Gender Difference in Mathematics Achievement As A Function of Math Self-Efficacy and Spatial Visualization Among Guji Zone Ninth Grade Students

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Addis Ababa University


The major purposes of this study were to examine gender difference in mathematics achievement as a function of math self-efficacy and spatial visualization and the effects of the latter two (predictor) variables on math performance. A math achievement test, a math self-efficacy scale, and a spatial visualization test were administered to a random sample of 196 female and 198 male ninth grade students from four high schools of Gujji Administrative Zone. Then the data were analyzed using t-test, correlation analysis, and Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA). Analysis of the mean differences disclosed statistically significant gender differences (at .01 level) in favor of males in all the variables (math selfefficacy, spatial ability, and math achievement). The results of the correlation analysis unraveled that math self-efficacy had significantly stronger relationship to math achievement than that of spatial visualization. According to the stepwise multiple regression, as depicted by coefficients of multiple determination (R squared), the predictor variables had significant joint effect on the criterion variable. Of this total effect, much of the variance in performance was accounted for by gender followed by math self-efficacy. On the other hand , the results of the analysis of covariance showed that after statistically controlling the effects of math self-efficacy and spatial visualization, gender difference in math achievement was still significant. However the overall effect of gender, prior to controlling the two covariates, was significantly reduced. It was concluded that these differential math achievements between boys and girls were not only due to differences in their self-efficacy and spatial abilities but also due to other potential factors accounting for differences in mathematics learning of male and female students. Paying attention to gender difference in math achievement and to the factors (cognitive and non-cognitive), that could potentially affect students' mathematics learning, in the teaching learning process; understanding students' self-confidence in mathematical capabil ity and taking remedial measures for extremely high or low self-efficacy beliefs; and improving the students spatial visualizations through educational interventions are among the practical implications of the present study.



Gender Difference in Mathematics Achievement