Mathematics anxiety of students with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (Doctoral thesis)

Γεωργίου, Αλέξανδρα

The present research attempts to fill the gap in Greek and international literature regarding the relationship between the mental state and the mathematical education of students with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HF-ASD). More specifically, the study examined the anxiety of students with HF-ASD towards mathematics and the degree to which it can be compensated by the motives and metacognition that the students present in mathematics. Moreover, taking into account the inclusion of these students in general education with typically developing students (TD), a comparative analysis of the aforementioned variables between the two groups of students was performed in order to understand their differences and similarities in the learning of mathematics. The sample selection was based on the method of Random Sampling since the students had to possess specific characteristics and a parental consent to participate in the research was necessary. Specifically, the students with HF-ASD had received a diagnosis for ASD by an officially recognized, public or private Medical Pedagogical Centre while their total intelligence quotient was over 80 according to WISC-III. Furthermore, there was a balance in the two groups of students regarding their age (between 13 and 18), gender and total intelligence quotient. The students who eventually participated in the research were asked to fill in a questionnaire which included demographic questions at first and then the following questionnaires: State Anxiety Inventory for Children/STAIC for the examination of the sample’s anxiety state, the anxiety subscale in mathematics of the Fennema – Sherman scale, the PALS (Patterns of Adaptive Learning Strategies) questionnaire which was used to measure the students’ motives regarding their achievement goals in the subject of mathematics, the students’ fear of failure scale by Elliot and Church (1997), the intrinsic interest scale by Elliot and Church (1997) and part of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) that refers to the cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies. Thereafter the students’ performance in mathematics was evaluated by a numeric test (from the Kit of Factor-referenced Tests), by an equation test which was developed according to the class that the students attend and also involved the solution of a mathematical problem. At first, it is important to point out that the students with HF-ASD showed relatively low anxiety in mathematics and significantly lower than the mathematical anxiety of TD students. HF-ASD students were also motivated by intrinsic factors rather than extrinsic ones and they showed a relatively low use of cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies in mathematics. Their performance in the examined sections of mathematics was mediocre and poor, as was the performance of the TD students. However, the HF-ASD students had significantly lower grades in mathematics compared to TD students. Finally, it was revealed that the mathematical anxiety of HF-ASD students can be predicted and eventually compensated in a satisfying degree by their motives in mathematics and, more specifically, by lowering their fear of failure and reinforcing their intrinsic interest for mathematics. The use of cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies it was discovered that can predict and compensate the mathematical anxiety of HF-ASD and TD students in a much lower and not satisfying degree.
Alternative title / Subtitle: τα κίνητρα και η μετάγνωση ως παράγοντες εξισορρόπησης του
motives and metagognition as the balancing factors
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Σχολή Επιστημών Αγωγής. Παιδαγωγικό Τμήμα Δημοτικής Εκπαίδευσης
Subject classification: Αυτιστικού φάσματος διαταραχές
Keywords: Υψηλής λειτουργικότητας διαταραχή αυτιστικού φάσματος,Άγχος στα μαθηματικά,Κίνητρα,Μεταγνώση,High functioning autism spectrum disorder,Mathematics anxiety,Motives,Metacognition
Appears in Collections:Διδακτορικές Διατριβές

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