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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 investigated the extent to which Year 4 to 10 students viewed themselves as capable learners of mathematics, and how these views were associated with their achievement in mathematics. This research drew 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.

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

This research has now been concluded. We thank the teachers and students who made this project possible. The project's key findings were that:

  • On average, students expectations of success on a range of mathematics items exceeded what could reasonably be predicted, based on their actual achievement.
  • Students in low-decile schools tended to report self-efficacy levels that exceeded their predicted achievement by more than their peers in mid and high-decile schools.

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

Maths self-efficacy and achievement project publications: