The measurement of affective behaviour in C.S.E. mathematics.
2015-11-19T09:15:55Z (GMT) by
Initially, the research stemmed from previous work which had clarified the objectives of C.S.E. mathematics courses. A number of objectives had been classified as relating to the affective domain and, in terms of C.S.E., were not being evaluated. This study set out to identify affective behaviour and, if possible, to rectify the absence of any affective measures. The work developed in three distinct phases. The first concerned itself with recognising traits of affective behaviour in C.S.E. children. The method used employed a questionnaire technique which was evaluated by factor analysis. The varimax and promax analyses resulted in three definable affective factors. These related to (i) an attitude identified as tending to see mathematics as an algorithmic, mechanical and stereotyped subject; (ii) an attitude recognising an intuitive, open-ended and heuristic approach; (iii) an attitude representing commitment, interest and application to mathematics. The second phase involved restructuring the initial instrument and narrowing it to relate only to the three defined factors. An improved questionnaire was then used in a pilot trial consisting of four schools with 358 candidates. The evaluation of this trial produced evidence on the affective behaviour of the children involved and also information on the acceptability of the instrument. Before proceeding further, a revalidation of the content of the test was undertaken. The third and final phase consisted of a field trial involving 2690 candidates in a wide variety of schools. The outcome of the results has contributed to two major areas; namely knowledge concerning individual children's affective behaviour and information concerning attitudes to fields of study and content of courses. In terms of the qualities involved, and the effect of courses upon them, the research provides some very challenging questions to mathematicians. The individual pupil profiles which were developed within the study and which combine affective and cognitive behaviour, should be useful both to teacher and employer if taken in conjunction with the other information normally available.