Maths Anxious Pre-Service Teachers’ Perspectives of “Doing” Mathematics in a Whiteboard Room

Sarah Sanders, Wendy Nielsen, Caz Sandison, Tricia Forrester

Abstract


Mathematics anxiety is common among pre-service primary teachers and many experience higher levels of maths anxiety than other university students. This study asks: What are maths anxious pre-service teachers’ perspectives of “doing” mathematics in a whiteboard room? The Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (A-MARS) was used to identify high, medium and low levels of maths anxiety in a cohort of first-year pre-service teachers (n=196). Semi-structured interviews (n=6) explored perspectives that were analysed through Vygotsky’s sociocultural dimensions of the intrapersonal and the interpersonal, as well as the physical environment of the whiteboard room. Results show that doing maths in a whiteboard room was positive and engaging for participants because the room afforded positive interpersonal interactions and fostered an engaging learning environment that served to ease their maths anxiety. The whiteboard pedagogy is thus recommended in pre-service teacher education.


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