Background of the Study
Education is the key factor to industrial and technological development of any country in the world. Knowledge holds key to the attainment of the millennium development goals, which include, food security, eradication of child mortality, and reduction of the spread of HIV and AIDS, among others. Husen (2000) stated that education is widely regarded as a basic human right, a key to enlightenment, and a great tool for human and society development. For any Nation to achieve her aims and objectives in education there must be good, dedicated and committed teachers. The teachers must possess characteristics that will enhance effective teaching and learning.
Therefore, teachers play a major role in the educational sector and their role is a major determinant of educational attainment of any students. However, for anyone to qualify to be a teacher, the person must obtain degree or National Certificate in Education during the course of study. The pre –service teacher will be exposed to both pedagogy and content knowledge in the field of study; psychology and philosophy courses in preparation for the teaching assignment.
To be prepared to teach mathematics adequately, teachers must have a comprehensive understanding of technology pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK)” (Niess, 2005). Shulman (1987) defined content knowledge as the knowledge about the subject (such as knowledge of mathematics and mathematical representations), while knowledge of students, knowledge of teaching, and knowledge of educational contexts characterize pedagogical content knowledge. The sum and intersection of technological knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and content knowledge serve as a framework for effective mathematics teaching and learning. As mathematics teachers think about teaching with technology, they should concurrently consider how to teach mathematical concepts in such a way that students can experiment with ideas, make conjectures, test hypotheses, and form generalizations.
For more than two thousand years, Mathematics has been a part of the human search for understanding the world. Mathematical discoveries have come both from the attempt to describe the natural world and from the desire to arrive at a form of inescapable truth from careful reasoning. These remain fruitful and important motivations for mathematical thinking, but in the last century, mathematics has been successfully applied to many other aspects of the human life.
Today, mathematics as a mode of thought and expression is more valuable than ever before. It is absolutely an essential subject in the world today. It is a compulsory subject in both Primary and post primary schools in Nigeria. The study of mathematics is taken serious amongst students and school authorities of various institutions of learning. For instance, students generally cannot gain admission into any course of study in higher institutions without a pass or credit in mathematics.
Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity (numbers), structure, space, and change (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). It is the science that studies and explains numbers, quantities, shapes and the relationship between them (Merriam Webster Dictionary 2015). It is alsothe systematic treatment of magnitude, relationships between figures and forms, and the relations between quantities expressed symbolically (Dictionary.com 2016). Mathematics is very useful in the society, more so in the present science and technology age. A sound science curriculum cannot be spoken of realistically without considering the important role of mathematics (Nneji, 2011). Agwagah (2001) stated that mathematics is a scientific tool in realizing the nation's scientific and technological aspirations.
Mathematics is the mother of all sciences. No wonder Mathematics is a compulsory subject at primary and secondary school levels, though, not all the students are expected to become mathematicians but because Mathematics cuts across all the areas of human life even at the domestic level. For a person to function very well within the immediate environment, the knowledge of Mathematics is very necessary.