Applied and Computational Mathematics

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A Correlation Study of Mathematics and Science Subjects Achievements in Secondary Schools

Received: 29 March 2022    Accepted: 3 May 2022    Published: 19 May 2022
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Abstract

Mathematics is a subject that is widely applied in solving science problems. There has been an argument that to perform well in sciences, one must also perform well in mathematics. In the light of this assertion, this paper studied the correlation between mathematics and science subjects’ achievements in secondary schools. Two science subjects, physics and chemistry were considered. The study used certificate of secondary education examination results for basic mathematics, physics and chemistry subjects of 229 students from three secondary schools located in Arusha, Tanzania. The schools were chosen based on performance ranks, high performing school, medium performing school and relatively low performing school. The results were for the year 2020. The grades were coded using the scale A – 1, B – 2, C – 3, D – 4, and F – 5. Scatter diagrams and correlation analysis approaches were used to arrive at the conclusion. The study found that there is a moderate positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics achievements in least performing schools, meaning that students with good performance in mathematics are expected to perform better in physics. On the other hand, the study found a weak positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics and chemistry achievements in high performing school. The study proposes that performance in mathematics should not be a criterion for selecting students to study science subjects. The results may be useful to educators responsible for selecting students for further studies in science subjects.

DOI 10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12
Published in Applied and Computational Mathematics (Volume 11, Issue 3, June 2022)
Page(s) 69-73
Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is properly cited.

Copyright

Copyright © The Author(s), 2024. Published by Science Publishing Group

Keywords

Correlation Analysis, Correlation Coefficient, Coded Grade, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry

References
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[2] Basista, B, & Mathew, S. (2002). Integrated Science and Mathematics Professional Development Programs. School of Science and Mathematics 102 (7): 359 – 370.
[3] Basson, I, (2002). Physics and mathematics as interrelated fields of thought development using acceleration as an example. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 33 (5), 679-690.
[4] Butts, D. P, 1977, Volume 14 issue 1. Journal of Research in science, New York: John Wiley Sons Publishers.
[5] Curbera, G, P, & Gauss, C, F. (2009). Mathematicians of the World, unite! The International Congress of Mathematicians AHuman Endeavor: A K Peters, Ltd. Wellesley, Massachusetts.
[6] Frykholm, J. A. & Meyer, M. R. (2002, May). Integrated instruction: Is it science? Is it mathematics? Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 502-508.
[7] Hanna, G. & Jahnke, H. (2002). Arguments from physics in mathematical proofs: An educational perspective. For the Learning of Mathematics, 22 (3), 38-45.
[8] Kaptan, K, & Timurlenk, O. (2012). Challenges for Science Education. Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences 51 (2012) 763 – 771.
[9] Kiray, S. A., Gok, B., & Bozkir, A. S. (2015). Identifying the factors affecting science andmathematics achievement using data mining methods. Journal of Education in Science, Environment and Health (JESEH), 1 (1), 29-50.
[10] Kothari, C, R. (2004). Research Methodology and Techniques; New Delhi, India.
[11] Kvale, D, (1996) Interviews. SAGE Publishers; London.
[12] Meltzer, D. E. (2002). The relationship between mathematics preparation and conceptual learning gains in physics: A possible "Hidden Variable" in diagnostic pretest scores. American Journal ofPhysics, 70 (12), 1259-1268.
[13] National Academy of Science. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
[14] Omari, I, M. (2011). Concept and methods of education research, Oxford; Oxford University.
[15] Orton, T., & Roper, T. (2000). Science and mathematics: A relationship in need of counseling?Studies in Science Education, 35, 123-154.
[16] Thomas, R, at al. (2020). Effect of Curriculum Change on TIMSS Achievement in Bahrain. International Education Studies; Vol 13 (10) 2020.
[17] Wang, J, (2005). Relationship Between Mathematics and Science Achievement at the 8th Grade. International Online Journal of Science and Mathematics Education.
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[19] Elango, P. (2015). The Role of Mathematics in Biology. 5th International Symposium 2015.
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    Vicent Paul Nyakyi, Amon Mwenda. (2022). A Correlation Study of Mathematics and Science Subjects Achievements in Secondary Schools. Applied and Computational Mathematics, 11(3), 69-73. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12

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    Vicent Paul Nyakyi; Amon Mwenda. A Correlation Study of Mathematics and Science Subjects Achievements in Secondary Schools. Appl. Comput. Math. 2022, 11(3), 69-73. doi: 10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12

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    AMA Style

    Vicent Paul Nyakyi, Amon Mwenda. A Correlation Study of Mathematics and Science Subjects Achievements in Secondary Schools. Appl Comput Math. 2022;11(3):69-73. doi: 10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12

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  • @article{10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12,
      author = {Vicent Paul Nyakyi and Amon Mwenda},
      title = {A Correlation Study of Mathematics and Science Subjects Achievements in Secondary Schools},
      journal = {Applied and Computational Mathematics},
      volume = {11},
      number = {3},
      pages = {69-73},
      doi = {10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12},
      url = {https://doi.org/10.11648/j.acm.20221103.12},
      eprint = {https://article.sciencepublishinggroup.com/pdf/10.11648.j.acm.20221103.12},
      abstract = {Mathematics is a subject that is widely applied in solving science problems. There has been an argument that to perform well in sciences, one must also perform well in mathematics. In the light of this assertion, this paper studied the correlation between mathematics and science subjects’ achievements in secondary schools. Two science subjects, physics and chemistry were considered. The study used certificate of secondary education examination results for basic mathematics, physics and chemistry subjects of 229 students from three secondary schools located in Arusha, Tanzania. The schools were chosen based on performance ranks, high performing school, medium performing school and relatively low performing school. The results were for the year 2020. The grades were coded using the scale A – 1, B – 2, C – 3, D – 4, and F – 5. Scatter diagrams and correlation analysis approaches were used to arrive at the conclusion. The study found that there is a moderate positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics achievements in least performing schools, meaning that students with good performance in mathematics are expected to perform better in physics. On the other hand, the study found a weak positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics and chemistry achievements in high performing school. The study proposes that performance in mathematics should not be a criterion for selecting students to study science subjects. The results may be useful to educators responsible for selecting students for further studies in science subjects.},
     year = {2022}
    }
    

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    AB  - Mathematics is a subject that is widely applied in solving science problems. There has been an argument that to perform well in sciences, one must also perform well in mathematics. In the light of this assertion, this paper studied the correlation between mathematics and science subjects’ achievements in secondary schools. Two science subjects, physics and chemistry were considered. The study used certificate of secondary education examination results for basic mathematics, physics and chemistry subjects of 229 students from three secondary schools located in Arusha, Tanzania. The schools were chosen based on performance ranks, high performing school, medium performing school and relatively low performing school. The results were for the year 2020. The grades were coded using the scale A – 1, B – 2, C – 3, D – 4, and F – 5. Scatter diagrams and correlation analysis approaches were used to arrive at the conclusion. The study found that there is a moderate positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics achievements in least performing schools, meaning that students with good performance in mathematics are expected to perform better in physics. On the other hand, the study found a weak positive relationship between mathematics achievements and physics and chemistry achievements in high performing school. The study proposes that performance in mathematics should not be a criterion for selecting students to study science subjects. The results may be useful to educators responsible for selecting students for further studies in science subjects.
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Author Information
  • Department of Wildlife Management, Mweka College of African Wildlife Management Mweka, Moshi, Tanzania

  • Department of Science and Technology, Tumaini University Makumira, Arusha, Tanzania

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