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Students' Motivation and Intention Towards Learning Mathematics and Mathematics Performance: Analysis With their Preferred Track in the Senior High During the Grade 11 in the K-12 Implementation

Rodulfo T. Aunzo1* and Catherine S. Lanticse2

1Department of Mathematics, School of Arts and Sciences, University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines

2Mathematics Area, Basic Education Department - North Campus, University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines

*Corresponding Author:
Rodulfo T. Aunzo, Jr. Ed.D
Department of Mathematics, School of Arts and Sciences, University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines
Tel: (+63) 932 575 3154
E-mail: dolph_fu@yahoo.com

Received: 13/07/2015 Accepted: 11/09/2015 Published: 18/09/2015

Visit for more related articles at Research & Reviews: Journal of Educational Studies

Abstract

In the light of the ASEAN Economic Integration, the educational system is now geared towards K-12 landscape. This study presents analyses on the students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics, Mathematics performance and students’ preferred track in the senior high during the first batch of the K-12 implementation. A survey was conducted investigate students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics, since motivation is perceived as a pre-requisite of and an indispensable component for student engagement in learning. Saeed and Zyngier also cited that, student engagement in learning is not only an end in itself but it is also a means to the end of students achieving sound academic outcomes. A correlation approach was adapted to show relationship among students’ motivation, students’ intention towards learning Mathematics, Mathematics performance, and preferred track in the senior high school. This was conducted at the Basic Education Department - North Campus (BED-NC), University of San Carlos, during 4th quarter of the school year 2014 - 2015. The BED-NC had pioneered the operation of the grade 11 and grade 12 Tech-Voc tracks in Visayas. This serves an experimental batch with thirty eight (38) scholar students sponsored by the University. There were 276 third-year high school students of BED-NC as the respondents of the study. This batch is the first official batch to enrol the grade 11 during the K-12 implementation. The findings revealed the following: a) Mathematics performance has no relationship between the students’ perception on the idea that their friends think that Mathematics is a worthwhile class and students’ intention to continue taking Mathematics classes; b) Mathematics performance has low correlation between the students’ attitude towards doing Mathematics and students’ perception on their ability to do Mathematics; c) The preferred track in the senior high is independent from the students’ perception on the idea that their friends think that Mathematics is a worthwhile class and students’ intention to continue taking Mathematics classes; d) the preferred track in the senior high is dependent from students’ attitude towards doing Mathematics and students’ perception on their ability to do Mathematics; e) The students who preferred STEM have higher Mathematics grade than those who prefer Arts and Design, General Academic, and Humanities and Social Sciences; and f) The students who prefer ABM have higher Mathematics grades than those who prefer Arts and Design. These findings will give direction to those schools who will offer senior high school.

Keywords

Students’ motivation; Students’ intention; Mathematics performance; K-12; Senior high school; Mathematics teaching; Learning mathematics

Introduction

Each of the universally recognized components of attitudes - interest, enjoyment, motivation to learn, confidence, anxiety, and task value - has been acknowledged in research as significant to success in learning [1,2]. Woolfolk and Margetts point out that students’ interest in, enjoyment and excitement about what they are learning is one of the most important factors in education [3]. They also point out that when students’ motivation levels are increased, they are more likely to find academic tasks meaningful. Motivation is perceived as a pre-requisite of and an indispensable component for student engagement in learning [2]. Saeed and Zyngier also cited that, student engagement in learning is not only an end in itself but it is also a means to the end of students achieving sound academic outcomes [1]. This is important because authentic engagement may lead to higher academic achievement throughout student life [4]. Newmann posited that engaged students make a psychological investment in learning. And that these students try hard to learn what school offers [5]. Students take pride not simply in earning the formal indicators of success (grades for example), but in understanding the material and incorporating or internalizing it in their lives. The nature of the link between attitudes and learning has been described by [6] in their ‘theory of personal action’ which states that attitudes influence intentions, which in turn influence behavior. Behavior then leads to personal experiences which in turn have an effect on attitudes. Indeed, research over many years has established that attitudes play a significant role in learning Mathematics [7]. McLeod accounts that student confidence correlates positively with achievement in mathematics, and that the relationship is quite strong [8]. Overall, therefore, there is clear evidence to show that attitudes are integrally linked to learning and achievement, including mathematics learning and achievement [2]. This paper’s significance is that it proposes to analyze the association of students’ motivation an intention towards learning Mathematics, Mathematics performance. And in the light of the K-12 implementation, these variables are also associated with the preferred track when the students will enrol grade 11.

Objectives

This study aimed to establish association of the students’ motivation intention towards learning Mathematics, Mathematics performance and preferred track in the grade 11 during K-12 implementation. Specifically, this study aimed to:

1) Establish students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics;

2) Show association between students’ motivation and students’ intention towards learning Mathematics;

3) Difference in the students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics according to:

a. Gender;

b. Location of residence; and

c. Preferred track in grade 11 during the K-12 implementation

4) Establish difference in the Mathematics performance according to their preferred track in the grade 11 during K-12 implementation;

5) Show association between Mathematics performance and students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics;

Methodology

This methodology employed of this research study is discussed in the subsections below:

Research design

This study conducted survey methodology to investigate students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics. Then employing quantitative approach from a descriptive perspective. A correlation approach was adapted to show relationship between the following: a) students’ motivation and students’ intention towards learning Mathematics; b) Mathematics performance and students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics and c) preferred track in the senior high school and students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics.

Sample and settings

This study was conducted at the Basic Education Department - North Campus (BED-NC), University of San Carlos, a privately owned University located in Cebu City, during 4th quarter of the school year 2014 - 2015. The BED-NC had pioneered the operation of the grade 11 and grade 12 Tech-Voc track in Visayas. This serves an experimental batch with thirty eight (38) scholar students sponsored by the University. There were three sets of respondents in this research study: 1) teachers handling secondary mathematics at BED-NC - they validated the content the questionnaire. The revision of the questionnaire was made based on their comments/questions/suggestion; 2) three (3) randomly selected third-year high school students from the BED-NC - they validated the readability of the research questionnaire; and 3) the third-year high school students of BED-NC - the respondents of the research study. This batch is the first official batch to enrol the grade 11 in the K-12 implementation.

Measures

The survey questionnaire was composed of the following parts: 1) Part I presented the demographic data of the student respondents and the preferred course to take up in college; 2) Part II determined the students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics - which was adapted from the proposed questionnaire by [9]. While the over-all Mathematics grade of the respondents was obtained from the Registrar’s Office at the BED-NC.

Data-gathering procedure

This research study underwent the following data-gathering procedures:

Validation of the research questionnaire: The proposed questionnaire by Caldwell was adapted and scrutinized to fit in Mathematics. After the revision, it was presented to the secondary Mathematics teachers from the BED-NC to validate the content of the questionnaire [9]. They made certain revision emphasizing the appropriateness for the secondary level Mathematics students. The revision was then made and finalized through the guidance of their comments, questions, and suggestions. Then the revised questionnaire was pilot tested to three (3) third-year high school students from the BED-NC to test its readability. Then, minor revisions were made based on the observations during the pilot testing.

Data gathering: The third-year students, excluding the students selected for pilot testing, were asked to answer the survey questionnaire during their Mathematics class inside their classroom. The Mathematics teacher read the Part II questions to the students and gave a bit of explanation to every item to ensure that each student answers the questions accordingly. The data on Mathematics grade were also gathered from the Registrar’s office to ensure official and accurate data.

Data analysis: The data were tabulated and computed using both MegaStat and SPSS to ensure similar results prior to making interpretations.

Results and Discussions

The following findings were based on the result of the statistical and analytical analysis of various data:

Students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics

Table 1 shows the students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics. The table reflects the following weighted means: a) 3.7 (agree), which means that the students have a positive attitude towards doing Mathematics. This implies that they feel good about going to Mathematics lessons and enjoy them; b) 3.1 (undecided), which means that the students were undecided on the idea if their friends think that Mathematics is a worthwhile class; c) 3.5 (agree), which means the students have a positive opinion towards their ability in doing Mathematics. This implies that they can do Mathematics homework and participate in Mathematics lessons; and d) 3.4 (undecided), which means that the students were undecided on the idea of looking forward to another Mathematics lessons next year. Motivation towards learning about a subject and towards learning in general can strongly influence student intentions to choose that subject and even how well that student may perform [9]. In understanding student motivations toward learning, Pintrich distinguished between what students want and what motivates students in the classroom, suggesting that an important factor is whether students care about or think the task is important in some way [10]. More recently, Krapp and Prenzel, and Prendergast focused on the concept of interest and asked how can interest in science be generated and maintained? They suggest that interest can be considered as an ‘affective variable’ and an interest that is primarily caused by external factors can be called a ‘situational interest’ [11,12]. Table 2 shows the correlation among the students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics. The table reflects the following: a) no relationship between “attitude towards doing Math” and “perception of one’s peer” - 0.017, “perception of one’s peer” and “perceived ability to math” - 0.085, and “perception of one’s peer” and “intention to continue taking Math classes” - 0.098; b) moderate relationship between “attitude towards doing Math” and “perceived ability to do math” -0.516 and “perceived ability to do math” and “intention to continue taking Math classes”- 0.505; and c) moderately high relationship between “attitude towards doing Math” and “intention to continue taking Math classes” - 0.621. Table 3 shows the difference among the students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics, according to gender. At 5% level of significance, the table reflects the following: a) there is a significant difference between the male and the females’ “attitude towards doing Mathematics” and “intention to continue taking Math classes”; and b) there is a no significant difference between the male and the females’ perception on their friends thinking that Mathematics is a worthwhile class and their perceived ability to do Mathematics. This implies that the males (3.7) have a higher rating than the female (3.0) on their attitude towards doing Mathematics. Also, males (3.5) have a higher level of intention than the females (3.5) to continue taking Math classes. If the student’s attitude towards learning science is good/positive then it is likely that they will feel good about going to science lessons and subsequently enjoy those lessons [9]. Peer pressure is a significant factor when trying to understand behaviour. If the student’s friends/peers think that science is worthwhile and most of their friends/peers are enrolled in a science subject, then it is also likely that the student’s perceptions of science will be mediated through this group’s opinion [9]. Table 4 shows the relationship between the students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics and location of residence. At 5% level of significance, the table reflects that there is no significant relationship between the location of residence and the following: a) attitude towards doing Mathematics - 0.1001; b) perception of one’s peer - 0.6767; c) perceived ability to do Mathematics; and d) intention to continue taking Mathematics - 0.0648. This implies that the students’ motivation and intentions towards learning Mathematics is independent from its location of residence. Table 5 shows the relationship between the students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics and preferred track in the senior high. At 5% level of significance, the table reflects that there is no significant relationship between the preferred track in the senior high and the following: a) perception of one’s peer - 0.2106; and b) intention to continue taking Mathematics classes - 0.7064. This implies that the preferred track in the senior high is independent from student’s perception of one’s peer and intention to continue taking Mathematics classes. In addition, the table reflects that there is a significant relationship between the preferred track in the senior high and the following: a) attitude towards doing Mathematics- 3.72E-05; and b) perceived ability to do Mathematics - 9.57E-13. This implies that the preferred track in the senior high is dependent from attitude towards doing Mathematics and perceived ability to do Mathematics.

Variables SA A U D SD Wx Description
Attitude Towards Doing Math 81 252 191 28 5 3.7 Agree
Perception of One’s Peer 22 129 268 112 16 3.1 Undecided
Perceived Ability to Do Math 77 224 189 63 6 3.5 Agree
Intention to Continue Taking  Math Classes 81 189 177 62 45 3.4 Undecided

Table 1. Students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics.

  Variables r r2
Attitude Towards Doing Math Perception of One’s Peer 0.017 0.000
  Perceived Ability to Do Math 0.516 0.266
  Intention to Continue Taking  Math Classes 0.621 0.385
Perception of One’s Peer Perceived Ability to Do Math 0.085 0.007
  Intention to Continue Taking  Math Classes 0.098 0.010
Perceived Ability to Do Math Intention to Continue Taking  Math Classes 0.505 0.255

Table 2. Correlation among students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics.

Variables Gender Wx Description chi-square df p-value Remarks
Attitude Towards Doing Math Female 3.6 Agree 13.24 4 0.0102 Significant
  Male 3.7 Agree        
Perception of One’s Peer Female 3.0 Undecided 2.23 4 0.6926 Not Significant
  Male 3.1 Undecided        
Perceived Ability to Do Math Female 3.5 Agree 3.29 4 0.5108 Not Significant
  Male 3.6 Agree        
Intention to Continue Taking Math Classes Female 3.2 Undecided 11.1 4 0.0255 Significant
  Male 3.5 Agree        

Table 3. Difference on students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics, according to gender.

Variables Residence Wx Description chi-square df p-value Remarks
Attitude Towards Doing Math Cebu 3.7 Agree 23.54 16 0.1001 Not Significant
  Mandaue 3.3 Undecided        
  Lapu-lapu 3.5 Agree        
  Talisay 3.2 Undecided        
  Others 3.9 Agree        
Perception of One’s Peer Cebu 3.0 Undecided 12.35 16 0.6767 Not Significant
  Mandaue 3.1 Undecided        
  Lapu-lapu 3.5 Agree        
  Talisay 2.8 Undecided        
  Others 3.1 Undecided        
Perceived Ability to Do Math Cebu 3.6 Agree 22.02 16 0.1424 Not Significant
  Mandaue 3.1 Undecided        
  Lapu-lapu 3.7 Agree        
  Talisay 3.2 Undecided        
  Others 3.6 Agree        
Intention to Continue Taking Math Classes Cebu 3.4 Undecided 25.3 16 0.0648 Not Significant
  Mandaue 2.9 Undecided        
  Lapu-lapu 3.3 Undecided        
  Talisay 3.2 Undecided        
  Others 3.6 Agree        

Table 4. Test of independence between students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics and location of residence.

Variables Course Wx Description chi-square df p-value Remarks
Attitude Towards Doing Math Tech-Voc 3.8 Agree 55.29 20 3.72E-05 Significant
  Arts & Design 3.6 Agree        
  ABM 3.8 Agree        
  HUMSS 3.1 Undecided        
  STEM 3.7 Agree        
  Gen. Acad. 3.6 Agree        
Perception of One’s Peer Tech-Voc 2.9 Undecided 24.77 20 0.2106 Not Significant
  Arts & Design 2.6 Disagree        
  ABM 2.8 Undecided        
  HUMSS 3.0 Undecided        
  STEM 3.2 Undecided        
  Gen. Acad. 3.1 Undecided        
Perceived Ability to Do Math Tech-Voc 3.4 Undecided 100.67 20 9.57E-13 Significant
  Arts & Design 3.2 Undecided        
  ABM 3.5 Agree        
  HUMSS 3.0 Undecided        
  STEM 3.5 Agree        
  Gen. Acad. 3.6 Agree        
Intention to Continue Taking Math Classes Tech-Voc 3.1 Undecided 16.16 20 0.7064 Not Significant
  Arts & Design 2.9 Undecided        
  ABM 3.5 Agree        
  HUMSS 2.9 Undecided        
  STEM 3.4 Undecided        
  Gen. Acad. 3.4 Undecided        

Table 5. Test of independence between students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics and preferred track in the senior high.

Students’ mathematics performance

Table 6 shows the difference among the Mathematics grades of the students grouped according to their preferred track in the senior high. At 5% level of significance, the table reflects a p-value of 0.0046. This means that there is a significant difference among the grades of the students. With this, the next Table 6a reflects the p-values of the pairwise t-test in order to establish where the difference lies. At 5% level of significance, Tables 6a showed that there is no significant difference between the following: a) STEM and the following: Tech-Voc - 0.1003; and ABM - 0.3528; b) Arts and Design and the following: General Academic- 0.0784; Humanities and Social Sciences - 0.0522; and Tech-Voc - 0.0518; c) General Academic and the following: Humanities and Social Sciences - 0.6298; Tech-Voc- 0.5959; and wABM - 0.1043; d) Humanities and Social Sciences and the following: Tech-Voc - 0.9319; and ABM - 0.3239; and e) Tech-Voc and ABM - 0.4184. On the other hand, there is a significant difference between the following: a) STEM and the following: Arts and Design- 0.0042; General Academic- 0.0034; and Humanities and Social Sciences- 0.0488; and b) Arts and Design and ABM- 0.0146. This implies that the students who preferred STEM (82.1) have higher Mathematics grade than those who prefer Arts and Design (76.0), General Academic (79.8), and Humanities and Social Sciences (80.3). Also, students who prefer ABM (81.3) have higher Mathematics grades than those who prefer Arts and Design (76.0). Table 7 shows the correlation between the students’ motivation and intention towards learning Mathematics and their Mathematics grades. As reflected on the table, Mathematics grades has: a) no relationship between perception of one’s peer (0.009) and intention to continue taking Mathematics classes (0.167); and b) low correlation between attitude towards doing Mathematics (0.247) and perceived ability to do Mathematics (0.332). Students are interested in all sorts of activities external to the school environment. Their daily environment offers many cognitively stimulating activities in many contexts that may lead to a ‘situational interest’. The TPB may be of some value in this respect when used in the educational context. Given that students’ historical learning experiences can affect engagement and motivation with a subject [13]. If student motivation towards science lessons is positive, then it is at least conceivable that their attitude and subsequent intentions towards the subject will also be positive [9]. Caldwell suggests that, using the TPB model as a framework, the intention to engage in science is affected by ‘attitudes towards doing science’ which is impacted by the perception of one’s peers towards engaging in science (subjective norms) and the student’s perceived ability to do science (perceived behavioural control) [9]. Accordingly, motivation could be thought of as a combination of these three factors. If the student’s perceived ability to perform well in science is good/positive then it is likely that they will feel enabled to participate effectively in science lessons and that they can complete their homework assignments [9]. If the student’s intention is to continue to take science classes both now and in the next year, then it is suggested that the combined effect of all the categories, including this one, will contribute to understanding student motivation towards science [9]. In a research study of Saeed and Zyngier, the researchers cited that copious research studies have revealed that intrinsically motivated students have higher achievement levels, lower levels of anxiety and higher perceptions of competence and engagement in learning than students who are not intrinsically motivated. There is a positive correlation between intrinsic motivation and academic achievement [1].

Courses Mean n Std. Dev F p-value Remarks
TV 80.4 20 4.28 3.49 0.0046 Significant
AD 76.0 4 2.45      
ABM 81.3 37 3.68      
HUMSS 80.3 27 4.00      
STEM 82.1 101 4.39      
Gen A 79.8 41 3.83      

Table 6. Difference among the math grades of students grouped according to their preferred track in the senior high.

  p-values Remarks
STEM AD 0.0042 Significant
  Gen A 0.0034 Significant
  HUMSS 0.0488 Significant
  TV 0.1003 Not Significant
  ABM 0.3528 Not Significant
AD Gen A 0.0784 Not Significant
  HUMSS 0.0522 Not Significant
  TV 0.0518 Not Significant
  ABM 0.0146 Significant
Gen A HUMSS 0.6298 Not Significant
  TV 0.5959 Not Significant
  ABM 0.1043 Not Significant
HUMSS TV 0.9319 Not Significant
  ABM 0.3239 Not Significant
TV ABM 0.4184 Not Significant

Table 6a. Pairwise t-test to establish where the difference lie.

Dep. Variable Ind. Variable r2 r
Math Grade Attitude Towards Doing Math 0.061 0.247
  Perception of One’s Peer 0.000 0.009
  Perceived Ability to Do Math 0.11 0.332
  Intention to Continue Taking  Math Classes 0.028 0.167

Table 7. Correlation between math grades and students’ motivation and intention towards learning mathematics.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions are derived:

1) The students have a positive attitude towards doing Mathematics but were undecided on the idea if their friends think that Mathematics is a worthwhile class. They have a positive opinion towards their ability in doing Mathematics but were undecided on the idea of looking forward to another Mathematics lessons next year.

2) There is no relationship between the following: a) attitude towards doing Math and perception of one’s peer; b) perception of one’s peer and perceived ability to math; and c) perception of one’s peer and intention to continue taking Math classes.

3) There is a moderate relationship between the following: a) attitude towards doing Math and perceived ability to do math; and b) perceived ability to do math and intention to continue taking Math classes.

4) There is a moderately high relationship between attitude towards doing Math and intention to continue taking Math classes

5) The males have a higher rating than the female on their attitude towards doing Mathematics. Also, males have a higher level of intention than the females to continue taking Math classes.

6) The students’ motivation and intentions towards learning Mathematics is independent from its location of residence

7) The preferred track in the senior high is independent from the students’ perception of one’s peer and intention to continue taking Mathematics classes, but dependent from attitude towards doing Mathematics and perceived ability to do Mathematics.

8) The students who preferred STEM have higher Mathematics grade than those who prefer Arts and Design, General Academic, and Humanities and Social Sciences. Also, students who prefer ABM have higher Mathematics grades than those who prefer Arts and Design.

9) Mathematics grades no relationship with students’ perception of one’s peer, students’ intention to continue taking Mathematics classes, and low correlation with students’ attitude towards doing Mathematics and students’ perceived ability to do Mathematics.

Recommendation

Based on the analyses and findings of this study, the following recommendations are derived:

1) The teaching-learning process of mathematics should provide dynamic activities that would cater to the students’ attitudes towards Mathematics. This will lead to an increased students’ intention towards learning Mathematics. Since, motivation is perceived as a pre-requisite of and an indispensable component for student engagement in learning [1].

2) Those schools who are/will be offering senior high school may choose a track in line with the nature and background of their community where their clients would come from.

3) A follow-up study on the status of the respondents will be conducted as to whether they have effectively chosen their track according to their learning competence.

References