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ERIC Number: ED579023
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 168
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-0-3552-1570-0
The Effect of Instructional Strategies on Math Anxiety and Achievement: A Mixed Methods Study of Preservice Elementary Teachers
Lorenzen, Janelle K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Southern Mississippi
This study addressed how different instructional strategies affected preservice elementary teachers' levels of math anxiety and their achievement in a math content course while considering descriptions of their experiences in the course in relation to their math anxiety and achievement. The instructional strategies used were traditional teaching methods and inquiry-based learning (IBL). A mixed methods embedded design was used in which the major design of the study is a nonequivalent control group design, where the collection of data occurred before, during, and after the intervention. There were 103 participants who were elementary education preservice teachers with 58 of them being enrolled in traditional teaching sections of the course and 45 being enrolled in IBL sections. Participants completed the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale-Short Version (MARS-S) at the beginning and end of the course to measure their level of math anxiety. They also completed a 20-item content knowledge assessment to measure their level of achievement pre- and post-intervention. Participants' journal entries throughout the semester contained self-reported measures of math anxiety and understanding of course content as well as descriptions of their experiences in the course regarding their anxiety and understanding. Statistical tests, including two-way repeated measures ANOVA and t-tests, were performed to test for differences within and between the traditional and IBL groups. Significant results showed that as the semester progressed, the math anxiety of IBL participants decreased, whereas the math anxiety of traditional participants increased. Differences between the groups in terms of their level of achievement were not significant even though within both groups, participants experienced significant learning gains. By the end of the semester, statistical tests revealed that the IBL participants had significantly more positive opinions on their classroom experiences and preferences in mathematics classrooms. Correlational analysis was performed that showed a significant negative relationship between math anxiety and achievement. Random samples of each journal entry were selected, and thematic analysis was performed. The common themes that were identified as impacting participants' anxiety and understanding of course material included course content, teaching methods, assessment, and student behaviors. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A