Dr. Elizabeth Altmaier
Participation year
Project title

Student Motivation and Self-Efficacy in Mathematics: A Qualitative Study


Factors influencing student achievement in mathematics are of unique interest to researchers in educational psychology. The present study serves as a preliminary qualitative assessment of student motivation, attitudes, and self-efficacy regarding mathematics. Students (N=5, age range = 10-13 years) took part in a brief focus group at the conclusion of their participation in a week –long career exploration program for at-risk-youth. The participants provided detailed responses to questions relating to their experiences with the program, as well as their experiences with mathematics in the context of their schools classrooms. Interpretative analysis of the resulting data revealed evidence of (1) both self-regulated and outcome-oriented tendencies with regard to student learning in math, (2) students’ ability to identify resources and supports, and (3) students’ enhanced appreciation for the value of math in result of participation.

Miranda  Verry
University of Iowa