Feeling Good about Teaching Mathematics: Addressing Anxiety amongst Pre-Service Teachers

Affiliation(s)

School of Education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

School of Environment, Science & Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

School of Education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

School of Environment, Science & Engineering, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Australia.

ABSTRACT

Research regarding 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 mathematics.

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*, **5**, 207-217. doi: 10.4236/ce.2014.54030.

Boyd, W. , Foster, A. , Smith, J. and Boyd, W. (2014) Feeling Good about Teaching Mathematics: Addressing Anxiety amongst Pre-Service Teachers.

References

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[2] Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman.

[3] 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

[4] 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.

[5] DEEWR (2009). Being, Belonging and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Barwon, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia.

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[7] 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.

[8] 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

[9] 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

[10] Hawera, N. (2004). Addressing the Needs of Mathematically Anxious Preservice Primary Teachers. The Mathematics Education for the Third Millennium: Towards 2010, Townsville.

[11] Krippendorff, K. (2012). Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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[13] 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

[14] OECD (2010). OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/

[15] 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

[16] 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

[17] Schmidt, B. (2012). Speech: Brian Schmidt’s Mathematical Argument.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/speech-schmidts-argument-for-numeracy/story-e6frgcjx-1226265595923

[18] 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

[19] Swan, P. (2004). I Hate Mathematics. http://www.mav.vic.edu.au/files/conferences/2004/Swan.pdf

[20] 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

[21] 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

[22] Uusimake, L., & Kidman, G. (2004). Reducing Maths-Anxiety: Results from an Online Anxiety Survey.

http://eprints.qut.edu.au/974/1/kid04997.pdf

[23] 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

[24] 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

[25] 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

[26] Wilson, S. (2009). “Better You than Me”: Mathematics Anxiety and the Bibliography in Primary Teacher Professional Learning. Palmerston North, NZ: MERGA.

[27] 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.

[1] ACARA (2011). Mathematics: Rationale. http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Mathematics/Rationale

[2] Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control. New York: Freeman.

[3] 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

[4] 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.

[5] DEEWR (2009). Being, Belonging and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Barwon, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia.

[6] Flick, U., Von Kardoff, E., & Steinke, I. (2004). A Companion to Qualitative Research. London: Sage.

[7] 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.

[8] 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

[9] 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

[10] Hawera, N. (2004). Addressing the Needs of Mathematically Anxious Preservice Primary Teachers. The Mathematics Education for the Third Millennium: Towards 2010, Townsville.

[11] Krippendorff, K. (2012). Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its Methodology (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

[12] Lago, R., & DiPerna, J. (2010). Number Sense in Kindergarten: A Factor-Analytic Study of the Construct. School Psychology Review, 39, 164.

[13] 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

[14] OECD (2010). OECD Programme for International Student Assessment. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/

[15] 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

[16] 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

[17] Schmidt, B. (2012). Speech: Brian Schmidt’s Mathematical Argument.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/speech-schmidts-argument-for-numeracy/story-e6frgcjx-1226265595923

[18] 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

[19] Swan, P. (2004). I Hate Mathematics. http://www.mav.vic.edu.au/files/conferences/2004/Swan.pdf

[20] 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

[21] 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

[22] Uusimake, L., & Kidman, G. (2004). Reducing Maths-Anxiety: Results from an Online Anxiety Survey.

http://eprints.qut.edu.au/974/1/kid04997.pdf

[23] 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

[24] 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

[25] 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

[26] Wilson, S. (2009). “Better You than Me”: Mathematics Anxiety and the Bibliography in Primary Teacher Professional Learning. Palmerston North, NZ: MERGA.

[27] 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.