The relationship among mathematics anxiety, mathematical self-efficacy, mathematical teaching self-efficacy, and the instructional practices of elementary school teachers

Lydia Joan Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to explore the relationships among the variables of mathematics anxiety, mathematical self-efficacy, mathematical teaching self-efficacy, and the instructional practice of elementary school teachers. The study included 320 practicing elementary teachers who teach mathematics to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. These teachers completed the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Scale, the Mathematics Teaching and Mathematics Self-Efficacy survey, and the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey. Quantitative data analysis methods included descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis. Results indicated a statistically significant relationship between mathematical teaching self-efficacy (efficacy) and mastery approaches to instruction, as well as a significant relationship between mathematical teaching self-efficacy (content) and performance-based instruction. The contradiction found within the data suggested an inconsistency among teachers regarding how their mathematical teaching self-efficacy influences their instructional practices. Additionally, results indicated that when teaching mathematics as it relates to mathematics content, teachers are confident in their abilities to provide performance-based instruction. This study offers findings to mathematics teacher educators and elementary mathematics teachers about the importance of identifying and resolving the internal conflict found within the subscales of mathematical teaching self-efficacy because of its relationship to elementary teachers' instructional practices.