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The association between teachers’ mathematical beliefs, teacher characteristics and student achievements at the junior secondary level of education in Sri Lanka

Authors:

Subhashinie Wijesundera ,

Department of Education, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About Subhashinie
Profile: Senior lecturer from the Department of Education, University of Peradeniya with experience in quantitative, qualitative and action research, teaching at postgraduate and Undergraduate levels, postgraduate research supervision, curriculum designing and implementation, education administration and academic publications. Currently serving as a member of the standing committee on General Education and Early child education of the National Education Commission of Sri Lanka, the Country Coordinator of the South Asian Research Network for Children and Youth Studies (SARNCYS) of the Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Coordinator of the Development Oriented Research (PDN/ARTS/DOR/HEMS) project implemented by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Peradeniya in collaboration with the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion And Development (AHEAD Operation of the Ministry of Higher Education and the World Bank), Principal Researcher in Sri Lanka for the International Survey of Children’s Well being (ISCWEB) conducted by a group of International researchers based at the University of Frankfurt, Germany.
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Kavinda Wijethunga

Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About Kavinda
Mathematics teacher with a MSc degree in Science education. Currently reading for MPhil degree in Education at the Postgraduate Institute of Humanities and Social sciences (PGIHS) of the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Mathematics teachers' beliefs and their effects on student achievements have been studied in other countries for the past many decades. However, there is a limited understanding of mathematics teachers’ beliefs and student achievements in Sri Lanka. Therefore, the current study attempts to explore associations between teachers' mathematical beliefs, their characteristics and student achievements. To achieve this purpose three main objectives have been set: 1. To identify the association between the beliefs of mathematics teachers and teacher characteristics such as years of experience of teaching, highest educational qualifications in mathematics, and professional qualifications; 2. To assess the relationship between teacher characteristics and student achievements; 3. To identify the relationships between different types of teacher beliefs and student achievements. Data were collected from 50 mathematics teachers who teach Grade Seven classes in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The sample included one teacher each drawn from a stratified random sample of 50 schools based on school type and ethnicity. The study revealed that teachers with professional qualifications in teaching have better mathematics beliefs than teachers without professional qualifications. The former is more confident in working under stressful conditions and more self-efficacious about teaching specific mathematical competencies. The study further revealed that teacher beliefs related to all three dimensions, considered in the study are not significantly associated with student achievements. Implications of these findings for policy, practice and further research in mathematics education are identified and recommendations for improving mathematics education at the junior secondary level are highlighted.

How to Cite: Wijesundera, S. and Wijethunga, K., 2021. The association between teachers’ mathematical beliefs, teacher characteristics and student achievements at the junior secondary level of education in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 44(2), p.None.
Published on 29 Dec 2021.
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