DEPARTMENT OF CURRICULUM STUDIES AND EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (MATHEMTICS OPTION Med) TOPIC

NEEDS ANALYSIS

THE EFFECT OF MATHS ANXIETY AMONG SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENT IN PORT-HARCOURT LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF RIVERS STATE

BY

NNEAMAKA ONAIFOH MARY

Background of Study

The issue of poor performance of students in mathematics has become a perennial problem, both elsewhere and in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the performances of students in external examinations in mathematics have continued to slide on a downward trend. Learners continue to manifest weak understanding of mathematics concepts, skills, generalizations, etc. Tobias (1993) defines mathematics anxiety as feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations and can cause one to forget and loose one’s self-confidence. Math anxiety usually arises from the lack of confidence when working in mathematical situations (Stuart, 2000). It has been attributed to one of five sources including: myths associated with mathematics, out of class experiences, expectations, reading and language facility, and classroom stress (Handler, 1990). Math Anxiety is often compounded over time and can affect students of math in a variety of ways. Math anxiety can begin at any age of schooling, but most students most commonly have negative experiences (Clawson, 1991, p.2). Unless addressed directly, this anxiety often continues or even worsens through secondary level, and into higher institution. This anxiety is not only difficult for the student to deal with, but it compounds into a lack of understanding of major concepts. This can close doors for students who not only may have otherwise chosen careers that would deal with math directly, but indirectly also. The lack of understanding of basic mathematical principles can result in an inability to solve chemistry, engineering,...

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