Browsing by Author "Wyngaard, Timara"
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- ItemExploring Grade 10 learners' mathematics test anxiety(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-12) Wyngaard, Timara; Perold, M.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Education. Dept. of Educational Psychology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Education, both in South Africa and internationally, experiences various challenges with regards to the need for improved teaching and learning. South African education is battling a crisis in mathematics and many learners experience anxiety surrounding the subject. Accordingly, there is a heightened necessity to develop teaching and learning practices that assist learners in being conscious, effective and independent thinkers. Given the impact of anxiety on learners’ engagement with mathematics, this study aimed to make a meaningful contribution to the understandings of test anxiety related to evaluations in mathematics. This in turn creates the opportunity for the provision of guidelines in addressing and consequently decreasing its occurrence. This study was embedded within an interpretive paradigm, employing a qualitative methodological approach, as well as a qualitative research design. Purposive sampling was used to select nine Grade 10 mathematics learners and one mathematics teacher to participate in the study. Data was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews, gathering the exam results of learner participants as obtained over a two and a half year period, and by conducting a creative drawing of the feelings exercise as a manner of externalising the experiences of anxiety to some degree. Furthermore, the qualitative analytical method of thematic analysis was used to analyse the data as this allowed for the identification, analysis and reporting of patterns or themes within the data. The research findings indicated that learners’ experiences and understandings of mathematics test anxiety are guided by emotionality and worry. Various factors related to preparation for an evaluation; physiological and cognitive experiences during an evaluation; and debriefing measures employed upon completion of an evaluation, are influential in learners’ overall experiences of anxiety pertaining to evaluations in mathematics. In addition, the study revealed various resources that can by employed as protective factors that may decrease the experiences of anxiety related to mathematics which in turn may have a positive impact on achievement. Furthermore, the study indicated manners in which pedagogical approaches may be adapted so as to aid in the lessening of anxiety surrounding mathematics. Apart from this, findings attained from this study have the potential to inform the direction of future research oriented toward decreasing learners’ experiences of anxiety pertaining to mathematics.