Mathematics Abilities of Physics Students: Implication for the Application and Analysis of Sound Waves

Deborah T.A. Obafemi, R.A. Ogunkunle


The study investigated the effect of mathematics abilities of students on their performance in Sound Waves concept in physics in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria. A quasi-experimental pretest posttest design comprising of three experimental and one control group was used, each group was taught with a different Instructional method. A purposively selected sample of fifty- five (55) physics students of Senior Secondary 2 (SS2) class was involved in the study. Two instruments- Mathematics Ability Test (MAT) and Physics Performance Test on Sound Waves (PPTSW) with reliability coefficients of 0.97 and 0.85 respectively were used. The performances of the students were considered at the levels of application and analysis of Sound waves. Data collected was analysed using Mean scores and Percentages for the research questions, while 4x3 Multivariate Analysis of Covariance was used to test the hypotheses. Analysis of results showed that there was a significant difference in the effect of mathematics abilities of students on their performances in Sound waves. There was also a significant difference in the effect instructional methods on the performance of the students in Sound waves. The Post hoc analyses showed that the significant difference in the mathematics abilities was credited to students with high mathematics ability while Guided-Discovery method accounted for the significant difference found in instructional methods. The Implications of the findings were discussed and relevant recommendations made thereafter.

Keywords: Mathematics Abilities, Sound Waves, Physics, Instructional methods

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