Ramazan AVCU, Seher AVCU
Department of Elementary Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, Aksaray University, Aksaray.
Res. Assist. Department of Elementary Mathematics Education, Faculty of Education, Aksaray University, Aksaray
Problem Statement: Among attitude measures, attitude scales are the most common, objective, and effective in gathering attitude data and there are numerous scales that measure various factors of attitude towards mathematics. However, there is a need for attitude scales that are content specific such as geometry, algebra, probability and statistics. One reason for this is students’ attitudes towards mathematics in general and their attitudes towards specific mathematical topics might differ considerably from each other. It is not uncommon to hear a student say they like mathematics but dislike geometry or algebra. Thus, it is thought that it would be significant to have a scale that particularly measures learners’ attitudes towards geometry.
Purpose of the Study: Although a number of studies have developed scales with the goal of measuring geometry attitudes of middle and secondary school students, there is no such instrument in the accessible literature in Turkey that serves the same purpose for undergraduate students. Therefore, the authors wanted to go further in this direction and attempted to fill this gap by adapting the Utley Geometry Attitude Scale to Turkish.
Methods: The participants of the study consisted of 863 undergraduate students (56% female; 44% male) from a public university in the inner part of Turkey. After the list-wise deletion of the missing cases, the remaining sample (N = 750) was randomly divided into two subsamples to perform factor analysis. Data from the first subsample (n=371) were analyzed by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to determine the factorial structure of the adapted scale. Later, the data from the second subsample (n=379) were analyzed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to confirm the model obtained from EFA. In addition, item analysis was performed to ensure that there were no problematic items in the adapted scale. Finally, reliability analysis was performed by calculating Cronbach’s alpha coefficients both for the adapted scale and its factors.
Findings and Results: After EFA, the translated version of UGAS consisted of a four-factor structure with 25 items. Subsequently, CFA corroborated this four-factor structure and the goodness of fit indices were found to be appropriate for the acceptance of the model. The item total correlations were all larger than .30 and the reliability coefficients for the overall instrument and its factors ranged between .81 and .94.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The results showed that the translated version of the UGAS might serve as a valuable instrument both for educators and researchers to measure undergraduate students’ attitudes towards geometry.
Keywords: Geometry, attitude scale, undergraduate students, validity and reliability.