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Student/Teacher Relations and Attitudes toward Mathematics before and after the Transition to Junior High School

Carol Midgley, Harriet Feldlaufer and Jacquelynne S. Eccles
Child Development
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Aug., 1989), pp. 981-992
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131038
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131038
Page Count: 12
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Student/Teacher Relations and Attitudes toward Mathematics before and after the Transition to Junior High School
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Abstract

In a longitudinal study of 1,301 students and the teachers they had for mathematics before and after the transition to junior high school, we assessed whether changes across the transition in students' perceptions of their teachers' supportiveness were related to changes in their valuing of mathematics. Using repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance, we found that when students moved from elementary teachers they perceived to be low in support to junior high teachers they perceived to be high in support, the intrinsic value of math was enhanced, while students who moved from teachers they perceived to be high in support to teachers they perceived to be low in support experienced a sharp decline in both the intrinsic value and perceived usefulness and importance of math. For students' perceptions of the usefulness and importance of math there was an interaction with achievement level. Math values decreased more sharply during the first year of junior high for low-achieving students who moved from more supportive to less supportive teachers than for high-achieving students who experienced the same change.

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