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Business students’ beliefs in learning mathematics

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Abstract:

This study explores the students' beliefs in learning mathematics in a university mathematics class. Complete data were collected from three hundred and seventy six students in three higher learning institutions enrolled in the business mathematics subject. The reliability coefficient alpha was 0.80, indicating a high degree of internal consistency for group analyses. A maximum likelihood factor analysis with a varimax rotation yielded four factors: teacher’s role, value, competency and learning. The results indicated that business students appeared to hold positive beliefs in learning mathematics. In addition, teacher’s role was the most important factor, followed by value, learning and competency. The results also indicated that there were significant differences in means between students’ beliefs based on institutions and mathematics grade. However, our results showed no significant differences in means between beliefs based on gender, secondary education and students’ major. The findings of this study could assist the relevant authorities to develop strategic planning to enhance learning mathematics among Malay students. In addition, learning mathematics does not only build students’ ability to think analytically but also develop skills of reasoning and problem solving. These are some of the important elements in environmental management which are invaluable assets to the community.

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