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ERIC Number: EJ831620
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-877X
Identifying Maths Anxiety in Student Nurses and Focusing Remedial Work
Bull, Heather
Journal of Further and Higher Education, v33 n1 p71-81 Feb 2009
Maths anxiety interferes with maths cognition and thereby increases the risk of maths errors. To initiate strategies for preventing anxiety-related errors progressing into nursing practice, this study explored the hypothesis that student nurses experience high maths anxiety in association with poor maths performance, and that high maths anxiety is further associated with knowledge of having a skills deficit and with course-administration decisions, as well as with anxiety-related interference on maths cognition--thus requiring pedagogical, administrative and/or psychological remedies, respectively. Sixty-three student nurses studying at a UK university completed a maths-skills questionnaire and rated their maths anxiety before a maths task. The process was repeated six weeks later. At stage one, 45% of participants reported high anxiety for the maths task, some describing symptoms of sickness and intense dread. Significant associations were shown for high maths anxiety with low test scores. High maths anxiety was also significantly associated with poor command of multiplication tables and a high reliance on calculators. Anxiety ratings and test scores significantly improved at the later test date. However, 33% of anxiety ratings remained high at stage two. It is recommended that maths anxiety is recognised as a diagnostic indicator that heralds the risk of maths errors. Appropriate remedial strategies may require pedagogical, administrative and/or psychological methods to ensure that the cause and/or effect of maths anxiety is targeted. Introducing maths-anxiety evaluation to formative testing and ongoing reflective practice will raise awareness of the associated risk to patient safety, highlight the importance of maths confidence over surprise pass marks, and stimulate strategy development for monitoring and managing maths anxiety beyond vocational training into professional practice. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom