The subjects of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have grown in importance because they are fundamental to the future quality of life and the ability to compete in today's global society. The demand for STEM careers is increasing; however, the United States is having difficulty meeting this demand. Society needs students who can research and think critically, so they can be proficient in STEM education and become the next generation of mathematicians, technologists, and engineers. Mathematical proficiency is of particular concern because while it is required from STEM education success, individuals find it challenging. Both adults and children have apprehension about mathematics, and their negative attitudes toward math develop a barrier to STEM education and careers. This negative math phobia, or math anxiety, causes a decrease in math achievement. This study explored the perceptions of elementary teachers in establishing a classroom environment free of math anxiety. Specifically, this study focused on best practices that teachers incorporate in order to reduce math anxiety. The purpose of this study was to (a) determine the strategies and practices teachers employ to reduce math anxiety, (b) determine the challenges teachers face in reducing math anxiety, (c) determine how teachers measure the success of their practices in reducing math anxiety, and (d) determine the recommendations teachers would make for future implementation of strategies in reducing math anxiety.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Math anxiety; Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Elementary)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;