An Interplay of Enjoyment, Engagement, and Anxieties: The Characteristics of Upper Secondary School Mathematics Students

Robert Weinhandl, Martin Mayerhofer (Corresponding author), Branko Anđić, Cornelia S. Große

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Our research aimed to identify factors of motivation and affect to best characterize upper secondary mathematics students and correlations between these factors. This work is based on personas, a tool from user experience research for representing the needs and characteristics of users of a system, developed in prior research. In the present study, we conducted an online questionnaire study with questionnaire scales aligned to the previously developed personas. To identify latent factors in the characterization of upper secondary mathematics students, a factor analysis was conducted and correlations were computed. The findings revealed that the factors Enjoyment, Concerns & Anxieties, Performance-related confidence, Engagement, Performance orientation, and Persistence are essential to describe upper secondary mathematics students and that Enjoyment, Concerns & Anxieties, Performance-related confidence, and Engagement are highly correlated. We propose that these interdependencies be observed in teacher training as well as in professional development and discuss the implications for the practices of teachers and teacher educators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-51
Number of pages16
JournalInvestigations in Mathematics Learning
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503006 Educational research


  • Factor analysis
  • mathematics
  • personas
  • student characteristics

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