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Mathematics is wonderful logic, full of interesting patterns. It is the language of science and engineering and it opens the doors to higher-level jobs. "No employment can be managed without arithmetic, no mechanical invention without geometry." (Benjamin Franklin,2009). Mathematics is an essential for everyone; it is not possible to succeed in the modern world without some use of mathematics. Mathematics builds the required skills for lifetime education and for studying other disciplines; it helps us think rationally and make sound decisions.
Research shows that advanced level mathematics courses such as Algebra II provide entrance to postsecondary learning, are vital for college success, and are significant in many careers. Students that complete such coursework are better prepared for employment, and earn higher salaries. "Many unfortunate students lack access to higher math classes or are discouraged from enrolling in them" (Slover, 2008).
The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan ( 2010) stated,
Today, you cannot afford to drop out of school and find a job that pays a living wage. America wants the talents and skills of all its children to thrive and prosper. If we assist our children, we strengthen and support our nation. We must identify that America's achievement gap harms not just the students who are cheated of an excellence education but the nation itself.
According to Slavin (2008), the mathematics achievement of America's middle and high school students is an issue of great concern to policymakers and educators. Many believe that secondary math achievement is a key predictor of a nation's long term economic potential. Mathematics performance in American middle and high schools is not primarily a problem of comparisons to other countries, but more a problem within the United States. There are enormous differences between the performance of white and middle class students and minority and economically disadvantaged students, and the gap is not diminishing. Clearly to advance in mathematics achievement, we must improve the quality of math instruction received by all students. "What recourses and tools do we have on hand to intervene in middle and high schools to extensively advance their mathematics performance? Which textbooks, equipments, software applications, and trained approaches are recognized to be successful?" (Slavin, Lake, & Groff, 2009).
As President Obama stated in the Blue Print Reform. (2010),
Every child in America deserves a world-class education. Today, more than ever, a world-class education is a prerequisite for success. America was once the best educated nation in the world. A generation ago, we led all nations in college completion, but today, 10 countries have passed us. It is not that their students are smarter than ours. It is that these countries are being smarter about how to educate their students. And the countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow. This effort will require the skills and talents of many, but especially our nation's teachers, principals, and other school leaders. Our goal must be to have a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school. We must recognize the importance of communities and families in supporting their children's education, because a parent is a child's first teacher. We must support families, communities, and schools working in partnership to deliver services and supports that address the full range of student needs. This is a framework to guide our deliberations and shared work - with parents, students, educators, business and community leaders, elected officials, and other partners - to strengthen America's public education system. (Page-1)
Parents, teachers, leaders, and individuals in the communities must unite to fix the problems that face our nation by providing the support, and tools necessaryto help our children compete in today's world. Research shows that the child's brain develops 90 percent of its capacity by age 5. Children may drop in both educational and intellectual growth if they do not receive the correct kinds of motivation and the correct methods of instruction at the right time in their life. (Child Development, 2010)
The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (2010) stated,
Finally, we're also seeking $1.8 billion dollars to support students by encouraging community engagement and support and exposure to other positive adults. Teachers cannot do it alone. They need parents, community leaders, social service agencies and other supportive adults in the schools helping to reinforce a culture of learning and respect. A parent is a child's first teacher. We need to work together to continue that legacy and deliver a world-class education for every child.
It takes a village to raise a child is an admired maxim with an obvious message: the whole neighborhood has a vital responsibility to engage in the growth and development of its people. Student accomplishment in mathematics is affected by many factors that can establish, preserve, support or discourage performance. Among those are individual attributes, interests, curiosity and responsibility. One of the main factors is teacher influence, method and quality of instruction. Other major factors are parent support, peer influence, community influence, and student's self expectation. This research will illustrate the connection between important variables and the effect on mathematics achievement.
Teacher Influence and Method and Quality of Instruction
Until the 1960s it was understood that schools and teachers were not the only contributors to student accomplishment. Additional factors were genetics, family background and socioeconomic influence. Hattie and his colleagues (2003) discovered in a meta-analysis of more than 500,000 studies that the student accounts for about 50% of the variance in learning. Homes and family account for 5 to 10%, schools 5 to 10%, friends 5 to 10%, and teacher responsibility approximately 30%. Accordingly, there has been a major concentration on education, instruction, and quality teaching and teacher accomplishment from the late 1980s to today.
Approximately 27% of all the children in the United States drop out of public School, or approximately 1.2 million teenagers are leaving schools for the streets. (Duncan, 2010). Many teachers believe that academic achievement of our children is below their abilities. They indicate that Japanese children emphasize effort more than ability. (Wlodkowski & Jaynes, 1990)
High motivation in learning has always been linked to reduced dropout rates and improved level of students' success. There are many factors that add to students' concern and level of commitment in education. Research has revealed that teachers affect on student motivation and mathematics achievement. (Brewster & Fager, 2000)
The McKinsey studies show that the quality of the teacher has more to do with student result than any other variable. It stated,
Ten years ago, research based on data from Tennessee showed that if two average eight-year-old students were given different teachers - one of them a high performer, the other a low performer - their performance diverge by more than 50 percentile points within three years. By way of comparison, the evidence shows that reducing class sizes from 23 to 15 students improves the performance of an average student by eight percentile points. Another study, in Dallas, shows that the performance gap between students assigned three effective teachers in a row, and those assigned three ineffective teachers in a row, was 49 percentile points. In Boston, math students placed with top-performing teachers made substantial gains, while students placed with the worst teachers regressed.
Quality Teaching and Methods of Instructions
One goal of high school mathematics is to provide a learning environment that is conductive to teaching students the necessary concepts for educational accomplishment. (White-Clark, DiCarlo, & Gilchriest, 2008). Research has observed the effects of constructivist teaching. High school mathematics students often state their frustration such as "why do I need to know this stuff?" page #.Numerous high school students are confused with mathematics and recognize mathematics as a subject that is unrelated to their lives. Some blame the curriculum, and the instructional approach that are implemented in our schools. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM, 1991) recommends using a constructivist method of teaching, in which learners develop meaning based on experience and inquiry. Direct teaching is frequently referred to as teacher-centered, as the substance of the lesson is transmitted straight from the teacher to the student. (Slavin, 2004). Direct instruction includes lectures, textbook usage, and the completion of worksheets. While the constructivist method of teaching referred to as student-centered learning, and it places greater responsibility of discovering and learning information on the students. Research confirms that constructivist math instruction enhances secondary math education, and encourages relations and improves student learning. As a result, students understand better the application of mathematical concepts and become more motivated and involved in their math courses. Mathematics educators must be exposed to different forms of teaching to assist students achieve in mathematics and meet the standards. Constructivist-centered instruction must become a priority for educators to ensure that students gain more rigorous and significant learning experiences (White-Clark, DiCarlo, & Gilchriest, 2008).
Research on Reinforcing Effort
Researchers have investigated the effect of effort. Their research demonstrates that people normally attribute achievement at any given job to one of the four causes: ability, effort, other people, and luck. (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). A confidence in ability seems helpful, if the student trusts his ability. Then he can deal with many situations. Belief that other people are the main cause of success also has drawbacks, particularly when an individual finds himself or herself alone. Belief in luck has disadvantages. Belief in effort is obviously the most constructive attribution. If the student considers that effort is the most essential factor in achievement, then he or she has a motivational instrument that can shape progress. Students might not be conscious of the significance of believing in effort, but they can be trained. The cure for this is for teachers to teach and illustrate the correlation between effort and achievement. The teacher can assist students recognize the significance of effort by sharing examples of well-known athletes, educators, and political figures who have succeeded because they did not give up. The Teacher can also ask students to recall personal examples of times that they succeeded primarily because they did not give up. (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Providing credentials for accomplishment of precise goals not only enhances success, but it stimulates inspiration (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001).
Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Representations
Information is gathered in two ways - a linguistic form and a description or imagery form. The linguistic approach is semantic in nature. According to (Learning Theories, 2010). The linguistic approach consists of real statement in long term memory. The description or imagery style contains pictures in the brain or even physical feelings, such as sound, taste, touch and kinaesthetic associations (Learning Theories, 2010).
The more we employ both methods of representation, linguistic and non-linguistic, the better for us to remember data. The primary way teachers present new knowledge to students is linguistically. (Benefits of Thinking Tools, 2010). This means that learners are normally left to their own plans to create non-linguistic representations. However the effects on achievement are stronger when the teacher assists students to make the connection. It has even been shown that openly engaging learners in the formation of non-linguistic representations motivates and enhances activity in the brain. (Benefits of Thinking Tools, 2010)
Research states that non-linguistic representation increases students understanding of that content. According to(Benefits of Thinking Tools, 2010) , teachers can construct graphic and vivid representation, building physical forms, drawing and creating mental pictures, sketching images and symbols, and engaging in kinesthetic activity (kinesthetic activities are those that involve physical movement). Non-linguistic representations assists students comprehend content in a whole and in a clear, new way. Teachers can chose a mixture of approaches, ranging from vivid organizers to physical styles to enhance students learning and to increase activity in the brain. (Benefits of Thinking Tools, 2010)
Researchers have conducted many studies on the effects of note taking on student achievement. "Notes should be considered a work in growth." (Summarizing and Note Taking, 2010). Teachers should support students to constantly add to their notes and improve them as their understanding of content expands. Teachers must give time for students to go back over their notes, to evaluate, and to adjust them. Notes should be organized and understandable in order for students to use them as study guides for tests. Researchers found that there was a strong connection between the quantity of notes and students' accomplishment on examinations. (Summarizing and Note Taking, 2010).
Homework and Practice
Homework and practice offer students the opportunities to expand their understanding and abilities relative to materials that have been originally presented to them. Keith's (YEAR) data point out that for about 30 minutes of additional homework per night raises students' grade point average by half a point. Practice is needed for knowledge of any kind. While practicing, students should adjust and shape what they have studied. Students should be encouraged to keep track of their pace and correctness. Homework and practice are habits of expanding the school day and giving students a chance to improve and extend their understanding. Teachers can use both of these practices as great teaching tools. (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001)
Feedback is one of the main influential distinct modifications that also improve student accomplishment. It presents students with a mean to clarify what they are doing. The best advice involves an explanation as to what is correct and what is incorrect in terms of student answers. When feedback is given without delay after a test it is greater and more effective. The manner in which learners get feedback is important for their achievement. Teachers should strive to center their feedback on particular forms of understanding and skill. (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock 2001)
Attributes of Quality Teaching
"To love one's children is to be in complete communication with them: it is to see that they have the right kind of education that will help them to be sensitive, intelligent and Integrated" (Krishnamurti, 2001).
Research on teacher performance and capability, concentrate on relating teacher attitude and behavior to student performance. Quality teachers possess the following attributes:
A high level of understanding, imagination, and enthusiasm.
An ability to make the lesson fun, using humor whenever possible.
Always give clear, precise descriptions, explanations and instructions.
Constructs a solid foundation in mathematics, building on what has gone before and preparing for what is to come.
Creates lesson that are well planned and managed.
Models the types of understanding, appreciation and wisdom that learners should look for to expand and develop in good judgment and knowledge.
Continues to learn from teachers, administrators and students to grow in knowledge of course content and pedagogy.
Accordingly, it is important, not so much in identifying and describing quality teaching but in increasing these capacities in more teachers and schools. (Darling-Hammond & Baratz-Snowden, 2006)
Focusing on Teacher Quality
Teacher quality in mathematics and science has a major impact on the instruction and learning process. High-performing school structures construct and preserve a strong focus on improving education because of its direct impact upon learner accomplishment. To improve teaching these high-performing school systems constantly do three things well:
They find the right people to become great teachers (the quality of an education system cannot surpass the quality of its teachers.
They nurture and develop these citizens into successful and effective instructors (the only way to develop results is to improve teaching).
They put in place structure and support to make sure that each child is capable to profit from excellent teaching (the only way the system accomplish the maximum performance is to elevate the standard of every scholar).
Attracting the Best Teachers
According to The McKinsey (2007)report, several studies support the conclusion that the value of the educator has more to do with student achievement than any other variable. All the nations with top-performing school systems select their instructors from the top 30% of all academic students. Finland and Singapore have careful and rigorous selection systems for acceptance to teacher education. Singapore admits only 20% of candidates, Finland only 10%. Cultural approaches toward education play an important role in selecting teachers, but so do teacher earnings. The top nation pays their educators a starting salary that is equal to 95% of GDP per capita. South Korea pays 141%. United States pay 81% of national GDP per capita. There are also other techniques of drawing the top and the finest people. New York, Boston, and Chicago have set up members and residency plans that hire from among the extremely top students. The dilemma is not just getting high-quality teachers but it is also maintaining them. This is where the next practice comes into play. (Barber, Michael and Mourshed, 2007)
Increase Student Motivation
"The most important motive for work in the school and in life is the pleasure in work, pleasure in its result and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community" - Albert Einstein.
According to Marjorie (2010) educators need to establish into their lessons a number of strategies which have been revealed to have a constructive influence on students' motivation. Among theories and approaches to student motivation, several undertake the problem from a psychological viewpoint and other from a physiological point of view. Here is a brief overview.
Behavioral Theory: Learning motivation is a result of reinforcement. Learners, who have been rewarded and praised for knowledge and accomplishment, can find their potential.
Humanistic Theory: Learning motivation is a fulfillment of needs and an effort to accomplish one's total potential as a person
Attribution Theory: Learning motivation as a substance of how students perception for their precedent successes or failures. Students who point their success or failure to effort, rather than to their ability are in attribution state.
Expectation value theory: Learning motivation is student' anticipation and have value for accomplishment. Learners will be more concerned in learning if they value and expect that they will be successful.
Brain-Based Learning: The use of different duties and actions, for example , incorporating progress and movement in learning and giving learners the state for proceed to experience and observe achievement, which can adjust the natural production of different neurotransmitters. Among these neurotransmitters, Dopamine and Serotonin, are most related to motivation. The brain's natural reward structure produces these chemicals every time a person experiences an achievement and as a result, the effectiveness of the mind will be enhanced.
Teachers can make a difference and all learners are motivated to learn under the correct circumstances. Teachers can present congenial environment in their classroom. More precisely, teachers can support students' learning in their classroom by representing personal qualities such as concern, care, passion and enthusiasm. They can demonstrate and communicate to students for improving their attitude about teaching and learning which are helpful to produce further motivation. In sustaining and supporting learning motivation, teachers can make a difference. After all, motivation is a key factor for mathematics achievement ( Marjorie,2010).
Strategies for Increasing Motivation
At the classroom level
Let students make sense and feel that they are part of the class environment by welcoming and supporting them.
Reply confidently to students questions, admire and praise students out loud for good work.
Put effort to have good communication with students, particularly those considered to be at risk and without positive adult communication. That permits students to promote a sense of association with school.
Evaluate and asses students' work and effort as soon as possible and be certain that feedback is comprehensible and positive.
Assess and evaluate students based on the task, not in similarity and difference to other students.
At The School and District Levels
Produce a school culture that stresses the significance of educational accomplishment.
Expand a school environment that distinguish individual and character differences, support creativity and gives both instructors and children as sense of autonomy.
Develop activities that deal with motivation. Discuss the issue of motivation with parents, and give them assistance in nurturing motivation in their children (Renchler, 1992).
The culture at the school level can influence the behavior of staff and students, and their resulting success in instruction and in education. There in evidence that schools with positive atmosphere are academically more effective and successful.
(Cori & Fager, 2000)
How The Teacher Motivates Students to Engage in Class Activities?
Teacher should connect materials and lessons to students' live that can be applied in real-life situations. Learning should be important to students within or outside the school. Students are more involved in activities when they can put together previous knowledge and draw clear connections that relate to the real-life situations.
Awaken students' curiosity about the topic being studied. This kind of activity also builds on students' need for competence and independence, and gives students an opportunity to direct research and to discover for themselves (Bert, Creemers,& Kyriakides, 2008).
Parent Involvement and Mathematics achievement
Research has revealed that students achieve better academically when parents are involved with their child's education. According to Lumsden ( 1994) Children's home environment forms the initial expectation of attitudes they build up toward education. When parents encourage and cultivate their children's normal curiosity about the world by welcoming their inquiries, encouraging exploration, and familiarizing them with educational tools that can expand their world, they are granting their children the significance that knowledge is valuable and often fun and rewarding.
Every racial group has acknowledged and implied morals regarding education in the educational field. The Japanese society puts a high value on learning. Achievement in school is seen as strongly related to individual quality. Learning in school is an honorable issue, and when a student applies good effort in academic pursuits, this reflects completely on the learner as well as on the learner's family. Studies show that Japanese mothers and their children stress effort more than ability, compared to American mothers and their children (Wlodkowski, & Jaynes, 1990).
Focus on Mathematics Attitudes and Achievement
National and international studies have made student achievement in mathematics a high priority in schools. Based on longitudinal studies from grammar, middle school and secondary schools, Steven, Sheldon, & Epstein. (2005) observed the associations between family and community involvement and student achievement in mathematics. Their analysis identifies that successful implementation, that supported families to support their children's mathematics learning at home was related a higher percentages of students who scored at or above proficiency on standardized mathematics achievement tests. For all learners to attain higher success, instructors should support parent involvement in mathematics. Learners whose parents met with a mathematics educator and a counselor to talk about ways to facilitate and assist at home, achieve more in mathematics than did students whose parents did not receive guidance and training in such conferences (Steven, Sheldon & Epstein 2005). Likewise, students whose families attended preparation and information workshops and received resources to assist their children at home had greater increase in mathematics outcomes than the students whose families did not attend the workshops. Those studies recommend the significance of providing parents with resources, understanding and support to help their children thrive in mathematics.
Schools too can use homework assignments to direct and reinforce home-school communications. For instance, homework can be intended to encourage parent-child communication and activities in particular topics and to allow parents to communicate more easily with instructors about homework assignments. Studies on the effects of associated and collective homework have revealed increased homework completion and enhanced achievement in inner-city and suburban middle schools. Studies propose that use of homework that involves parent-child communications can generate a line of communication between families and educators, increase parent's participation, and help advance student success.
Teachers may expect to see finest result by applying activities that assist parent-child interactions connecting mathematics and that support the growth of mathematics skills (Steven, Sheldon & Epstein 2005)
Home Environment and Parenting
TSUI (2005) used state tests, surveys and evaluation of eighth graders in China and the United States, his research discovered the associations among family income, parenting, home atmosphere, and mathematics accomplishment. This research found that the mathematics scores of Chinese eighth graders were higher than American eight graders. Chinese families had higher outlook for their children and discussed more often with them about school. Also, the connection between parental anticipations and mathematics grades is better for Chinese students than for U.S. students.
China has an understandable custom of stressing on education. Math and science are considered the most prestigious academic subjects. Students understand that they must make a great effort in order to have the opportunity for a better future. The reason of children develop with such a serious approach toward learning is because of the comprehensible respect their families have for teachers. In the United States, teachers appear to obtain far less support from parents. Support from families influence teachers' spirits and effectiveness, and has affects the mathematics achievement of American students (TSUI, 2005)
Peer groups and Student Achievement.
High school is a major stage in an adolescent's life. It is at this time that adolescents are making choices about their classes and future learning. Values of peers can play an important role in students' educational experiences and outcomes. (Xianglei, 1997)
Peer groups are an essential influence in teenager development. In fact, there is a recognized need to account for peer group surroundings as an important factor in adolescent socialization, inspiration, and accomplishment (Stewart, 2008). Research has shown that peer groups exert a great deal of influence over the attitude students develop toward achievement. Additionally, it is likely that peers yield more power when adolescents are close friends. Considerable friendships with peers are supposed to develop emotional and life skills for teenagers that connected to learning environment and motivation. The values of companion can play an important element in students' culture. The influence of peers can be both supportive and destructive. On the positive side, it can serves as an important incentive for youth to achieve excellence in school. On the negative side, peer power can direct to discipline problems. Some peer groups apply negative peer pressure to those who excel academically.
Researchers have argued that negative peer pressure has served to discourage students from conforming morals, attitude, beliefs, and behaviors that promote accomplishment. For example, the social disapproval or negative peers' pressure experienced by some students might lead to dropping out of school. (Stewart, 2008)
What Do My Peers Think of Me?
Ethnic minority learners often say that their peer groups present problems to their accomplishment. During early teenage years, when students are just beginning to develop the cognitive skills, adolescents are uncertain of themselves and have poor judgement of how well their peers will respond to their actions. Peer pressure is strong and persistent, although not as apparent as one might think (Burns, and Darling, 2002). The constructive power of peers can be important in developing a school environment that is helpful and supportive for academic outcomes. Understanding the techniques in which peer power operates is significant to designing plans that can take advantage of such influence (Burns, and Darling, 2002). Schools can interfere and promote peer influence toward positive paths by following way
Supply positive information. Teenagers usually know there are other students who really do smoke and do drink. They may perhaps not recognize that there are a lot more other kids with the same positive characteristic as they do. Changing the insight of school customs can make students more relaxed in communicating their positive attitudes(Burns, and Darling, 2002).
Launch a mentoring program. Mentoring program is a precious tool for preparing and training future leaders, as well training and preparing future adolescents for a successful experience in high school. This agenda can change the school's outlook by bringing the positive influence of successful high school teenagers on k- 8 students' lives. According to a public/private Ventures study with Big Brother/Big Sister of America, children with advisers were less predictable to start using illegal drugs, drinking alcohol, skipping school or engaging in violence. The research discovered that rather than paying attention to discrete problems such as alcohol and other drugs, school drop-out, youth violence and teen pregnancy. The power of mentoring is that it deals with all these problems at the same time that teenagers have and guide them to reach a constructive and wise decision in their life (Gorcoran , 2002).
Individual-Level Factors on Mathematics Achievement
"It's not that I'm so smart. It's just that I stay with problems longer." - Einstein.
Einstein was humbled by math and physics. His determination to continue made the difference in his achievements.
What does it Take to Learn Mathematics?
Most students associate learning mahematics with intelligence, but it is very dependent on developing positive attitude that includes determination, drive, and fearlessness. Too many students give up when they encounter complexities in math. Some students are more talented than others, and so accomplish success faster and with less frustration. Those who are not as talented can compensate with insistence and tenacity. The hardest feature of educating students with lower levels of math is trying to convince them that they can be successful. These learners have experienced preceding disappointments, but their lack of achievement can be attributed to issues that have nothing to do with natural mathematical ability. Even learner with very high IQs can't go into advance level of mathematics without the foundation gained from previous classes.
Learning math is two-sided equation: One side is what the student brings to the process; the other side is the teacher. Did the student have perseverance and fearlessness? Was there a good learning environment that included a compassionate and knowledgeable teacher who encourages risk-taking? (Schwartz, 2006). Students persistent and persevering can signify numerous things, from attending classes to working on challenging homework problems.
Learning math requires that students follow through on several basic steps. The bottom line is that learners must realize that thriving in a mathematics class requires the dedication of time and effort. Students should develop and expand their critical and logical thinking skills that assist students to think more rationally and clearly in every part of their lives (Schwartz, 2006).
Relationships between Self- concept and Self-efficacy and Mathematics Achievement
Self- concept: The mental image or perception that one has of oneself. Teachers and parents have expressed concerns about the affective and psychological needs of children, mainly as these needs influence student achievement. While it is identified that self-concept and confidence shape the success of students. Consider self-concept and family support in mathematics are major indicators of attitude.
Self-Efficacy (SE) is known as the belief in one's capacities to arrange, manage, and execute the resources required to handle prospective situations. Research shows that learners with higher self-efficacy prefer to choose more challenging and demanding assignments, and keep it up longer in the face of a challenge and put more effort. (Wassworth, Husman, and Duggan 2007)
Self-Efficacy and Student Motivation.
Students with good judgment of self-efficacy hold firm confidence about their abilities to effectively learn and complete given academic assignments at desired levels. Highly self-efficacious learners are diligent, are confident of undertaking challenging tasks, express high intrinsic motivation, do not easily quit, and consequently enjoy the benefit of strong educational performance (Bong, 2008). These students consider that capability is something they can expand by obtaining new knowledge and skills, and they believe short-term failures a natural part of new learning (Bong, 2008).
Generally, outlook, attitude, confidence, and emotion are the main descriptors of the affective domain in mathematics education, whereas knowledge and thinking are contents and processes of human memory. Mathematics instructors usually judge attitude as a major concern because they view feeling as unbalanced and attitude as a general perception that includes belief. Mathematics teachers normally consider that learners with low mathematics self-concept need intervention to change their beliefs about mathematics as a discipline and about themselves as learners of mathematics. Research in mathematics education also indicates the significant roles of family in the formation of students' mathematics-related attitudes which are very important and effective (Ma, & Kishor, 1997).
A number of studies suggested, that many children start schooling with positive attitude toward mathematics. These attitudes, however, tend to develop into less positive attitudes as children mature, and often become negative at the high school (Ma & Kishor, 1997). It appears that the pressure and anxiety implemented on students to cope with highly demanding tasks, often at a pace beyond their aspiration, together with uninspired teaching and non-positive teacher outlooks, have negative impact on their attitude toward mathematics. (Philippou &Christou, 1998). However, the junior school years have been recognized as a fundamental stage in the course of expansion of students' approach toward mathematics, meaning that teachers have both, opportunity and responsibility to support their students' positive attitudes and high achievement. The relationship among efficacy, educational inspiration and accomplishment in mathematics has been extensively studied. It was found that self- efficacy beliefs appear to be a more significant aspect influencing attitudes, accomplishment, educational and career choices than other variables such as anxiety, perceptions of mathematics, mathematics experiences, and self-regulation belief. (Zimmermann, 2000). It was also found that the power of self-efficacy on mathematics achievement is as strong, with regard to the East Asian students. Researcher have presented several clarifications, and argued that social surroundings with mathematics achievement. Despite the low self-expectations that Asian student had, in comparison to western students, it was found that self-efficacy was positively related to mathematics achievement within the Asian sample (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2000). Method of instruction design could play a major role in supporting both, students' attitude toward mathematics and their self-efficay beliefs. Therefore, educators need to pay as much of attention to their students' concern as to actual performance. It has been argued that educators' beliefs about mathematics play a main role in shaping their educational practice, and therefore influence their learners' attitudes, sel-efficacy, curiosities, interest and achievement (Philippou & Christou, 1998 ; Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2000).
There are several factors that affect students' mathematical achievement. One of them is teacher quality. As a result, teachers must familiarize themselves with effective instructional methods, must have access to materials and other effective resources to be able to implement the objective of the lesson by using the constructive approach form ( Student-center). Currently, teacher must do much of the work to improve mathematics education and increase students' mathematics achievement and motivation. Unfortunately, few teachers have satisfactory time or preparation to plan, design,and comprehensively evaluate and appraise mathematics curricula.
Quality teachers must have many fundamental traits to assist, facilitate, promote, encourage, and foster the learning process by responding to the individual needs and interests. In order to engage and reach each child, teachers have to identify those teaching strategies that have a high possibility of increasing student mathematics achievement. Some instructional methods and techniques that are recommended in the National Science Educational standard were student-centered instructions, teaching of critical thinking skills, and use of "hands- on" Laboratory activities.
Teachers should depend on the knowledge of their students to identify the most appropriate instruction strategies. Also problem solving is recognized by many researchers and educators, as well as professional organizations such as the NCTM and government agencies as an essential skill that is central to the school mathematics curriculum. "Teachers must be kept informed of the best research-based practices for teaching students how to solve math word problems." (Benerjee,2009)
Banerjee(2009) suggests that the diagramming method of solving word problems can significantly impact student achievement if teacher can effectively teach the vocabulary and the diagramming skills.
In order to advance achievement in mathematics, we need to focus on choosing, preparing, developing, expanding, and supporting quality teaching. Each student deserves teachers who are suited, prepared, and trained to teach, well-educated, qualified, talented, capable, concerned, caring, and loving and committed to moving forward to enhance and increase the education levels. Our children need qualified teachers in every class to prepare them for future job market and support them to attain a higher level of education. Despite the association between attitudes and mathematics achievement, mathematics educators tend to believe that children gain knowledge more effectively when they are interested in what they learn, and they attain better grades if they like what they learn. Accordingly, students who come to enjoy mathematics increase their intrinsic motivation to learn, and vice-versa. It is understandable, that continual attention should be directed towards generating, developing and strengthening positive attitudes towards any subject of the curriculum. Students' insights about their own capabilities play a main factor in learning and engagement. Self-efficacy researchers have advocated that educators should pay, as much of attention to students' perceptions of abilities as to actual abilities, for it is these perceptions that might be more accurately predict students' behavior. If educators offer situations of success for all students, this will advance and develop students' sense of efficacy and their attitudes towards mathematics achievement.
A positive peers association is significantly connected with mathematics achievement. When adolescents associate with friends who value education and are committed to academic pursuits, they produce attachments and affection to school. Moreover, positive peers facilitate students to invest in their education.
Parent-child discussion is significantly associated with mathematics achievement. Thereby, suggesting that parental engagement in education-related discussion with their children was an effective tool for increasing students' mathematics achievement. This research paper has attempted to deal with the individual-level and teachers that significantly affect students' academic and mathematical achievement. In short, I suggest that individual-level, such as student effort, parent-children interaction and discussion, and associations with positive peers, effective methods of teaching are substantially associated with students' mathematical achievement.