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Lindsey Brzozowski, Childhood Education
Faculty Mentor: Professor Dianne McCarthy, Elementary Education

Many childhood teacher candidates at Buffalo State exhibit math avoidance, perform poorly on math assessments, and have a fear math classes. Some of the qualities listed above are characteristics of math anxiety. I investigated if teacher candidates at Buffalo State College experience math anxiety and what the prevalence of math anxiety is within the childhood teacher preparation program. To conduct my research, I sent a survey to the students enrolled in the childhood education program at Buffalo State. My survey was modeled after the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Scale (FSMAS), which is used to measure math anxiety within the context of a classroom (Fennema & Sherman, 1976). A study conducted by Siew Yee Lim and Elaine Chapman (2013) investigated and modified the FSMAS scale to better suit research in mathematics education. Their investigation was administered by using a short twelve-item survey. My survey also contained twelve items. The questions focused on teacher candidates' mathematics abilities, feelings towards mathematics, and ease/comfort teaching the subject. Teacher candidates rated themselves on a scale from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree.” From the 58 responses I received, it is apparent that a percentage of the childhood education teacher candidate population at Buffalo State college exhibit qualities associated with math anxiety. Math anxiety is a growing concern in today’s classrooms and future teachers need to be aware of their own anxieties. My goal is to spread awareness about the topic using my research.

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Math Anxiety and Teacher Candidates
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