The effects of classroom processes on student attitudes and mathematics achievement

Year: 1996

Author: Bourke, Sid, Smith, Max

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper focuses on the effects of classroom processes on senior secondary student quality of school life (Ainley, 1986), self ratings of ability (Bourke & Smith, 1995) and mathematics achievement. The processes of interest include instructional delivery systems, and a wide range of student and teacher behaviours, roles and instructional activities (Bourke & Smith, 1993). School, teacher and student questionnaires and lesson observations were used to gather appropriate information about 359 Year 11 students in 28 mathematics classes at 14 schools.

A three-level, two-stage model including school, class and student variables was developed and tested. The model proposed that school and student background variables would affect classroom structures, teaching practices and class activities, which would in turn affect student attitudes to school and their own ability and student achievement. Previous achievement in the School Certificate at the end of Year 10 was also included in the model as an explanatory variable and teacher assessment of student mathematics achievement in Year 11 was an outcome or response variable. Relationships in the model are described and discussed.