### FACTORS INFLUENCING PERFORMANCE IN MATHEMATICS AMONG SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS: A CASE STUDY OF ST. THERESA’S COLLEGE, NSUKKA, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA

#### Abstract

*This study investigated factors contributing to performance in mathematics by secondary school students in St. Theresa’s College Nsukka, Enugu State Nigeria. The study was anchored on Fishbein’s Expectancy Value Theory of 1975. This theory advocates that the amount of effort that students are willing to expand on “Mathematics” is determined by the degree to which they expect to succeed at “Mathematics” as well as the degree to which they value Mathematics; and this determines their success in Mathematics (Chauncey, 2009). The study was guided by five research objectives, to: investigate if attitude of secondary school students towards the study of Mathematics significantly contribute to their performance; explore the extent to which teachers’ instructional methods influence the performance of secondary school students in Mathematics; find out how parents’ interest in their children’s study of Mathematics affect the academic performance of secondary school students; examine if teachers’ attitude towards the teaching of Mathematics influences students’ academic performance; and to investigate possible solutions to the challenges of poor performance by secondary school students in Mathematics. The study used convergent parallel mixed methods research designs. The study employed cross-sectional survey to collect quantitative data, and phenomenological approach for the qualitative data. The qualitative data was collected using interview guide, while a questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data. In the data analysis, qualitative data was coded, and categorized according to themes. The quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS version 23. Qualitative data was presented in narrative forms while the quantitative data was descriptively presented in frequencies and percentages. The findings of the study revealed that students in St. Theresa’s College were highly motivated to achieve high performance in Mathematics by effective administrative strategies, effective teaching methods and support from both tutorial lessons from teachers and other motivational incentives from parents. The study therefore recommends greater efforts on the part of the administrators of the school, teachers and parents to improve teaching aids, time allotted for tutorials and affirmative support of students to study Mathematics even outside class times.*

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