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Annotated Bibliography Math Anxiety

Erturan, S., & Jansen, B. (2015). An Investigation of Boys' and

Girls' Emotional Experience of Math, Their Math

Performance, and the Relation between These Variables.

European Journal Of Psychology Of Education, 30(4), 421-


This article discusses the recent decrease in gender differences

in math achievement over the last few years; however, a gap still

exists in attitudes and beliefs related to the subject. Girls tend to

undervalue their successes in math as well as in other academic

subjects. This lack of self-confidence may alter their performance and

be related to the development of mathematics anxiety. The negative

thoughts associated with mathematic anxiety are demanding and can

reduce the available working memory capacity for mathematic tasks.

The unfortunate vicious circle caused by mathematic anxiety is when

students have high math anxiety, they tend to avoid math situations or

courses; therefore, they practice less and their achievements

decrease. It is difficult to determine whether a student has mathematic

anxiety, or if they simply have test anxiety. Both situations can create

stress for students and cause them to perform lower than expected.

This study concluded that boys have lower test anxiety; however, boys

and girls achieved comparable scores. In addition, higher levels of

math anxiety were associated to lower mathematic performance for

girls, but not for boys.

As a teacher, it is imperative that I treat my students with the

same level of respect. This entails that I have a variety of expectation

for my students, because they all come to me form different starting

points and learning speeds. All students should feel as though I believe

in their potential and should be encouraged to reach or surpass that

potential throughout the year.

Isleyen, T. (2015). The Relationship between Secondary School

Students' Mathematics Anxiety and Self-Regulation.

Educational Research And Reviews, 10(5), 684-690.

This article states that as teachers, we should not strictly focus

on the elements that influence learning in a negative way, we should

also find a solution to the problems that arise from such elements. It

argues that there are cognitive characteristics which are easy to

identify, or affective characteristics which are difficult to identify.

Hembree (1990) argues that math anxiety produces a decrease in

mathematic success and causes students to abstain from math. There

is no easy solution to math anxiety; however, it often begins in the

early years and can be picked up from parents. The goal of this study

was to examine the effects of math anxiety on self-regulation skills in

secondary students. It implemented the Mathematics Anxiety Scale

and the Self-Regulation Skill Scale. The results showed that there is a

strong and significant relation between attitude, cognitive organization,

effort, and study organization. There was also a negative relationship

between exam anxiety, cognitive organization, effort, time

management and self-regulation.

This article solidifies my thoughts on the importance of creating a

positive attitude towards mathematics. If I want my students to be

successful learners, and help them self-regulate, I must make math

engaging, interactive and positive. It would also be helpful if I gave my

students tips on organization and time management that can hopefully

help them establish a positive relationship with mathematics in the

long run.

Kesici, S., & Erdogan, A. (2010). Mathematics Anxiety

According to Middle School Students' Achievement

Motivation and Social Comparison. Education, 131(1), 54-


Mathematics anxiety is cause by a multitude of variables. This

anxiety stems from the teachers attitudes and behaviours in regards

to mathematics. These include prejudices concerning genders, an

uncaring attitude, unrealistic expectations, embarrassing students in

front of their peers, language barriers, the quality of instruction, and

assessment methods. In addition, mathematics anxiety can also be

caused by socioeconomic statues, parents attitude towards

mathematics, and gender. The goal of this study was to examine if

math anxiety in middle school students with low achievement

motivation is significantly different from students with high

achievement motivation, and if the math anxiety of students with

positive self-esteem differs from those with negative self-esteem. The

study concluded that students who have a higher achievement

motivation, also have higher levels of math anxiety, and students with

negative self-esteem also have higher levels of math anxiety. They also

suggest that in order to achieve success, students should recognize

the task-difficulty and increase their achievement motivation.

Additionally, students should assess their successes as well as their

failures based on their own progress.

In my classroom, I will provide students with ample opportunity

to self-assess their learning. In addition, I will also provide ample time

for one on one conferencing with my students so we can determine our

next steps moving forward. I believe students need to have a clear

picture of where they are and where they are going in order to feel

confident and in control of their learning.

Kulkin, M. (2016). Math Is Like a Scary Movie? Helping Young

People Overcome Math Anxiety. Afterschool Matters, (23),

The unfortunate popular opinion regarding math is that it is

boring, slow, or too hard. Some students feel as though math is like a

scary movie. The author of this article compares math and dance; they

both consist of steps and patterns, and when she senses that students

attention during a math lesson is slipping away, she returns to the idea

that math problems are strongly connected to situations students are

inherently interested in solving. As teachers, it is important that we

recognize that math learning begins at an early age with counting days

on a calendar, creating patterns when drawing pictures, and we must

continue this idea by relating math to real-life experiences. This article

suggests that structuring learning opportunities based on student

interests can help them overcome their math anxiety.

Math anxiety can be present in students that have rigid thinking,

avoid math, resist to monitor their own thinking, lack perseverance,

and have poor or inconsistent performance. The causes of math

anxiety can include language barriers, poor quality of instruction,

lackluster assessment methods, and the difficulty of the material. The

article continues by suggesting that negative attitudes on behalf of

teacher or parents who are afraid of math can be unintentionally

transferred to students.

My relationship with math has been quite rocky. Thus, as a

teacher, it is very important that I help to create a positive view about

math. I strongly believe that students learn most by being physically

involved in their learning with hands on activities and multiple modes

of representation. I think students get develop a negative attitude

towards math when they are overloaded with repetitive questions for

homework, especially if they dont understand. Therefore, I aim to

create concrete hands on activities in the classroom and provide

instructional videos and explanations that can be accessed form home

so students and parents can learn to love math together.

Ruff, S. E., & Boes, S. R. (2014). The Sum of All Fears: The

Effects of Math Anxiety on Math Achievement in Fifth

Grade Students and the Implications for School

Counselors. Georgia School Counselors Association

Journal, 21(1).

Anxiety towards mathematics can be cause be several factors;

these can include social, cognitive, and academic factors. Social

factors can include stigmas around race or gender and a lack support

from parents in low socioeconomic households. Cognitive factors can

include deficits in working memory and dyscalculia. Lastly, academic

factors can include ineffective teaching styles, a math anxious teacher,

and the implementation of the traditional mathematic curriculum.

Interventions to help students with mathematics anxiety can include

altering assessment techniques, modifications I the curriculum, and

including group work and open discussion in the math classroom. This

study discovered that developing a classroom guidance or other

counselling services help reduce mathematics anxiety.

I aim to create a positive and supportive environment in my

class where students feel comfortable sharing their ideas and

experiences with one another. Creating an open discussion in the

mathematics classroom is essential to making students feel less

anxious about the subject matter. It is also essential that I assess my

own experiences with math to ensure I am not transmitting negative

attitudes onto my students.

Sharma, Y. (2016). Alleviating Mathematics Anxiety of

Elementary School Students: A Situated Perspective.

International Journal of Research in Education And

Science, 2(2), 509-517.

The article argues that the higher a persons math anxiety, the

lower their score will be on a mathematic achievement test, this lower

score will push the student to avoid taking mathematics courses. This

study aimed to discover if the situated learning model is an effective

strategy to alleviate mathematics anxiety, if effortful control relates to

mathematics anxiety, and if there is an interaction between treatment

and effortful control for math anxiety. This study used the Mathematics
Anxiety Scale and Effortful Control Scale. Lessons during the treatment

portion of the study were developed on the following eight concepts.

Reflection and technology, cognitive apprenticeship, articulation of

learning skills and collaboration, stories and multiple practices. The

study found that formal school environments infrequently aim to

provide opportunities outside the curriculum. Unfortunately,

considerable emphasis is placed on the achievement of curriculum

standards, and these methods are not connected to real-life settings.

In my classroom, I will strive to create concrete real-life situations

for my students so they are relatable to. It is important to take into

consideration the age of my students and make situations relevant to

their lives. These situations must be hands on and allow for student

interactions to help them develop their own strategies by observing

how their peers approach a problem.