The influence of the social context on learning and the motivation to learn are neglected areas of educational research. Peer relationships, particularly in early adolescence, are an important part of this social context and shape school development. In the present project, a social network approach was adopted to explore peer influences on adolescent students' motivation and anxiety in mathematics. Two types of relationships were investigated – time spent between peers in class and specific help-seeking interactions. Two hundred and twenty-three Year 8 students from two schools completed measures of mathematics anxiety and motivation, and a social network questionnaire. Social Influence Modelling demonstrated the complexity of peer influence on the variables measured. Results suggest that peer influence within the classroom operates in complex ways and emphasises the important role of the social context in the development of motivation and anxiety in mathematics.
- Mathmatics anxiety,
- Peer influence,
- Social networks,
- Student attitudes
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sarah_buckley/16/