Relationships among higher secondary students' beliefs about mathematical ability, goals, learning strategies, and mathematics achievement, in the Maldives: A three-path mediational analysis
Structural equation modelling techniques were used to test a three-path mediational model of mathematics achievement on the relationships among higher secondary students' beliefs about mathematical ability, achievement goals, learning strategies, and mathematics achievement. Participants were higher secondary students (n = 341) who were studying advanced level mathematics at the Centre for Higher Secondary Education, one of the largest school that provides higher secondary education in the Maldives. Questionnaires were used to collect self-report data. Students' final year mathematics results (i.e., standardised test results) were used as the achievement data. Incremental beliefs had a positive relation with mathematics achievement, mediated by mastery goals and deep-learning strategies. Incremental beliefs had a negative relation with mathematics achievement, mediated by performance-approach goals and surface-learning strategies. Entity beliefs had a negative relation with mathematics achievement, mediated through performance-avoidance goals and surface-learning strategies. Incremental beliefs also had an overall indirect positive relation, and entity beliefs had an overall indirect negative relation with the achievement. The results of the mediational model showed the best possible pathways that students could follow in the academic setting as far as performance and building capacity in mathematics were concerned. The results might be useful to teachers and educators with respect to making decisions aimed at creating a better learning environment for students and to improve the quality of mathematics education provided to higher secondary students in the Maldives.