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Studying attitude to mathematics

Ruffell, Moyra; Mason, John and Allen, Barbara (1998). Studying attitude to mathematics. Educational studies in Mathematics, 35 pp. 1–18.

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Abstract

Teachers’ attitude to mathematics is increasingly put forward as a dominant factor in children’s attitudes to mathematics. Our intention at the beginning of this study was to produce instruments for teachers to use in probing student attitudes as part of their personal professional research and development. To this end we undertook eight small studies of attitude carried out across the educational phases, which we report on here. Reflecting on them led us to challenge the very construct of attitude. We are also led to challenge the cause and effect model underlying much attitudinal research. We now see attitude as at best a complex notion, and we conjecture that perhaps it is not a quality of an individual but rather a construct of an observer’s desire to formulate a story to account for observations. The difficulty in making attitudinal research precise, and in testing the validity of attitudinally based conjectures, lies therefore in conceptual and hence methodological issues.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers
ISSN: 0013-1954
Academic Unit/Department: Mathematics, Computing and Technology > Mathematics and Statistics
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 27319
Depositing User: Barbara Allen
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2011 12:25
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2011 12:54
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/27319
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