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Relations between confidence and achievement in adult education students

Title:

Relations between confidence and achievement in adult education students

Gauthier, Laura (2007) Relations between confidence and achievement in adult education students. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The primary aim of this thesis is: understanding to what extent gender differences in mathematics confidence persist among students of adult education, and to study the relationship between mathematics confidence and achievement within that student body. This is an important question as confidence in mathematics is central to the willingness to pursue higher mathematical studies and it is well known that women are under represented in the pure and applied sciences. Further, the study of adult students requires separate consideration in that adult students carry with them a mathematics history that often includes failures which greatly impact the adult student's mathematics confidence. In the present study, students were asked to estimate their test results, and the difference between this estimate and the actual result is taken as indicative of mathematics confidence. Interviews were also conducted and included questions relating the student's individual 'math story', as well as a problem solving session. Results are interpreted within the theoretical framework of Autonomous Learning Behaviours as influenced by an individual's Internal Belief System, confidence being a component of the latter. This study shows that gendered differences in confidence do persist among students of adult education with female students demonstrating less confidence than their male peers despite superior achievement. However, lesser confidence did not predict lesser achievement, whereas an excess of confidence did. Irrespective of gender, those who underestimated their grade were more likely to achieve a mean of 70% or higher. It is concluded that overconfidence compensates in part for lack of knowledge.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Mathematics and Statistics
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Gauthier, Laura
Pagination:vi, 156 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.T.M.
Program:Teaching of Mathematics
Date:2007
Thesis Supervisor(s):Sierpinska, Anna
ID Code:975508
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:09
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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