Education Research International

Volume 2015, Article ID 396750, 6 pages

http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/396750

## The Correlation Study of Interest at Physics and Knowledge of Mathematics Basic Concepts towards the Ability to Solve Physics Problems of 7th Grade Students at Junior High School in Ambon Maluku Province, Indonesia

Physic Education Programme, Department of Science Education, Faculty of Teaching and Education, Pattimura University, Ambon, Maluku 97116, Indonesia

Received 29 May 2014; Revised 20 November 2014; Accepted 20 December 2014

Academic Editor: Eduardo Montero

Copyright © 2015 Izaak Hendrik Wenno. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

#### Abstract

The purpose of the study is to determine the relation between interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts with the ability to solve Physics problems. The populations are all students in the 7th grade at the junior high school in Ambon, Maluku, Indonesia. The used sample schools are Junior High Schools 8, 9, and 10 during 2013/2014 academic year with 44 students per school. Two independent variables and one dependent variable are studied. The independent variables are the interest at Physics (*X*_{1}) and the knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts (*X*_{2}), while the dependent variable is the ability to solve Physics problems (*Y*). Data collection technique for *X*_{1} is an interview with questionnaire instrument, while for the *X*_{2} and *Y* is using the test technique with test items instrument. The obtained data from the measurements were analyzed with descriptive analysis and inferential analysis. The results show that there is a positive relation between interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concepts with students’ ability to solve Physics problems.

#### 1. Introduction

In this more advanced transformation, information, and technology era, one of the lessons considered important as the basic for knowledge and technology acquisition is Physics [1, 2].

This quite makes sense, because Physics is part of science [3–5], where science has direct effects and relation to various life fields and also jobs based on information and technology [3, 6, 7]. Further, [7] states that almost every life fields have relation with Physics like organisms or inanimate, from Engineering to Mathematics, Biology, and Chemistry. According to [5], without Physics science knowledge, human will face difficulties in exploring the universe. Furthermore, [4, 8] stated that the understanding of Physics helps to understand the content of universe and, for students, it helps to develop the observation skill, accuracy, analysis ability, creative thinking, and Physics science acquisition which is now is very required and cannot be avoided by students [6].

Nevertheless, the student result study of Physics is still low in all levels [6] in junior high school level [9], or in senior high school level [10] as well as in higher education level [5]. The low student study result of Physics is caused by many factors such as intern and extern factors from the students [11, 12]. The intern factors may be the attitude, motivation, interest, knowledge, skills, hope, assumption, and goals [11–15], while the extern factor is the student study environment condition [11, 12], like the utilization of teaching method by the teachers [2], family environment, and the availability of learning facility and infrastructure [13, 15–17].

One of the intern factors affecting the study achievement is student interest to the material taught. As mentioned in [18] if a student has high study interest, the study result tends to be high. In contrast, if the interest is less, the study result will be low.

The low of student result study in Physics so far, is also caused by Physics is considered as a difficult lesson for the students, especially if the materials are related to Mathematics calculation [3, 14]. On the other side, the Physics comprehension needs knowledge of Mathematics concepts. According to [19] there is a positive correlation between Mathematics acquisition and the success in Physics study result achievement. The relation between Mathematics acquisition and Physics study result is reported by many researchers. As reported in [10] one cause of student difficulty in studying Physics is the mathematic ability weakness. Also, [20] reports that there is a linear relation between the comprehension of Mathematics concept and the ability to solve Physics problems, while [21] states that student having high Mathematics ability has effects to student achievement of Physics study.

Learning Physics is also related with the ability to solve problems. According to [22] problem solving has important role in Physics learning. Further, it is stated that problem solving aims at developing the transformation skills including problem observation, proposing questions, formulating hypothesis, planning examination, conducting examination, analysis and data interpretation, and communicating the results.

The Physics study result of Junior High School students in Ambon, Maluku province, so far has not showed maximum result. On the other side, there is no research to know student interest at Physics and/or knowledge of student basic concept of Mathematics and its correlation to the Physics study result of Junior High School students in Ambon. This is because so far, the research is conducted separately by Mathematics and Physics researchers without considering the importance of these two combinations; instead according to [19], students’ Physics ability is affected by student experience in studying Mathematics. This shows that comprehension of Physics requires Mathematics acquisition. Besides, although it is known and as an open secret that interest, as well as the knowledge of Mathematics basic concept must be related to students’ ability to solve problems or students’ result study not only in Physics, but also other fields, but this kind of research has not been ever conducted to Junior High Schools 8, 9, and 10. However, to increase student study result of Physics, it is very necessary to require some factors affecting student study result like the interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concept as the initial information for teacher to develop successful learning.

Based on this background, this research aims to know (1) the relation between interest at Physics and ability to solve Physics problems, (2) the relation between knowledge of Mathematics basic concept and ability to solve Physics problems, and (3) the collective relation between interest at Physics and knowledge of Mathematics basic concept and the ability to solve Physics problems for Junior High School students in Ambon.

#### 2. Method

This research uses survey method with ex-post-facto technique. The ex-post-facto research is conducted by taking samples from a population and using questionnaire as a tool for collecting data, so in this research, the researcher does not conduct any treatment or control to the research subjects but only reveals facts through existence symptom measurement to the respondents. The research variables are interest at Physics (*X*_{1}) and knowledge of Mathematics basic concept (*X*_{2}) as independent variables, while the dependent variable is the ability to solve Physics problems (*Y*) (Figure 1).