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ERIC Number: ED353139
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Comparison of Preferences and Attitudes toward Mathematics between Middle Grade Children and Their Teachers.
Lang, William S.; And Others
Studies have indicated that students' enjoyment of mathematics declines as they proceed from the early elementary grades through the middle grades. This study addresses three questions: (1) was a change in students' preference for mathematics compared to other subjects detectable over the grades 4-7; (2) was a change in students' attitude toward mathematics detectable over the grades 4-7; and (3) could teachers accurately predict their students' preferences toward mathematics compared to other academic topics? One hundred sixty-three subjects from grades 4-7 (80 male and 83 female; 37 black and 126 white) participated in the study. Student academic subject preferences were measured by the Mathematics Preference Index, a researcher-developed instrument that estimates a student's preference using two methods. One method ranks specific topics familiar to students within each academic subject. The other method is a forced-choice comparison of those same topics within each academic subject. Teachers were asked to choose the subject that they thought would be preferred by each student. Changes in preference for mathematics across grade levels 4-7 were analyzed by analysis of variance. A correlation matrix was established between teachers' predictions of students' subject preferences and student's rank or forced-choice preference of subject. Results indicated a difference between preferences of children in the fourth grade and the other three grades for both measures. No attitude change was evident in the students' preferences toward their best and worst mathematics topics. No correlation between students' preferences and the predicted preferences by teachers was found. The failure of the teachers to perceive student academic preferences led the researchers to suggest development of skills in this area and further investigation into this question. (Contains 14 references.) (MDH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A