ERG SES F 07, Parallel Session F 07
RQ: Is there a significant difference in preservice teachers’ spatial anxiety scores in terms of undergraduate program and gender? Is there a significant difference in preservice teachers’ geometry self-efficacy scores in terms of undergraduate program and gender?
World is full of 3-D figures so improving spatial intelligence is crucial for people to be able to transform well-structured visual images mentally (Turgut,2007).
With high spatial ability level, it will be possible for people to find solutions to daily life problems easier (Turgut,2007). Thus, spatial intelligence is worth to study to facilitate not only solving mathematical and geometrical problems but also daily life problems.
Literature review indicated that spatial anxiety, which was defined as “anxiety about environmental navigation” (Lawton,1994,p.767) is an important factor affecting individual’s behavior and performance (Lawton,1994). There are some studies investigating the relationship between the components of spatial ability and spatial anxiety (Lawton,1994,Dursun,2010). For example, Hund and Minarik (2006) found a negative relationship between spatial anxiety and navigation performance. In addition, it is known that spatial ability has an effect on students’ mathematics and geometry achievement (Bulut&Koroğlu,2000). It is convenient to say that spatial anxiety may also have an effect on students’ geometry achievement. Therefore, spatial anxiety is selected to be another concern of this study.
There exist many studies investigating the relation between self-efficacy and mathematics performance and other variables like computer self-efficacy. However, the number of studies examining the geometry self-efficacy is limited. Since geometry has an important place in mathematics curriculum and it has a positive relationship with spatial ability, geometry self-efficacy of preservice teachers could have negative relationship with their spatial anxiety. Thus, geometry self-efficacy was one of the concerns.
In the literature, many studies include the gender variable as a crucial factor (Halat,2008; Kaufman,2007). It was asserted that there is a significant difference in spatial anxiety levels of males and females regarding mathematics performance (Wigfield&Eccles,1992), navigation performance (Hund&Minarik,2006), and strategy preference (Hund&Minarik, 2006;Lawton, 1994). Thus, gender was taken into consideration in this study.
Spatial ability exists in many fields of education such as science education and early childhood education. For instance, science teachers use spatial visualization abilities in laboratory applications. Similarly, early childhood teachers use their spatial ability in creativity and visual art courses. Therefore, the preservice teachers who are enrolled in elementary mathematics education (EME), elementary science education (ESE), and early childhood education (ECE) undergraduate programs were involved.
In conclusion, in the literature less is done to investigate the relationship between geometry self-efficacy and other motivational variables like spatial anxiety. Thus, purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between preservice teachers’ geometry self-efficacy and spatial anxiety in terms of undergraduate program and gender. Since spatial ability is a global issue which affects geometry achievement and daily life (Unal,Jakubowski,&Corey,2009), it is worth to study not only in Turkey but also all over the world. The data were collected from Turkey but it is believed that the results will support further research in teacher education area.
Bulut, S., & Koroglu, S. (2000). Onbirinci sınıf öğrencilerinin ve matematik öğretmen adaylarının uzaysal yeteneklerinin incelenmesi. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 18, 56-61. Cantürk-Günhan, B., & Baser, N. (2007). The development of self-efficacy scale toward geometry. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 33, 68-76. Dursun, Ö. (2010). The relationships among preservice teachers’ spatial visualization ability, geometry self-efficacy and spatial anxiety (Unpublished master‟s thesis). Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Halat, E. (2008). In-service middle and high school mathematics teachers: Geometric reasoning stages and gender. The Mathematics Educator, 18(1), 8-14. Herman, J. F., Heins, J. A., & Cohen, D. S. (1987). Children‟s spatial knowledge of their neighborhood environment. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 8, 1-15. Hund, A. M., & Minarik, J. L. (2006). Getting from here to there: Spatial anxiety, way finding strategies, direction type, and way finding efficiency. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 6, 179-201. Kaufman, S. B. (2007). Sex differences in mental rotation and spatial visualization ability: Can they be accounted for by differences in working memory capacity? Intelligence, 35, 211-223. Lawton, C. A. (1994). Gender differences in way-finding strategies: relationship to spatial ability and spatial anxiety. Sex Roles, 30(11/12), 765-779. Lawton, C. A., & Kallai, J. (2002). Gender differences in wayfinding strategies and anxiety about wayfinding: A cross-cultural comparison. Sex Roles, 47, 389- 401. Manger, T., & Eikeland, O. (1998). The effects of spatial visualization and students' sex on mathematical achievement. British Journal of Psychology, 89, 17-25. Schmitz, S. (1997). Gender-related strategies in environmental development: Effects of anxiety on wayfinding in and representation of a three-dimensional maze. Journal of Environmental Psychology 17, 215-228. Turgut, M. (2007). İlköğretim II. kademede öğrencilerin uzamsal yeteneklerinin İncelenmesi (Unpublished master‟s thesis). Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, Izmir, Turkey. Unal, H., Jakubowski, E., & Corey, D. (2009). Differences in learning geometry among high and low spatial ability pre-service mathematics teachers. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 40(8), 997-1012.
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