Chapter those that upgrade teachers on their knowledge

Chapter
1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS
SETTING

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Introduction

Mathematics
is undeniably significant in everyone’s lives. Yet, several people dislike
mathematics without knowing that they are already using it in many ways.  According to The India Times (2015), Mathematics is the cradle of all creations, without it
the world cannot move an inch. Be it a cook or a farmer, a carpenter or a
mechanic, a shopkeeper or a doctor, an engineer or a scientist, a musician or a
magician, everyone needs mathematics in their day-to-day life. Even insects use
mathematics for everyday existence.  Everyone should acquire mathematics skills in
order to survive in this competitive world.

Mathematics
has been a useful part of today’s era. Without it, humanity is impossible to
last. Unfortunately, despite mathematics’ obvious importance, many still seem
to ignore its essence and power. In education, mathematics is the least
appreciated subject. It is loathed by most Filipino students because of
different factors. However, despite this disturbing observation, Mathematics
teachers and proponents do not stop in improving instruction as it is relevant
to make the students love and appreciate Math.

As
the saying goes “the youth of today is the hope for a better tomorrow”. The
country’s future lies in the hands of these young generations therefore they
must be equipped with enough knowledge to survive in this challenging world.
Students should be taught not only the basic operations and problem solving
skills but also instill in them the importance of these in their further
learning. Encourage them to believe that they can become mathematical thinkers.
As teachers, we must provide the support that each student needs to be
successful (Gojak, 2013).

UNESCO supports initiatives that address the lack
of interest by students in mathematics, and those that upgrade teachers on
their knowledge of new developments in Mathematics and their significance to
society and daily life (UNESCO, 2017). 

 Why do most students dislike Mathematics?
Antonio (2009) stated that it is disheartening to know that many Filipinos
experience not only disgust but also a phobia from Mathematics. Most students
consider Mathematics as an extremely difficult subject as their performance in
this area is usually low compared to the other areas.

There
are several factors which may affect student’s learning performance such as teachers’
instructional methods, learning environment, student’s learning strategies,
motivation and etc. (Liu, Lin, Cheng and Wang, 2008). In learning mathematics,
students naturally come up with learning strategies through the help of
teachers or peers to improve their learning efficiency. Students with
outstanding mathematics performance typically adopt learning strategies
appropriately to manage their learning. In contrast, students with relatively
poor mathematics performance typically cannot apply effective learning
strategies to solve problems or monitor their learning (Lin and Tai, 2015).

 Another factor that influences the students’
performance is motivation or the internal force that encourages an individual
to perform the task. Students should be motivated enough to accomplish the task
in mathematics through applying the different learning strategies. This is the
reason motivation and learning strategies are the best couple to help every
student.

Researches
show that motivated students are persistent (Gojak, 2013). They try to apply
several methods and strategies until they find the acceptable solution. Since
every student is unique in cognitive, affective and psychomotor attributes,

Moreover,
motivation enhances students’ learning allowing them to look into the
importance of mathematics to their lives and to the world. Importantly, it is
always believed that students’ motivation and learning strategies play crucial
role in learning (Schunk, 1990; O’Neil and Drillings, 1994; Pajares and
Kranzler, 1995).

It
is still undeniable that there are students who lack motivation to pursue their
studies despite of all the aids granted to them by the local government. Antonio
(2009) concluded that first year students tend to have higher levels of
motivation than those who are in the higher years. The study agrees with the
observation that enrolment rate gradually decreases in higher grades because of
external factors that might have influenced the students. High school years is
the stage in adolescent’s life where they get to experience many things as
decreased motivation and being disconnected from school (Willms, 2003; Yonezawa
et al., 2009) as cited by Santos (2014).

Based
on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), an
international competition the Philippines attended in 1999 and 2003, Filipino
students’ performance was worse than Indonesia. However, in the latest
international competition, the International Mathematics Contest (IMC) and
International Mathematics Open for Young Achievers (IMOYA), Filipino students
proved their competence in Mathematics as they topped among 14 countries. Among
the winners were from private and public schools.

Apart
from motivation which is seen as a contributing factor in mathematics
performance, the type of school the students are enrolled in is said to largely
affect students’ view of mathematics as an academic subject.

In
the Division of Taguig City and Pateros, for example, there are two science
high schools located. Science high schools have been viewed as excellent
schools offering great emphasis on science and mathematics curriculum therefore
students in these kinds of schools are believed to be more motivated and more
excellent. However, data from three consecutive NAT results showed that
students from regular high schools excelled more than the science high schools
specifically the Upper Bicutan National High School which ranked 1st in the NAT
2013 with mean percentage score of 85.49.  In addition, NAT 2014, another regular high
school ranked 1st, the Taguig National High School. Meanwhile the
Senator Renato Compa?ero Cayetano
Memorial Science and Technology High School has been in the second rank but was
able to rank 1st in NAT 2015. This only shows that students’
performance does not lie on the type of the school. The present study therefore
aims to know the difference in motivation and learning strategies among Grade 9
students of science high schools and regular high schools.

 

Theoretical Framework

          This
study used the social cognitive model of motivation of Pintrich, and De Groot
(1990) as basis. This model explains how motivation and learning strategies
operate in the process of human learning particularly in mathematics. In the
social cognitive model of motivation, the researchers asserted that the
intensity of an individual’s motivation will activate the learner to apply
specific learning strategies. The model proposes that there are three
motivational components associated with three different components of
self-regulated learning. These are the expectancy, value and affective
component. The expectancy component involves students’ beliefs about their
ability to perform the task. The value component involves the students’ goal
and beliefs about the interest and importance of the task at hand. On the other
hand, the affective component concerns the students’ emotional reactions to the
given task. The learning strategies were classified into cognitive strategies,
metacognitive strategies, non-informational resources management and
informational resources management.

 Several studies exploring the students’ motivation
and learning strategies were inspired by the self-regulated learning approach
which views the student as capable of monitoring and regulating his own learning
process.

          According to Pintrich and De Groot
(1990), there are three motivational components of self-regulated learning that
are significant for students’ performance in the classroom. First is the
meta-cognitive strategy for planning, monitoring and changing of cognition.
Second is the students’ control and management of his effort on classroom
academic tasks. Last, the cognitive strategies that student apply to
understand, acquire and recall learning materials.          

          Learning strategies alone is not
enough to promote students’ achievement. Motivation is a necessary ingredient
for learning (Biehler and Snowman, 1986). Highly motivated students are more
self-determined to accomplish the task as they are the ones who use the
learning strategies effectively (Pintrich and De Groot, 1990). A well-motivated
student performs better in the class, have higher educational aspirations,
spend more effort in learning new tasks, and persist longer in difficult tasks
compared to poorly motivated students (Pintrich and Schunk, 2002).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conceptual Framework

          The
conceptual framework for this study is presented in the following diagram.

 

 

 

 

 

nter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Figure 1. Paradigm of the Study

As
shown in the diagram above, the first frame includes input which contains the profile
of the respondents, mathematics motivation and mathematics learning strategies.
The mathematics motivation is composed of three sub-scale; value, expectancy
and affect. Value includes three factors; intrinsic goal orientation, extrinsic
goal orientation and task value. Expectancy on the other hand, contains control
beliefs for learning and self-efficacy while affect includes test anxiety. The
mathematics learning strategies has four sub- scales: cognitive strategies,
meta-cognitive strategies, non-informational and informational resources
management. The cognitive strategies, however, is composed of the following
factors; rehearsal, elaboration and organization. The metacognitive strategies
include critical thinking and self-regulation. On the other hand, non- informational
resources management involves effort regulation, time and study environment,
peer-learning, and help-seeking. The informational resources management consist
of are exploratory behavior and communication behavior on internet.

The
second frame refers to the process. This involves collection, organization,
analysis and interpretation of the collected data using the abovementioned
instrument and statistical treatment.

The
last frame is the output. The output of the research is the proposed
enhancement program.

 

Statement of the Problem

          This
study aims to determine the level of learning motivation and learning
strategies employed by the grade 9 students in Mathematics.

          Specifically, this study attempt to
answer the following questions:

1.   
What is the profile of the respondents in
terms of;

1.1.       
sex

1.2.       
type
of school attended

2.   
What is the level of the respondents’
motivation towards Mathematics learning in terms of:

2.1.       
Value

2.1.1.   
Intrinsic goal orientation

2.1.2.   
Extrinsic goal orientation

2.1.3.   
Task value

2.2.       
Expectancy

2.2.1.   
Control beliefs for learning

2.2.2.   
Self-efficacy

2.3.       
Affect

2.3.1.   
Test anxiety

3.   
What is level of the respondents’ learning
strategies used in Mathematics learning in terms of:

3.1.       
Cognitive
strategies

3.1.1.   
Rehearsal

3.1.2.   
Elaboration

3.1.3.   
Organization

3.2.       
Meta-cognitive
strategies

3.2.1.   
Critical
thinking

3.2.2.   
Self-regulation

3.3.       
Non-informational
resources management

3.3.1.   
Effort
management

3.3.2.   
Time
and study environment

3.3.3.   
Peer-learning

3.3.4.   
Help-seeking

3.4.       
Informational
resources management

3.4.1.   
Exploratory
behavior on internet

3.4.2.   
Communication
behavior on internet

4.   
Is there a significant difference in the
respondents’ Mathematics learning motivation when they are grouped according to
their profile?

5.   
Is there a significant difference in the
respondents’ Mathematics learning strategies when they are grouped according to
their profile?

 

Hypotheses

          This
study tests the following hypotheses:

1.   
There is no significant difference in the
respondents’ Mathematics learning motivation when they are grouped according to
their profile.

2.   
There is no significant difference in the
respondents’ Mathematics learning strategies when they are grouped according to
their profile.

 

Scope and Limitations

The
focus of this study is to determine the mathematics learning motivation and
learning strategies of the grade 9 students in the Division of Taguig City and
Pateros. It also attempts to determine the significant difference between the
regular school students and the science high school students’ learning
motivation and strategies in Mathematics.

The
Mathematics Motivated Learning Strategies Questionnaire (MMLSQ) was utilized in
this study. This questionnaire was adapted and revised by Lin and Liu (2010)
from the original Motivational Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MLSQ) by
Pintrich, Smith, Garcia and McKeachie (1991). The learning motivation discussed
in the following components: intrinsic goal orientation, extrinsic goal orientation,
task value, control of learning beliefs, self-efficacy, and text anxiety. On
the other hand, mathematics learning strategies are described in terms of
cognitive strategies, meta-cognitive strategies, informational and
non-informational resources management.

This
study was limited to Grade 9 public high school students in the Division of
Taguig City and Pateros enrolled for the school year 2017-2018. Only students
who were present during the data collection were included in the study.

 

Significance of the Study

The
significance of this study is to provide schools with objective data that will
allow them to identify what kind of motivation and effective strategies do
students use in Mathematics. The findings of this study may provide valuable
insights to the following:

Students. The result of this study may help students
to realize the importance of motivation in their learning process.
Understanding one’s motivation and learning strategies will help strengthen
goal setting thereby leading to academic success. It may also help them to be
aware of their learning techniques that best suit their learning styles.

Parents. The findings
may help the parents identify the motivation factors needed to assist their
children in learning. This study may also help them in promoting at home and
during study time different learning techniques.  Parents should be there to support and guide
these young learners in order for them to succeed.

Teachers.
Understanding the students’ learning motivation and strategies, mathematics
teachers may plan, implement and facilitate their learning strategies to
improve in Mathematics performance.

School Administrators. The
findings of this study will help the school administrators in planning and implementing
programs to motivate students thereby providing students avenues to enhance
their skills

Other Researchers.
This may be used in some other studies as data reference and may impart useful
concepts to other researchers in expanding related studies of this field.

 

 

Definition of Terms

For
clearer understanding of terms used in this study, important terms are
conceptually and operationally defined.

Affect.
This is one of the sub-scales of motivation which includes test anxiety. It refers to the negative emotion of students
when taking Mathematics examination.

Cognitive strategies.
This refers to rehearsal, elaboration, and organization strategies where there
is a mixed evidence about the level to which the respondents can actually
distinguish their use metacognitive and cognitive strategies.

Communication behavior on internet. This
is one of the factors of informational resources management which refers to
asking questions related to Mathematics through the use of internet.

Control beliefs for learning.
This is a factor of mathematics motivation scale which refers to the students’
belief that their effort would lead to positive result.

Critical thinking.
This is a factor of mathematics learning strategies scale which refers to the
strategies to make purposeful or reflective judgment or decisions by analyzing
the observed information.

Effort management.
This is one of the factors of mathematics learning strategies scale that
reflects the commitment to completing one’s goal.

Elaboration strategies.
This is a factor of mathematics learning strategies scale which includes
summarizing, generative note-taking, or paraphrasing.

Expectancy. This
is one of the sub-scales of motivation which includes control beliefs for
learning and self-efficacy.

Exploratory behavior on internet. This
is one of the factors of
informational resources management which refers to using the internet to search
for Mathematics related information.

Extrinsic goal orientation.
This is a factor of mathematics motivation scale which concerns about the outer
reasons why students participate in a task, like money, grades or praises from
others.

Help-seeking.
This is a factor of non-informational resources management scale which refers
to the strategies to manage and use the support from other people.

Informational resources management. This
is one of the sub-scales of the Mathematics learning strategies which includes
exploratory and communication behavior on internet.

Intrinsic goal orientation. This
is a factor of value, a sub-scale of motivation which focuses on the inner reasons
why students participate in a task, like: curiosity, self-development or
satisfaction.

Learning strategies.
Refer to the cognitive strategies, metacognitive strategies, non-informational
resources management and informational resources management employed by the
students as they attempt to learn Mathematics.

Metacognitive strategies.
This is one of the sub-scales of Mathematics learning strategies that include
critical thinking and self-regulation.

Motivation.
Refers to the combination of effort plus desire to achieve the goal of learning
in mathematics, in addition to favorable attitudes toward learning it (Gardner,
2004).

Motivation Factors.
These are motivational orientations of students in terms of value, expectancy
and affective components which include the following factors like intrinsic,
extrinsic, task value, self-efficacy, control for learning beliefs, and test
anxiety.

Non-informational resources management. This
is one of the sub-scales of the Mathematics learning strategies which includes
effort management, time and study environment, peer-learning and help-seeking.

          Organization.
This is a factor of cognitive strategies scale which includes clustering,
outlining and organizing the mathematics lesson.

          Peer-learning.
This is one of the factors of mathematics learning strategies scale which
refers to the strategies to cooperate with others to complete the task.

          Rehearsal.
This is a factor of math learning strategies scale that involves reciting or
naming the learning materials.

          Self-
efficacy. This is one of the factors of expectancy sub-scale of Mathematics
motivation scale which refers to the judgment about one’s ability to complete
the task and the confidence in one’s skills to accomplish the mission.

Self- Regulated Learning. It
is a process where the students set goals for their learning and then attempt
to monitor, regulate and control their cognition, motivation, and behavior,
guided and constrained by their goals.

Self- regulation strategies.
This is a factor of mathematics learning strategies scale which involves
planning, monitoring, and regulating.

Task value.
This is one of the factors of value sub-scale of Mathematics motivation which
refers to the students’ perception or the awareness about the material or task
in terms of usefulness, importance, or applicability.

Test anxiety.
This is a factor of affect sub-scale of Mathematics motivation which refers to
the negative emotion when taking examinations.

Time and study environment.
This is a factor of mathematics learning strategies which includes scheduling,
planning and managing one’s time.

Value. This
is one of the sub-scales of motivation that includes intrinsic and extrinsic
goal orientation and task value.

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