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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Is mathematics anxiety a factor? First-year university students provide answers
Authors:Mji, A.
Mwambakana, J.
Periodical:Africa Education Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subject:mathematics education
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/18146620802121543
Abstract:South Africa finds itself with skills shortages in scientifically oriented professions. A major contributor to this has been students' failure in mathematics. This study identifies students who self-reported mathematics anxiety and determined if this was a factor in their studies. Participants were 204 mathematics first-year students registered for degrees in Engineering, Information Technology, and Natural Science at a public university in Gauteng. Included in this group were Foundation Year students. Results indicated that the majority of students admitted to higher levels of anxiety. With respect to the different degree programmes, chemistry students reported higher anxiety. Specifically, a negative association was established between performance and mathematics evaluation anxiety. The authors conclude that through investigations such as this lecturers can identify and isolate highly anxious mathematics students. Such students may receive remedial psychological help or at least, lecturers may revise their presentation methods to suit these particular students. The authors also conclude that there are underlying problems within the teaching and learning of mathematics among the study sample. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]