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This article focuses on selected sections of a wider research study that investigated the perceptions of students in upper, lower, and mixed-ability stream mathematics classes, regarding their classroom learning environment. The study collected data from a representative sample of Year 9 and Year 10 students, employing recognised, reliable survey instruments. The most significant finding of the study, resulting from the analysis of quantitative data, was that lower stream students not only had more negative perceptions of their classroom learning environment, but wanted less change. This negative perception is seen to be worse in Year 10 than in Year 9, particularly in terms of teacher support, task orientation and equity.

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