Students’ perceptions of their self-efficacy in mathematics in a public school in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Anjum Halai

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Peter Kajoro


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The purpose of this study was to find out students’ perceptions of their self-efficacy in mathematics. In the study, 104 form four students (83 boys and 20 girls) from a public rural coeducational school were surveyed using a modified version of Nielsen and Moore’s (2003) Mathematics Self-Efficacy Scale (MSES). Thereafter, eight students selected on the basis of their mean responses on the MSES were interviewed. Through descriptive statistics, it was found that students’ self-efficacy percepts in mathematics varied from 15 to 50 on a scale of 10 to 50. About one quarter of the students were found to be highly efficacious in secondary school mathematics. Meanwhile, boys were more efficacious than girls. At the same time, the variation in the strengths of students’ self-efficacy percepts in mathematics was attributed to the interpretations that the students gave to the various indicators of capability in mathematics that operated in their environment. It is recommended that teachers use the MSES to measure their students’ self-efficacy percepts in mathematics, and thereafter, use interviews to identify the underlying sources of the self-efficacy percepts in order to institute intervention strategies that will work best in their particular contexts so as to enhance students’ self-efficacy percepts in mathematics.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library