Exploring mathematics-related belief systems

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(Education)(Thesis) M.Sc.
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The purpose of this thesis is to explore student’s mathematics-related beliefs systems and the use of a “mathematics-related belief questionnaire” (MRBQ) to measure such systems. 73 students from three Mathematics 11 classes are used as subjects for the study. The results of part one of this thesis support the existence of three subcategories of mathematics-related beliefs that include beliefs about self, mathematics the object, and the context in which they learn mathematics. An exploratory factor analysis of the MRBQ determined five factors that fit into this framework, and a sixth factor (I like mathematics) that suggested, in part, an emotional component. An analysis of the correlations among the factors suggest a “core” set of beliefs with strong interconnections that might be used to categorize student’s mathematical dispositions and which may be connected to achievement in mathematics. Gender differences are considered and limitations of the experiment are discussed in detail.
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