The Problem and Its Background
Mathematics is one of the greatest tools used for daily living, though most of the time its importance was not recognized by many people. Its application is very significant especially in today’s rapid changing world. Marvelous scientific and technological discoveries and innovations changed today’s life and culture into a modern world. With these changes that are made, there is no doubt that mathematics really does influence the way people lives. In order to keep in step with rapid changing time, the need of mathematics education is essential. However, it is one of the most important parts of school curriculum. It involves many skills that have to be enhanced, specifically in problem solving, critical thinking, analysis and computational processes. The goals of mathematics education are to value mathematics, to reason mathematically, to solve problems, to communicate mathematics, and to develop confidence. Unfortunately, instead of gaining self-confidence, many students reap low self-esteem and suffer from math anxiety when studying and learning mathematics. That is one of the major problems encountered by the students in mathematics. Math anxiety is described as “feeling of intense frustration or helplessness about one’s ability to do math works”. Students who suffer from math anxiety always have the feeling of incapability of doing activities, which involve mathematics. Moreover, other math anxious students look for other way to avoid doing any mathematical tasks. Some of these techniques are going to the restroom, sharpening pencils, talking with seatmates and work on other non-mathematical tasks. They act up sufficiently to be punished by some penalty, which tends in taking them away from mathematics (Schwieger, 1995) Some studies indicate that math anxiety is found in elementary, high school and college students. “I hate mathematics!” This was always heard from math-anxious students. They complain such things as nervousness, helplessness, inability to concentrate, mental block, and a feeling of sickness when they are confronted with taking a math examination. Math anxiety can be disabling condition, causing humiliation, resentment and even panic. Math anxiety may result from environmental factors such as myths, teachers, parents, peers, siblings and other adults that can also pressure the students (Steele and Arth, 1998; Trujillo and Hadfield, 1999). Past experiences that brought about negative testimonies in studying and learning mathematics can also influence the students. Intellectual factors that affect math anxiety include learning styles, persistence, self-doubt, and dyslexia (Harper and Daane, 1998; Trujillo and Hadfield, 1999). Personality factors such as low self-esteem, shyness, and intimidation can also affect math anxious students (Fotoples, 2000; Lavine, 1995). The need to identify and recognize the causes of math anxiety such as poor math instruction, negative attitude towards math, bad math experiences and low self-esteem is very relevant in order to help the students cope up with these factors. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a significant relationship between math anxiety and the achievement of the students. The researchers also aim to find out if math anxiety has a significant relationship with the performance of the students. However, the investigators wish to seek more about math anxiety--- its symptoms and the significant difference in the levels of math anxiety of males and females--- and the achievement and performance of math anxious students. It is hoped that the results of this study would help the educators to recognize and help math anxious students overcome this phenomenon.
Statement of the Problem
This study sought to find out the math anxieties of second year high school students in relation to their mathematics achievement, Specifically, it sought...