Changes in Achievement in and Attitude toward Mathematics of the Finnish Children from Grade 0 to 9—A Longitudinal Study


  •  Jari Metsämuuronen    
  •  Laura Tuohilampi    

Abstract

Recent years, Finland has been one of the countries of interest in education because of its success in international comparisons. Several attempts have been made to explain what could have been behind the positive results. However, some of the challenges of Finnish education, such as the productivity (achievement/costs) or its uniformity throughout the school years have not been emphasized. Further, it is under examined in Finland, as well as worldwide, the development of the performance and the attitude during the school years. Here, 3,502 stratified sampled Finnish students’ achievement and attitude regarding mathematics were followed up from the beginning of the school (grade 0, age 7) to the end of the compulsory education (grade 9, age 16). The test scores from the different measurements were equated by using IRT modelling. The sharpest change in achievement happens during the lower grades and it evens out towards the upper grades. The achievement level of the student population entering the school is very heterogeneous. The actions during the first two years make the differences between the students disappear almost totally. The attitudes are declining during the years. During all the grades, boys feel themselves more self-efficacy in mathematics than the girls.


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