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ZDM

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 559–577 | Cite as

Gender, technology and attitude towards mathematics: a comparative longitudinal study with Mexican students

Original Article

Abstract

In this paper the results of a comparative longitudinal study investigating changes in girls’ and boys’ attitudes towards mathematics, and self-confidence in mathematics are presented. A 5-point Likert scale, AMMEC, was used to measure attitudes towards mathematics (AM), computer-based mathematics (AMC), and self-confidence in mathematics (CM). A total of 430 students using technology for mathematics and 109 students not using it were monitored for 3 years. At the beginning of the study, the participants were aged about 13 years. The statistical analyses of the data showed few gender differences in the way students’ attitudes and self-confidence changed over the 3 years. Significant gender differences favouring boys were found in attitudes towards mathematics in grades 8 and 9 for the group using technology. For the group using technology, significantly more boys than girls got high scores in attitudes towards computer-based mathematics in grade 7. Significantly, more girls using technology than girls not using it got high scores in grade 8. The use of technology did not have a positive impact on students’ self-confidence. Regardless of whether they used computers or not, from grades 7 to 9, there was a decrease in the self-confidence in mathematics of both boys and girls. To enrich these results and detect possible gender differences in the way attitudes were constructed, 12 girls and 13 boys were interviewed at the end of the study. The analysis of the arguments they presented to explain and justify their attitudes towards mathematics, computer-based mathematics, and their self-confidence in working in mathematics provided evidence of important gender differences in the ways in which boys and girls construct their attitude, indicating how their constructions reflect the gender stereotypes within Mexican society.

Keywords

Gender Difference Positive Attitude Mathematics Teacher Significant Gender Difference Negative Tendency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was partly sponsored by CONACYT (Project SEP/SEBYN-CONACYT 2003-CO1-22). We thank the Educational Authorities and Siglo XXI of the State of Coahuila and, in particular, our colleagues at the Autonomous University of Coahuila (UAC) for their support.

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Copyright information

© FIZ Karlsruhe 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cinvestav-IPNMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.FES Zaragoza, UNAMMexico CityMexico

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