Doctor of Education
Dr. Kristeen Chachage
Teachers with math anxiety can inadvertently pass along their own anxiety to the younger generation, creating a cycle of math anxiety. This study aims to interrupt this cycle by learning more about math anxiety and self-efficacy of the preservice teacher. This sequential, mixed methods action research study sought to explore ways to decrease math anxiety and increase self-efficacy among preservice teachers by examining how the use of self-recordings and mircoteaching throughout a semester-long course for preservice teachers at a small midwestern university impacted their math anxiety and self-efficacy.
Using the abbreviated Math Anxiety Rating Scale (A-MARS) 20 participants realized an average decrease of 9.5 points in their math anxiety. Participants identified many different experiences and supports that they felt impacted their realized change in math anxiety and efficacy, highlighting the multi-faceted nature of both what causes math anxiety as well as what may reduce math anxiety, and increase their sense of efficacy in teaching mathematics. Participants did identify assignments that utilized tenants found in microteaching and self-recordings as being memorable and possibly influential in their formation as preservice teachers. Due to the highly personal nature of both of these constructs, and the nature of this study, it is difficult to generalize any findings more broadly; however, results from this study may serve as a starting point to conduct further studies and/or to impact positive change within the mathematics methods courses found in teacher preparation programs as they bridge the gap between theory and practice.