A Comparative Study of Matriculation Students’ Motivation for Learning Mathematics According to Gender in Five Burmese Migrant Learning Centers in Mae Sot, Thailand


  • Sandar Lwin M.Ed. candidate in Curriculum and Instruction, Graduate School of Education, Assumption University, Thailand.
  • Richard Lynch Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, Assumption University, Thailand.


Motivation, Social Cognitive Theory of Motivation, Gender Equality, Goal Orientations, Task Value, Control of Learning Beliefs, Self-Efficacy


Among the several components of motivation for learning, the
individual’s sense of goal orientations, the impression and value of learning tasks, control of learning beliefs and perceptions of personal self-efficacy for learning are important components of the Social Cognitive Theory of Motivation for Learning, which provides the theoretical framework for this study. A number of studies have
found that the gender gap in mathematics is highly correlated to perception of the culture of gender inequality in a society. The objectives of this study were to measure the levels of the matriculation students’ motivation in learning mathematics and to investigate if there was any difference according to gender in
five Burmese Migrant Learning Centers in Mae Sot. One hundred seven students (51 male and 56 female), aged 15-29 years, participated in the survey. The results of this study showed that the differences between genders on average motivation in learning mathematics were small among the migrant learning centers’ matriculation students. However, female students had a lower level in overall motivation, higher motivation in control of learning beliefs and lower motivation in the factor of perceived self-efficacy. The reasons for this are likely culturally rooted and sustained. Traditionally, in Burmese culture, boys are regarded and treated as being superior to girls. This cultural perspective most likely affects the girls’ motivation and self-confidence in their learning. The article concludes with recommendations for practice and for future research.


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