Students' Perceptions of Factors and Gender Differences that Influence their Achievement in 'O’ Level Mathematics in Mashonaland Central Region
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This paper reports on the factors and gender differences that affect performance in “0” Level (.Forms IH and IV) mathematics in Mashonaland Central Province. Fifteen point three percent (15.3%) of the students doing “O” Level from seven districts completed questionnaires comprising of students' demographic data, resources available in schools, mathematics teachers' competence combined with modified Fennema-Sherman attitude test. The results showed that students' attitudes toward mathematics were consistent with findings from other studies (Leder and Forgasz, 2000; Mathe, 1998 and Hart, 1989). Most secondary schools in the province did not have sufficient resources. Furthermore, most teachers used teacher-centered instructional methods that did not make students develop conceptual understanding of mathematics. Researchers recommended that schools should combine efforts with school development committees to acquire basic reading materials and that teachers should employ student-centered teaching methods that foster problem-solving skills in students.