Chapter

1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS

SETTING

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.