This study was carried out to investigate relationship among mathematics teachers’ self- efficacy beliefs, mathematics students’ task persistence and achievement of secondary schools in Nsukka Education Zone of Enugu State. Three research questions and three null hypotheses guided the study. The study adopted correlational research design. The population for the study was 5537 which comprises of 5478 SS2 students and 59 mathematics teachers. The instrument s for data collection was mathematics teachers’ self-efficacy belief scale (MTSEBS) by Schwarzer and Jerusalem of (1995), Students Mathematics Task Persistence (SMTP) and Continuous Assessment Record (CAR). The data generated from trial testing were analyzed using Cronbach Alpha statistics an overall reliability index of 0.802 was obtained. Pearson’s Product Moment Correlation statistics was used to answer the research questions while multiple regression was used to test the hypothesis at 0.05 probability level. The findings of the study revealed that, there was a significant relationship between mathematics teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and students’ mathematics achievement. The findings also showed that, there was a significant relationship between students’ task persistence and students’ mathematics achievement. Based on the findings the researcher recommended that teachers training colleges should include in their curriculum courses of the study that deal on teachers’ self- efficacy beliefs. This training will help mathematics teachers’ cope better with their job, and also manage students with low persistence and poor achievement in mathematics task. And students should be enlightened through orientation. The orientation should be geared towards building healthy task persistence in mathematics and high achievement.

Background of the Study
In the contemporary Nigeria society, greater emphasis has been placed on industrial and technological development. As a result, students are encouraged to take up science related subjects and mathematics. Today, mathematics pervades literally every field of human endeavour and plays a fundamental role in the economic development of a country. Over the last few years, issues concerning teaching and learning of mathematics have become a matter of highest importance for everyone involved in education. The issues of students’ poor performance in mathematics have been taken up at the highest policy level (Olugunju, 2001).

Mathematics can be defined as a science that deal with the study of quality and their relationship which is expressed in number and other specific symbols. Researchers described mathematics as a language in which every symbol and every combination has precise meaning which can be determined by the application of logical rules. This language may be used to describe and analyze anything in the universe and may be difficult to understand for beginners. According to Olugunju (2001) mathematics is a subject that teaches various concept like relationship of quantities, sets, properties, measurement, use of numbers and symbols. Victor (2007) defined mathematics as a subject which equips individuals with the most powerful practical tools and it underlies the whole build up of modern science and technological world. It is also regarded as a science of numbers. As the science of numbers, mathematics is an indispensable foundation to all physical sciences and technology. The applicable and creative nature of mathematics makes it easily usable by human beings. Fukuade (2007) stated that, wherever there is structure, relationship, systematic variation, there is mathematics. It is therefore, very unimaginable to find a world without mathematics. Faparusi (2007) added that, mathematics is one of the most useful subjects for study especially giving its role in the living process of mankind. Therefore, a strong background in mathematics may be crucial for many jobs and career opportunity in the society. Hackett (2005) opine that, mathematics foster intellectual skills that enable man to analyze complex attributes, recognize logical relationship between interdependent factors, as well as formulate general laws on their inter-relationship. Iwuji (2008) also opine that, mathematics is an opportunity for training the mind to close thinking and contribution to awakening of the soul. Nonetheless, in spite of the crucial role mathematics play in the knowledge of science and technology, this is the basis for national development. Gegnel (2007) recognizes that, students must pass mathematics at junior school Certificate Examination (JSCE) in order to move o Senior Secondary School level especially those who are science inclined.

Operationally, mathematics can be defined as a science of quantity which addresses abstract topics such as group theory and projective geometry, which have no clear-cut relation to quantity and measurement. For students to be able to understand the subject mathematics they need a teacher who has high self-efficacy belief.
Mathematical competence have been identified by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union as one of the key competences necessary for personal fulfillment, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability in modern society. Moreover, the 2008 Council Conclusions on preparing young people for the 21st century: an agenda for European cooperation on schools' makes the acquisition of literacy and numeracy the main priority for European cooperation in education. The major reasons for such a huge interest in learning and teaching mathematics are the growing needs for mathematical skills and proficiency in modern society and the difficulties in learning mathematics by a large number of students.
FRN (2004) identified mathematics as one of the core subjects designed to broaden students’ knowledge and outlook. It is also explained that, mathematics is part of the group of subjects which every students must take in addition to their specialties because mathematics helps students in addition, subtraction and division in their day-to-day activities.

Despite the importance of mathematics in science and technology, some teachers and students are still experiencing problem in teaching and learning the subject. This may be attributed to low- self efficacy.

Self-efficacy belief is a motivational construct. Self-efficacy beliefs are people’s judgments and perceptions of their own ability to perform an action (Pajares, 2002). Bandura (1997) defined self-efficacy as one’s belief about his or her ability to organize and execute tasks to achieve specific goals. It is a belief about what a person can do rather than personal judgments about one’s physical or personality attributes. The construct self-efficacy belief also signifies a person’s belief, concerning his or her ability to successfully perform a given task or behavior. It is the major determinant of the choices that individuals make, the effort they expand, the perseverance they exert in the face of difficulties, and thought patterns and emotional reactions they experience (Bandura, 1986). People differ in the areas in which they cultivate their efficacy and in the level to which they develop it even within their given pursuit (Bandura, 1997). For instance, a person may have a high sense of efficacy in managerial ability but low efficacy in social endeavours. Thus the efficacy belief system is not an all round trait but a differentiated set of self-belief associated with distinct area of functioning......

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 74 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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