Investigation of Finnish and German 9th grade students’ personal meaning to mathematics

Neruja Suriakumaran, Maike Vollstedt, Markku S. Hannula

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferenspapper


Learners long to assign personal meaning, understood as personal relevance (Vollstedt, 2011), to mathematical contents and learning mathematics. Personal meanings em-body students’ subjective motives to deal with mathematics in a school context. This research project focuses on a comparison of personal meanings students from Finland (FIN) and Germany (GER) assign to (learning) mathematics. Finland has been renowned for its high performing students in international compara-tive studies. However, in PISA 2015 Finnish students’ mathematics performance (low correlation with their socio-economic status) had rapidly decreased compared to the former PISA studies, and Finland is now just barely ahead of Germany (OECD, 2018). On the other hand, Germany has parallel schooling systems and an early selection to tracks according to students’ academic performance while Finland has a comprehen-sive education for all (grades 1-9). Based on these facts a comparison between Finnish and German students’ personal meanings would be fruitful to consider them in order to plan the mathematics lessons accordingly. Hence, the research question is: • Where are differences and similarities between patterns of personal meaning found within the samples from Finland and Germany? The sample comprises 237 Finnish and 188 German 9th graders. The survey consists out of 17 scales that are based on Vollstedt’s (2011) theory of personal meaning. The German version was translated into Finnish. Using IRT partial credit models, the psychometric properties of the scales were found to be good. The estimated variances ranged from 0.49 to 5.73 (FIN) and from 0.58 to 5.30 (GER) with most values around or above 1. Scale reliabilities ranged from an acceptable .65 to a very good .88 (FIN) and .68 to .85 (GER). As statistical procedure, differential item functioning (DIF) analysis was conducted to compare the two groups’ (FIN and GER) answers. In the presentation, further results will be discussed in detail.
Antal sidor1
StatusPublicerad - 2018
MoE-publikationstypEj behörig
EvenemangPME42 : The 42nd Annual Meeting of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education - Umeå, Sweden, Umeå, Sverige
Varaktighet: 3 jul 20188 jul 2018


Förkortad titelPME42


  • 516 Pedagogik

Citera det här

Suriakumaran, N., Vollstedt, M., & Hannula, M. S. (2018). Investigation of Finnish and German 9th grade students’ personal meaning to mathematics. 167. Artikel presenterad vid PME42 , Umeå, Sverige.