Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Elementary Teacher Math Anxiety and Instructional Self-Efficacy in Relation to Instructional Practices
by McGann, Carley J., Ed.D., Frostburg State University, 2019, 128; 13886454
Abstract (Summary)

Math anxiety is a concern for elementary students and their teachers. It is thought that the more confident a teacher feels within the area of math, the more confident they are delivering math instruction. If students are being instructed by teachers who lack confidence in math, there is a greater chance of the students themselves developing math anxiety. To avoid the transfer of math anxiety, it is important to understand ways to help teachers feel more confident and therefore teaching using effective math strategies.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationships between math anxiety, instructional self-efficacy, and instructional practices utilized in elementary classrooms. Participants included 362 teachers from across the United States. Through the collection of online survey data, it was revealed that teachers with higher levels of math anxiety also have lower instructional self-efficacy and therefore tend to prefer procedural teaching strategies. The data also supports the notion that teachers with higher self-efficacy tend to prefer conceptual teaching strategies, which enhances a deeper understanding of mathematics.

The second portion of this investigation revealed a connection between the number of math courses taken as a preservice teacher and anxiety and self-efficacy levels. Preservice teachers tend to have lower math anxiety when participating in at least four math courses, while higher instructional self-efficacy occurs with more than three math courses.

Based on these findings, it is recommended that elementary teachers receive opportunities to increase their efficacy-level by completing mathematics professional development more frequently. It is also suggested that universities assess the number of courses required for teacher candidates and potentially offer additional courses to candidates who struggle with negative math feelings. Additional professional development experiences for teaching staff should be offered as best practices for math instruction frequently change. Further research on this topic is recommended.

Keywords: math anxiety, instructional self-efficacy, instructional practices, elementary teachers, math courses

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Childs, William P.
Commitee: Hegde, Laxman M., Henderson, Joyce H., McKinley, Brian M.
School: Frostburg State University
Department: Educational Professions
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Elementary education
Keywords: Elementary teachers, Instructional practices, Instructional self-efficacy, Math anxiety, Math courses
Publication Number: 13886454
ISBN: 978-1-392-24089-2
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