About this book
This book examines the beliefs, attitudes, values and emotions of students in Years 5 to 8 (aged 10 to 14 years) about mathematics and mathematics education. Fundamentally, this book focuses on the development of affective views and responses towards mathematics and mathematics learning. Furthermore, it seems that students develop their more negative views of mathematics during the middle school years (Years 5 to 8), and so here we concentrate on students in this critical period. The book is based on a number of empirical studies, including an enquiry undertaken with 45 children in Years 5 and 6 in one school; a large-scale quantitative study undertaken with students from a range of schools across diverse communities in New Zealand; and two related small-scale studies with junior secondary students in Australia. This book brings substantial, empirically-based evidence to the widely held perception that many students have negative views of mathematics, and these affective responses develop during the middle years of school. The data for this book were collected with school students, and students who were actually engaged in learning mathematics in their crucial middle school years. The findings reported and discussed here are relevant for researchers and mathematics educators, policy makers and curriculum developers, and teachers and school principals engaged in the teaching of mathematics.