#### Date of Award

5-2015

#### Degree Type

Dissertation

#### Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

#### Department

Center for Science and Math Education

#### Committee Chair

Sherry Herron

#### Committee Chair Department

Center for Science and Math Education

#### Committee Member 2

Melinda Gann

#### Committee Member 2 Department

Mathematics

#### Committee Member 3

Kyna Shelley

#### Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

#### Committee Member 4

Richard Mohn

#### Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research

#### Abstract

Mathematics is a subject with which many students struggle. It has been noted that students’ attitudes towards mathematics can often affect their performance in related courses. The goal of this research is to explore the relationship between students’ basic applied mathematics skill and students’ attitudes towards mathematics. That is, do students, as they learn how to use mathematics in the real world, tend to develop a more favorable outlook towards mathematics? Or, on the other hand, do the attitudes towards mathematics of students remain unaffected as their ability to use mathematics in the real world increases? The current research seeks to clarify these propositions in an effort to improve mathematics instruction by providing educators with a better understanding of students’ attitudes towards mathematics.

Multiple linear regression analysis found that attitude toward mathematics was indeed significantly related to students’ basic applied mathematics skill. Attitude toward mathematics explained 29.7% of the variance observed in basic applied mathematics skill. Attitudinal subscales were also analyzed. Student self-confidence and motivation were both significant predictors of basic applied mathematics skill. In a separate analysis, attitude toward mathematics was found not to be significantly related to mathematical achievement in the college classroom.

#### Recommended Citation

Kilman, Taylor Andrew, "The Relationship Between Students’ Applied Mathematics Skills and Students’ Attitudes Towards Mathematics" (2015). *Dissertations*. 54.

http://aquila.usm.edu/dissertations/54