”Jag brukar kalla dem avoider”
: En kvalitativ studie om matematiklärare och speciallärare i matematiks tankar om matematikängslan

  • Christina Andersson

Student thesis: Master, one year


Research shows that many children and adults have math anxiety which have negative affect on their math achievements. The purpose of this study was to contribute knowledge and gain understanding of how math teachers and special teachers with focus in math at high school experince and relate to math anxiety. This qualitative study consists of 3 semi-structured interviews with mathematics teachers and 3 semi structured special teachers in grades 7 - 9. The study´s theoretical starting point is the special educational perspectives categorical and relational perspective.
The result showed that math teachers and special teachers expressed that the pupils selfconfidence, pupils self perceptions of one´s own math ability caused them to develop an avoidance behavior which is a major obstacle because the pupils didn´t develope new knowledge. The result also showed that the math teachers and special teachers expressed that it was important to strenghten the student´s self-esteem in order for them to overcome their math anxiety. Many of the support measures adaptations that teachers testified about aimed at boosting the student´s self-confidence. The results show that teaching needs to become more constructivist in order to prevent math anxiety. Constructivist teaching is characterized by students developing knowledge when they are actively engaged in reality-based tasks instead of passively receiving knowledge. Focus is on the process i. e. learning and understanding rather than getting the right answer. This means that the special teacher in mathematics has an important function of supervising teachers to establish social norms and develop teaching. It is about giving advice and help the teachers with establishing a safe social climate and reality-based tasks which are based on the students' interests.
Date of Award2024-Jun
Original languageSwedish
SupervisorSarah Rangstrand Hjort (Supervisor), Cecilia Segerby (Assessor) & Helena Sjunnesson (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Special Education Teacher Programme

Courses and Subjects

  • Mathematics

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Pedagogy (50301)


  • high school
  • math anxiety
  • math teacher
  • prevent
  • special education teacher

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