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Factors influencing mathematics achievement of secondary school students in India

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Chaman, MJ (2014) Factors influencing mathematics achievement of secondary school students in India. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Mathematics achievement and its importance to the future learning and careers of
students is a recurrent concern of academics, researchers, and media. In a developing
country like India, along with the technological advancement, achievement in
mathematics will be of paramount importance. This study looked at mathematics
achievement of secondary school students in Kerala, India. The study investigated how
mathematics anxiety, attitude towards mathematics, and parental involvement influenced
the mathematics achievement of the participants in this study. The study assessed how
the constructs were inter-related and how gender influenced these relationships. The
participants were Year 9 and Year 11 students and their parents from a private school in
Kerala.
A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was used to collect
data for the study. A student questionnaire gathered data on students’ perception of
their mathematics anxiety, attitude towards mathematics, and their parents’ involvement
in their mathematics learning. A parent questionnaire was used to understand parents’
perceptions of their mathematics anxiety, attitude towards mathematics, and their own
involvement in their child’s mathematics learning. A standardised achievement test in
mathematics was used to measure the students’ achievement. Semi-structured interviews
were conducted with a representative sample of the student and parent pairs in order to
gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ views about the constructs, their
inter-relationships and their relationship to mathematics achievement.
The study found that parental involvement was significantly and positively
associated with attitude towards mathematics and but had no significant association with
mathematics anxiety. Mathematics anxiety and attitude towards mathematics were
significantly and positively related. The relationship between parental involvement and
mathematics achievement was non-significant. Student attitude towards mathematics,
and mathematics anxiety were also not significantly related to mathematics achievement.
Gender was found not to have any influence on the variables. Interview data revealed
that all of the parents had high expectations for their children’s mathematics
achievement that they had communicated through consistent reinforcement.
The study was limited in sample size constraining the generalizability of its findings
and its cross-sectional nature precludes the establishment of a casual relationship among
the variables. The timing of the administration of the student questionnaire and
achievement test on the same day, a week before the second term examinations may have
affected the results of the study.
In spite its limitations, the study opens several avenues for further research in the
field of mathematics achievement of secondary school students, particularly in India. A
longitudinal study with participants from public and private schools as well as schools in
urban and rural areas may help in understanding the casual relationship among the
variables considered in this study and others. It would be worthwhile, for example, to
consider the influence on mathematics achievement of contextual factors such as
teacher-student relationship, teacher competency, peer support, socio-economic status
and educational level of parents.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: The influence of parental involvement, students' mathematics anxiety and attitude towards mathematics on mathematics achievement of Year 9 and Year 11 students in India
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2014 the author

Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2016 23:35
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2016 23:36
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