The sum of all fears: Maths anxiety and pre-service primary teachers

Science of Learning Research Centre seminar

Maths anxiety is often described as the feelings of tension, nervousness, and worry associated with carrying out mathematical tasks. It is associated with poor achievement in maths and is believed to be a factor in avoidance of careers and courses for which maths is required.  Primary school teachers often report high levels of maths anxiety. Furthermore, there is good evidence that teachers’ maths anxiety can influence their students through teachers’ practices and attitudes towards maths.

The aim of the current project is two-fold.  First, we aim to explore the experience of maths anxiety among pre-service primary teachers using perspectives from education, psychology, and neuroscience. Second, we aim to educate the participants about the experience and impact of maths anxiety by delivering an informational, interactive workshop.

In this seminar, we will report on the progress of this project to date and discuss some of the implications for learning and development.  We will also show how this project integrates different research disciplines in line with the principles of the SLRC.


Dr Sue Thompson, SLRC Chief Investigator, ACER

Dr Sarah Buckley, SLRC Researcher, ACER

Dr Kate Reid, SLRC Researcher, ACER