High school mathematics teachers' perception of students with math anxiety

Lillian Taylor Wilbert, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this research was to investigate high school students’ mathanxious attitudes toward mathematics as perceived by high school math instructors. Mathematics achievement is a top priority in the new millennium. The United States lagged behind the world in mathematics education and must do everything to develop effective strategies for the instruction of mathematics (Geary and Hamson, 2004). This study examined responses to a Teachers’ Perception of Math Anxious Students (TPMAS) survey, utilizing descriptive research. Data on perceived notions of teachers concerning high school students’ attitude toward mathematics was collected. The sample data consisted of 106 surveys that were completed and returned by high school math teachers from 10 high schools in two urban school districts in middle Tennessee. Hypotheses were designed to test the information that was generated. A paired sample t-test, Test of between Subjects Effects, Frequencies, and One-Way Anova Descriptive Data were used as statistical analyses to measure responses. The results suggested there was a statistical significant difference in the perception of math teachers that non-anxious math students participated more in class and were more geared toward enrolling in higher level math classes as compared to students who exhibited math anxious behaviors. When comparing the mathematics performance of the genders, teachers reported that males out performed females and experienced less anxiety. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that a similar, but larger population be investigated so that consideration is taken to ensure that urban, suburban and rural schools are represented. It is further recommended that a study be conducted comparing the perception of math anxious behaviors to the anxious behaviors of other school subjects. Although the causes of math anxiety were undetermined, achievement and performance were improved when math anxiety was reduced.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Secondary education

Recommended Citation

Lillian Taylor Wilbert, "High school mathematics teachers' perception of students with math anxiety" (2008). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3341932.