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ERIC Number: EJ978352
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0884-1233
Overcoming Graduate Students' Negative Perceptions of Statistics
Lalayants, Marina
Journal of Teaching in Social Work, v32 n4 p356-375 2012
Although there has been some attention in the literature to such issues as students' attitudes toward statistics, instructors are still constantly faced with the challenge to engage students; understand their perceptions, motivations, and interests; and deal with their reluctance and negative attitudes toward the field of statistics. The purpose of the present study was to (1) examine students' attitudes toward statistics; (2) identify characteristics of students with the most negative attitudes toward statistics; (3) determine methods of statistics instruction that students most prefer; and (4) present strategies to overcome fears, resistance, anxiety, and negative attitudes and enhance the learning environment. The findings from the study of 195 graduate social work students demonstrate that factors contributing to statistics anxiety include math phobia, lack of relevance to social work, instructor's characteristics, and classroom environment. Among the preferred instructional methods students identified helpful strategies such as instructors' being attentive to students' anxiety, setting a slow course pace, and providing additional tutoring. The study findings suggested three major areas for enhancing statistics learning: (1) fostering environment that is nonthreatening, friendly, and conducive to learning; (2) clarifying statistical concepts in plain terms; and (3) offering practical skills relevant to students' field of specialization.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A