Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
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ISSN: 2167-1044


The Impact of Teacher's Practices and Content of Mathematics on Student's Anxiety in Secondary and Intermediate Classes

Sanaa Shehayeb and Mohammad Anouti

The objectives of this research were to determine if the content of mathematics as a whole (not distinct math themes as in Algebra, 2D geometry, 3D geometry, trigonometry, complex numbers, probability, etc) is a factor contributing to student’s anxiety; and to examine the extent of teacher’s practices, through cognitive and social interactions, on student’s math anxiety. Student’s gender was not a factor tackled by the study thus gender specific differences in classes and levels towards math anxiety were not tested. In addition, the study did not compare the impact of math anxiety on students in middle schools to that of students in the secondary level. The study utilized a two-phase design labelled as a sequential explanatory design “descriptive quantitative data collection followed by a qualitative design through structured interviews to further understand and interpret the data collected from the quantitative findings”. The instrument employed for data collection was a 5 Point-Likert scale survey questionnaire of standardized items developed by the universities of Georgia, Southampton, New Hampshire and Windsor Scholarship, and the Theo Wubbels and Jack Levy’s Student Questionnaire of Teacher Interaction. The statistics used for the data collected concerning the study were descriptive inferential statistics (the mean, the standard deviation, the mode and the median), and the Pearson’s Chi-Square test. Through the study results, the researcher concluded that math content as a whole is a factor that contributes to student’s math anxiety in the intermediate and secondary levels which indicates that the current curriculum is built on knowledge and not proper understanding of the subject material and that the content of mathematics in diverse classes is stuffed to the limit that it causes students daily anxiety thus their math specific deficits cannot be properly dealt from one class to another, and that teacher’s practices represent a main reason that influences student’s math anxiety; and even-though, some of these practices derived from weak to moderate to strong association with student’s anxiety, the researcher deduced that items concerning teacher’s practices in lower levels should be seriously treated for it causes students math anxiety that may probably keep up with them in later stages.