Impact of metacognitive journal writing on student attitudes toward mathematics
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of metacognitive journal writing on improving student attitudes toward mathematics. The study included a review of research literature that examined attitude, metacognition, and journal writing. Students responded metacognitively (awareness, reflection and development) to prompts related to contributing factors to attitude. Math attitudes related to enjoyment, self-confidence, motivation and value were measured using Tapia’s Attitudes Toward Mathematics Inventory (ATMI). Experimental research compared changes in attitude of two Math 10 Applications classes, one that wrote in journals and one that did not. Data analysis revealed that journal writing had a significant positive effect on student attitude toward math related to value/importance (p < 0.05). Correlational research examined the relationship between journal level of metacognition rubric scores and attitude change for the journal writing group. Although the correlational analysis showed no significant relationship journal responses would suggest the need to look more closely at individual student results. The results of this study may encourage teachers to explore ways to implement metacognitive journal writing at secondary school to help assess, understand and improve student attitudes toward math. Recommendations for further study into how journal writing could inform teaching, deepen understanding, develop relationships, and improve learning for all students is needed. Research suggests that improved student attitude towards math leads to increased engagement, understanding of a technological society, and contribution to the work force. To ensure we can meet the future math needs of our society we must construct a framework that aims to support a more positive attitude toward math.