Enhancing Self-efficacy of Elementary School Students to Learn Mathematics

Sara Katz


Mathematics is a key to all scientific subjects. Learning mathematics requires cognitive and meta-cognitive effort.Many students suffer from mathematics anxiety that very often leads to physiological symptoms. Self-efficacy isdefined as people's beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that affect their lives.Regardless of previous ability achievement, high-efficacious students work harder, persist longer, persevere in theface of adversity, have lower anxiety, and achieve more than low-efficacious students. Therefore, very important inmathematical education is the nurturing of young people who will exercise control over learning mathematics. In thisqualitative action research, we diagnosed and attempted to enhance eight 6th graders' efficacy beliefs to learnmathematics. Research tools were 22 interviews, six observations, and 10 field notes. We asked what constitutedstudents' self-efficacy profile to learn mathematics. The constant comparative and grounded theory techniques wereused for data analysis. Intervention included goal-setting, skill and strategy acquisition, and reflection. Thetheoretical contribution of this study is a very detailed diagnosis of self-efficacy resulting in a profile rather than in asingle score. Practically, this profile enabled efficient intervention that resulted in students' high self-efficacy andachievement and improvement in teacher instruction.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jct.v4n1p42


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Copyright (c) 2014 Sara Katz

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