Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Maria L. Fernandez

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Laura H. Dinehart

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Memeber

Fourth Advisor's Name

Tonette S. Rocco

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Memeber


Mathematics Anxiety, Student Teaching, Preservice Teachers, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Content Knowledge

Date of Defense



This study investigated the teaching experiences of six elementary preservice teachers (EPTs), three with high mathematics anxiety and three with low mathematics anxiety, during their student teaching semester. The EPTs were selected from an initial pool of 121 EPTs who took the Abbreviated Mathematics Anxiety Scale. The cases were compared in a cross case analysis to highlight mathematics teaching experiences among EPTs. Data sources included EPT and researcher journal entries, interview transcripts, pre-lesson surveys, field notes, lesson plans, and artifacts of observed lessons. Data were coded using Shulman’s content knowledge, Graeber’s mathematics pedagogical content knowledge, and mathematics anxiety characteristics.

Findings revealed both similarities and differences across EPTs as related to four major categories: (a) planning and resources used, (b) role of the cooperating teacher, (c) content knowledge, and (d) pedagogical content knowledge. All EPTs used mostly direct instruction and relied on the course textbook and their respective cooperating teacher as their primary resources for planning. Additionally, across participants, the cooperating teacher influenced EPTs’ perceptions of students and teaching. Also, EPTs with high mathematics anxiety were weaker with respect to content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. Findings suggest a need to re-design methods courses to address improving the pedagogical content knowledge of EPTs with mathematics anxiety. Findings also suggest a need to develop content specific mathematics courses for EPTs to improve their content knowledge. Future studies could include a longitudinal study to follow highly anxious EPTs who take content specific elementary mathematics courses to observe their content knowledge and mathematics anxiety.





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