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A Study of Pre-Service Teachers: Is it Really Mathematics Anxiety?

Abstract
This research study was motivated by a hypothesis, generated on the basis of formal and informal observations, personal and professional experiences, discussions with prospective teachers and a pilot study conducted by this author; that pre-service teachers have a high level of mathematics anxiety and negative attitudes about mathematics. The primary purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between mathematics anxiety and pre-service teachers. The secondary purposes of this study were to examine the relationship between anxiety and performance and to examine the relationship between math anxiety, test anxiety, and stereotype threat. A quantitative experimental research design was used to investigate the research questions. The population consisted of prospective teachers at colleges and universities in Louisiana. The sets of data are mathematics anxiety of prospective teachers, a test anxiety inventory and a mathematics performance task. A personal data questionnaire was used to gather demographic information and attitudinal information about the participants. The implications of this study for elementary teacher education programs point to increased attention on the mathematics anxiety of pre-service teachers. This process is two-fold. One, it is recommended that pre-service teachers be made aware of their mathematics anxiety level and their attitudes about mathematics and two, it is recommended that teacher education programs acknowledge and address the importance of these affective variables and their role in pedagogy.
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dissertation
article
dissertation
Date
2009-05-01
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