# GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TAIWANESE ADOLESCENTS' MATHEMATICS ATTITUDES AND THEIR PERCEPTIONS TOWARD VIRTUAL MANIPULATIVES

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## ABSTRACT

This study explored gender differences in the relationship between young people's mathematics attitudes and their perceptions toward virtual manipulatives. Seven hundred eighty junior high school adolescents who participated in the problem-solving activity using virtual manipulatives were selected for examination. The study found the male adolescents' views on motivation and enjoyment of mathematics could explain many aspects of their perceptions toward virtual manipulatives. The female adolescents' views on the importance of mathematics and freedom from fear of mathematics could explain many aspects of their perceptions toward virtual manipulatives. However, motivation, enjoyment, and importance of mathematics were more prominent than freedom from fear of mathematics in predicting male adolescents' perceptions toward virtual manipulatives, and freedom from fear and importance of mathematics were more prominent than enjoyment and motivation of mathematics in predicting female adolescents' perceptions toward virtual manipulatives. Two implications can be drawn from this study. First, teachers could provide males with appealing problem contexts not only to be used to remove the fear of mathematics, but also to be used for enjoyment and as motivation to see the importance of mathematics. Then male students could be encouraged to have more confirmed positive perceptions toward virtual manipulatives when engaging in the activities of computer-based mathematics. Second, teachers could provide females with interesting teaching activities, not only to be used for motivation and the enjoyment of mathematics, but also to be used to remove the fear of mathematics and for experiencing the importance of mathematics. Then female students could have positive perceptions toward virtual manipulatives when technology was integrated into the classroom to enhance learning and to support effective mathematics teaching.

## KEY WORDS

gender differences mathematics attitudes virtual manipulatives## Preview

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