Does Peer Influence Affect Students Participation İn Mathematics?
Abstract The purpose of this study was to explore into how peer influence impacts on students participation in mathematics classrooms. The study employed a case study approach in investigating into the problem under consideration using observation and interviews as the instruments for data collection. The study established that, all the participants had the enthusiasm and willingness to volunteer to answer a question and participate in the teaching-learning process if they know the answer to a question. However, despite this enthusiasm and willingness it was interesting to note that given a wrong answer was something that all the participants try to avoid as their colleagues will mock at them when they give a wrong answer to a question. The findings therefore revealed that peer influence has a great impact on students’ participation as all the participants indicated that they prefer to remain silent for the rest of the lesson after they have answered a question wrongly. Although the present study is limited only some few schools in Ghana, the findings raises some important issues to be considered. For example, the result challenges teachers’ to be proactive in promoting a classroom environment which is free from intimidation and fear of participating in the teaching-learning process. It also calls on teachers and students to understand and see mistakes as part of the learning process and correcting such misconceptions among students lead to the creation of new knowledge.