Results of My Research

Hi reader,

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. I’ve been busy with my Ed.D. program, but I’m finally done with all the work! I only need to present my findings next weekend to fully earn that diploma. For those who are interested, below is a summary of my findings.

In Medford's middle school students (I completed my research in Medford, Massachusetts):

  • Positive attitudes toward math are higher in 6th graders than in 7th graders and higher in 7th graders than in 8th graders, with a significant difference between the latter.

  • Attitudes toward math tend to be similar between males and females, with the exception of math anxiety which is higher in females.

  • Students in the accelerated/advanced math classes report more positive attitudes toward math, with the exception of value (how important they perceive math to be for their futures).

  • Asian students reported the highest levels of positive attitudes toward math and Hispanic/Latinx students reported the lowest. Black and White students were somewhere in the middle. This trend, however, was not true for math anxiety where no significant differences were found among the races.

  • Of the factors studied, self-efficacy/self-concept correlated strongly and positively with achievement in math. Other factors such as value of math and enjoyment of math correlated weakly with achievement.

  • Income did not correlate with any of the attitude factors studied. This might be because reliable income data was not available.

  • There was a strong positive correlation between enjoyment of math and self-efficacy/self-concept beliefs in math. That is, students who enjoy math are likely to also believe they can be successful in math and vice-versa.

My presentation slides, which include much more detail on the bullets above, can be found here. I’m also happy to share my dissertation through email.

Carolina Vila