Date of Award

1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Peter Cole

Abstract

Possible differences in attitude towards mathematics were studied between Year seven successful regular class children and Year seven children with learning problems in mathematics. A comparison was also made between the Year seven children with learning problems and a younger chronological age group (Year 5) who were performing at approximately the same level in mathematics. A sample of 180 students (30 Year 5 males, 30 Year 5 females, 30 Year 7 regular class males, 30 Year 7 regular class females, 30 Year 7 learning problems males and 30 Year 7 learning problems females) was selected from students in seven local Primary Schools. Student mathematical achievement was determined by the Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics (Level 2a). Mean differences across the six groups of students were calculated on three attitude subscales. These scales measured school-related affect (attitude to school); subject-related affect (attitude to mathematics) and academic self-concept (attitude towards self about mathematical ability). Stepdown F tests were used to determine the relative importance of each affect variable. The research study sought to determine if academic self-concept was the primary affect variable differentiating the groups. It was hypothesised that differences in subject-related affect and school-related affect would not be significant after academic self-concept was partialled from the relationship. Findings indicate that significant differences exist between groups in terms of academic self-concept, subject-related affect and school-related affect when these variables were assessed univariately: The significant finding was that when attempting to examine differences between groups in mathematics, all three affect variables should be considered. This is due to the the school-related affect variable being found to add significantly to the differences between groups even when student academic self-concept was partialled from the analysis. No significant difference was found between students in terms of gender on any affect measure.

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