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Maths self-efficacy and achievement

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Students’ maths self-efficacy is their belief that they can solve mathematics problems, and has been shown to have links with mathematics achievement. This research investigates the extent to which Year 4 to 10 students view themselves as capable learners of mathematics, how their views change over time, and how these views are associated with their achievement in mathematics. This research draws together two inter-related aspects of the New Zealand curriculum: the key competency, Managing self, in which students see themselves as capable learners, and the learning area of mathematics and statistics – the context in which this self-belief is being examined.

What do we aim to find out?

·    How do distributions of students' mathematics self-efficacy vary according to year-level and
      other key demographic factors?

·    How does students' mathematics self-efficacy change over time?

·    How does the relationship between students' mathematics self-efficacy and achievement change over time?

What’s happening in this project?

Data are being collected for this project when schools opt for their students to complete the PAT: Mathematics with Self-Efficacy. The first round of data was collected at the start of 2017, and the second in Term 1 2018. This will enable us to begin tracking patterns of students' maths self-efficacy and achievement over time, with a third and final round of data collection planned for 2019. Thanks to all the principals, maths leaders, teachers and students who have supported this research.

The maths self-efficacy items are now available to all schools whose students use the online PAT: Mathematics, and you can read more about these items. 

The researchers wrote about the project in an article that is free to download from Set: Research information for teachers.

This project is funded through NZCER's Government Grant from the Ministry of Education.

Maths self-efficacy and achievement project publications: