Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 53–71 | Cite as

Aspects of Children's Mathematics Anxiety

  • Karen Newstead


This study focuses on mathematics anxiety in nine- to eleven-year-old children and compares the mathematics anxiety of pupils taught in a traditional manner with that of pupils whose teachers adopted an alternative teaching approach emphasising problem-solving and discussion of pupils' own informal strategies. One finding is that pupils who were exposed to a traditional approach reported more mathematics anxiety than those who were exposed to the alternative approach, particularly with regard to the social, public aspects of doing mathematics. The question is raised whether it is these public aspects of doing mathematics in the presence of teachers and peers which actually evoke mathematics anxiety in many pupils, and not working with numbers or doing sums. However, the majority of pupils in this study reacted with either high or low anxiety to both aspects of doing mathematics.


Traditional Approach Teaching Approach Traditional Manner Mathematics Anxiety Alternative Teaching 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen Newstead
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DidacticsResearch Unit for Mathematics Education of the University of Stellenbosch (RUMEUS)MatielandSouth Africa

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