mathematics, quantitative reasoning, value, confidence.


Although mathematical and quantitative reasoning skills are an essential part of adult life in our society, many students arrive at post-secondary education without such skills. Taking a standard mathematics course such as calculus may do little to improve those skills. Using a modification of the Tapia & Marsh questionnaire, we surveyed 62 students taking a broad quantitative reasoning course designed to develop quantitative skills, with respect to two broad attitudinal areas: students’ perception of their own ability, confidence and anxiety, and their perception of the value of mathematics in their studies and their lives. Pre- to post-course comparisons were done by both paired t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Our results showed a significant increase in confidence and decrease in anxiety, while perception of the value of mathematics was already high and changed little by the end of the course.



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