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The Role of Self-efficacy and Use of Teachers’ Feedback on Students’ Mathematics Performance in Tanzanian Secondary Schools

Florence Kyaruzi*

Abstract

Self-efficacy has been found to have positive relationship with important educational variables such as choice of task, persistence, motivation, and academic performance. This study investigated the role of students’ mathematics self-efficacy and use of teachers’ feedback in improving mathematics performance among secondary schools in Tanzania. The study involved 2767 Form III students sampled from 48 secondary schools in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro regions. A questionnaire was used to measure students’ mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics performance, while focus group discussions were used to explore students’ perceptions of the use teachers’ feedback. Data were analysed using structural equation modelling and content analyses techniques. Quantitative results showed that students reported high levels of mathematics self-efficacy and perceptions about the use of teachers’ feedback. Furthermore, students’ self-efficacy and use of teachers’ feedback jointly predicted their mathematics performance to a small extent. Focus group discussions results showed that students were both confident (59%) and unconfident (41%) about their ability to learn mathematics. Precisely, students conceived mathematics to be a simple (28%), interesting (31%), difficult (19%), and a challenging (19%) subject. Potential interventions to improve students’ self-efficacy in mathematics and the use of mathematics teachers’ feedback are recommended.

Keywords

feedback use, mathematics performance, mixed methods, structural equation modelling, self-efficacy

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