# Using the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales with lower-primary teachers

- 602 Downloads
- 3 Citations

## Abstract

The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scales (FSMAS) are among the most popular instruments used in studies of attitudes toward mathematics. However, the FSMAS has been mainly used among student populations and rarely used with teachers. In the present study, three scales from the FSMAS—*Confidence*, *Effectance Motivation*, and *Anxiety*—were revised and used with lower-primary (kindergarten to third grade) teachers. This study includes three parts: (1) a pilot study to ensure the modifications made to the FSMAS were appropriate to use with teachers, (2) confirmatory factor analyses to assess the factor structure of the revised FSMAS with 225 lower-primary teachers, and (3) measurement invariance analyses using data from a similar sample of 171 lower-primary teachers to examine whether the revised FSMAS measures each construct in the same way as in the previous sample. The final three-factor model, after removing three problematic items, achieves acceptable model fit, with each construct meeting all conditions for strict measurement invariance. Additionally, repeated measures analyses were performed on data collected from 39 in-service lower-primary teachers who participated in an elementary mathematics specialist program to examine the use of the revised FSMAS in program evaluation. Overall results suggest that researchers and program evaluators may use the revised FSMAS to reliably measure lower-primary teachers’ mathematical attitudes, and it can be a valuable tool for evaluating the effectiveness of professional development programs.

### Keywords

Fennema-Sherman FSMAS Mathematical attitudes Measurement validation Professional development Lower primary## Notes

### Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation grant [DUE-0831835]. All findings are those of the authors and not necessarily of the NSF.

### References

- Alexander, L., & Martray, C. (1989). The development of an abbreviated version of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale.
*Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 22*(3), 143–150.Google Scholar - Alkhateeb, H. M. (2004). Internal consistency reliability and construct validity of an Arabic translation of the shortened form of the Fennema-Sherman mathematics attitudes scales.
*Psychological Reports, 94*(2), 565–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ashcraft, M. H., & Kirk, E. P. (2001). The relationships among working memory, math anxiety, and performance.
*Journal of Experimental Psychology. General, 130*(2), 224–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Bai, H., Wang, L. S., Pan, W., & Frey, M. (2009). Measuring mathematics anxiety: psychometric analysis of a bidimensional affective scale.
*Journal of Instructional Psychology, 36*(3), 185–193.Google Scholar - Beilock, S. L. (2008). Math performance in stressful situations.
*Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17*(5), 339–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Beilock, S. L., Gunderson, E. A., Ramirez, G., & Levine, S. C. (2010). Female teachers’ math anxiety affects girls’ math achievement.
*Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107*(5), 1860–1863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Betz, N. E. (1978). Prevalence, distribution, and correlates of math anxiety in college students.
*Journal of Counseling Psychology, 25*(5), 441–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Bhargava, R. P., & Ishizuka, T. (1981). Selection of a subset of variables from the viewpoint of variation—an alternative to principal component analysis.
*Proceedings of the Indian Statistics Institute Golden Jubilee International conference on statistics: applications and new directions*, (pp. 33–34). Calcutta: Indian Statistical Institute.Google Scholar - Brown, T. A. (2006).
*Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research*. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar - Bursal, M., & Paznokas, L. (2006). Mathematics anxiety and pre-service elementary teachers’ confidence to teach mathematics and science.
*School Science and Mathematics, 106*(4), 173–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Chouinard, R., Vezeau, C., & Bouffard, T. (2008). Coeducational or single-sex school: does it make a difference on high school girls’ academic motivation?
*Educational Studies, 34*(2), 129–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Cooper, S. E., & Robinson, D. A. (1991). The relationship of mathematics self-efficacy beliefs to mathematics anxiety and performance.
*Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 24*(1), 4–11.Google Scholar - Dew, K. M. H., Galassi, J. P., & Galassi, M. D. (1983). Mathematics anxiety: some basic issues.
*Journal of Counseling Psychology, 30*(3), 443–446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Fennema, E., & Franke, M. L. (1992). Teachers’ knowledge and its impact. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.),
*Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 147–164). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar - Fennema, E., & Sherman, J. A. (1976a). Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Scale: instruments designed to measure attitudes toward the learning of mathematics by females and males.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 7*(5), 324–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Fennema, E., & Sherman, J. A. (1976b). Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales.
*JSAS: Catalogue of Selected Documents in Psychology, 6*(1), 31. (Ms. No. 1225).Google Scholar - Forgasz, H. J., Leder, G. C., & Gardner, P. L. (1999). The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics as a Male Domain scale reexamined.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30*(3), 342–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Geldhof, G. J., Preacher, K. J., & Zyphur, M. J. (2014). Reliability estimation in a multilevel confirmatory factor analysis framework.
*Psychological Methods, 19*(1), 72–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Goldin, G. A. (2002). Affect, meta-affect, and mathematical belief structures. In G. C. Leder, E. Pehkonen, & G. Törner (Eds.),
*Beliefs: a hidden variable in mathematics education*(pp. 59–72). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar - Goldring, R., Gray, L., & Bitterman, A. (2013
*). Characteristics of public and private elementary and secondary school teachers in the United States: results from the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES 2013*–*314).*U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch. Accessed 7 Dec 2015. - Graven, M. (2004). Investigating mathematics teacher learning within an in-service community of practice: the centrality of confidence.
*Educational Studies in Mathematics, 57*(2), 177–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Harper, N. W., & Daane, C. J. (1998). Causes and reductions of math anxiety in preservice elementary teachers.
*Action in Teacher Education, 19*(4), 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Haycock, K. (2001). Closing the achievement gap.
*Educational Leadership, 58*(6), 6–11.Google Scholar - Hill, H., Blunk, L., Charalambous, C. Y., Lewis, J. M., Phelps, G. C., Sleep, L., & Ball, D. L. (2008). Mathematical knowledge for teaching and the mathematical quality of instruction: an exploratory study.
*Cognition and Instruction, 26*(4), 430–511.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Hodges, T. E., & Jong, C. (2012). Exploring changes in preservice teachers’ conceptions within the context of mathematics experiences. In Van Zoest, L. R., Lo, J.-J., & Kratky, J. L. (Eds),
*Proceedings of the 34rd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education,*(pp. 709–712). Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University.Google Scholar - Jackson, D. L., Gillaspy, J. J., & Purc-Stephenson, R. (2009). Reporting practices in confirmatory factor analysis: an overview and some recommendations.
*Psychological Methods, 14*(1), 6–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Jackson, E. (2015). Student primary teachers’ perceptions of mathematics.
*Philosophy of Mathematics Education Journal, 29*. http://people.exeter.ac.uk/PErnest/pome29/index.html. Accessed 7 Dec 2015. - Jong, C., Hodges, T. E., & Welder, R. M. (2012).
*Conceptions of mathematics in related contexts: measuring elementary teachers’ development over time. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association conference*. Canada: Vancouver.Google Scholar - Karp, K. S. (1991). Elementary school teachers’ attitudes toward mathematics: the impact on students’ autonomous learning skills.
*School Science and Mathematics, 91*(6), 265–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Leder, G. C., & Grootenboer, P. J. (2005). Affect in mathematics education.
*Mathematics Education Research Journal, 17*(2), 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Lee, J. (2005). Correlations between kindergarten teachers’ attitudes toward mathematics and teaching practice.
*Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 25*(2), 173–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Lim, S. Y., & Chapman, E. (2013). An investigation of the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Subscale.
*Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 46*(1), 26–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Lipnevich, A. A., MacCann, C., Krumm, S., Burrus, J., & Roberts, R. D. (2011). Mathematics attitudes and mathematics outcomes of U.S. and Belarusian middle school students.
*Journal of Educational Psychology, 103*(1), 105–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ma, X. (1999). A meta-analysis of the relationship between anxiety toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 30*(5), 520–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Ma, X., & Kishor, N. (1997). Assessing the relationship between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics: a meta-analysis.
*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 28*(1), 26–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - McAnallen, R. R. (2010).
*Examining mathematics anxiety in elementary classroom teachers*(unpublished doctoral dissertation). http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/siegle/Dissertations/Rachel%20McAnallen.pdf. Accessed 7 Dec 2015. - McLeod, D. B. (1992). Research on affect in mathematics education: a reconceptualization. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.),
*Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 575–596). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar - Melanchon, J. G., Thompson, B., & Becnel, S. (1994). Measurement integrity of scores from the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales: the attitudes of public school teachers.
*Educational and Psychological Measurement, 54*(1), 187–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Muis, K. R., & Foy, M. J. (2010). The effects of teachers’ beliefs on elementary students’ beliefs, motivation, and achievement in mathematics. In L. D. Bendixen & F. C. Feucht (Eds.),
*Personal epistemology in the classroom: theory, research, and implications for practice*(pp. 435–469). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Mulhern, F., & Rae, G. (1998). Development of a shortened form of the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitudes Scales.
*Educational and Psychological Measurement, 58*(2), 295–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Foy, P., Olson, J. F., Preuschoff, C., Erberber, E., Arora, A., & Galia, J. (2008). TIMSS 2007 international mathematics report: findings from IEA’s trends in international mathematics and science study at the fourth and eighth grade. Chestnut Hill: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. http://pirls.bc.edu/timss2007/mathreport.html. Accessed 7 Dec 2015
- Muthén, L. K., & Muthén, L. (1998–2013).
*Mplus [computer software]*. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar - Neale, D. C. (1969). The role of attitudes in learning mathematics.
*Arithmetic Teacher, 16*, 631–640.Google Scholar - Norton, S. J., & Rennie, L. J. (1998). Students’ attitudes towards mathematics in single-sex and coeducational schools.
*Mathematics Education Research Journal, 10*(1), 16–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Pajares, M. F. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and educational research: cleaning up a messy construct.
*Review of Educational Research, 62*(3), 307–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Pearn, C., Brew, C., Leder, G., & Bishop, A. (1996). Attitudes towards mathematics: what about NESB students? In P. C. Clarkson (Ed.),
*Technology in mathematics education: Proceedings o f Nineteenth Annual Conference of the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia*(pp. 445–452). Melbourne, Australia: Mathematics Education Research Group of Australia Inc.Google Scholar - Philipp, R. A. (2007). Mathematics teachers’ beliefs and affect. In F. K. Lester (Ed.),
*Second handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 257–315). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar - Quinn, R. J. (1997). Effects of mathematics methods courses on the mathematical attitudes and content knowledge of preservice teachers.
*Journal of Educational Research, 92*(2), 108–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Reyes, L. H. (1984). Affective variables and mathematics education.
*The Elementary School Journal, 84*(5), 558–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Richardson, F. C., & Suinn, R. M. (1972). The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale: psychometric data.
*Journal of Counseling Psychology, 19*(6), 551–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula (Ed.),
*Handbook of research on teacher education*(pp. 102–119). New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar - Rowe, K. J. (1993). What are the benefits of single-sex maths classes? In I. Livingstone & J. Izard (Eds.),
*Best of SET mathematics*. Camberwell: Australian Council for Educational Research.Google Scholar - Sachs, J., & Leung, S. O. (2007). Shortened versions of Fennema-Sherman Mathematic Attitude Scales employing trace information.
*Psychologia: An International Journal of Psychology in the Orient, 50*(3), 224–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Sherman, H. J., & Christian, M. (1999). Mathematics attitudes and global self-concept: an investigation of the relationship.
*College Student Journal, 33*(1), 95–101.Google Scholar - Stipek, D. J., Givvin, K. B., Salmon, J. M., & MacByvers, V. L. (2001). Teachers’ beliefs and practices related to mathematics instruction.
*Teaching and Teacher Education, 17*, 213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Swars, S., Daane, C., & Giesen, J. (2006). Mathematics anxiety and mathematics teacher efficacy: what is the relationship in elementary preservice teachers?
*School Science and Mathematics, 106*(7), 306–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Tapia, M., & Marsh, G. E., II. (2004). An instrument to measure mathematics attitudes.
*Academic Exchange Quarterly, 8*(2), 16–21.Google Scholar - Tatto, M. T. (Ed.). (2013).
*The Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M): policy, practice, and readiness to teach primary and secondary mathematics in 17 countries. Technical report.*Amsterdam: International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA).Google Scholar - The World Bank. (2015).
*Primary education, teachers (% female)*. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.PRM.TCHR.FE.ZS. Accessed 7 Dec 2015. - Thompson, A. G. (1992). Teachers’ beliefs and conceptions: a synthesis of the research. In D. A. Grouws (Ed.),
*Handbook of research on mathematics teaching and learning*(pp. 127–146). New York: MacMillan.Google Scholar - Tsao, Y. (2014). Attitudes and beliefs toward mathematics for elementary pre-service teachers.
*US-China Education Review B, 4*(9), 616–626.Google Scholar - Vezeau, C., Chouinard, R., Bouffard, T., & Couture, N. (1998). Adaptation et validation des échelles de Fennema-Sherman sur les attitudes en mathématiques chez des garçons et des filles du secondaire.
*Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 30*(1), 137–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Welder, R. M., & Jong, C. (2012). Examining connections between mathematical knowledge for teaching and conceptions about mathematics teaching and learning. In L. R.Van Zoest, J.-J. Lo, & J. L. Kratky. (Eds),
*Proceedings of the 34th Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education*, (pp. 773–776). Kalamazoo: Western Michigan University.Google Scholar - Welder, R. M., Hodges, T. E., Jong, C. (2011). Measuring changes in teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and dispositions related to experiences in mathematics. In L. R. Wiest & T. Lamberg. (Eds.),
*Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Meeting of the North American Chapter of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education*, (pp. 2118–2125). Reno: University of Nevada, Reno.Google Scholar - Wilkins, J. L. M. (2008). The relationship among elementary teachers’ content knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
*Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, 11*(2), 139–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Wilkins, J. L. M. (2010). Elementary school teachers’ attitudes toward different subjects.
*The Teacher Educator, 45*(1), 23–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar