Learning environment and anxiety for learning and teaching mathematics among preservice teachers
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The learning environment has been found to be related to mathematics anxiety at a variety of educational levels, including higher education, but to date has not been investigated in relation to preservice teachers. It has been previously found that preservice teachers often harbour high levels of mathematics anxiety, and that mathematics-anxious teachers devote less time to the subject area, teach in less effective ways, and can even transmit anxiety to their students. Mathematics teaching anxiety is a construct separate from mathematics anxiety, and the relationship between the two has shown very mixed results. To date, the relationship between the learning environment and mathematics teaching anxiety has not been examined. This cross-sectional study in the UAE examined the relationship between 157 preservice teachers’ perceptions of their mathematics learning environments in a teacher education programme and reports of their mathematics anxiety and mathematics teaching anxiety. The learning environment was predominantly negatively related to mathematics anxiety across a number of scales, but predominantly positively related to mathematics teaching anxiety, indicating that the learning environment is of utmost importance in teacher education and must be carefully attended to.
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