"Promoting Youths’ Motivational Beliefs in Math: A Mixed Methods Examination of the Role of Afterschool Program Activities and Mentoring Practices"
Event: UCI Summer Research Symposium
Date: August 15, 2019
Location: UCI Student Center
Title: Promoting Youths’ Motivational Beliefs in Math: A Mixed Methods Examination of the Role of Afterschool Program Activities and Mentoring Practices
Author: Alexis Castro
Mentor: Sandra Simpkins, Mark Yu
Mathematical proficiency is the foundation of youths’ STEM pursuits. Yet today, far too many youth do not pursue STEM based on the perception that they are “not good” at math. According to the expectancy-value theory, individuals who are most likely to pursue STEM are those who believe they are good at it (ability self-concept) and believe it is valuable (subjective task value) (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). Afterschool programs (ASPs) are powerful settings for engaging students’ interests and continued mastery and growth in math. The data for this study comes from a larger research study of a math ASP for Latinx youth in Santa Ana, CA. As part of the study, 100 middle school Latinx participants completed pre- and post-surveys. A subsample of 28 youth were recruited to participate in in-depth interviews. Over the course of one academic year, findings show that youths’ math ability self-concept significantly increased while their math subjective task value remained relatively stable. Thematic analysis of interviews identified specific aspects of ASP activities that may promote youths’ motivational beliefs in math including high quality math curriculum and positive mentor-mentee interactions. This study highlights key implications for math ASP practice and research.
Mark Yu and Alexis Castro