id: 05659786
dt: j
an: 2010a.00162
au: Parsons, Sarah; Croft, Tony; Harrison, Martin
ti: Does students’ confidence in their ability in mathematics matter?
so: Teach. Math. Appl. 28, No. 2, 53-68 (2009).
py: 2009
pu: Oxford University Press, Oxford; Institute of Mathematics and its
Applications (IMA), Southend-on-sea, Essex
la: EN
cc: C75 C25
ut: student characteristics; self concept; teaching-learning processes
ci:
li: doi:10.1093/teamat/hrp010
ab: Summary: Research was conducted into first year engineering students’
learning of mathematics in a university college during 2005‒2007. The
aims were to understand better students’ confidences and explore
which factors affected performance and how these were inter-related.
Questionnaires were administered which posed questions regarding
previous mathematics qualifications, student confidences, attitude,
liking of the subject and motivation. The responses were analysed and
compared with marks achieved by the students in their first year
engineering mathematics examinations. The majority of students were
fairly confident, reported improved confidence acquired during their
first year of university study and had positive attitudes. Better
mathematically qualified students were generally more confident and
successful in mathematics. A regression model was produced which
predicted a 12\% increase in mathematics marks per increase in GCSE
mathematics grade, and 5\% increase in marks for each increase in
confidence level. Thus, better qualifications (and the skills
represented) were shown to be associated with better university marks
and student confidence also produced a notable association with the
marks achieved. The findings suggest that having attended to the
mathematics syllabi, lecturers could seek to boost student confidence
in their ability in mathematics as a further means to improve student
performance at university.
rv: