High school students' perceptions of mathematics

Kavanagh, Margaret Rebecca (1987) High school students' perceptions of mathematics. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This is a study of students’ perceptions of mathematics, and an examination of factors which may influence these perceptions. -- Three high schools participated in the study: 1) an all-girls’ school; 2) and all-boys’ school; and 3) a co-educational school. The subjects comprised the following four groups: -- Group 1: males in a male school -- Group 2: females in a female school -- Group 3: males in a co-educational school -- Group 4: females in a co-educational school. -- Students were required to answer a three-part questionnaire which provided both quantitative and qualitative data. The questions in the first and third parts of the questionnaire were designed by the author. The questions in the second part of the questionnaire were taken from the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales. -- The author found no significant differences among the four groups in: 1) attitudes toward success in mathematics; 2) mathematics anxiety; 3) student’s perceptions of mathematics as a male domain; 4) students’ perceptions of the usefulness of mathematics; 5) encouragement given by the mother to the student in his or her study of mathematics; and 6) encouragement given by the teacher to the student in his or her study of mathematics. -- It was found that males are significantly more confident than females in the learning of mathematics. More males than females stated they would select a career involving mathematics. Males in a male school received significantly more encouragement from their fathers in their study of mathematics than did males in a co-educational school. -- A much higher percentage of females in a female school than females in a co-educational school stated they would select a career involving mathematics. Females in a co-educational school received significantly more encouragement from their fathers in their study of mathematics than did females in a female school.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4326
Item ID: 4326
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 54-57.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1987
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mathematics--Study and teaching--Psychological aspects; Sex differences (Psychology); Mathematics--Study and teaching--Social aspects

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