Higher-degree research being undertaken by Kester Lee




Associate Professor Judy Anderson and Associate Professor Richard Walker

Thesis title:

Examining factors affecting lower secondary students’ interest in mathematics with structural equation modelling



Project description

With the recent focus on STEM as a national priority, there is an increasing need for well-trained mathematicians, but secondary school students often have negative attitudes to mathematics. There is evidence that interest in mathematics in the lower secondary years is a key way of understanding this issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate mathematics interest in students in Years 7-9 with a Likert-scale questionnaire instrument and semi-structured interviews. The underlying nature and features of the 'mathematics interest' construct, the validation of the Likert-scale instrument, and the background factors that affect a student's interest score are each being analysed with structural equation modelling techniques in SPSS and AMOS.

Kester Lee is the Director of Studies at a large independent school in Sydney, with responsibility for the academic administration of the school. While studying for his Bachelor of Science, a third-year physics project sparked his interest in education and he subsequently completed his MTeach (Hons I) with a thesis investigating student attitudes to homework. With eight years of teaching experience in high schools, in his current role, he continues to teach secondary mathematics classes and presents at education conferences and school inservices.


  • Lee, K. J. & Anderson, J. A. (2015) Gender differences in mathematics attitudes in coeducational and single sex secondary education. In M. Marshman, V. Geiger & A. Bennison (Eds.), Mathematics education in the margins (Proceedings of the 38th annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australiasia) pp. 357-364, Sunshine Coast: MERGA.
  • Lee, K. J. & Anderson, J. A. (2014) Who is really interested in mathematics? An investigation of lower secondary students' mathematical role models. In J. Anderson, M. Cavanagh & A. Prescott (Eds.), Curriculum in focus: Research guided practice (Proceedings of the 37th Annual conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia) pp. 397-404, Sydney: MERGA.
  • Lee, K. J. & Anderson, J. A. (2012) Secondary students’ homework beliefs and behaviours: A pilot study. Curriculum Perspectives 32(3), 48-60.