• Chuan-Ju LinEmail author
  • Pi-Hsia Hung
  • Su-Wei Lin
  • Bor-Hung Lin
  • Fou-Lai Lin


The teaching and learning of mathematics in schools has drawn tremendous attention since the education reform in Taiwan. In addition to assessing cognitive abilities, Taiwan Assessment of Student Achievement in Mathematics (TASA-MAT) collects background information to help depict average student achievement in schools in an educational context. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between student achievement in mathematics and student background characteristics. The data for this study was derived from the sample for the 2005 TASA-MAT Sixth-Grade Main Survey in Taiwan. The average age of the sixth-grade students in Taiwan is 11 years old, as was the sample for the 2005 TASA-MAT. Student socioeconomic status (SES) and student learning-goal orientation were specified as predictor variables of student performance in mathematics. The results indicate that the better performance in mathematics tended to be associated with a higher SES and stronger mastery goal orientation. The SES factor accounted for 4.98% of the variance, and student learning-goal orientation accounted for an additional 10.61% of the variance. The major implication obtained from this study was that goal orientation was much more significant than SES in predicting student performance in mathematics. In addition, the Rasch model treatment of the ordinal response-category data is a novel approach to scoring the goal-orientation items, with the corresponding results in this study being satisfactory.


goal orientation large-scale data mathematics achievement partial credit Rasch model socioeconomic status TASA-MAT 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ames, C. (1992). Classrooms: goals, structures, and motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 84, 261–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrich, D. (1978). A rating formulation for ordered response categories. Psychometrika, 43, 357–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barron, K.E. & Harackiewicz, J.M. (2001). Achievement goals and optimal motivation: testing multiple goal models. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 706–722.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butler, R. (1987). Task-involving and ego-involving properties of evaluation: Effects of different feed-back conditions on motivational perceptions, interest, and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology, 79(4), 474–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Covington, M.V. (2000). Goal theory, motivation, and school achievement: an integrative review. Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 171–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dweck, C.S. (2000). Self-theories. Their role in motivation, personality, and development. Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  7. Dweck, C.S. & Leggett, E.L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychology Review, 95(2), 256–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Elliot, A.J. (1999). Approach and avoidance motivation and achievement goals. Educational Psychologist, 34(3), 169–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Elliot, E.S. & Dweck, C.S. (1988). Goals: An approach to motivation and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hawkins, E.F., Stancavage, F.B., & Dossey, J.A. (1998). School policies and practices affecting instruction in mathematics: Findings for the national assessment of education progress. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, NCES 98–495.Google Scholar
  11. Masters, G.N. (1982). A Rasch model for partial credit scoring. Psychometrika, 47, 149–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Meece, J.L. & Holt, K. (1993). A pattern analysis of students’ achievement goals. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(4), 582–590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Midgley, C., Maehr, M., Hruda, L. & Anderman, E. (2000). Manual for the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Scales (PALS). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  14. Pintrich, P. (2000). An achievement goal theory perspective on issues in motivation terminology, theory and research. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 92–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pintrich, P.R. & Schunk, D.H. (1996). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chuan-Ju Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pi-Hsia Hung
    • 1
  • Su-Wei Lin
    • 2
  • Bor-Hung Lin
    • 1
  • Fou-Lai Lin
    • 3
  1. 1.National University of TainanTainanRepublic of China
  2. 2.National Hualien University of EducationHualienRepublic of China
  3. 3.National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiRepublic of China

Personalised recommendations