Mathematics-related self-beliefs: How important are they in predicting Achievement? Evidence from lower secondary school adolescents in Bahir Dar
This study examines the degree to which cognitive and affective aspects of mathematics learning shape adolescents’ interest and achievement in mathematics. It specifically investigates age-related patterns of interest and achievement in mathematics based on a randomly drawn sample of 137 (male = 54 and female = 83) grade 9 students in a large urban secondary school in Bahir Dar. The adapted Amharic versions of Mathematics Self–Efficacy (MSE), Mathematics Self-Concept (MSC), Mathematics Interest (Mathematics Interest), and Mathematics Anxiety (Mathematics-Anxiety) scales originally developed for Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) were employed to collect data. Mathematics Achievement (MAch) was measured based on composite mean class scores. The adapted Amharic measures yielded acceptable internal consistency reliabilities ranging from 0.67- 0.81 and statistically significant convergent and discriminant validity coefficients among the four sub-scales (r = -.20, p < .05 to r = .67, p < .001). Hierarchical and simultaneous Multiple Regression procedures were used to address the major research questions. The findings revealed that MSE and MSC are strong predictors of Mathematics interest and achievement. On the other hand, MAch is significantly predicted by Gender, Mathematics-Anxiety, and mathematics related self-beliefs (MSE and MSC). A declining trend in Mathematics-Interest and achievement is also evident with increasing age. Finally, the study outlines the implications of the findings.
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