The Third International Mathematics and Science Study research of the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement reported in 2003 that Taiwanese fourth- and eighth-graders' mathematics performance exceeded the average; both groups ranked fourth from among all the participant countries. However, the Index of Students' Self-Confidence in Learning Mathematics was below the average for both these groups. This study, coming at the end of the first year of a three-year project, explored Taiwanese students' mathematics learning at the high school from a social cognitive perspective. Utilising structural equation modelling, it examined the relationships among mathematics self-concept, mathematics self-efficacy and achievement using a longitudinal design. The subjects included 2198 seventh- and tenth-graders from Taiwan. The results indicate a significant correlation between self-concept and mathematics self-efficacy as well as significant longitudinal effects. Mathematics achievement at Time 1 significantly predicted the mathematics self-concept, mathematics self-efficacy and mathematics achievement at Time 2, while self-concept and mathematics self-efficacy at Time 1 significantly predicted achievement at Time 2. The implications of these findings are discussed from the viewpoint of cultivating the students' interest and confidence in learning mathematics, and suggestions are provided for further research.
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