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Students’ maths self-efficacy exceeds their predicted achievement: Initial findings of an ongoing study

Linda Bonne and Elliot Lawes
PDF icon Maths_self_efficacy.pdf2.74 MB

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 was conducted over three years, and 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. The 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.

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 Te Pae Tawhiti grant from the Ministry of Education.

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Publication type: 
Research report
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