Students’ perceptions about the relevance of mathematics to other school subjects

Andualem Tamiru Gebremichael 1 *
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1 Universitetet i Agder, Department of mathematical sciences, Kristiansand, Norway
* Corresponding Author
EUROPEAN J SCI MATH ED, Volume 2, Issue 2A, pp. 70-78.
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Ethiopian pre-university students’ perception about the relevance of mathematics was examined within a framework of cultural historical activity theory. In particular, Engeström’s expanded mediational triangle was used. A mixed approach of both qualitative and quantitative methods was employed. Group interview was undertaken. A total of 24 students were interviewed in groups of three. The interview was supported by classroom observation. The data analysis gave rise to diverse characterizations of students’ perceptions. The identified characterizations were used to construct items of a survey questionnaire. In both the quantitative and qualitative approaches, 4 students’ categories were used for sampling: gender, grade level, stream and level of achievement. No statistically significant disparities in the distributions of perceptions were found across the students’ categories. These characterizations of perceptions are widely held by students. The results also indicate that perceptions are motivational factor for engaging in mathematics. The implications of the results for the teaching of mathematics and for the teacher education program of mathematics and other school subjects are set out.


Gebremichael, A. T. (2014). Students’ perceptions about the relevance of mathematics to other school subjects. European Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2(2A), 70-78.


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