The origins of pre-service primary education students' anxieties and negative feelings about mathematics

Liisa Uusimaki, Rod Nason

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter

Abstract

More than half of Australian primary teachers have negative feelings about mathematics (Carroll, 1998) This article reports results from the initial phase of a study that is investigating how pre-service primary teachers' negative beliefs about and anxiety towards mathematics can be overcome. In this phase, a sampe of eighteen self-identified mathematically-anxious third-year pre-service primary education students enrolled in a mathematics education curriculum unit were interviewed about the perceived origins of their anxiety about mathematics. The analysis showed that most of the participants' maths-anxiety began in primary school and was attributed to primary school teachers. Situations such as teaching mathematics or being evaluated in mathematics were noted as particularly stressful and mathematical subjects such as algebra, space and number sense were specifically identified as causing maths-anxiety. The paper concludes with a brief discussion about the implications of these findings for the ensuing phases of the overall study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerforming Educational Research
Subtitle of host publicationTheories, Methods and Practices
EditorsS Danby E McWilliam, J Knight J Knight
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherPost Press
Pages225-236
Number of pages12
Edition15
ISBN (Print)1876682612
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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Uusimaki, L., & Nason, R. (2004). The origins of pre-service primary education students' anxieties and negative feelings about mathematics. In S. D. E. McWilliam, & J. K. J. Knight (Eds.), Performing Educational Research: Theories, Methods and Practices (15 ed., pp. 225-236). Post Press.