Can Learning with JUMP Math Reduce Seventh Grade Student’s Math Anxiety?
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This action research endeavored to determine if learning with JUMP math helps alleviate grade 7 students’ math anxiety, and if so, does the reduction in anxiety lead to higher achievement? The nature of today’s workforce demands employees that are highly skilled not only in literacy but also in numeracy. The unfortunate reality is that fewer people are choosing to study mathematics and new entrants into the workforce are not meeting expectations in numeracy. Throughout this action research, 37 students completed two units of their Math seven year using the JUMP math program. They received instruction that followed the JUMP math level seven teacher’s guide. Students’ anxiety towards mathematics was measured before and after the five-month period using the Math Anxiety Rating Scale – Elementary version MARSE. Although student behaviours indicated a decrease in anxiety, the mean score on this assessment indicated a slight overall increase in anxiety. Student achievement was measured using the Diagnostic Math Assessment for the beginning of grade seven and the end of grade seven. Over the five month period, the mean score for students on the shape, space, probability and statistics units increased by 8.1% from 66.8% to 74.9%. While there were no conclusive remarks to be made concerning the changes in anxiety with this group of students, JUMP math has a seemingly significant positive effect on student achievement.