A comparison of teachers' and students' attributions regarding mathematics achievements: a case of Senior Chief Koinange high school, Kiambu district
Onduso, Mosiara Teresa
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In learning, persons ascribe the causes of their success or failure to factors such as ability, effort, and difficulty of the test or luck. Their motivation for similar learning tasks depends not only on whether they experienced success or failure but also on the particular factors to which they attribute their failure or success. The purpose of the study was to compare teachers' and students' attributions regarding mathematics achievements in a Kenyan secondary school. The study also compared teachers' and students' evaluation of the achievement scores, their levels of satisfaction with the scores, and their expectations regarding future mathematics achievements. The study was also to determine if there are gender differences in teachers' and students' attributions regarding mathematics achievements. The sample for the study comprised 140 form four students (80 girls and 60 boys) and Mathematics teachers from Senior Chief Koinange high school in Kiambu District. Twenty students were randomly selected from each of their respective streams and all their mathematics teachers took part. Teacher and student questionnaires were used to collect data. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Chi-square and t-tests were used at p< 0.05 level of significance. The study found that there are no significant differences in the teachers' and students' attributions to success. They both attributed success to the students more than any other cause. In the case of failure, teachers and students had a similar attribution pattern in that they both attributed failure to themselves and to each other. There were no significant differences in the teachers' and students' evaluations of the mathematics scores. Teachers had higher expectations regarding future performance and students were more satisfied with the scores than the teachers. From the findings of the study it is recommended that teachers need to review the approach they use to teach Mathematics. They have to avoid biased interaction in the classroom so as to help students to form attributions which increase their motivation to learn. Future research in the country can include parents' attributions and other factors like sibling influence, parental influence, career preference and school performance which may affect performance in mathematics.