pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards teaching mathematics has revealed that
many pre-service teachers experience high levels of mathematics anxiety about
both the learning of mathematics and the teaching of the mathematics
curriculum. Little is known about the particular characteristics of pre-service
teachers that make them more likely to experience anxiety about mathematics in
the early years. Addressing anxiety towards mathematics and the teaching of
mathematics could effectively eliminate later problems in teaching. Teaching
mathematics confidently is associated with teachers’ beliefs about their
mathematical ability, which is their mathematical self-efficacy. This paper
reports on an investigation into the anxiety of first- year pre-service teachers towards their future teaching
of mathematics. 223 students enrolled in a first-year mathematics unit for birth to eight years, in
the Bachelor of Education of Early Childhood and Primary Education Courses
attributed their beliefs about mathematics to external—their past teachers—or internal factors: that one
is either good at mathematics or not. The findings highlight the need for
pre-service teacher’s anxiety about
mathematics to be addressed within the university education classroom context
so that pre-service teachers become capable and competent teachers of
Cite this paper
Boyd, W. , Foster, A. , Smith, J. and Boyd, W. (2014) Feeling Good about Teaching Mathematics: Addressing Anxiety amongst Pre-Service Teachers. Creative Education
, 207-217. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.54030
 ACARA (2011). Mathematics: Rationale. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Mathematics/Rationale
 Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman.
 Bekdemir, M. (2010). The Pre-Service Teachers’ Mathematics Anxiety Related to Depth of Negative Experiences in Mathematics Classroom While They Were Students. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 75, 311-328. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10649-010-9260-7
 Bowd, A. D., & Brady, P. H. (2003). Gender Differences in Mathematics Anxiety among Preservice Teachers and Perceptions of Their Elementary and Secondary School Experience with Mathematics. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 49, 24-36.
 DEEWR (2009). Being, Belonging and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Barwon, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia.
 Flick, U., Von Kardoff, E., & Steinke, I. (2004). A Companion to Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
 Goos, M., Smith, T., & Thornton, S. (2008). Research on the Pre-Service Education of Teachers of Mathematics. In H. Forgasz (Ed.), Research in Mathematics Education in Australasia 2004-2007. Rotterdam: The Netherlands Sense Publishers.
 Gresham, G. (2007). A Study of Mathematics Anxiety in Pre-Service Teachers. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 181-188. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10643-007-0174-7
 Gülteke, M., Tomul, E., & Korur, F. (2013). Mathematics Special Content Competencies of Elementary School Teachers. Creative Education, 4, 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ce.2013.412A2001
 Hawera, N. (2004). Addressing the Needs of Mathematically Anxious Preservice Primary Teachers. The Mathematics Education for the Third Millennium: Towards 2010, Townsville.
 Krippendorff, K. (2012). Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
 Lago, R., & DiPerna, J. (2010). Number Sense in Kindergarten: A Factor-Analytic Study of the Construct. School Psychology Review, 39, 164.
 Lyons, I., & Beilock, S. (2012). When Math Hurts: Math Anxiety Predicts Pain Network Activation in Anticipation of Doing Math. PLoS ONE, 7, 10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0048076
 OECD (2010). OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/
 Polly, D., Margerison, A., & Piel, J. (2014). Kindergarten Teachers’ Orientations to Teacher-Centred and Student-Centred Pedagogies and Their Influence on Their Students’ Understanding of Addition. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 28, 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02568543.2013.822949
 Richardson, F., & Suinn, R. M. (1972). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale: Psychometric Data. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 9, 551-554. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/h0033456
 Schmidt, B. (2012). Speech: Brian Schmidt’s Mathematical Argument. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/speech-schmidts-argument-for-numeracy/story-e6frgcjx-1226265595923
 Sloan, T., Daane, C. J., & Giesen, J. (2002). Mathematics Anxiety and Learning Styles: What Is the Relationship in Elementary Preservice Teachers? School Science and Mathematics, 102, 84-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.2002.tb17897.x
 Swan, P. (2004). I Hate Mathematics. http://www.mav.vic.edu.au/files/conferences/2004/Swan.pdf
 Swars, S., Hart, L. C., Smith, S. Z., Smith, M. E., & Tolar, T. (2007). A Longitudinal Study of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers’ Mathematics Beliefs and Content Knowledge. School Science and Mathematics, 107, 325-335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.2007.tb17797.x
 Townsend, M., Lai, M. K., Lavery, L., Sutherland, C., & Wilton, K. (1999). Mathematics Anxiety and Self-Concept: Evaluating Change Using the “Then-Now” Procedure. Research Report, University of Auckland. http://www.aare.edu.au/99pap/tow99213.htm
 Uusimake, L., & Kidman, G. (2004). Reducing Maths-Anxiety: Results from an Online Anxiety Survey. http://eprints.qut.edu.au/974/1/kid04997.pdf
 Uusimake, L., & Nason, R. (2004). Causes Underlying Pre-Service Teachers’ Negative Beliefs and Anxieties about Mathematics. http://emis.matem.unam.mx/proceedings/PME28/RR/RR141_Uusimaki.pdf
 Vinson, B. M. (2001). A Comparison of Pre-Service Teachers’ Mathematics Anxiety before and after a Methods Class Emphasizing Manipulatives. Early Childhood Education Journal, 29, 89-94. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1012568711257
 Warwick, J. (2008). Mathematical Self-Efficacy and Student Engagement in the Mathematics Classroom. MSOR Connections, 8, 31-37. http://dx.doi.org/10.11120/msor.2008.08030031
 Wilson, S. (2009). “Better You than Me”: Mathematics Anxiety and the Bibliography in Primary Teacher Professional Learning. Palmerston North, NZ: MERGA.
 Young-Loveridge, J. (2010). Two Decades of Mathematics Education Reform in New Zealand: What Impact on the Attitudes of Teacher Education Students? Fremantle, WA: The Shaping the Future of Mathematics Education.