Title

A Study of African- American College Students' Attitudes towards Mathematics

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2009

Abstract

This research focuses on the belief that a person’s attitude affects the way they view, pursue, and achieve within a subject area. From research using the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales come Fennema’s Theory, which Tapia and Marsh (2004) explain as the belief that performance in mathematics is an interaction of attitudes, mathematics anxiety, and behavior that occur during a learning task. The participants of the research were African-American students enrolled in college algebra at a Historically Black Colleges and University (HBCU). For the most part, this was the first mathematics course that the majority of the participants had enrolled in while a student at the institution. The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales were administered to determine the students’ attitudes towards mathematics. The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales has been used over the last three decades to evaluate students of various ethnic backgrounds and gender and at various academic grade levels from middle school to college level students. This research centered on the hypothesis that there will be a significant relationship between attitude towards mathematics and achievement for African-American students. A multiple linear regression revealed that there was a significant relationship between attitude towards mathematics and achievement for African-American students with 15.3% of the grade being explained by the attitude domain scales. The results of the research found that students would like to be successful in mathematics, but they do not want to put too much effort or work into doing the mathematical problems.

Publication Title

Journal of Mathematical Sciences and Mathematics Education

Volume

4

Issue

2

First Page

43

Last Page

51

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