Student teacher anxieties related to class management, pedagogy, evaluation, and staff relations

L. L. Morton, R. Vesco, N. H. Williams, M. A. Awender

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Abstract

Background. Anxiety is an important consideration in teaching, with implications for classroom success. Aims. We investigated the nature of anxiety in student teachers. Samples. Approximately 1000 student teachers in Canada were involved in four studies to explore education-related anxieties. Methods. Incorporating a cross-cultural focus, student teachers were tested on an anxiety measure designed for British student teachers, then examined for (1) the impact of practice teaching, (2) the value of instructional preparation, (3) demographic variables, and (4) models that predict anxiety. Results. Anxiety factors (i.e., evaluation, pedagogical, class management, and staff relations), similar to those for British participants, emerged with evaluation anxiety being highest. A practice teaching experience generated reduced anxiety for both sexes, but more so for females, with the greatest reductions for evaluation and pedagogical anxiety. In one study, participants reported anxieties prior to instruction (PRETEST), following instruction (POST-INSTR) and following practice teaching (POST-TEACH). Females showed higher anxiety ratings than males (PRETEST and POST-INSTR) but were comparable to males after practice teaching. Females in the lower grades division showed higher anxiety scores. Anxiety decreased between PRE-TEST and POST-INSTR for all four scales, and between POST-INSTR and POST-TEACH for evaluation, pedagogy and staff relations; however, class management anxiety did not decrease after practice teaching. Also, anxiety increased as placement grade level decreased. All models (demographic, experiential, and dispositional) were predictive but the best predictor was the psychological disposition to feel overwhelmed. Conclusions. Student-teacher anxieties are related to demographic variables, experiential variables, and dispositional variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-89
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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