Difficult Contents in the Nigerian Junior Secondary Mathematics Curriculum: Comparative Analysis between Perceptions of Students and Teachers

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Difficult Contents in the Nigerian Junior Secondary Mathematics Curriculum: Comparative Analysis between Perceptions of Students and Teachers

Zalmon IbaanGogo1, Daso Peter Ojmba2, Odoemenem Chidima3
1,2Department of Mathematics/Statistics, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
3Green Gold International Group of Schools, Osun State, Nigeria
Corresponding Author

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Abstract: This study analyzed perceptions of students and teachers difficult contents in the Junior Secondary Mathematics Curriculum (JSMC) in Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers State, Nigeria. The study adopted the analytical survey research design with a population of 7,534 students and 20 Mathematics teachers of junior secondary class three students from the 20 public junior secondary schools. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 380 students while census was used to select 20 Mathematics teachers for the study. The Mathematics Content Difficulty Assessment Questionnaire (MCDAQ) was the instrument used for data collection. The mean ( ) criterion cut-off point of 2.50 was used for decision making. The test-retest method and Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) were used to obtain the reliability coefficient of 0.86 for MCDAQ. Data obtained were analysed using mean, standard deviation, simple percentage and independent sample t-test to answer the five research questions and test the two null hypotheses.Findings of the study revealed that students and teachers perceived the JSMC contents difficult to learn and teach respectively. Also, there was a significant difference between student and teacher perception of difficult contents in the JSMCbut there was no significant difference on the gender perception of students. The study recommended among others that Mathematics teachers should demystify Mathematics learning through effective use of innovative instructional strategies and materials and encourage students to change their perception of Mathematics as difficult and develop positive attitudes and interest towards learning Mathematics to reduce their difficulty level.

Key words: Comparative analysis, perceptions, difficult contents, Mathematics, curriculum


Mathematics is one of the core subjects in the basic and post-basic school curriculum in Nigeria.The inclusion of Mathematics as a compulsory subject at the primary and secondary level of education justifies the recognition of Mathematics as being essential for national development. The contributions of Mathematics to the technological, economical, medical and scientific advancement of a nation cannot be disputed. The classification of any nation into developed, developing and under-developed could be measured by the statistics of mathematicians, physicists, engineers, pharmacists, medical doctors, agriculturist and