Experimenting the Effect of Class Size on Mathematics Based Performance: A Case Study of Selected Public Secondary School in Akure, Nigeria

Vivian Morenike Olasen, Damilola David Lawal


Background: The spate of overcrowding numbers of students in public secondary schools in Nigeria is significantly on the increase and there has been paucity of literatures that had examined the effect of class size in the enhancement of students’ academic performance, especially on mathematics. Mathematics is one of the compulsory subjects to be offered by every students in secondary schools across the nation. Therefore, this study examined the effects of class size on mathematics based performance in Akure, Ondo State-Nigeria.
Method: Quasi experimental research design was adopted in the study. Cluster random sampling technique was adopted to engage one hundred and fifteen (115) public secondary school students. The study participants were randomly assigned from the cluster of IQ categories and affiliated departments into three groups, under-crowded, standard and over-crowded class before exposure to intervention. Three research questions hypotheses were formulated to guide the study.
Results: Finding revealed that class size had significant effects on students’ mathematics based performance, holding constant, the influence of affiliated departments (F (3, 111) = 197.79, p < .001; ηp2 = .842). The phi eta coefficient revealed that 84.2% of the variance observed in students’ performance in mathematics was strictly accounted for by the size of class. The post-hoc result presented in the table above shows that with a total mean of 58.03, the class size with under-crowded (n=15) reported better performance in mathematics when compared to performances of students in standard class size with a total adjusted mean of 48.66, and students in over-crowded class size with a total adjusted mean of 24.14.
Conclusion: From the results of this findings, it was concluded that the number of students in a class had strong implication on mathematics learning and performances. Based on the findings, this study therefore recommends that government and concern authorities should ensure less or standard class size in public secondary schools to further enhance students’ performances, especially in mathematics.


Class size; Learning; Students Academic performance; Standard class; Overcrowded class

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11691


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