Main Article Content
The dependence of scientific and technological advancement on mathematics requires investigation into what affects students’ motivation in mathematics. The present study investigated the influence of students’ background (SB) as mediated by students’ perception (SP), and students’ motivation (SM) as predictor of students’ interest in mathematics (SIM). The study further presented an empirical structural equation models (SEM) that predicts students’ interest, students’ motivation and students’ perception in mathematics. Using cohort samples of randomly selected 1,263, participants completed researcher-designed and validated questionnaires with a-reliability of 0.74, 0.7, 0.68, 0.82 and 0.94 for SIM, SB, SM, SP and overall instrument reliability respectively. The results from the study at 5% alpha level indicated as statistically significant relationship between SP, SB, SM and SIM. SP, SB, SM explain 27.9% of variance in SIM. The study further revealed statistical significance between SB and SP such that SB explains 32.1%, of variance in SP. The study finally established statistically significant relationship between SB, SP and SM; the study confirms that SB and SP explain 31.6% of SM. The study concluded that students’ interest in mathematics is related to student perception, students’ background, and students’ motivation. It was further concluded that student motivation is related to students’ perceptions and students’ background. Finally, although students’ background predicts students’ perception about mathematics. It is recommended to educators and educational stakeholders to focus attention on determinants of students’ mathematics interest by introducing positive interventions from the very beginning of students’ mathematics education.
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