Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding Math Anxiety Among Engineering Students in Calculus Using Their Own Words and by Analysis of Correlations Among Math Anxiety, Math Attitude, and Math Competence
by Lippert, Heather P., Ph.D., Keiser University, 2020, 294; 28260392
Abstract (Summary)

There is an increase of engineering students exhibiting math anxiety in recent years yet research on the causes of this anxiety, and experiences of this particular student population, who are thought to be mathematically-oriented, is limited. Guided by social learning theories and math anxiety theories, this convergent transformative mixed methods study served to examine the influence of positive math attitude and math competence on math anxiety and how these engineering students experienced and managed their math anxiety while enrolled in Calculus I or Calculus II. The quantitative portion encompassed the extent to which positive math attitude and math competence lowered math anxiety and employed four instruments that measured attitude, competence, and math anxiety in which a new 1-item instrument, the Faces of Math Anxiety Scale (FMA), was tested for construct validity and found consistent with the Abbreviated-Math Anxiety Rating Scale. The qualitative portion explored how this set of engineering students described, interpreted, and managed their math anxiety through a semistructured interview. Data were collected through convenient and purposive sampling methods from a medium-sized, private university in the U.S. Southeast. Results revealed that engineering students’ attitude provided a stronger relationship with math anxiety than competence. The interview revealed students may experience high levels of math anxiety regardless of positive attitude and confidence due to a lack between math ability and knowledge awareness (i.e., Dunning-Kruger effect). Recommendations for research include further qualitative research on the math anxiety experiences of this math-oriented population and how the FMA compares to other math anxiety instruments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Robertson, Ashlee
Commitee: Komaroff, Eugene, Martin, Diana
School: Keiser University
Department: Keiser University Graduate School-Education
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Curriculum development, Mathematics education, Educational administration, Educational leadership, Education Policy
Keywords: Engineering students, Math anxiety, Social learning theories, Convergent transformation, Calculus I , Calculus II , Southeast United States, Knowledge awareness
Publication Number: 28260392
ISBN: 9798698589358
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