Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Effects of Mathematics Anxiety

Mathematics anxiety in elementary school can have a detrimental effect on students’ academic achievements through high school and beyond. As many preservice teachers are aware, negative experiences in math in elementary school can produce lasting effects. Discouraged students may shy away from math in secondary school and beyond, affecting their course choices and career path. (Brady & Bowd, 2005).

Research has uncovered a negative relationship between a preservice teacher’s efficacy to teach math, and the mathematics anxiety they possess (Swars, Daane, & Giesen, 2006).

When students develop math anxiety due to the instruction methods of a math anxious teacher, the cycle of math anxiety has started. If this student decides to enter the teacher profession, they may bring math anxiety back into the classroom with them (Brady, P. & Bowd, A. ,2005).

After examining current research on mathematics anxiety, it is evident that there are many elementary preservice teachers experiencing such anxiety today.  This is a prominent cause for concern because of the connection that has been shown to exist between high levels of mathematics anxiety and low levels of math teaching efficacy.  It is important that preservice teachers are able to discuss and determine the root of their math anxiety so that they become aware of its prevalence and the effect it has on learning.  Strategies must be provided to preservice teachers to reduce their math anxiety thus increasing their confidence in being able to teach math effectively.  

My other posts on Math Anxiety
Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers: An Overview 
Symptoms of Mathematics Anxiety
The Effects of Mathematics Anxiety
Why is Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers Worrisome? 
Where Does Mathematics Anxiety in Preservice Teachers Stem From?
What Strategies Can Be Provided to Preservice Teachers to Decrease Mathematics Anxiety?
The Power of Positivity 
Examining Learning Styles
Why Use Manipulatives? 
Mathematics in Children's Literature 

Brady, P. & Bowd, A. (2005). Mathematics Anxiety, Prior Experience and Confidence to Teach Mathematics among Pre-Service Education Students. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 11(1), 37-46. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ821336) Retrieved May 12, 2009, from Eric Database.
Swars, S.L., Daane, C.J., & Giesen, J. (2006). Mathematics Anxiety and Mathematics Teacher Efficacy: What is the Relationship in Elementary Preservice Teachers? School Science and Mathematics, 106(7), 306.  Retrieved July 6, 2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 1305568341).

In a paraphrase of a Chinese proverb

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