Survey of Symbolic Learning Impairments among Primary School Pupils in Mathematics

Olaoye Adetunji Abiola, Olaleru Comfort Temilade


The study was conducted to survey some of the symbolic learning impairments that caused phobia among primary school pupils in Mathematics. As a descriptive study which made use of two research questions that were later transformed into two hypotheses, purposive sampled of five selected primary schools with ten Mathematics teachers and two hundred pupils of primaries two and four of intact class were used in the study. Three instruments that were developed and used in the study included primary two achievement test in Mathematics (r =0.68), primary four achievement test in Mathematics(r=0.65) and Mathematics teachers’ perceived symbolic learning impairment instrument (r=0.72). Data collected and scoring were done descriptively with one way ANOVA used to analyse data at a significant level of 0.05. Findings revealed that there was significant difference in the academic performances of the past and present pupils’ understanding of counting system that is more than thousandth in the achievement test (F-cal > F-table, df=(4,188), P < 0.05*). It was also observed that there was significant difference in the past and present pupils’ understanding of an arithmetic operation (b-a) and (a-b) where a ≠ b with teachers’ symbolic learning impairment caused phobia among primaries pupils’ achievement test (F-cal > F-table, df=(4,188), P < 0.05*). Discussions of these findings were extensively elaborated along with their implications towards learning of Mathematics among the primary school pupils on one hand, and teachers’ omission or commission of symbolic learning/teaching impairments on the other hand. At the end suggestions and recommendations were proffered to guide against such symbolic impairments among pupils with a view to encourage more pupils to learn and not to develop phobia for Mathematics at an early stage.


Symbolic, Learning, Impairments, Primary-pupils, Mathematics

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