Date of Award

Summer 1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Not Legible

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

The goal of this research project was to determine specific attitudes of 8th grade students about learning mathematics – according to each student’s previously determined achievement in learning mathematics – and to compare female to male responses, within and between different ability groups.

Three sets of questions were asked:

  1. Among all 8th graders, what are the differences and similarities between the attitudes of girls and boys with regard to math learning?
  2. Among high-achieving 8th graders in accelerated math courses, what are the differences and similarities between the attitudes of girls and boys with regard to math learning?
  3. Among high-achieving 8th graders in grade-level math courses, what are the differences and similarities between the attitudes of girls and boys with regard to math learning?

This research project produced inconclusive results. There was a lack of significant gender-based attitudinal differences in five of six areas measured by the testing instrument utilized in this study. In particular, results failed to show gender differences among the attitudes of the students in accelerated math courses. The author recommends further investigation. The author also recommends that students be encouraged to identify and examine their own attitudes towards learning mathematics through reflective writing assignments, such as journaling, which might in the aggregate be helpful in explaining their attitudinal gender differences and similarities.

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