Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Educational Administration and Supervision
Dr. Neal Grandgenett
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of student journal writing with teacher feedback on the mathematics anxiety levels of female algebra and geometry students. The one semester study was a pretest-posttest, equivalent-groups design. Two Algebra I and two Geometry classes at a private girls' high school were involved. One Algebra I class and one Geometry class served as control groups and were taught with common techniques (lecture/discussion, cooperative learning, non-journal writing) of the teacher. The remaining Algebra I and Geometry classes formed the experimental groups and were also taught with common techniques. In addition, the experimental groups made regular journal entries in response to teacher written prompts or gave open form comments which were read by the teacher who wrote comments related to the student reflections. The hypothesis that was investigated in this study is as follows: Implementation of regular student journal writing, with teacher commentary, in Algebra I and Geometry classes will help reduce mathematics anxiety in female students as compared to female students who do not participate in journal writing exercises. Investigation results of the one semester study were based on pretest-posttest data gathered through the use of the Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale-A and the Daly-Miller Writing Apprehension Scale along with anecdotal information from the students in the study. While quantitative data did not produce evidence that one semester of journaling was sufficient to bring about significant change in mathematics anxiety levels, qualitative results were more supportive of the study's hypothesis. At the end of the study, a majority of students in the experimental groups indicated they would like to continue journaling and commented in positive terms regarding their journaling experience. The results of this study encourage further research in the use of journaling with students who experience mathematics anxiety. Overcoming the negative effects of mathematics anxiety, especially on females, can promote several positive effects including additional study in mathematics and an enjoyment and appreciation of this field of study.
Classe, Carol Schutz, "The effects of student journal writing on the mathematics anxiety of female algebra and geometry students." (1994). Student Work. 3530.