EFFECT OF STUDENTS’ BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE OF MATHEMATICS ON SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS’ ACHIEVEMENT IN PHYSICS
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Awofala, A. O. A.
Emiola, Adekoya A.
The study investigated the effect of students’ background knowledge of mathematics on academic achievement in physics. The moderating effect of gender was also examined. The sample consisted of 300 senior secondary school year one science/ mathematics students in Lagos State. The study adopted pre-test and post-test control group non-equivalent quasi-experimental design using a 2×2 factorial matrix with one experimental group and one control group. Five research questions and three null hypotheses were raised, answered, and tested in the study. Two research instruments, Mathematics Achievement Test (MAT) (r = 0.82) and Physics Achievement Test (PAT) (r = 0.78) were administered on the sample and data gathered were analysed, using Mean, Standard deviation, Independent Samples t-test statistic and analysis of covariance. Results showed that there were no statistically significant differences in the mean pre-test achievement scores in mathematics (t=1.426, p=0.155) and physics (t=0.416, p=0.667) between the treatment groups prior to the intervention. Results also revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in the mean pre-test achievement scores in mathematics (t=-1.63, p=0.103) and physics (t=0.356, p=0.722) based on gender. However, there was a statistically significantly positive relationship between achievement score in physics and mathematics prior to the intervention (r=0.602, p=0.002). Treatment and gender had statistically significant main effects on students’ posttest achievement score in physics (F(1, 299)=440.413, p=0.000, η2 p=0.599; F(1, 299)=9.611, p=0.002, η2 p=0.032) respectively. There was no statistically significant interaction effect of treatment and gender on students’ post-test achievement score in physics (F(1, 299)=0.52, p=0.820, η2 p=0.000). Based on the results, the study recommended that the teaching of prerequisite mathematics concepts in physics before physics teaching should be adopted as instructional technique for enhancing meaningful learning in physics.
students’ background knowledge of mathematics, physics achievement