A study of mathematics anxiety of the pre-service elementary teacher at the University of Arizona
AdvisorHendricks, J. Robert
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation examined factors that may impact the teaching of mathematics in the elementary classroom. A discussion of the influence of the Arizona accountability system on mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Teaching Standards, and recent student results on the high-stakes test provide the rationale for the study. The research focused on content-pedagogical issues and mathematics anxiety that may have an effect on attitudes and aptitude in the teaching of mathematics. The purpose of this study was to examine the level of mathematics anxiety and preparedness of elementary pre-service teachers in the teaching of mathematics. This study investigated mathematical anxiety levels of pre-service teachers at The University of Arizona. The quantitative data was collected from 87 pre-service teachers registered in a methods class at The University of Arizona. Data was analyzed using statistical tests that assessed the relationships between mathematical anxiety and factors of content knowledge, motivation, and perceptions of confidence and competence in conjunction with the Arizona Mathematics Standards. The following findings emerged from this study relevant to mathematics anxiety in pre-service teachers. It revealed that University of Arizona students with higher mathematical backgrounds reported significant lower levels of mathematics anxiety. Pre-service teachers also reported three areas within the Arizona Mathematics Standards that were sources of more anxiety than other areas. These were Functions in Algebra, Geometry, and Measurement and Discrete Mathematics. Pre-service teachers perceptions of competence and confidence in teaching the Arizona Mathematics Standards proved to be a significant predictor of their level of mathematics anxiety. Recommendations emerged from this study to better understand perceptions of pre-service teachers in the area of mathematics anxiety. The findings indicate that considerations of the following should be instituted into the pre-service program: re-evaluation of course requirements, profiling pre-service teachers, creation of a common vision and goal setting inclusive of a continuous evaluative process of instructional strategies, and evaluation of curriculum content based on pre-service teacher needs.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Educational Leadership and Teacher Education