The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze images, anxieties, and attitudes towards mathematics in order to foster meaningful teaching and learning of mathematics. Images of mathematics seem to be profoundly shaped by epistemological, philosophical, and pedagogical perspectives of one who views mathematics either as priori or a posteriori, absolute or relative, and concrete or nominal. These images, as perceived by an individual can play a significant role in the development of attitudes towards mathematics in the long run. Images of mathematics can have possible negative and positive impacts on teaching and learning of mathematics with the subsequent development of attitudes toward mathematics as positive or
…show more content…
It seems that the number of dissertations and published articles dealing with attitude towards mathematics increased geometrically since Feierabend’s (1960) report “Review of research on psychological problems in mathematics education” (Aiken, 1970). This shows a growing interest of mathematics education researchers in the area of attitudes toward mathematics. In this context, mathematics educators have considered the connection between students’ attitudes toward mathematics, and their achievement in the subject as one of the major concerns (Ma & Kishor, 1997). Ma and Kishor further stated that “the research literature, however, has failed to provide consistent findings regarding the relationship between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics” (p. 27). This discrepancy of result might have stemmed from differences in research method, context, and other intervening factors. Some researchers (e.g., Deighan, 1971) demonstrated that there is a low correlation (below 0.5) between attitude toward mathematics and achievement in mathematics; however, other researchers (e.g., Kloosterman, 1991) demonstrated that the attitudinal variables are significant indicators of math achievement. This paper is an attempt to analyze the images of mathematics in relation to anxieties and attitudes toward mathematics, and their effects on teaching and learning mathematics.
From a psychological