Impact of Informal Experiences: Changes in Mathematics Motivation for Middle Schoolers

Suzanne F Lindt, Dittika Gupta


The current research sought to examine the impact of a week-long mathematics camp on motivation and self-efficacy beliefs of participating middle school students. Middle school students participated in a one-week mathematics camp on a college campus, where they worked on authentic mathematics activities that were applied to real world concepts. The activities were developed by a mathematics educator and were facilitated by trained college students. Middle school students responded to the Sources of Self-Efficacy measure before and after the mathematics camp to determine whether changes occurred in various motivational variables resulting from their participation in the camp. Parallel t-tests indicated significant positive changes in students’ vicarious experiences and mastery goals to suggest that participation in the camp may have caused students to feel more confident in their ability to work through math problems and to adopt learning goals for mastering mathematics content. Providing middle school students with informal learning experiences in mathematics may help them in creating long-term goals for their learning.

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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