University Of Tasmania
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Factors influencing mathematics achievement of secondary school students in India

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posted on 2023-05-27, 11:23 authored by Chaman, MJ
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.


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