oa Interim : Interdisciplinary Journal - Assessing the academic behavioural confidence (ABC) of first-year students at the Central University of Technology, Free State
First-year university students make judgements about their capabilities in mathematics which mainly stem from their past school experiences. It is against this background that the researchers decided to conduct a study with the aim of assessing the academic behavioural confidence of first-year students enrolled in the B.Ed. (FET): Natural Sciences programme and the B.Ed. (FET): Economic and Management Sciences programme offered by the School of Teacher Education at the Central University of Technology, Free State. Bandura's (1986) Social Cognitive Theory is the overarching theoretical framework of the self-efficacy construct and therefore also for this study. A quantitative approach was followed and the Academic Behavioural Confidence scale (ABC) designed by Sander and Sanders (2006), was adopted for use in the study. The study sought to first of all determine whether a significant difference in the academic behavioural confidence of the first-year students within the Natural Sciences and Economic and Management Sciences programmes does exist. It furthermore wanted to determine if a significant difference in the academic behavioural confidence between male and female students within these two programmes exists. The results indicated that there is a significant difference in the academic behavioural confidence of the NS and EMS groups. There is, however, no significant difference between male and female students within and between the two groups. Based on the findings some recommendations on dealing with first-year students have been made.
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