School of Education

Centre for Studies in Science and Mathematics Education

An international study of mathematical self-efficacy, attainment and degree choice

Date: 14 December 2016

Location: EC Stoner 10.81

Dr Matt Homer

In many contexts, mathematical self-efficacy is known to be important, and distinct, predictor of mathematical attainment and the nature of further participation in the study of mathematics and mathematically-based disciplines. This study reports on the results of cross-sectional questionnaire-based study of over 500 former International Baccalaureate® students who had studied higher level pre-university mathematics. Two separate sub-scales were employed in the online questionnaire measuring (i) mathematical self-confidence on completion of the IB course (i.e retrospectively), and (ii) mathematical self-efficacy at the time of completion of the survey (i.e. mainly during degree study). These scales were found to be essentially uni-dimensional, and to measure distinct but related constructs. In terms of predicting type of degree participation, important differences in patterns of influence were found relating to mathematical self-confidence and attainment. Differences by gender and country are also reported, and the relationship between self-confidence and self-efficacy is explored.

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