The Main Causes of Failure in Mathematics

Mathematics being one of the core parts of ancient sciences establishes facts about the main causes of failure in the subject. From ancient times, Mathematics and philosophy had been some of the major courses by which scholars understood the world. It is in fact a measure of mediocrity and intellectual prowess in education.

That impression above underscores the importance of mathematical competence of all the learners at all levels of education and a reason for making Mathematics compulsory and one of the leading core subjects today, especially in the secondary schools curriculum.

This importance accorded the recognition of the vital role it plays in contemporary society. Despite the effort put in by government, and various stakeholders of education, Mathematics still remained one of the most difficult subject in schools.

The subject is no doubt comprehended to be an area of knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. Because of its emphasis and concentration on the use of numbers and various symbols, many students and even mature individuals find it very complex to penetrate. Thus, they fail to appreciate its value both in formal and informal terms.

It can then be concluded that it is this lack of appreciation that has contributed largely to the reasons why many students across the globe fail in Mathematics. Below are the main causes of failure in Mathematics:

Stereotypes and General Assumption

There is a general impression that mathematics is difficult by its very nature, and because of this impression, there is poor performance among senior and junior secondary school students who are the focus of this content. The many failures experienced now are owing to the general beliefs that are shared around by those who have shown no interest at all in the subject.

So without understanding the laziness behind the failures of others, many also join in the habit of peddling the fear and so, it becomes the truth or reality for may of them who have as a result feared it and accepted failure.

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This poor performance in Mathematics has been attributed to two broad factors which include: Hereditary and environmental factors which can be subdivided into students, home, teachers, and school factors.

However, students reason that mathematics is highly structured and is so abstract and required special intellectual attitude. Thus; students see the subject as something esoteric. The students would prefer to do something else no matter how difficult rather than to attend mathematics classes.

Parents’ Lack of Attention to Children’s Interest

Most parents do not play a crucial role in preparing their children for school. The child is expected to see the world from the perspective of these archaic values and the goodness of otherwise of his behavior is judged as such. Opposition from the child arises from what appears to him obsolete and defense of traditionalism by the parents.

Consistent and appropriate parental reactions to the full range of a child’s response repertoire will establish a family context conducive to positive reinforcement of child compliance. In contrast, inconsistent parental reactions appear to create a chaotic family context conducive to the negative reinforcement of child opposition.

Based on these two forms of contexts, the parent and children seem to generate distinctive personal rules which outline the functions arrangements of contexts, behavior and reinforcement. Parents on their part hardly requires their children to explain the problem or joy found in their mathematics classes. And this count as one of the causes of poor performance of students in mathematics.

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The Scarcity of Mathematics Teachers

Teachers have an important part to play in learning mathematics by students. A teacher can only be seen to be effective, if the students can learn with greater ease and perform well with his help than without his help.

Scarcity of Mathematics teachers can be one other reason or cause for why there are massive failure in the subject. Even so the few available teachers have not been given opportunities to up-date the skill and knowledge available in-service training.

So much the same way, in terms of attitude, the teacher’s attitude can hinder learning especially when one does not present oneself as a high intellectual and formidable person. A quack doctor is capable to handle an individual as a time but a bad teacher can ruin not only the individual but also a nation. Nigeria is faced with the problem of competent teachers in mathematics which is the major causes of this mass failure of student in Mathematics.

Others Can be:

  • Low IQ

Many might not agree. But one cannot overlook the role one’s IQ plays in learning mathematics. This area is kept under wraps because no one wants to accept that his or her child has low IQ. But the fact remains, some kids don’t have the ability to grasps numbers as easily as others. Thus their low IQ affects their learning graph.

  • Textbooks Accessibility

There are many schools where the students cannot afford to buy the textbooks. If the textbook-pupil ratio is in order, it is not difficult to teach the subject. If the scenario is reversed, where the students have to depend on the school to access the textbooks, it will hamper the performance power of the students.

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