2013 Volume 15 Number 1
Senior Secondary Students’ Perceptions of Mathematics Classroom Learning Environments in China and Their Attitudes Towards Mathematics

Xinrong Yang
Southwest University, Chongqing, China

Abstract: This paper investigated how senior secondary school students in China perceived their mathematics classroom environments and the relationship between their perceptions and attitudes towards mathematics. The widely used “What Is Happening In This Classroom?” questionnaire was adapted and data were collected from 994 Grade 10, 966 Grade 11, and 657 Grade 12 students from 75 classrooms in six provinces in China. These senior secondary students generally did not perceive their mathematics classroom environments very favorably and did not hold positive attitudes towards mathematics. Positive correlations between mathematics classroom learning environments and attitudes towards mathematics were identified. Gender differences and grade differences of students’ perceptions of their classroom learning environments were found. Findings of this study may provide those who are interested in Chinese mathematics education a window to understand Chinese mathematics teaching practice from the students’ perspective. This study may further stimulate comparative study of mathematics learning environments in China and other countries, and this can contribute to the understanding of how mathematics learning environment is influenced by social and cultural contexts and its associations with students’ attitudes towards mathematics.

Key words: Mathematics classroom learning environment; Attitudes towards mathematics; Senior secondary school students; China

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