Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Belief and Attitude of Pre-service Teachers and Academic Achievement

Jaime Segarra 1 * , Carme Julià 1
More Detail
1 Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, SPAIN
* Corresponding Author
EUR J SCI MATH ED, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp. 1-14.
OPEN ACCESS   440 Views   535 Downloads
Download Full Text (PDF)


Given the importance of the beliefs and attitudes of the pre-service teachers, this research aims at studying the relation between mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers, their attitude towards mathematics and their mathematics academic achievement. Specifically, this work considers both factors together and studies their correlation with mathematics academic achievement. The Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (MTEBI) is used to measure the teachers’ efficacy beliefs of pre-service teachers. Besides, the Attitude towards Mathematics Scale (AMS) is used to rate students’ attitude towards mathematics. Participants are 57 pre-service teachers of the third year of the primary education degree. Students of third years of the bachelor’s degree were invited to answer the MTEBI and AMS. Obtained results reaffirm that both teachers’ efficacy beliefs and attitude towards mathematics are key factors for pre-service teacher’s mathematics academic achievement. Moreover, the two factors correlate moderately with one another. Furthermore, results manifest that Personal Mathematics Teaching Efficacy (PMTE) is the most determining subscale for academic achievement. It is evidenced the importance of strengthening both the pre-service teachers’ efficacy beliefs and the attitude towards mathematics.


Segarra, J., & Julià, C. (2022). Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Belief and Attitude of Pre-service Teachers and Academic Achievement. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 10(1), 1-14.


  • Adelson, J., & McCoach, D. (2011). Development and psychometric properties of the math and me survey: Measuring third through sixth graders’ attitudes toward mathematics. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 44(4), 225-247.
  • Aiken, L. (1970). Attitudes towards mathematics. Review of Educational Research, 40, 551-596.
  • Aiken, L. (1974). Two scales of attitude toward mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 5, 67-71.
  • Aiken, L. (1976). Update on attitudes and other affective variables in learning mathematics. Review of Educational Research, 46, 293-311.
  • Auzmendi, E. (1992). Las actitudes hacia la matemática-estadística en las enseñanzas media y universitaria [Attitudes towards mathematics-statistics in middle and university education]. Características y medición. Ed mensajero. Spain.
  • Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological review, 84(2), 191-215.
  • Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Prentice Hall.
  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. W.H.
  • Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentive perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 1-26.
  • Boaler, J. (1997). Setting, social class and survival of the quickest. British educational research journal, 23(5), 575-595.
  • Bursal, M. (2010). Turkish preservice elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding mathematics and science teaching. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 8, 649-666.
  • Byrne, B. M. (1990). Self-Concept and Academic Achievement: Investigating Their Importance as Discriminators of Academic Track Membership in High School. Canadian Journal of Education / Revue canadienne de l’éducation, 15(2), 173.
  • Cakiroglu, E., & Isiksal, M. (2009). Preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy beliefs toward mathematics. Egitim ve Bilim, 34(151), 132-140.
  • Chang, Y. (2015). Examining relationships among elementary mathematics teachers’ efficacy and their students’ mathematics self-efficacy and achievement. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 11(6), 1307-1320.
  • Charalambous, C., Panaoura, A., & Philippou, G. (2009). Using the history of mathematics to induce changes in preservice teachers’ beliefs and attitudes: insights from evaluating a teacher education program. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 71, 161-180.
  • Charalambous, C., Philippou, G., & Kyriakides, L. (2008). Tracing the development of preservice teachers’ efficacy beliefs in teaching mathematics during fieldwork. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 67(2), 125-142.
  • Cockcroft, W. H. (1982). Mathematics counts (Report of the committee of enquiry into the teaching of mathematics in schools). Her Majesty’s Stationary Office.
  • Cronbach, L. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16, 1-16.
  • Devine, A., Fawcett, K., Szucs, D., & Dowker, A. (2012). Gender differences in mathematics anxiety and the relation to mathematics performance while controlling for test anxiety. Behavioral and brain functions, 8(1), 8-33.
  • Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Motivational beliefs, values, and goals. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 109-132.
  • Enochs, L., & Riggs. I. (1990). Further development of an elementary science teaching efficacy belief instrument: A preservice elementary scale. School Science and Mathematics, 90, 695-706.
  • Enochs, L., Smith, P., & Huinker, D. (2000). Establishing factorial validity of the mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs instrument. School Science and Mathematics, 100(4), 194-202.
  • Fachrudin, A., Widadah, S., & Kusumawati, I. (2019). Pre-service mathematics teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and attitude toward using PISA-based problem in mathematics education. In Journal of Physics, 1200(1), 1-6.
  • Fennema, E., & Sherman, J. (1976). Fennema-Sherman mathematics attitudes scales: Instruments designed to measure attitudes toward the learning of mathematics by females and males. Journal for research in Mathematics Education, 7(5), 324-326.
  • Fernández, R. (2010). Actitudes iniciales hacia las matemáticas de los alumnos de grado de magisterio de Educación Primaria: Estudio de una situación en el EEES [Initial attitudes towards the mathematics of elementary school teaching students: Study of a situation in the EEES]. Union, 23, 107-116.
  • George, D., & Mallery, P. (2003). SPSS for Windows step by step: a simple guide and reference. Allyn & Bacon.
  • Giles, R., Byrd, K., & Bendolph, A. (2016). An investigation of elementary preservice teachers’ self-efficacy for teaching mathematics. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1-11.
  • Goddard, R., Hoy, W., & Woolfolk, A. (2004). Collective efficacy beliefs: Theoretical developments, empirical evidence, and future directions. Educational researcher, 33(3), 3-13.
  • Hadley, K., & Dorward, J. (2011). The relationship among elementary teachers’ mathematics anxiety, mathematics instructional practices, and student mathematics achievement. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 5(2), 27-44.
  • Hannula, M. S. (2012). Exploring new dimensions of mathematics-related affect: Embodied and social theories. Research in Mathematics Education, 14(2), 137-161.
  • Harackiewicz, J. M., Barron, K. E., Tauer, J. M., & Elliot, A. J. (2002). Predicting success in college: A longitudinal study of achievement goals and ability measures as predictors of interest and performance from freshman year through graduation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94(3), 562-575.
  • Hassan, A. & Hassan, T. (2012). Science teaching self-efficacy and outcome expectancy beliefs of secondary school teachers in UAE. International Journal for Research in Education, 32, 1-22.
  • Hemmings, B (2010). Prior achievement, effort, and mathematics attitude as predictors of current achievement. The Australian Educational Researcher, 37(2), 41-58.
  • Hourigan, M., & Leavy, A. M. (2019). The influence of entry route to teaching on Irish pre-service primary teachers’ attitudes towards mathematics. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 43(7), 869-883.
  • Kaya, D., & Cihan, H. (2016). Resources of mathematics self-efficacy and perception of science self-efficacy as predictors of academic achievement. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 18(4), 438-451.
  • Leavy, A., Hourigan, M., & Carroll, C. (2017). Exploring the impact of reform mathematics on entry-level pre-service primary teachers attitudes towards mathematics. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 15(3), 509-526.
  • Liu, C., Jack, B., & Chiu, H. (2008). Taiwan elementary teachers’ views of science teaching self-efficacy and outcome expectations. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 6, 19-35.
  • Ma, X., & Kishor, N. (1997). Assessing the relationship between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics: A meta-analysis. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28(1), 26-47.
  • Mapolelo, D., & Akinsola, M. (2015). Preparation of mathematics teachers: Lessons from review of literature on teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and teacher education. American Journal of Educational Research, 3 (4), 505-513.
  • Mazana, M., Montero, C., & Casmir, R. (2020). Assessing students’ performance in mathematics in Tanzania: the teacher’s perspective. International Electronic Journal of Mathematics Education, 15(3), 1-28.
  • Michaluk, L., Stoiko, R., Stewart, G., & Stewart, J. (2018). Beliefs and attitudes about science and mathematics in pre-service elementary teachers, STEM, and Non-STEM majors in undergraduate physics courses. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 27(2), 99-113.
  • Moody, V., & DuCloux, K. (2015). Mathematics teaching efficacy among traditional and nontraditional elementary pre-service teachers. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 3(2), 105-114.
  • Morales, E. (2000). Escala de actitudes hacia la estadística (Attitude scale towards statistics). Psicothema, 12(2), 175-178.
  • Morales, P. (1988). Medición de actitudes en psicología y educación: construcción de escalas y problemas metodológicos [Attitude measurement in psychology and education: Construction of scales and methodological problems]. University of Comillas.
  • Neale, D. (1969). The role of attitudes in learning mathematics. The Arithmetic Teacher, 16(8), 631-640.
  • Newton, K., Leonard, J., Evans, B., & Eastburn, J. (2012). Preservice elementary teachers’ mathematics content knowledge and teacher efficacy. School Science and Mathematics, 112(5), 289-299.
  • Nortes, R., & Nortes, A. (2013). Actitud hacia las matemáticas en futuros docentes de primaria y de secundaria [Attitude towards mathematics in future primary and secondary school teachers]. Edetania, 44, 47-76.
  • Nortes, R., & Nortes, A. (2014). ¿Tienen ansiedad hacia las matemáticas los futuros matemáticos? [Do the future mathematicians have math anxiety?]. Revista de currículum y formación del profesorado, 18 (2), 153-170.
  • Nurlu, O. (2015). Investigation of teachers’ mathematics teaching self-efficacy. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 8(1), 21-40.
  • Pajares, F. (1996). Self-efficacy beliefs in academic settings. Review of Educational Research, 66(4), 543-578.
  • Pajares, F., & Graham, L. (1999). Self-efficacy, motivation constructs, and mathematics performance of entering middle school students. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24(2), 124-139.
  • Pajares, F., & Miller, M. (1994). Role of self-efficacy and self-concept beliefs in mathematical problem solving: A path analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 86(2), 193-203.
  • Pajares, M. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: Cleaning up a messy construct. Review of Educational Research, 62, 307-332.
  • Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Sage.
  • Perkmen, S., & Pamuk, S. (2011). Social cognitive predictors of pre-service teachers’ technology integration performance. Asia Pacific Education Review, 12(1), 45-58.
  • Schunk, D., & Mullen, C. (2012). Self-efficacy as an engaged learner. In Handbook of research on student engagement (pp. 219-235). Springer.
  • Segarra, J., & Julià, C. (2020). Mathematics teaching self-efficacy and outcome expectancy of pre-service and in-service primary education teachers. Acta Scientiae, 22(6), 89-108.
  • Senko, C., & Miles, K. M. (2008). Pursuing their own learning agenda: How mastery-oriented students jeopardize their class performance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33, 561-583.
  • Shapiro, S., & Wilk, M. (1965). An analysis of variance test for normality (complete samples). Biometrika, 52 (3), 591-611.
  • Swars, S., Daane, C., & Giesen, J. (2006). Mathematics anxiety and mathematics teacher efficacy: What is the relationship in elementary preservice teachers? School Science and Mathematics, 106(7), 306-315.
  • Swars, S., Hart, L., Smith, S., Smith, M., & Tolar, T. (2007). A longitudinal study of elementary pre‐service teachers’ mathematics beliefs and content knowledge. School Science and Mathematics, 107(8), 325-335.
  • Tapia, M., & Marsh, G. E. (2004). An instrument to measure mathematics attitudes. Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8(2), 16-22.
  • Wu, L., Chao, L., Cheng, P., Tuan, H., & Guo, C. (2018). Elementary teachers’ perceptions of their professional teaching competencies: Differences between teachers of math/science majors and non-math/science majors in Taiwan. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 16(5), 877-890.
  • Yang, X., Kaiser, G., König, J., & Blömeke, S. (2020). Relationship between pre-service mathematics teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and instructional practices in China. ZDM Mathematics Education, 52, 281-294.
  • Zimmerman, B. (2000). Self-efficacy: An essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 82-91.