Journal of Research in Technical Careers


Achievement test scores in mathematics have been a concern among educators for many years. Teaching contextualized mathematics has been found to be effective and includes providing a direct application to real-life scenarios rather than teaching linear equations and algebraic principles in isolation. This study measured the effects of integrating mathematical skills in one instructional unit in an animal science curriculum. Students from eight schools participated in the research study. Students completed a pretest measuring their existing mathematical skills and self-efficacy in math. All students were taught a unit of instruction about animal nutrition and feeding. The control group received a typical nutrition unit and the treatment group received the same unit of instruction with the addition of mathematical skill integration. Following the unit of instruction, students completed a posttest survey, which included a mathematics attitudinal scale, posttreatment self-efficacy scale, and posttreatment mathematics skills questions. No statistically significant difference was found in mathematics self-efficacy or mathematics skills between the control group and treatment. However, results indicated a strong positive relationship between students’ mathematics self-efficacy and their mathematics skills. Further, highest level of mathematics courses completed and overall grade point average were statistically significant factors in predicting mathematics self-efficacy.