The effects of grade, self-efficacy, learned-helpnessness, and cognitive engagement on liking mathematics among primary school students

  • Y Endawoke


This study aims at a) investigating the effects of grade, self-efficacy, learned-helplessness, and cognitive engagement on liking mathematics, and b) assessing the developmental trends of these variables across grade levels. The subjects of the study are 159 primary school students. The results showed that the effect of the variables on liking maths was 44.8%, of which self-efficacy and cognitive engagement explained 24% and 11%, respectively. It was also found out that the variables affected liking maths directly. Trend curves revealed an increase in learned helplessness, but declining levels of cognitive engagement, and self-efficacy by grade. As elementary school is a foundation age for future educational development, students should be helped to avoid learned helplessness and develop a feeling of competence and engage themselves cognitively in learning mathematics.

Ethiopian Journal of Development Research Vol. 27 (2) 2005: pp. 81-107

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eISSN: 0378-0813