The effectiveness of cooperative learning techniques in decreasing mathematics anxiety among college students

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching Major in Mathematics

Subject Categories

Science and Mathematics Education


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Science Education

Thesis Adviser

Josue Zuniega

Defense Panel Chair

Bee Ching Ong

Defense Panel Member

Auxencia A. Limjap
Maxima J. Acelajado


This study investigates the effectiveness of cooperative learning techniques in decreasing mathematics anxiety among college students. The researcher theorized that cooperative learning techniques would help increase the self-esteem of students, which in turn would decrease mathematics anxiety. Participants were thirty-two first year college students of Don Bosco College, Canlubang, Laguna, taking up Fundamental Statistics during the second semester of SY 1998-1999. Thirty-two students formed the experimental group and were taught by the researcher. The control group, composed of twenty-nine students, was handled by another teacher. The treatment used was the Students Team Achievement Division (STAD) method, a type of cooperative learning technique, which lasted for seven weeks. The Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale (MARS), a normative test measuring mathematics anxiety, and the Steffenhagen/Burns Self-Esteem Measure (SSM), a valid and reliable measure of self-esteem, were given to the two groups before and after the treatment. The ANOVA Two-Way Repeated Measures Design was used to determine significant differences at .05 level among the tests and groups.

Findings revealed that no significant differences between the MARS pretest and posttest scores of both the control and experimental groups as well as between the SSM pretest and posttest scores of both groups. Comparisons between experimental and control groups before and after the treatment both on the MARS and the SSM also yielded no significant differences. The study showed that the STAD type of cooperative learning was not significantly effective in increasing self-esteem and in decreasing mathematics anxiety among the students of the experimental group. The researcher proposed a longer treatment for cooperative learning to effectively decrease mathematics anxiety.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

78 leaves ; 28 cm.


Group work in education; Math anxiety; College student

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