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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.
Brzozowski, Lindsey, "Math Anxiety and Teacher Candidates" (2020). Education. 22nd Annual Student Research and Creativity Conference. SUNY Buffalo State.