A study of the attitudes toward achieving above a grade C amongst higher tier mathematics students

Mauger, Corrina (2014) A study of the attitudes toward achieving above a grade C amongst higher tier mathematics students. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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This study takes place in a large, mixed, 11-18 faith school in the East Midlands. Within this

institution there has been a perceived emergence of a culture of low aspirations amongst

higher tier GGCSE mathematics students in recent years. Teachers reported that many

students were happy to aim for a grade C regardless of having targets and being capable of

grades higher than this.

The aim of the study was to explore these attitudes and to identify any commonalities in

underlying reasons for the attitudes displayed. After reviewing current literature on the topic

themes of understanding vs attainment, confidence vs challenge, enjoyment vs obligation and

use value vs exchange value were identified as being key and informed the design of

questionnaires given to 106 students in year 10 studying for higher tier mathematics GCSE.

The mixed method research style combined the quantitative results of these questionnaires

with semi structured interviews with a small group of students selected by their responses.

Results showed that the reported low aspirations were much less widespread than initially

thought and student aims had in general risen throughout the year. Regardless of this links

were found between certain feelings toward mathematics and having lower expectations of

themselves, most notably non-enjoyment of the subject indicating lower aspirations for


Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Gigg, Diane
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 09:39
Last Modified: 31 Dec 2017 14:21
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/28086

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