# The relationship of mathematics anxiety to mathematics preparation and perceived adequacy of preparation of K-12 teachers of mathematics in the State of Texas

## Date

## Authors

## Journal Title

## Journal ISSN

## Volume Title

## Publisher

## Abstract

The public is demanding improved instruction in all classrooms, with specific attention focused on upgrading mathematics and science instruction. One factor which may be interfering with this effort in mathematics classrooms is teacher mathematics anxiety. There is a likelihood that there are elementary teachers who are unprepared in mathematics, as well as non-mathemat1cs certified secondary teachers who are teaching mathematics in classrooms where there are no qualified mathematics teachers. Both of these groups may have mathematics anxiety to some extent. In order to better understand teacher mathematics anxiety, this study examined the relationships between teacher mathematics anxiety and a series of variables related to teacher preparation, perceived adequacy of preparation, career Inhibition, highest level of teaching assignment, teaching experience, and gender. Statement of the Problem: What are the relationships between teacher mathematics anxiety and the following independent variables: number of years of high school mathematics, highest level of high school mathematics, col 1ege/university mathematics preparation, discrepancy between actual and recommended preparation, coursework in mathematics methods, student teaching in mathematics, type and level of Texas teacher certificate, perceived adequacy of preparation to teach mathematics, perceived adequacy of preparation to teach the essential elements of the Texas curriculum, career inhibition, number of years teaching experience, number of years mathematics teaching experience, current highest level of teaching assignment, and gender. Sample: A representative sample of 34 Texas districts was identified. Of these districts, 27 chose to participate. All secondary schools and selected elementary schools in each district were eligible for the study. The final sample included 1316 teachers: 768 elementary, 246 middle school/junior high school, and 302 high school teachers, representing 937. of the teachers on 957. of the eligible campuses. Method: The survey instrument was distributed to teachers by a campus administrator. Individually sealed results were returned by campus for analysis. the independent variables, including a 30-item section adapted from the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS). The instrument required recall of factual data, as well as rating of items on a five-point Likert scale. Data Analysis: The collective influence of the independent variables was analyzed using a stepwise multiple regression technique. A separate analysis was conducted for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers. A second multiple regression was conducted for the three groups using individual variables and clusters of related independent variables as follows: teacher preparation, perceived adequacy of preparation, career inhibition, teaching experience, current highest level of teaching assignment, and gender. Correlation coefficients (Pearson r) were calculated between each pair of variables. Results: The collective influence of the independent variables on the variance of teacher mathematics anxiety ranged from 77. for high school teachers to 207. for elementary teachers, and 217. for the total sample. Perceived adequacy of preparation variables accounted for more of the variance than other variables or variable clusters, except with middle school teachers. For middle school teachers, teacher preparation variables accounted for more of the shared variance than other variables. A peripheral finding was that between 457. and 507. of the teachers in each group had mathematics preparation less than that recommended by professional organizations. Correlates of mathematics anxiety for this sample were identified and implications were discussed.