Mathematics Achievement Motivation in a Collectivist Culture: The Role of Gender Differences and Self-Efficacy



We live in a computerized and technologically advanced age where mathematics-related disciplines represent the future. However, students from many collectivist cultures are underachieving in mathematics. Literature suggests that mathematics achievement and motivation are impacted by self-efficacy, yet the relationship between these variables in most collectivist cultures remains unclear. Also, empirical evidences of gender differences in mathematics self-efficacy and motivation studies exist, albeit, with generally inconsistent findings. This study examined the gender differences and the relationship between mathematics self-efficacy and motivation of students in a collectivist culture. Three hundred and forty three sixth grade students aged 9 -13 were randomly selected from 10 public and private elementary schools in Southwestern Nigeria. The participants consisted of 175 girls and 168 boys with mean age of 10.82. The mathematic self-efficacy and motivation measures were adapted from Pintrich et al’s al.’s (1991) Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Collected data was analyzed using independent t-test and Pearson’s correlation analyses. Results revealed no significant gender differences in mathematics motivation and self-efficacy but showed that mathematics self-efficacy was positively correlated with motivation. Implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations suggested.

Keywords: mathematics, self-efficacy, motivation, gender, collectivist culture

DOI: 10.7176/JEP/10-3-11

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