Multi-program High School Students’ Attitudes and Self-efficacy Perceptions toward Mathematics

Dr. Ordu University, Faculty of Education, Department of Primary Education.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2015.59.12


Problem Statement: So far, there have been many problems in maths education in the world; negative attitudes and low self-efficacy perceptions towards mathematics are the two important reasons for these problems. Though there are several studies regarding the topic, choosing random students from secondary school for the sample group of the study creates problems as the students have to go through different programs. Therefore, this study aims to cover this gap in the field.

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this study is to determine the students’ attitudes and self-efficacy perceptions towards mathematics in terms of education programs, gender, grade level and mathematics performance, it also aims to see the relationship between attitudes and self-efficacy perceptions towards mathematics themselves.

Method: The study was designed as a descriptive study in survey method. 􀃺n this paper, “Maths Attitude Scale” and “Self-Efficacy towards Mathematics Scale” were applied to the sample group, which consists of 212 students from different departments in a multi- program high school. 􀃺ndependent t-test, one way ANOVA and correlation were used as the statistical techniques.

Findings and Results: At the end of the study, it is found that students’ scores for attitudes and self-efficacy perceptions tend to be uncertain. The students enrolled in regular school programs show higher self-efficacy perceptions and attitudes than those attending vocational programs. Though the difference between female and male students’ attitudes is not meaningful, it is seen that male students’ self-efficacy perceptions are higher than females’. Also, the grades they are studying are not effective on their attitudes or perceptions. When one of the tested variables mathematics achievement –students’ marks- is taken into consideration it is found out that students with higher marks (85-100) have also higher selfefficacy perception points than the ones whose marks are lower (45-54 and 55-69). Besides, at the end of the study, a strong and positive correlation was found between students’ attitudes and self-efficacy perceptions towards mathematics.

Conclusions and Recommendations: With the aim of increasing vocational students’ attitudes towards mathematics, these students’ inabilities and weaknesses in mathematics should be determined and teaching activities should be planned to overcome these weaknesses.

Key words: Attitude towards mathematics, self-efficacy perceptions, education program, multi program high school.