AN ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF ATTITUDE TOWARD MATHEMATICS AMONG JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

ZACHARY DAVID GOLDSTEIN, Fordham University

Abstract

This study analyzed the structure of attitude toward mathematics of eighth grade students in a junior high school, attempting to demonstrate the independent existence of the three traditional components of attitude: the affective, behavioral, and cognitive components.^ The rationale was based upon: (a) the previously demonstrated relationship between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics; (b) the call for a standardization of attitude toward mathematics instruments; (c) prior research which indicated that the three components of attitude can sometimes be separated; and (d) the use of multidimensional scaling to investigate the dimensions of attitude toward mathematics that the students were actually using to respond to the attitude questionnaire.^ It was hypothesized that attitude toward mathematics would be explainable in terms of three dimensions, that these dimensions would all contribute to prediction of achievement in mathematics, and that there would be no differences in the structure of attitude toward mathematics between the female and the male students.^ Fifty male and fifty female eighth grade students responded to an attitude questionnaire composed of statements from the Mathematics Attitude Inventory by Sandman and the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Test. Achievement was measured by the students' previous semester final grade.^ Responses were analyzed both by multidimensional scaling and factor analysis. Results were compared by sex and by method and all results were regressed onto achievement.^ Factor analysis confirmed the existence of the three components of attitude. While multidimensional scaling found three explainable dimensions for each sex, the dimensions did not match the factors and were different for males and females. Neither all dimensions nor all factors were significant predictors of achievement, with different components being important for boys and for girls.^ Recommendations included further use of the instrument developed for this study with students in other grades and extension of the use of multidimensional scaling to other attitude areas. ^

Subject Area

Mathematics education

Recommended Citation

GOLDSTEIN, ZACHARY DAVID, "AN ANALYSIS OF THE STRUCTURE OF ATTITUDE TOWARD MATHEMATICS AMONG JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8409258.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8409258

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