09 SES 11 B, Findings from International Comparative Achievement Studies: Attitudes Towards Mathematics and Science
Parallel Paper Session
Data of the PISA 2003 survey indicate high levels of mathematics anxiety of students in Serbia, accompanied with low achievement in mathematics. More than half of our students worry whether they will have difficulties in mathematics class or whether they will earn poor marks. In only eight countries participating in the 2003 PISA survey the level of mathematics anxiety was higher.
Mathematics anxiety is defined as state in which a student experiences negative reactions when encountering mathematical concepts (e.g. numbers) or procedures evaluating mathematical knowledge (Richardson & Woolfolk, 1980; Cates & Rhymer, 2003). Concept is observed as a multidimensional psychological construct comprising of sense of pressure, inadequacy and anxiety when solving problems that include number manipulation or solving mathematical problems both in academia and everyday context (Bai et al., 2009; Newstead, 1998). Mathematics anxiety is most often operationalized with scales assessing level of worrying about grades or feeling helpless and nervous in solving mathematical problems (Bai et al., 2009; Kesici & Erdogan, 2010). Results of number of studies indicate that mathematics achievement and mathematics anxiety are negatively correlated (Ma, 1999).
Cates and Rhymer (2003) suggest that anxious students make more mistakes and are slower in solving basic mathematical operations, leading to poor test achievement. If a student has had bad experiences in both primary and secondary education, mathematics related anxiety will continue in future education (Jackson and Leffingwell, 1999), influencing career choice (Ashcraft, 2002). Mathematics anxiety is also associated with other variables posing as mediating factors. Meece et al. (1990) believe how mathematics anxiety is directly negatively correlated with student’s perception of their ability in this domain as well as with their expectations of achievement in mathematics. Studies have also shown existence of individual differences in anxiety level of students (Kesici & Erdogan, 2010), as well as that anxiety may be influenced by gender, SES, parents’ educational attainment and school system (Furner & Duffy,2002). Aims of this study therefore are: examining relationship between math anxiety and achievement at mathematics literacy scale; establishing possible predictors of math anxiety and identification of students’ groups in relations to their relationship towards mathematics as a subject.
Ashcraft, M. A. (2002). Math anxiety: Personal, educational, and cognitive consequences. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(5), pp. 181-185. Bai, H.; Wang, L.S.; Pan, W. and Frey, M (2009). Measuring mathematics anxiety: psychometric analysis of a bidimensional affective scale. Journal of Instructional psychology, 36(3), pp. 185-193. Cates, G. L., & Rhymer, K. N. (2003). Examining the relationship between mathematics anxiety and mathematics performance: An instructional hierarchy perspective. Journal of Behavioral Education, 12 , pp. 23-34. Furner, J.M., & Duffy, M.L. (2002). Equity for all students in the new millennium: Disabling math anxiety. Intervention in School & Clinic, 38(2), pp. 67-74. Ho, H., Senturk, D., Lam, A., Zimmer, J., Hong, S., Okamoto, Y. (2000). The Affective and Cognitive Dimensions of Math Anxiety: A Cross-National Study. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 362-379. Jackson, C., & Leffingwell, R. (1999). The role of instructors in creating math anxiety in students from kindergarten through college. Mathematics Teacher, 92(7), pp. 583-587 Kesici, S. and Erdogan, A. (2010). Mathematics anxiety according to middle school students’ achieve motivation and social, comparison. Education, 131(1), pp. 54-63. Ma, X. (1999). A meta-analysis of the relationship between anxiety and toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30, pp. 502–540. Meece, J.L., Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J.S. (1990). Predictors of math anxiety and its influence on young adolescents' course enrollment intentions and performance in mathematics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(1), pp. 60-70. Newstead, K. (1998). Aspects of children's mathematics anxiety. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 36(1), pp. 53-71. OECD (2010). Mathematics Teaching and Learning Strategies in PISA, Paris. OECD. Richardson, F. C., &Woolfolk, R. L. (1980).Mathematics anxiety. In I. G. Sarason (Ed.), Test anxiety:Theory, research, and application.Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum , pp. 271–288
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