|Abstract or Summary
- The goal of the research project was to assess the effect of a written
intervention on the state anxiety of new mathematics teachers. Twenty-eight
beginning mathematics teachers in Washington, Oregon, and California were
randomly assigned to treatment or control groups. Treatment was a survival
guide, Green Broke, carefully designed to meet the needs of beginning
mathematics teachers. A Delphi panel determined topics for the guide,
beginning with suggestions from the literature. The panel included mathematics
teachers in grades 7 to 12 from all three Pacific states, and both urban and
rural areas. School administration and college mathematics education were
also represented on the panel. A subset of the panel and a writer edited the
Trait anxiety of subjects was determined prior to the 1989-90 school year
using the trait anxiety portion of Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory.
The state anxiety inventory was administered at that same time and again three
times during the school year. All subjects also completed a teacher report
twice during the year regarding their teaching experiences. In addition, the
treatment group was asked to complete two questionnaires regarding the
effectiveness of Green Broke. Subjects perceived that they were part of two
studies, one involving the guide and one involving anxiety inventories.
Analysis of covariance for repeated measures was used to assess
differences between groups in state anxiety, using trait anxiety as covariate.
Level of significance was set at .05. There was no significant main effect, but a
significant interaction effect was found. The nearly linear relationship between
state and trait anxiety found in the control group disappeared for the group
having the guide.
Mini case studies, using responses to the teacher reports, were done for
seven subjects, including those with very high state anxiety. In addition, a
subgroup of the treatment group, for which a linear relationship between state
and trait anxiety did exist, was examined for common characteristics. Locus of
control was hypothesized to be a variable that would differentiate this group.
Other suggestions for further study include use of audio-visual forms of the
survival guide, extension to other subject areas, and replication of the study.