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Influence of Demographic Factors on Students’ Beliefs in Learning Mathematics

DOI: 10.5539/ies.v2n3p120

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Abstract:

Learning mathematics has been recognized by many as important. It does not only develop students’ ability to think in quantitative terms but can also enhance skills such as analytical and problem solving skills. However, to enable us to tell our students how important mathematics is we have to understand students’ beliefs in learning mathematics so as to find ways to improve students’ performance in mathematics. The aim of this study is to examine the relationship between business students’ beliefs in learning mathematics and demographic factors. Data were collected from three hundred and seventy six students in three higher learning institutions enrolled in business mathematics class. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe the sample and Pearson chi-square test will be used to test students’ beliefs and the relationship between students’ beliefs and demographic factors (gender, institutions, previous mathematics grade, secondary education and major). Our results suggest that students’ beliefs are positive and significant in learning mathematics. Using Pearson chi-square test, generally the results suggest that there are significant differences in means between students’ beliefs based on institutions and mathematics grade. In addition, we find that overall there are no significant differences in means between beliefs based on gender, secondary education and major.

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