Investigating Students' Attitude towards Learning Mathematics
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CitationMazana, Yahya Mzomwe. Suero Montero, Calkin. Olifage, Casmir Respickius. (2019). Investigating Students' Attitude towards Learning Mathematics. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 14 (1) , 207-231. 10.29333/iejme/3997.
Students’ learning of and performance in mathematics is affected by a number of factors, including students’ attitude towards the subject, teachers instructional practices, and school environment. This study was conducted to investigate students’ attitudes towards learning mathematics in Tanzania. It also sought to ascertain reasons for the liking or disliking mathematics and the relationship between attitude and performance. We employed the ABC Model and the Walberg’s Theory of Productivity to investigate students’ attitudes towards mathematics and associated factors. The quantitative and qualitative data were collected from 419 primary school students, 318 secondary school students, and 132 College students from 17 schools and 6 colleges in mainland Tanzania using a survey. The collected data were analysed using percentages, means, standard deviations, ANOVA, correlation, regression and thematic analysis. The results show that initially students exhibit a positive attitude towards mathematics, but their attitude becomes less positive as the students move forward to higher levels of education. A significant positive weak correlation between students’ attitude and performance was established. Mathematics’ enjoyment and attitude significantly predicted students’ performance in our data. The factors influencing the students’ liking or disliking of mathematics constituted student’s aptitude attribute, instructional and social psychological environmental factors. Furthermore, the results show that failure in examinations is attributed to teacher didactic strategies, institutional resources, poor learning and examination strategies, and failure to understand instructions. The results provide insights for future research and inciting changes in teaching- learning practices that would promote mathematics enjoyment and subsequent better performance in the subject.