EXPLORING STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS OF MATHEMATICS
This study examines the determinants of perception of mathematics among postgraduate management students, including the influence of fathers, mothers, peers, and teachers. The study was conducted with postgraduate management students in Bangalore, India. The respondents were in the age group 21-28 years, with varied demographic and educational backgrounds.
The results of the study suggest that the influence of peers had the strongest impact on the perception of mathematics. Thus, the perception of mathematics can be maximally enhanced amongst students by leveraging peer group learning. The peer groups and group assignments must be carefully designed so that the students are encouraged to support one another according to their abilities, and to contribute to overall group learning.
The finding that the influence of peer groups has the strongest impact on the perception of mathematics is an original contribution to the literature, as earlier studies had not focused on the impact of peer group influence on students’ perception of mathematics. However, the composition of the peer group, and its impact on the perception of mathematics needs to be examined more carefully. In fact, the interaction between the different influence factors is another important aspect that needs to be studied in more detail, including the influence factors studied in the literature. An experimental design would probably be more appropriate for this; however, there may be difficulties in identifying/assessing the long-run impact of these factors. Thus, there is vast scope for further, more detailed study in this area.
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