DIFFERENCES AND SIMILARITIES OF THE MATH-ANXIETY PROFILE OF BUSINESS SCHOOL AND ENGINEERING SCHOOL STUDENTS
Universidad Panamericana (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Determining profiles for a person or for a group of persons requires determining their own special and peculiar characteristics. The objective of this research project is the determination of math-anxiety profile of freshmen at a University in Guadalajara, Mexico. For this purpose we developed a test based on Galbraith & Haines, and Pierce, Stacey & Barkatsas´ tests, which was applied to 289 students majoring at business school and 128 students majoring at engineering school.
Following Gil et al., Caballero et al., Nicolaidou et al., and Hannula, we characterize math-anxiety via three basic descriptors: attitudes, believes and emotions. A first step prior this research was a factor analysis, in which we confirmed these three basic descriptors in our test.
Later, we analyzed for each and every question of our test the means significant differences between the business students and the engineering students. It was found, that the most significant difference between the two groups was a matter of attitude towards mathematics and an emotional issue, the pleasure of doing mathematics and investing time to solve problems.
In this manner we established a general profile of business school and engineering school students. We divided the basic descriptors in subcategories of math-anxiety and were able to report differences that characterize both groups, such as emotions towards mathematics, and similarities between both groups, such as some beliefs about the nature of mathematics.