Reducing Math Anxiety Through Art


Author/Creator ORCID





Masters of Education

Citation of Original Publication


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The purpose of this study was to determine if reduction of math anxiety through an art-related therapeutic session would improve accuracy on a math-based assessment among eighth grade students. Previous research demonstrates that consistently used mindfulness activities that involve the arts have been successful in alleviating anxiety and improving assessment scores; however, teachers often lack time to complete mindfulness activities. Eighth grade math students were administered pre and post assessments of basic math facts in a virtual environment due to COVID-19 closures. After baseline data was collected, the experimental group (n = 19) was provided a 5-minute free draw art session prior to administration of the post assessment; the control group (n = 13) received a 5-minute return to school safety presentation. The mean score on the post-assessment was not significantly different between the children in the control group (Mean = 78.54, SD = 23.97) and the children in the experimental group (Mean = 71.68, SD = 21.82) [t(30) = 0.84, p = .41]. There was no significant evidence in this study that a one session art therapeutic improved assessments scores by reducing math-related anxiety. Further studies should consider changes in physical environment, types of art (free draw, specify drawing, color, complex designs), and frequency of intervention.