The role of study orientation and casual attribution in mathematics achievement
Moodaley, Reveni Rene
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English: This study was conducted to investigate and clarify the role that certain study orientation variables play in predicting mathematics achievement. To achieve this, the empirical relationship between study orientation as measured by the SOM (study attitude, mathematics anxiety, study habits problem-solving behaviour and study milieu) and achievement in this subject was investigated for grade 9 learners from jive racially integrated, secondary schools in the Northern Cape. The role of gender and culture as possible moderator variables was considered. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were performed to determine the percentage of the criterion (mathematics achievement) variance that could be explained by study orientation in mathematics. This investigation was augmented by the further exploration of learners' perceived causes of their achievement in mathematics. Once again, the contribution of the attribution of causes (internal or external factors) to the variance in mathematics achievement for both gender and culture was investigated. The results emphasized the importance of the set of study orientation variables as predictors of achievement in mathematics for both genders and all three culture groups. Study milieu and problem-solving behaviour appeared to be the most significant (at the 1% level) individual predictors of mathematics achievement for both genders and both black and white grade 9 learners. The causal attribution of achievement scales jointly contributed significantly to the explanation of the variance in mathematics achievement for the following groups: male, white and coloured learners with positive perceptions of their achievement in mathematics and male, white and black learners with negative perceptions of their achievement in mathematics. The external factor only contributed significantly to the explanation of the variance in mathematics achievement for the white learners with positive perceptions of their achievement in mathematics. However, the internal factor made a significant contribution to the explanation of the variance in mathematics achievement for the following groups: the coloured learners with positive perceptions of their achievement in mathematics and both male and female and black and white learners with negative perceptions of their achievement in mathematics.
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