings of this research, Mathematics teachersin Senior High School, as well as administrators, will enlightened and such athing may result to better mathematics instruction which produces morecompetent learners who will eventually become more efficient and productivecitizens of the Republic. Knowledgeof Mathematics and the ability to apply it are essential to be able to functionin and contribute to society. As valuable as the discipline, teachers observesmany discrepancies as to how students learn or fail basic Mathematicsprocesses. Barriers involving the students, teachers, or the environmentcontribute to the inability of the students to use the basic principles of Mathematicsin the application of advance scientific thinking. Itis in this light that the researcher hopes to give significant contribution tothe elements that comprise the academe. This study should be useful to theparents, teachers, administrators and students themselves. For the students andparents the data gathered regarding variables affecting mathematicsperformance served as basis for remedial steps that took when the learnersshall have been enrolled in college.
As for instance, if statistics will showsignificant relationship between any of the identified variables andperformance in Mathematics, then the parents may already think of possibleremedial courses of action that is pursuance of a course that would entail onlyfew mathematics subjects. This study had a two-foldcontribution to the administrators and teachers. First, it would serve as basisfor reinforcements of effective or ineffective teacher methodology in teachingMathematics.
Since the study yielded significant relationships betweenperformance of students in mathematics and school-based variables particularlyon physical facilities and teaching –learning strategies, then the teachershould try to do remediation that would involve those methods and strategieswhich are affecting students performance in Mathematics. Secondly, theadministration especially the immediate supervisor can use the findings asjustifications for sanctions imposed on the teachers for improvement ormaintenance of the teacher’s performance.It is also hope ofthe researcher to contribute to the body of knowledge already existing which isrelated to the area of the study. Thisstudy was limited only to Senior High School Learners in Tubao District,School’s Division of La Union. Determiningthe barriers affecting the teaching- learning process in Mathematics of theSenior High School Learners in Tubao District Schools Division of La Union wasthe focus of this research. The information needed was gathered using thechecklist style research-made questionnaire.
All information and conclusionsdrawn from this study was obtained only to this particular group of students.TheoreticalFramework and Conceptual Framework Thisstudy was subscribed to the Brunner’s (1996) theory of instruction. In thistheory, Brunner points out that a theory of instruction is a prescription ofrules for achieving knowledge or skills and providing techniques for measuringor evaluating outcomes. This theory facilitates the researcher with thebarriers affecting the performance of mathematics in Senior High School inTubao. Brunner, argues that a theory ofinstruction is concerned with what one wishes to teach can best be learnt. Hespecifies four salient features that the theory must embrace. These include:predisposition to teach, a group of knowledge structure, hierarchy andsequencing of content, and ability to reward and reinforce learning effects.
Theseteachers of mathematics need to be adapted at all these four constituents oflearning. To Brunner (1996), withsufficient understanding of the structure of a field of knowledge more advancedconcepts can be taught appropriately at much earlier ages. This is achieved byplanning and structuring learning experiences that arise the curiosity of thelearner.
The theory further emphasizes that the experiences provided shouldrecognize the different levels of the learner’s thinking. Bruner says that itis the responsibility of the teacher to identify the concepts that from thebasic structure of the subject, in this case barriers affecting the performancein mathematics. This theory was chosenbecause it provides knowledge on how teachers of mathematics can developcognitive abilities of learners by preparation of instructional products andprocesses. The theory further guides the teacher in structuring and sequencingof learning activities, preparation before class instruction includes contentfamiliarization, lesson plan preparation and sourcing of instructionalresources. Themathematics K-12 Curriculum is organized hierarchically and spirally. Theteacher therefore used this to make lesson preparation that were identified,the pre-requisite concepts and those that we to come later. Since learning of mathematicsis an ongoing process of building on the previous, the sequencing should bewell-planned to create room for students to be rewarded and feel motivated.
This further resulted in more classroom interactions of the students withresources teachers and amongst themselves. These variables explained arerepresented in the conceptual framework. Thereis a conception by many that mathematics is a very difficult subject comparedwith all the subjects offered in a certain school. Based on the results of themany achievement or performance test given by the Department of EducationDivision Office as well as the Regional Office, it has been proven that scoresin Mathematics are low. With this mathematics has become the most dislikedsubject by most learners and even by some teachers. If only each one hasreceived a proper motivation on Mathematics, then its importance may beappreciated. Therehave been very many studies made to update the areas of mathematics with theaim to help and guide teachers to have better updated strategies and methods touse in mathematics teaching.
Likewise there are also some techniques andmethods which make mathematics functional. There are also some procedures andmethods suggested to improve the subject matter and give meaningful behavior onthe part of students. Withregard to why most students get low scores in their achievement test, besidesteacher factor, there are other barriers which contribute to the failure of anindividual in any area or field of endeavor aside from teacher factor. Thesebarriers, such as study habit, sex, age, nutritional status, experience withthe physical world, and socio-economic status should not be underestimated.
Gregorio (1976) posits that learning is most potent when the school curriculum isbrought in harmony with the experiences, abilities, and needs of the students,and when his environmental conditions are more advantageous. From this it canbe deduced that the nature of the learner is a function of the learningprocess. Alongthese theories and concepts, the study will focus on the Academic Performancein Mathematics of the Senior High School Learners in Tubao District, Tubao LaUnion. Thus, the paradigm of the study shows the relationship of inputvariables which contain the extent of the student’s personal barriers in termsof their attitude, study habit and school pressure and satisfaction. However,the researcher considers moderator variables on students profile; the personalprofile which includes the sex and age, and the academic profile that includestheir grades in General Mathematics and Statistics and Probability.
While inthe process contains the survey, data gathering, data analysis, and datainterpretation. Based on the research results, action plan will be design whichwill serve as an output of the study. These plans may, in-a-way will help thestudents to improve their performance in mathematics and for the facultydevelopment programs for the improvement of the teaching- learning process inmathematics.