Transitioning to secondary school: the case of mathematics

Article


Carmichael, Colin. 2015. "Transitioning to secondary school: the case of mathematics." Australian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology. 15, pp. 13-23.
Article Title

Transitioning to secondary school: the case of mathematics

ERA Journal ID6113
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorCarmichael, Colin
Journal TitleAustralian Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology
Journal Citation15, pp. 13-23
Number of Pages11
Year2015
Place of PublicationNewcastle, Australia
ISSN1446-5442
Web Address (URL)http://www.newcastle.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/243446/AJEDP-V15-Carmichael-pp-13-23.pdf
Abstract

At a time when Australia’s international competitiveness is compromised by a shortage of skilled workers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related careers, reports suggest a decline in Australian secondary school students’ performances in international tests of mathematics. This study focuses on the mathematics performance of students in the first year of secondary school and in particular the impact, if any, that the move to secondary school has on this performance. Utilising current state differences in the structure of schools and population data, the study identifies a small effect associated with the transition to secondary school that is comparable to similar international studies. It then explores this effect through a multivariate analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Results suggest that even after controlling for known predictors of mathematical performance, the transition from primary school to secondary school is associated with a small effect that is not apparent when students change from one primary school to another. These findings confirm a number of qualitative studies that suggest the need for a closer focus on the early secondary mathematics classroom. Implications for researchers and policy makers are also discussed.

Keywordsmathematics education; educational transition; secondary school
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390109. Mathematics and numeracy curriculum and pedagogy
Byline AffiliationsOpen Access College
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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