Attitudes and Achievement Strategies of  Mathematics Learners

Attitudes and Achievement Strategies of Mathematics Learners

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Too often, discussions about Mathematics express feelings of anguish and despair; and, indeed Mathematics results in general in South Africa can be described as dismal. The Department of Education (DoE) reported that in the 2010 National Senior Certificate examinations, 52.6% of learners obtained less than 30% in Mathematics and 69.1% of learners obtained less than 40% (DoE, 2010). This implies that a very small percentage of grade 12 learners would be eligible to further their studies in the fields of Mathematics and science at tertiary level.The findings of the research include the following: teachers play an important role in shaping learners attitudes toward Mathematics; learners are anxious when asked to solve mathematical problems; parents are very encouraging of their children learning Mathematics; the importance of Mathematics for future careers exerted a significant effect on mathematical achievement; and finally the various strategies that learners employ that positively impact on their achievement in mathematics include mastery experience, motivation, private tuition and peer group teaching-learning.