Date of Award

1982

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Abstract

This study examined the degree to which math attitude relates to the mathematical training, major field of study and career choices of undergraduate males and females. The study took place in the Mathematics Department of Southeastern Louisiana University. Statement of the Problem. The following null hypothesis was tested using the .05 level of significance: no significant degree of relationship exists between math attitude and either the mathematical training, major field of study, or career choices of undergraduate male and female students. Procedure. Students who participated in the study were undergraduate students enrolled in mathematics during the Fall Semester of 1981. The AVJ Scale of Attitude Toward Mathematics and a questionnaire were administered to the sample by Mathematics Department faculty members. Analysis of Data. The results from the instruments were used to divide the sample into subgroups. The subgroups included attitude, sex, course level, extent of high school mathematical training, type of mathematical training, major field of study, and career choice. The coefficient of contingency tested for the degree of relationship. Findings. The relationship between math attitude and the extent of high school mathematical training was significant for non-remedial students. The relationship between math attitude and various combinations of high school course pursuits was negligible for non-remedial undergraduates. For remedial students, the relationship between math attitude and both type and extent of high school mathematics training was negligible in all but one instance. For non-remedial students, the relationship between math attitude and major field of study was significant. The relationship existing between math attitude and career choice was significant for non-remedial students and for female remedial students. Recommendations. (1) More research should be conducted to study math attitude with respect to math training. The research should include a large enough sample population to allow adequate analysis of various subgroups. (2) Future studies in math attitudes should distinguish between students whose predictive achievement score in mathematics indicate great variability. (3) Research should be conducted to study math attitude, major field of study, and career choices for both males and females.

Pages

185

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