The influence of academic self–confidence on mathematics achievement
Van der Bergh, Erika
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It seems as if there is a continued problem with mathematical performances nationally. The rate, at which FET (Further Education and Training) phase learner s discontinue Mathematics as a result of poor mathematical performances, is of great concern. This research study determined how academic self-confidence could have an influence on learners’ abilities to perform in Mathematics. The literature review confirmed that there could be a link between academic self-confidence and mathematical performance. Consequently, the researcher wanted to establish if the same could be found at a school where the emphasis is very much on mathematical achievement. The school is based in Northern Johannesburg (D10) in Gauteng, South Africa. By applying an explanatory mixed method approach (quantitative, followed by qualitative methods), the researcher identified a clear link between this school’s learners’ abilities to perform in Mathematics and their academic self-confidence. Amongst others, positive links were also identified between the learner s’ comprehension of Mathematics, their problem- solving skills as well as educator assistance, which in turn influence their academic self - confidence and consequently al so their performance s. A cycle of mathematical influences was identified that demonstrated that the influence i s not only working one way, but that a cycle forms; academic self-confidence influences the learner’s ability to perform in mathematics and mathematical performance s al so influence academic self - confidence, causing a continuous cycle of influence.
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