An Investigation of the Factors that Motivate Students in Algebra II Math Class at a Selected High School in Tennessee.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors involved in motivating high school students in Algebra II math courses. The study, conducted at a selected high school in East Tennessee, consisted of 21 students enrolled in an Algebra II course at that high school. The students were given a 49-item survey about school life, prior experience with math, teacher and classroom characteristics, and motivation for academics in general. In addition, 4 students were interviewed with questions based on the same categories as the survey. The data collected were analyzed and the dominant themes were identified. The themes consisted of a) a student’s sense of school belonging, at this school, had negligible or minor impact on their motivation in Algebra II. b) A student’s previous experience(s) in math had a significant influence on the student’s current motivation in Algebra II. c) Student motivation in Algebra II mathematics can be affected significantly by teacher characteristics, classroom environment and the presence or absence of student autonomy in the classroom. d) Motivation students have outside the mathematics classroom has little to no impact on the motivation inside the Algebra II classroom. The results suggest that Algebra II math teachers should make efforts to address the students’ prior experiences with mathematics and/or their current classroom environment in their Algebra II course. Therefore, Algebra II math teachers should make efforts to address these factors in order to increase the motivation of their Algebra II students.