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Relating elements of mathematics anxiety with the gender of preservice Mathematics teachers

Erica D. Spangenberg
Sonja van Putten


Many preservice mathematics teachers (PMTs) suffering from mathematics anxiety (MA) transfer this to their future learners, which could lead to poor performance in mathematics. This exploratory study aimed to identify the relationship between the elements of MA and the gender of secondary school PMTs. A quantitative survey was administered to 125 full-time undergraduate students enrolled for a two-year long mathematics methodology course in a BEd degree. The results revealed that female PMTs experience significantly less MA than their male counterparts in terms of the emotional and attitudinal elements of MA. However, there is no significant difference between genders regarding the cognitive element of MA. This study is not only highlighting gender differences associated with MA, but identifies specific elements of MA that contribute to these differences, which could assist teacher educators in their ways of supporting PMTs in dealing with MA.

Key words: preservice mathematics teachers; mathematics anxiety; gender; emotion; cognition; attitude

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eISSN: 1596-9231