�Me and maths�: towards a definition of attitude grounded on students� narratives

Di Martino, Pietro; Zan, Rosetta
February 2010
Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education;Feb2010, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
The attitude construct is widely used by teachers and researchers in mathematics education. Often, however, teachers� diagnosis of �negative attitude� is a causal attribution of students� failure, perceived as global and uncontrollable, rather than an accurate interpretation of students� behaviour, capable of steering future action. In order to make this diagnosis useful for dealing with students� difficulties in mathematics, it is necessary to clarify the construct attitude from a theoretical viewpoint, while keeping in touch with the practice that motivates its use. With this aim, we investigated how students tell their own relationship with mathematics, proposing the essay �Me and maths� to more than 1,600 students (1st to 13th grade). A multidimensional characterisation of a student�s attitude towards mathematics emerges from this study. This characterisation and the study of the evolution of attitude have many important consequences for teachers� practice and education. For example, the study shows how the relationship with mathematics is rarely told as stable, even by older students: this result suggests that it is never too late to change students� attitude towards mathematics.


Related Articles

  • Arts integration across the curriculum. Appel, Morgan P. // Leadership;Noc/Dec2006, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p14 

    The article focuses on the importance of integrating arts across the educational curriculum to improve achievement in school. It mentions the findings of an educational research which reveal the different ways in which arts can cultivate the cognitive and behavioral skills of students that are...

  • Social and analytic scaffolding in middle school mathematics: managing the dilemma of telling. Baxter, Juliet A.; Williams, Steven // Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education;Feb2010, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p7 

    The current reform movement in mathematics education urges teachers to support students as they make sense of mathematics, while also ensuring that they gain specific mathematical skills and knowledge. The tension between these two expectations gives rise to what we call the dilemma of telling:...

  • How to develop mathematics-for-teaching and for understanding: the case of meanings of the equal sign. Prediger, Susanne // Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education;Feb2010, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p73 

    What kind of mathematical knowledge do prospective teachers need for teaching and for understanding student thinking? And how can its construction be enhanced? This article contributes to the ongoing discussion on mathematics-for-teaching by investigating the case of understanding students�...

  • Math relationship. Tice, Terrence N. // Education Digest;Dec97, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p45 

    Focuses on the analysis of the 113 primary studies for `Assessing the Relationship Between Attitude Toward Mathematics and Achievement in Mathematics: A Meta-Analysis,' performed by Xin Ma and Nand Kishor published in the January 1997 issue of the `Journal for Research in Mathematics Education.'

  • The effects of cooperative learning on Turkish elementary students’ mathematics achievement and attitude towards mathematics using TAI and STAD methods. Tarim, Kamuran; Akdeniz, Fikri // Educational Studies in Mathematics;Jan2008, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p77 

    This study was designed to compare the effects of Team Assisted Individualization (TAI) and Student Teams-Achievement Divisions (STAD) on fourth grade students’ academic achievement in and attitudes towards mathematics. Seven classes of a school were randomly selected for this...

  • Influence of attitude on performance of students in mathematics curriculum. Manoah, Sylvia A.; Indoshi, Francis Chisikwa; Othuon, Lucas O. A. // Educational Research (2141-5161);Mar2011, Vol. 2 Issue 3, p965 

    Mathematics is one of the core subjects in secondary school curriculum. Performance in the subject is crucial for students' admission to scientific and technological professions. However, there has been persistent poor performance in this subject particularly in Kisumu East District as revealed...

  • Relational integration as a predictor of academic achievement Krumm, Stefan; Lipnevich, Anastasiya A.; Schmidt-Atzert, Lothar; Bühner, Markus // Learning & Individual Differences;Dec2012, Vol. 22 Issue 6, p759 

    Abstract: The current study aimed at applying a broad model of cognitive functions to predict performance in science and language courses at school as well as performance in a science course at university. We hypothesized that performance in science courses was predominantly related to the...

  • E. L. THORNDIKE AND EDWARD BROOKS. Cooper-Twamley, Susan; Null, J. Wesley // American Educational History Journal;Spring2009, Vol. 36 Issue 1/2, p191 

    The article discusses the debate over the teaching of mathematics and mathematics curriculum and the different theories posed by behavioral psychologist E. L. Thorndike and mathematics professor Edward Brooks. A study of these scholar's 19th century views are compared and applied to the...

  • Attitudes, beliefs, and mathematics achievement of German and Japanese high school students. Randel, Bruce; Stevenson, Harold W.; Witruk, Evelin // International Journal of Behavioral Development;Jun2000, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p190 

    A total of 1487 eleventh grade students in Leipzig (Germany) and Sendai (Japan) were given a test of basic concepts and operations in high school mathematics and a questionnaire involving beliefs, attitudes, and practices related to mathematics, their own abilities, and their psychological...


Read the Article


Sign out of this library

Other Topics