Influence of Teacher Support and Personal Relevance on Academic Self-Efficacy and Enjoyment of Mathematics Lessons: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

  • Jill M. Aldridge Curtin University, Perth
  • Ernest Afari The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi
  • Barry J. Fraser Curtin University, Perth
Keywords: academic self-efficacy, learning environment, personal relevance, structural equation modeling, teacher support, United Arab Emirates

Abstract

The purpose of our study was to examine the effects of two psychosocial features of the classroom environment (teacher support and personal relevance) on college students’ academic self-efficacy and enjoyment of mathematics lessons. Data collected from 352 mathematics students attending three higher education institutions in the United Arab Emirates were used to validate the questionnaires and to investigate the hypothesized relationships. Structural equation modeling analysis suggests that teacher support and personal relevance are influential predictors of enjoyment of mathematics lessons and academic self-efficacy.

L’objectif de cette étude est d’examiner les effets de deux facteurs psychosociaux de la salle de classe (soutien des enseignants et pertinence personnelle) sur l’auto-efficacité académique des étudiants universitaires et du plaisir qu’ils retirent des cours de mathématiques. On a puisé dans des données recueillies chez 352 étudiants en mathématiques de trois institutions d’études supérieures aux Émirats arabes unis pour valider les questionnaires et vérifier les relations postulées. Une analyse de la modélisation par équation structurelle laisse supposer que le soutien des enseignants et la pertinence personnelle ont constitué des facteurs de prévision influents quant au plaisir que retirent les étudiants des cours de mathématiques et à leur auto-efficacité académique.

Author Biographies

Jill M. Aldridge, Curtin University, Perth

Jill Aldridge is an Associate Professor at the Science and Mathematics Education Centre at Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Past and present research has focused on school improvement and the creation of a school culture that is sensitive to the culturally-specific needs of students from different backgrounds. Her current research is focused on teacher action research as part of teacher-driven professional development as an important component of school improvement.

Ernest Afari, The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi

Ernest Afari holds a PhD in Mathematics Education from Curtin University, Perth, Australia. He is a mathematics lecturer at the Petroleum Institute (Engineering University and Research Centre) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). His research interests are as follows: Teaching and learning with a focus on students' perception of their learning environment; Using Information and Communication Technologies in teaching mathematics; Issues in teacher education.

Barry J. Fraser, Curtin University, Perth

Barry J. Fraser is John Curtin Distinguished Professor and Director of Science and Mathematics Education Centre at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. He is Editor-in-Chief of Springer’s Learning Environments Research: An International Journal, Co-editor of Springer’s Second International Handbook of Science Education (2012) and Co-editor of Sense Publishers’ book series Advances in Learning Environments Research. He is a Fellow of six academies/associations including the International Academy of Education, American Educational Research Association, and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Published
2013-06-12
Section
ARTICLES