The ripple effect: How teachers' anxiety impacts students' anxiety levels in math, science and literacyNovember 6, 20231 min read
In a new study funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, University of Delaware Associate Research Professor Leigh McLean and her co-authors found a strong connection between teachers’ math and science anxiety and the respective math and science anxiety of their low socioeconomic status (SES) students. When a teacher was more anxious in these content areas, their low-SES students were also more anxious; and, when teachers were less anxious, so were their low-SES students.
Teachers play a significant role in shaping students' experiences and attitudes towards learning. When teachers themselves exhibit anxiety or stress about specific subjects, it can inadvertently send signals to students that these subjects are difficult or intimidating.
McLean can speak more broadly about this phenomenon and discuss the interesting pattern of associations that emerged from their analysis. She has been featured in multiple publications including The Associated Press and Education Week. Click the "View Profile" to connect with her.
Leigh McLean Associate Research Professor, Education
Prof. McLean investigates how teachers’ emotions and emotion-related experiences including well-being impact their effectiveness.