A Comparative Study of Students Performance in Mathematics among Students from Wealthy Home and Poor Home Background
This research work was a comparative study of student’s performance in mathematics among students from wealthy home and poor home background. The primary objective of this research was to investigate the influence of home background on academic performance of Minna Metropolis students in mathematics. The research methodology utilizes Spearman Correlation coefficient in the analysis and synthesizing of primary sources of data collected via questionnaire and Academic records, as well as diverse literature on the area of study. To test the hypotheses (1 and 2), the Spearman Correlation was applied to test if financial status of parents is significantly correlated with students’ academic achievement in mathematics and if Parents educational background is significantly correlated with students’ academic achievement in mathematics. However, the findings revealed that there is a significant relationship between Parent’s financial status and students’ achievement in mathematics and that there is a significant relationship between Parents educational background is significantly correlated with students’ academic achievement in mathematics. It is therefore, recommended that, Schools should be provided with adequate books and facilities to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor in the society. This will give students from poor homes the opportunity to learn and improve on their performances; Parents should not allow their social status be a barrier to their children educational opportunities.
1.1 Background of the Study
Academic achievement is undoubtedly a research after the heart of educational psychologists. In their attempt to investigate what determines academic outcomes of learners, they have come with more questions than answers. In recent time, literature has shown that learning outcomes have been determined by such variables as; family, school, society, and motivation factors (Aremu, 2000). Academic performance (most especially of secondary school students) has been largely associated with many factors. Most students in secondary schools in Nigeria are daily confronted with challenges of coping with their academics under serious emotional strains occasioned by long walk to school, poor school environment, and been taught by unmotivated teachers. Couples with this, most students encounter different problems in their academic achievement but some may not face such problems because of their backgrounds. (Aremu, 2000).
Families with high socioeconomic status often have more success in preparing their young children for school because they typically have access to a wide range of providing their young children with high-quality child-care, books, and toys to encourage children in various learning activities at home, they also have easy access to information regarding their children’s health, as well as social, emotional, and cognitive development. Across all socioeconomic groups, parents face major challenges when it comes to providing optimal care and education for their children. For families in poverty, these challenges can be formidable. Sometimes, when basic necessities are lacking, parents must place top priority on housing, food, clothing and health care. Educational toys, games, and books may appear to be luxuries, and parents may not have the time, energy or knowledge to find innovative and less-expensive ways to foster their children’s development. Families with low socioeconomic status often lack the financial, social, and educational supports that characterize families with higher socioeconomic status. Poor families also may have inadequate or limited access to community resources that promote and support children’s development and school readiness. (Ojo & Tsehaw, 2008).
Parents may have inadequate skills for such activities as reading to and with their children, and they may lack information about childhood immunizations and nutrition. Having inadequate resources and limited access to available resources can negatively affect families’ decisions regarding their young children’s development and learning. As a result, children from families with low socioeconomic status are at a greater risk of entering kindergarten unprepared than their peers from families with median or high socioeconomic status. (Ojo &Tsehaw, 2008).
According to Stone and Sarah, (1991) as cited in (Ojo &Tsehaw, 2008) various studies have revealed that a relationship existed between parental involvement and academic achievement of children in mathematics. It was found that the problem of achievement is not a simple thing rather it needs considerable attention. It was also found that high and low achievers differ in their way of motivation, interest, ability, etc. it was revealed that parents of higher Social Economic Status are more involved in their children’s education than parents of lower Social Economic Status and that greater involvement fosters more positive attitudes toward school, improves homework habits, reduces absenteeism and dropping out, and enhances academic achievement. Thus, some of the association between students’ outcomes and parents’ background is probably attributable to different levels of parental involvement in school-related activities. If this is the case, then strategies that increase parental involvement may be an effective means of improving schooling outcomes and of reducing inequalities in achievement among students with different social-class backgrounds especially in subjects like Mathematics.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Most students are at greater risk for poorer out comes in mathematics as a result of various variables like home factors, their attitude towards learning mathematics, and teacher factors. (Ojo (& Tsehaw, 2008). Academic performance in mathematics of students in schools in Minna Metropolis is of great concern. Information obtained from the school administration indicates that there is evidence to show that student’s performance in mathematics is influenced by different factors in and out of school. Among the factors influencing performance in mathematics is the home background of the children. Information obtained also indicates that children from wealthy background usually perform in mathematics compared to those from poor home background. (Nyamwange, 2012).
In the same vein, the highly educated or parents in the higher social class send their children to private schools where everything is provided for the children to learn. Relevant academic materials such as internet services, textbooks and the like are made available. This category of students have good learning environment and are often motivated to learn. A growing speculation holds that some of these children from the highly placed homes do not perform well at schools.
This research is therefore geared towards examining and unravelling the fundamental influence of home background on children’s academic performance in mathematics.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study was to investigate the influence of home background on academic performance of Minna Metropolis students in mathematics. Other objectives include:
- To find out if there is any significant difference in the performance of students, from high income families and those from the low income families, in mathematics?
- To determine whether parent’s/guardians educational level influences school student’s academic performance in mathematics.
1.4 Research Questions
- Is there any difference in the performance of students, from high income families and those from the low income families, in mathematics?
- Do parent’s/guardians educational level influences school Student’s academic performance in mathematics?
- Research Hypothesis
H01: There is no significant difference in the performance of students, from high income families and those from the low income families, in mathematics.
H02: There is no significant difference in student’s academic performance in Mathematics as per Parent’s/Guardian’s educational level.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study would provide adequate information on the influence of home background on student‘s academic achievement in mathematics. The work will provide ways on how parents can take care of their children and how they can provide the basic needs for their children. It will help parent‘s to be supportive in their children‘s education and also offer educators, communities, organizations and policy makers a source for understanding the meaning of the partnership between the school, family and communities.
Educational administrators and policy makers would have a better insight with respect to educational inequalities that exist between children of low, middle and high social class status. So as to provide materials and motivation for both children from rich homes and especially poor homes in their academic performance. They will also be aware of the facilities and materials that will be of great importance to the students for improvement of performance in the school.
The research will also serve as reference point for those wishing to delve into similar research of this magnitude.
1.7 Scope/Limitation of the Study
The scope of the study is based on comparative analysis of performance of student from wealthy home background and those from poor home background in mathematics.
The research work is limited to the analysis based on the questionnaire administered, and the relevant literature. Other limitation of the study is: inability of the researcher to cover the entire population of the study, money, and time constrain.
1.8 Definition of Terms
- Academic performance: The way in which one carries out an activity successfully especially in academics.
- Environmental factors: The place in which people live including all the physical condition that affect them. E.g. parents are responsible for providing the right environment for their children to learn.
- Home background: The type of place where one lives or feels he/she belongs.
- Influence: The power to change or control something or somebody. The power to control or change academic performance of School children.
- Educational Level: A standard of academic ability or level of learning
- Wealthy Home: Parents earning N500, 000 and above on Monthly basis.
This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
Abia Umuahia, Adamawa Yola, Akwa Ibom Uyo, Anambra Awka, Bauchi Bauchi, Bayelsa Yenagoa, Benue Makurdi, Borno Maiduguri, Cross River Calabar, Delta Asaba, Ebonyi Abakaliki, Edo Benin. Ekiti Ado Ekiti, Enugu Enugu, Gombe Gombe, Imo Owerri, Jigawa Dutse, Kaduna Kaduna, Kano Kano, Katsina Katsina, Kebbi Birnin Kebbi, Kogi Lokoja, Kwara Ilorin, Lagos Ikeja, Nasarawa Lafia, Niger Minna, Ogun Abeokuta, Ondo Akure, Osun Oshogbo, Oyo Ibadan, Plateau Jos, Rivers Port Harcourt, Sokoto Sokoto, Taraba Jalingo, Yobe Damaturu, Zamfara Gusau, FCT Abuja.
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