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An Instrument to Measure Mathematics Attitudes

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### An Instrument to Measure Mathematics Attitudes

Presenters: Wei-Chih Hsu

Professor : Ming-Puu Chen

Date : 09/15/2008

Tapia, M. & Marsh, G. E. (2004). An instrument to measurement mathematics attitudes. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8(2) <http://www.rapidintellect.com/

AEQweb/cho25344l.htm>; 2004 Accessed 15.08.2004.

Introduction

- This article
- A report of the development of a new instrument to measure students’ attitudes toward mathematics.
- Determine the underlying dimensions of the instrument by examining the responses of 545 students.

- Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory (ATMI).
- The reliability coefficient alpha was .97
- A maximum likelihood factor analysis with a varimax rotation yielded four factors
- self-confidence;
- value of mathematics;
- enjoyment of mathematics;
- motivation.

Literature review (1/3)

- Conventional wisdom and some research suggest that
- students with negative attitudes toward mathematics have performance problems simply because of anxiety.

- One of the first instruments developed was the Dutton Scale (Dutton, 1954; Dutton & Blum, 1968), which measured “feelings” toward arithmetic.
- Aiken (1974) constructed scales designed to measure enjoyment of mathematics and the value of mathematics.
- Some researchers developed scales dealing exclusively with math anxiety.
- the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (Richardson & Suinn, 1972),
- the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale–Revised (Plake & Parker, 1982),
- the Mathematics Anxiety Questionanaire (Wigfield & Meece, 1988).

Literature review (2/3)

- The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales (1976)
- One of the most popular instruments used in research over the last three decades.
- Consist of a group of nine instruments:
- (1) Attitude Toward Success in Mathematics Scale,
- (2) Mathematics as a Male Domain Scale,
- (3) Mathematics as a Mother Scale,
- (4) Mathematics as a Father Scale,
- (5) Teacher Scale,
- (6) Confidence in Learning Mathematics Scale,
- (7) Mathematics Anxiety Scale,
- (8) Effectance Motivation Scale in Mathematics,
- (9) Mathematics Usefulness Scale.

- 108 items, and takes 45 minutes to complete.
- Subsequent research has questioned the validity, reliability (Suinn and Edwards, 1982), and integrity of its scores (O’Neal, Ernest, McLean, &Templeton, 1988).

Literature review (3/3)

- Melancon, Thompson, and Becnel (1994)
- Isolated eight factors rather than nine, and they were unable to find a perfect fit with the model proposed by Fennema and Sherman.

- Mulhern and Rae (1998)
- Identified only six factors,
- Suggested that the scales might not gauge what they were intended to measure.

- Other researchers suggest
- Students may find math to be simply unappealing or socially unacceptable, although they may actually have high aptitude.

- The Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory (ATMI) was developed.
- Finding a need for a shorter instrument with a straightforward factor structure.

Methodology (1/4)

- The Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory
- The 49-items
- Were constructed in the domain of attitudes toward mathematics to address factors reported to be important in research.

- Items were constructed to assess
- 1.Confidence(Goolsby, 1988; Linn & Hyde, 1989; Randhawa, Beamer, & Lundberg, 1993).
- Measure students’ confidence and self-concept of their performance in mathematics.

- 2. Anxiety(Hauge, 1991; Terwilliger & Titus, 1995).
- Measure feelings of anxiety and consequences of these feelings.

- 3. Value(Longitudinal Study of American Youth (1990).
- Measure students’ beliefs on the usefulness, relevance and worth of mathematics in their life now and in the future.

- 4. Enjoyment(Ma, 1997; Thorndike-Christ, 1991).
- Measure the degree to which students enjoy working mathematics and mathematics classes.

- 1.Confidence(Goolsby, 1988; Linn & Hyde, 1989; Randhawa, Beamer, & Lundberg, 1993).

- The 49-items

Methodology (2/4) Subjects Procedure

- 5. Motivation(Singh, Granville, & Dika, 2002; Thorndike-Christ, 1991).
- Measure interest in mathematics and desire to pursue studies in mathematics.

- 6. Parent/teacher expectations(Kenschaft, 1991; Dossey, 1992).
- Measure the beliefs and expectations parents and teachers have of the students’ ability and performance in mathematics

- 545 high school students, 302 boys and 243 girls, enrolled in mathematics high school classes
- 135 freshmen, 153 sophomores, 168 juniors, 84 seniors, and five 8th-grade students.

- Teachers administered a 49-item inventory to the subjects during their classes.
- Four months later, the inventory was re-administered to 64 subjects who had previously taken the survey.

Methodology (3/4)

- Materials
- The ATMI was originally a 49-item scale.
- The items were constructed using a Likert-scale format with the following anchors: 1 strongly disagree, 2 disagree, 3 neutral, 4 agree, and 5 strongly agree.
- The score was the sum of the ratings.

- Results
- For scores on the 49 items alpha was .96, indicating a high degree of internal consistency for group analyses.
- Of the 49 items, 40 had item-to-total correlationsabove .50, the highest being .82.
- The mean and standard deviation of the total score were 169.74 and 32.06 respectively.
- The standard error of measurement was 6.07.

Discussion (1/2)

- Four subscales were identified as self-confidence, value, enjoyment, and motivation.
- Scores on the 40-item scale
- developed through factor analysis
- showed good internal reliability, and test-retest reliability showed stability over time.

- developed through factor analysis
- With only 40 items, the estimated time to complete the deletion of the parent/teacher items was surprising.
- These items were dropped because of extremely low item-to-total correlations, which requires some consideration.

- Attitudinal research should concern more than anxiety and competence.
- It is clear that other factors are also important.

Discussion (2/2)

- Far less attention has been directed to the investigation of student attitudes.
- Although there is a body of research about attitudes toward mathematics, most of it is concerned only with anxiety.

- Use of the ATMI may be important for teachers and researchers
- Success or failure in math performance is greatly determined by personal beliefs.
- Regardless of the teaching method used, students are likely to exert effort according to the effects they anticipate,
- Personal beliefs about their abilities,
- The importance they attach to mathematics,
- Enjoyment of the subject matter,
- The motivation to succeed.

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