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ERIC Number: EJ1097173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1446-5442
Transitioning to Secondary School: The Case of Mathematics
Carmichael, Colin
Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology, v15 p13-23 2015
At a time when Australia's international competitiveness is compromised by a shortage of skilled workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers, reports suggest a decline in Australian secondary school students' performances in international tests of mathematics. This study focuses on the mathematics performance of students in the first year of secondary school and in particular the impact, if any, that the move to secondary school has on this performance. Utilising current state differences in the structure of schools and population data, the study identifies a small effect associated with the transition to secondary school that is comparable to similar international studies. It then explores this effect through a multivariate analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Results suggest that even after controlling for known predictors of mathematical performance, the transition from primary school to secondary school is associated with a small effect that is not apparent when students change from one primary school to another. These findings confirm a number of qualitative studies that suggest the need for a closer focus on the early secondary mathematics classroom. Implications for researchers and policy makers are also discussed.
University of Newcastle. School of Education, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A