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Mathematics Anxiety among Pre-Service Accounting Teachers

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Document pages: 14 pages

Abstract: Pre-service accounting teachers perform a variety of calculations in accounting courses, for example, they calculate and compare company financial ratios, calculate dividends, interests, and variances. Mathematics is thus a crucial tool for performing accounting calculations. This paper reports on a study designed in order to investigate pre-service accounting teachers mathematics anxiety with respect to accounting. The Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Scale (F-SMAS), with established reliability and validity, was applied. A cross-sectional data set containing demographic details and attitudes towards mathematics anxiety was collected and quantitative responses of 255 first-, second-, and third-year pre-service teachers were analysed. In addition, semi-structured interviews with 18 pre-service accounting teachers, 6 from each level, were conducted. A sequential explanatory mixed methods design was employed. Data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences for quantitative data, and semi-structured interviews were transcribed and analysed qualitatively. The study revealed that the Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Anxiety Scale score is slightly above neutral. Qualitative results reveal that even mathematically competent students are not free from mathematics anxiety. Based on these findings it was concluded that mathematics anxiety affects and influences the way students learn and perform accounting calculations.

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