Performing Below the Targeted Level: An Investigation into KS3 Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Mathematics

Anusha Mirza, Nasreen Hussain


This study sets out to investigate the attitude KS3 pupils have towards mathematics and the factors that influence this attitude. A case study approach was used as the pupils were a unit of the school under study and a survey method was chosen to provide scope to the study.  Purposeful sampling was employed for the selection of 200 pupils from years 7 and 9 who were from target achiever and non target achiever groups.  Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory (Tapia, 1996) was administered to the participants to measure their attitude towards mathematics. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.  The result for the first hypothesis indicated that there is a significant difference on the variable of mathematics attitude of year 7 and 9 target achievers and non target achievers pupils (t=4.11, df =199, p <.05) and for the second hypothesis, the difference in the variety of attitudes is statistically significant in the pupuls from both groups (t=2.3, df =210, p <.05). The results of the research will enable teachers to understand the factors that effect attitude of pupils towards mathematics at secondary level and direct head teachers to establish effective teacher training and support system to help pupils to develop an interest in mathematics.


mathematics attitudes; secondary level; target achievers; under achievers

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